Disclaimer: SM owns all things Twilight. We're just giving Bella a bit more spunk. There's no way she'd be capable of making Bella quite this aggressive.
Chapter 4 - Frenzy
For the first time since I had become a vampire, I was struck mute and motionless. My mind worked frantically but nothing made sense, no real clarity or thought cut through my mental whirlwind. I stood utterly motionless before him, incapable of doing anything else.
I had honestly never imagined what I would do if I ever saw him again. I never pictured it as a potential scenario, always pushing his existence to some remote corner of the universe, a civilized place where humans and vampires coexisted and nobody got eaten. The way the nomadic vampires seemed so distant and unlikely when I was living with the Cullens; it was the Cullens that had seemed distant and unlikely since I had embraced my change.
But now I wasn't just faced with the very reality of their existence, I was faced with him, the one who I could trace all of myself back to. At first his incredible beauty disarmed me. Through my human eyes he had been a vision, but with my perfect vampire eyes, I saw all the perfections I had been unable to pinpoint before. Like a magical eighth color of a rainbow, he stood newly revealed to me, jumbling up all the pictures I carried of him from my human memories.
And yet he was not perfect. I saw a bump in the bridge of his nose I had never seen, and an unevenness in his jaw that had been imperceptible to my weak human eyes. What was more, I had never seen him so... unkempt. His clothes were old, of a cut and style that hadn't been around for some time. His jeans were worn, gaping holes in the knees and seams coming undone. his shirt was beyond dirty, its original color impossible to guess. It hung in worn muddy brown rags around his shoulders. The purple shadows beneath his eyes were pronounced, deep and startling and almost frightening. Any human that saw him now would not find him beautiful. They would find him terrifying.
But once the novelty of seeing him with these eyes – eyes I shouldn't have had at all, eyes he wouldn't give me – wore off I felt it curling and unfurling inside me. Rage. I had killed before, under orders and to keep the peace, during interrogation or battles for territory. But now, I wanted to kill for rage. I wanted to rip his stone limbs apart with my superior strength and show him now and forever that I was not the fragile breakable Bella he had once known, and I never would be again.
Because underneath the rage of betrayal was the rage of indignation. Indignation at him for the way he had treated me. As though I had been below him and unworthy because I had just been a fragile little human. He had never seen me as an equal and I knew it to be why he left. He never did love me. It never made sense for him to love me. I had been fragile, weak, and pathetic. Now the tables were turned and he was the one that was fragile, weak and pathetic. The fact that I was stronger and entirely more powerful than him did not escape me. I relished in the sensation
of this power, how all consuming it was, how incredible. I was finally equal to him.
No, not equal. Better than him. At last.
With the sweetness of that thought melting on my tongue I let out a battle cry and launched myself at him, ready to prove to him just how powerful I was. I barely had time to register the shock on his face before he flew backwards through a barely-standing structure. The sound of a collapsing mountain shook the floor beneath my feet, and I knew humans would be here to investigate, and soon. I had to make this quick. Kill him quick.
I leaped through the rubble, finding him as he moved quickly to his feet and turned towards me. His eyes were wild with panic and confusion and no small measure of fear. My senses blazed with the hunt, and I snarled delightedly as I caught him and threw us to the concrete floor. It cracked beneath us and I gripped his hair as I sank my teeth into his neck. Rip off his head. Kill him quick.
He roared with sudden outrage and bucked underneath me, and I sailed into a nearby wall. The impact knocked the wind out of me, giving him just enough time to capture my wrists and pin me down. "Bella, you have to calm down!"
"Like Hell I do!" I snapped at him, reaching out for a bite. Just one bite, and this could be over.
He hissed, pushing me back again and I twisted violently underneath him, throwing him off long enough to plant my foot in the center of his chest and push him backwards. He grunted, skidding to a shaky halt and resuming a fighting crouch, his body tense like a tiger's coiled to strike. I smirked and mimicked his stance, clicking my tongue. "Golden-eyed Edward. What do you know about fighting?"
His face showed dismay, then determination. "I'm not going to fight you, Bella."
I snarled and shifted my feet, flying towards him as he stood there, upright and human – like I remembered him. We collided like lightning, and he lay passive beneath me with his thighs trapped beneath my knees. I wrapped my hands around his throat, crying out in angry triumph and frustration that I knew would have filled my eyes with tears had I still been weak and human.
You're not weak and human anymore! Stop this!
He stared at me, his face crumpled as agony and pain and a million shades of hurt tumbled through his eyes. "If you don't fight me, you'll die!"
