Written for the Jukebox Contest

Song Choice: All I Need by Within Temptation

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. If I did, Rob would be with me right now :P

To view other entries in this contest, (there were 43 amazing entries!) visit the C2 here, or the author page, as it was anon:

www . fanfiction . net / community / The_Jukebox_Contest_Entries_Winter_2011 / 90643

I didn't win anything but I had an absolute blast writing this! I love Vampward ;)


Hi Lovelies.

*sigh* yes I know, it's not an update, but I hope you will forgive me and enjoy this anyway.

Please believe me when I say that RL has been so shitty, with my fiancée and brother needing surgery, moving jobs etc... But, the update for Wing Girl is just around the corner I promise. It's over half written.

Thanks to my fic wife / collab partner Shaelove for reading over this and talking me down from the ledge numerous times. I love you Hunny, but you already know that. If you haven't checked our our collab story called 'Mr Cullen's Conundrum' the link is on my profile page. I hope you like.

Thanks, as always, to my fuckawesome beta kyla713. You are amazing Hun and I couldn't have asked for a better beta, honestly. Love ya! If you haven't checked out her stories, well... just do your self a favour and do so, m'kay?

Hope you enjoy :)


"Don't tear me down for all I need,

Make my heart a better place; give me something I can believe,

Don't tear me down,

You've opened the door now, don't let it close…

I'm here on the edge again, I wish I could let it go,

I know that I'm only one step away from turning around,

Can you still see the heart of me?

All my agony fades away, when you hold me in your embrace…

Don't tear me down for all I need,

Make my heart a better place; give me something I can believe,

Don't tear it down, what's left of me,

Make my heart a better place…

I tried many times but nothing was real,

Make it fade away, don't break me down,

I want to believe that this is for real,

Save me from my fear, don't tear me down…

Don't tear me down for all I need,

Make my heart a better place…"

All I Need – by Within Temptation.


EPov:

"God, I hope I didn't leave the iron on…"

"I hope he doesn't want any tonight, I'm so exhausted…"

"I can't believe I missed tonight's episode of 'Jersey Shore'!"

I could not help but scoff at the inner monologues as I searched to the minds of those around me.

Knowing I was in the clear and had not been caught, I continued to dig the large sized hole in the ground.

Humans. Such a simple species.

Most human thoughts were of a selfish nature, constantly thinking of themselves. Granted that, occasionally, I would hear selfless thoughts, regarding a partner or a loved one, but these were much fewer in number.

In over one hundred years, I had yet to hear into a mind that was truly fascinating. A mind that would interest me and keep me guessing as to what they were thinking next…

Satisfied that the hole was large enough, I proceeded to drop the lifeless body in before beginning to cover it over. It had not been the greatest meal, but it was satisfying nonetheless.

I was in what Carlisle liked to call my 'rebellious stage', meaning that I had strayed from the family 'diet'.

It was laughable really, calling a vampire that fed from humans 'rebellious', as that was our natural food source; but Carlisle and the rest of my family were different. They liked to call themselves 'vegetarians', as they chose to only sustain themselves on animal blood. Usually, I was included in that group, but as mentioned before, I had strayed.

It is not that I had made a conscious decision to change my diet, so to speak. It was more that I had needed to get away, to be on my own for a while.

I was the only unmated vampire in a family of seven, and at times, it was utterly unbearable.

The only thing I could adequately compare it to, would be a middle-aged human, living in a house with no walls or doors, with three couples.

Does not sound like much fun, does it…?

No one but Rose and Carlisle really understood what it was like, but Rose was the most self-absorbed being I had ever met; barely even noticing her mate, Emmett. Carlisle, who had been alone the longest besides myself, had also found his mate. It was hard to dwell on and discuss life before, when the love of your existence was standing right beside you.

Of course, it was not that most of them did not try to understand, but I did not want sympathy, I wanted a mate.

I had needed a break from the sensory overload of love and affection that was displayed on a daily basis — both mental and physical.

Whereas my family members had their mates to take their… frustrations out on, I had no one. It was not as though I had never had intercourse before; after all, I was not a monk, but for me, it was just a means to end. The few times I had undertaken the activity, there had been no emotional connection on my end. Team that with the fact that I had been able to hear and visualize every single thought that was running through her head at the same time, and it was incredibly off putting – it was like having running commentary, and the whole debacle was terribly unfulfilling.

