Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details of this story are mine. No copying or reproduction without my permission.
NOTE: This story is purposely told at times in first person and at times in third person. Sections that are noted as Bella's or Edward's POV are told in first person. Sections without any note of a special POV are told in third person. This strategy will become clear as the story progresses – trust me.
Heaps and masses of thanks go to my amazing betas RPLover and stuff4ang. They are two wonderful, smart ladies I am honored to call my friends. My pre-reader ADM_01 and HOLEE-JESUS-SHE-IS-BACK LeslieHeartsRob (guest pre-reader) - these ladies are too smart for me! Thank you ladies for keeping me from slipping up.
Thank you! Thank you to all the new readers and those returning. I'm glad you're still here.
Chapter 19 – Gloria in te domine. Gloria exultate
I know what you do to yourself,
I breathe deep and cry out,
"Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?"
And if I bleed,
Knowing you don't care.
And if I sleep,
Just to dream of you,
And wake without you there.
Isn't something missing?
Even though I'm the sacrifice,
You won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,
I'm all alone.
Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?
"Can you stop, please?
Can you stop the fire?
You can't stop the fire,
You won't say the words.
Missing ~ Evanescence
**October 17, 2009**
I rolled over and groaned. My muscles were stiff and sore, I was a little nauseated, and my ears were ringing like I was having a migraine hangover. I was on my back now, my arm draped over my eyes as I tried to clear the cobwebs from my head.
"I'm on the floor?" I asked to no one. "Why am I on the floor? I haven't had anything alcoholic to drink in weeks…"
I heard, and actually felt, a soft padding movement, the brush of a soft, furry face, followed by slobbery lick of a doggie tongue.
"Yes, Seth," I mumbled, as he proclaimed his love for me with his earnest licking of my arm. "No, I don't need you to give me a shower; I am fully capable of taking one myself." The wet tongue left and I soon heard the jingle of his doggie bells. I rolled once again and then, eyes still closed, crawled on my hands and knees to the sliding glass door where Seth was anxiously doing his potty dance. Blindly, I unlocked and pushed open the door to let him out. The fresh breeze that greeted me was actually quite soothing. I took slow deep breaths and savored the cool feeling of the air rushing in and out of my lungs.
Pulling myself up a bit, I looked with squinting eyes at the clock on my end table. "Hmm, 4 o'clock," I said weakly and then moved so my back was resting against the wall. I smiled a little. "A nice and normal autumn afternoon," I sighed, and then paused.
My eyes grew wider as I took in the room around me. I saw the opened package on the coffee table; I saw the old pamphlet on the floor along with a velvet bag. I sighed in deep resignation.
"No. Not normal, not normal at all – at least not anymore."
Seth's head bumped my hand and I moved out of his way so he could enter. After I closed the sliding glass door and locked it, I pulled myself up and kept my hand on the wall to make sure I could stand without feeling dizzy or ill.
"This is all just incredibly unreal, Seth," I said as he followed me for his potty treat. I returned to my couch, still walking in a haze, almost as if sleepwalking. I deposited myself and Seth jumped up next to me setting his head in my lap.
I ran my hand slowly over Seth's fur, focusing on the softness of his double coat in an effort to calm myself. I talked out loud whenever I had to bring some kind of semblance of order to my thoughts. There had to be some way for me to try to comprehend all that had transpired in the past couple of hours.
Or was it just a couple of hours?
I reached for my phone that was sitting on the coffee table and pressed the button that lit up the screen. My eyes flew wide open.
"It's tomorrow! Oh my god, it's tomorrow!" I sat back against the couch in astonishment. "Seth, I had to have been out for over 12 hours. That was some scary ass kind of mind fuck."
I took a deep breath and rubbed my hands over my face.
This was seriously bordering on the unreal. I had lived hundreds of years ago and was cursed? This was like something out of a novel or movie.
I wondered aloud if I was dreaming all this and pinched my arm hard to test my theory. "Ow!" I yelped. "Nope, I am most definitely awake." I sighed solemnly. "I am not the person I thought I was. I have lived so many lives…"
The Admonishment called to me from the floor like it actually had a voice. I staunchly stood, walked over to it and picked it up, not even bothering to put on the protective gloves. I steeled myself and read it a second time, and it completely confirmed my realization that this story was indeed about Edward and me. I knew that because I now remembered that time in Volterra as clearly as if it was yesterday. My hands absently moved to touch the necklace gracing my throat.