"Bella…" I stared at his eyes, fascinated. "I've desperately wanted to die for so long. And now, seeing you like this-" he choked on a growl, the ridges of his jaw tense and dangerous. The stone shifted beneath my palms, dry and raspy and far too warm for my memories. "Death would be too generous a punishment for me."
I stared at him, openmouthed and panting unnecessarily, waiting to hear his next statement, keeping my mind alert against the dangerous words he was weaving.
He watched me with those pathetically sad eyes. His hand came up, and I jerked against his throat. He winced, but touched his fingers to my forehead. Something traitorously human inside me begged me to listen and to believe.
He's lying so he can hurt you!
I bit back a whimper, but my hands loosened around his throat, and I felt him – truly felt him, beneath me, his hand on my face and his skin beneath my fingers. He was warm, almost soft to the touch now when before, he had been hard and cold. Not because he was warmer, but because I was now colder. I was stone and death and he had done this to me.
Look what happened to you. It's because of him!
I wanted to shut my eyes against his perfect face and kill him, rid my world of him forever and have my revenge, but the sadness in his eyes was hypnotically soothing.
"You should be punished," I whispered harshly. He closed his eyes and made a strangled choking sound that could have been a sob.
"I know." He opened his eyes. "Who did this to you?" His lips twisted into a sneer. "Victoria?"
I flinched away from his touch, releasing his throat and jumping back to stand a safe distance away from him. He got up slowly, non-threatening and very much defeated.
"That's none of your business."
He watched me carefully, then nodded in understanding.
I growled at him and he put up his hands to placate me. The action just made me angrier, and I picked up a large chunk of concrete roughly the size of my torso, flinging it at him as hard as I could. Shockingly, he didn't move away, and it turned to powder and dust upon impact, but I knew it had hurt him. Good.
"This is my hunting ground, Cullen. Leave it."
He looked at my eyes, and I saw the conflicted dismay slither across his face. "I'm not here to hunt humans, Bella." A shadow passed. "And it's Masen, now."
Why? What happened?
"If you're not here to hunt, then what do you want?"
He stared at his shoes for a moment, his hands resting on his thighs as though by a great effort. "I thought I saw you in… in that boy's mind. I couldn't be sure, so I had to see for myself. See if it was really you."
He's curious. He doesn't care. "Why would it matter to you? I'd have thought you would've run the other way." He flinched as though struck, and I stood straighter, empowered. "Let's be honest with one another, Edward. You couldn't have been happy to see me." Not like this.
Burning shame spread through my body at the thought that he had seen me trapping that boy, luring him coldly away, fogging his mind into a trance. I knew if I had been turned by Edward, I would have stood beside him, golden-eyed and in perfect control, a shining example of their vegetarian lifestyle. But I hadn't been able to do it without him, and I had failed and turned into the basest of creatures.
I couldn't help it. I tried. It doesn't work, their diet is skewed. It makes them strange.
For I knew that no other vampires were quite like the Cullens. No one else could possibly live such an unfulfilling lifestyle.
Angry at him for the shame I felt, I brushed my clothes, coldly assessing him as I cleaned them the best I could from the plaster of the walls. My hair was clotted with it, but there was little I could do about that now. He followed the movement of my hands with tortured eyes, his eyes lingering on my semi-bare stomach and collar. All but one of the shirt's buttons had popped, either during my feeding or the altercation
that followed. His eyes were hungry as they absorbed my skin, then ashamed as they focused on a neutral area.
"Something you want to say to me, Masen?"
He looked up at me, fierce guilt and desire in his darkening eyes. "You must hate me."
I love you.
"Of course I hate you." I blasphemed, then smiled wickedly so he could see all my teeth. "Look what you made me."
He flinched at my words. Ah. So I've hit a nerve.
"You made me a monster," I pressed, and he let out a tortured groan, running his hands manically through his hair. I took satisfaction in his pain, yet it made me want to double over in my own agony. I didn't regret the words. It was the basest of lies and the harshest of truths wrapped into one. He had struggled so hard to not let me become one of them, and yet he was the reason I was. He must hate that, the fact that I would exist for the rest of eternity in his world, and he would never be rid of me, short of destroying me. I'd like to see him try. I was stronger and faster. Animal
blood would leave him weaker, and his gift didn't work on me. My gift, however, I was certain would work on him.
"I never wanted to hurt you."
I threw my head back and laughed, so hard and so loud the foundations of what was left of the building shook and rattled around us. "Don't insult my intelligence, Edward. I've gotten smarter in seventy years, not dumber." I glared at him, watching his jaw clench with tension. "Why did you come after me?"