I kicked at the ground, frustrated at the path my thoughts had taken me.

Usually, I was not this self-loathing.

On a day-to-day basis, I was apathetic to my life – not overly enthused but not morose either. I was… well, indifferent; I simply existed.

But at other times, I could become, for lack of better words, dejected and lonely, and it was usually the little things that would get to me.

When the family would go off on a hunt in pairs, leaving me to myself…

How in the family room, each couple would pair off in a love seat to 'cuddle'.

And, worst of all, when each pair attempted to be quiet for my sake whilst making love, and failed miserably.

The difficult thing about vampire emotions is that they are so much more powerful than that of a human. When a vampire becomes depressed, it envelops them completely.

It is during those times that I usually leave the family life behind in favor for the life of a nomad.

I had deserted my family three times in the last hundred years, this time included, choosing to wander aimlessly through the world completely alone.

Carlisle had offered numerous times to aid me in finding a mate, using his vast list of contacts, but I had always refused. Though my family never knew, during the last two trips, I had attempted to look for my mate on my own. I had traveled to every corner of the globe and had visited every vampire coven in known existence to search for her. I had even gone to such lengths as to visit the Volturi in Italy, but it was to no avail. No matter where I went, I would come up empty handed.

Maybe Carlisle was right, perhaps he had changed me too young, and I was destined to be alone for eternity…

I had even considered asking the Volturi to end my torment when I was there, but it was only for a fleeting moment. For a damned race, vampires had an oddly strong sense of self-preservation. Our main instincts were to protect our mate and protect ourselves. I suppose that is why suicidal vampires were unheard of.

I sighed at the morbidity of my thoughts as I stared down at the freshly covered grave. The human occupying the mound was of no importance — scum really — nothing but a criminal. I had no doubt that he would not be missed, but I still felt as though I needed to say something.

After all, unlike me, this man still had a soul.

I said a few short words to a God I did not believe in, before leaving and making my way back to my hotel.

Currently, I was in Phoenix, Arizona. Obviously, an odd place for a vampire to be, but as my family was in Forks, Washington, I figured it was a safe enough distance away.

Well, that and the fact that Arizona was always sunny, so I was practically guaranteed to be the only vampire in the area – meaning that I would fly under the radar easily.

Sure, it meant that I had to act like a 'real' vampire and only be outdoors at night, but it was a small price that I was willing to pay for my solitude.

I had only been there two days and had never been so far out of town before, so I stopped in an attempt to take in my surroundings. A vampire could never be technically lost, as our sense of smell was so strong. I took in a deep breath to find the direction of my hotel from the trail of my scent and suddenly froze. There, on the breeze, was the most divine scent I had ever inhaled. It was incredibly faint and tainted with something I could not quite place, but I knew that I had to follow it.

Keeping to the scarce tree line, I quickly and quietly made my way through to the opposite side of town from where I was staying. The scent was growing stronger with every step, and after ten minutes, I found myself standing outside a hospital.

How odd…

Thinking I must be mistaken, I was about to leave when a member of staff walked through the electric front doors, wafting a stronger concentration of the scent in my direction.

My nostrils flared and my throat burned as the venom filled my mouth in preparation.

I needed to find that scent.

Keeping my head down, so that no one would see my ruby colored eyes, I followed my nose through the main entrance and down a long corridor. I knew it was well after visiting hours, so when the scent disappeared at the set of lifts, I decided to take the stairs instead.

Moving at lightening speed, I quietly exited on the fourth floor, following the corridor all the way to a closed door at the end. I gently pushed open the door and immediately closed my eyes as the scent hit me full force. It was divine and I had honestly never smelt anything like it. The monster in me roared ferociously at the scent, but there was another feeling, too, that I had never experienced before – an odd sensation had started to grow in the pit of my stomach...

Being that I had not been human in over one hundred years, I had nothing to compare this sensation to, but if I had to choose something, I would say that it was similar to the feeling that humans call, 'butterflies'? It was a kind of nervous energy that was growing stronger by the second. It wasn't entirely unpleasant, just foreign.

