** Here is the next chapter. I hope you guys enjoy and please let me know what you think after you read it!
** This chapter is dedicated to you all!
**Disclaimer: Nothing that has come from SM belongs to me. My own creativity, however, has just taken a run and nothing negative is intended. All rights belong to Stephanie Meyer.
I could only get out one word as fear began engulfing me. "James…"
"I don't know what it means," Peter tries to explain. It wasn't every day that a sadistic ex-step-father-vampire-of-hell is mentioned around here. "Our gift doesn't work that way. We get a feeling, or picture, or word in our head. Sometimes it's clear and sometimes it's not. For example, I saw the asshole on the ground burning with his change. Beside him was another person changing. Is that what you saw too?" Peter asked me.
We were all a bit shaken up and I could feel the tension in the room. I nodded my head and put my head in my hands. I know that I can't get a migraine, but I'm sure this is the vamp equivalent of one. Edward asked me if I was okay and I just nod again. I was afraid to speak because I knew that my voice would crack and then I'd have to spend God knows how long trying to get everyone to calm down and back off. They all love me as I love them, but sometimes the fact that we were all so close, and I'm the baby of the family, they treat me with extra-strength kid gloves when in reality I'm stronger than I should be.
Edward was rubbing my back, trying in a small way to make me feel better. It wasn't helping, but I didn't want to make him feel bad, so I just let him continue.
Since Peter started explaining things, Carlisle had been deep in thought. After a few minutes of silence, he spoke up. "When I was with the Volturi, Aro granted me access to the hall of records because he appreciated my desire in furthering my knowledge. Despite how he has always been, he's always admired thirst for knowledge. It was during my time there that I came across this folder that seemed to be insignificant. That was until I realized that you were the prophesized one. The folder contained records of two vampires."
Carlisle now had everyone's attention including my own. "Aro studied them for years. Through their thoughts, he saw that they had a very special gift. The older vampire, Charleston, had the gift of manipulation. He was able to manipulate the human body to control it. He was like a puppeteer and humans were his puppets. This aided him well not only with feeding but with his own personal amusement as well," Carlisle shuddered at this.
It's not unknown that time means little to most vampires. Sometimes vampires will find amusement with humans to break up their own monotonous lives.
He focused and continued on. "Charleston sired a female named Florence. She was only thirteen when he sired her. Our kind has laws against siring children under the age of 16 because they are immortal children who cannot control themselves. Luckily for Charleston, Florence was far more mature than the average thirteen year old so when she was turned she was an average newborn.
"One day during a hunt, Charleston noticed that Florence had a gift like his. She manipulated her prey into a frozen state so that she could easily feed. He kept his observations to himself, but continued watching Florence. Time proved his theory to be correct. While it's common for a sire bond to form a sense of connection to one's sire, there hadn't been any known cases where the sire passed down his or her gift to the new vampire.
"Word got around and Aro captured both of them. He held the threat of death over Charleston and Florence for there was the issue of creating the immortal child. Aro used this as a reason to hold them in his custody. He experimented with them and came to realize that Charleston was able to pass his gift onto any vampire he created. It was Aro's thorough testing that revealed that Charleston could be very useful so Aro kept Charleston and Florence, but disposed of the rest of the vampires that Charleston sired. He kept Florence because she was the only one to have inherited another gift besides the gift of manipulation."
Carlisle began pacing to keep his mind straight. "A while back, I pulled out my old journals just to double check my observations and my facts. By doing so I remembered one night as I was walking the corridors, I had overheard a whispered conversation between Aro and Caius. They were keeping this from Marcus because out of the three of them Marcus had the most humanity and Aro feared that he could cause an unnecessary issue in his plan.
"Aro was telling Caius of the prophecy of the young Warrior. Aro feared that the prophecy would come to fruition and take away his power as leader of the Volturi. Caius, always the conceited one, argued that nobody could overthrow them. Aro made his plan known though to Caius. He figured that if he couldn't stop the prophecy from happening, he could at least control it. He wanted to use the gift that Charleston had to create an opponent that would take care of the young Warrior before he or she embraced their destiny. He thought that if Charleston could create a vampire with his gift of manipulation and be able to pass it on, but also handpicked which person it was, he could pick which gift this vampire would have. Since everyone has an inherent gift, and the venom just increases it, Aro could use Eleazer's gift to choose which vampire would be the best match for what he needed. After choosing a woman from Ireland, Aro was able to create the perfect opponent for the warrior. He figured that he would train this woman and wait until the young warrior presented themselves."
