By La. Tua. Cantante. 83
Summary: Six months ago, Edward Cullen left Forks, trying to escape the bloodlust that was sure to be his downfall. Now he's returned, only to find that he can never truly escape what the Fate's have destined for him. Together with the one whose fate is twisted with his, he must find a way to protect what matters most. Rated Mature. Vamp, AU.
Disclaimer: All characters from and references to Twilight and the Twilight Saga belong to Stephenie Meyer. No money is made from this writing, and no copyright infringement is intended. The plot for Entwined is mine.
Authors Note: To all of you who have followed me from Best Laid Plans, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support and devotion. I love you all. Thank you! To all those who are first reading one of my stories, welcome! I am excited to hear what you think!
I really hope you all like this. It is my new baby, and will certainly be a great endeavor. Please let me know.
Also, I don't usually have playlists that I put out there, but this story has been with me for a long time. Therefore, I have a playlist on my ipod called "Entwined." I'll likely give you the songs as we go along for that reason. The song for this chapter is: "Lightning Crashes," by Live.
Finally, my other multi-chapter, Best Laid Plans, was nominated for three (3!!!) Indie Twific Awards! I thank you for all the love! Voting is going on now! Check it out: http://www (DOT) theindietwificawards (DOT) com
Without much further ado… Entwined…
Chapter 1: Misadventures of Missed Calls
The darkened landscape blurred past me as I ghosted over the earth. I was running harder now, pushing faster than I had been to start out. I was getting close, the air turning recognizably. The familiar mossy, earthy smell of the Olympic Peninsula was beginning to replace the cool, thin air that I'd been taking in all these months. I could almost feel it in my chest, this damp heaviness that was both constricting and welcomed at the same time. I instinctively pumped my legs faster in an effort to relieve it and heighten it all at once. It had been too long.
With each movement I felt it growing stronger and stronger. I could feel the weight that seemed to seep into my clothes with the moisture in the air. I recognized the minute way that my feet sunk further into the earth with each step, a thousandth of a centimeter with each stride. I could hear the way the earth stirred with the life of the new set of animals that were inhabitants of this place. I could see the way the air morphed and changed just a shade darker as more and more mossy trees cast denser shadows. I willed myself to move with even more haste.
It was the middle of the night now, just after midnight. Though a few people were awake at this time of the day, it was mostly still. I both loved and loathed this time of the night. It was the quietest, the time that held the most solace for me. Thoughts were stilled into peaceful slumber, and it gave me the opportunity to listen to myself for once, rather than the mulling buzz around me. After decades of hearing the white noise of the world around me, I was accustomed to it, but I still found it relaxing to be given some respite from it. It was a peace that I could not get while the world was awake. Everything calmed into stillness, and only the occasional hum of nearby, frantic dreams was intrusive.
But it was also for that reason that I hated it. Because it was a pointed reminder of exactly what I was. I could not sleep. I could not rest. And for all the peace I gleaned from the night, it was a heart-wrenching reminder that I was not free to walk around in the sunlight. I hid in the shadows to protect myself, not because I feared bodily harm as all the myths said, but to shield myself and those around me from my true identity. I was a monster who did not have the luxury of light and life. I was death, and I deserved it.
I shook my head at my dark musings, smiling sadly to myself. It was thoughts like these that indicated how badly I needed to return. It was the reason why I was running through the night. It was the pull that I was feeling. I had been this way for so long now, that the incessant, bleak ramblings of my brain were becoming too natural for me. Too often, I caught myself falling into the trap that I set up for myself, self-deprecating over the state of my immortality. I knew how counterproductive this was. I couldn't change anything. That's why I was running so hard—I needed to get back to where I knew I would not think these things all of the time. I missed the lightness that I'd occasionally been privy to before. I needed the strength of those around me to right all the weakness that I felt. I needed to return, before I lost myself completely.
I'd never wanted to be in a place so much as I wanted to be now.
It had been over six months since I'd left Forks, Washington—over half a year since I'd last seen my family.
