Title: Russian Roulette
Thanks to my beta AcrossTheSkyInStars
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all these wonderful characters, I'm just going to kill one. Abuse and drug use are referenced, if you are sensitive to these things than please read with caution.
Summary: Six Friends sit in a room and pass around a gun, who will make it out alive?
Submitted for the 'To Kill a Cullen' Contest
Please check out the other entries here :
Each member of the group had been called and no one had declined. The small townhouse was chosen because of the lack of traffic. It had been for sale for the past six months with only a few people looking at it. The organizer selected it also because it was easy to break into. If something were to go wrong, he didn't want his friends places messed up.
The leader was the first one there. He had brought a few large throw pillows for comfort. Pillows and weed. The small living room area was selected as it would fit them all nicely. He sat the small box down in the middle of the pillow circle and waited for his friends.
Once they had all arrived, the leader lit up the joint, passing it around. A set of big, brown eyes followed the drug around the circle, hoping that it would calm her nerves. When it came to her, she took a big drag, coughing and hacking at the smoke intruding into her lungs. The big man next to her laughed and teased her about being a lightweight. His brother scowled at the comment.
"Okay, are we ready to do this?" asked the leader. All the answers came non-verbally, some clearer than others.
The six friends sat in a circle. The single bullet was loaded as was the silence in the room. Nervous faces flickered back and forth in excitement. They all enjoyed the rush.
Alice Brandon was the first to take the gun, her tiny hand spinning the chamber. She was a nineteen year-old dreamer. A high school dropout, Alice moved away from home and paid her rent by playing her guitar in the street. The tiny room she rented was nearly condemned but it was hers and she loved it for that. You would never guess this eternal optimist came from such a broken family. Her mother started drinking when Alice was just four. Starting with just a couple of drinks, Alice's mother had graduated quickly to seven or eight drinks a night. Her step-father used to slip into her room at night to 'tuck her in.' At the tender age of fifteen, Alice left home with nothing more than forty-seven dollars and a guitar in a case covered with Aerosmith stickers.
In just a few months after leaving her personal hell, she began to live in a new one. Begging for food and scrounging for shelter would have broken most anyone's spirit, but Alice never failed to show the world a shining face. When she met Jasper exactly one hundred and six days since running away, she hadn't expected to find such a friend. Jasper had been more than kind to the young girl. He had turned eighteen the day before they met and was street savvy.
Alice had problems trusting men though, and all that Jasper had done for her wasn't enough to earn that trust. While she counted him as a friend, she noticed that he would try to get her alone. She had always politely declined but she feared what he wanted from her. She didn't understand what he couldn't say in front of the others. He had fed her on more occasions than she would have liked to remember and her worst fear was that he would want something from her in return. Alice couldn't go back to that.
The dreams had crept back into Alice's life. With Jasper unknowingly dredging up bad memories, the deep, dark secret Alice kept made her wish that she would lose the game. That is why she was here; too afraid to do it on her own and yet fearless enough to face it.
She passed the gun to Jasper.
Jasper Whitlock was more than relieved by the clicking sound than anyone else in the room. He was in love with the small pixie-like child that sat next to him. Jasper had been in love with her since she waltzed into his life four years prior.
A small town kid with a big heart, Jasper moved away from home wanting to make a difference. With compassion in his heart, he signed on to work with the homeless. He gave and gave until he made himself homeless too. It took him a year to turn it around and he opened a small shelter which provided him with a small profit to live on. He lived inside the small apartment above the soup kitchen and had often tried to convince Alice to join him. He never offered anything untoward, just a warm place to rest when her power or heat got shut off. A small part of his heart died every time she turned him down.
Jasper loved when Alice would come down to the shelter and play her guitar for the homeless men and women. Her bluesy style and raspy voice were in contradiction with her elf-like physique and boisterous smile. Alice Brandon was a walking enigma and Jasper wanted more than anything to solve her.
Jasper had enrolled himself the past year into the army in an attempt to impress Alice. He thought if he could bulk up and bring in a steady paycheck he would have a chance with his ladylove. What he hadn't considered was the war that broke out shortly after he enlisted. When he told Alice that he would be sent away, she had barely even given him a response.
Jasper didn't want to die but he wanted more than anything for Alice to care if he did. He held the gun out and spun the chamber. He looked over towards his Juliet and thought briefly that if he were her Romeo, he would live and if he was her Paris, he would fall.
