"In The Dark" Contest
Penname: Stephen King Reincarnated (Just call me King)
Title: Talent Search
Summary: Vampires rule the world, but that's no problem for Bella and her friend, Alice. They live in the safest, most boring town in America; Forks, Washington. Nothing ever happens there, until a small group of vampires come to town looking for talented humans to turn.
Bella knows that if they discover Alice's ability to predict the future, Bella will lose the only true friend she has, but what she is not prepared for is discovering that she too possesses a talent. However, will it be enough to save them?
Word Count: 12989
I've never done anything like this before. I hope I'm doing this right. I just got this cool idea in music class and I haven't stopped thinking about it for the last five hours. I remembered seeing a bunch of entries for this contest, so I decided to see if I could pull it off. I hope you enjoy it. I'm sorry that this is delaying my other story. I'll get right back to it after I'm done.
P.S. I don't own Twilight or any of the songs Alice sings.
"Come on, Bella!" Alice Brandon, my wonderful, beautiful, eternally hyperactive best friend shouted from outside.
I finished tying my shoes and pulled my bag over my right shoulder. I opened the door and was assaulted by the 4''11' pixie. Her black hair was spiked and her blue eyes were glittering with excitement as she draped an arm over my shoulders. She had on a pale blue blouse and a white skirt that was just barely in the realm of school-appropriate. I had on jeans and a dark blue long-sleeved shirt. Even after a year, I still wasn't used to Forks' cold temperature.
"Christmas break is over, Alice. How can you be so happy?" I asked her. We walked towards her new yellow Porsche, a gift from her absent but ridiculously wealthy father. She'd visited him over the break. She skipped happily towards the driver's seat and unlocked the doors.
"I've missed you, and I can't wait to see the look on Jessica Stanley's face when she sees my new car!" She turned the car on and licked her lips as she heard the purr of the engine.
I shook my head, "If you two want to get a room, just let me know, Ali."
She laughed and we raced along the streets. I didn't worry about the police catching us. Alice was very good at avoiding them.
"How's your dad?" I asked.
Alice frowned. "He's enchanted with his new replacement daughter, Renesmee." She spat the name out. "I've nicknamed her, Nessie, after the Loch Ness Monster. It drove that woman up the wall when she heard that. I mean, how cruel do you have to be to call your daughter something like that?"
"I think it's nice," I commented.
Alice snickered. "That's because you like weird things."
I mock-glared at her. "Well that would explain why we're best friends."
We pulled into the school and giggled as we saw a few mouths drop. A small crowd began to form around the car as we got out. Even in three-inch heels, Alice only came up to my eyes. She strutted into the school with a confidence I'd always admired.
We walked to our first class, English, and sat next to each other, still giggling. Mike Newton sat down in front of us. He turned around and sat in his chair backwards, his arms hugging the back of his chair.
"Hello Bella, Alice. How are you on this beautiful day?" My eyes immediately went to the window and I cringed as I realized it was starting to snow.
"You're not getting a ride, Mike," Alice replied. The boy's face fell and he turned around to sulk. Alice and I exchanged a quick look and both of us pointed at our mouths, pretending to gag.
Alice's eyes glazed over for a second. "Heads up, Mr. Banner is planning a surprise quiz after lunch in Bio."
I nodded. "We'll study during lunch."
Alice was very rarely wrong.
We sat through our classes, sharing secret glances and smiles whenever another kid was caught sleeping. It was petty, but there wasn't much else to do in class. The bell finally rang for lunch. Alice jumped up gracefully and we headed towards the cafeteria.
As we walked, I tripped on an imaginary crack in the floor and nearly toppled over. Alice, of course, caught me without even looking at me. The halls were quickly emptying out as we hurried to buy our lunch. Jessica and her posse offered us a couple seats, which we politely turned down.
We headed towards our usual table and began to dig in. We finished lunch quickly and headed for the bathroom. It was a good place to study.
"What's the test on exactly?" I asked as I pulled my biology textbook out of my bag.
"Disease causing bacteria, if I'm not mistaken."
"That would be a first," I said, turning to the right page.
Alice's book dropped to the floor, and I knew something bad had happened. Correction; something bad was going to happen. Alice never dropped things. I was the clumsy one in our little group. Alice was graceful and beautiful…and she was crying.
"Ali!" I exclaimed, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her out of her daze.
"Oh, Bella," she moaned. Her eyes focussed on me and she sobbed. "They're coming here."
I didn't have to ask "Who", there was only one explanation for Alice's panic.
We all knew that they existed. Occasionally they ventured out of their city in Volterra, Italy. Aro was their leader. He was ancient and cunning and, though nobody would admit it aloud, greedy. He surrounded himself with talented vampires. He organized a system where humans donated blood to appease them, so they didn't have to kill us.
Most of the time.
Occasionally, death row inmates were sacrificed to appease the ones who preferred to hunt down their food.
Most people tried not to think about it. We simply went on with our lives. Most of us had never seen a vampire in the flesh before, and that was just fine.
But now, they were coming here. There was only one explanation for the impromptu visit. They were searching for talents.
Occasionally, a human displayed a budding talent, which becoming a vampire could enhance. Aro was always on the lookout for such people. Sometimes, we heard rumours of vampires taking teenagers from their homes. I never liked to think about things like that. I was good at blocking bad things out.
For the most part, the searches were fruitless, but they were coming here. If they had that talent-sensor with them, they would find Alice for sure. I couldn't let them take my only friend away.
"How long to we have?" I asked.
Alice sobbed. "They just pulled into the parking lot. They have the talent-sensor, Bella."
I cursed under my breath. The warning bell for class rang. "Go hide in the bathroom stall. We'll cut class. Mr. Banner will just have to deal with it. When the coast is clear, we'll drive home." I physically had to turn her around and shove her towards a stall. Her hands were shaking so badly. I heard her struggling with the lock, not that it would do any good.
My own hands were steady as I packed up our bags. I zipped them up and turned around.
I almost screamed. I don't know how or why I didn't. Perhaps I knew that if I lost it, Alice would as well.
Instead, I stared at the vampire in front of me with a blank expression. I took in his features dispassionately, the way an uninterested student studied a cell under a microscope. His hair was a coppery, brown colour. His jaw was wide and neatly chiselled. He had thin lips and a pointed nose. His eyebrows rested heavily over hideous red eyes. He had on a dark blue shirt and black pants. He was pale and beautiful, but then again, they all were. He was leaning against the wall right next to the door. Our escape was blocked.
The second bell rang and he cocked his head. "What are you doing in here?" he asked. His voice was like liquid velvet.
I don't know what possessed me. I put the blame solely on my mother's modest use of LSD in college for the words that came out of my mouth. "This is the girl's bathroom. What the hell are you doing here?"