"I hope her vitals have improved. Her BP was far too low, and the last thing I want to do is have to call the doctor to disturb her at this hour…"

I was brought out of my own thoughts as a woman's voice floated down the hallway. Seeing the number of the doorway I was currently occupying in her mind, I knew that the nurse was going to enter in less than a minute.

Scanning the area, I found a small bathroom to the right of the doorway, and without sparing a glance to the occupant of the bed, I quickly dashed into the bathroom and closed the door quietly behind me.

The room was completely dark, but with my enhanced vision, I was able to see perfectly.

A soft set of footsteps reached my ears followed by a sigh, as the nurse entered the room.

"She's looking so pale…"

I tapped into the woman's mind, and through her eyes, I saw what I had not even bothered to look at since opening the door. Occupying the bed was a very small, very frail-looking girl. It was obvious to see that she was incredibly sick, and as I inhaled again, I was finally able to name what had tainted her scent.

Cancer.

I had worked as a Medical Intern with Carlisle enough times to know that, from the amount of cancer cells in her scent, it was terminal.

The odd sensation in my stomach flared at the thought, and I couldn't understand why. Humans died everyday, it was simply a fact of life. The human meant nothing to me, so why was I… grieved by the knowledge that she was dying?

"Oh Lord, she's febrile again…"

I heard the rustling of sheets before the girl began to stir.

"Becky?"

"Yes, it's me. I'm sorry, sweetheart, but your temperature is way too high, so I need to remove your blankets and sponge you down, okay?"

"But I'm freezing. I can't stop shivering."

"I know, sweetie, I'm sorry. I'll up your dose of painkillers a little and see if we can't get it to come down a little."

"Please, Becky, please just let me sleep. I don't care anymore, I'm just so tired…" the girl sighed.

"Oh, hunny," the Nurse replied sadly, her thoughts showing how much she had come to care for the girl over the many months that she had been her nurse. "All right. I'll leave the blankets in place for now and hopefully with the medication, the fever will come down slightly. I'll come back in a few hours, okay?"

I did not hear a reply, but after a few minutes, the footsteps left the room and I heard the door close softly behind her.

I stayed still and concentrated on the girl's breathing. Once I was certain she was asleep, I quietly opened the bathroom door and made my way into the room.

The girl was lying still in the bed, looking so pale that if I had not been able to hear her sluggish heart beat, I would doubt whether she was in fact alive.

I took a moment to really look at her, and though it was evident she was terribly ill, I could not help but be struck by the evidence of her beauty.

Her short hair, hung in limp curls below her ears. I imagined that it would have once been quite long and thick, but must have fallen out due to chemotherapy.

Her skin was almost translucent, save for the light staining of pink on her cheeks, presumably from the fever that was running rampant in her body.

The girl's body was heaped with blankets, but her collarbones were exposed. They were noticeable, but not overly prominent. That combined with the fact that her cheeks were not completely hollowed, led me to believe that, while she must have lost a decent amount of weight, she had retained a hint of a woman's figure beneath the blankets. My mouth watered at the thought, and I was instantly repulsed.

The girl stirred in the bed, sending a fresh wave of her scent to swirl around me, and while it was still heavily potent, the monster in me was no longer begging for the thirst to be satiated. It did, however, create a completely different longing within me and without conscious thought, I found myself moving quickly through the room to sit in the chair at her bedside.

The stirring in the pit of my stomach had since become a dull ache and I found that the closeness of sitting beside her had lessened the throb.

I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to touch her, to see if her skin was in fact as soft as it looked. I hesitantly raised my hand and very gently, brushed the back of my fingers along her cheek. The warmth from her skin was like fire, and with a mere single touch, my entire body had caught alight. The girl sighed and unconsciously leaned into my touch in her sleep, causing the 'butterflies' in my stomach to become a raging ocean.

I forced my hand away from her and fisted them together in my lap, trying to distract myself from the foreign feelings that were threatening to overtake my body.

From the small distance, I could make out the thin speckling of freckles on her nose and I found myself smiling at the humanness of them.

When we became vampires, we lost most of our prominent human features. Crooked noses were straightened, hunched shoulders were flattened, bad teeth were fixed… Put simply, our imperfections were perfected. Most vampires considered this a perk, but to me, it was just another way to remind us that we were no longer human; that we had become monsters. Soulless demons, who were required to feed off the living to survive.