Everyone was quiet because we were all stunned by this. "Aro knew about me?" I asked and somehow managed to keep my voice from quivering.
"It's a possibility," Carlisle says softly.
"I don't know," he admits. "I do know that he has powerful psychics at his disposal though who don't have the limitation that Alice does. While Alice is extremely talented, she is limited to seeing the path that someone is on based on their decisions. Aro, however, has psychics that can see the ultimate outcome of something. They are able to see past the decisions to the final chapter. He must have used one of these to find out that it was Bella. There has been too much that has happened for it to just be mere coincidence."
So there it was. Everything was part of a larger game. I was a pawn in some sadistic vampire's game for control and I always have been. I asked just to be sure, "so everything that happened when I was human… it was Aro's doing?"
"Yes, I believe so Bella. For that I am truly sorry," Carlisle says and I can feel the sincerity of his words. He truly was sorry.
There were so many thoughts going through my mind at once that it only increased the non-migraine-migraine I was feeling. I wanted to scream out in frustration and I imagined myself doing just that, but I knew that I had to keep it together. I had to hold onto whatever sanity and calm I had left in me. I couldn't let this show how much it got to me.
"The way that he controlled Rene… James had to have been sired by that Irish woman." In that revelation two things happened. First off I forgave Renee for everything that has happened because I finally knew that it really wasn't her fault. She was a pawn just as I am. Secondly, I didn't know what would happen, but I did know that I would take down Aro. I would make him pay for all that he has done to hurt me, my family, and countless others. Aro wouldn't hurt anyone ever again.
After a while I wasn't able to focus at all and my head was pounding. My entire body felt on edge and my throat was beginning to burn. I was thirsty and I knew I needed to hunt before I blew up at someone. Thankful for our connection, Edward sensed my unease and he told everyone that we were done for now.
"Come Love," he said as he grabbed my hand. We ran off into the woods and began searching for prey.
Two mountain lions, mates at that, had the unlucky fate of being our supper. I hunted, but I didn't let my instincts take over fully because I was just feeling too out of it. My head was still pounding.
I sat down on the grass beside where I buried my kill and watched as Edward finished up with his meal. It really was a truly fascinating thing to watch your mate hunt. Even though I was feeling off, the lure that I feel towards Edward hasn't dissipated at all. It's just as strong as it's always been but it grows every day. I doubt I could ever get enough of Edward. He means everything to me.
My eyes follow his predatory movements as he finishes up his meal, licks his lips, and buries his kill. He knew that I was watching him so he took his time and made sure to keep my attention on him.
I could feel my predator responding to him and trying to claw her way to the surface. There were two sides to me now and it disturbed me a bit to be split in half; sharing my body with another thing. Bella, the human that I was and the vampire that I am now shares my body with my vampire instincts. It's like how Jasper is himself but he has another side to him that many fear; known as Major.
I've come to realize that everyone has darkness inside of them. Everyone has another side to themselves, but luckily it isn't often that humans have to struggle in order to balance it out. Ever since I woke up to this life, though, I have had that struggle to deal with. I try my best to be just Bella most of the time, but sometimes my darkness comes out. Trying to hold control over it is what keeps me from embracing it. I am afraid of losing myself.
My eyes, still watching Edward, follow his movements as he stalks toward us. I love how sure of himself he is when he's around me. I know that when I was human he had to hold back quite a bit and it made some things a bit awkward, but now we can both embrace our connection and I think that it has changed both of us in the best of ways.
"I love you Bella," he says as he drops down behind me. He brushes my hair to the side as his lips connect with my throat. My body responds in a moan as I feel his teeth scrape over my skin. Migraine forgotten I move my arm up around his neck pulling him closer to me. "I love you so much," he says as he kisses the skin that is on display for him and him alone.
"I love you too," I say between moans as he bites my neck gently. There is a bit of a sting but not much at all and I know that it isn't enough to leave a scar there. I really don't mind scars from him though. Each is a testament of his love for me. His body holds scars from me so it only bonds us together.
We are both instantly pulled out of our moment by a twig snapping. To a human it wouldn't be heard because it was too light for their ears. Vampire.