I waited for him the growl, or to kill me, either action would have been better than hearing him laugh. He started with a surprised snicker, and then shook his head, still chuckling under his breath. He moved smoothly away from the wall and approached me.
His head cocked to the side, as if he was listening to something. He frowned at me, and then his hand went under my chin. His fingers felt like icicles. He tilted my head up. His frown deepened.
I forced myself not to back away. Vampires rarely attacked unless provoked, but running sometimes set off an instinctive hunting reaction.
"I asked first. What are you doing in here?" he asked, enunciating each word.
I gulped. "My friend was feeling sick." There was no point about lying that she was here. Vampires could hear our hearts from miles away. It wasn't a lie either. I would be surprised if Alice didn't feel like being sick. "I was going to drive her home. She gets these really nasty headaches." I clamped my mouth shut before I could start babbling.
His eyes narrowed as he studied my face. I kept my expression blank. His eyes flicked over to the bathroom stall where Alice was hiding. He tilted his head again, as if he were listening to something, and his frown deepened.
"You had better come out of there, Alice." I sucked in a breath when he said her name. Did he hear us talking? Did he know? He growled in her direction and the hand on my chin twisted into my hair. He pulled on it roughly and I let out a squeak before clamping my mouth shut. "If you're not out here in ten seconds, I'll come in after you. Trust me; you wouldn't like that, Alice."
I heard her sob and listened as she fiddled with the lock on the door. She stepped out and wrapped her arms around herself as she saw the vampire. "Please don't hurt her. She was just trying to help me," she pleaded.
He removed his hand from my hair and I scurried towards Alice, wrapping my left arm around her shoulders protectively. As I did so, I felt the strangest sensation along my skin. I looked down and saw a very faint, white light surrounding Alice's tiny form. I blinked, but it didn't go away.
The vampire cocked his head to the side again, his frown deepening. He took a step towards us and Alice shrieked. I wrapped my other arm around her and began to whisper softly in her ear. I caught the vampire's expression change from hostile to smug and I glared up at him with loathing. I didn't care that he could kill me in an instant. Alice didn't deserve to be mocked like that.
He met my angry gaze with some surprise, and then glared back. I refused to back down. Maybe if I got him angry enough, he would kill me quickly. His expression morphed back into surprise, along with a touch of…respect?
He held out a hand and curled his index finger towards himself twice. He obviously wanted us to follow him. I kept Alice wrapped up in my arms. My balance was bad on the best of days, but her limp form was making walking more difficult. I stumbled twice before we even made it out of the bathroom.
The vampire led us down the hallway, towards the gym. I kept one hand on the wall to keep my balance. The vampire seemed to find my equilibrium troubles to be quite entertaining. He chuckled every time I stumbled and I glared at his back every time he did.
He opened the gym door and gestured for us to go in first. Alice was still crying and pressing her face against my collarbone. I led her inside, feeling like I was walking to the electric chair. The gym door slammed shut and Alice jumped. I brushed my fingers through her hair, trying to keep her calm. Her glazed eyes let me know that she wasn't living in the present. Whatever she was seeing, it was terrifying her. That did nothing to lift my spirits, but I didn't show it.
The gym was nearly empty, except for our principal, Mr. Melina, and four other vampires. The principal gave us a horrified look before his expression went blank. I didn't blame him for that. I probably would have done the same thing if I were in his position. I gave him an understanding look before taking in the vampires' appearances.
Two were large, easily towering over the vampire behind us. One had dark, curly hair and the other's was blond. The dark-haired man had on jeans and a black shirt. The blond man had on jeans and a dark blue, button-down shirt. They were speaking quietly to each other. The bigger one threw his head back and laughed at something the blond one said. If I didn't know any better, I would swear they were bodyguards. The thought of a vampire needing protection had never crossed my mind, but there were rogue groups of vampires that opposed Aro's laws. They were probably just there as a precaution.
The one on the far right, who'd been speaking with Mr. Melina, had dark hair and an olive complexion. That was odd, considering the paleness of most vampires' skin. He was the oldest looking one in the group, but that didn't mean anything when you were dealing with vampires. He had on black pants and white, long-sleeved shirt.
The last one was much younger. He looked like he was only thirteen or so when he was changed. He must have been very old since vampires very rarely changed anyone so young nowadays. It was something about young children being less in control of their instincts.
He had dark hair and the face of an angel. Even though, physically, he was less intimidating than the others were, he still gave off an aura of danger. He had on a black sweater and black pants.
The youngest looking one looked up as we approached. He smiled brightly. "Edward, where were you?" He looked at us and his expression became speculative. He looked us up and down. Alice shuddered and leaned in even closer to me.
"He traps you inside nothing," she whispered to me, even though she knew that the vampires could hear her. "But I don't think he can touch you, Bella," she added, sounding confused.
The two largest vampires stopped talking and stared at Alice, bewildered. I held her more tightly and stared at the floor.
Edward brushed passed us and answered, "I found these two in the bathroom-"
I cut him off quietly, without thinking, "In the girl's bathroom."
He glared at me and I glared right back. The big, dark haired vampire laughed. "Having gender issues, Edward?" he jibed. The corner of my mouth twitched upwards at that comment.
Edward sent me a warning look and continued. "They were hiding. The smaller one knew we were coming."
Confusion etched on the biggest one's face. He looked at Alice's shaking form. "How did you know that, squirt?"
Alice didn't answer. My shirt was becoming noticeably damp from her tears. I found myself answering for her. "She can see the future."
"Whoa! Seriously?" the big one asked, looking at me. He grinned. "That's awesome."
I was very close to asking if he'd been drinking blood laced with marijuana or something when Edward butted in.
"And I can't read her mind," he pointed at me and I froze. "She's blocking off the other one as well. Eleazar?" he asked. "Can you get a reading on either of them?"
The eldest vampire, Eleazar, looked at us. His eyebrows came together and he shifted his head side to side, as if trying to see around something. His eyes widened. "I can't get a read on them at all," he said in amazement.
"How about now?" Edward asked. He grabbed my arm and ripped me away from Alice. She shrieked and wrapped her arms around herself again. Her eyes were distant. I struggled pointlessly against Edward's grip. A wave of unexpected calm came over me. Alice stopped screaming but continued to cry. I looked over towards the other vampires. The blond one was staring at her with a look of concentration. Eleazar's eyes widened as he stared at her.
"Not only can she see the future, but she can also see things that are happening around the world in the present moment. It's called remote-viewing." He looked at me, his red eyes weren't cruel, but I could detect no kindness either. "She's still blocking me, but…" he trailed off, studying Edward. "I can still sense you, Edward. She can control it, select who to block I mean."
