***This story contains reference to violence, snark, more snark, vulgarity, and sexual content.***
The Stench Wars Story Summary: Edward returns from Italy to find Jacob Black has become Bella's BFF and is interfering with their relationship. Jacob Black is never going to know what has hit him. AU Eclipse Satire. ExB
This is a short story *points to regular readers that are dying laughing rolling on the floor* *blinks* Really. Less than *crosses out the word six* *clears throat* fifteen chapters. Short chapters. *sniffs* Promise. I'll update once a week. Good seeing you all again. Snarkily yours, Books
Thanks to LJ Summers and prettyflour for the beta-ing.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter at BookishQua.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot of the Twilight Saga are the property of its author. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media. Copyright infringement is not intended, nor will I ever make a dime from this fanfiction.
Dedicated to Tigrmommi
What have I done? As I pondered the ramifications of the agreement that I had just hammered out with the Volturi about changing Bella into a blood-dependent fiend like me, I gulped. I felt like a man who had gone temporarily insane, only to wake up surrounded by mangled bodies with no memory of causing the devastation, clutching a binding contract in his shaking hand, and saying, "Who me? What bodies? Hunh?" Well, you get the point.
A few days back, my darling sister Rosalie, who was so going to get Hell from me when I returned, had convinced me that my beloved had perished. Perhaps I had overreacted a tiny bit, coming here begging to be put to death and all. But still. I loved Bella. I had made so many sacrifices on her behalf. Nothing was too good for my Bella. Even the Volturi brothers had agreed that she was exceptional. Especially with her being my singer and still having a pulse and all. And that whole mind like a steel trap business. My Bella, how she made me proud.
Alice, Bella, and I stood before the brothers in the throne room of the fortress of Volterra. Heidi passed us as we exited, all but mentally cooing at the prospect of the meal she planned on having out of a lanky young man that trailed after her staring at her assets. Rattling off historical facts about the area, she led a large group of male tourists from Mexico City inside the throne room. By their lean builds, they appeared to be soccer players. Soon to be dead ones.
Marcus tilted his head towards the exit, and I needed no further encouragement as I all but dragged Bella from the room, trailed by the quietest vampire in immortal history. The heavy oak doors reinforced with iron bands had just slammed shut behind Marcus, leaving the four of us in a hallway. He took the lead, and we continued walking quickly around a curved corridor.
Bella blanched, hands curled into fists when the screaming started. It echoed in the passage, driving knives into my stinging conscience. I loathed what they were doing, yet the blood smelled so sweet. And I was hungry. Really hungry. Had not had a good meal in weeks hungry. Was tempted to take a nibble or three right now of my scrumptious singer kind of hungry. This was moral. Last time we chatted, she had been bound and determined that she wanted me to take a bite or three out of her. The fear emanating from Bella, however, ruined my appetite, making me feel like a sinner before a saint. Alice smacking me on the back helped, too.
"Focus, grasshopper," she gave me the evil eye. And showed me a vision that curdled my venom of what would have happened had I decide to partake of my singer.
We paused in an antechamber. Marcus kindly suggested, "Why don't we go to my quarters and visit?" I almost tripped at the sound of his voice.
On the other side of the door down the hall, Aro halted in the midst of feeding on a goalie to say, "Oh, how wonderful! Marcus has decided to start speaking again. I think that is the first time he's talked in two hundred years." Aro nodded at a female vampire named Cecelia, who sulked at having to abandon her lunch to go babysit Marcus. From her thoughts as she scurried after us, I gathered she had been controlling his mind for quite some time out of fear he would hurt himself over the death of his mate. Well, he seemed fine to me.
Marcus met my perturbed gaze as Cecelia approached and I sniffed in disdain. Someone had exceptionally poor table manners as evinced by the blood splattering her clothing. Before she could see the approaching immortal, I spun Bella around and held her face against my chest.
"Sweetheart, you really don't want to look right now."
"Okay," she gulped.
"You know how you like my scent?" I asked Bella.
Jerkily, she nodded.
"Feel free to smell me all you want." She giggled for half a beat and then collapsed into tears.
"My apologies, Marcus." I bowed as I lifted Bella and backed away. "My mate is sensitive to the smell of human blood. I am afraid that I cannot have Cecelia around her in that condition."
