a/n This is the third and final chapter for this short story. Thanks to all of you for reading and reviewing. Special thanks to the lovely Fr333bird for giving me a shove to get this finished and to the awesome Gemmah for pre-reading & beta'ing it for me.
Disclaimer : SM owns all things Twilight related.
He knocked again, this time harder.
There was movement inside, but still no-one answered the door.
Unfortunately for Bella, a simple door wouldn't keep him out. He took one step back before kicking the door and watching it fly off the hinges. The resulting scream brought a sinister smile to his face as he stepped over the threshold and went in search of his prey.
Bella watched wide eyed as the door to Edward's apartment shattered into pieces. When Jake appeared in its place she screamed, backing away. Her hands instinctively flew to her throat as she remembered what he'd done to her.
"Hello, Bella," he said, smiling and moving toward her, slowly. "It looks like you've changed a little since I last saw you." He raised an eyebrow, expectantly, but she remained silent.
"What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?" He continued to walk forward, forcing her further back into the apartment. "We used to talk all the time, remember?"
Bella remembered all too well, and struggled to understand how the man she knew as her friend could be the same man who now stood in front of her. The open and friendly smile she was so used to seeing, now replaced by the menacing glare of a cold-hearted killer.
"Why, Jake?" she asked, causing him to pause mid-step. "What did I ever do to you?"
"You chose him," he spat, his lip curling in distaste. "You chose to be with a fucking vampire. If you'd picked me when I gave you the chance, you'd still be alive."
Bella shuddered at the thought of being with such a monster. "I have never been so glad that I turned you down," she hissed at him. "You're a monster."
He threw his head back and laughed at her. "I'ma monster?" he asked incredulously. "You've been dating the undead, for fuck's sake. Edward is a vampire! You're a vampire!"
"Edward doesn't kill innocent people, and neither will I." She had a pained expression as she thought about the girls that Jacob had murdered. "All those girls, Jake." She shook her head, unable to comprehend why he would do it.
Jake just shrugged his shoulders. "They deserved it."
"And me? Did I deserve it?"
"You especially. I gave you chance after chance to do the right thing." Bella flinched at the menacing tone of his voice. Her eyes darting frantically round the room, looking for a means of escape; but she was trapped. "But no, you wouldn't listen, would you?" he continued, sneering at her as he spoke. "Edward could do no wrong in your eyes. When he took you home that night, that's when I decided you needed to die. It was so easy to make you doubt your beloved boyfriend. You had so little faith, I almost felt sorry for him."
Bella reeled back from his words, guilt washing over her like a slap to the face. He was right. She had been so quick to believe the worst things imaginable about Edward. Her eyes dropped to the floor as she thought about how Edward must have felt to realize she didn't trust him. Andyethe'dstillsavedher.
With Bella momentarily distracted, Jake saw his chance and he took it; charging at her and slamming her back into the wall. The plaster crumbled around them, her head smacking it hard and punching a hole in the living room wall.
Instinct took over and venom flooded Bella's mouth as her mind registered only one thing.
She had to fight.
Before Jake had chance to back off, she grabbed his arms and threw him off of her, sending him flying across the room and into the large LCD television hanging on Edward's wall. Glass shattered everywhere as Jake fell to the floor with a grunt.
"Not so fucking tough now are you, Jake?" Bella hissed as she stalked towards him, knocking the plaster out of her hair and grinning at her newly discovered strength. She hadn't fully appreciated what being a vampire meant, until she felt the power coursing through her body when she attacked Jake. "Let's see how easy it is to kill me now."
She closed the remaining distance between them in the blink of an eye, her fist connecting with his jaw, snapping it to the side and spraying blood up the wall behind him. He jumped to his feet, shaking his head and spitting blood onto the floor.
"Enjoy it while you can," he laughed. "That strength of yours isn't going to last long."
Bella stopped in her tracks at his mocking tone. He looked too sure of himself to be bluffing, but it couldn't be true, could it? "You're lying." she said but her voice lacked conviction.
