A/N-This is a continuation from a one shot I previously entered in the Afraid of the Dark contest. It's different than my last full story. Thanks to all of you who are giving it a chance. Several chapters are already written so my plan is to update regularly.
TITLE: Breaking Away
SUMMARY: AU Breaking Dawn. What if Breaking Dawn had gone a little bit differently? What if there were no baby and Edward changed Bella when they returned from their honeymoon as originally planned? What if Bella didn't have the amazing control that allowed her to essentially skip the frenzied newborn phase? Would things have gone so smoothly? In this version, Bella wakes up, thirsty for blood, only able to remember certain unpleasant memories from her human time with Edward, and struggling with deep-seated feelings of anger. This version tells the story of how things go terribly wrong after Bella's change when she is unable to hide her resentment against some of the Cullen's who have wronged her in the past. Instead of breaking dawn, Bella is anxious to break away.
RATING: M for mature themes, including language and sexual situations.
BETA: Just Robin
WARNING: OOC. Dark Bella and Jasper
DISCLAIMER: All things Twilight are owned by SM. No infringement intended.
CHAPTER 1: REMORSE
"Bella, don't tell me you're feeling remorse at this point." Jasper's voice was colored in disbelief as he came up behind Bella. She sat on the dock, overlooking the moonlight shining upon the Gulf of Mexico.
Bella shrugged, but remained quiet. There was no need to explain; Jasper could feel everything she was feeling. Eventually, he sat down near Bella on the dock with his back against a post, his legs extended in front of him, casually crossed at the ankles.
They both simply sat for what seemed like hours enjoying the breeze coming off the Gulf of Mexico, and the temporary euphoria from feeding recently.
Finally, Bella spoke with a low and soft voice, as only vampires could. "Another memory came to me earlier; a good one, actually."
Jasper remained quiet and waited for Bella to continue.
"It was the first summer after I met Edward. Do you remember Alice planning that weekend away in Olympia? The four of us attended a Fourth of July celebration to see the fireworks."
Jasper didn't answer right away until Bella turned her head to look at him. Her red eyes glowed in the moonlight.
"Yes, of course I remember," he finally answered. "Does that change your...feelings?"
"No," she answered quickly- too quickly.
"Don't try to lie to the empath," Jasper gently chided.
Bella huffed. "Well, what if it does? Does it matter at this point? It's too late." The confidence in which she spoke was undermined by the look of uncertainty Jasper saw in her eyes. She hoped she was wrong.
Jasper sighed. "Yeah, you're probably right. What's done is done."
Nineteen Months earlier
"She's waking up," Edward exclaimed in relief.
"I told you she would. Honestly Edward, I don't know how you can act so surprised," Alice responded.
Bella's red eyes opened exactly sixty-five hours and forty-one minutes after Edward's venom entered her bloodstream.
Edward sat on the bed at her side holding her new and remarkably strong hand to his cheek. The rest of the Cullen's waited in the doorway and against the far wall, wanting to be close, but trying not to overwhelm the newborn as she awakened into her new life.
"Love, can you hear me? How do you feel?" Edward asked solicitously.
Bella blinked, but didn't say anything right away.
"She's confused," Jasper informed them.
"Bella, it's me Edward. We're in Alaska. Do you remember coming to Alaska, love? I- I changed you three days ago. Do you remember that? We returned from our honeymoon, and as promised, I changed you…" Edward's trailed off as Bella's brows furrowed more in confusion.
"Calm down Edward; she's overwhelmed. Hunting will probably help," Jasper said evenly.
However, Bella rejected Edward's offer to take her hunting. She similarly rejected Carlisle's and Esme's offers as well, simply shaking her head. She didn't speak other than to answer direct questions. However, her continual swallowing and unconscious rubbing of her throat belied her extreme thirst.
Jasper sighed and stepped forward, speaking with authority. "Bella, you're a newborn. You have to hunt. Come." Bella reacted to Jasper's authoritative tone and silently took his offered hand, following him to the forest where she slaughtered dozens of animals, trying to satisfy the overwhelming thirst.