We are both on our feet and on the alert before a second passes. We both stand there listening for whoever was out there. I didn't want to be rash just in case it was one of our family members.
As a few moments passed something seemed off. It was someone from our family they would have announced their presence by now. I look over at Edward and see that he's trying to catch the intruder's thoughts. He shakes his head minutely to tell me that he couldn't get anything. This was how I knew that something was really up.
I listen as hard as I can but can't hear anyone out there. This vampire is good at hiding, but not a pro because just then the wind shifted slightly and I caught a faint trace of their scent. I take off without a second passing. I could hear Edward behind me, trying to caution me through our connection, but the further I went the further behind me he became.
To the right, too soft for a human, I hear someone running from me so I leap up into the trees. I could get to them quicker like this and I have a better view. From tree to tree I jump and after a few minutes, thanks to my speed, I see the vampire running. I take a quick jump from the tree I'm in and land on their back. Over and over we tumble before we stop. I am on top of him and I quickly move to hold him down. My legs are wrapped around his, crushing his thighs together, and my arm is over his neck while my hand holds his head to the side. His eyes look at me from the corners since he is facing away from me. I see fear in them mixed with his instinctual need to get out from under me. Sorry, no can do.
A few moments later I hear Edward break into the clearing that we landed in. He took just a second to observe what was happening before he growled at the vampire. He moved to help me, but I just shook my head. I could do this. I was the stronger of us and the newborn. I also didn't want to take a chance that something could happen to him. Edward is my mate and there is no way I could put him at risk.
"Who are you?" I growl out. I could feel his body shake, but he remained silent. I glare at him for a few moments. "Very well then, come along," I say as I pull him up. He tries to break away from me, but he can't move with my arms wrapped around him so tightly. "Don't," I say as menacingly as I can. He instantly stops struggling. Smart boy.
I know that Edward is worried right now, knowing that he has no control over the situation and knowing that I'm so close to someone that could hurt me. He's freaking out inside, his instincts trying to take over and remove the threat from us, but he knows better than to follow those instincts. He knows that I am more than capable.
Silently we made our way back to the house. I whistled loudly and waited for everyone to come down to meet us. Less than a minute later the family was all outside and moved toward us cautiously and looked at the vampire with concern. Seeing so many vampires around him, Intruder Vampire decides to start growling. Instincts and all.
I begin chuckling. "That won't help you," I whisper in his ear. He struggles against me some more and I only tighten my grip. "You'd do best to stop trying to get away," I tell him slowly in his ear. He shudders and tries again to break free.
"Em," I say without taking my eyes off the vampire, "will you please come take my place?" He comes over right away and grabs the vampire from me and holds both of his arms behind his back until we can all see the strain that caused his arms to look like they were about to pop off.
I walk in front of this vampire and look down at him with my arms crossed across my chest. "Who are you?" I ask again.
Just then he spits on the ground in front of me. Still no answer. Well this will never do.
I squat down to look him in the eyes. Dark blood red with a hint of black. Hmm a human feeder; no surprise there.
"Your eyes are a darker shade than a normal vampire who feeds from humans. This means that you are a newborn, but since the color isn't as dark as mine I know that you are very close to your one year mark." Still nothing but silence from him. "I on the other hand am a fresh newborn. This means that I am stronger than you and right now you are seriously outnumbered. So I will ask you again, who are you?"
I watch as a smirk works its way across his face. "Bob"
I laugh at this as if he just told a very funny joke. I could almost feel the smugness from him so I decided to let him feel something else too. I pulled Jasper under my shield and was immediately assaulted with the various emotions around me. There were a lot of different ones to feel and it took a few moments to get used to it. I have used Jasper's gift before so it wasn't totally foreign to me, but it was still unsettling and overwhelming.
After a few moments I open my eyes and look at this vampire. I can feel his emotions. He's feeling scared, angry, worried, and instinctual. It felt like I was caressing each emotion to feel it. His emotions began to feed mine.
I close my eyes again and try to reign it all in. Last time that I used Jasper's gift, I felt a draw to the power of it and I wanted to embrace it. That was the vampire side of me. I felt her rearing her head. It was me who brought Jasper under my shield, but it was my inner-vampire who opened her eyes.