"Am I?" He took a step towards her, but she held her ground. Whether he was right or not, she was going to fucking fight. "You need blood, Bella. A newborn like you needs a lotof blood to keep up their strength."
"Edward's gone to get some, he'll be back soon."
"I'd better kill you quickly, then."
Before Bella had chance to react to his words, the air shimmered around him. His skin rippled and his body shook before exploding into the form of a huge, russet colored wolf. Bella stumbled back out of the room, her mouth hanging open in shock and her eyes never leaving the giant beast in front of her.
If what Jake had said was true, that she was getting weaker by the second, she really fucking hoped Edward hurried up with that blood.
The wolf bared its teeth, snarling at her as it began to stalk her. It stopped suddenly in the middle of the room and leaned back on its haunches. Bella knew it was preparing to launch itself at her and instinctively she braced for impact. It was quick, flying through the air with jaws aimed at her throat, but she was quicker. She shifted to the side just in time. Its teeth narrowly missed her neck, but still managed to tear across her shoulder.
She cried out at the pain, wincing as she used her damaged arm to shove the wolf back across the room. It hit the corner with a sickening snap and Bella smiled grimly, flexing her arm and assessing the wound.
That was when she felt it. As the wound began to heal and her body fought to fix itself, she felt a little weaker than just moments before. Jake was right, she needed blood. Now.
Not for the first time in the last forty eight hours, Bella felt the faint stirrings of panic and struggled not to let it show.
The wolf was back up and on its feet, eyeing her like the prey she was, as it paced back and forth across the far end of the room. She cast a furtive glance at her arm, relieved to see it was nearly healed now, but worried as to how much it had cost her.
The air around the wolf swirled again, and Bella watched transfixed as it morphed back into the person she had come to hate; only this time he was naked. Her eyes were drawn downwards and when he noticed her looking, he grinned and spread his hands apart gesturing to his bare skin. "It's a side effect of phasing -clothes get ruined."
"What the fuck are you?" Bella asked, her head snapping up to look him in the eye and nowhere else. The very thought of him made her skin crawl.
"I'm a shapeshifter. Didn't Edward tell you?"
Bella shook her head. She knew she had to delay him until Edward could get back and she frantically searched for something to say. "Can you change into anything else beside a wolf?"
"Oh no you don't," Jake said, ignoring her question and waving a finger at her. "I know what you're doing and it won't work. He's not going to make it this time, Bella." He reached his arms up above his head and she heard his spine crack as he stretched out his muscles.
She swallowed thickly and readied herself for his attack. She may not be as strong as him anymore, but she wasn't going down without a fight. "Bring it, Jake," she spat. "Let's see what you've got."
He ran full speed toward her and she met him head on, the sound deafening as they crashed into each other. Much to her relief, she still had the advantage, but only just. They fell to the floor, with Bella on top. She hit him hard across his jaw, her hands immediately sliding around his neck as he struggled to recover. She squeezed as hard as she could, her finger tips almost touching as her grip on him tightened.
He bucked underneath her, his legs scrabbling for purchase on the hard floor and his hands grabbing at hers in a desperate attempt to peel them off him. Bella tried as hard as she could to end this before she got any weaker, but already she could feel her strength slipping away and judging by the smirk spreading across Jacob's face, he knew it too. Seconds later his hands fastened around hers and he managed to prize them off his throat. He pushed her up off him and planted a swift kick to her stomach, sending her crashing into the wall.
He was on her before she had chance to right herself. There was no more taunting, and when she looked up into his face she knew that this was it. There was no point trying to reason with him, he was so focused on the task at hand, she doubted he'd have heard her anyway. He'd had his fun and now he was going to kill her and finish what he'd started in the alley. His big meaty hands grabbed her, one across her chest, the other wrapped tightly round her neck and he pinned her against the wall.
"Do you know the only way to truly kill a vampire, Bella?" he asked, his voice cold and devoid of all emotion. She couldn't move her head or speak because his hand was almost crushing her throat by that point; he didn't want an answer anyway. "Well I'm about to show you."
