All Hallows Eve Contest
Title: Time of Dying
Word Count: 3160
Pairing: Bella & Edward
Summary: A madman breaks into Bella's home on Halloween and destroys her life.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight and all of it's characters, nor the song, Time of Dying by Three days Grace.
Isabella Cullen walked into her gorgeous Belmont Hills home and threw her keys on the table beside the door. She was exhausted from a long day volunteering at the hospital where her husband was a doctor. Edward had worked at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for almost three years now, after he completed his residency at John's Hopkins. She was a writer by trade, so she often volunteered to read with the children in different sections of CHOP. Today was Halloween, so she had been reading spooky, yet cute stories all day. Right before she left though, a group of older children had asked for some scarier stories. She had an intense dislike for horror movies and all things scary in general, so she had been feeling creeped out throughout her entire drive home.
There was a noise immediately to her left that startled her. Their amber colored kitten, Lizzie, jumped up on the side table and mewed at her. Bella laughed nervously and shook her head.
"Ugh, get it together, Bell," she muttered to herself quietly. She walked over and rubbed Lizzie's head.
"Aww, hello, baby girl," she cooed. "What do you have on your paws there, sweetie?"
Bella flipped on the table lamp to examine the dark spots on the cat's feet. The copper and rust smell of blood hit her immediately and she held back a gag. Her hand flew to her mouth and took some deep breaths in through her nose, trying to combat the wave of dizziness that almost overtook her. She pushed through it out of concern for Lizzie and, one by one, she checked out her paws to see if she was harmed in any way. Once she was satisfied that the blood was not the cat's own, she looked around the room quickly, trying to see if anything was out of place. Her eyes widened as she noticed that the room was completely disheveled and ransacked.
Her brow furrowed in confusion, wondering what had happened. Suddenly, she remembered that her husband had left work a few hours ago to make sure everything was ready for the Trick-or-Treaters that would be coming around tonight. She felt the blood rush from her face and her stomach drop.
"Edward?" She called. There was no response.
"Edward?" She called louder.
The cat meowed and hopped down onto the floor and made her way across the room and into the study, whose door was slightly ajar. She swallowed thickly, fear and adrenaline coursing through her system. She slowly and carefully made her way across the room and paused outside of the study door. Her heart hammered in her chest and she prayed to her God that no one was behind the door. She reached out a shaky hand and pushed the door open. The room was completely torn to shreds. There were books and papers everywhere along with overturned furniture. She looked around the room and saw the puddle of blood pooled next to the desk. She blinked and tears dripped down her face. She quietly made her way across the room. She felt her stomach heave when she saw a black dress shoe poking out from an odd angle. She moved closer still.
Attached to the shoe was a pair of legs, encased in black dress pants, much like what she had seen her husband wearing earlier in the day. She covered her mouth and stifled a sob when she saw his normally bronze hair was bright red, soaked with blood. His body was twisted unnaturally and he was clutching his cell phone in his hand.
"Edward," she sobbed as she reached out to check his pulse.
A scream ripped from her throat as someone grabbed her by the hair from behind and ripped her body backwards. Her foot slipped on her husband's blood and she went down on her bottom hard. Agonizing pain tore through her head and it felt as though her scalp was being torn from her head.
"Get up, bitch," a deep, menacing voice spoke calmly. Her blood froze in her veins with fear. She scrambled to her knees and slowly stood.
Her body was turned roughly and she found herself staring up into cold hazel eyes. The man was only a few inches taller than her, maybe 5'8", 5'9". He was dressed all in black with white face paint, which was made to make him look like a skeleton.
"Wha-what do you want? Why us?" She choked out.
He sneered at her and let go of her hair, instead wrapping his hand around her throat and squeezing.
"Shut up," he hissed. "He got what was coming to him. You," he paused and eyed her body hungrily. "You are a complication."
Her chest started to ache from lack of oxygen and and her tears refused to subside. The man let go of her roughly and gripped her upper arm. Dragging her along behind him, he made his way quickly to the back door. She panicked and started to claw at the arm that was holding her.
"NO! No, let me go!" She screamed.
The man's other arm came around at full strength and she felt the right side of her face explode in pain. Her head snapped around with the force of his blow. She screamed and started to sob again in full force.
She felt something cold touch her cheek and she focused her eyes through the tears and gasped at the sight of the gun pointed to her cheek. She whimpered and started to breathe quickly.
"Now, you will shut up or I will shoot your brains out like your old man."
Bella's heart shattered and she emptied the contents of her stomach right at their feet. The man looked down at her, disgusted.
"At least you did that before we got in the van," he mused and resumed pulling her out of the house and across her yard and tree line to street on the other side. There sat a black van with a woman in the driver's seat. The woman's eyes widened fearfully when she noticed that her companion was dragging Bella. This wasn't how this was supposed to go down.
The man opened the back door and shoved Bella in. He climbed in beside her and started looking for a rope to tie her up with.
