A/N: As you've gathered this is the sequel to Kiss Me. It picks up from the third chapter, the 'happy' ending, of Kiss Me. I need to warn you though that I am returning to the angsty roots of this story. That means character death. It means violence. It means things in life are never easy and actions always have consequences and I want to show that. I guess my feeling is that with fanfiction we have an opportunity to explore other avenues and since we got happy fluffy bunnies in the books I want to travel down other roads in my fic. I hope you'll take this journey with me and trust me to make things right in the end even if I do put them through hell to get there.
This chapter has not been beta'd. I was really on the fence about having it beta'd for various reasons I won't go into but ultimately impatience won out. I don't mean to imply my beta was sitting on it. Not at all. She hasn't even seen this. I'm the one who's been sitting on it. For months. And I guess I just figured it was high time I post the damn thing instead of hemming and hawing and making excuses. Hopefully she'll give it a look see anyway. I can always come back later to fix any glaring errors. Until then I hope you can forgive me. About half of this was pre-read by moneybeet (thank you!). If you aren't reading her story Lovegame you should be.
To give a quick recap so you don't have to re-read Kiss Me if you don't want to…
Bella asked Edward for a kiss after her birthday party. You know. The party where Jasper felt compelled to snack on her? Unbeknownst to her during the car ride home Edward made the decision to leave Bella but upon kissing her decided he would take what he felt was rightfully his before leaving. Her virginity. He took her to a cabin and they started to have sex but in a fit of guilt he left her there alone, ego wounded and heartbroken, so she tried to kill herself using a kitchen knife. But of course Edward being Edward he came back and found her unconscious from the blood loss. He saved her. And made love to her. And turned her. And now here we are.
As always, all characters property of Stephenie Meyer.
Three days. Three days I sat and watched her writhe and scream in pain. My family came by in shifts to check on me, asking me if I needed a break, telling me that I should hunt, but how could I? How could I leave my love during her most vulnerable moment? What if she woke and I wasn't there? No. That wouldn't do. I needed to be the first thing she saw when she opened her eyes, needed to be the first one to hold her and tell her I loved her in this new world of hers.
Her body shook, tremors coursing through her like tiny little earthquakes, and indeed the map that was Bella Swan was irrevocably shifting to new territory. No more would she be a clumsy human. She would be a hunter. She would be perfection, an equal; skin like diamonds, eyes like blood, and senses beyond imagining. My kitten was about to become feral; wild and hungry and wide awake.
Alice counted down in her head to the precise moment when Bella's eyes snapped open.
My eyes are open but all I can do is hear. I can hear everything. Water, wind, leaves, insects, chirping, branches, tiny claws scratching on the forest floor.
Whoosh… whoosh… whoosh…
I know that sound.
It means something.
I have to find it.
Bella was off. Gone before any of us had a chance to stop her, before any sort of preternatural ability could give us warning of what she was about to do. This was not unexpected. She was young. She was strong. She was hungry. But there was plenty of wildlife to be had. I wasn't concerned.
I should have been.
I need to get home. I should have been home hours ago. He's going to be so worried. Who? Who's going to be so worried? He has a mustache. It tickles my face when he kisses me. My name…he calls me Bells, like a wind chime. He's flannel and aftershave and stubble and I need to get to him and that thought alone is enough to propel me across the landscape. I can't even feel anything under my feet. It's like I'm floating or flying and everything around me is a blur.
Three days. She's been gone three days. They probably ran off to Vegas, Renee tried to convince me.
"It's been three days, Renee. They're not in Vegas."
"Oh Chuck, you never did have a romantic bone in your body. Don't you remember what it was like being a teenager? Right now I'll bet they're cooped up in a hotel room celebrating."
She emphasized that last word as though I wouldn't know what she meant.
"Don't call me Chuck."
I heard Renee's exasperated sigh on the other end of the receiver.
"They're not in Vegas." I insisted. "I KNOW they're not in Vegas. Don't ask me how I know it but I know. Something's wrong Renee. This isn't like Bella. She's not like you."
"Oh, now don't start that Charlie. So, what? Now that she's living with you, you know her so well? You, who could never be bothered with her outside of two weeks a year?"
"Goddamn it Renee that's not fair! I have work to do unlike some people…"
"Don't you dare pull that crap on me." She replied. "You try raising a teenage daughter all on your own. Oh wait. You did and look what happened? You lost her after a mere nine months. Congratulations. You carried her to term and then lost her. You can judge me when you manage to keep one longer than that."
The line went dead.
I stood there cradling the phone to my chest while rubbing my hand over my face. She was right. I wasn't cut out for this. I was never cut out for any of this. Not for Bella, not for Renee, not for anyone.
I stared out the tiny window in the back of the cupboard that looked out into the front yard and wondered where she was. Was my baby girl really okay? Was Renee right and the worst thing I had to worry about was maybe a knocked up Bella?
I imagined her, belly stretched wide with child. She was glowing, cheeks pink with life, her feet bowed out while she tried to carry the extra weight on her sleight frame. I wondered what sort of weird cravings she'd have, if they'd be anything like her mother's. I chuckled thinking about the time Renee asked me for steak only to remember seconds later that she was vegetarian.
