Chapter 59 - She's Mine
Seth screamed as Jacob came in the door. Esme growled and stood in front of both Seth and I. She crouched low and bared her teeth, snarling and hissing.
For a few moments I forgot Esme was a vampire and I let my panic take me over.
"Leave now mongrel." Esme hissed over her teeth. I pushed Seth behind me further as Jacob advanced into the room further.
"No can do little lady. I have no beef with you, Bella can leave with me and nobody else needs to get hurt. Hey Seth-y-boy. You did good today. Lead me right here." He grinned and Seth cringed.
"I didn't, I swear Bella, I didn't lead him here on purpose." Seth was trying to be brave and he tried to push me behind him, I was having none of it.
"Jesus Seth, stand fucking still will you?" I snarled at him. "I know you didn't lead him here."
"Bella, take Seth upstairs, get the box and go." Esme snarled at Jacob again and for the first time since he'd arrived he seemed agitated.
"That's not actually going to happen. The only way she's leaving is with me you fucking parasite." He spat at Esme.
"Go!" She yelled and I yanked Seth's hand. We got to the bottom step and heard a god almighty howl. It shook the windows and the glass steps shuddered as I tugged Seth's hand again.
When we got to the top landing I took a quick look over the railing and my heart stopped. Esme was crouched, arms outstretched, teeth bared with venom flying in every direction as she paced in front of a gigantic russet colored wolf. It towered over her and despite how scary she looked in full vampire mode I was scared for her.
I was jolted out of my shock by Seth. "Come on, if we don't leave now it won't matter who wins that." He nodded to the kitchen.
I led him to Edward's bedroom and I flung the doors open and pounced on the little metal box with its key lock on top. I had no idea what to do with it so I just grabbed it and Seth's hand and took him back down the stairs and out into the driveway. The snapping and snarling continued in the kitchen but I tried not to look. If I saw anything happen to Esme I wouldn't be able to leave and Seth and I would both perish today.
I ran to the garage and threw open the huge door. My hand ached and I felt the bone in the top of my hand register its protest. I think I broke it again when the door slammed up against the edge of the brackets and I'd forgotten to let it go. I cradled my hand to my chest. I opened the lock box and told Seth to take out a set of keys. He held them up for me to see and I nodded towards the Volvo. I backed it out of the garage and was waiting for Seth to get in the passenger seat when a huge, dark brown hand reached into the drivers side window and closed around my throat.
"Not so fast brown eyes." Jacob Black was human again and very, very angry.
Charlie Swan's POV
Why the fuck was Edward Cullen running faster than my cruiser?
How was that humanly possible? His sister had looked spooked to buggery just now as she ran towards him. She didn't even open her mouth and he was off.
I watched as the blur that was this kid took off through the trees like Superman or some shit. His sister was just as fast as she took off in the opposite direction.
I knew I should've stayed to find out what was going on in the clearing but if Edward was off and running you could bet your balls it had something to do with my Bella.
I flicked the sirens and lights on and floored it out to the Cullen place.
The gravel flicked up out of my tires as I hit the driveway too fast. It swept around a ways and it was all I could do to keep the bloody car pointing forwards. For some reason my heart was pounding away in my chest, I didn't know what the problem was yet but I knew, just knew, something was terribly wrong.
As the house came into view so did Seth Clearwater. He was standing beside Edward's silver Volvo. He was shaking his head and screaming into the window.
On the other side of the car stood Jacob Black. He was leaning into the window and had his hand in the car.
Edward stood about three feet away from him and he was leaning down, sort of bent over double and his face was wild. I saw his mother standing in a similar way on the front porch.
I turned the cruiser off but left the lights flashing, hoping Jacob would see the lights and step aside, let things calm down. I got out and adjusted my gun belt. A small show of force might help. I closed the door quietly and moved to stand between the cruiser and Seth. I still didn't know what the problem was, but it was obvious that Bella was at the heart of it. Instinctively I knew she was sat in the drivers' seat of the Volvo.
