James as you have never seen him. He has been called many things: the Angel of Death, the Messenger of Mercy, and his favorite the Prince of Peace. James along with his friends Victoria and Laurent help people with their limited time left on earth. With the scent of death lingering in the air is it possible to find the love of your life? This story warms the heart.
***1st Place Winner in the Games With James One Shot Contest- FFnet - Collaboration with the talented Shadow_Kissed***
~Thanks to my Beta Edward's Eternal for always saying yes to any beta work I would throw her way... Cool woman! Love ya!
Road to Mercy – A One-shot
Thursday afternoon, February 25, 2010, Ms. Alice Connor breathed her last. A single tear drop being the only testimony of the fear and pain that had plagued her for the past 10 years of her life. A smile broke out of her disease ravaged face as she held my hand tightly before I delivered her final, big wish, DEATH.
I have been called many names in my existence, by those who knew me personally and those that abhor the very cause that I championed. Angel of Death, Dr. Darkness, Deliverer, Messenger of Mercy and my personal favorite, Prince of Peace.
To simply utter that I enjoyed my job was a mockery of the lives that required my services. Someone had to do the dirty job and I firmly believed that people have choices on how to live their lives.
"Time of death, 6:31 P.M. Los Angeles, California." I recited the protocol after each procedure as Victoria and Laurent looked on. Victoria logged down the information on the computer and sealed the records soon after. We were creatures of habit to say the least. We follow a strict list of rules for the services we provide and we take our jobs seriously.
Laurent and Victoria had been my assistants for over 65 years and loyal friends. Aside from our mutual passion for our chosen endeavor, they were also vampires like myself. I was their creator in every sense of the word. I chuckled at the thought as I made my way to the sink. I flicked the silver handle and let the hot water run on my cold skin.
My thoughts flickered back to Mrs. Connor, a middle-age woman without a family except some distant relatives who wouldn't miss her. Her prolonged battle with cancer was now nearing its end; she lost the fight along with the will to live. Her pain and torment gave way to her desire to end her misery. That's how she eventually ended up in my care or should I say my hands.
They all wanted the same thing, Death.
I shook the melancholic blanket that latched itself on me and turned to Victoria and Laurent. "Guys, you know the drill. But this time, we sprinkle the ashes at the Observatory. Last wish, you know." I feigned boredom as I nodded my head before heading to my office.
Years of practice should've turned me to an unfeeling bastard but fate had other plans for me. As poor souls begging for mercy knocked at my door, the flooding of unwanted emotions known as compassion and pity stayed and made me its unwilling recipient.
I settled on my beaten down leather chair with unconcealed weariness that followed after each procedure. I closed my eyes and thought of the many souls that required my expertise and willingness. Every single being that walked through my door had a name and I remembered every single one of them and their life story. Time didn't pale the memories; instead they were ingrained in every part of me. An exchange of some sort as Laurent once told me which didn't make any sense then but I get it now. A piece of them to pass through time with me, and mine ended with them. A silent reminder that I will forever live and celebrate their life as I plow through my existence.
Alone in the little shit hole that was my office I was able to relax. The office chair tipped backwards and my shit kickers crossed at my ankles rested on top of the desk. One drawback of never needing to sleep had a lot to do with too much thinking time and ultimately screwed up morals. Clock ticking, machines beeping, and the intoxicating smell of death was about as relaxed as I'd get.
My mind traveled 70 years in the past. A girl of fifteen walked in, she wore a stark white dress that showed off her round belly. She walked two mere steps in the door and I knew she would change my life.
And she did. As she walked I noticed her left leg was bent at an unnatural angle, her gait was unsteady, and she had glazed over eyes. Her somber honey colored eyes held an innocence and purity all in one being. That was what I thought before she even spoke.
A nurse went and took her name, the girl would not speak and a feeling foreign to anything else propelled me to aid the child. I went to touch her hand as a simple non threatening gesture but she jerked it away.
"My name is Dr. James Hag-. Hague." She barely acknowledge my presence, the nurse was called away so we stood surrounded by people in a busy clinic and completely alone. A child, she was but a lost child and I was a newly transitioned vampire from a previously life intent on killing.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw how her hand kept going to her belly as if trying to say something yet no words were heard. She clutched her stomach and one spasm shook her body. This wasn't normal.