"You know, it's impolite to stare…"

My head snapped up to find her staring intently at me, and the ache in my stomach shot to my chest as our eyes connected. If I had not known that it was impossible for a vampire to have a heart attack, I would have been gravely concerned for my health.

I clutched at my chest as the pain radiated throughout my body, filling me with an agony that I had not experienced since I had been changed a century before. I tried to close my eyes in an attempt to block out the pain, but it seemed that the moment our eye contact was lost, the pain became crippling, and I found myself grunting in agony.

"Are you okay?" the girl asked, and I re-opened my eyes to find her brows scrunched in worry.

She reached over the bed rail and placed her hand on my arm, in what I supposed was meant to be a sign of comfort, but the second her skin touched mine, it was as though some form of electric current had passed from her to me, filling me with the greatest feeling of euphoria I had ever experienced. I closed my eyes momentarily to bask in the feeling, and when they opened again, I could not prevent the gasp that escaped my lips.

I had not moved an inch, yet it was not the same room I had been in a moment ago.

The room had become a blur, allowing my focus to be re-directed. It was as though the electric shock had somehow altered my genetic make-up. My entire sense of perception had changed, and all I could see was the girl in front of me. She had been beautiful a minute before, but at that moment, she was ethereal. Her once limp, brown hair radiated with warmth, the subtle mahogany undertones shining in the dim overhead light of her room.

The eyes that had been hidden from my view were all that I could see, created from the richest chocolate known to man.

The light flushing of her cheeks had become crimson and she ducked her head to avoid my gaze.

She was an absolute vision.

"Please, don't hide from me," I murmured, as I reached over and lifted her chin with my finger. "You are far too beautiful not to be admired."

She flushed an even deeper shade of red as she again looked at me intently. I reached into her mind to find the source of her embarrassment, but came up blank. Confused, I tried again, only to find the same result – emptiness. I broadened my search and was easily able to the find the nurse from earlier, who was considering which frozen meal to consume on her break, so I knew that the problem was not with my ability.

I searched the place her thoughts should have been, but it was as though there was nothing there, some sort of black wall…

"It's about time you showed up, you know. You've kept me waiting for much longer than I anticipated," she said softly.

My train of thought was halted as her silky voice sent shivers down my spine and I once again raised my eyes to hers.

"Waiting for what, exactly?" I asked, genuinely confused by her statement.

"Okay, maybe that wasn't a great conversation starter. Let's start with something simpler, shall we? Hi, I'm Bella," she replied with a smile, moving her tiny hand from my arm to hold it out in front of me expectantly, and I immediately mourned the loss of contact.

"Beautiful, of course you are," I murmured in response. "I'm Edward."

I clasped her hand in mine gently and gave it a shake, as once again, I was shocked from the current. I started to draw circles absentmindedly on her hand with my thumb and I watched utterly mesmerized as she closed her eyes and tightened her grip on my hand.

"You have no idea how that feels," she sighed sadly.

"What, this?" I questioned, motioning to where my skin met hers.

"Yes, the contact. It's amazing how much you can miss something so simple."

"You are… Are you alone?"

"Is that your way of asking me if I'm single?" she asked with a smirk, and that time, it was my turn to duck my head in embarrassment.

"But to answer your question, yes, I'm alone."

"What about your parents? Surely, they must come and visit you. If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?" I was not sure what had motivated me to ask the question or why I was so interested in the answer, but I was waiting for it.

"How old do you think I am?"

"How old do you want me to think you are?"

"How old should I want you to think I am? You know, I can keep this up all night," she fired back with a smile.

"A true gentleman would never guess at a lady's age."

The sound of her laughter was music to my ears as it filled the room.

"Okay, fine, I'm twenty. And to answer your question, no, my parents never visit. They passed away when I was younger."

"Oh, I'm so sorry," I replied, immediately feeling like an ass.

"It's okay, honestly. I've been on my own since I was sixteen, so I'm used to the being alone."

"So am I," I blurted without even thinking.

"Really?"

"Yes. I have quite a large family and being the only one that is un… married, I too am used to the solitude."

"Where are you from, Edward? You don't look like someone that's from around here," Bella asked, after a few minutes of comfortable silence.

