A little seasonal treat for my followers during the 'Behind Enemy Lines' break. This was originally written for The Nightmare Before Christmas Contest on TwiWrite.
Disclaimer: Rated M for just about everything but foul language. Again, this is a DARK story with a HORROR theme. SM owns all; I just like to mess with her creations.
**NOTE: This story contains a scene which could be interpreted as rape, although that is not how I intended it to be read. Just a word of caution for those who don't like that sort of thing.**
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~ Robert Frost ~
I watched from the tree line as Charlie Swan, Forks Police Department's finest, kissed his daughter goodbye, put on his cap and headed toward the police cruiser in the driveway. Even with chains on the tires, it skidded slightly on the eight inches of snow fall Forks had seen over the last two days. As his tail lights disappeared from view, I crossed the empty street toward the old, blue and white house that still looked like it needed a coat of paint. It was ten o'clock on Christmas Eve and most people were in one of two places; curled up in the warm at home or curled up around a warm one in the pub, leaving the town deserted until closing time.
I waited in the shadow of the oak tree at the end of the driveway and watched her as she moved around the house in the inviting orange glow of the lamps. She hadn't closed the curtains yet and I could see her preparing food and wrapping presents for tomorrow. She stopped briefly to answer the phone; a pleasant, but short, conversation with her mother. Turning off the lights in the kitchen, she moved back to the lounge. She stopped briefly and looked out the window, a slight frown on her face, but she turned and wrapped herself up in a blanket on the sofa. A click from the remote. The television blaring. Bella laughing.
I continued to watch her. I must have been standing there for over an hour. She rose from her seat and disappeared. For a moment I thought she had gone to bed but the light flickered to life again the kitchen. A hot drink. Cookies. She carried her spoils into the lounge and resumed her place on the sofa, watching the television, laughing at the jokes, sipping her drink. She was so relaxed and happy. It was time to make myself known.
I knocked on the door lightly but the sound carried through the house.
"Just a second," she called out, her blurry form coming into view through the frosted glass. "Who is it?" The rattling of the safety chain on the door. A click as the lock released. "It's a little late for carollers."
Then there was silence. There was just her and me and her big brown eyes as they stared back at a face she hadn't seen in half a decade, yet which had not changed. My name fell from her lips in a whispered prayer as it registered with her who was standing in her doorway. I smiled, marvelling at the sound, wishing she would say it again.
"I knew you were here." She turned her back on me and walked back to the lounge letting the door swing open. "Shut the door and wipe the snow off your boots."
"You knew it was me?" I was curious how she could possibly know. I had been more than careful. I took the seat she indicated on the sofa.
"Well, I knew it was one of you. I could feel it. I'm remarkably attuned to the presence of vampires even now," she shrugged. "I had hoped I would never need to be again but apparently that was too much to ask." She sounded bitter; like a jilted lover who has had time to think and calm down and collect themselves but still doesn't understand why and thinks she is owed an explanation. "Are you alone?"
"Why?" She turned to me, her eyes wide and expectant. "Why are you here? Why now? You left. You left me. You all left me. What the hell gives you the right to just turn up on my doorstep without so much as a 'Merry Fucking Christmas'?" Her voice shook a little with barely concealed anger and she stared into my eyes, daring me to give her a reason, daring me to try to explain why we had done what we did to her.
I can't. She doesn't deserve one.
I shrugged. "Why not? Catchin' up with old friends is what you do over the Holidays isn't it?"
"Old friends you left without even bothering to say goodbye to, five years ago...," she muttered, turning her attention back to the television as if I wasn't there. "Friends you once welcomed as family, but whom you left out in the cold when the kitchen got too toasty for you."
I allowed her that. She was bound to still be angry even so many years later. Humans don't forget as easily as my late brother had believed. I waited for her to say something else but she didn't. She just carried on staring at the box in the corner of the room. Beside it, their Christmas tree was already starting to shed needles onto the floor, tinged brown from the heat of the fairy lights. A few presents lay scattered at the foot; a father-daughter Christmas for two.
Now there's an idea...
"I brought you a Christmas present, but I left it at the house."
She turned to stare at me in disbelief. "A present?" Judging from her tone, the irony was not lost on her.