"I wanted to see you," he whispered, staring straight into my blood red eyes. "..I've.." he stopped, tearing his eyes away from me and taking an
unnecessary deep breath. He ran his hands through his perfect hair, my fingers twitched at my sides as conflicting emotions tore through me. So badly I wanted to reach out and close the distance between us, and be the one running my fingers through his hair. I wanted to to touch it, and see if it was still as soft as I remembered it being.
I shook my head, quickly dispelling those thoughts from my mind. I let out a growl, mostly directed at myself for my weak and pathetic thoughts, but he flinched again obviously thinking the growl had been directed at him. Maybe in someways it had been.
"I've been thinking... about you."
He recoiled and I realized I had spoken aloud. His pathetic golden eyes stared at a spot over my shoulder. He swallowed hard, and I wondered if he was truly moved or simply scared.
"Bella, please. Tell me what happened to you." He swallowed again. He wasn't scared.
I slowly eased out of my fighting crouch, my ears picking up the distant mutterings of humans on their way to investigate the noise. If I'd had a heart it would have thundered in my chest now as I found myself facing a fork in my path. I could send him away, knowing full well that I might never see him again. I could kill him. He was agile and quick but at a distinct disadvantage without being able to read my mind and having lived on an animal diet for who knew how long. Or I could...
"Humans are coming."
He looked startled, but I only registered for a moment before I took off running. I ran at full speed, weaving my way around the remaining few buildings separating me from the wooded area surrounding the city. I was sure he couldn't keep up with me at this speed. My inner animal roared in outrage, rattling its cage to be let out and wreak havoc upon the world for this, the most fucked up of all situations. I tried to shut it out, clapping my hands over my ears as I ran, panting more than I should have been given that I was fucking dead. What was I doing? Why was I allowing him
to affect me like this?
I growled as I burst through the undergrowth into a clearing I had remembered seeing on my way into the city. I slowed towards the center, roaring at the night sky. Decades worth of frustration bubbled and overflowed through my lips as I let out the constant unending howl of my agony and confusion. Within me, I felt the weight of Edward anchoring me to my soul's most violent churning shadows where, as far as I was concerned, he and I had been for the last seventy years.
As I watched her run from me without so much as a glance back, I felt defeated. She had no qualms about attacking me and was ready to kill me. Never in all my years of existence had I ever felt as much pain as I did in this moment. It was as though all the pain that I had been feeling over the last seventy years had suddenly compounded itself and was laying heavily upon me.
It took everything I had to walk away from the place where I last saw her. Of course I hadn't wanted to. But what could I do? Humans were indeed coming, and I had to either follow her or flee. And what if I did follow her and she fought me again? I couldn't throw her down and make her talk to me, tell me all of her secrets from the last seventy-years. She was obviously stronger then I was. What was more, she was so fast I didn't know that I could catch her at all. I wasn't surprised by that, human blood did make vampires stronger than animal blood did. She had been so angry. I
touched my neck where her hands had pressed me, where her teeth had been. I ran my fingertips over the ridge of the new scar of her venom, realizing fully that she really would have killed me if I hadn't fought back.
I wanted so badly to turn and follow her, to hold her in my arms and feel her skin against mine. Just the few times our skin had touched during our.. fight.. left me aching and wanting more. Although she had been aggressive, I couldn't help feeling.. turned on. I felt ashamed, to have been feeling such a way, but it had been so long since I had any sort of contact with another being that I craved touch, any kind that I could get, especially from her. Seventy-years I had lived in isolation, longing for her to touch me, to kiss me again.
For just over seven decades, I had wondered what it would be like for us to reunite, and this scenario had never once played out. Never had I ever thought it imaginable that she could be so... angry.
Despite this fact, I yearned to know what her life had been like. Where had she been? What had she seen? I longed to know her again. I just wanted her in my life again. Nothing else mattered. Suddenly, a new feeling of determination set in. I would make her mine again. Now that I had spoken to her, touched her, smelled her - I would not give her up. I realized that although she had become the very thing I had dreaded her becoming, I loved her still and I would always love her. Vampire emotions were unchanging. I could only hope that the passion Bella had once felt for me when she was human, had carried over into this new existence enough to even slightly outweigh the intense anger she had just displayed. I knew, and hoped, that a part of the old Bella was still in there. I was determined to bring it out of her again.
I wouldn't stop until I accomplished it.
Confident that Alice and Jasper would now be coming for a visit, as there was no way she would be able to ignore these visions, I made a decision of where I would go so that they would find me without issue.
For better or for worse, I was back in Bella's life. This time, for good.