"James!" The red haired woman shrieked. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Shut up, Victoria," he growled at her before running his fingers down Bella's cheek. He grabbed her roughly by the arms and pulled them behind her back while tying them together. He smiled down at evilly.
"I've just taken a little insurance policy, that's all. Right, Mrs. Cullen?"
Hearing Edward's last name and knowing that he was gone forever, her heart felt like it was trying to claw it's way out of her chest. It wasn't fair. He was her best friend; her soulmate. She sat back against the wall of the van while James climbed up into the front passenger seat. She pulled her knees up to her chest and stared blankly at the red stains that her husband's blood had left on her jeans.
She started to struggle and kicked out one of her legs, connecting with James' shin.
"Mother fucker!" He yelled and swung at her with the butt of the gun in palm, striking her on the side of her head, which exploded in pain.
Her chest ached and her heart was left laying on the floor next to Edward. She closed her eyes and swallowed painfully. As she slowly drifted into oblivion, her husband's name was the word that left her lips.
On the ground I lay
Motionless in pain
I can see my life flashing before my eyes
Did I fall asleep?
Is this all a dream
Wake me up, I'm living a nightmare
She woke up just as they pulled up to a small house in the back of a cul-de-sac. James climbed over the seat and untied her arms.
"If you want to live, you will do what I say and come quietly. Are we clear?" He asked in a cold voice.
She nodded slowly and he helped her carefully out of the van. As they were making their way up the sidewalk to the house, a young boy stopped on his bike a few feet away from them.
"Hey Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes. Happy Halloween," the boy called cheerfully. He looked over Bella and his eyes widened.
"Nice costume, lady! You really look like you've been beat up."
Bella tried to smile and the little boy must have bought it because he rode off. James pushed her and she stumbled forward. A few minutes after they entered the house, James placed a sickly sweet-smelling cloth against her nose and everything went black.
When Bella awoke a few hours later, her face felt sticky and her head was throbbing. She tried unsuccessfully to open her eyes, but her eyes lids were dry and heavy. Her shoulders were pulled towards her back and felt painfully tight. She quickly realized that she was tied to a chair or something. Edward's blood soaked face filtered through her mind and her eyes teared up, providing the moisture needed to open her eyes slowly. She blinked a few times and lifted her head to look around, her stiff neck protesting the movement.
The room was dark, the only light filtering in through the door that was ajar. She arched her back and leaned her head back to stretch, letting out a groan at the pain that flowed through her head, neck and shoulders. A few moments later, the door was pushed completely open and the overhead lamp switched on. Bella closed her eyes and flinched at the sudden blinding light. She blinked and slowly opened her eyes, squinting to adjust to the light.
The red haired woman, Victoria, was standing there with a small bowl and a rag in her hands. She smiled tentatively at Bella before walking over to her.
"It's just water," she said softly. "I want to clean up your face a little."
Bella's eyes filled with tears.
"Why? Why are you doing this to me? Why did he kill my husband?" Bella started to sob as Victoria gently cleaned the blood off of her face.
"Because he murdered my daughter," a gruff voice responded.
Both Bella and Victoria's eyes shot up towards to the door. James stood there, leaning against the door.
"What?" Bella asked in shock. "My husband didn't murder anyone, least of all a child!"
James narrowed his eyes dangerously and stalked over to the tied up woman.
"He was her doctor and he killed her. An eye for an eye. The only question I have now is what do I do with you?"
Bella's eyes widened and she choked back a sob as the man ran his finger down her cheek and smiled cruelly.
"Hmmm, what to do," he pondered. He looked over at his wife and sneered.
"Clean her up, Vic. I have plans for her for later."
He walked out into the hall and shut the door behind him. Bella looked over at Victoria's pale face and wide eyes.
"Oh my God. I've got to get you out of here," she whispered. She looked over at Bella with frantic eyes.
"I didn't know," she said as she started to cry. "I never knew what he had planned. He didn't tell me whose house we were at or who he was going to see. Dr. Cullen was such a kind man. Our daughter, Virginia had cancer and there was nothing that anyone could do for her. Edward was always so kind to Virgy."
Victoria reached behind her and started to loosen her ropes.
"Victoria! Get in here!"
Victoria looked at her helplessly. "I'll be back," she whispered.
Bella started wiggling her arms and twisting her wrists, but there was only a little slack for her to work with. She felt a buzzing on her bottom and jumped slightly. Her heart started beating rapidly when she realized that her phone was still in her back pocket. She stretched and pulled her muscles, trying to inch her fingers into her pocket. She bit her lips hard to hold back a scream as she felt her shoulders burn in the pain, but she kept pushing until the phone was in her fingers.
Feeling her way across the Blackberry's keypad, she quickly hit the answer button.
