Title: Like Teeth in the Grass
Author: QueenofNoise
Pairing: Edward/Bella, Edward/Rosalie
Rating: M for extremely violent acts and thoughts, sexual situations, death, suicidal thoughts and bloodshed throughout.
Summary: "The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time" - W.B. Yeats (In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz)


LIKE TEETH IN THE GRASS

Prologue

My hair is combed by the long-fingered branches of the low-lying trees; knotted twigs and needle-like bristles rake through the dark tendrils as I carve a shaky path through the dense forest. Through the thin denim of my well-worn, blood-spattered jeans, I feel the piercing and tearing of brambles into the skin of my thighs, slicing garish patterns into my knees. My fingers clutch and paw ahead of me; I ignore the pinpricks and stabs of the thorns I clear from my path. I try to think of everything but the pain, and the consequences should I be found. As I push forth and tear the forest apart, the evidence of my escape lying in a trail behind me, my mind remains at home where I am safe and unscathed; prey free from predator.

In the moonlit recesses of the all-consuming north western forests, I have spent my nights lying awake in fear and terror, waiting for my captors to make their final and definitive move to end my life. As the forest falls away under my hands, signs of humanity - of civilisation - are slowly coming into view. Discarded debris thrown from the side of the highway; an old mattress here, an abandoned stool; household items arranged in a maudlin imitation of life. Chicken wire and rusted car parts are strewn across the ground, coils of barbed silver threads cling to trees, swinging over cases of empty bottles. Everything is illuminated by the ominous red glow of passing headlights, and my heart stutters in a moment of hope.

It is then that I hear him; my captors footsteps approaching at a casual, assured pace. Slow and steady, he is not worried of my escape. His stride is calm and confident, while mine is a rush of panic and breaths of fruitless evasion. In a matter of moments, his fingers could be wrapped around my throat, an imitation of the barbed wire strangling the lopsided trees. In a breath, his jagged teeth could be tearing into my skin, into the flesh of my shoulder - and I would be powerless to stop him. I'm sure, after all my nights spent under his lock and key, that he is one who is capable of anything, even if such 'things' lie in the realm of the impossible. I have seen enough in these few weeks to know not to doubt anything; I am sure of nothing but my imminent death. I am alive only as long as he wishes me so.

So now, when his footsteps cease, I know this is no longer a hunt. He waits and watches, offering no help or hindrance to my plight. He stands, almost impartial, in the path that I have created and observes my feeble escape attempt. I turn to face him then, as he reaches out an ashen arm to touch the bloodied branches my hands had clasped before. His fingers linger over the scarlet droplets collected on a leaf there, and he holds it between his two fingers, pulling the leaf free in the most gentle of movements I have known him to make. He holds up his now reddened palm under the low light of the stars penetrating through the thick forest canopy, inspecting as if it were the first time he had seen my blood. I hear him chuckle, hear his teeth grate against each other even as I turn in panic and shake at the branches ahead of me; the forest alive with the sounds of terror.

Fumbling, I make my way along the edge of the small clearing, searching for a break in the wire, no matter how futile my actions may be. My hands close around branch after branch, pulling and shaking, before carelessly reaching into and clasping around a discarded coil of wire, the metal barbs biting into the skin of my fingers, and twisting around my wrist. Frantic and foolish, I pull my arm free and clutch at the open wound, inadvertently exposing my open veins to my predator. He eyes the garish cut with fascinated, hungered eyes, the edges of his irises burning as crimson as the claret blood dripping from my forearm, pooling in my palm before escaping between my fingers and falling with hiss to the undergrowth. My pallid skin is rusted as if from the rain, and I know to stop moving. Though I know this moment is for prayer and pleading, I have no hope enough for either.

The hunt is at an end; his game is ending and I am losing. In a moment, my veins will sear with a venomous flame. My head will become clouded and startlingly clear all at once as the fire both lulls me to and pulls me from sleep. My lungs will search for breath in vain between my strangled cries and pleas for mercy that will fall on deaf ears. And my heart - God willing - my heart will falter and fail.

Cautiously, I look from the smeared and grotesque gash covering the surface of my arm and into the eyes of my captor to find a matching shade of scarlet.

Taking what I hope to be my last breath, I close my eyes and surrender my blood to him.

It hurts more than I thought it would as I count my last faltering heartbeats.

One.

Two.

Three.