Doctor mode took over banishing all thoughts; nothing else mattered but the patient and the she laid down her dress outlining her figure, it was then I noticed something was off.
Her belly, which I had mistaken to be with child wasn't anatomically correct. The position of the bulge leaned towards her right. Befuddled I let my senses roam.
Only one day had passed since she had been admitted and the analysis supported what I already knew as well as the diagnosis and the prognosis. She had a tumor growing in her right kidney, the fact that it was found too late grated through my whole being. I remember that day and thinking back I wanted to save her, in my mind's eye, her stark white dress danced before my eyes and I just knew I had to save her. Because I thought of her as a broken angel sent down to earth, for a moment I imagined heaven and earth fighting over this one angel child and I was afraid.
That second day I tried explaining to her the seriousness of her condition but she was always far away. Out of reach, extending a hand proved futile. Saving turned to be a word without meaning and substance, now it was only a matter of what to do.
Weeks passed and before my eyes she slowly wasted away. She became terrified of nurses and doctors alike, me among them. Needles became the epitome of terror and I had to sit back and watch. Her vulnerability and my impotency stared back through every mirror; days were spent away wishing I could take her pain away.
It was the pain of a child, an innocent child that sent me reeling. God dammit! I ached to do something. Instead of sitting back to watch death stake its claim on her. To me, she was an angel.
And Angel was never too far from my mind. I came to the realization that life was fucking great. I went without blood and company. James and Victoria had stood by me when I decided to leave the bore some vampire life and even went as far as following me into the human world. Fuck, they studied their way through medical school, nursing, and all that shit because to them we were still a coven. And not a fucked up vampire and his two screwed up mistakes made in the name of loneliness.
But they left me alone to deal with my 'issues'. Those were dark days, until I came to the conclusion that I would murder... one last time but it felt as if I had no choice. Once my mind was made up I knew I had to follow through.
The door to Angel's room stood open, she lay in the bed. Strength, stamina, and will had been drained out of her as the tumor gained supremacy. She returned my gaze and that look sealed both our fates.
For her eyes supplicated release from the needles, from the cage that her body had become, perhaps from the on start she had fled reality. But those honey colored eyes were impossible to resist, and I imagined the little child crying and sobbing to be let free. Free the angel that she was. She wasn't meant to be tied down to earth and suffer any longer. I ended her life that day and nothing was ever the same.
I groaned, my left hand covering both my eyes. It was here in solitude that doubts began their assault. Questioning hell and back, to look beyond and get into the whole psychological reasons sounded idiotic. Yet the ending point was always the same, me and my fucked up mind dancing around beating around the bush, no upper hand to be gained yet everything at stake.
Always with the same damn question, "What the hell are you doing?" The worst part of it was the simple fact that it has no answer. By some shitty struck of luck I found myself as once again a killer, I juiced it up by solely killing for mercy. Yet the brand of killer stuck.
But I will not lie. There was no longer any pleasure in killing. There was no pleasure, period. There was some satisfaction though; the satisfaction of knowing that someone's pain would be no more. Aiding in that process was what keeps me from losing my calm.
The ongoing debate about euthanasia was one likely to proceed years from now with no clear answer. Moralities will forever be thrown about and ultimately challenged; as long as no middle ground was conceived the question mark remained.
Ironically those that seek mercy killers were never heard, their voice are drowned by radical conservative and religious zealots.
But it was to me they recur to when the time comes to find some sort of peace, of escape from pain and life. Their eyes always beseech the same release and I find it in myself to hear them out.
Then there are the ones filled with bravado, those that want to look death in the face and that instant before being claimed by it they want to smile in its face. Triumphing, for one sole second claiming victory against death.
But that was the reality of my profession, to aid the dying in every way possible. Ending the pain for them and their loved ones.