The Bella in my mind began to flesh herself out in the glass window before me and I realized that she was no longer a figment of my imagination. There she stood on the front lawn. But she was far from glowing. "Bella," I exhaled and dropped the phone.
When I turned around to head outside she was already there, standing still and statue like in the kitchen with her head cocked to the side.
"Bel-la." She sing-songed in a voice like tinkling glass, a voice that cut me just as surely as real glass would have.
This wasn't my little girl. This wasn't even human.
I was going to die.
"Alice, where is she?"
"H-home…" she stuttered, "With Charlie."
The look on her face was enough to tell me that we were all in big trouble. I ran, not even bothering to wait for the rest of my family. It didn't take long to get there. And even if I hadn't known where she was it still would have been easy to find her. Her scent was as strong as ever, to me at least, the only difference being that now it was tinged with the bitter scent of our venom.
When I got there I wasn't sure whether or not it was a good thing. My timing was neither really good nor really bad. It was the worst. Had I arrived just a little bit sooner I could have prevented what I saw before me. Had I arrived a few minutes later I wouldn't be faced with the decision we'd now have to make.
Bella was bent over the prone body of her father, her teeth at his neck sucking greedily. I could hear his heartbeat, faint but there. Do I let her finish the job? Do I stop her and then have to make the decision of whether or not to end his life? None of those were even remotely pleasant options.
"Dear Lord," I heard from behind me. It was my father, Carlisle.
A momentary guilt flashed through me. Maybe Edward had been right. Was it foolish to turn someone who had a whole life before them? Someone who had family and friends they would pose a threat to in this next life? I had never even considered this possibility. Bella had been so sure that everything would work out that she had us convinced as well, me especially.
I didn't blame her though. She couldn't control what she was doing, how she was behaving. She was running on instinct. Hunger had overtaken her and she'd run to the first place she had memories of.
"Bella," I said softly, trying to get her attention without startling her and scaring her off. We needed to gain control of her before she caused more damage.
She looked up and snarled, baring her blood stained teeth.
"Edward, talk to her. She knows you best out of all of us. Reason with her. Remind her who she holds in her arms."
Nothing. She was still staring at Carlisle. Charlie's chest was barely rising and falling, his heartbeat mere butterfly wings.
"Bella," I said more firmly trying to get her attention. She looked at me and there seemed to be a fleeting moment of recognition in her eyes but it passed all too quickly. She returned to her protective stance over the soon to be corpse.
"Oh no," I heard Alice say from the other room. In my distraction of trying to see what she was seeing I didn't notice Bella flee. She took her father with her.
Mine. Mine. Mine.
The word bounced around in my head like a ricocheting bullet, painful and sharp. Some distant part of me knew that the man in my arms should be dead, that I should have finished him off but then another part of me said that I couldn't do it, that there was a reason to keep him alive.
I was being pursued. That much I knew. I could hear the thunderous footsteps behind me and the snapping of twigs and branches as the others like me followed. I don't know why but I felt I needed to stay away from them. They wanted to take this from me. If I let them catch me I would be held down by them, a prisoner. I wouldn't feel the wind in my hair or the earth beneath my feet, or the glorious taste that coated my tongue.
The boy, he'd looked familiar. His bronze hair and golden eyes…
A kiss. I remembered a kiss. Rough; desperate; it felt like goodbye; but then clothes came off. Cool skin against warm, cold eyes boring into brown ones.
I remembered a bed; soft sheets under my skin. I remembered it dipping under the weight of…who? My lover? Yes. It must have been. I felt my legs spread open, and then full. So very full. And pain.
A sigh from the man in my arms brought me back to the present. I was standing on a cliff edge, the sea salt air spraying my face. My pursuers were gaining on me. If my senses were right there were six of them. Not good odds. I looked down at the water. Something in my gut told me I would be safe so I jumped.
The man in my arms shuddered when we hit the cold water of the bay but he didn't fight. He'd lost consciousness. I dove deep into the black waters to avoid detection. I was on autopilot.
Run. Defend your kill. Fight.
But I didn't want to fight. I wanted peace. A peace I wouldn't be granted.
The man in my arms began thrashing and I realized that unlike me he must need air to breathe so I shot for the surface. When I broke through we were miles and miles from land. It was barely a speck on the horizon.
His name floated back to me. I could taste the memory of him in my mouth. His blood called to mine, familiar, familial.
He screamed. Long lungfuls of air gusting in and out in scream after agony filled scream.
I saw a dark mass ahead. A small island, not big enough to be habitable but enough to climb out of the water and see what was happening to him. The man, Charlie, was twisting and turning and crying out.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it…" I begged, while holding him down. It was too much. It was all too much; the burn in my throat, the hundreds of tiny stone pebbles digging into my knees, the countless drops of water beading my skin. I was bombarded by a thousand things at once. My senses were on overload and this man, this man who just wouldn't stop, was at the epicenter of it all.
I wailed and beat on him, yelled at him, but it made no difference. I bit him; latched my teeth onto his throat and bit hard but I only managed to sever his vocal chords. His body continued thrashing while a ragged wheezing sound passed through his lips.
I stayed bent over him, rocking back and forth, not knowing what else to do while the man who used to be my father lay dying before me.