"I was born in Chicago, but my family is currently in Forks, Washington."

"Wow, you're a long way from home, then. What brings you to Phoenix?"

"I'm on a vacation of sorts. What about you, where do you originate from?" I asked, trying to take the focus from myself.

"Well, I originate from here. I was born in Phoenix and have lived here my entire life," she replied, placing an emphasis on the word 'originate', clearly mocking my terminology.

"Really? I though people from Phoenix were supposed to be tan…"

Bella let out a full-bellied laugh at my attempt at a joke, and I could not stop the smile from lighting my face either. That was, until she started to cough.

Her entire frame shook from the violent, hacking coughs as she struggled to breathe.

"Bella? What can I do?" I asked, jumping to my feet in a panic.

"St…stay," she managed to choke out between gasps.

Bella must have been monitored constantly, because the machines behind her bed began to alarm in urgency. I could hear the rushed thoughts of the medical staff coming down the hall and I had never been so torn. I didn't want to have to hide while Bella was in trouble, but as it was after hours and the room had no windows that I could sneak back into, I had no choice but to retreat to the bathroom.

I closed the door behind me just as the footsteps reached the threshold; the fluorescent lights illuminated the bathroom from the crack under the door.

"It's okay, Isabella, just breathe. You're okay."

I heard the sound of oxygen being started as the nurse continued to speak in soothing and hushed tones.

"That's it, hunny, deep breaths."

I listened intently to her breathing. At that moment, it was the most important sound in the world and with every breath that Bella took, the weight that had been crushing my chest began to loosen slightly.

After the longest ten minutes of my existence, her breathing began to normalize and within twenty more, the deepness and cadence of her breaths alerted me to the fact that she had fallen asleep.

The nurse stayed in the room and continued to monitor her respiratory rate. From her thoughts, I was able to confirm what I already knew – that Bella was stable and that she was asleep.

"That coughing is getting so much worse. She might not pull through next time. Poor kid, she's so young…"

I had only known Bella a few hours, but the thought of her not existing…

I felt my legs give way at the thought as I slid down the wall to the floor, roughly pulling at my hair in frustration. Every second that I was out of her immediate presence, the pain in my chest was building. It was actually painful to be away from her.

In a matter of hours, it seemed as though Bella had become my entire world. I had no idea what had happened, but she had altered me completely…

I pulled out my phone to call Carlisle for assistance when my thoughts took a very different turn, taking me back in time about seventy years to when another vampire had been having a similar reaction – when Carlisle met Esme, his mate.

Mate.

Is that what this was? Was Bella my mate?

Bella, a human who was dying of terminal cancer? Was my mate?

In what kind of world was this right or fair?

I know that for all intents and purposes, my soul was damned and that I had taken innocent life. Was this my punishment?

And Bella, what had she done to deserve to have me as her mate?

"Edward?"

Bella's whisper filled my ears and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that she was awake. I had been so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I had not registered that the nurse had left the room.

I stood from my crouching position and entered her room, moving as quickly as I dared to her side.

"You gave me a fright," I told her honestly, reclaiming her tiny hand in mine the moment I was seated.

"I'm sorry," she croaked in response.

"No, I'm sorry. If I had not made you laugh so, you would never have been in that predicament."

"Edward, I'm sick. That's not the first time it has happened, and it won't be the last. The fluid in my lungs is increasing so the attacks will just continue to get worse before the end," she replied. "I'm dying, Edward. Every minute that passes, I get closer."

The pain in my chest flared at her words and I found myself rubbing at the ache to dispel the ache.

"You feel it, too, don't you?" Bella questioned, zeroing in on the hand on my chest.

"Feel what?"

"The… ache. The minute you stood up and walked away, I got this… pain in my chest, almost as though someone were sitting on it. At first, I thought it was the lack of oxygen, but as tightness in my chest began to improve, the pain just kept getting worse. I was even aware of it in my sleep. And then it just… disappeared when you sat and held my hand. And now you're rubbing at your chest, too."

I had no response to give her, no explanation, so I simply dropped my hand to my lap.

Honestly, I had never heard of a human feeling the effects of a mating, but then again, I had never heard of a vampire mating with a human, either…

"Bella, what did you mean before, when you said that I had kept you waiting?" I questioned, choosing to change the topic conversation to something safer.