They have the option to push the button, it was not my way to cleaning my hands off the deed. But of letting them know that it was their decision. It wasn't a matter of blame but of free will. Some pressed the button with shaky hands yet others with quiet confidence, but it was ultimately done by their fingers, by their choice, their doing. There were instances where they choose to let me do the dirty work, and that was an option they chose and I have no qualms on proceeding with the deed.
Shades of black and white danced around my closed eyes, my own version of sleep or what others branded as stupor. Passing time was a royal pain in the ass for us vampires. The thought of sleep always haunted me, wishing to the higher gods to bestow the gift to us. I kept my eyes closed, resting my hands behind my head as I found a comfortable niche on my chair. My mind settled on my beginnings.
After my bitter transformation in the 1930's, my movement from one city to another had been like clockwork, inevitable. I could only stay in one place no longer than 10 years to avoid suspicions and recrimination. I made use of my time wisely as I honed my skills in every aspect of practicable medicine imaginable.
I wanted to be the best I could be. Hell! I sounded like a poster boy for the Marine Recruitment agency. My eyelashes fluttered at the thought of how unstoppable I was back then. Seventy years could sure change someone drastically. I smirked at myself, running my fingers over the strands of hair that was held securely by a leather band.
A faint sound of movement outside my office momentarily roused me from my musings. "The door is open."
Laurent poked his head in the door. "James, we are ready to leave, are you joining us?" he queried in his deep French accented voice. His dreadlocks as usual hanging on his shoulders as the beads holding them together made some clicking sounds. The smell of the burning body was the least of my favorite part of the procedure. The Angeles forest being the burning ground for our client's bodies, was a chilling reminder of the done deed.
"I'll stay here just in case we get some callers." I nodded my head to my faithful friend before returning to my silent rumination. Laurent swiftly closed the door between us and the sound of the jeeps humming motor roared away a few minutes later.
We uphold every patients dying wish to the letter. After careful discussion and examination of each case, we diligently complete paper-works for them to address their case, their reasons behind their Wish and finally their petitions after their demise.
Threading the fine line between what was ethical and what's not, was a concept I no longer concern myself with. How a life should be lived and how it must end was not my decision to make. I had long abandoned the feelings of guilt and remorse. As a staunched defender of personal liberty, I would argue that every person was morally entitled to end their lives as they saw fit.
My underground practice was located in the desolate part of the city, a block from LA's famous skid row. Depressing as it may seem, it houses our clinic perfectly. The neighborhood's squalid conditions scare away the prying eyes of our detractors, the authorities and media.
A sudden buzzing from my beeper took me out of my silent reflection. Only a few people aside from Laurent and Victoria knew of my cell phone number. The others being, Henry Macy and Marsha Desmond, both doctors who uphold similar belief on Euthanasia. I looked at Dr. Macy's text message.
Dr. Hague, a patient will see you in the morning. Her name is Bella Swan and well documented. ~Henry~
How formal! I can't help but smirk at the thought of Henry, a gentle soul who happened to be the resident surgeon I worked with at another hospital. We attended a convention together and had a deep conversation about our beliefs regarding mercy killing. He was not surprised when I mentioned to him that I operate a clinic and had long been sending patients to us with the promise of utmost confidentiality.
I committed the name to memory. Another soul longing for reprieve and consolation, I thought sadly to myself.
A slight knock on the door came at exactly 9am the following morning. I just walked out of the shower and I could hear Victoria ushering the newcomer to my office. I hurriedly dressed up in my usual daily attire of white cotton tee, faded Levis and shit-kickers. I've been told repeatedly by Victoria that my unorthodox get-up was unbecoming for a doctor of my stature. I snorted at the thought as I towel dried my long hair. I walked to the mirror and brushed my damp hair with my fingers before tying a leather band around it into a low ponytail. My crimson eyes stared back at me as I scanned myself before walking to my office.
The scent of the new patient instantly assaulted me the minute I took a whiff of the air around me. Definitely sick, cancer of some sort, my acute sense of smell could sort out the diseases without even poring on the records the patient usually came with.
I staggered momentarily when a small particle of her scent captured me in the strangest way. This was something I hadn't experienced before which was surprising considering how long I have been around. Stopping in my tracks, I inhaled some more, drinking in the sweet aroma that was her blood. I could feel my throat constrict as a flow of venom danced wildly within me. Unsure of what to do next, I waited for several minutes to compose myself as I leaned on the wall on the dark hallway.
