a drabble for JandCo
This is a tongue-in-cheek-AU of my Open Up Next to You AU. It is what JandCo wished would have happened if she had been writing that story.
But then, the story would have been shorter. A lot.
If you have not read OUNtY, chapters one and two, this will make no sense, but you can read it anyway if you want. Just don't say I didn't warn ya... ~ LJ
"...Remember, I love you," Edward whispered brokenly in Bella's ear, his breath caressing her even as he fought his inner pain.
"I love you, too. You can do this," she reminded him gently, love pouring from her eyes. "I know it."
He nodded shortly, his focus on biting – her blood, her body, her scent. Drawing it all in to his awareness of her so that he'd have it always. After a final, endless moment of gazing into the brave, warm, brown eyes he loved so well, Edward Cullen committed the single most selfish act in his entire existence. He turned his wife into a vampire.
Bella didn't understand. She had been prepared for pain, for the burn, for the unspeakable torture of the change from human to immortal. But somehow, her body didn't feel anything. Instead, the pain was all in her heart.
She and Edward were in England! The scenery was green, in Bella's changing mind, but she knew it was where they were. And they met a man – a man with black hair and red eyes. He had created a new vampire. They shook hands all around, and something horrible happened.
"Come, Bella. We, er, have to leave. Immediately." With barely a polite farewell, her husband half-dragged her from the old house they had been in and the next thing she knew, they were in a bedroom. A bedroom with Edward's old bedding and a window looking toward a mountain. Where were they?
"Bella, I do love you, in a way," Edward told her, embracing her as they stared out the window together.
"In a way?" Bella shrieked, breaking the glass into the morning light. It was as if the dawn itself was breaking before her, shattering into minute, sparkling pieces. "In a way? What the hell do you mean, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen?"
"I mean, that - that girl we met? Bronwyn?"
He moved away, tugging at his hair. "Love matches, my Bella, are more common among our kind than mated pairs."
"Yeah..." Bella felt the trepidation creep down her spine. "And...?"
"And...we're not mates, you and I, Bella. Jasper confirmed that for me right after your change."
"WHAT? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I - I couldn't! And, Bronwyn? Well..."
Bella's second shriek shattered the windows in the floor below. "She's your mate?"
"Oh, Bella! I didn't mean for it to happen! I just touched her, shook her hand, and, and she was! And I can't do anything about it!"
Stricken, terrified, Bella collapsed to the floor. Edward joined her. "I'll leave. I'll go. We can get an annulment... You... I always knew it never made sense for you to love me." Her laugh was almost a sob. "I'm not good enough to be your mate."
"Bella! No! You're too good for me!"
Bella's heart shattered, and she only knew how to pick up the pieces. For three days, her heart broke again and again while her body became immortal.
When her eyes fluttered open and she saw where she was, Bella leapt from the bed, fury in her every feature.
Edward, caution and adoration warring for dominance in his bright gold eyes, called, "Jasper?"
"I don't know, Edward," Jasper muttered from his protective position in front of the females of the family. "She didn't have any emotions at all during her change, but she's murderous right now."
Bella felt it was time to speak. As her husband had sought his opinion first, so did she. "Jasper?"
She felt the pulse of his projected surprise. "Yes, Bella?"
"Can you tell if there is a mate bond between Edward and myself? Like there is with the rest of the family?"
"Bella, surely you must be thirsty," Edward said after an awkward moment of silence. "Let's take care of you first –"
"No!" Bella snarled in return. "This first. Jasper?" She hadn't moved a limb, her body frozen in synchronicity with Edward's.
Edward's collapsing expression was all the answer she needed. She flashed to him, taking for granted that she would have moved as quickly as a thought. "You listen and you listen good, Mr. Cullen. You will never, ever touch any vampire that you have not met before unless you wear gloves. No handshaking. Nothing." She gripped his hands with all her strength, apologizing when he winced. "Promise?"
"Bella? What's wrong?"
"Promise?" she demanded, shaking him a little and not even caring. This was too important.
"Anything, my Bella. Anything. You are my life."
"I plan on staying that way, too," she muttered, finally letting him go and taking a deep, fire-laced breath. "All right. Good. I'm thirsty."
"We'll hunt, of course, my love, but please, tell me what that was all about?"
After the hunt, the family skipped the usual post-hunt mating ritual to listen in horror to Bella's nightmare. How Edward found his true mate. How Bella had gone with Jasper and Alice to try to heal from the devastating heartbreak... Bella didn't share everything, though. It was enough for Edward to know that her pain had been fathomless.
He always had a pair of gloves with him from that day forward. "Use protection!" became his motto when meeting any new vampire, and he and Bella lived and loved in profound harmony, forever.
And this, Friends and Neighbors, is the final Twilight Moment. Thank you so much for reading these snippets of imagination, for encouraging me to expand one or two, and for indulging me in my flights of fancy. ~ LJ