I missed them terribly. I often forgot how fortunate we all were to have each other. Our lifestyle was not like most of our kind. We prided ourselves on our ability to abstain from taking the lives of humans for our own selfish pursuits. Because of that, we bonded so strongly that, despite the fact that none of us were actual blood, we felt that way. Occasionally, one of the couples would go off on their own, but they never stayed away for long. None of us considered ourselves separate from the unit as a whole. In fact, it had been years since we were apart. I'd only left Carlisle and Esme once during my entire eighty years as a vampire, when I was trying to find myself in the world. I regretted it immensely, and they'd welcomed me home like the prodigal son, returning after his indiscretions. I'd vowed never again to leave them, and I'd kept that vow. That is, up until six months ago. Six months ago, my world shifted drastically.
I was faced with the most mouthwatering temptation I'd had in one hundred years. It had seemed like a day like all others before it. Nothing drastic was predicted, but when the source of all my agony walked into the biology room that day, engulfing me with her delectable bouquet, it threatened to destroy us all. All I wanted was to destroy, consume, and wallow. It would be the end of our life, and I knew that, yet I still wanted it. With every fiber in being, I wished for it. I tore myself in two for an hour, because I knew that if I even attempted to move to leave I would mercilessly rip her apart, and act which would only be the beginning of the end for all of us. And because I couldn't bear to do that to those who gave me so much, I left. Immediately and abruptly, I left.
Like a coward, I'd run away, tried to escape the source of my undoing. I headed north to Alaska, the only other place I felt like I could belong without the rest of the family. I hoped that by distancing myself from the source of the bloodlust, it would help, give me enough time to come to grips with the memory of her scent. But it hadn't helped. I laughed quietly at the knowledge that it hadn't helped one little bit. Despite what I wanted, my absence had only intensified my desire. I was consumed. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the image of her out of my head, the smell of her haunting me.
But I'd be a liar if I said it was only her blood that called to me. There was something else entirely that I couldn't quite put into words.
The Denali coven had been welcoming, at the very least. I knew they would be. Tanya especially welcomed me back with open arms—literally. The moment I walked through the door, she saw it as her opportunity to make me cave to her will. I often found her methods of… persuasion… exhausting. But I allowed it without too much protest because, frankly, I was just grateful that they didn't feel the need to ask many questions. She accepted my return to them without feeling the desire to find out why I had come back. It was enough for her that I was there, and I was happy that I didn't have to voice many of the particulars. I was embarrassed by my lack of control, and I hated thinking about it, let alone talking about it. Tanya only once hinted with curiosity, but I ignored it, and she dropped the conversation immediately and proceeded to attempt to seduce me. I was thankful for the distraction from my real issues.
I would be lying if I said that I didn't find Tanya attractive. She is lovely, even by vampire standards, with long strawberry-blond tendrils that hang down her back and long legs that seemed to go on for miles. Her golden eyes accentuate her deathly pale skin, so that she constantly looks like she is glowing. She is confident and intelligent, and when she walks in the room, she commands attention, which I find highly enticing, as a general rule. Over the years of our friendship, for brief, very fleeting moments, I entertained the idea of her and I as a couple, acting towards each other with the affection that I'd become so accustomed to, living with my mated family members. I tried to imagine us cuddling and laughing and loving the way that the others do. I imagined how she would feel in my arms, and how she would taste against my lips, like apples and lemongrass and rain. I even thought about how it would feel to have her lying beneath me, her smooth skin up against all of mine. Though I didn't have much to go on in a practical sense, I could piece together from my gift and my own experiences what that would feel like to be with her romantically. It may have given me a bit of relief from the blazing loneliness I often felt, but something about it just didn't fit. I tried to imagine the two of us in these situations, but something about it felt wrong. It felt too forced, like I would only be settling for her. She deserved better than that.
There was that, and then of course there was the fact that since leaving Forks, I'd been haunted by the girl with swirling chocolate-brown eyes and the tantalizing scent that made my mouth swill with venom. The deficient feelings that I felt for Tanya only heightened when I fled. When I closed my eyes, all I could see was her. Her fearful eyes danced across my memories, and the way that she looked at me—really looked at me—was constantly teasing me, tempting me, to turn around and head home immediately. I heard her voice over and over in my head as it came through Jessica Stanley's imperfect perception, which was now burned into my psyche. I remembered with perfect clarity the way she furrowed her brow and bit her lip as I struggled to contain the beast who so badly wanted to destroy her, hiding from me behind her hair. I thought about her tiny body and how breakable she looked, and I recalled the way that her scent floated through the air and lapped at my nostrils and coerced my lips to open so that it could dance across my tongue.