The gun then returned to its rightful owner. Carlisle held the polished metal with a great deal of respect. He had dropped his girlfriend, Esme, off before he had come over. She had been mad; she wanted to play this twisted game as well. Carlisle didn't have a lot to lose so he wasn't willing to risk the one good thing he had. She would get over it, he told himself. It was one of the reasons he loved her, she always forgave him his transgressions. He was older than his friends before him, at the age of twenty-nine, he should have known better.
Carlisle was a reformed drug mule. Ten years prior he had made the mistake of agreeing to take a package across the Mexican border, but when he arrived, he found that he was paid handsomely for his chance. He found it nearly impossible to stop after that but when his buddy, Aro, turned up dead after a botched run, Carlisle wanted out.
It took him a year and a half to escape the clutches of the drug ring. Five years and three cities later, Carlisle still found himself looking over his shoulder. He hadn't totally left the life of crime; Carlisle ran a small gambling ring in the city. He wasn't proud of what he had become but it was the way he met Esme so he couldn't come to regret it.
Esme was a preacher's daughter and the sweetest thing he had ever laid his eyes on. At barely twenty years of age, she was still so innocent and Carlisle was both drawn to that and feared he would destroy it. When her papa had found out she was dating a men almost ten years her senior and with no discernable job, he was livid.
Carlisle had tried to do the right thing but Esme snuck out one night and had come straight to him. Crying and begging for him to take her in, Carlisle found himself unable to say no. Esme was no longer innocent but Carlisle still saw her that way, after all, she was carrying his baby. He tried to keep her away from his dealings but he knew that they were also the very things that kept a roof over their heads and food in their mouths. He briefly thought of how selfish he was being, if something happened to him, she would have nothing. His son would have nothing.
He raised the gun, spun the chamber and pressed the nozzle to his forehead.
Bella took the gun gingerly from Carlisle's hand. She studied it and wondered what she was doing here. Her boyfriend sat next to her, strong and handsome. He was everything that a girl could want and yet she didn't. She had been with him for two years, six months, and fourteen days. And in that time, she had been in love with his brother for two years, six months, and thirteen days. Emmett was kind to her and fun to be around, she didn't know what was wrong with her. How could she want to trade this put together man for his mess of a brother?
Emmett had a steady job and his own house. Edward, at two years younger than Bella, had nothing but a couch and a room in his parent's basement. No drive, no ambition, and yet somehow, the most special person she had ever met. See, it was Edward and not Emmett who held her hand when her mom got sick with cancer. Emmett had a business meeting and was out of town for a week. He had been having those a lot lately and Edward would be there for her.
When they were together, Bella could delude herself into thinking that he felt more for her, but when she was alone, she would convince herself that she had imagined it. Bella's mom had passed three days ago and the funeral was that very morning. Emmett had a meeting he just couldn't miss so Edward had accompanied her. Emmett called her as she was leaving the wake to tell her about this game. Bella had been so distraught that she came right over. She suddenly felt very bad for dragging Edward along. If anything happened to him, she wouldn't forgive herself.
A shaky hand lifted the gun, spun the chamber and…
Emmett took the gun from Bella's hand and tossed it back and forth between his big mitts. He was a bear of a man, standing at six foot four and weighing two hundred and thirty pounds. His body of pure muscle was obtained by a vigorous workout routine that included a daily run, free weights, and Rosalie Hale.
He should have had more guilt about deceiving the girl next to him, but he didn't. Bella Swan was the girl you took home to your mother. Mrs. McCarty loved her. Rosalie Hale was the kind of girl you take from behind. Mrs. McCarty would have hated her.
Emmett loved Bella, he truly did, but he had certain needs that she wasn't filling. He told himself that he was doing it for her. She wouldn't be interested in the kinky things that his Rosie was. This way, Emmett could have his cake and eat it too.
Emmett had had a little cake that morning. Not feeling like going to a funeral, they always depressed him, Emmett shoved his little brother onto Bella babysitting duty and he promptly made his way over to the gorgeous blondes house. She greeted him in nothing but a red lace g-string and Emmett knew that he had made the right choice. How was he supposed to cheer Bella up later if he was all depressed from the funeral?
The problem was, after a rousing romp with the lovely Miss Hale, she had told him a secret. She had been diagnosed with an STD and told him he better get checked out. Emmett was furious, because although he had always used protection while with her, it seemed like something she should have told him before he stuck his dick in her.