Victoria walked out of my office and stood next to me. Her exquisite face eyed me questioningly. "James, what the heck are you doing here? Your appointment is here. Remember what you kept telling us, Time is Gold!" she stated triumphantly, obviously proud of herself for catching me in a rare moment wherein I wasn't practicing what I preached.
I stood glaring at her for a second before I channeled my energy in relaxing my flustered nerves. Totally random! I hated that feeling. "Vicky, don't you have other things that need your attention?"
"Yeah well, Bella looked like a lost soul so I kept her company while waiting for you." Victoria smiled her sweetest smile and I couldn't help but give back a little tight smile. I admire her compassion and sincerity. She takes her job seriously. No faking of emotions with her approach.
She proceeded to open the door to my office as I gave her the nod that I was ready. "Bella, I would like you to meet Dr. Hague, James Hague." Victoria said as we entered the room.
The effort it took Bella to rouse from her chair caught me off guard. I automatically ticked off every symptom related to cancer in my brain and I zeroed in on bone or cervical cancer when she used a crutch to push herself up. Bone fracture to be exact.
"Hello Bella, how are you this morning?" I greeted her as I offered a hand to her.
Her face turned pink as she grasped my hand with hers. Her hand was as cold as mine, not a good sign I thought, but perhaps she wouldn't pay attention to the similarity in our body temperature. Was she blushing on my account? My breath hitched as I look at her.
"I will be in the other room Dr. Hague if you need me." Victoria declared pointedly. I was dead sure that I'll hear all about it later. I nodded at her and turned my attention back to Bella.
"Bella have a seat." I gestured my hand on the chair opposite my desk as I walked to the closet to retrieve my lab coat.
"Thank you." She replied quietly. I could hear her rapid heartbeat which could only mean two things, fear or excitement in my book. I silently wished it was the latter as I sat down opposite her.
I mentally scolded myself to stop thinking of other things and focus on the task at hand. "So Dr. Macy referred you here?" I asked conversationally as I looked into her face, memorizing every plane, dip and angle. She was a beautiful woman. A human! For Christ sakes!
"Yes…. And I have these papers that he wanted me to show you." She pulled out a brown manila folder behind her back and handed it to me, her eyes averted on the table. She accidentally brushed her fingers on mine and I wanted to hold her hand at that very minute. James, get a hold of yourself man, I nearly screamed out loud.
I opened the folder and glanced at the diagnosis: Cervical cancer, End stage metastasis. Prognosis: 3 to 6 months and it was dated 5 months ago. I felt my hand tremble, although, it would be undetectable to human eyes, and I focused on stopping myself from exhibiting further emotions. I read through the progress notes as well as the physician's orders. Pain management was the only thing written there, nothing more.
I knew she was dying, no other reason for her to seek my services if the situation wasn't dire and hopeless.
"Bella, I am sorry."
"Dr. Hague, please explain the procedure to me." She pleaded as she looked me straight in the eye for the first time. Her deep murky brown eyes were suddenly brimming with tears.
I felt the deep urge to get up and hold her but I restrained myself from doing exactly what I trained myself not to do in these circumstances. It only would make matters worse if we get emotionally involved with our patients. I steeled myself before speaking.
"Please call me James…." For once, I decided screw protocol. "We require patients to stay with us a minimum of 2 days for preparation and counseling. We monitor their vital signs and the pain progression, depending on their physical condition. This usually happens on a date that is mutually agreed by the patient and our clinic. We let the patient choose the method of the "ending" they seek. This clinic's usual practice is assisted and active Euthanasia, the latter being that we see to the whole process from beginning to end." I watched Bella's face intently as she mulled over the information I have given her. She chewed on her lower lip while digesting every detail.
I momentarily stop to retrieve a bunch of papers that she needed to fill out for our records. "These papers needs to be filled out and there's a part there where you will direct us regarding the disposition of your… remains." I couldn't say the last word. Something in me started aching when I thought of her being dead.