Even in Denali, the monster roared and shook its shackles at me, willing me to free him.
I suppose those things were to be expected. If she was truly my singer, as Eleazor had called her, then the fact that I had escaped her without spilling her blood was a miracle. I questioned his assumption initially, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. I had heard stories about blood that called out to vampires like a song, willing them blindly to take greedily—like the Sirens call to sailors—but I'd never witnessed it directly before. I'd assumed they were just lore. I wondered if my brothers had ever felt this way, or Carlisle, though he'd never thought about it in my presence before.
The problem was that I didn't know what the rest of it meant. I didn't know what it meant that I was desperate to see this little girl again, not to taste her blood, but to feel the temperature of her skin. I didn't understand what it meant that when I closed my eyes, I envisioned her in my arms, not being drained of life, but smiling up at me. I didn't understand what in meant for me that I wanted to hear her laugh, or feel the delicate touch of her fingertips against my cheek, or know what my name sounded like on her lips. I wondered what she was thinking or doing at that moment, or what she'd been thinking as her face flushed next to me at that biology table. When Alice told me through one of our various phone calls that they sat next to each other in English class, I didn't anticipate the way it would make me angry and anxious and lonely. And I certainly didn't understand the stirrings in my belly for the way that I remembered her looking, her clothes pulling over her tiny frame, accentuating the delicate slope of her back or the curvature of her hips, or the way her top clung to her breasts. I shuddered at the memory, not from thirst, but from electric anticipation. Worst of all these things was the burning regret that I was not like her. More than anything, I wished our skin was the same temperature, so that I could touch her without her recoiling. Every day I allowed myself to fantasize about being like her—holding her hand, walking her to class, sleeping and dreaming of her—and my heart panged poignantly each time I thought this. I chastised myself over and over for these things which confused me. I didn't understand in the slightest what these unnatural stirrings meant.
This human girl managed to rake me over the coals, even though I was thousands of miles away from her. Daily, I fought with myself, agonizing over being so far from my life, my family, and her. I wanted more than anything to be in Forks, but I didn't know how I could face her knowing how she affected me, even if I was strong enough to restrain the beast that thirsted for her blood. What if she saw through me? What if she looked at me the way that she had that day, as if all my secrets were lying out before her? I couldn't face her. So I stayed away. For six months.
Early spring turned into summer. Summer turned to fall. I began to grow more and more restless each day. I tugged on my hair almost constantly, hoping to glean some relief. The Denali clan watched me intently, unspoken questions about my strange behavior floating around in their heads. I spent more time by myself out in the vast Alaskan wilderness. It made me more depressed. I imagined the way that the summer warmth would linger around in Washington, even despite the cloudy days. I thought about how my meadow would look now, in full bloom and peaceful. This was my favorite time of year, and I was hiding away in the cover of darkness, being sexually harassed by the woman I knew I could never be with. One September day, home called to me so loudly that I decided it was time. I abandoned my mission of staying away from the little brunette with delicious eyes and silent thoughts. I forgot about the way that her blood beckoned to me. All I wanted was to find some sense of normalcy again. It was time to stop hiding and running away from my fears.
I moved swiftly as my feet traversed over the darkened landscape, eager to get "home." Home. It felt like so long since that word held any weight. I'd never considered anywhere home before. We moved constantly, trying to avoid perceptions from intelligent humans. Every place we went was both different and the same all at once. The monotony of our lifestyle—always going through the motions, but never truly living—was out of necessity, and we never tied ourselves to one place. And the tiny town in Washington should have been no different. But Forks was home to me. That's where my family was. That's where she was.