I clearly remembered that night when Edward opened the door to Aro's chamber and caught me reading. Aro had left me Homer's Odyssey, andI was absorbed in reading when he entered the room. When I beheld the vision of his face and his golden eyes, I immediately knew that he was what I had waited for all my life. He pulled my heart and soul to him like a magnet. Something deep within me made me keenly aware that only this man would make me whole and that I no longer needed to cry myself to sleep each night.
I recalled every loving look, each tender caress and passionate kiss that Edward ever gave me, in all my lifetimes. He was always so careful when I was in his arms. I remembered that precious night in Volterra when he came to my room and we made love. Even now the thought evoked such a stirring in my body as I remembered his love course through me. I felt warm and safe enveloped in his icy embrace. His velvet voice breathing quietly in my ear and the feeling of his lips skimming over my skin made me shiver in delight.
I knew he was a vampire and I didn't care. He was my life. Together, we moved and glided as though we had performed this erotic dance before. Hands caressing softly, kisses feathering whispered delight, the soft moans and cries from both of us as we moved in synchronicity. Edward was afraid to be so intimate; he was terrified that he would hurt me in the process, but I pushed him. I told him "Do try," I practically begged him. I loved him so deeply and completely that I needed our bodies to be as one like our souls.
"Oh god, this is my fault," I whispered in agony. The realization of it all struck me like a blow to my chest. "It was all my fault."
I didn't remember my death that night. I only remembered feeling Edward fill me again and again as he filled my soul to overflowing, a kiss to my neck and then nothing more.
"Oh Edward, how you must have felt. The guilt and remorse, the overwhelming sorrow you've felt at something that was never your fault." I felt my eyes filling with tears.
We were forced to live that same scene again and again, over hundreds of years. Each time I lived he found me, because throughout time it's him, it's always been him.
"My poor, sweet Edward," I sobbed, putting my hand over my mouth. My heart felt ripped apart when I tried to comprehend what he had endured. I know he would have tried to fix it, to make it right, and then everything fell apart again and again.
I had to find him. I had to make him understand that he was never to bear the burden of this alone.
"Oh!" I exclaimed as a thought came to me. "He can hear my thoughts!" I scrambled to my feet and squeezed my eyes closed as if this action would amplify my thoughts.
Edward! I'm here! Please come find me! I know who I am now! I remember you, my love. It's different this time, I can feel it. We can work together. There has to be a way to break this curse.
"Okay, now I feel really ridiculous. I have no idea where he is and I don't know how far away he can hear me." I growled in exasperated frustration.
"Seth!" He sat up and cocked his head at me. "Come on, we're going to the park. I need to go somewhere to calm myself and sort some of this out." And with the word "park," Seth trotted over to where I kept his leash and returned with it in his mouth. I grabbed my jacket, keys and phone, and then attached Seth's leash to his collar and we headed out. "Come on boy. Help me figure this out."
xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx
James stood at his window with his binoculars and watched Isabella Swan walk out the door with her abominable mutt. He sighed slightly with some reservation. Tonight was the night he was going to hunt Isabella, but she was going out with that damned dog.
He packed his bag with the few tools he needed for the first phase of his hunt – chloroform, a rag and duct tape. He placed his bag on his bed and then returned to his closet. He unlocked his safe and removed the tools he didn't like to use because they were so crude and unsophisticated, but he felt with the dog, he may need at least one of them. He removed his tranquilizer gun and two darts from the bottom shelf of the safe and placed them in his bag. He'd use the tranq on the dog and get it out of the way. He'd bring the second dart in the highly unlikely situation that he needed to knock out the girl.
Closer to the back of the safe and on the second shelf, he removed his Glock 17 and the suppressor. He attached the suppressor to the Glock and then unloaded the clip, checked to make sure it was full, and then loaded it again. The check was an unnecessary step really because James always ensured that the clip was fully loaded. The gun was just a fail-safe; he'd never used it before and would never need to use it. But in all honesty, James always brought it with him on his hunts as a type of talisman. It was always a last resort; he would hate to have to work around such a messy wound, but with it he was assured there would be no chance for her escape.
