A/N: For those of you whom are a wee bit confused, I've redone Crescent Moon and I feel that now its better than ever. I have my wonderful Beta to thank for that, Kikithebookworm- you're amazing! I do hope you enjoy the edits. Also, check me out on the twlighted forum :) Thanks loves!
Chapter One: Nocturne as performed by Claude Debussy
Much like the whimsical sound of a piano, the trees were rustling and swaying around me, causing a natural, beautiful cacophony of sound. The sunlight was peering down at me through the tree branches and lush, green leaves. For once, in a very long time, it wasn't raining. The relentless rainwater had ceased to pour for one day, and the trees had called to me. I knew it was stupid to be out in the middle of the woods, by myself, looking for something that would remind me of him, butI couldn't help myself- even if there had been recent bear sightings.
I had parked my trusty red Chevy on the berm, just off the beaten path. My coat swished as I walked, keeping time with the swaying of the lofty trees. My stomach growled and I chastised myself for not bringing anything to eat. Jacob would be sorely disappointed in my inability to follow his hiking rules. I could just hear him now, "Bells, you never, ever go traipsing off into the woods without the correct provisions! Especially food!" I giggled to myself, thinking of how Jake never went anywhere without food, and stumbled over a tree trunk.
I had been walking, or rather stumbling, in the woods for a solid half hour and I still hadn't found anything that looked remotely close to our meadow. This last tumble made my fifth one and my hands and knees showed signs of wear and tear. Blood intermixed with dirt was caked to the heels of my hands, and I could feel the scratches oozing under my blue jeans. Ten more minutes, then I'm going home! I continued walking, frustrated at my inability to find the meadow, my inability to stay clean, my inability to be graceful, and most of all, my inability to keep him in my frail arms.
My soiled hands went up to my head and I started to pull my hair out, letting out a growl of frustration. I closed my eyes tightly and took several deep breaths. When I opened them, I looked around in wonder, taking in the natural scene before me. There was something about the particular spot I was standing that made an alarm go off in my head. I walked forward, ever so slowly, realizing that the trees I was surrounded by were all too familiar. I looked ahead and found that the trees came to a halt. I stepped out of the tree line and a smile so wide it made my cheeks hurt spread across my face. I found it! I squealed with glee.
I ran out to the meadow, spinning in circles, positively elated. I was twirling, lost in my happiness when I noticed something seemed out of place—I felt the hairs on my neck stand straight up. Something was lurking in the shadows. My heart rate increased and my survival skills kicked in, fight or flight? I stood stock still, unmoving. There was a rustle in the trees and several birds took flight. If that's not a sign, I don't know what it is! I turned to run, to flee, when I heard a beautiful, velvety smooth voice call to me. I froze, slowly spinning to face him.
"My, my, if this isn't a surprise. What are you doing out here?" Laurent asked.
"I'm, um, looking for someone." I answered nervously. His red eyes, unnatural and freakish, pierced mine, making his intentions for me obvious. He was hungry. Suddenly, a voice in my head was screaming at me, telling me to lie to him, to somehow get away. Staring back at the man in front of me, I suddenly felt braver, bolder. According to him, I was too breakable, too fragile. When he left me, he took with him what had made me so fragile- my heart, leaving me a wisp of a girl. I took a deep breath, refusing to continue being that same weak, wispy girl. I would be strong, brave, and bold. My eyes locked with his in a rebellious stare.
"Looking for someone in the middle of the forest, by yourself?" He stepped closer to me, and smiled. He started to circle me, like I was some sort of prey. Reaching out, he gracefully brushed my jaw line, his hand moving to my hair. My breathing picked up, as well as my heart rate. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest so hard it hurt. He drew a piece of my hair to his face and inhaled deeply. "James was right, you do smell enticing. So incredibly delicious." His red eyes were gleaming, it seemed like he was doing everything in his power to not kill me on the spot.
I was frozen, unsure of myself. Yet, I could not look away from those terrifying, blood red eyes. He had killed before, recently it seemed, and I knew he wouldn't falter to do it again. What bothered me most was that I felt willing, eager even, to accept this invitation. Being dead would take away the incessant pain that he left me with, the pure, inconceivable heartache, just because I was too breakable. Looking into Laurent's cold red eyes gave me a new thought; a thought that could quite possibly be the solution to all my problems, and maybe, just maybe, a way to finally get what I wanted.
Gathering what courage I had I said, "I have a proposition to make," crossing my arms across my chest in an act of defiance. My breathing was heavy and ragged. I tried to control it, but failed.
"Oh? And what makes you think you are in any position to make a propositions?" the vampire retaliated. A smug smiled spread across his lips.
