I SPENT THE MAJORITY OF THE DAY DEBATING WHAT TO DO THAT NIGHT.
I'd established some kind of pattern—albeit a self destructive one—of submerging myself in Bella's pain over the past two nights. Surprisingly, I found myself leaning towards the unconventional action as the beginning of some sort of structure to my scrambled life. Again, I walked the width of the living room and back again as the idea was debated in my head.
The furniture was still covered in dust sheets, reminiscent of an abandoned nineteen hundreds manor, and I had no plans to change that seeing as sitting still for more than two minutes at a time was currently impossible.
What was the point of abandoning my plan now? I'd already fucked up everything with my family. Not to mention whatever was going on with Alice that she didn't feel the need to share with me. Although it wasn't as if I was sharing every thought and secret of mine with her either.
Which was probably a bad thing come to think of it.
Just get rid of the issue, pussy. My God, what happened to you? The monster was no longer ravenous and pressed against the barrier that contained it, it was sitting back against one of the rounded walls of its crypt with a disgusted expression. Rather than driving me into hunting mode, now it had become a judgemental entity. My conscience's evil counterpart.
What conscience? You left a little bit of it in all those people you killed. You can bathe a feral dog and stick him in a collar with some generically cute name attached but he's still going to shit on the rug and piss in your shoes. You can't change what you are on the inside, Jazzy... Fuck, I wish Maria could see you now. Even precious Alice left you; she knows what you are so stop pretending you're capable of changing.
I roughly palmed my face and snarled.
Ripping my head off and escaping thought for however long it took for the pieces to pull back together was looking increasingly appealing.
You want to kill me but you won't because that would be a form of suicide. The monster laughed, running its blood-stained fingers through its tangled and dirty hair.
I couldn't decide if everything that it said was my mind actually telling me the truth or if it was just that particular insane portion taunting me with all my doubts and fears. Both seemed equally plausible at this moment.
Confused? Me too. I've got absolutely no clue why you don't just do away with the... ant... and move on. I like the weird one with the dreads, he's realistic.
The thought of Laurent brought back our interrogation of a talk yesterday. Why he was so interested in Bella when he'd become Irina's mate, as well as taken up the vegetarian diet, I didn't know. It was possible that he was just naturally that strange but not probable, if he was then one of the others would have said something to inform Alice and I of that.
You're all alone now, why don't we go and track down a certain little Mexican psychopath? At least Maria always loved you, for who you really are.
"She doesn't know how to love anyone." I argued out loud before I could stop myself. This wasn't like a ghost, when you acknowledge its presence it doesn't go away, it just becomes even more fucking persistent.
I cinched my hands around my own neck and jerked up until I heard a crack, a jolt of pain rocketed down my spine and rendered my hands useless to exert further force. I crumpled to the floor now my spinal column was snapped and my brain was no longer connected to my body.
The recently sarcastic monster laughed loudly. Good work, fuckwitt. You broke your own neck, too bad I'm still here, huh? Bet it hurts like a bitch.
I growled in both pain and frustration while I waited for my body to heal itself. The feeling in my extremities returned abruptly and with a snap my head straightened on my neck, but I remained on the floor thought sheer lack of desire to get up.
Even Little Miss Sunshine up there in Alaska would slap you now and she loves everyone.
I closed my eyes and pretended there was nothing there, nothing at all. I shut off all my senses and stopped every one of my twenty trains of thought.
Too bad I'm not the obedient type. The monster laughed darkly.
A growl rumbled in my chest. There was literally no way to escape. This was why people killed themselves over voices in their head; I could understand their reasoning now.
Ever the emo. The monster smirked and mimed slashing its wrists with a low grunting noise to accompany the action.
I rolled onto my back and stared up at the dust particles floating through the air above me, ignoring it when he started singing I'm Henry the VIII like some fucked up Patrick Swayze homage.
It was raining by ten o'clock that night, not just sprinkling, it was pissing down to the point visibility was only around twelve feet.
It's raaaaaining, it's pouuuuuuring, the tame vampire is borrrrrrring. The monster sang childishly. Without any opportunities for hunting nearby it had turned quite taunting and juvenile. C'mon, fucker, do something cool. And had also started swearing like a New York taxi driver.
I screamed out with frustration and clawed at my face, squeezing my eyes shut so I wouldn't gouge them out in the process. Fifteen hours of solitude was grinding for anyone. When there's annoying voices in your head, it was enough to drive a man to lengths previously inconceivable.
So you're actually considering anal? The monster cackled ridiculously.
My teeth smashed together and I fisted my hair tightly. I pulled harder and harder until my hands yanked away with a few hairs in each. I looked down at them, confused when they started jiggling then literally rose out of my hand and sought out their previous space on my head like magnets.
I said cool, not weird and Harry Potter-esq. Wingardium Leviosa is sort of lame, man.
I paused in my maddened pacing and frowned deeply, confusion replaced all other emotions.
Before the psychotic thing that existed only in my head could say another word I raced out of the house into the pelting rain where the sounds of splashing puddles drowned out 'most every other noise. It was cold, windy and above all it was wet. Everything out here was. This had to be a storm of some sort, not merely the usual rain that caused the blanket of water Forks woke up to pretty much every morning.
The river had swelled up and was now above the bedrock. It was loud here with the water crashing over the stones as it flowed down from the mountains and out to sea, passing through my backyard first.