Edward finally let me go and I stumbled towards Alice. I wrapped my left arm around her again and felt that strange sensation. I stubbornly ignored the pale light that surrounded her.
Eleazar sighed, "And now I can't sense either of them. How are you doing that?" he asked me.
I stared at him, not comprehending. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not doing anything."
The talent-sensor shook his head. "She doesn't even realize she's doing it."
"Doing what?!" I shouted. I was getting sick of this. The only thing I was trying to do was to keep Alice from totally losing it.
"Shielding," he replied, cordially.
The youngest boy looked up at him. "You mean like Renata?"
"Something like that. Although to be controlling it without even knowing…" he trailed off, shaking his head. "Master Aro is going to be very pleased, Edward."
Alice sobbed. I shushed her, trying not to lose it myself.
Aro, Aro, ARO! That greedy, selfish, power-hungry vampire was going to be very pleased.
I bit my lip to keep from swearing aloud, although I was cursing that old bloodsucker to the deepest pits of hell in my mind.
"Alec?" Edward asked, turning to the smallest boy. He tilted his head in my direction, indicating what he wanted.
Alec smiled in my direction. Alice shuddered against me and I began to stoke her hair again. Alec's smile faded as he stared at me. His eyes narrowed in concentration. I tasted something like novocaine in my mouth. I ran my tongue along my teeth, trying to get rid of the taste.
"Can you hear me?" Edward asked me.
My eyes flicked over to him. "Of course I can." He smiled.
"And what about you, Alice?" he asked. Alice nodded her head, still keeping her face pressed against my collarbone. "Amazing," he whispered. "You can stop now, Alec."
Alec's expression relaxed and the bitter taste went away.
"We're done here. Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Melina," Edward said.
Mr. Melina nodded stiffly, still not making eye contact with us. He left through the back door, which was closer to his office. He'd make an announcement soon about our whereabouts. He would contact Charlie and Renee soon.
I almost felt like breaking down into sobs as I thought about my parents, but I held strong. Alice needed me to be strong for her. I figured I could break down after she went to sleep.
The two huge vampires flanked Edward. "Eleazar, you and Alec take the Volvo. We'll take the Vanquish." The two other vampires promptly disappeared.
He reached out to take my arm, but I shrugged him off. "We can walk on our own," I said, stubbornly.
He chuckled. "How do I know you're not planning on running off?"
I looked down. "Well it's not like you couldn't catch us," I grumbled.
He couldn't find any fault in my logic and allowed me to lead Alice out the doors. The blond man walked behind us while Edward and the dark haired man took the lead. We headed towards the door to the parking lot. The door to the Biology room opened and Jessica Stanley stepped out into the hallway with the attendance. She froze as she spotted us. Her mouth dropped open.
I mouthed the word, "go" and she twisted around, stumbling back into the room. Edward chuckled and glanced back at me. I ignored him. It seemed like Mr. Melina wouldn't have to make that announcement. Jessica was probably texting half the school with the news.
We stepped outside. It was snowing more heavily and I shivered. Edward led us towards a black Aston Martin Vanquish. The blond man behind us went to the driver's door. He got behind the wheel. The dark haired man went to the front passenger seat. Edward took the seat behind the blond man.
It made sense to put Alice in the middle. She was the smallest, but there was no way in hell I was letting that vampire near her. I switched arms and pulled her into the seat on my right. I leaned over and closed the door for her. I was reaching for her seatbelt when Edward spoke up. "She doesn't need a seatbelt." I ignored him and buckled her in, trying to maintain contact with her. I heard him sigh in annoyance.
I was reaching for my own seatbelt when he grabbed my wrist. His fingers dug into my skin. I glared at him.
"I said you don't need them." He let me yank my hand away.
"Fine," I replied. I turned back to Alice, stroking her hair.
We sat in silence as we drove out of town before Edward leaned forward. "Let's listen to some music, Jasper," he said to the blond man.
Jasper nodded and turned on the radio. It was one of those Sansa radios. It gave you information about songs, like the artists and titles. It had the numbers 1-10 on the front, allowing you to go to a station without searching through them all. It came to life and a country song began playing. Edward groaned. "Change it."
"Press number 3, Clair de Lune is playing," Alice said.
Edward looked at her. Her face was still buried in my shirt. Edward nodded his head and Jasper reached over to press number 3. As Alice predicted, Clair de Lune was playing.
The dark haired man in front muttered, "Whoa."
Edward smiled and leaned back. His right leg brushed against my left and I flinched away. He noticed and chuckled. His right hand began drumming out the notes on his leg.
I felt another wave of that strange calm settle over me. Alice visibly relaxed, but still didn't stop clutching at me. I looked in the rear-view mirror and noticed Jasper's red eyes focussing on us. "Are you doing that?" I asked without thinking.
Edward's eyes studied me. I tried to ignore his intense gaze.
"Doing what?" Jasper asked.
"Calming us down. You are doing that, aren't you?" I asked, not so sure anymore.
Jasper nodded his head slowly.
"Thank you," I said. If anyone had told me I would be saying that to a vampire earlier this morning, I would've laughed in their face.
Edward snickered at me, but Jasper was more sympathetic. "She shouldn't have to be so upset." I could see him staring at her in the rear-view mirror.
Alice suddenly jerked her head up violently. "BREAKS!" she shrieked. Jasper reacted automatically as another driver passed us, just barely missing the front of the car. The force of the deceleration sent me sprawling forward. I felt Edward's stone arms wrap around my waist as he pulled me back before I could go through the windshield.
I blinked and we were on the side of the road. I'd let go of Alice in my panic and she was once again sobbing loudly. Edward had me half-sitting on his lap, his arms still wrapped around my waist. He was growling loudly.
"That idiot is lucky we're in a hurry," he growled out. His cold breath washed over the back of my neck and I shuddered.
"Can I put my seatbelt on now, please?" I asked breathlessly.
Edward realized he was still holding onto me and set me down. I shakily pulled my seatbelt on and wrapped an arm around Alice. I tried to calm myself down. I was in a car full of vampires, and I was worrying about a little fender bender?
Alice was right. I was crazy.
Alice was muttering under her breath. I strained to catch the words. "Should've let it hit us. It would have been quicker. But I don't want to die."
"It's okay, Ali," I said, stroking her hair again. My own panic was long-gone in the face of my only friend's.
"Jasper," Edward's hard voice broke in, "Keep your goddamn eyes on the road, or I'll rip your head off. I do not want these girls hurt at all. Do you understand?"
"Yes, sir," Jasper replied. He started driving again and we lapsed into silence. Alice stopped muttering and just stared at the floor with blank eyes. I didn't know if she was trying to see the future, or if she was just trying not to see anything. Finally, her head began to dip and she fell asleep. I leaned her head against her seatbelt and tried to make sure her neck wouldn't cramp up. I took my arm off her shoulders. It felt too tense and I tried to undo the knots that had formed in it.