Edward tried to hide his hurt when they returned; he'd wanted to take Bella on her first hunt. Jasper reported that she fed and reminded Edward she should feed every twenty-four hours until her newborn thirst was somewhat controlled. "Right now, her emotions are very different than when she was human. I'm picking up a lot of hostility and resentment. It's probably just the newborn temperament, but keep a close eye on her until this passes."
But it didn't pass. As the weeks stretched by, Bella was openly hostile toward all of the Cullen's, but more so toward Edward. Her human memories were hazy, but the ones that stood out the most were the incidents in which Edward betrayed her. She remembered him leaving her, coldly telling her he no longer wanted her. She remembered the pain and humiliation that surrounded her for months.
What she couldn't remember was why she had so easily forgiven Edward for what he'd done to her. She'd even married him- at least that was what the pictures and wedding video Edward and Alice insisted on showing her- proved. Her memories of those events were very faint and she couldn't reconcile how or why she would marry the man who tore her heart out of her chest just days after her eighteenth birthday.
"But you forgave me, Bella. We moved past it and we're so happy. Don't you remember?" Edward asked her one day, frustrated at her lack of affection and interest in him.
"No, I don't, actually. And why would I? You lied to me. How could I ever trust you?" Bella responded as she lashed out at a nearby tree knocking it down in her anger.
Edward fell to his knees wrapping his arms around her middle and pushing the side of his face to her stomach. "Please, please, tell me what you want me to do. I will do anything to earn your forgiveness. I want my wife back. I want my Bella back," he cried in desperation.
Bella easily pushed him away with her newborn strength. "Your Bella doesn't exist," she spat. "You turned me into this," she reminded him.
"But this is what you wanted. You begged me to, so many times. I thought this would make you happy."
Bella's tone was venomous when she responded to him. "Well it doesn't. All I can think about is blood. I try to remember my life before this, and all I can remember is being in those damned woods while you told me you had other things and people to pursue. All that does is make me want to…" Her voice trailed off, as she was clearly reluctant to finish her thought.
Three months passed, and Bella and Edward's relationship did not improve. Despite her hostility, he was constantly with her, patiently trying to teach her to control her urges and to adopt the Cullen way of sustaining herself on animal blood.
"When will I get to be around humans again?" Bella asked Edward one night as they were tracking a herd of caribou.
Edward shrugged as they approached the river where the caribou were drinking. "Another nine months maybe," he answered quietly. Bella's huff of annoyance let Edward know she was not happy with that answer. "You have to wait, love. You need more time to master the control it takes to withstand the temptation of human blood."
She did not respond, and instead pounced on her prey. Edward drank only two caribou and finished rather quickly. He leaned back against a nearby tree as he watched Bella drain five of the large, strong animals. Despite the fact his wife had not told him she loved him in three months, and treated him with indifference or disdain for the same amount of time, he still loved her. He still wanted her. She was so attractive in her fierceness as she easily took down her last caribou and drained him efficiently and cleanly. Watching her teeth latch into the animal's skin was so erotic. Images of the last time he made love to Bella invaded his thoughts. She was still human then. It was the night before he changed her and she'd never been so passionate or responsive as she had that night. He was unable to keep from emitting a low groan as images from their lovemaking flooded through his mind, forcing him to adjust his growing erection.
Bella hadn't missed the sound or his action. As the newly ingested blood seeped into her own veins, she unexpectedly felt the need to satisfy other urges. In seconds, she pounced upon Edward taking him completely by surprise. They flew through the forest, landing in a patch of snow-covered grass. Edward's expression was wary as he lay on his back looking up at his wife as she hovered over him. However, he couldn't deny he was unbelievably turned on by the sight. In an instant, they literally tore each other's clothing off, mindlessly grasping at one another. Bella impaled herself on Edward with no preamble; no loving words. "I love you," Edward managed to breathe out as he met her every thrust. Low growls and grunts were her only response.