"Let her go you bastard." I snapped my head around to see who had snarled it. It sounded like the growl from a wild animal. I held my breath when I realized it had come from Edward.
Now that I was closer I could see the anger radiating off him. His eyes were pitch black and he kept licking at his lips as spit flew out the corners of his mouth.
A strange hissing sound was coming from Esme Cullen as she sunk lower at her waist. They looked strange like that, bent over, it looked like they were ready to spring forward at any second.
I sucked in a breath when I realized that's exactly what they were prepared to do. If this escalated any further they would both spring forward. Like animals did. What the fuck was going on here?
"Seth. Get away from the car. Go son." Edward called through his clenched teeth and I saw Seth look up and nod at him. Why was Edward calling Seth son?
Seth backed up a few paces and that left me with a clear view into the front of the Volvo. Jacob had his hands around Bella's throat!
I reached for my gun as Edward roared at me to stop. I blinked wildly and looked to where he stood panting. He'd started telling me not to before I'd even started reaching for it. He knew? "Don't Charlie. You can't protect her that way, not this time. Don't. Please." He said more calmly. I was still shaking from the force with which he'd just roared so I didn't really see too much going on around me as I stood there shaking in my boots. I saw Edward's brothers and sisters form a sort of circle around where the three of them were, Edward Jacob and my Bella, still in the car.
"Get out Bella. Nice and slow like. I won't hurt you if you choose me. Get out." Jacob said to Bella.
He tugged her out of the car and I could tell she didn't want to be anywhere near him. She held her braced hand against her chest at a funny angle and I knew she was hurt, again. I felt my anger boil in my veins at the thought of Jacob having hurt her. "Edward, she's hurt." I called to him and he nodded, never taking his eyes off the pair of them as Jacob pulled Bella so she stood between him and Edward. He held her by the shoulder of her shirt and he pushed her forward for Edward to see.
"Is that really what you want Bella? You want that, that thing?" He pointed to Edward with his other hand and I was confused. Was Edward a thing? I looked him over and a hunch told me he was right. Edward was a thing. Not human. None of them were. I looked around me now, letting my eyes fall on each Cullen in turn. They were all crouched over, yeah that's what I'd call it, and they were crouched ready to fight. They all held their hands by their sides in clenched fists. Their eyes were wild, they didn't seem to be breathing. How could that be? What sort of thing didn't breath? They had completely surrounded the scene, they all stood almost exactly in a circle and I got the impression they were all prepared to fight for my Bella.
Now I noticed other things that I'd not seen up till now. Between each Cullen, around the circle, was a wolf. Not a Washington Gray Wolf, not the little ones that hung out in the woods, these fucking things were mutants. Huge things, with feet the size of truck tyres. They were tall like bears. But they didn't look dangerous, they behaved like domestic dogs, they sat on their tails and watched the centre of the circle where my beautiful daughter was dangling from Jacob Black's arm.
She sort of swayed even though her feet were on the ground. Jacob was strong, real strong, I could see that now. He held her shirt in his hand and he was holding her almost off the ground, presenting her to Edward. "He's filthy Bella. Is that what you want? Do you want to be a filthy bloodsucker like he is? Is that what you want? Because I'll never let that happen to you. I love you. If you choose me I'll spare you." Jacob spat on the ground at Edward's feet and Edward snarled at him.
"Let her go dog and I'll make your end brief. You harm one hair on her head and I'll tear you limb from limb right here." Edward growled and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I came to understand that he meant every word. I no longer doubted his ability to do it either. I looked from Jacob to Edward and picked a side instantly. Edward loved her, Jacob coveted her. She was a prize to him, Edward loved her, truly loved her. He was agonized by what Jacob was doing, Jacob saw it as a game to be won.
"Edward" Bella whimpered. "I love you."
"I know, I love you too baby, I'm sorry." Edward whispered. I could feel his pain coming off him across the drive.