"Yes. A present. Would you like to come with me to the house to get it?" I smiled at her, trying to be encouraging. No need to spook her.
She got up off the sofa and walked to the hall where she put on her coat and boots. She wrapped a scarf around her neck and picked up her house keys.
"What? No complainin' about someone spendin' time or money on you, Bella? No self-sacrificin' speeches about how you don't deserve anythin'?"
"You can run with me," she said, ignoring my questions. "I hate driving in this weather and so does my truck. It's the least you can do for forcing a present on me." Her smile didn't quite reach her eyes.
I nodded and followed her out. We walked to the back of the house in silence, where I picked her up and ran off through the woods. I couldn't quite work out if she was being forgiving or not. Why come to the house if she wasn't willing to take us back? Why even talk to me if she really wanted us to stay away?
We arrived at the deserted mansion and I put Bella down under the porch, where the footpath was free of snow and ice. I hadn't been inside since I arrived back but I could tell the house had lain empty and undisturbed since the day we left. No one ever came out here without a reason; it was as if the humans knew there was something unnatural watching from the shadows. I pulled out my keys and let us in, turning off the alarm but leaving the metal shutters down that hid the glass walls. I wasn't going to be here long so there was no point in making myself at home.
"I know you didn't lure me here to give me a present," Bella said suddenly, momentarily catching me off guard. "I'm not stupid. Now tell me exactly why you've brought me here so we can get this over with and I can get back home."
I smirked. She hadn't lost her touch. "You're right Bella, there is no present. But I do have a surprise for you."
She had barely even blinked before I was standing behind her, a fistful of her hair in my hand, pulling upward just enough to keep her on tip-toe. She reached up, futilely trying to release my grip as I dragged her downstairs. When she failed to get me to let her go she did the only other thing she could do.
"That's right, Bella. Scream. Scream nice and loud. I want you to scream so loud the family will hear you all the way up in Alaska." She choked back a cry.
I unlocked the door to the basement and pushed it open, throwing her into the room with a little more than human force. She hit the far wall and a bone snapped causing her to let out a howl. I moved towards her, reaching out and pulling her into my arms, embracing her warmth. "Oh, Bella, did that hurt?" I felt her nod against my neck. "Good," I said, throwing her back against the wall again. There was no snapping noise this time and I found myself a little disappointed.
"Why are you doing this?" she gasped, holding her left arm to her side, protecting her ribs.
I ignored her question, stalking forward and shredding her clothes in seconds. She gasped in shock, though I didn't know if it was because of my speed or because she now found herself as naked as the day she came into this world. I didn't really care either way. She stumbled backwards, falling to the ground. Her smooth, warm, white skin contrasted poetically with the cold, rough, cement floor. Her body shivered in the chill air. She didn't move and I reached up above her head into the box marked 'Christmas Decorations'. I pulled out the first thing I touched and wound the string of fairy lights securely around her throat.
"You'll be spendin' the Holidays with me Bella," I said as I secured the other end to a pipe on the wall. I plugged the lights into an extension cord and the room was bathed in a soft, white glow. I grinned as I leaned down close to her face. "Merry fuckin' Christmas."
"Why are you doing this?" she whispered, seemingly coming out of her shocked stupor.
"I have nothin' left to lose Bella," I said, caressing her cheek as a lover would. "You have cost me everythin'. My mate, my family, my brother... you have no idea of what you have done to us."
"Edward left me. You all left me. It was your choice, not mine!" she screamed, apparently having found the resources to start fighting back.
"But you were the cause of it all. You were supposed to die. Fate had a tag all written out for your cold, dead toe. That truck should have crushed you, but instead he had to go and save you."
"How is that my fault?" she spat back, "I didn't ask him to save me."
I didn't answer. She did have a point, irrelevant as it was. I wished to God me and Rosalie had killed her that first night like we said we should; if we had, none of this would have happened. My brother would not have begged the Volturi for death; my family not be spread across the globe; my wife would not have left me; and I wouldn't be alone and tormented, wondering why I couldn't quite decide between torturing Bella and fucking her. She must have seen my indecision.
"Come here," she said, holding her arms out to me. "Come, sit here with me."
Briefly, the need to feel safe and comforted in her arms won out over the desire to kill and maim. I sat down and let her fold her arms around me, resting my head on the bare flesh of her shoulder. I felt the burn of her body heat against my own, icy skin; the same heat I both relished and resented. I hated her; I wanted her; I needed her.