I use Jasper's gift to pull in his fear and bounce it back at his twice as hard. He immediately begins shuddering. I smile widely and keep eye contact with is red eyes as I add just one more dose of fear into him. His shuddering only increased and it made my smile all that much wider.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk," I say in a voice that is lower and colder than normal. It sounds like me, but doesn't sound like me at the same time. It was the voice of my vampire.
"Humor won't help you in this situation," I say as I reach out to tip his bowed head up so he has to look in my eyes. Fear shines brightly in his eyes and it pleases me to see this reaction. I also see my own eyes reflected in his, but the utter blackness that I see in that reflection doesn't scare me; it only serves to please me more. I know that should worry me, but right now I couldn't care less.
I feel worry erupt around me from my family. They aren't sure what's going on, but they obviously caught the change in my voice and posture. Good. Less time explaining to them things that should be obvious.
I lean toward the vampire and I whisper in his ear, "tell me who you really are or you will start losing limbs and some very vital parts that I don't think should be detached. And if you still refuse to tell me after all of that agonizing pain, well then I will force you to watch me slowly burn you piece by piece." My voice held so much threat in it that everyone took a step back even though it wasn't directed at them.
"While you're burning," my eyes never leave his and I steadily push doses of pain and terror into him so he knows how it will feel, "I will keep your head from burning so you still feel every ounce of pain that the fire, as well as my hands, will bring you." I stop for a second to let that sink in.
After a moment I continue, "Did you know that even if your limbs are detached, they still feel everything as if they are still a part of your whole body? This means when something happens to them, like burning, you still feel it. Then when you're howling and screaming for it to end, and trust me you will ask for an end, I will ignore you like you are ignoring my questions and then I will keep your head and torment you with it for as long as I need to. Time means nothing to me; a day, a year, a century. I have nothing else to do so you will keep me occupied for as long as I want you to."
"No-o," he stutters out. "I'll tell you, just don't please."
"Good boy," I say and pat his head. I stand up, cross my arms once again, and glare at him before motioning for him to continue.
He is quiet until I take a step towards him. "My name is Brian."
"Now," I chide him in a seemingly innocent voice, "was that so terribly difficult?"
He shakes his head and just watches me with widened eyes. The fear coming from him was fueling me more than anything. I crave the power he is giving me and I am definitely enjoying this. I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. A grin plasters its way across my face as I revel in the power I'm feeling. There is a part of me that knows I'm going too far, and that this isn't me, but I lock it up in a soundproof room in my head.
My eyes open and I look at him again. I knew they were pitch black and I must look pretty feral right now. Oh well.
"So Brian," I drawl slowly. "What is your reason for being here?" Again he was silent and that was starting to piss me off. I pour some more pain into him, the pain that I remembered from the confrontation with Maria, and he doubles over on the ground; curling into a fetal position and rocking back and forth. I cock my head to the side and watch him. Back and forth… back and forth…
"Bella…" Edward says softly. I turn to look at my mate and smile as I drink him in. He's unbelievably handsome. I stalk over to him, wishing I could be done with all of this and have some alone time with him, but I knew there was a time and place for that and unfortunately this was neither the time nor the place.
When I reach him, I wrap my arms around his waist and kiss his chest before resting my head there. He kisses my head and I feel his concern. I push some reassurance to him and that is when he understands.
"Bella, love, why is Jasper under your shield?" he asks softly as he plays with my hair. He knew me too well to act rashly. My ever-patient mate. God how I love him.
I shrug. "Because Bob," I sneer, "wouldn't tell me his name. I asked politely, but he was rude." I pouted. I heard Jasper, Peter, and Char chuckle at this. They were able to appreciate this if nobody else could.
Edward nods with understanding. "That's true my love, but how about we deal with this without Jasper's gift? Why don't you take him out of your shield?"
I shake my head and take a step back. "No," I say simply and move back towards the vampire.
When Bella's demeanor changed I instantly felt the difference. I felt something pulling at something deep inside of me. When she spoke, it was different and her words caressed something within me. It may have been cold, the way she was acting, but it was sensual nonetheless. Watching her deal with the vampire was like watching something you couldn't pry your eyes off of. The way she moved called to me more than anything else in this life ever has. I was mesmerized by my mate.
The look in her eyes alone made me want to pounce on her, but I couldn't. Not the time.