Bella took the paper and glanced at it for a moment. "Dr. Macy gave it…." tears begun flowing but she bravely swipe them away. Instinctively, I got out of my chair, ignoring the protocol that I set for our clinic, and knelt down in front of Bella and titled her chin, willing her to look at me.
"Bella, is this the way you want it to end?"
Her tear stained eyes focused on mine without speaking. Tears continued to flow without mercy as we remained unmoving, still.
"This is the only dignified way I want to see myself go." She finally said after her sobbing subsided. "I know….this is for me."
"If you are experiencing pain, I would like to help." I offered my gift to no one but I couldn't stop myself this time. I wanted to banish her pain, her misery. I wanted to comfort and hold her.
She bit her lips once more. She pointed to her lower region of her belly as she stared at me with questions in her eyes. I lifted my hand and let it hover on the area she indicated. I rested my palm on her tender stomach and willed my entire being to give her relief, to ease her pain. My palm started to shake as heat radiated from it for a few seconds. I heard Bella gasp as she met my touch more willingly after experiencing the instant relief I provided her.
"Dr. Hag…err James, how did you do that?"
"Bella, I really would appreciate if you don't ask me questions." I answered her quietly as I pushed myself up and returned behind my desk.
"Let's do this soon…March 4 is what I have in mind. Is that too soon?"
I felt my whole body stiffen at her requested date. Seven days was all I have and she'd be gone? Another burden, another soul I would carry for the rest of my existence? I looked at her without speaking as her face searched mine for an answer.
"March 4 is doable. I'll set you up for that day. Please come back in 2 days for the counseling portion and bring the papers all signed and completed." I replied quietly.
She got up slowly with a little smile on her face. "Thank you James. You don't know how much it means to me."
"Bella….." I couldn't say anything else as I walked her out of the door and watched her get into a waiting taxi cab.
I walked back into my office in a distressed state. Victoria and Laurent were working with another counseling patient and they briefly glanced up as I passed by. Laurent walked alongside and put a gentle hand on my shoulder.
"James, shit happens. I am so sorry." My friend wears his heart on his sleeve as well as his mouth.
"I don't want to hear it. Not now!" I quickly broke away from him and strode purposely to my office before slamming the door shut.
"Whoops, not good. James' got it bad." I heard Laurent say as he walked back to his room assignment. I gritted my teeth to keep myself from going out and tearing his throat out for being right. RIGHT?
She left, her scent lingered where her form did not. I suppressed a sigh. Among the vampire rules mating or falling in love with a human was amongst the 'Don'ts', without adding the mere fact that she's dying.
If I could shed even one tear I would have. A deep pain had settled in my chest, it swarmed outdoing all other senses. Vampire or not I found myself hurting for a fragile human. I had the ridiculous notion that it was a fluke. I scowled as I walked over to the window to let some sunlight in.
After some minutes I came to terms that I wouldn't be able to shake it off, I had to gulp the acidic reality. Have I finally found someone after all these goddamn years?
Sure, I was lonely! I created Laurent and Victoria for the purpose of eternal company and yet I yearned for something much more. Someone like Bella? Dammit, she was a dying human! How many times must I remind myself? I growled incessantly.
Granted that she wasn't dying, would there be a possibility for a human to fall for a vampire? She had no idea of what I was. That alone in itself was a deceit. Would there be any reason for me to hope?
I raked my fingers on my hair as I continued to pace the room. For once, answers evade me. What have I gotten myself into? I almost ripped my lab coat as I removed it and threw it onto my desk, disgusted with myself. How could I let my emotions get the best of me?
Bella's brown manila folder lay on my desk and I had the sudden urge to read it again. Nimbly, I snatched it off its resting place. Gathering courage I once again became the doctor. Ignoring the emotional spectator I began reviewing Bella's bio for the second time. She had filled out the extensive paper-works already; Dr. Macy obviously had discussed this in depth with her.
Eyes: brown,yes and beautiful too; Color: brown, my mind keep getting seduced into thinking about Bella. This would just not do! I mentally kicked myself and focused.
Her status was single, age 30, no occupation, no major illnesses, no allergies, and strangely enough no one listed for her emergency contact.