Edward kept looking over at me. I made a point of not looking in his direction, but I could feel his eyes on me every few minutes.
Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. I twisted around to glare at him. "What?"
He seemed startled by my actions, but recovered quickly. "What are you thinking?"
I forced myself not to answer him. I wasn't sure how far I could keep pushing. I turned back to Alice, ignoring him again.
He grabbed my arm and twisted me back so that I was facing him. "I asked you a question."
My voice had a mocking edge to it as I replied, "I'd tell you, but my mother always said that if I can't say something nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. So, vada via cretino!" I'd learned that little insult from an Italian exchange student. It meant, "Get lost, jerk!" and it certainly sounded like it.
His grip tightened considerably and I bit my lip to keep from crying out. The dark haired man in the front began to laugh hysterically, easing the sudden tension. "God, Edward. You sure have a way with the ladies. No wonder you're still a virgin." He twisted around and smiled at me. He had dimples for crying out loud. "I'm Emmett by the way."
Edward's grip loosened and he crossed his arms over his chest, looking like a sulking child.
"Hi," I said. My voice was softer now. I didn't have anything against him. He and Jasper were probably just following orders.
"Are you always so abrasive?" he asked, sounding honestly curious.
I frowned and looked at Alice, "Only when my best friend and I are being kidnapped by vampires."
He laughed. "Wow! Usually you guys act a lot more like her," he said, indicating Alice's sleeping form.
"Well it's not like crying will do me any good. Besides, how am I supposed to look after her if I start freaking out?"
Emmett's expression became confused. I noticed Edward's head cock to the side. He was listening intently, probably trying to find a way into my head. For the first time, I was grateful that he couldn't seem to hear me. "You're very protective of her, aren't you?" Edward asked.
I sighed, figuring that I might as well answer him. "I have to be. How would you feel if you knew every horrible thing that was going to happen to you?" I turned towards him. "She doesn't deserve this. Why don't you just let her go home? Her visions are subjective. She can't even "see" anything unless you make a decision. If she'd known you were coming, do you honestly think you would have found us? I've figured out plenty of ways to get around them, and so could anyone else. Why don't you just take me and let her go home? She's all her mother has left. Her father's going to feel so guilty for leaving her." I could feel myself beginning to tear up. I wiped my eyes angrily with my sleeve and gave Edward a pleading look. "Please let her go."
I shut my mouth. My throat was clogging up and I was sure I wouldn't be able to say anything more without my voice breaking. I didn't want to show any more weakness than I already had.
Edward was staring at me. His right hand reached towards my face and I struggled not to flinch away. He rubbed his thumb at the corner of my eye and I realized I was starting to cry. He tucked a lock of my hair behind my ear. "Amazing," he mumbled. "An actual, decent, human being."
I didn't like the way he was looking at me.
"You'll have to forgive me when I say I can't let your friend go. She's far too valuable, not as much as you, but still." He smirked.
I glared, angry again. "She's not a possession. Anyway, don't you people have enough power-hungry humans begging to be changed? Why do you have to go after innocent kids?"
He tugged on my hair and I felt myself tear up from the pain. "Because, Bella," It was the first time he'd said my name and I'd never been so scared of him, "none of those "power-hungry humans" as you so aptly described them have one thousandth of the potential that you and Alice do. If you weren't so valuable, do you honestly think you'd still be alive after the way you've been speaking to me?"
I must have been going insane from the stress, because I answered, "Oh, am I bothering you? I'm so sorry. I wasn't aware that being taken hostage by a frigging leech requires me to develop my refinement. If you don't like the way I've been speaking to you, why don't you just kill me? Cause I'd rather be dead than have to spend another minute with you!"
Instead of getting angry, like expected him to, his smile widened. He relaxed his grip on my hair and tucked it back into place. "You're very beautiful when you're angry. Did you know that?"
"Bite me!" I grumbled, hardly caring about my poor word choice.
He leaned in closer towards my face and I tried to back away. His hand went behind my neck and held me still. I felt my eyes widen.
He's going to kill me oh Jesus Christ don't, don't, DON'T!
Emmett's hand was suddenly on his shoulder, pushing him away. "Come on, Edward," he admonished, his voice a little shaky, "She's just scared. She doesn't know what she's saying. Don't hurt her. Master Aro won't like it if you hurt her."
Jasper was silent, but I could tell he agreed with Emmett. He was probably just too afraid that Edward would make good on his threat about ripping his head off. I was a little concerned about that too.
Instead of reacting with anger, as I expected, Edward allowed Emmett to push him away from me. He twined my hair around one of his fingers before releasing me. I shifted as far away from him as I could. He still had that sinister smirk on his face. I turned to look at Alice and found her eyes wide open. She must have woken up sometime during my little speech, which meant she'd seen what he'd tried to do. I could almost feel her looking at my future from every angle, trying to find a way to help us escape. Her head dipped down again and I heard her stifle a sob.
"It's going to hurt," she whimpered.
"Yes, it will," Edward told her, smiling widely.
I wrapped my arm around her, hardly noticing the familiar sensation that made my skin tingle. "Shut up," I said, turning around to glare at him.
He leaned in closer, still staring at me. "It's going to feel like you're being burned alive. You're going to be begging for death. It'll go on for days, and when it stops…" He lifted my chin up and stared at my throat, "all that pain will end up right here." He ran his cold fingers along my throat. "If you were locked in a room with your own mother, you'd be willing to tear her throat out just to make the pain go away."
I could feel myself starting to lose it. I squeezed my eyes shut.
Must not cry must not cry oh God I want to go home!
"We're here." Jasper's voice held a clear note of relief. Edward stopped touching me and got out of the car. I sat there frozen for a few seconds before clumsily undoing my seatbelt. Alice seemed more put together. She undid her seatbelt and opened the door.
I took her offered hand and made sure I was still shielding her. I didn't like the thought of Edward getting inside her head.
As I took in my surroundings, I realized we were at the private airport near Seattle. It was reserved for vampires only, which meant the surrounding area was clear of civilians. Even if we did manage to get away, we'd starve to death before we reached civilization.
Alice seemed to come to the same conclusion as I did as she went right back to clutching my shirt and crying. I brushed my hand over her hair, trying to forget how Edward's fingers had felt as they traced my neck. There was a stairway on wheels. It led up to a small, private aircraft. Emmett got out of the car and told us to head up inside.
"You'll probably want a shower and a change of clothes. I'm sure you can find something that'll fit you. There should be something to eat in the fridge."
Alice perked up at the mention of clothing. Considering my soggy shirt, I didn't find the idea of changing to be too repellent either.