"I did what you said, I got the box. I tried." Bella was crying now, great hacking sobs coming from her throat as she twisted under Jacob's hand.
"You're so brave my beautiful girl. You did so well. I'm sorry I wasn't here. So sorry. I didn't see, I couldn't hear him, I was too far. Don't cry baby. It's ok. I know baby." Edward softened his voice and held out a hand towards her, but Jacob yanked her backwards. I saw Bella close her eyes as Edward spoke. He was calming her with his words and I saw the love crackle between them.
"Please Edward." I felt myself say before I knew the words had formed in my brain.
Edward shifted his eyes to mine and nodded.
What happened next will haunt me for all my days. I watched in horror as Jacob snapped my only daughters neck and let her body flop to the ground.
Jasper Cullen's POV
Edward's fury burst into my psyche as a primal roar. I watched as Bella slumped to the ground and knew that my job was to protect her father. The others were already moving to their positions, we had been preparing for this since Bella had been five years old, or so it seemed. The circumstances were always different but we were well drilled.
I tried to ignore the feeling of pain all around me and I lunged at Charlie Swan.
I dragged him to the ground to prevent him coming between Edward as he lunged and Jacob as he phased.
Charlie hit the ground on his back underneath me hard.
"Charlie, we need to get inside. NOW. " I roared into his face. I needed him to understand the need to be away from here at this point. He was in real danger, not only because he was surrounded by seven frenzied vampires but also because there were now six wolves in the driveway, all of which were hell bent on destroying one of their own. He didn't need to see that. He needed to be with the family, inside, while Carlisle worked on his Bella.
He blinked rapidly and I did my best to soak up his confusion and his suffering and calm him as best I could.
"Charlie, trust me, please. We need to go inside, come on, Bella needs us."
He nodded blankly and let me pull him to his feet.
Esme met us at the door and she threw me a slight nod so that I'd know Carlisle was in the dining room and needed my services. I passed Charlie into her arms and patted him on the back. Never seen a braver human, besides Bella herself, than Charlie Swan.
The scent of his coursing blood did nothing for me and for the first time in my existence I felt like I deserved my place as a Cullen.
Emmett Cullen's POV
Edward lunged at the mongrel the same time as my new baby sister's head hit the driveway. It was like it was slow motion, which is fucking weird for a vampire who can run and move like the wind. I heard Rose scream behind me and then Carlisle roar. "Emmett, take the others away."
I scoped the situation briefly and saw that Seth was standing by Charlie's cruiser swaying. Jasper had Charlie in hand, literally, so it was up to me to get Seth.
I didn't want to spook him so I walked, still fast but not top speed, to where he stood. I put a hand on his shoulder and looked at the wolves that lined the circle. I found the silver one, the big one, and waited for it to nod.
"Come on. Come away." I said it real quiet. Poor kid was shitting himself. He was probably torn between the two groups, he was part of the tribe and that made him part of the pack but he probably felt sorry for Edward too. He didn't move, so I tried again. "Seth, mate. Come away. What will be will be. Come inside."
He gave a look to the silver wolf and nodded at me and let me lead him back to the house.
The whole conversation took no more than two seconds but it felt like a lifetime before I put him on his butt in the kitchen in front of Esme and Charlie Swan.
I went back outside and found Alice trying to convince Rosie to come away. Rose was fighting her and Alice was trying real hard to keep her temper.
I looked to where Edward and Jacob were circling each other. The pack kept their distance but didn't take their eyes off them.
"It's okay Alice, I'll take her. Go on in." I said quietly. Alice dropped her hands to her side and nodded sadly. She went straight into the house without looking back.
"Rosie, baby, come on. Come away." I put my hand in hers and felt her tremble. Rose didn't tremble, Rose made others tremble. "Rosie, come on." I put my arm around her shoulders and we walked to the front door. Unlike Alice Rose never took her eyes off the circling.