"I will willingly give you my blood," I said as he raised his brows, "if you turn me."
He scoffed, "Turn you?" The smile on his lips fell and he became serious, "You do realize how incredibly difficult it is to turn someone, do you not? The urge to drink is" he swallowed hard, "relentless." I nodded my head. "And your blood would be no exception." Again, he inhaled my scent. "You smell of strawberries and crème, a most delightful scent. I would enjoy drinking you dry." I shivered, but he continued. "Why should I turn you? What can you give me in return?" he asked. He moved closer to me, we were standing nose to nose and I could feel his breath on my lips. "What can you give me that will make me want to turn you?"
"I could be your mate." I whispered. I could offer no other service. My eyes raked over him, taking in every single detail of his body. He was tall, 6'1, and had a muscular, but lanky body, covered by tight jeans and a deep v-neck crème shirt. His skin was a deep chocolate, and yet, mildly pale. His jawbone was strong, and his nose small. His full lips had a tinge of pink to them. His hair was long and braided, but pulled back in a loose ponytail. I took another second to look him up and down, allowing my eyes to become clouded with lust. Knowing full well that he would need to believe me in order to get my way, I brought my hand up to his cheek and caressed it softly. I mustered up the sexiest, strongest voice I could, "I can tell that you are lonely, what with James and Victoria gone. Turn me and I promise to be yours to do with what you want." He stared at me for a second, his eyes wavering between awe and confusion. I couldn't believe he was seriously falling for this act. My mind became hazy with possibilities. His voice snapped me back to reality.
"You could be my mate? I beg your pardon child, but don't you belong to another vampire?" He voice was full of disbelief and doubt.
"Not anymore. He left me," my voice as nonchalant as possible. I dropped my eyes, focusing on his prominent collarbone, which jutted out of his low-necked shirt. My mind was resolute in this decision, but my heart felt like it was being ripped to shreds. The words I spoke, although the truth, cut me like a knife, hurting more than ever. I started to tremble out of weakness and fear as I muttered, "He left me to die of old age," my eyes catching his, "never honoring what I wished for the most."
His voice was soft in my ear, "And what would that be, my dear?"
My heart fluttered, and I responded solemnly, "Immortality."
"Immortality is expensive. You pay not just with your life, but everything that goes with it: family, friends, memories." His voice was calculated and cold, as if he, for some reason or another, regretted being this beautiful creature.
My hand reached up to stroke his cheek, trying to console him. I gazed into his eyes, defiant and strong, "I will pay any price." His strong hand engulfed mine, as he nuzzled further into my touch. On the outside, I had hoped my façade of caring was working, but my insides were screaming, and I was fully revolted by this act of affection. I swallowed the bile that was rising in my throat, knowing he would be able to smell it, and gave him a weak smile.
His eyes closed and he inhaled deeply, softly speaking, "It would be such a shame if you succumbed too easily to my blood lust."
A shiver came across my spine and I stepped even closer, filling any space there was between us. Our bodies pressed against each other, and I repeated what I had said earlier. "I will pay any price." His eyes flashed open, no longer red, but black with lust and hunger. His hands glided up to cup my cheeks and he used his thumbs to tilt my head sideways, exposing my neck. My heart picked up, going as fast a hummingbird's wings. I could feel the blood drain from my face, but beneath all the feelings of horror, I was… excited. Elated. Thrilled. Eager. Ready. Most of all, I was willing.
"If you wish to die, who am I to tell you no?" He murmured. I felt his cool breath on my skin, causing goose bumps to flare up. I inhaled sharply and squeezed my eyes shut. I braced myself, knowing the pain that would come next would be unbearable. I felt his teeth sink into my neck and my eyes snapped open. I released a high-pitched scream as I felt the venom flow into my body. My blood was being pulled into his body, and I could feel my life force being sucked away. The venom was a contradiction in itself: icy cold as it burned it ways through my veins. My screams filled the air and I writhed in his grasp, but he held me tighter, growling. With each passing second, I felt my body becoming weaker and my mind fading. Memories flashed by, as if on a movie reel: memories of Charlie and Renee, my best friend Jacob, and of my one true love, my Edward. His beautiful, velvety smooth voice and crooked smile that made my cheeks turn a bright pink. Edward's golden eyes that I could stare into for hours and his unruly, curly hair that I dream of running my fingers through. I could almost hear his whimsical laugh. I could almost feel his cool touch taking away this unbearable, scorching pain. His name was the last word to come from my lips before succumbing to the fire and pain. His name was the last word I uttered as a human, and the last word I spoke before sinking into the black hole of oblivion.
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