We walked up the steps. I was grateful for the chance to stretch my legs. We walked inside the plane with some trepidation.
The main room inside the plane looked like the "after" pictures of an "Extreme Home Makeover" episode. The carpet was golden and thick. There were several large, teal couches and a big screen TV on the wall. There were wall-to-wall shelves of books, CDs, movies, DVDs and video games. It was decorated with several plants and an original painting by Solimena. It depicted the three royal brothers and another vampire.
Alec and Eleazar were sitting on separate couches, reading. Edward was behind a large, mahogany desk in the corner, going over some paperwork. Emmett led Alice and me through a door into another room.
It had the same golden carpet. They had furnished the room with two beds. Another door on the far wall led into a bathroom with a black, marble tub. It was more like a Jacuzzi than anything. From what I could see, the floors and walls were white tiles. There were no windows in either of the rooms.
"There's a closet over to the left," Emmett pointed to a wooden, sliding door next to me. "It has some extra blankets if you get too cold. The bathroom should have anything you need. Except razors," he added as an afterthought. He shrugged, almost as if he was embarrassed. "Sorry, but we can't really take the chance."
I shuddered as I realized the implications. Someone could cut themselves while shaving and one of them could react like the bloodsuckers they were. Or…
I didn't want to think about the people who purposely cut themselves.
"Um…" Emmett continued, looking around. "There's a TV and some movies if you guys get bored. The kitchen is near the front of the plane so just knock if you get hungry. We're still fuelling up so it'll take us about five hours to get to Italy. You might want to take a nap or something."
I checked the clock radio on the end table. It was only 1:58 p.m. Jasper must have been going a hundred and fifty on the road.
"Thank you," I said. Alice moved away from me and headed towards the closet. She could have a shower first. Emmett left and locked the door behind him. I almost snorted at how unnecessary it was. Alice laid out a pair of jeans and a green, long-sleeved shirt for me. She dug farther inside the walk-in closet and found a rose pink skirt and I white T-shirt with a daisy on the front.
I told her to take her shower first and began scanning the shelves for a movie. For the first time, I remembered that I'd left our bags in the bathroom at school. I cursed as I realized I didn't have my book, "Wuthering Heights" anymore. I wondered if someone at school would give the book to my mother. It would be something to remember me.
I realized I was starting to cry, and hastily wiped the tears away. Alice didn't need me breaking down in front of her. I needed to be strong.
I found an old movie I'd seen when I was a kid. It featured a bunch of music videos this comedian had made. I'd watched it repeatedly with my mom. I rubbed my eyes again. I needed to stop thinking about that.
Alice came out of the bathroom with her makeup redone and her hair re-spiked. I took the clothes Alice had laid out for me and headed for the shower. I didn't like the thought of her being alone in a room right next to five vampires, so I hurriedly washed my hair and ran the soap over my skin without being too thorough. I'd just taken a shower that morning, anyway. I felt the plane begin to take off as I dried myself off. There was no noticeable turbulence.
I didn't bother with makeup. I never wore it and I certainly wasn't going to get all prettied up for him. I dressed quickly and headed back into the bedroom/prison.
At first, I panicked. I couldn't see Alice, but then I spotted her curled up in the corner. She'd been intuitive enough not to wear any mascara. I wrapped my arms around her, shushing her.
"Oh, Bella. I just remembered, I didn't tell my mom that I loved her this morning," she lamented.
"It's okay, Ali. She knows you love her. Moms always know that. They're practically psychic about that kind of thing."
"Psychic!" Alice scoffed. "I should've seen that they were coming. I'm so sorry Bella. Maybe if you'd left me there, they would've just found me."
"Hey," I soothed, "There's no way I would've left you. You know that, Alice." I tried to think of something to cheer her up. "At least we didn't have to take that quiz in biology."
She gave me a little, hysterical laugh and continued, "I was such a bitch to my step-mom. Maybe if I'd been nicer, she would've let me stay for a few more days, and then they wouldn't have found me. I can't believe I nicknamed my baby sister after the Loch Ness Monster!"
I stayed silent, letting her let it all out. I was aware that the vampires could hear us, and so was Alice. She sobbed. "Principal Melina just called my mom. She's screaming." She tucked her face further into her knees. "My dad just punched a wall. He broke one of his fingers. Charlie wants to kill himself. Renee fainted."
I froze as I heard my parents' names. Charlie wants to kill himself. I wanted to ask if I could call him. I needed to tell him not to do anything rash. I couldn't live with myself if he died because of me. I knew they'd never let me.
The door opened and Edward walked in. "Can't you get her to shut up?" he asked me. Alice shrunk away from him.
I hated him.
"GO TO HELL!" I shouted. I grabbed the first thing I could get my hands on. It was one of the movies from the shelf. I threw it at him, knowing it wouldn't do any good. I was right. He caught it deftly and put it down on the end table. I was surprised at myself. I'd never thrown anything in anger. I rarely got angry.
I waited for him to grab my hair, or to insult Alice's cowardly behaviour. Instead, he told me to keep it down and left.
Alice managed to pull herself back together again. I put the movie on, but neither of us was watching it. Alice began to hum "The Song That Never Ends" under her breath.
"What are you doing?" I asked, confused.
"Keeping him out of my head. If he's going to be reading my mind, he can get used to it."
I laughed. "Try singing "I'm Henry the 8th I am". It's more irritating. But if you really want to, I can block him out again."
Alice gave me a speculative look. "How do you do it?"
I shrugged. "I just did it. I'm not even trying to do anything." I paused. "I get this really weird tingly feeling on my skin when I'm doing it, though. And I kept seeing this white light all around you." I shook my head. "I don't know."
Alice lapsed into silence again. I put my arm around her and she looked at her arms, twirling them around. "I don't see any light. I do kind of feel warm. It's a funny kind of warmth, actually." She shrugged.
The door opened and Emmett stuck his head in. "You guys want something to eat?" he asked.
Alice and I shared a look. "Eggs," we answered together.
"Sunny side up," I clarified. "And four…" I looked at Alice and she nodded, "yeah, four slices of toast. Please," I tagged on, not wanting to be rude.
Emmett stared at us, "Can you read minds or something?" he asked me.
My face scrunched up in confusion. "Uh…no. Why?" I answered.
He shook his head. "Nothing." He left, shutting the door behind him.
Alice giggled. I turned to her. "What?"
She shrugged. "I keep forgetting how perceptive you are. It's freaking them out. They can't understand how you know so much about them, like when you guessed Jasper's talent."
"Well, it was kind of obvious," I said, brushing it off.
"It wasn't to me, and I'm supposed to be the psychic. I didn't know what the heck was going on with me."
"Well," I acknowledged, "you were a little out of it."