I was getting closer now. With the knowledge that I'd soon be home, I smiled to myself. I'd never considered what it would feel like to be away from everyone for so long. I missed Carlisle's patience and understanding, and Esme's affectionate warmth and protective nature. I missed Emmett's joyful exuberance, and Jasper's stoic acceptance. I missed Alice and her energy and sunlight and unperceivable ferocity. I even missed Rosalie, and her severe loyalty. I missed them, and I couldn't wait to see them. Nothing could justify being away from them all for so long.
I halted, closing my eyes and breathing in the scents that I'd been missing so much. Everything about this journey felt right. I smiled again. The action felt so different, the way that my face moved into the telling expression. I hadn't felt so light in months, and I was sure I hadn't smiled in a long time.
Usually, I'd avoid town all together on my way home from Denali. It was not necessary to go through town, and the mountains provided a more isolated route, away from the humans' eyes. Normally, I'd turn south at Sequim and sweep towards home that way as I curved out the mountains in Olympic National Park. There was more interesting wildlife there, and I enjoyed the view. But today, something pulled me forward, propelling me along the one-oh-one. I followed the road closely, while still remaining hidden in the foliage off to the side of the road. Perhaps it was the evidence of human life that I found so appealing about this particular route—I'd been so secluded in Denali, that it was nice to be near civilization again, even if it was only tiny towns dotting the interstate. Even though the world slept, this was a reminder of my life here.
I headed off along the road, following the tarmac as it wound through the dense trees. My phone began buzzing in my pocket and I sighed. Then I rolled my eyes. Could they not wait another thirty minutes? That was all the time it would take me to get home. I was so near now I could feel the pressure of my absence subsiding from my chest. I quieted my phone quickly.
Within seconds of releasing my fingers of it, it rang again, shaking my pocket. I growled out in frustration, but smiled to myself. I knew that this was a part of the package of going home, but I welcomed it. Rather than slow my pace by taking the call, I chose to ignore it once again and push forward. The sooner that I got home, the sooner I'd find out what they wanted that was so important. The call when to my voicemail again.
I continued along the highway, darting in and out of the thick tree cover. I stayed hidden from sight, occasionally swooping out so that I could see the roadway. Despite my speed, there was always the need to be vigilant. My ability also aided in this. There were no drivers on the road now, so the chances of being seen were minimal at best. It was almost one in the morning. At this time of the night, everyone in the area would be sleeping.
I rounded Lake Crescent, smiling to myself once again. I'd be home in a matter of minutes. The moonlight reflected off the water as the mountains cast shadows of themselves over it. It was so still and serene. I'd spent a half a year in the solitude of Denali, but it had felt so much different than the peace that I could find here. I sighed with the knowledge that my meadow would be waiting for me. Like another of my family members, I had missed it too. It was out there, welcoming me with open arms.
Again, my phone rang loudly, crashing against the silent night. I groaned and immediately shut it off. I knew they were eager to see me, to talk to me again with my being gone so long, but I needed this time to re-acclimate myself. This place was as much like a living breathing person as anyone, and this was me, reintroducing myself. Like an old friend, I was greeting it after a long absence. I was preoccupied so much so, that it took me a moment to see the way that the sky lightened ahead of me. I immediately should have noticed the faint smell of rubber, and the scent that only releases into the air when a tree is broken off at the trunk. I should have noticed the subtle heat that I was heading towards.
These things would have been impossible to discern without my vampire senses, but I was to enthralled with my rediscovery of the area that it was not until I was a mere mile away that I noticed the glow that settled on the first tiny curve south on the way to Forks. It was not until then that I smelled the unmistakable scent of burning fuel and twisted metal. It took me until then to notice the way the earth illuminated against the rising cloud of smoke against the sky. I should have seen it long before, but I didn't and by the time I stumbled upon the accident, it was too late.
I should have called it in, right then and there, but something in me knew that there was nothing that mere humans could do. I heard no thoughts in my head as I neared. I heard no sounds of agony that an injured human would make if there was any hope for them. There were no panicked thoughts, no remorse or regret for a life that ended too soon. No one was thinking about their wife, or their children, or the pain. There were no prayers to deities or well wishes for loved ones. As I hurried to find out what damage had been caused, I knew there was nothing I could do anymore.