She flushed in response and again ducked her head.

"I know why you are here, and I'm ready."

"Ready for what?"

"Why are you here, Edward? Why are you in Phoenix?"

"I already told you, I am on vacation. And answering a question with another question does not equal a response."

"Why Phoenix, Edward? I'm sure you could have traveled overseas to 'vacation', if you wanted to. So I ask again, why Phoenix?" she questioned, clearly becoming flustered.

"I don't know."

"You don't know? Not good enough, Edward. Why, of all the states in the country, did you choose to come here?"

I sat in silence for a moment, and tried to really think about what she was asking.

Why had I chosen Phoenix?

"I was drawn here," I answered, and the minute I spoke the words, I knew that it was the truth.

Bella sighed and lay back in her bed.

"I knew I was waiting for something. I didn't exactly know what that something was; I just knew I had to wait. It was like a longing, and it became worse two days ago. And then tonight, I woke up and found you sitting at my bedside, and I knew without a doubt, that you were what I was waiting for."

"Bella, you have to know that I feel the same, but what you are saying is just not possible. We are from completely different worlds. There cannot be a future for us, it's just not plausible."

Bella, mirroring what I had done earlier, reached over and placed it under my chin. Knowing her intention, I allowed her to move it so I could look at her.

"Edward, I'll say it again. I know why you are here, and I'm ready."

"You don't know what you are saying, what you are asking for. You don't want this, Bella," I replied adamantly.

"I know that I need to be where you are. Whatever you are, my destiny is now tied to yours."

"Whatever I am? Are you even listening to yourself?"

"Edward…"

"No," I replied, effectively cutting her off as I jumped out of my seat. "Has the feeling of my skin not even registered to you? The coldness? Or my eyes? You are not the least bit curious or concerned about the oddity of their color?"

"When you are knocking on death's door, it somehow gives you the ability to see death. I know what you are. Well, more that I know what you aren't – you're not human."

"You know this, and yet, you still want to be with me?" I asked incredulous.

"Thank you for not lying to me," she replied softly. "And the answer is yes. It will always be yes. I have felt more alive in the last few hours than I have my entire life."

"But that's just it, Bella. You are alive. You have a soul. A pulse and a heart beat and…"

"The doctors have given me weeks, Edward, at best. I have been fighting cancer for as long as I can remember, and I'm tired. I'm so tired of fighting."

I rushed to her side once more, and cradled her heart-shaped face in my hands as she erupted in sobs. My long dead heart broke at the fact that tears were falling faster than I could swipe them away, even with my speed.

"Bella, you have no idea what you are asking of me."

"Please, I want to start living, with you. Forever."

I was at once conflicted as heart warred with my head as I took in her words.

My heart wanted to jump out of my chest with happiness. Did this angel truly want to be mine forever? It was almost too good to be true and I was trying incredibly hard not to get my hopes up. After all, everything I had ever wanted, everything that I had scoured the globe for, was sitting in a hospital bed opposite me, telling me that she wanted me forever.

My head, on the other hand, was rationalizing that this beautiful girl was human, and more importantly, she had a soul. With a heavy heart, I knew that was the one thing I would never take.

"Kiss me."

"What?" I questioned at her random outburst.

"I can practically see the wheels turning in your head and the minute that sad look crossed your face, I knew I had lost. So, kiss me."

"Bella, you don't understand. What I am… It is not the kind of life I want for you. You are too good and pure and though I will regret my decision until the end of days, I will not gamble with your soul. You cannot comprehend the depth of my feelings for you. If you allow me to, I will stay with you for your remaining days, and know that I will follow as soon as possible. I just hope that my decision right now will be looked upon favorably on my judgment day."

"Edward, please, just kiss me," she cried, as she clawed at my shirt.

Her desperation and feeling of loss was so palpable that I found myself being inundated with emotion. Unconsciously, I held my breath and leaned into her, pressing my lips delicately to hers, being careful not to apply to much pressure.

What I had not been prepared for, was Bella's reaction.