Alice rolled her eyes and began to watch the movie. I tried to grasp the fact that I was freaking out a group of vampires.
Emmett brought us our food. I thanked him and we began to eat. I noticed that he didn't leave us a knife, so we had to cut our eggs with the sides of our forks. I tried not to think about why. I realized that eggs and toast might be the last thing I ever ate. I tried not to think about that either.
Even though it wasn't even 4:00 yet, Alice began hunting through the closet for some pyjamas. For some reason, I felt exhausted. Maybe it was do to the fact that I was using up so much of my energy trying to keep calm, or maybe using my talent was wearing me out.
I shook my head as Alice held out a long, white nightgown. I'd be perfectly fine in the clothes I was wearing. She shrugged and went to the bathroom to change. I rewound the video and put it away.
I turned on the lamp on the end table and turned off the ceiling lights. I decided it would be better to leave the light on while we slept.
Alice stepped out of the bathroom looking beautiful and delicate. Her crying fits seemed to have stopped. Now she was eerily calm. I supposed it had to do with the fact that we weren't in the same room as the vampires. I mentally prepared myself for our arrival in Volterra. I'd need to be in control for Alice. There were probably many more vampires where we were going. I bit my lip to keep from crying.
Alice laid down on one of the beds and I took the one closest to the door. I wrapped myself up in the blanket as tightly as I could. I covered my head and tried to listen for Alice's breathing to even out before I started to cry. Once it did, I realized I couldn't break down. Even though I couldn't see the vampires, I knew they were there, listening to us. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of hearing me break.
I fell asleep with my eyes still dry.
I shot up from my bed, covering my mouth to hold in my scream. I looked around, frightened, and realized that it wasn't a dream.
"Did you know that you talk in your sleep?" Edward asked.
I jumped, spotting him leaning against the wall near the door. I scowled at him, hating myself when I felt my long-absent blush come back. "Yes!" I spat out, rising from the bed.
He tilted his head to the side, smiling. "I wasn't aware that I'd angered you so much."
"Well, I'm sure whatever I said, you deserve it." Alice woke up then, stretching her arms. She looked around, confused, and then she saw Edward. She shrunk away from him, even though he was nowhere near her.
His expression became smug again, and I glared. "Is there something you need?" I asked haughtily.
He looked back to me. "We'll be landing in about half an hour. Try to look presentable."
"Sure, I'll get right on that," I replied.
He laughed, amused, and left the room. Once the door shut, I began to make the bed. Sometime while we were sleeping, Emmett must have taken our dishes away because I couldn't find them.
Alice headed to the bathroom to fix her hair and to change. I made her bed as well. They had taken away our clothes as well. I hoped we would get them back.
Alice came out of the bathroom and sat down on her bed. I headed in and began to brush my hair. There was a packaged toothbrush in the medicine cabinet. My mood lifted somewhat as I brushed the gunk out of my teeth. They didn't have any floss, but that was fine.
I shut the bathroom door behind me and found Alice sitting cross-legged on the bed. Her eyes were closed. I draped my arm around her shoulders, effectively blocking out Edward's prying mind. I hardly noticed as the plane landed.
"Bella?" Alice asked, quietly.
"Yeah?" I answered, clutching her more tightly to me.
"Remember that first day you came to school, and I came up to you and told you that we were going to be best friends forever?"
She opened her eyes and looked at me. "I was more right than I thought I was."
I hugged her and closed my eyes. "Oh, Ali."
The door opened and Emmett stepped inside the room. "Are you ready?"
I helped Alice up and led her out of the room. The door was open and Emmett indicated that we should go first. I wondered if he was worried that we would hijack the plane or something. For the first time, I wondered who had been piloting it.
I led Alice down the steps. Edward and the others were waiting for us. I looked around me and saw that we were right near the heart of the city. I saw the high, stone, wall that surrounded the city off in the distance. Alice's eyes cleared and she huddled closer to me. I didn't bother to ask what she'd seen. I was sure that I didn't want to know.
The roads were dark and deserted. Edward led the way towards the largest building in the city. Emmett and Jasper walked beside us while Eleazar and Alec brought up the rear. Alice wrapped her left arm around my waist and pressed her face against my shoulder.
The large, wooden doors opened and we walked inside. Edward led us through a series of hallways until we reached a brightly lit room.
I spotted a human woman sitting behind a desk. She looked up as we approached and smiled at Edward.
"Master Aro said to head right in," she explained, pleasantly.
"Good, I hate long waits," I muttered sarcastically. Edward chuckled and led the way down another hallway.
We reached two large, wooden doors. A young-looking, blond vampire was standing outside, waiting for us. She could have been Alec's twin, only her lips were thicker. She was dressed in a short, black robe. It reached her knees like a skirt.
She smiled widely as we approached. "Edward, it's so good to have you back." She looked around towards Alec. "Hello, brother. You seem excited." Her red eyes focussed on Alice and me. She cocked her head to the side. "My, my, Master Aro sent you out for one and you come back with…one and a half," she commented, laughing at Alice's tiny form. I didn't see what was so funny. Alice had at least two inches on her.
I glared at her. The girl's eyes narrowed at my boldness. She tilted her head to the side and stared at me. I felt a slight pressure settle over my skin. I didn't like it. I'm not sure exactly what I did, but suddenly the pressure was gone. I looked towards Alice and noticed that the white light around her was glowing brighter and thicker.
Edward turned around to stare at me. That awful smile widening as he looked at me. "I told you we had something interesting, Jane," he told the blond vampire.
I wondered what Jane had been trying to do, and then I figured it was probably best that I didn't know.
Jane opened the doors and we stepped into the main room of the building. It was large and brightly lit. The walls were pale marble and lined with pillars.
It was filled with vampires.
Alice whimpered and I ran my free hand over her hair. I felt Jasper using his gift again and shot him a grateful look. His expression hardly changed, but I noticed the corner of his lip curve up for half a second.
The doors shut behind us, and to me it sounded like the lid closing over my coffin.
A gorgeous blond vampire was suddenly enveloped in Emmett's arms. He spun her around and kissed her deeply. "Missed you, Babe."
He set her down. She was dressed in jeans, and a black shirt. "Missed you too, Monkey Man," she replied. In any other situation, Alice and I would exchange one of our secret looks, and then pretend to gag. Unfortunately, this wasn't any other situation.
The other vampires began to take notice of us.
"Edward, dear!" a female vampire exclaimed. She had caramel coloured hair and was just a little taller than I was. For a second, she reminded me of my mom. She had on a dark blue, sleeveless top and a black skirt. She wrapped her arms around Edward and he hugged her back.
"Esme," he replied, smiling down at her.