Rosalie Cullen's POV
"Let me go Alice, I want to kill the fucker myself." If she didn't take her hand off my shoulder in the next half a second I'd remove her hand from her arm.
"Let Edward do this Rose, this needs to be Edward. Come on, Bella needs us now."
I knew she was right but I couldn't, wouldn't, take my eyes off what was happening not five feet away. My brother, my Edward was crouched low and circling around a huge red wolf.
"I'm staying. You go." I sneered at her.
"Rose, please." Alice pleaded. I was about to give in when Emmett came back out and took my hand.
As he led me into the house he crumpled against me and I had to hold him up as his sobs rent the air. "Oh baby, I know, I know." I crooned into his hair as we cried for Bella's lost humanity.
Alice Cullen's POV
I had the unfortunate horror to see it happen twice. Once half a second before, in my mind, then half a second later in front of my eyes.
I never for one minute thought he'd go through with it. Not surrounded by his own pack and us all. But he did. He casually slipped his arm around her, grabbed her chin and yanked it aside. The way he let her body fall offended me more than the actual act of breaking her neck. It was like he just didn't care about her any longer and she slumped to the ground with blank eyes.
It was her eyes that will haunt me forever. All the sparkle gone. All her happiness gone. I knew she wasn't dead but her eyes looked dead as she hit the ground hard with her head.
I couldn't bear to see the pain in Edward's face so I quickly looked aside as he lunged at Jacob.
Carlisle had her in his arms in a second, running with her to the house, shouting orders at us all as we'd practiced over and over.
The only one of us who hadn't ever done this drill was Edward. I'd seen her as a vampire hundreds of times in my mind but I'd never allowed myself to wonder about how it was going to come about. I never wanted to know, knowing how painful it would be to live it in the flesh, a vision would taunt me forever. I was thankful it was a wolf who did this to her as I had been spared the vision of it happening at all.
I watched my beautiful Jasper take care of Charlie Swan, Emmett take care of Seth Clearwater, Carlisle take care of Bella and I wondered who would take care of Rose. I looked to her and saw the pain on her face. She was in shock and not moving. I knew she wouldn't forget her part in the drill but she was stuck watching Edward and Jacob.
I went to her and tried to get her to come away. I knew she wanted a crack at Jacob herself, as much for Edward as on Bella's behalf. Rose loved Bella despite her offensive front. I knew it and Rose knew I knew it.
When Emmett told me to leave her with him I went gladly, not wanting to suffer Rose's pain and my own. I kept my eyes on the house as I went in, not able to watch the fight that was about to unfold in the drive.
Charlie had his head on his hands at the kitchen counter with a cup of tea in front of him. Esme stood with her hand on his shoulder and she was whispering that everything would be alright over and over. He just kept shaking his head no…Charlie's whole world had just shattered along with my own.
Esme Cullen's POV
Before Bella's head hit the driveway I was at the foot of the stairs.
Get Carlisle's bag.
Take it to the dining room.
Take Charlie Swan from Jasper. Make tea.
Take Seth Clearwater from Emmett. Make tea.
Done, done, done, done and done. Now what? Think Esme, think. What comes next?
Charlie is crying, right, Charlie is crying. I can do this. Don't lose it now. I can do this. They need me.
"It's ok Charlie, Carlisle will help her." I told him as I patted his shoulder. I felt so bad for him, he thought he was losing her and I couldn't tell him any different yet. I didn't want to promise anything, Carlisle might not be able to… I couldn't think that way. Bella was destined for my Edward. My Bella was destined for us.
Sam Uley's POV
These were good 'people'. They weren't so different from us at all. Jacob Black is a liar and a coward. These people loved her, they'd die to protect her.
The one called Carlisle, their Alpha, had taken her into the house and away from us, I knew he was going to try to change her, to save her life.
His wife, the caramel haired woman was taking care of Seth inside the house. He was lucky to be alive, Jacob would have killed him had Edward not arrived when he did. I am certain he would've killed Bella then Seth. I owe Edward for that. The pack owes Edward for that. It would not go unnoticed at the tribunal.
