I'm not sure if my general disappointment with the Twilight series or my fascination with odd couples inspired this story more. That or I must have an infatuation with Michael Sheen, because I find always myself writing about characters that he portrays in movies. Either way, Bella/Edward fans be warned, I'm not writing this for you. This is a story about an unlikely romance between Bella and Aro Volturi.
The story begins in chapter 24/25 of Eclipse, strictly speaking on the Twilight timeline, though not having read past the second book, I apologize for any inaccuracies I might be called out on. I simply wasn't interested enough to read the entire four or five hundred pages of the third book after my immense disappointment with the second. Edward hasn't killed Victoria, you'll find that things will go quite differently.
Alice Cullen watched in confusion as the clearing did not match her vision, as it rightly should have, playing out in a direction she hadn't seen.
"No… this isn't what I saw! They should be here by now!" she stuttered nervously as for the first time she was completely deserted by her abilities.
The Volturi hadn't come to the aid of the Cullens and the Quileute wolves as she had predicted, as they all had relied on. At Riley's call, a fresh swarm of newborns invaded the battle, nightmarishly attacking the others with full force.
"Confused?" asked a menacing, merciless voice. Victoria held Edward by his neck, overpowering him while he had been distracted by Carlisle's cries as three or four newborns thrashed at his limbs. They were weakening, and now with Alice's vision hopeless of becoming truth, death and soulless eternity loomed upon all of them.
A thin newborn with black hair approached, the newborn that exerted the most control and possibly the oldest, earning her the honor of a direct companionship with Victoria. Her smile was eerily familiar, like a childhood dream, corrupted somehow in its association with evil.
"Cynthia…?" Alice asked, the appearance of her sister born into this hateful, vampiric phantom further numbing her perception of reality.
"My grandmother is dead, you should know this," the girl replied, carefully examining Alice and comparing the many striking physical similarities. "My name is Jamie. My gift, as was hers, is the perfect compliment to yours. You can see true visions, while I can inspire false destinies, like the one I gave to you. They're useful in trying to torment, confuse, and in this case, deceive."
"There's no one coming to save you now," Victoria affirmed, her eyes burning directly into Bella's, who stood beside Alice in horrified realization of their fatal mistake.
Jamie took a sudden interest in Bella, catching her delicious human scent once regarded by her mistress.
"You must be the human that started all of this trouble. I can see why now. So terribly tempting," she snarled as she took a step toward her. Inflamed by the threat to his love, Edward broke free of Victoria's grip and attacked Jamie.
"Bella- Bella, get back!" Alice commanded, pushing her backward and causing her to lose her balance. Bella tumbled down the hill, falling into blackness and fear and despair…
Light was on the horizon when Bella woke from her disturbed unconsciousness, though she couldn't tell whether it was morning or nightfall. She felt like she should hear sound, but no noise came to her disoriented ears as she tried to pull herself up from the ground. A force pulled her back down, and she blinked her eyes to see. Golden eyes brimming with cold tears stared back at her.
"Edward…?" she asked in a soft tone, her mind suddenly alarmed by something she rarely perceived in his eyes. Fear.
He acknowledged what he was soon to lose. What he had feared more than any death or worldly affliction. It donned on her what he was trying to do. He was saying goodbye.
"Bella… I need you to listen carefully and do exactly what I say. After I leave-" he began before noticing her mouth open to argue, placing a finger at her lips to silence her, his eyes stressing the most importance they could possibly convey.
"After I leave you," he continued, "you need to stay completely still until it is safe. We've contacted the Volturi, who were entirely unaware of the situation until now through Jamie's power. They're coming to help you, Bella," he promised, stroking her cheek and enjoying the feel of her warm, soft skin for the last time.
Voices were heard in the distance, the wild and primal shrieks of still hungry newborns.
Edward removed several layers of his clothing and covered Bella's body, cloaking her alluring scent.
"If they smell you, it's over, but if they can't, then they won't find you in time. I'm going to hide your scent as thoroughly as I possibly can," he explained, rubbing dirt and leaves into her skin and hair, making her invisible to the vampires.
"What about Jamie and Victoria? Don't they know we're here?" Bella asked rationally, remembering the scene before she fell.
"No, they're dead now. A good number of them are dead," he replied stoically, eager for a chance to find strength in the little optimism left.
"And… and what about Alice?" she asked quietly, a nervous pain in her heart trying to keep her from asking a question she was almost certain she didn't want to know the answer to.
Edward paused, his lips pursed. He wasn't sure he could say it.
"She's dead, Bella. They're all… gone," he answered, the evident pain searing in his voice and his mind.
Bella was left speechless, a hole torn into her heart as her worst fears had become reality. They were going to lose this fight. Everyone was gone, and there was no going back.
"Why…?" Bella asked, tears filling up her eyes and slinking bitterly down her face. This couldn't be it. In a world with monsters and magic, there had to be a happy ending.
Edward shook his head, unable to answer her. Unable to tell her what was to come next.
"I have to go, too, Bella." His voice broke with Bella's heart. "They're already looking for me, they can smell my blood."
Edward pulled off his last shirt to reveal his gruesome wounds, his flesh torn from bites and claws. Bella gasped at the sight of his broken body and felt her soul assume a similar condition. There would be no surviving this, with or without Edward's help. If he could never recover, then neither could she.
"We'll go together," she pleaded madly, "We'll die together, be our own lovely tragedy."
Edward dipped his hand into the flowing blood and let it trickle onto Bella's cheek, sliding down her face and mixing with her tears.
"No, our struggle, our deaths will not be in vain. I'll do what I've always promised to do. I'm going to protect you and I'm going to save you one final time."
"No, you're killing me!" she shouted, burying her face in his chest, desperately wanting to be able to escape with him, as she always had. Her life, her future, and her love, it was all slipping away.
"This loss will wound you, but you will not be crippled. You will live and learn to be stronger than that. I'm giving you the only gift I have left to offer, and that's a second chance. I'm saving your happy ending," he said as he tried to comfort her sobbing in vain, her pain as uncontrollable as her body.
"There's no happy ending without you!" she protested, gripping onto him harder as she could feel the end coming closer.
"I cannot restore your human life, I know there will be no solace in that," Edward admitted, "but if you look hard enough, I know you'll find that happiness. If I know I have sacrificed for that, then I can truly smile in death."
Edward continued to paint her body with his blood, masking her scent with the breath of his death.
"Promise me, Bella. Promise me you can do that," he commanded urgently, pulling her from him so he could stare unadulterated emotion into her eyes. She knew he needed her to say it, even if she would never mean it. It was the only way he could ever possibly bear what needed to be done.
It was her final gift to him.
"I promise," she whispered, her voice becoming smaller and more useless by each painfully acute second. Bella tried to savor his whole existence for the last moments she would know him, before he vanished into eternity with them.
Edward kissed her without any of his former restraint, enjoying her taste for this one last time. It was all he could have ever asked for.
"I love you, Bella. I loved you."
And then he was gone. Bella slid to the ground, unable to speak or move as she felt the final piece of her heart shatter and leave nothing but darkness. She closed her eyes and surrounded herself in it.
Yes, the first chapter is depressing, but it's necessary. I ended it before Bella is saved because it I felt it was more powerful alone. Don't worry, the next chapter will introduce the remainder of the plot. Reviews would definitely encourage the process of writing the next chapter!