"Why are you alone?" she asked.
I'm not alone, I have you now.
I said nothing, turning instead to kiss her deeply. There was a spark as her lips touched mine and I melted into her touch.
She sighed. "I was never meant to be with him was I?" It was more of a statement than a question. "It was always you, wasn't it?"
I nodded, allowing the movement of her hands as she explored my body, running her fingers through my curls and down my spine. I kissed her again, hard, passionately and our tongues entered a state of warfare; fire melting snow; ice water quenching flame. The full weight of realisation sparked to life and I knew then that Alice had lied to me for all those years. This was her. This was my mate. This was my very reason for living.
No! This isn't right! She cost us everything!
I pushed her away from me and stood up in one, swift movement, pulling her up with me by the arm, relishing her scream as I twisted. There was a popping sound, her shoulder I presumed. I smiled at her tears. Now she would know pain too. I would teach her everything I knew about it and by the end she would be begging me for death. I picked up her other hand, bringing it gently to my lips and kissing it before crushing her fingers together. Her soundless howl was silent music to my immortal ears. Her terror was palpable and I drank it all in as I brought my lips to her neck, kissing her pulse point. I sliced into her neck with my teeth and licked at the wound, tasting her.
The scent of her blood and arousal flooded the air and her fear disappeared as quickly as the wound sealed, my bite changing my mate's panic to lust and desire, clouding her physical pain as the dazzle effect took hold. I breathed deep, enjoying her fragrance. She looked up at me with hooded eyes, whispering my name in a blaze of desire.
It had been too long since anyone had said it like that. Not since my last night in Maria's bed had I heard so much want and need, and my own body began to betray me as her voice ghosted softly against parts of me that had not been touched in so long. I craved her, I wanted to be enveloped in her affection and I needed her as much as she needed me. I picked her up, slamming her against the cold wall. It took me only seconds to free myself of my clothing and bury myself deep within her. I was less than gentle and I knew I must be damaging her internally but I didn't care. I growled at the euphoria of feeling her heat surrounding my frozen length and began thrusting harshly into her softness; marble wrapped in velvet.
The scent of her blood grew stronger and she screamed in agony and ecstasy simultaneously as her orgasm ripped through her. I could feel her virgin blood trickling down from between her legs, pouring over me like molten lava, and my own body responded to the fire of her passion. I roared her name as I came deep inside her, and sank my teeth into her neck; branding her, claiming her. The sweet, metallic taste flowed into my mouth and ran down my throat like nectar from the gods themselves. I drank deeply, but stopped as she whispered in my ear.
"Change me," she begged, hoarsely. "Make me yours. Neither of us will ever have to be alone again. Make me like you."
Without hesitation I stopped pulling blood from her and began instead to pump my venom into her veins, my instincts reacting to her plea without conscious effort on my part. She gasped and tensed as the venom hit her system. Soon her screams would fill the air and I would finally know that she felt the same agony that I felt every day. Once she was a vampire I could torture her for an eternity and wreak my vengeance on this Chimera who had cost me so dearly.
She called my name several times during those three nights and days. I gazed at her in wonder as her naked form changed from a silky soft, pliable rag doll, into a marbled statue of Vesta* herself. Her hair took on a deep mahogany tone and her skin became translucent. At some point she ripped the lights away from her throat as the torment of death by liquid nitrogen stole her humanity, chilling the life force in her veins, freezing her body and soul in time. It was truly fascinating to behold. In all my years with my sire, the luxury of sitting for three days to behold the miracle as a human became one of us, was never afforded to me. I watched, enraptured, as her fingernails turned to glass and the tears in her eyes took on the iridescent sheen of venom.
My venom. My mate. My vengeance.
Her heartbeat stilled and her pain died away all too soon. Sometime around day two I had mercifully lost the ability to feel her emotions, but I knew that her newborn instincts would be going crazy about now. She would not like being confined, she would see everything as a threat and she would be out for blood, she would hate me.
"Do you feel that burn in your throat Bella?" I taunted her. "The icy burn of thirst? The need for liquid fire to quench your desperate need for sustenance?"