I arrived to the bottom of her information page. Only hours prior she had signed it, letting her last wishes be known about what to do with the body.
Her answered surprised me, yet it did not. Buried is usually the norm, where a slab of rock served to bring comfort to their loved ones Bella did not care for it. Also carrying bodies consisting of dead weight was not hard work but it was annoying.
In a neat cursive she wrote: No coffin, my wish is to be cremated and the resulting ashes to be scattered by Manhattan Beach.
Direct and to the point, a pinching ache tugged at my dead heart like the utter fool I undoubtedly was. Could I honor her wishes?
Today was the first counseling session. I couldn't think of anything else except the one lone human seeking death. I couldn't help the grimace that formed each time I remembered it would be my job to lead her into death's dark embrace.
Once again alone in my office I was caught off guard by 'her' scent. Amidst dozen of humans and two vampires I could tell her apart.
I was outside my office with her folder in hand before Victoria could even announce Bella as my next patient. Giving Victoria a bland smile and Bella what I hoped would come off a sincere smile I led her to another room.
I remembered what happened in our last session and I wanted to touch her. I took stock of every single detail, I couldn't help deny the feeling that threatened to overtake me; one in which I claimed her. If only to take her pain away and to carry her burden. As I led her to the room I was conscious of the blush that she bore with grace and innocence, I kept kicking myself and remembering she was a patient and I her doctor.
Wave after wave of pure anxiety came off Bella and I first sought to make her feel comfortable. This would be our second meeting; hence it was time to draw her out. To gauge how well she was adjusting with the decision she would be making. I began by asking her neutral questions then proceeding to ask her medical questions, and once the tense shoulders had lost their tautness I went to the heart of the matter.
"We talked about how you were referred here by a trusted physician and friend. Yet what do you want with us?" that question always threw the patients off and Bella was no exception.
"I.. I.. want..." she broke off.
I nodded my head in understanding, waiting for her to gather her thoughts, "I want to die."
She lowered her head in an attempt to evade my probing eyes and I had the most irrational drive to coax her into letting me in on her fears.
Bella said it without emotion, but the assurance of someone who knew it would be inevitable. "Do you understand what it implies?" It ached to see the dullness creep into her eyes but it was clinical protocol to ask.
"I know what it means." She said "But already I feel weak, I know I'm dying. There is no faith, no tomorrow, only knowing that it will get worst and never better." The last was said with eyes that spoke of age, of wisdom.
"Why suffer when it will lead to the same end? Am I selfish or weak because I don't want to die alone, all withered like a dying flower with only machines to keep me alive?"
With two strides I was out of my chair and holding her, she was suffering and so was I. I drew her into me, feeling the contours of her body yet being gentle with her. For she was like a rose made of pristine glass, one I wanted to protect against God Himself. I could feel her sobs thicken then subside, all the while only offering comfort and nothing in return. Eventually I had to let go and the stab of pain was not earthly. She sat back down and we continued the session.
I kept thinking how she had unintentionally let slipped that she was alone. No one wanted to die alone, not if they could help it.
I ended the session with asking more questions, the dullness slowly sulked away. The patients always believed that they would be denied our help once they let their true fears out in the open. But that was never the case; they either called it off or went ahead. Death will never be something to make light of, in the end it's always victorious.
March 3. Bella's final counseling session, the day before her requested departure from her life, from her pains and fears. Hours dragged by, Victoria always the first to arrive was waiting for me already. She had been increasingly nosy but took care not to smother me with questions. I was thankful.
Patients began arriving in the usual procession. I couldn't wait for them to leave.
Pain lanced through the muscle I took to be my heart. Even before I looked at the clock I knew she was in the same building. I was right.
Victoria greeted her, Bella's soft spoken voice was barely above a whisper yet I felt myself be soothed. I hadn't realized just how stressed I had been, even my nerves seemed to be suffering. But it all dissipated, the knowledge that she was in the room next door brought happiness. True happiness.
I gave them some privacy and headed off to attend another patient before Bella.
Thirty minutes later I was outside the same room as Bella. I could smell the cervical cancer but her scent overrode everything else, and I groaned.