She belonged to the one called Edward and he wanted her no matter if she was human or not. I understood that. My Emily wanted me despite my being a wolf. I understood love.
"Stand your ground. This is Edward's kill, let him have it." I told the pack.
Not a single one of them argued with me to save our Alpha's life. Jacob, however, swung his head towards me and snarled between his teeth.
Carlisle Cullen's POV
"Go Esme." I screamed to her. She knew what she had to do. "Emmett, take the others away."
I scooped Bella up into my arms and felt her lifeless body flop over my arm. I could hear her heart beating so I knew I had a chance.
I ran with her to the dining room and laid her out on the table. I tore her shirt from her body and ripped her jeans off her legs. Esme flew into the room and threw my bag onto the table.
"Go. You don't need to see this love." I was already undoing my bag by the time I spoke.
"Please. Please." Esme was whimpering.
"Go. Get out of here, I promise I'll do my best." I screamed hoping she'd just leave.
I took the syringe out of its protective plastic sheath and drew the morphine into it until it was full. I'd never tried it this way before and I said a silent prayer as I plunged it all into the vein at her elbow. I knew she felt no pain now, her neck had been broken cleanly. She was paralyzed at least from the pain. I knew her mind was alive but didn't know if she could comprehend what I was about to do to her. The morphine was for after, as her nerve endings healed, her pain would come.
I gave her a few seconds to allow the morphine to find its way into her system as best it could and then I took out the next syringe. This one had no protective covering, this one shone silver in the overhead light. This one was filled with Edward's venom.
"Forgive me father for what I am about to do. Bella, sweetheart. I am a man of honor, forgive me for keeping my word."
Edward Cullen's POV
I waited until I heard Carlisle begin his ritualistic prayer and knew that she was to be changed, today, now, here, because of Jacob Black.
He had phased the second she was indoors. He was huge, gigantic. Bigger even than Sam and much, much bigger than his great grandfather had been. No matter, I'd kill him anyway. I had no pity for this boy, he'd taken Bella's humanity and the only payment he had worth offering was his own.
He was circling me warily, throwing his head around, thinking the pack wanted me finished as much as he did.
"Your pack has forsaken you Jacob Black." I tested.
"They do as I say, not Sam." Jacob confirmed that he'd heard Sam's comment that this was my kill. I laughed loudly, still circling him.
"Do you really believe that, son?" I deliberately used the name I knew he hated most.
A mighty howl rent the air as he thrashed his head from side to side. The fur at his neck stood straight up now. I watched as his huge paws clawed at the ground in frustration.
"When I give the order they will destroy you bloodsucker."
He truly believed that to be the truth.
"If that is the case lets have a little test, shall we, son? Call your pack Jacob Black. Call your men to arms. You've taken from me all that I hold dear, I have nothing left to lose. So call them, I'm willing to die for her. Are they willing to die for you, son?" I chanted.
"You heard him, close the circle in. Jared and Paul, you watch the other bloodsuckers don't come to this bastards rescue. Embry and Quill you take the nearside flank, Sam and Leah you come round and head him off if he runs. Ok bloodsucker lets see if you really are willing to die for that slut."
As the word slut left his head I cringed. Hold it together a little longer, wait till the pack has shown their intentions. Wait till he sees what he's done. Then you're mine Jacob Black. Mine.
I saw the silver wolf look around the circle at the gathered pack. He nodded once in my direction and gave his order loudly and clearly in his mind, "Anyone who wants no part of this can leave now." He waited a few seconds, nobody moved, and then he continued, "Hold your ground. Go no closer. As I said, this is Edward's kill."
"Well then Jacob Black. It seems your pack has spoken." I laughed.
He growled and snorted as he pawed the ground and I knew he was at his limit. He felt betrayed and he was angry that my coven had not fought his pack in the clearing. He wanted to kill me but he was also afraid that without the back up of his pack this would not be easy. I had no such reservations.