In a move that was too fast for even a vampire to process, she was out from under her blankets and sitting in my lap. Her lips began to kiss me with fervor and as her hands tugged at my hair, I find myself becoming inexplicably aroused. Bella must have felt it, as she began rubbing herself against me, causing a maddening friction, and I felt the growl erupt from my chest at her moan.

"Edward, please," Bella sighed between kisses. "If I have to die, I need it to be at your hands. I know we have only known one another a few hours, but I love you."

I inhaled a deep breath to replace the air that had been expelled in a moan at her declaration, and that was when I smelt it – blood.

The heavenly scent that had led me to this very room filled my nostrils and with the combination of arousal and the bloodlust, the monster took over.

Without conscious thought, I sunk my teeth into the flesh at her neck, sighing in ecstasy as her luscious blood danced over my palate. If possible, it tasted even better than it smelled. I started taking in deep pulls, desperate to consume more of the delicious nectar when I heard a faint, "I love you."

The sound of Bella's voice was enough to rein the monster in just enough for me to pull back and I immediately was disgusted with what I saw.

The soft, milky skin of Bella's neck was now, marred by my teeth and covered in blood.

"Oh god, what have I done?"

"It's what I wanted, Edward. Thank you," Bella whispered faintly, and I watched in horror as her eyes began to roll back in her head. It was then I realized that blood was still pulsing from her neck. Without a second thought, I leaned in and licked her neck, effectively closing the wound and trapping my venom inside her. When that was done, I moved to her left and right wrists, biting only deep enough to fill her system with my venom before sealing it again.

"Bella, please, forgive me, my love," I whispered to her now unconscious form, and I could only pray that there was enough blood in her system to carry my venom to heart.

I knew that I had been wrong only minutes ago – I could not lose her.

My question was answered when, not five minutes later, Bella let out a whimper.

I knew that she was in pain, but I could not stop the small smile that graced my lips in knowing what that whimper meant.

My Bella was changing, and I would have her with me for eternity.

Mine.

I leaned in to place a kiss to her forehead before bundling her up in a blanket.

I walked over to her chest of drawers and packed all of the personal belongings I could find in the backpack on the floor. I had just swung the backpack on my shoulder when the first scream sounded from Bella's lips. Knowing we could stay no longer without being discovered, I lifted her from the bed and cradled her in my arms before walking to the window.

"I love you, my Bella, and I promise the pain will be over soon. I'm so sorry."

Holding her tightly to my chest, I kicked out the glass from the hospital window and jumped, landing gently yet firmly on my feet before making a run to the tree line.

I needed to call my family immediately…

Family. Alice

The thought startled me for a moment. Even though I already knew that I had no missed calls, I carefully reached into my pocket to double check my cell phone.

I had been right; there was no record of any missed phone calls on the screen.

I started to wonder as to why Alice had not called, given that today had been the most important day of my existence since my change.

Why had she not alerted me that I would put my mate in danger?

I suppose one could argue that Bella spilling her own blood had been a snap decision, subsequently resulting in my… momentary lapse, and that Alice may not have had enough warning, but why had I not heard from her this morning?

I shuddered at the number of 'what ifs' that could have prevented us from even meeting in the first place.

What if I had decided not to feed today?

What if I had not come across that particular, disgusting human and seen the meal opportunity?

What if after feeding I had decided to run in the opposite direction and not happened across Bella's scent?

The numbers of possibilities were overwhelming and I felt my anger begin to grow that Alice had not thought to warn me, but as another scream fell from my angel's lips, I realized I did not have the luxury of anger right now.

Holding her tightly to my chest, I pushed my questions to the back of mind as I prepared to call my family. Hopefully, they would make it to Phoenix before Bella woke, as I was more than likely going to need their help when my mate opened her eyes to our new life.

My mate.

Just the sound of the foreign word filled me emotion, and I leaned down to place a tender kiss on her forehead.

All I could hope was that someday, Bella would find it in her heart to forgive me for what I had done to her, and for what she would become…


I really hoped y'all liked this, and I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have had :)

This one-shot is complete but, I *may* write a one-shot sequel for one of the 'Fandom Fights' causes at a later date, just showing how Bella woke up and her first interactions with the Cullens. So yeah, if this is something you would like to see, just let me know.

As I said, updates are coming soon, I promise. I have started writing again.

Anyhoo, as always, thanks for reading! Much love Xox