I slowed my pace as my phone began to ring again. I finally pulled it out to see it. Alice. Her name and number flashed across my phone as it continued to buzz relentless at me. That must have been what all the calling had been about. I could see the flames now, and the tipped over semi truck that sat haphazardly in the low ditch at the edge of the bend. I knew without getting any closer that the driver was gone. My dead heart lurched a little at the loss of another human life. Not all humans deserved to live, but this man had perhaps been providing for a family, and he had died simply doing his job. I wondered what had caused such an accident—perhaps a dear that meandered out onto the roadway. I shook my head and was about to flip open my phone to answer Alice, when I froze.
The monster that I had tried for six months to contain roared and clawed at my throat, fighting to get out with mad, agonizing desperation.
The smell hit me first, and it burned with familiarity in my nostrils, causing my venom to drip steadily. I staggered at the force by which I was affected by it. I had abstained for so long, but it was so delicious, so much so that my vision focused and it took all I had to withstand the lust. I was the predator, and this was my prey, its blood spilled before me like an altar. The rational part of my brain that was still minutely functioning understood that I couldn't stay, that I was not strong enough, but I couldn't leave that intoxicating aroma. I was drowning in it. It was so heady, so luscious that I growled and willed my rational self to quiet. I wanted this more than I'd ever wanted anything before.
Except one thing.
It struck me, then, that I'd smelled this smell before. Sweet like succulent cream and floral on my tongue, it had been what I'd most wanted to forget these last six months. How I'd tried to let it go, wash the memories of it out of my cerebrum! I wanted nothing more than to cleanse myself of it entirely, and now, here I was, faced with it in all its glory! What fates were trying to destroy me, now, finally when I was coming home? The demon in me cried out in exultation at its good fortune. Everything it wanted was laid out for it, like before a king at a banquet table. The scent that I'd banished was back.
It was different, slightly more pungent. It was outside the soft ivory coating it once wore, that helped to mask the true nature of it. But now, open and exposed to me, delicate flesh no longer encasing it, it was the most beautifully terrifying thing. I both cowered and leapt.
And that was when I saw it—really saw it. Among the fire, crumpled in a way that shouldn't have been possible, was the undeniable outline of a red Chevy truck. And beside it was the thing that would be my undoing. Isabella Swan, daughter of the Forks police chief and my singer, lay bleeding on the ground, hair splayed frantically out over the mossy soil, soaking in the sweet drug that made me both tremble and jump for joy.
I neared her slowly, coiling and licking my lips. My body tensed to take my prey, zeroing in on the way the crimson honey spilled around her, mixing with the dirt and the sweat of her temple. I growled with need and the way that my body hummed to life in the presence of this delicacy. It was as if my entire being reverberated at the proximity of her blood. I widened my eyes like a madman at the feeling of completeness that the red liquid caused in me. I purred knowing that just a drop of it would fulfill me in ways that nothing before it ever would, and I pushed aside all thoughts of the human nature that I tried so hard to emulate and the good that Carlisle had tried to instill in all of us. The demon laughed maliciously as the faces of my family members flashed behind my eyes. He held captive the tiny compassionate man that cried at how I was about to take this girl. Because it was going to be disgusting and gruesome and vile. And magnificent.
And that was almost the end of my story, right then and there. That was almost all I would have to say about anything in this world. That was almost the last moment of my life before I destroyed myself with the guilt that this injustice would have surely caused me. It would have been, had I not heard the gentle fluttering of her still-fighting heart. It would have been, had her delicate eyelids not fluttered open in one last soul-rending attempt to save her own life. This would have been my final act before I ripped my own limbs off and threw them into the fire, had her tiny, perfect mouth not opened in a breathy rasp and uttered the thing that saved her life, the thing had been torturing me since I fled to Denali.
Softly, she opened her eyes weakly and gazed into mine, and stopped the mongrel in its tracks. She opened her lips and whispered weakly her last saving breath, swirling the air around us. The one word was the only thing needed, and somehow she knew.
And it changed the course of our lives forever.
End Notes: Thank you for reading. I hope you are liking Edward's homecoming so far. I'd love a review to let me know what you think of it. Reviews make me write faster…and absolutely make my day. I don't have any plans right now for an update schedule, but I promise I won't make you wait too long. Thanks again!