The pressure on her neck increased; she closed her eyes, not wanting Jacob's face to be the last thing she saw. Instead, she pictured Edward's face and how beautiful he'd looked when she'd first woken up after the change. If only they'd had more time...
Edward flew along the deserted streets, the blood tucked securely under his arm. It had been relatively easy to procure his precious cargo given the time of night. The hospital had minimum staff on duty and he'd been able to slip inside without having to hang around. He knew he should take this opportunity to hunt; he was dangerously weak from letting Bella feed from him, but he was far too anxious to get back to her. He had a bad feeling in his gut, the hairs on the back of his neck tingling in warning. Hunting would have to wait.
He'd kept his senses alert looking for any hint of Jacob, all the way to and from the hospital, but there'd been nothing. Absolutely nothing. Maybe he was worrying needlessly.
He rounded the last corner and his senses were suddenly assaulted with the all-to-familiar scent. A growl tore out of his chest and he raced to his apartment.
He heard them as he reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Do you know the only way to truly kill a vampire, Bella? Well I'm about to show you."
No! Edward thought as he pushed himself to go impossibly faster, Iwillnotloseheragain.It was just like before, outside the nightclub. Except there would be no second chance for Bella if he was too late this time.
Edward burst through the doorway to his apartment, cursing when he saw the broken door and the damage inside. He rounded the corner of the hall, and stopped in his tracks when he saw Jacob with his beautiful Bella pinned to the wall, his huge hands wrapped tightly round her throat.
"Get the fuck away from her," Edward yelled, dropping the precious box of blood on the floor and rushing over to help her.
Jacob looked over his shoulder, his eyes slightly unfocused as Edward rushed towards him. Only when cold hands pulled him back sharply, did he snap out of his daze and realize what was happening.
The ease with which he had released Bella surprised Edward; he knew without a shadow of a doubt that in his current state he was no match for a shapeshifter. He must have caught Jake by surprise – although that was odd in itself, considering Jake should have sensed him before he'd got here
He took his opportunity and before Jake could react further, Edward shoved him as hard as he could, sending him flying across the room.
"Bella?" Edward whispered, reaching down to grab her hand. "Come on, get up. We need to go. Now." He pulled her to her feet, grimacing as she wobbled slightly. Shit. She needed that blood. They both did. He hadn't touched human blood in eighty years, but tonight he'd fucking make an exception.
He cast a quick glance over to where Jake had landed, but it wasn't Jake that he saw. He'd shifted, and there instead was a fucking huge wolf, and it was headed their way.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
He made a split second decision which he hope wouldn't cost both of them their lives. He shoved Bella away from him, in the direction of the discarded box on the floor, just as the wolf barreled into him from the side. They crashed hard into the kitchen counter; a tangle of limbs and fur.
"Go, Bella." Edward yelled at her, clinging onto the wolf with everything he had. "Get the blood. I can't hold him."
He watched as she ran as fast as she could towards it, skidding to a halt on the wooden floor and quickly flipping the box open. The wolf twisted in his arms, Edward's grip far too weak to contain it any longer. Its head wriggled free and its huge, sharp teeth found their way into Edward's side. He cried out with the pain as the wolf picked him up and shook him like a toy, before tossing him to the side.
"Edward!" Bella screamed as she looked up and saw Jake throw him.
He fell in a heap on the ground, helpless to do anything but watch as it loped towards Bella. She started to go to him, but Edward shook his head, lifting up slightly.
"The blood...Bella" he whispered, feeling weaker by the second as the gaping wound in his side sapped more of his strength. "Get the blood." He slumped back to the floor, silently willing her to hurry the fuck up. If they had any chance of getting out of this intact, she needed to drink that blood pretty fucking fast.
He managed a weak smile as she tore open bag after bag, greedily gulping down the nectar inside. His mouth flooded with venom as he imagined its taste. His eyes followed the path of it as some of the blood escaped her mouth, trickling down her chin, her throat and pooling in the swell of her breasts. He licked his lips, wanting nothing more than to help her clean up, but they had a rather more pressing problem to take care of first.