Another vampire, this one tall and blond approached behind her. He had on a pale blue, button-down shirt and black pants. He put his arm around her and I figured that they were together. "It's good to see you again, Edward," he said. I was startled as I realized he was the other vampire from the picture on the plane.
Well, aren't you Mister Popularity?
I considered saying it aloud and Alice giggled. I looked down. She was trying hard to fight a smile, but she began to shake her head back and forth, telling me that she'd seen what I was about to do and that she strongly discouraged it.
I felt the vampires' eyes on us and looked up. Alice buried her face against my shoulder again and whimpered.
"Carlisle," Edward began, still looking at me, "this is Bella and Alice. I found them in Forks, Washington. You're not going to believe what they can do."
The blond man, who I assumed was Carlisle, gave me a speculative look. "How old are you?" he asked.
Alice certainly wasn't going to answer him, so it was up to me to speak for her. "We're both seventeen," I answered.
Edward tilted his head. "You don't seem seventeen," he told me.
I snorted. It was an automatic reaction, but it was much better than crying over the fact that my mom used to say I was the only middle-aged toddler she'd ever met.
"I'm a little too young to be lying about my age." Carlisle and Esme smiled reflexively, a little surprised by my boldness.
Emmett threw his head back and laughed loudly. He grinned at me and then turned towards Carlisle and Esme. "She's hilarious! You should've heard her earlier." He laughed again. "She had Edward ready to kill her in less than an hour. Even if she is just a fluke, I hope Master Aro let's us keep her around for the entertainment value. She might balance out Edward's crappy moods."
"She's not a fluke," Alice muttered into my shoulder.
Emmett jerked his head in her direction, "She's not as fun."
I tried not to frown at him. He'd been nice so far…for a vampire. My eyes flicked over the room. Most of the vampires were still engrossed in their own conversations. Only a few were looking our way. I met their eyes without flinching away. I was too tired to feel scared. I just wanted to get this over with.
Alice whimpered. "They're coming."
Where? I sent her, trying to trigger a vision. She nodded towards the end of the long room. There was a set of stairs, which led up to three chairs. They were made of a dark wood and had dozens of symbols carved and painted on with gold. They were obviously meant to be thrones.
The other vampires turned towards the thrones after us. I saw many of them looking at Alice with curiosity. I held her closer to me, trying to block their view of her.
I knew who they were. It could only be Aro and his brothers. I heard the sound of the doors on the far wall opening. Aro and his brothers stepped out. Renata, Aro's personal shield, walked directly behind him. I wondered how effective she would be against me.
The brothers had on identical black robes. Aro and Marcus had black hair, while Caius's was white. They were a few of the oldest-looking vampires in the world. They had been changed in their late thirties. Their eyes were a cloudy red and their skin was almost translucent.
Marcus and Caius sat down on two of the thrones, leaving the middle one for Aro. Instead of sitting down, though, he began to descend the steps towards us. Edward stepped forward to meet him, smiling.
"Edward," Aro sighed, his voice very soft. "Jane tells me you having something interesting." His eyes shifted to Alice and me. He looked at us, confused.
"I'll think you'll be quite pleased with what I've brought you, Master," he said, sounding arrogant. "Although, it might be easier to show you."
He looked back at us and snapped his fingers. "Bring Alice first," he ordered.
Alice's breath caught in her throat. She sobbed into my shoulder again. I had to stop myself from objecting. It wouldn't do her any good if we were stubborn now. "Go ahead, Ali," I told her, disentangling her arms from my waist.
She stood there, looking lost. Tears were pouring down her cheeks. I wanted nothing more than to hold her again.
Jasper held out his hand towards her. She stared at it for a second and then took it. Jasper led her gently towards Edward and Aro. I heard her humming the song "I'm Henry the 8th I am". I bit my lip to keep from crying. My teeth began to grind together. Alice looked almost naked without the light surrounding her. I wanted this to be over with so that I could protect her again.
Aro smiled kindly down at Alice's tiny form. He held out a hand and I remembered that Aro was supposed to possess something called "tactile telepathy" and that with one touch, he could see every thought you'd ever had. It was even more of a violation than what Edward had been doing. It was beyond me as to why the other vampires would put up with such an encroachment of privacy.
Alice lifted one shaking hand and Aro pressed his hand against hers. He closed his eyes for a few seconds. When he opened them, he was staring down at Alice with amazement. I saw his hand reach for her face, but Alice was already flinching away. "Don't fret, young one." He turned to Edward. "I'm very impressed, son. She'll be an excellent addition. I can only imagine how powerful she'll be when the transformation is complete." His gaze left Alice's face and landed on me. His lips quirked, "Speaking of power…I wonder how strong her shield really is."
Jasper led Alice back towards me. She looked at the ground. "It won't work," she muttered, more for my benefit than anyone's. I felt guilt as I realized that she was reassuring me that my thoughts were safe. I should've protected hers.
Edward flicked over to me and attempted to take my arm. I shook him off and walked determinedly towards Aro on my own. Aro seemed just as amused by my confidence as Edward was. I held my hand out like it was a great honour to touch me. I didn't care if I was being rude. If he had a problem with it, he could eat me.
I felt his hand press against mine. His skin felt different than a normal vampire's. It was more like shale than granite. I watched his expression. At first, it was simply pleasant, than it became confused, and at last, irritated. Alice was right, of course. I tried to resist smirking at his frustration. Finally, he dropped my hand and his face relaxed.
"Amazing. A child who can see everything and another who lets nothing out." He brought a finger up to his mouth and began tapping his lips. "So, Bella, was it?" I nodded. "You've found ways to trigger Alice's visions, as well as to confuse them?" he asked. Again, I nodded. "And your feelings for Alice allowed you to project your shield onto her, as a form of protection?"
"I suppose so." It made sense. It also explained why I wasn't shielding everyone is touched. I was subconsciously choosing whom to protect.
"Miraculous. The two of them working together in synergy," Aro whispered, staring up at the ceiling. "So tell me," he continued, facing me again. "What did Jane's attack feel like to you?"
"It tickled," I deadpanned, not liking where this conversation was going.
He laughed. "My, my, you are brave." He looked over to Jane. "Hmm, I wonder…is it possible for you to project your shield without touching her?"
I'd never thought of that. "I-I don't know."
Aro smiled down at me. "Let us find out then."
I heard Alice whimper out, "No, don't," and I knew something horrible was going to happen. Before I even realized what I was doing, I was spinning around, trying to get to her. Edward grabbed me. He wrapped his arms around me and trapped me against his chest.
I heard Alice scream.
I'd only heard screaming like that once before, when one of the buildings downtown had caught fire and a woman was trapped inside. She'd burned to death, and her screams had haunted my nightmares for years afterwards.