His eyes darted once around the circle, pleading silently for the pack not to disobey him like this but it was to no avail. They each lowered themselves onto their haunches, their giant paws holding their heads against the gravel of the driveway. They were going to watch but not participate.
His fury built until he could contain it no longer and he leapt at me. I saw the intention long before he made the move and hopped left slightly. I felt his fur against my hand as he passed me.
His tail flailed out behind him like a flag, he used it to steady himself and arced back into the circle and came at me again.
I stood my ground and let him crash into me. The sickening crunch of his muzzle against my stone chest made the female wolf wince but otherwise the pack was silent as Jacob reared on his hind legs and lashed out at me with his claws.
I merely took two paces backward and he fell onto his front legs in front of me, totally thwarted. He barked his frustration at me and snapped his jaws close to my legs as he stalked towards me.
He dipped his head and let his outrage fly from his throat in a primal roar. I bent my head slightly to my chest and did the same. The spray of venom fell in droplets onto the fur at his neck and I fixed my eyes on it, watching as the realization that I was much stronger than he'd reckoned came to his mind. His head whipped back to my direction and his eyes widened in shock at the sound that thundered out of me. I was much, much louder.
"Oh yeah, son. There is a beast that has been long asleep in me, you've tugged his tail." I sneered as I advanced on him and drove him backward, he stumbled once as he found the door of the Volvo with his rump.
I slipped into my crouch and swiped my hand under his front leg and he flew through the air, landing with a crunch, against the bottom step of the porch.
He grunted as his ribs shattered and I roared again as I took one mighty leap, coming to a stop at his feet. He shook his head and I knew he was already healing from the body blow. I bent down and used my full strength to crush down on his already broken ribs, as I came closer to the ground I used my knee to belt into his flanks, crippling him further. He whimpered in pain and the slobber dripped off his lolling tongue as he lay on the ground.
I welcomed the rush of venom in my mouth as I ran up the stairs and pounced at him from above. I landed on his back and he thrashed and bucked to dislodge me. I wasn't quite ready for this to be over, I wanted to savor his incompetence for a little longer, I should've been ashamed that I wanted him to suffer further before I ended his agony. But I wasn't ashamed at all. I felt violent, powerful and vengeful and I welcomed the shame that would come later. I covered my teeth but allowed my razor sharp nails to dig into his neck. He howled in pain as I sliced through his fur and into his skin.
I leapt off him and allowed him to drag himself into the centre of the circle again. He was begging Sam to intervene but Sam, and the pack, remained mute.
He yelped again as I used the Volvo as a jumping station and landed with my full weight on his hind leg, breaking through the bone cleanly, he yowled with the pain then he began yelping like the dog he was as he slumped onto the gravel.
"My Isabella is no slut you fucking waste of space." I spat as he lay panting.
The sickening smell of his blood seeped out of his fur and into my nostrils. I flared them and drank it in hungrily. I welcomed my bloodlust, the first time in 80 years and I let it come to me fully. I gathered all my strength and stretched from head to toe as I felt the force of it come to my muscles. I tilted my neck from side to side and ran my tongue over my teeth bringing forward more venom. I clenched my fists at my side and stared him down.
He limped away from me, staggering to the edge of the gravel drive, seeking haven on the cold grass. I stretched my arms up to the sky and vented my rage with an evil roar and attacked with my full force. As his reared up onto his hind legs to protect himself from the onslaught I pushed him sideways and I felt his chest cave in as the oxygen was forced out of his lungs. It sounded like the tinkle of breaking glass as the last of his bones snapped under my force.
"SHE'S MINE YOU BASTARD!" I hissed into his face. I allowed myself the pleasure of watching his eyes as I tore his throat out and snuffed out his humanity.
A/N: Thank you for reading. I really do hope you've enjoyed this story. There is a sequel, it's finished and is called Phoenix Rising. You can find it under my username.
Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed. You are most appreciated.