Bella stood up as she drained her last bag, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. The blood smeared across her pale cheek, her skin ethereal in the muted light, and her eyes glowing a menacing dark red. Edward had never seen anything so magnificent in his whole existence. He could see the strength returning to her body as she flexed her hands and stretched her neck.
Jake was almost upon her and when she saw him coming, she smiled. It was cold, calculating and nothing at all like his Bella. The wolf stopped in its tracks and sniffed the air. Edward knew it could smell the blood, and by now it would have realized that it wasn't animal blood in those bags.
You better run now, Jake," he said, knowing full well that the wolf could understand his words. "That was human blood she just drank." Edward laughed when he saw it step back a little. "Yes, that's right; she'll be so much stronger now."
The wolf turned quickly, looking desperate to get away, but Bella was far quicker now she had fed. She sprang at him, covering the distance between them before it could escape, her arms locking tightly round its neck.
"You killed me; robbed me of my life," she hissed, squeezing tightly as the wolf squirmed in her embrace. Edward watched, in awe, as she sank her teeth into its throat before throwing it at the wall. The brick crumbled under the force, reducing Edward's apartment to an even bigger open plan space.
She stalked towards the crumbled form; not stopping when the wolf disappeared, revealing a bruised and battered Jake.
"It was Edward, "Jake mumbled, spitting out blood as he spoke. "He turned you into this monster."
"After you tried to kill me!" Bella snarled at him. "Edward saved me." She flashed a quick look in Edward's direction and her gaze softened for a second. Her gaze snapped back to Jake, still lying in a heap on the floor. "You killed me, and all those innocent girls. How could you?"
Jake got shakily to his feet. "It was easy. Out all alone at that time of night: They were asking for it."
Edward saw the second she made up her mind to kill him; her eyes narrowed slightly and she swallowed the venom that he knew would be flooding her mouth. She closed the distance between her and Jake in the blink of an eye. Her hands slipped round his throat, and neither she nor Edward flinched at the sound of breaking bones as she snapped his neck and let his broken body slide to the floor.
Bella?" Edward asked, softly. She was stood, motionless, looking down at Jake's dead body. "Bella," he tried again. Her head whipped round, her body tensed and poised to fight, her eyes wide and feral. "Hey," he whispered. "It's just me." He held out his hand to her, and slowly but surely he could see her vision clear and his Bella slowly resurfaced. She looked over at Jacob and then back to Edward.
"I'm not sorry," she said. "Is that horrible of me to say?"
"No," Edward answered, opening his arms out for her. She almost fell into them and sighed deeply. "I was so scared that I'd lose you a second time." His words were slightly muffled by her hair as he placed tender kisses on the top of her head. "I love you, Bella. So much."
"Oh, Edward, I love you too." Her voice hitched and she pulled herself tighter against him, causing him to wince slightly. She immediately pulled back a little, her hands running all over his body. He smiled when he realized she was checking him for injuries.
"It's nearly healed," he said, stilling her hands as they ghosted over the wound in his side.
"You're so weak," Bella said, looking up into his eyes. "Didn't you hunt?"
"No. I wanted to get back to you."
She extricated herself from his arms and walked back over to the blood box. She reached inside and waved an unopened bag. "Lucky I saved one for you."
"I can't drink that, Bella," Edward said, but his voice was unconvincing and his mouth watered in anticipation.
"It won't hurt just his once," she coaxed, coming nearer. "You need help to heal that wound. So don't argue."
He smiled at her bossiness, loving the way she placed her hands on her hips as she looked down at him, one eyebrow raised. They may have yet to talk about a shit load of stuff, and there also was Rosalie and Charlie to deal with, but Edward couldn't help but grin as he realized that this incredible creature was his.
a/n I may do an epilogue at some point...maybe. Keep it on alert, just in case. Thanks so much for reading .