Alice was screaming even louder. Her skinny arms wrapped around her chest and she collapsed to the ground. I couldn't bear to look at her. I wanted it to stop. I closed my eyes.
Stop, stop, STOP!
And suddenly, it did. Even though my eyes were clenched shut, I could still see the bright light as if they were wide open.
I opened my eyes and saw that she was still curled up on the floor. She was crying, but it was out of fear, not pain. I noticed a thick, white light surrounding her like a bubble. A rope of light connected the bubble to me. I couldn't see where it connected to me as it vanished almost six inches in front of my chest. Even though the light was surrounding Alice, it didn't obscure my vision of her, and for that, I was grateful. I didn't want to let her out of my sight again.
Aro was laughing. He took a step closer to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. Edward let me go and I stood there, shaking with anger.
I hated them all.
"That was magnificent! I can hardly wait to see what you can do when you are one of us."
I didn't respond. I was too busy focussing on my shield. I wanted to make sure that there weren't any holes for Edward's prying mind or Jane's malicious talent. There wasn't. It was perfect.
Edward leaned in closer to me. I felt his breath wash over my right ear. "Do you have something to say to me, Bella?" He was obviously enjoying my discomfort.
"Go to hell," I snarled, refusing to look at him.
He chuckled. "You already said that. Can't you be a little more creative?"
I took a slow breath through my teeth. "Well, I was going to tell you to go screw yourself, but from what Emmett said, you were probably going to be doing that anyway."
I heard a few of the other vampires break out into startled laughter before falling silent as Edward glared at them. Emmett simply winked at me and kept grinning.
Aro put a hand on Edward's chest, apparently to keep him from killing me. What a nice guy. He gestured for me to go back to Alice and I did this without even looking back.
I knelt down next to her and wrapped my arm around her shoulders. The light around her dimmed considerably as I did so. I sat her up and she hugged my waist, burying her head against my shirt. I shushed her and stroked her hair. Suddenly she froze and looked at me in terror. Her eyes shifted back towards Edward and Aro. I looked as well and saw that Edward was allowing Aro to read his mind. Whatever Edward had been thinking, Aro looked delighted by it.
"Really, Edward? I never thought I'd live to see the day. Of course, it will be quite difficult to convince her, but you'll have plenty of time to work on it. And you do deserve a reward for a job well done." He looked over at me, his eyes dancing with delight. "And she is quite pretty. She'll be stunning as a vampire, but still, she doesn't seem to return your affections."
"I'm sure I can convince her," Edward told him. He too looked around to stare at me. I didn't like where this was going.
Alice tightened her grip on me. "It won't work. It won't work. She'll never love you," Alice said. I felt my mouth drop open as I processed what she said.
She'll never love you.
You're very beautiful when you're angry. Did you know that?
He's going to kill me oh Jesus Christ!
He wasn't trying to kill me. He wanted me. I felt the blood drain from my face.
Edward was suddenly right next to us, kneeling down at eyelevel. "Your visions aren't always correct, Alice," he admonished. "All she has to do is make a decision, and the future will change." He grinned at me. "Isn't that right, Bella?"
"It won't work," Alice stubbornly repeated.
So quickly that I barely registered it, Edward had me on my feet. I panicked and felt my shield wrap around Alice again.
"I'd like to do this privately if I may, Master."
Aro nodded, still smiling.
"Oh," Edward paused, "and Jasper wants the psychic. I don't think he deserves her, but it's not really my decision."
I stared at Jasper in horror. His face became repentant for a second, before going neutral again. Alice curled up into a ball and began to rock back and forth.
Aro tapped his lips again, contemplating. "I'm sure we can work something out," he said finally.
Edward began to pull me towards the doors. I resisted the urge to dig my feet into the ground and instead turned around to look at Alice. It'll be okay! I tried to send her. I didn't know if she received it, because she didn't react.
Edward pulled open the doors and dragged me away. They shut behind us, once again sounding like the lid over a coffin. He picked me up bridal style and whispered into my ear, "Hold on." The world became a blur and I did hold on. I buried my face in his shirt just as Alice had done to me.
I'm not going to cry I'm not going to cry not going to cry, cry, cry!
We stopped in front of a door and Edward put me down. My legs were shaky and I struggled to keep my balance. Edward wrapped his arm around my waist and held me up against his side. He opened the door and yanked me into his room. I took a few steps farther inside and turned around. My arms went around my chest and I started to shake. I could still see the rope that connected me to Alice. It went straight through the walls. Distance didn't seem to be a problem for me.
Edward locked the door.
My eyes scanned the room, looking for an escape. There weren't any windows or air vents to climb into. The walls and floors were stark white. An entire wall filled with shelves of books and CDs was on my right. There was a big screen TV hanging on the wall, and a media center that included a stereo and several rows of movies and DVDs. There was a large, black sofa in front of the TV.
I was trapped.
Edward turned around, smiling. "I apologize for the spontaneous change of scenery, but a few of the others were having some rather," he shook his head and chuckled, "inappropriate thoughts about you."
He took a step towards me and I took a step back. He narrowed his eyes and suddenly he was in front of me. I flinched back and nearly toppled over. He reached out and grabbed my arms, holding me up. He smiled, amused, and suddenly we were on the sofa. He pushed me down and crawled over me, holding me down.
I forced myself not to cry. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. He brought his face up to mine and stared into my eyes. He began to stroke my right cheek with the back of his hand. "You have no idea how much I've wanted to do this."
I spat at him.
He pulled away from me and wiped his face off with his sleeve. I tried to wiggle free, but he wasn't having that. He kept one hand on my shoulder. "I think I can find something much more enjoyable for your mouth to do," he said, smirking down at me.
"You're disgusting!" I yelled, "Despicable! I hate you! You-" His lips crashed against mine, cutting me off. I screamed and began to sob, finally feeling myself break. His tongue slipped in between my lips and I tried to bite him. He growled and placed his hand over my hip. His tongue felt like a slug was slithering inside my mouth. I gagged and tried to turn my head away. He wouldn't let me. I placed my hands on his chest, trying futilely to push him away. It was like pushing against a brick wall.
Finally, he pulled away. "You're so warm," he moaned. He kissed away the tears that were leaking down my cheeks. "So soft." He latched his mouth onto my throat and ran his tongue along my pulse point.
I struggled to focus on shielding Alice. I needed to protect her. I couldn't let my own fear get in the way.
"And you're all mine," he said.
Then he bit me.
Okay, that was awesome! I wrote this in like four days. I really hope you enjoyed it. I doubt I'll win the contest, because I've been reading many of the other entries. Most of them are terrific! I'd just be happy with some reviews. I hope I made my characters real. I know that Alice was kind of a wimp, but how would you feel if vampires were kidnapping you?
Good luck to everyone in the competition. Adieu, faithful readers.