Bella looked every bit of the vampire that she is and looks every bit as dangerous. I knew something was going on and when she pushed reassurance at me, using Jasper's gift, it all made sense. I knew that I should stop her, but my requests were only halfhearted because I wanted to see this all unfold. This was a whole other side of Bella that has rarely even peeked through. I was intrigued.
Son, what's going on? Should we stop this? This is so unlike Bella. Carlisle's thoughts reached out to me.
I shake my head to let him know that Bella's in control of this. Yes it's unlike Bella, but not at the same time. This was the vampire that Bella is. Our family has become so humanized by our daily interaction with humans and the denial of our natural food source that it makes us more like them.
Seeing Bella like this shows me just how humanized we have become. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing for us, because it's not, but it does concern me because how Bella is right now is how other vampires will act towards us. This could become an issue with our safety. Maybe we needed to embrace our inner-vampire a bit more just in case it's ever needed.
Bella paces in front of the vampire slowly. She's building anticipation in the vampire and it's working wonders. His mind is a scramble of pain, fear, and instincts. His mind is so muddled with everything that he's stuck in it and is less of a threat. My mate is so smart. The smirk that creeps its way onto my face is lost on her, but that only means that I will have to show her it later.
Back and forth; to and fro. "Now, Brian," she starts. "I have a problem with you just showing up here out of the blue. What is your reason for this unexpected visit?"
Bella pulls back whatever she was throwing at him and he calms down enough to talk. "I was sent here to observe." He never takes his eyes off of my mate because he's afraid of her. Smart.
Everyone's minds went in a thousand different directions. I tried to tune them out and Bella, sensing my frustration, blocked them for me. I sent her my appreciation and she sent me her love. This exchange made me smile. This silent and personal communication between us always makes me love her even more.
"Observe what?" Bella asks patiently.
When Brian shakes his head, Bella loses that patience. She walks right up to him and grabs his right arm. Screeching fills the air as she rips three of his fingers off slowly. His cries ring out loudly and we can all smell the venom leaking from his wounds. This only seems to fuel Bella. She chuckles darkly, "See what you made me do?" She tsks him and his mind is now focused on two things. Pain and fear.
Everyone's concern fills my mind as they realize what's going on. The vampire inside took over Bella and that's who was in front of us at the moment.
Jasper goes to take a step towards Bella, but her head snaps around and she looks at him through narrowed eyes. "Jasper, I love you, but it won't be good if you come over here. Stay please." She says forcefully, but I can see in his mind that she sends him reassurance and an emotional apology. Even her vampire knows that Jasper is her best friend and brother and although she never wanted to show him up and respects him very much, she's in battle mode and isn't sure how she'll handle someone so powerful beside her.
He nods and takes a step back to show that he's listening to her. He knows better than any of us what was going through Bella right now. He also knows how to handle it. Normally, though, if anyone else would say that to him, that person would be dismembered before they could blink. This just shows how much he loves Bella.
"Now, Brian," she says cheerfully as if all of this is completely normal. Her manner unsettles the vampire on the ground even more.
"I was having a great time with my mate," she looks at me and her eyes smolder a bit, "and you just had to interrupt us. So I bring you back here to meet the family and you just act all shy. That's no way to behave, Brian. It's very rude and disrespectful." Bella shakes her head at him and that's when I realize that she has his mind blocked from me as well now. I know that she did it so that I won't have to put up with his screaming and horror-filled thoughts. I silently thank her for that.
"Actually you know what Brian?" She says as she sits cross legged in front of him. He just stares at her and he's definitely scared shitless. "I've been having a bad week. Well month really. No it's been a bad lifetime in all actuality. It seems like I never get a break," she sighs. "When something happens, something else starts before I can even blink. Would you like some story time Brian?" She asks innocently as she looks up at him.
I've not found many people, who frighten me, but at this moment, my mate frightens the hell out of me, but at the same time it entrances me even more.
Before he can answer, Bella continues on. "It all started when I was a kid. I watched three people close to me die and I survive. That's when I was introduced to vampires," she says as she smiles and pets his head like he were her pet, but he knew better than to take a snap at her. Good thing he's a quick learner.