With all in readiness, James slung his bag over his shoulder and made his way out of his apartment to begin tracking his doe.
xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx xx&xx
Bella began her trek to the park with Seth lumbering along beside her. She was focused in thought while her sandy colored companion took time to sniff, inspect and observe every molecule that could prove potentially interesting. Luckily for Bella he was able to perform his inspections and observations within her pace so he didn't give her a reason to break stride. He even had the chance to pounce upon the crickets that were beginning to chirp during this twilight hour. With the day being exceptionally grey and overcast, and the light beginning to fade, the odd street lamp would switch on with a tiny, static pop.
The fur covered walker and his jacketed companion walked into the park. The gloominess of the day had kept the visitors to a minimum today, and now with the scarce light fading away, the park was virtually empty. Bella let Seth off his leash as soon as they walked through the entrance to let him run to her favorite spot. Though it was cool and overcast that day, the ground was still dry. Bella sat by her tree and put her head in her hands. Seth continued with his inspection and observation mission.
Bella situated herself and tried to sort out her muddled and overwhelming thoughts. Slowly, but surely, with the other distractions eliminated, she felt the thoughts and memories coalesce into their proper places. She saw all her childhoods settle out before her – different times and different locations in the world. In some lives she had both parents, in some, just her mother or father.
"Huh," she muttered. "A lot of my dads really seem to bear a resemblance to Charlie." Bella smiled and laughed lightly.
Bella had lived very richly and very poorly, but she remembered never feeling underprivileged. She felt varying degrees of love from her family, but never did she feel that love was either lacking or disingenuous.
The most powerful and clearest memories were those that included Edward. Shuffling through these memories made her heart smile and warmed her soul. Every time Edward found her he seemed to wake her and lift the veil from her eyes saving her from the encroaching darkness. These memories were crystal clear, bright and vivid in sight, sound and touch. As she recalled memories of Edward and herself, she felt giddily happy, safe and warm regardless of the fact that his skin was like icy marble.
"Okay, I have to figure out how to find him. The Admonishment said that Edward killed me and because of that we were cursed; he was destined to kill me as we loved. But how did we find each other?"
She flipped through her memories and saw that it appeared to be Edward that came to her and that each time he did find her, she didn't know him. In every lifetime, he would woo her, but he didn't need to do much, because she pretty much fell in love with him immediately. Something within her always recognized Edward as her soul mate. There was simply no way for her to deny what her soul accepted and desired.
Their time together varied from a few days to a few weeks. In each lifetime when she encountered Edward, she knew there was something otherworldly about him. He would eventually reveal to her what he was and would always fear she would run away screaming. But she remembered that each time she accepted his vampiric nature as though he had told her something as factual as 'the sky is blue.' 'Edward is a vampire.' Such statements were accepted as gospel. It never entered her mind to think of him as a dangerous monster or something to be feared or loathed. He was forever and always, simply Edward, the man that made her feel loved, cherished and safe.
Their time together always ended with them attempting to consummate their love and devotion to each other. Bella leaned back against the tree and hugged herself as she let the intense erotic memories wash over her. They always ended in blackness. There was a handful of occasions where the remembered uttering her love and forgiveness to Edward, but then always blackness; she never felt any pain in these deaths. No, she never felt the pain - that torture seemed to be reserved for Edward she guessed.
"Oh, sweetheart," she sighed. "And I'm no closer to figuring out how to find you, Edward."
At that moment, Bella noticed that there was an eerie stillness surrounding her. The hair on the back of her neck tingled as she looked around.
"Seth?" Bella called, but she didn't see her dog anywhere. She heard a crack and she froze, until she saw the squirrel scamper out from underneath a nearby bush.
"Oh man," she chuckled in trembling relief, her hand resting on her pounding chest. "Stupid squirrel, you nearly scared me to death!"
Bella screamed in shock and surprise as she turned to see the creepy man she saw in the part a week or so ago. "You scared me! Don't sneak up on people!" she chided him.
"I'm sorry," he said softly. "I was just walking by; I didn't mean to startle you. I thought you saw me," he continued.
"No, I didn't," Bella said strongly. "I was lost in thought." Where is Seth? she thought, her eyes scanning the park for him.
"Why, yes, I did notice that you seemed consumed with something, but I still thought you acknowledged me with your eyes."