Apparently, no one with a modicum of sense ever told Cecelia to go away. Marcus offered me the ghost of a smile and said to the indignant immortal, "We will not be requiring your services, Cecelia."
She tilted her head, a mockery of obeisance, "Yes, Master."
"Oh, and Cecelia?" She paused. Marcus said mildly, "If you ever attempt to use your power on me again, I will end your existence." I had never seen an immortal move that fast. When next I blinked, Marcus had her pinned against the stone wall. "Do we understand one another?"
Cecelia, in the face of all that ancient immortal intimidation, contemplated using her powers on Marcus. I had to give her credit, that took audacity. That whole meek act vanished in a trice. For a second there, I thought she was going to shriek.
"Edward, is she behaving?" Marcus must have read the answer in my eyes. Before I could utter a syllable, he stabbed her in the chest with some kind of metallic object. White ashes fell to the ground, as I thanked providence that Bella was occupied with sobbing against my chest. The weapon vanished in the folds of Marcus' robe. He dusted the remains of Cecelia from his clothing as if nothing untoward had occurred.
I needed to spend more time around Marcus. I suspected he could teach me a thing or nine.
At vampire pitch, he said, "Pick up your mate, she looks like she's about ready to faint."
My arms touched her just as her knees began to buckle. We ran to Marcus' quarters. Bella was out cold. Once we were seated on his overstuffed sofa, Marcus rang a bell, summoning a servant.
"How may I serve you, Master?" Jane asked while smirking at me.
Since, "Have your demon-spawn of a twin dismember you and immolate your sorry hide," was rude, I held my tongue. That damned pre-teen had made me convulse on the cold marble floor. Lots. Which kinda sorta hurt like the dickens. Not that I'd admit it. Someone had anger issues left over from her ignominious human death. It irritated me far more that she had distressed my out-like-a-light mate.
"Fetch appropriate attire for our guests, and a human doctor for Miss Swan."
"At once, Master."
Ten minutes later, guards appeared, carrying changes of clothing. How they knew our sizes was beyond me. A wizened crone who looked like something that escaped from a Hansel and Gretel storybook introduced herself as a physician. If she started feeling Bella's ribs like she was contemplating eating her, or discussing the use of leeches, I was going to have to do something drastic.
Alice said, "Edward, calm down and hand her over. Bella needs this. I'll stay and watch. It will be fine."
Begrudgingly, I did as she requested as Alice carried Bella into another chamber. Marcus directed me to another room, his library. I took advantage of the privacy it afforded to change, totally not looking at his collection of pornography. He had all the Playboy magazines stored in plastic cases. They were archived right underneath his volumes from the Journal of Military History.
With the pinstriped suit, I now resembled something out of a mafia movie. All that I needed to do was have sunglasses and carry a machine gun in a viola case.
"Well?" Marcus asked as the doctor emerged from the bedroom where Bella now slept.
"She is malnourished and distraught. I have sedated her and put her on an IV for hydration."
The woman turned to me and said, "You need to take better care of your mate." She actually wagged a finger at me. How could I argue with the bald truth?
Alice carried her back to me, and I laid Bella down on the sofa and covered her with a blanket after ensuring the her IV was not disturbed. My sister had changed her out of her damp clothes.
"Edward." Marcus snapped his fingers to obtain my attention. "You have a strong connection with Bella despite your separation. Go ahead and ask whatever it is that is troubling you."
"I do not follow."
"Why are you talking now? And I do not mean to cause offense, but you seem protective of Bella."
"Your plight moved me. Aro sees her as a property to be acquired. Caius fears her potential. I see her as your mate, and wish your coven to be left in peace to feast upon all the animals you desire. So you have my word, because I owe Carlisle much, that I will do whatever I can to ensure that happens."
"Oh." I could not think of anything profound to say. To me, it seemed like Marcus was using Bella and me as a battleground to antagonize Aro. For the record, I was totally fine with that.
"Besides," Marcus' lips twisted into a façade of a grin that chilled my venom, "I owe Aro for killing my mate. Karma is a bitch."