Opening the door I found her sitting in a chair. She quickly averted her gaze and a slow blush crept up her cheeks.
"How are you doing Bella?" Impossibly, her blush turned crimson. I smiled, "How are you this morning?"
She returned my smile, "Fine Dr. Hague, errr James."
Her natural response it seemed was by way of a blush. I was enthralled.
So our time together in session involved making sure she was willing to go through with it. As well as assuaging any fear she may have which would do her best to have it open than in the back of her mind.
It went too fast, yet at the end of the session her eyes had only grown brighter and not duller. Her eyes were not as guarded and I knew she was beyond the trusting phase. I was overjoyed, though I was happy just being in the same room.
At the end of her session I asked her if she afraid. She had smiled a sad little smile and answered, "Fear is always with me James. I wish there was another way but it had been decided, my fate is sealed."
I gave a little start when she uttered my name, I wanted to rob her of her fear, to be a thief and take her cancer and fears. And I wanted to make her mine.
I wanted to dispel the heavy mood in the room but she took care of it as one laugh rang around the room. "I'm also scared of clowns."
She confided in a conspiracy whisper. I returned a small smile on her attempt to lighten the situation. I did not want her to leave. I never wanted her to leave, what a crippling revelation as I stood watching her. Tomorrow, she'll be gone. Out of my life.
"Bella… I have no right to offer this…." I deliberated, still unable to come to grips with what I wanted to tell her. Damn my feelings to hell!
"What is it Dr…James?" her thin face was watching me intently.
I turned my back on her, unable to look her in the eye as I let finally let out my feelings for her. "I have another way to end your pain and begin something else. I don't think I could take losing you…" my voice trailed as I tried to compose myself. A goddamn vampire in a nervous state was dangerous.
"How? A beginning?" She asked as she slowly walked behind my desk to face me.
I acknowledged her close proximity as I looked down on her inquiring face. I saw something in her eyes… hope, and something else that I craved. Her face told me that she wanted me too.
"Bella, I don't want you to GO. I want to be with you forever."
"James, I don't have enough time for jokes. I want to be with you too, but it's too late." She whispered wearily. Pain was evident in her voice as trickles of tears made their way down her cheeks. She swayed and I swiftly placed my hand on her back and drew her close.
We stood there, our bodies touching as the scent of death lingered and we both knew it. The inevitable was drawing near and we were almost out of time. I gazed in her eyes tenderly as I brushed my knuckles on her face gently. She cried as she looked at me. I realized the pain that she was bearing bravely and I wanted her pain and fears to go away.
I placed my hand on her stomach and summoned my gift once more. Relief showed in her beautiful face instantly. This was a gift that I dare not use. It was cruel to tease people with my gift knowing that it was temporary. The impending end would still knock on their door and there was nothing I could do with it.
"Bella, what I could offer you is a double edged sword. I have to know whether what you feel for me could withstand everything else." I searched her face for traces of fear and hesitation and found none.
She took her time before responding. She clearly had questions and I waited to hear it but nothing prepared me for what she said.
"James, the cruelest part of my dying, this end that I seek, happened when I met you. I've waited a long time to find someone for me and you came too late."
Her voice quivered as she spoke, her sincerity was palpable. I wanted to jump for joy. Was it possible that I finally found someone I could spend the rest of my existence with? We continue looking in each other's eyes, probing with questions and an underlying desire, something we dared not speak out loud. I lowered my face until it was brushing on her hair. I drank in and basked on her sweet scent. Not wanting this moment to end.
"Bella, would you like to join me in everlasting damnation or would you rather go quietly into the night?" I made an offer that I, for once in my existence, hoped she wouldn't refuse.
A/N: Shadow_Kissed and I know that the pairing may throw some people off but we thought James and Bella would make a great pair too. This story just came to me, out of the blue... I have always been curious about the idea of mercy killing... I won't bore you with my opinion on the matter. We are very proud of our little winner. If you would like to check the contest details, you can find it here if you type Jamesh00rs. Sadly, we don't intend to turn this into a longer story at the moment. Who knows...if we get enough prodding, SK and I may buckle under pressure. lol
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