She turned to me then, twitching and feral, her crimson eyes darting between my eyes and my cock. Her beast had recognised her mate and was torn between the newborn blood lust and the desire to claim my body as hers. She prowled towards me, desire dripping from her as her gaze roamed my body, taking in each scar. She reached up her hand and brushed it lightly over my chest, igniting my own desire for her. My beast purred loudly, recognising his mate and yearning to take her. She growled quietly in return and wrapped her hand around my shaft, stroking me gently and eliciting another purr from my chest.
I pulled her into my arms, crushing her to me and kissing her hard, then spun us around and pushed her back into the wall, pinning her arms above her head with one hand. It was so much more intoxicating now that she wasn't so breakable. I would miss her blood of course, but oh, how I could hurt her now. I raked my fingernails down her breast and venom poured from the wounds, running in rivulets down her body towards her sex. I bent to lick up the trails up from her hip bone to her nipple, biting hard into the roundness of her breast there and savouring her scream of rage and exaltation as my venom burned into her once again. I smiled against her flesh and released her, stepping back to admire my handiwork.
As I moved, so did she, but she was no match for me. The only way she could best me physically was to get her arms around me and I was too experienced to let that happen. I ducked her charge and spun her quickly, kicking her legs from underneath her and crushing her to the floor in one, swift movement. Before she could retaliate I grabbed her thighs, pushing her legs wide and plunging into her. She bucked underneath me and moaned as our beasts took their first taste of each other, pushing hard against me as if trying to get even closer. I pinned her arms to her sides, reaching underneath her to grasp her shoulders and pounded into her, desperate for release. I barely noticed as she brought her mouth to my shoulder but the pain registered as she tore into my flesh, leaving her mark and making me hers for all eternity. Bliss engulfed my mind and my orgasm took over my body.
Before I could even regain my senses, I felt her. Everything Bella felt, I felt. Whatever had been blocking my gift was released and now I was privy to everything; her pain, her anguish, her desire, her blood lust, her love, her passion, her hatred, her rage. Yes, above all her rage. Hell hath no fury like a woman turned into a vampire and Bella was directing it all at me. Caught off guard at my most vulnerable, I was powerless against the sudden deluge of emotions and she threw me off her. I couldn't move; pinned to the floor under the weight of everything she was feeling. In a strange reversal of roles, I felt her hand grip my throat as she lifted me, slamming me into the wall with all her newborn strength. She reached to the side and pulled the pipe I had tethered her to previously, away from the wall. The smell of diesel hit my senses and I realised that the pipe had been connected to the generator. Her eyes were scorched with fury, as I met her glare, still reeling from the atmospheric bomb she had thrown at me and too weak to fight her off.
She smiled at me as she leaned in to kiss me, tracing my lips with her tongue and pressing her body heavily against mine. I felt the wall give slightly behind me and a cool liquid trickled around my feet as the diesel continued to gush from the pipe. I was about to voice my protest when Bella bit hard into my tongue and a new wave of agony hit me as my mouth flooded with my venom and hers, spilling down between our bodies.
She released me and I pulled away just in time to see a glint of silver. I stared at my mate in horror as I recognised the Zippo I carried in my jeans pocket.
This time her smile didn't quite reach her ruby-hard eyes. "Surprise!"
My own scream was drowned out by hers as the fire engulfed us. No torture Maria had ever inflicted on me came anywhere close to this. I felt my body contorting in something beyond agony as the flames licked at my skin. I felt her suffering as they claimed her too. I felt the torture of losing my eternal mate to death; my instincts telling me I desperately needed to fight, to survive, even as I welcomed the fire that claimed my immortal soul and took me away from the eternal anguish of losing her. I had never thought it possible for a vampire to kill themselves but now I knew better. In vain, I battled to hold my dearest love and most bitter enemy as close to my glacial body as I could,; a heroic effort to protect her from the fiery death her own hand had dealt us; a hopeless attempt to protect her from the inferno that was already consuming us both beyond redemption.
As the darkness of hell came to collect my soul, I imagined I heard the whisper of my martyred mate one more time.
A/N. Vesta is the Roman goddess of sacred fires; a Chimera is an ancient, fire-breathing female monster.
Thanks and seasons greetings to my betas, Cowgirl_Amber & Dangerkitty.