"Uhhh…" Bella stood awkwardly and cautiously. The creep factor coming off this guy shot through the roof. "Well, uh," Bella said as she brushed off her pants. "I should be getting back, there's someone at home expecting me." WHERE IS SETH?
He moved to stand in front of Bella. "Isabella, there is no one waiting for you at home," James said quietly.
"Wh-what?" Bella stammered. Her heart began beating furiously and every instinct within her told her to flee.
"I watched you leave your apartment Isabella, there is no one waiting for you," James said and took a step closer to her.
"Seth!" Bella shouted and took a step backwards.
"Isabella, you will be my perfection," James whispered.
Bella turned to run as James pounced on her. She shrieked and narrowly eluded his grasp. James had grabbed a handful of her coat, but she had adrenaline-fused speed on her side.
"SETH! HELP!" Bella screamed and then tripped on a gnarled tree root, sending her toppling to the ground. James grabbed her ankle and Bella shrieked again and kicked at him furiously.
"Don't make me hurt you now!" he growled.
Bella heard the whoosh as the air was expelled from James by the weight of Seth jumping on his back. Bella flailed and her foot came free of her captured shoe. She quickly struggled to her feet and ran to the bushes at the entrance of the walking trail. She heard snarling, growling and cursing as she presumed Seth was fighting with the crazy man.
Bella pulled her cell phone from her pocket and tried to dial 911 with her violently trembling fingers.
"911 Operator, what is your emergency?"
"There'samanchasingmeandhe'sfightingwithmydog!" Her words came out like a fast garbled whisper.
"I'm sorry ma'am; I need you to slow down. Are you at your residence?"
"No! I'm in a park…" Bella stammered a little slower.
"Where is the park? I'll send a car."
"I think he wants to hurt me," she cried, hysteria starting to tinge her voice.
"What's your name?"
"Bella Swan," she whispered. "PLEASE! Please send someone, I'm scared."
"Bella, I need you to tell me where you are."
As Bella opened her mouth to tell the operator in which park she was hiding, a hand thrust through the brush and grabbed at her. Bella screamed, dropped the phone and crab-walked backwards until she could flip and run into the woods to the left of the walking trail.
She wanted to cry out for Seth, but she didn't want to alert the man to her whereabouts. She paused and pressed her back up against a tree and turned to see if she could catch a glimpse of Seth.
Where is Seth? Oh god, I hope he's okay.
Bella began to run deeper along the walking trail, batting away branches.
"Where are you, little doe? You belong to me… You're mine." James called in a sing-song, creepy voice that floated through the air. "I will find you."
The voice seemed to come from all around her, but Bella kept running until she came to a wide clearing on the path that held benches, picnic tables and a gazebo. She stopped and panted in sheer terror and panic.
Oh please, don't let me die here without finding Edward.
A noise behind her made her turn to see Seth burst through the dark brush.
"Oh, Seth!" Bella cried in relief.
He ran to her and she dropped to wrap her arms around him. Bella looked up from her hug to see James burst through the trees on the other side of the small clearing.
"There you are! You are indeed making this my best hunt yet. You challenge me like no other and I find that I like that." James crooned.
"What do you want from me?" Bella said shakily.
"Why you, of course."
Seth growled and launched himself towards Bella's hunter. In one swift movement, James removed something from his coat and fired at the charging dog while Bella screamed at him not to hurt her dog. Seth yelped in pain and collapsed to the ground.
Then James turned slowly, almost casually, and with an evil smile on his face took a step towards Bella.
As always, thank you for reading. Your comments/reviews are welcome. If you like this fic, perhaps share it with a friend?
A most sincere thank you to those of you that voted forThe Singer and The Sorrow at the Immortal Sin Awards. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to read and then to vote.
There is now a thread for TS&TS at Twilighted. Find it here:
http: (slash slash) www (dot) twilighted (dot) net (slash) forum (slash) viewtopic (dot) php?f=33&t=12468
This chapter's new additions to the TS&TS playlist are:
Gloria ~ U2 http: (slash slash) www (dot) youtube (dot) com (slash) watch?v=2GyTdo1nGO0
Missing ~ Evanescence http: (slash slash) www (dot) youtube (dot) com (slash) watch?v=qpxHzZ11qLo
If you are interested, the entire playlist is posted on my profile, including direct links.