My eyes might possibly have bugged out of my skull. My sister immediately had several visions – all of which showed Aro is various stages of distress with our family at peace. While I loved her dearly, and was proud to call her my sister, occasionally this gift proved to be embarrassing.
Marcus canted his head as he observed Alice. "Is your sister having a fit of some sort? Should I send for a doctor?" He was too polite to point to the venom slobber that she had trailing from her mouth to the sofa.
"She is having multiple visions at once, all of which show you succeeding in your quest."
Marcus punched a fist into his palm. "She may drool on my furniture to her heart's content."
None of her visions showed precisely what he had in mind for Aro. Perhaps that concern showed on my face.
"Relax," Marcus assured me, "I'm not going to touch a hair on his head. That," I'm guessing he meant 'killing Aro' by his emphasis, "would be too easy. True hazing, Edward, is when you make the other party do all the work."
Time seemed to pass in a blur after that. I let Alice do most of the talking as we waited for the sun to set. Marcus stared out the window and said, "This visit has been delightful. I will escort you home." He left out the "to make sure my scumbag of a brother doesn't stuff you and your girlfriend and sister into a dank hole and pretend he never saw you while forcing you to join the guard," part. Marcus was my hero.
Not that it was possible, but Aro appeared as if he were on the verge of having a stroke as we passed him in the hallway while making our dignified escape.
I had never been so happy to see the setting of the sun as we quickly took our leave. In addition to the fresh clothing, the Volturi were kind enough to offer us all cloaks.
Felix said, "You know that shirt you tossed off before you did your diva act in the town square?"
"Technically, I never made it to the town square," I huffed. Thank God this conversation was taking place in Italian, which my sedated-to-her-eyeballs-at-present-hopefully-no-longer-ex-girlfriend did not speak.
"When we brought it to the fortress, Aro declared he wanted it saved." Felix chortled. No fool he, the giant mentally said to me, "I think he plans on wearing it."
Considering that Aro was about five feet in height, it would make the little gnome an excellent nightshirt.
With the black cloak billowing behind me in the breeze, I gathered Bella in my arms, and carried her from that horrid charnal pit in the earth. Flanked by Marcus' guards on either side, I followed my sister into the night hoping never to see their dungeon, I mean throne room, again.
I breathed on my sleeping beloved a time or twenty, doing my best to mask the ever so slight scent of Quileute shapeshifter that clung to her. Changing her clothing had rid her of most of it, and Alice had seen that it had been burned. Seeing as we kinda sorta had never bothered to mention our treaty with the Quileute tribe to the Volturi, and seeing as Marcus sat right across from us in the SUV that was rushing us to the nearest airport, I couldn't exactly ask my sister why my girlfriend's scent contained a trace amount of werewolf.
Alice said to me, "Much has changed since we left."
You think? My girlfriend looked like she had lost eight pounds off her already skinny frame. I half expected Sally Struthers to walk out any second holding up Bella's picture and say, "For just sixty-five cents a day, you can see that orphans like Bella are fed."
"Like what?" I casually asked.
"Jacob Black has become Bella's best friend." Last time I checked, Bella said her own dingbat of a mother was her best friend. When had she been demoted for that scrawny treaty - breaker who squealed true tales of cold ones at the first chance he obtained with an outsider?
Sensing my confusion, Alice whistled, "And wow, you wouldn't believe how tall Jacob is now. He and several of his friends look like they've grown a foot and gained serious muscle mass." Magnificent.
I had to go and leave my mate for her own well being and she went and found the only other supernatural creature more deadly than a vampire: adolescent werewolves shapeshifters. Whatever the Hell they called themselves. By Saint Peter's rod, now I really was going to have a proper nervous breakdown. Would Xanax work on vampires? Because I wanted to borrow some from my zonked-out girlfriend.
I hid the trembling of my fingers by stroking Bella's hair. "So you've conversed with him?"
"Not that much. He seems to be rather territorial of Bella."
My eyebrows raised. Had my heart been beating, perhaps I might have experienced a spike in my blood pressure. Territorial? I think not. That ended now. I was soon to be back in town. And that punk needed to understand that I did not play well with others. I most definitely ran with sharp objects. I snapped my teeth together and ground them in frustration. Last, but not least, I did not share. Well, when it came to my girlfriend. I had standards. Sometimes.