"So from there my life changes, my mother marries this grade-A abusive asshole, who not only turns into a vampire but also kidnaps my friend and I and then kills her while leaving me for dead. Then I'm changing into a vampire. Then I'm fighting an evil bitch and being hurt like hell by her. Have you ever felt your stomach being ripped open by a knife Brian?" A moment later he is screaming in agony and we all flinch at the sound but remain where we are. We are all fixated on the scene unfolding in front of us.
"Just like that!" she snaps her fingers. "Then comes the torment of healing from that. It wasn't pretty, trust me. Then a family reunion with my mother! You'd think it would have been a great time, but nope, it was a bitch." Her nonchalant attitude right now really unsettled everyone. She was slipping.
"Don't forget that my mother then leaves and we just know something awful will happen and we don't know what we can do about it. Being a prophesized one does little when you have no idea what to do," she sighs.
"You know what the worst part of it all is?" she asks innocently as she leans in towards Brian. He shakes his head and watches her cautiously.
Bella jumps up and kicks him in the stomach. He flies through the air and lands on the ground a few yards away. Before he can even blink, she's upon him and pins him to the ground. His body beneath her visibly shakes and she just bares her teeth to him.
"The worst part is that I never can catch a fucking break. The moment I try to have some quiet time with my mate you just up and ruin that. Dick move, Brian."
"She's lost it…" Emmett whispers. I look around and see everyone in agreement with him. I look at Jasper, who might be able to help with this but he just shakes his head and mouths 'she needs this'. It's his words that stop me from interfering. We can all see that something was happening inside Bella and if Jasper thought she needed this then I would give it to her.
Ignoring our exchange Bella brings her teeth down on Brian's shoulder and bites hard. His screams only make her laugh as she seals the mark she made. "What were you sent to observe?" she asked silkily as she runs her fingers over his face like a lover might. I growled lowly just out of instinct. Bella sent her love to me and I quieted down.
"You," Brian gasps out through his pain.
"Good boy," she says and pats his head again. "Now let's try answering in full sentences. I'm sure you've had some form of education. Let's use it shall we?" This made everyone chuckle a little.
Bella's smile grew wider as she looked back at me. She motioned me over towards her and I came willingly. I wanted, no needed, to be near my mate.
I knelt beside her and she kissed my cheek. Looking back at Brian, she says, "this is my mate, Edward. Handsome isn't he? He's also very protective of me. Actually, let me introduce you to my family." I hold onto Brian after she pulls him up. "Every one of these vampires is a trained fighter. We are all very protective of one another; especially towards someone trying to do something to one of us." She glances at Brian and he shudders again, but remains silent. Her eyes are beyond terrifying.
"Why were you observing me?" she asks one last time.
He was finally smart enough to learn that silence equaled pain. "I was sent here to watch you and learn you and your family's weaknesses. You first and foremost."
Growls were heard from everyone. All of us wanted to know who sent him, but it was Bella who asked. Brian replied, "he'll kill me if I tell you."
Bella's chuckle sent shivers down my spine but not in fear. This was a vampire at her best. She rivaled Jasper right now. "Do you really think you should worry about that?"
Brian looks at her confusion. Bella made it clear as she snapped off his hand without even batting an eyelash. He howled in pain and she only smiled and did the same to the other hand.
"I warned you Brian of the consequences if you didn't participate equally in our little discussion. I gave you a choice to be forthcoming or not, and you just chose the stupid route. Let's try to get you back on the smart and narrow, shall we?" She went to grab his arm to detach it, but he yelped and nodded his head.
"Good, now who sent you?" When Bella smiled, it was a bit twisted and dark. I shivered as did the others. She'd make a formidable leader if she ever wanted to.
"I don't know his name," he said and he hurried through his explanation as he saw her take a step towards him. "I truly don't know his name. He never told me and nobody mentioned it in my presence. They said that things weren't safe for others to know."
"Edward," Bella called to me as she lifted the block from his mind. His thoughts revealed that what he said was truth and I told Bella so.
Bella closed her eyes and I saw the tremble in her back. The vampire didn't catch it because he was too focused on the fear he was still being fed by Bella albeit in smaller doses than before. She was getting irritated with this vampire and I didn't know how much longer she'd keep up the questioning before she just ended him to be done with it all. Although, she like all of us realized that information was needed.