"Help," she said as loudly as she dared. She heard muffled voices on the other end of the line and hoped like hell that it was someone who could help her. She continued to pull at the ropes and stretch until she heard a pop and one of her shoulders erupted in fire-like pain. She dropped the phone and screamed. It skidded across the room and under the small bed.
Victoria ran into the room, with James hot on her heels.
"What happened?" She asked in concern, making her way over to check on Bella. James shoved his wife out of the way and moved in front of her first and backhanded her so hard that the chair toppled over, sending shockwaves of pain into her injured shoulder and stabbing pain through her head as it bounced off of the floor.
"Shut the fuck up!" He shouted. He leaned down and grabbed a handful of hair, pulling her face up to his. Tears streamed down her face as she sobbed.
"Shut. The. Fuck. Up," he ground out in a low, menacing voice. She bit back her cries and tried breathing deeply. He threw down to the ground and stomped out of the room, dragging Victoria with him. Bella shifted on the floor and closed her eyes, while the agony in her shoulder and head pulled into her into darkness.
On this bed I lay
I can see my life passing me by
Was it all too much
Or just not enough
Wake me up, I'm living a nightmare
"Bella! Bells! Answer me, baby girl!"
"Bells, baby, you need to wake up, honey. Everyone misses you, sweetie."
"Bella, love. You've got to wake up for me, baby. I can't live without you. You need to come back to me, love."
Voices swirled around in her head as she drifted in and out of consciousness. The last one broke her heart and she knew once she opened her eyes that he wouldn't be there. He was dead. She blinked and the bright light made her squint. Everything ached, but not as bad as she remembered it. She shifted her head and felt the tubes in her nose restrict her. She looked around the room and noticed that she was in a hospital room. She lolled her head to the side and saw a mop of bronze hair laying next to her thigh.
She felt a sob build up in her chest and cursed her imagination for conjuring up the only person that she wanted to see. The noise startled the man sleeping by her side and he looked up at her in surprise. His green eyes were bright with tears and he smiled.
"Bella, love!" He cried out as he stood up and quickly cupped her cheeks. He ran his thumbs across her cheeks to wipe her tears away.
"Am I dead?" She asked through her tears. He gave her his crooked smile and shook his head.
"No, baby, you're not dead. You're thankfully very much alive."
"Edward!" She sobbed and her whole body shook as she reached for him. He pulled her to him as tightly as he could, maneuvering gently around the bandages that tightly covered her healing shoulder.
"You-you're dead," she cried. "I saw you. All of that blood! And James! James said he shot you!"
"Shh, calm down, baby. It's alright. I'm fine. Yes, he shot me, but it grazed me. Head wounds cause an enormous amount of blood. I came to just as I heard you crying out, but I couldn't move. Thank God I had my cell phone and I was able to call the police."
He pulled back and looked into her eyes. Tears streamed down his face as well.
"I almost went crazy, Bella! That man was fucking insane. I didn't know what he would do to you. Baby, I'm so glad you had the sense to keep your phone on when you answered Charlie's call. They were able to trace the call and break in there to save you. James put up a fight. He shot his wife before turning the gun on you. A police sharpshooter nailed him before he had the chance. I have never been so scared in my whole life, baby. I was sure I'd be following you shortly if he had killed you."
She blinked and her heart was beating quickly.
"Oh no, Victoria. Is she alright? Did he kill her?"
"No, she's alive. The bullet went straight through her shoulder. She was released from the hospital a few days ago."
"A few days ago? How long have I been here?"
He smiled slightly and kissed the top of her head. "A week, Bella. You were in a coma. There was swelling in your brain and your shoulder was dislocated. You were pretty beat up and lost a lot of blood as well. I was so scared that you weren't going to wake up, baby."
Her eyes widened and she shook her head, disbelievingly.
"If this is all a dream, Edward, and you're dead, I'm going to kick your ass."
He chuckled lightly and leaned closer to her face.
"Maybe this will convince you."
His lips gently touched hers and she broke down, once again in sobs. This time because he was alive and he was real.
"I thought you were dead. I didn't know what to do. Oh, God, I wanted him to kill me, too. I don't think I could face a future without you in it."
"Shh, you won't have to, Bella. I'll always be by your side, love. I swear that I will never take another moment for granted, baby."
"Neither will I," she whispered through her tears.
Bella curled up against Edward's side and they both drifted off to sleep, neither noticing the figure standing in the doorway.
Light shone through brilliant red hair, which made it look as though it was on fire.
"James may have been wrong about our daughter's murderer, Dr. Cullen," she whispered, "but I know who's to blame for my husband's death."
Ice blue eyes maniacally surveyed the couple of the hospital bed.
"You won't walk away from this that easily, Isabella."
Victoria turned and left the room, revenge filling her thoughts.
I will not die, I'll wait here for you
I feel alive, when you're beside me
I will not die, I'll wait here for you
In my time of dying.
AN: Huge thanks to tg10781 and SammieLynnsMom for running an awesome contest!