Marcus drew me from my ruminations, "Edward, how old is Bella?"
"She is eighteen." That sounded much better than, "Barely legal in my country."
"I am under the impression this trip was hastily planned. Does she have family looking for her?"
Typical immortals did not give a damn what mortals thought. And then there was me. I cringed at the imagined reaction of her father. Charles Swan was not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he loved his daughter. Unfortunately. Why couldn't he be an ordinary mortal and ignore his teenager? His devotion to his daughter was all kinds of inconvenient at present.
Alice hid her visions from me and said to us both, "Not to worry. I will take care of it."
Seven hours into the trip, Bella finally awoke. Rubbing her eyes she said, "Where are we?" She made no comment about her new attire, beyond blushing five shades darker.
I certainly would not have minded helping my girlfriend into fresh clothing. Although, truth be told, I'd far prefer to be helping her out of it. Nevertheless, it would be ungentlemanly for me to allow her to be under the impression that I had done so longer than a few seconds.
Alice explained, "I changed your clothing. This is Marcus' private plane. We will be landing in New York soon to refuel. Then we will continue to Seattle."
"Are you hungry?" I asked.
Bella shuddered and said, "I don't think I can eat right now. Maybe later."
I contemplated ways to woo my dear little skinny-as-a-rail-one into eating. After using the plane's facilities, my dear little woozy one went right back to sleep, snoring like a sailor against my shoulder as I gave her another dose of sedatives. I pushed her hair away from her forehead and pulled another blanket around her. As Bella blinked at me, drowsily, I said from the bottom of my pitch-black soul, "I love you. Forgive me."
She fell back asleep after muttering, "Mmfph."
I say that totally means that I'm forgiven. My mate is, after all, a saint.
When we landed at the airport and exited the plane straight into a drizzle, we met my family at the foot of the stairs. I was carrying Bella, who was still quite asleep. Esme initially was frustrated that she could not wring my neck, hug me, or both, and then she gawped when she spied Bella.
"She looks awful, Edward." My vampire mother then sharply elbowed Rosalie, who had been staring at the concrete. "You have something to say to your brother."
"I'm sorry," Rosalie mumbled. Even Emmett glared at her. Rosalie left out the, "that your stupid human is still alive. I hate being wrong. And way to go being all diva on us and trying to get yourself killed. Have you any idea of the anguish you've caused?" -part.
Balefully, I glared at her and snarled at vampire pitch. "Sister dear, you will accept that I am mated to Bella." She sucked in air she definitely didn't need.
Emmett said, "He's right, hon. You've been way too hard on Bella. I like her. Get over whatever is eating at you. Bella's not going anywhere." Rosalie gave him the glare that we all knew meant, "I'm not having sexual relations with you for at least twenty-two hours," and stomped away.
Alice chirped, "We need to split up. Rosalie and Emmett should escort Marcus and his guards to our home. The rest of us all have to drive straight to Bella's house."
So we did. I stepped out of the car to see Jacob Black and his noisome friends skulking in the sword ferns in the woods behind Chief Swan's house.
They weren't particularly subtle when three of them hissed, "Bloodsuckers!"
"Actually, if you want to be technical about it, you should call us animal blood suckers." I whispered back at vampire pitch.
They yelped and one, named Quil bellowed, "Shit! Fuck! They can hear us!" He then slapped a large hand over his mouth.
"Yes, we can." My father said, "You will watch your language around my wife. Take a message back to your alpha that we must meet. We are back in town. For good."
Charlie Swan was armed and lugubrious upon greeting us at the doorway of his domicile. He took one look at Bella asleep in my arms and began bellowing, "You, out of my house!"
I peered down at him perhaps like he was an idiot, seeing as I currently held his precious daughter and had yet to step IN his house; a domicile, by the way, that positively reeked of malodorous stenchwolves. It was a testimony to my beloved that I was willing to carry her over the threshold of that house.
Carlisle said, "Charles, my family and I need to talk with you. Bella is asleep and should stay that way, don't you think?"
Charlie blinked and muttered, "Fine. Let me put her to bed." Alice trailed after him once I had begrudgingly handed my mate over to her dunce of a father.