I listened to the constant roar with unwavering vigilance. Without attention, the monster couldn't exist. Without me being all caught up in my far too spacious mind it couldn't manifest and I'd be able to regain even a hint of the sanity that had left me in the fateful moment that I lunged for Bella.
All I could do was pray that this wasn't some kind of falling tree in the forest sort of thing. How can sound exist if there's no one there to hear it? How can the monster exist if there's no one there to witness it?
It needed to un-exist and it needed to as soon as possible.
Well I thought a little humor might be a nice change but if it's consistency you want... KILL! KILL! FUCK THE ASSHOLE OF HUMAN LIFE AND KILL! The monster shouted then jumped to its feet and started bashing on the plastic wall of the crypt insanely, laughing and shrieking at the top of its lungs.
My teeth clenched and I curled my hands into fists by my sides. "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" I screamed as loud as I could.
Not in my head.
And then everything was quiet.
The river was still loud but everything else was silent.
My head was silent.
Suddenly it was like I was hit in the gut. I bent over, panting.
Whether it was the overwhelming feeling of anger, the sudden drop of an ending adrenaline rush that I may well have been on for the past twelve days, or the simple fact that the voice was finally gone.
I was now exhausted.
For a split second at the height of the relief, I could barely stand.
My mind was slowly coming back to me. I could actually feel it. The fibres were reconnecting. Everything that happened in the past fortnight was clear from behind the red haze of the bloodlust that had consumed me.
I thought back to the party. The second Bella sliced her finger—an accident—I'd been overridden by instinct. It hadn't been an intentional play for her life on my part, and she hadn't intentionally broken her skin. The whole thing was just one big accident that a third person blew completely out of proportion.
Had I have killed her that would have been a different story. But Edward had acted like I had, and unfortunately Bella was still alive while my brother started grieving. He'd moved on like she was dead, when she really needed him. Needed us.
She was still alive but forgotten and left like the dead.
Chances are no one even thought to explain to her what exactly had happened beyond the obvious.
Yes, there had been an accident. Yes, she had been in mortal danger. No, I hadn't wanted to kill her. And no, I didn't want her dead now.
In fact I very much wanted her alive.
Once again, I crawled out of my thoughts and focused back on reality. I was still standing outside by the river which had now grown further and was right over my shoes. Rain slammed down on my soaked clothes and ran down my body. All I could see was the white lines shooting down from the clouds above my head. They had obscured the forest completely and this far out into the yard I could barely make out the house behind me.
All my attempts at righting my mistakes had crumbled... one way or another. Be it by Bella's scent, or her sadness, the sound of her heart or even my own cowardice. So now I'm standing here alone, in the rain, with no clue what to do next.
I could handle her scent now. Her sadness was tolerable when she was asleep and I could even take it away—when she wasn't conscious to notice. I couldn't bring myself to hurt her now so her heartbeat had become a good thing, signalling her life.
The only thing I had left to stop me was my own weakness.
A weakness was overpowering all my strengths. The bloodlust, a weakness, had overpowered my resistance and control, and now it was happening again.
One last element of control was left to master, that being Kate's idea of helping her rather than allowing myself to suffer with her.
Of course, that thought brought me back to the fact I was here, where I couldn't do anything, not there actually making a difference. The entire reason I was here was to help myself and I couldn't do that standing in the middle of a constantly rising sludge pool.
If I was ever going to do it there was no time like the present. There weren't really any other options for time killers in a massive storm. Why not self improvement?
At least then it wouldn't all have been for nothing. My existence and Bella's life may just get back some semblance of normality to it if we could both move on. Edward wasn't going to see his mistake and come back. Hopefully, knowing it was all a complete accident would help her move on, and in turn allow me to do the same when she wasn't so obviously suffering anymore.
I turned back east and started jogging, picking up the speed with each step.
The rain seemed to be falling in slow motion around me, hitting my skin like tiny water bombs, combusting and splattering. My clothes were completely soaked through and water was spraying off around me with every movement.
The well run route took no time at all to pass though, and before I knew it I was standing in the familiar spot directly below her bedroom window staring up at the fogged glass.
Charlie's heartbeat was slow and even in the living room around the corner, telling me he was asleep in front of the softly chattering television.
With a firm kick I sprung up to the second floor and grabbed the wooden frame while I slid up the window itself. I climbed in for the second time and shut it behind myself.
The same scene as last night greeted me. Bella was asleep in her bed, safe and sound with the same level of mild pain still floating around her.
I took a few steps forward then paused when lightning flashed outside. She stayed asleep, not even flinching after months of rainy nights and storms here. A few more moments and I continued forward towards the spot beside her head where I had spent last night.
Thunder rumbled over the mountains.
I was five feet from the bed now, looking down at her face.
Closer the rolling echo came before tapering off.
Three feet. I stopped when her hand twitched.
And then, a loud crack of lightning came behind me. The sky lit up and Bella's eyes flew open.
I froze completely. My breathing stopped. I didn't even blink.
It's just a dream, just a dream... I willed her in my thoughts.
Her heart sped up and her eyes widened. The loud pounding from her chest took over the sounds of the storm outside.
Just a dream.
Thunder sounded right over us, followed almost instantly by a strike of lightning.
She sucked in a breath and the barest hint of a scream came from her throat before the synthesized lethargy hit her and she fell limp into the bed.
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