That was when he received the call from Carlisle. The game sounded fantastic to him. If he lost, he wouldn't have to get tested and he sure the hell wouldn't have to tell Bella.
Emmett spun the chamber with a cocky grin on his face, stuck the nozzle in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
Edward looked nervously at the pistol and at his brother handing it to him. When Emmett asked if he could accompany Bella to her mother's funeral that morning, he never guessed it would end up like this. A geek without the smarts, Edward spent most of his time playing video games in his parent's basement. Socially inept and painfully shy, the only friend could count was Bella.
He knew about his brothers rendezvous with the other woman. He refused to even think her name. She was shallow and easy and Bella deserved better than being betrayed. Edward wanted more than anything in the world to have sex with Bella. He liked her a lot and he was a virgin. He figured that there would never be another girl that he would be able to just get along with like her. And frankly, it was too much trouble to look.
Sometimes he would daydream of telling Bella about Emmett's indiscretions. In those dreams, she would have angry revenge sex with Edward and it would last for hours. He was quite aware that neither of those things was likely to ever happen.
It wasn't that Edward had no drive; it's just that he didn't know what to do with his life. Too smart to be blue collar and not bright enough to be exceptional, Edward was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He wanted to be successful but was unable to figure out how to do it.
He decided that if he was brave enough to pull the trigger, than he would be brave enough to do something about his life. As he spun the chamber, he tried to decide what to put on the line. Asking Bella to sleep with him or picking a career.
Bella it was.
An unsure chuckle broke through the circle as they all enjoyed the end of round one. It had been very clear when they were explained the game that they would do two rounds. The first round amped you up but it was the second round that really got the blood pumping. To chance death was exciting, but to do it twice in a row was a rush that no drug could compare to.
Alice took the gun again, this time with more trepidation. She thought of her step-father, Marcus, and how she would love to use this gun a different way. She fantasized of walking into his room while he slept and blowing his manhood right off.
"You wrecked me!" she would yell.
Alice had yet to let another man touch her sexually. She couldn't imagine those acts being something good. Sometimes she wondered if she should just go with Jasper one time, see what it was that he wanted from her. He was the closest she had come to trusting someone and maybe he could be the one to help fix her.
The thought of him being sent away to war ate at her inside because while she was wary of him, Jasper was still her friend. When he had told her he was leaving, Alice shut down, her face a mask. The same mask that she had put on when Marcus had come to her each night. No one saw through it. No one saw the pain she held inside herself. Maybe if the bullet sliced through her, it would finally come pouring out.
Jasper took the gun from Alice, his fingers grazing over hers. Confusion in his eyes at the way she looked at him. He couldn't feel relief from her, only resignation. Had she wanted to die? No. Jasper would not entertain that thought; a world without Alice would be a dreary place.
Rolling around the ideas of war in his head, Jasper contemplated what it would be like to be shot. As a rookie, he had a better chance at being shot in battle than the others. That was why he liked it here. Everyone here had the same chance at being shot. One in six.
At least here, the bullet would finish the job. Jasper's worst fear would be to come home from war missing his legs and arms. Just a torso, sitting on the side of the road with a sign, begging for money. He had helped too many war vets in his shelter. They were unable to find jobs, homes, lives. The thought of Alice looking at him with pity gave him enough strength to pull the trigger a second time.
Carlisle hid a dirty secret. He liked watching people die. He had seen it twice. The first time was a Mexican man who was caught skimming on the drugs. He was shot and Carlisle watched the blood flow from his body like wine. The look in his eyes as he took his last breath kept him awake for days, not in horror but in fascination.
The second time was at a convenience store. A man came in to rob the place while Carlisle was stopping to buy some bread and milk. He watched unseen from the back of the store as the masked man stabbed the clerk and ran away. The man had begged him to call for an ambulance but he was stuck in his spot, unable to move. The man bled out in front of Carlisle and he had let him. He never told anyone and went as far as to steal the security tape so that he couldn't be implicated.
He set up these games to watch the fear on his friends faces as they held the gun, but what he hoped for was for someone to lose. He knew that made him a horrible friend but he couldn't seem to care. He itched to watch someone die. The final breath to be a gasp, the final sight to be his face. He wanted his turn to pass as quickly as it came, so that he had another chance at his desire. He held up the gun.