He pounded down the staircase and said, "This had better be good."
Alice said, "Jasper has something to say." I watched, feigning composure, as Jasper adopted a hound dog expression. My brother cleared his throat and used his gift to emit mortification and guilt. Charlie's eyes almost glazed over as the waves struck and boondoggled his tiny brain.
Jasper said, "I," ahem, "am really sorry. I have a confession to make."
My eyebrows shot up and I wondered for half a second if I needed to tell Charlie that Jasper had one too many to drink.
Alice hissed at me at vampire pitch. "Zip it, emo-boy." So I did.
"I have had strong feelings for Bella for quite some time." Yes, feelings of hunger. He wanted to drink her like the cook who accidentally found the last orange on a scurvy infested ship. Charlie, however, didn't need to know that. My brother beamed guilt at him.
Chief Swan looked from Jasper to me and said the painfully obvious, "She was dating your brother."
"I know. Edward and I fought." Technically, that was true. We did fight when he accidentally-on-purpose tried to drink my mate like a Slurpee® on a hot day. I found that to be rude. Especially since it was her birthday and all.
That's when Esme stepped in. I could tell that Charles Swan found her attractive. He always blushed when she addressed him.
"Charles, we could not have our children fighting. Bella was unaware of the conflict, and we refused to make her choose. So we opted to leave instead. It was a hasty decision that we have come to regret. We ran into Bella and have been working things out with her for the past few days."
"This is news to me."
Mother blinked, "Did you not get the emails that I sent you?" Charlie scratched his head and said, "Um, no. I haven't checked my account. All I knew was Jacob told me she took off with Alice."
Carlisle said, "I texted your phone three times. Did you not receive them?"
Jasper had hacked into his account and planted the fake emails and texts. My family was sneaky that way. Charlie now looked like an imbecile and he knew it.
He blustered, "My daughter suffered these past few months."
"We know. Our family has suffered as well being away from her." We all looked mournful. I did my best to appear heartbroken which was not all that difficult.
"Well, kid. What are you going to do?" Charlie asked Jasper.
"I have come to realize that my feelings for her were, um, wrong. I will not stand in the way of her dating Edward." Understatement of the century that. Jasper then powerblasted Chief Swan with relief and happiness, doubtlessly to counteract the virulent hatred the man felt towards me. The images roiling through his mind were positively disturbing. Bella and I were definitely going to have to talk. Gulp. Talking. I detest talking. The things I did in the name of eternal love.
As we took our leave of Chief Swan, I sensed the mind of Jacob Black returning as wolves approached the house. Fortunately, his malodorous body had not befouled the dusty air of Bella's bedroom. Lately.
Neither Jacob Black nor any of the other mangy dogs he ran with would keep me from my love's side. He certainly didn't intimidate me even though he now stood taller; I had year's worth of experience in fighting and was light years ahead of him in intellect. And I had an existing mate bond. I did appreciate that the combination of the wolf gene and stupidity could be problematic in his case, but vowed to protect Bella from being harmed by the adolescent dog. And I wasn't about to let her set foot in La Push with Victoria running amok.
I reached out with my senses and found the wolf link and dove in and feasted upon every image I could glean. And my, they were just full of all kinds of news. Victoria had been terrorizing Bella. Laurent was dog chow, literally, after trying to snack on my beloved. I texted the news to my family. Jasper and Emmett took position outside on the perimeter of the Swan property. I had a lot of making up to do. First on the agenda would be killing Victoria to ensure I could continue to do that making up business. Emmett couldn't believe how calm I was considering the news.
Jasper greeted Jake looking positively bored. "Oh, hello. Jacob, is it? I'm Jasper. We're going to be guarding Bella tonight and every night after."
Jacob growled. I cheerily waved at him from Bella's window.
Emmett said to the rest of the pack, "Bella is Edward's mate. We thank you for helping her while we were gone. We will see to her safety, on that you have our word."
Jacob heard the word "mate" and his mind first went to the gutter, and then realized the other meaning of that term and bounded off yowling like a strangled cat into the woods. Pity. That.
Bella would soon come around to my way of thinking. All would soon be well just as soon as I convinced her to marry me.
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