"What did he look like?" she growled as she bent down to be eye level with him. Her eyes were even blacker than before if that's even possible and he shrunk back a little before she grabbed him around the throat. Vampires didn't need to breathe but the constriction on the throat was still uncomfortable.
"Blonde," he choked out. "Blonde… dirty… red eyes." The picture of this unknown vampire that I grabbed from Brian's mind had me growling immediately. In less than a second I was beside Bella and pinned the vampire down to the ground. The snarl that came from my mouth had the vampire freaking out. He knew he was coming to an end and he was trying to figure out a way to save himself.
"You won't save yourself," I snarled at him, "but if you tell us everything you know we'll make it quicker for you. It's your choice to make."
"I don-don't kn-ow anything else," he gasped as my nails dug into his neck. He screamed out in pain, but nobody was there to help him.
"He's telling the truth," I tell Bella as I glare at him with as much ferocity as I was capable of.
"Ah well that's too bad," Bella sighed. "I was having fun," she said and shrugged.
I felt Bella's lips against my neck and instead of being defensive as I would if it were anyone else, I leaned into her kiss. Leaning my neck to the side, I grant her more access to me. For a moment I forgot about the family and about the vampire still in my grasp. All that exists is Bella, my mate, my eternity. I have never felt this strong of an urge to please my mate as I do right now. Her lips against my neck makes me growl in anticipation and need.
She giggles against my neck and leans up to my ear. "Help me finish him?" she asks seductively as if it were part of a sensual game.
I want to claim her right here and now no matter what's going on or who's around us. I can feel her need and I know this is what she wants as well.
I gather what part of calm I have left in me and lean back to look at her. Her eyes are filled with longing and need. There's also a smaller part in there, a dark part, that taunts me and I'm drawn even more to this darker side of her.
I nod and she takes my hand and lowers it down the vampire's arm as she grabs the other arm. She nods to me and we pull at the same time, effectively beginning to dismember this stranger. We made quick work of his body and when he was finally in pieces in a pile, Bella walks over to Jasper and grabs the lighter out of his pocket before turning back to the stranger and walking back up to him. She flicks open the lighter and drops the flame on him, sending him up in flames.
Everyone stood in their spots without moving an inch. They are all shocked albeit for different reasons. Everyone besides Peter, Jasper, and Charlotte are shocked because they are not used to violence like this and even when they have experienced, they have never experienced it slowly and torturously like they just witnessed. Not to mention this is Bella after all that just did all of this.
Jasper, Peter, and Charlotte, however, are just shocked because they just witnessed such a different side to Bella. I guess nobody really thought Bella capable of this side, but now they have witnessed Bella the Vampire, full force and at her best. These three minds kept comparing Bella to their times in the Southern Vampire Wars and they all agreed that Bella was a force to reckoned with. Their pride in her outshone everything else though and I could see the smile that graced her face when she felt this from them.
Bella clapped her hands together to get the dust off of them before she turned around and looked at everyone. "He was useless to us since he had no further information to offer. He was a threat so I removed him," she explained as easily as if she was discussing the weather.
Everyone nodded as if they understood but in reality only Jasper, Peter, and Charlotte actually did understand. This was their norm. This is what they were used to.
Bella came and curled into my side as she held onto me. "What did you see in his mind?" she asked me softly. I could see Bella coming back to the surface a bit more and the vampire receded some.
I leaned into her body and took a deep breath, pulling in her scent which calmed me, and I closed my eyes to enjoy the feel of my mate beside me safe and sound.
"James," I said as I growled along with everyone else. I could feel Bella stiffen immediately. Her body began to shake as the growls continued from everyone around us, including myself.
I pulled myself together to ask Bella to remove Jasper form her shield. This time she listened to me and released Jasper. She slumped against me and I held onto her tighter. I knew that it must have taken quite a bit out of her to use Jasper's gift and without her being influenced by the emotions anymore, I could see my Bella come back completely. The threatening presence that she held while in front of the strange vampire was now gone. Well it wasn't completely gone, because Bella would always hold an air of power about her, but the excess power was gone now. She was back to herself.
Thoughts from everyone echoed in my mind. They were all the same though.
What is this going to do to Bella? They all meant the fact that James was now a part of the equation once again. The man who tortured her, the vampire who tried to kill her and the one being she is utterly afraid of. He's back.
Looking around at everyone we all agreed on something right then and there.
He would never touch her again.