What happened could hardly have been described as lovemaking, much to Edward's dismay. It was primal and motivated by Bella's urges to satisfy all of her hungers. While Edward enjoyed the release, he missed the emotional connection he shared with Bella during their honeymoon, and the night before her change. He missed her gentle touch, and the loving words she would whisper to him during climax. Now, she barely looked at him afterwards, and simply redressed in her tattered clothes and made her way home.
Three more months passed. Their lives had become rather routine. Edward continued to accompany Bella hunting every twenty-four to thirty-six hours, after which they would engage in sex until Bella was sated. While Edward reminded her constantly of his love, she never returned his sentiments.
She was short tempered and irritable. She seemed to be in a constant state of aggravation. She eventually became overtly hostile toward Alice.
"Mind your own damn business, Alice," Bella growled. Jasper and Edward rushed to the bedroom where the girls were arguing, knowing Bella might lash out in her anger.
"Bella, I was only trying to help," Alice started, but Bella cut her when she picked up a table and launched it at the wall.
"I don't want your help!" Bella screamed. "I don't need you to pick out my clothes like I'm a child. I don't need you coming around being pushy all the time, either. And I certainly don't need you and Edward whispering about my future like you two are in charge of me and everything I do. Stay the fuck out of my room!"
"Bella," Edward responded in shock. While he was accustomed to such aggression being directed toward him, he was surprised to see her so angry with Alice. They were best friends, practically sisters. Why would Bella speak so cruelly to her? He wondered.
"Bella, I love you," Alice said, venom filling her eyes in response to Bella's hurtful words.
"You don't love me, Alice. I remember. I remember when I needed you most… you left me. I remember you didn't even say goodbye."
Bella cut her off again. "Oh, that's right; you came back- when you thought I was dead. You're not a friend. You're just a control freak who liked the fact the old Bella would let you manipulate her into doing whatever you wanted. Well, that's not me anymore so get over it."
"That's enough." Jasper said quietly, but forcefully. "Not another word, Bella."
Edward bristled at Jasper's harsh tone toward Bella. His loyalty and protective instincts made him want to lash out at Jasper.
Before he could intervene, though, Bella responded to Jasper. "Why are you defending her Jasper? She manipulates you more than anyone else. She was practically bragging to me how she is the reason you no longer hunt humans and how you are so fortunate that she can watch your future to make sure you don't slip up. Well, maybe you don't mind having a twenty-four hour babysitter, but I damn sure do!"
It all happened so quickly. One second Bella was shouting at Jasper, inching closer to him as her words became more venomous. The next, Jasper reached out and slapped Bella across the cheek.
"You son of a bitch," Edward growled as he instantly attacked Jasper. The two of them crashed through several walls, each trying to get the advantage on the other. Bella simply stood there, holding her cheek, not because it hurt, but out of shock that Jasper actually hit her. Alice, recovering from her own shock, was joined by Rose and Emmett who rushed up the stairs to help separate Edward and Jasper.
Esme and Carlisle were not there as they were out hunting. Luckily, the three remaining Cullen's were able to separate the two fighting vampires before the upstairs was entirely destroyed.
Emmett pulled Edward away as Rosalie and Alice held Jasper back. "I will kill you," Edward hissed, trembling with anger. "How dare you touch my wife?"
"God-dammit, Edward! Your wifeattacked mine first. In case you haven't noticed, she is out of control. She's a newborn vampire, not some fragile child. She needs a heavy hand, and you catering to her whims and outbursts only make things worse."
"Don't tell me how to handle my wife. So? She's a newborn. We all were at one time. We're not savages; we don't hit women. You disgust me."
"Get over yourself, Edward. We may live in big fancy houses, go to school, and interact with humans, but at the end of the day, we're still vampires. We're still killers. Bella's a bloodthirsty killer who sits around this house all day, fantasizing about drinking human blood. Like any other blood crazed newborn, she understands actions over mere words."
Jasper took a deep breath before continuing. "I bit my tongue and let you do this your way, but I can't keep quiet anymore. Not all newborns are like Esme, Rosalie, or Emmett. Not all of us have gentle natures that allow adjustment to the Cullen lifestyle with relative ease. Some of us- like Bella- don't want this and can't easily adjust. Talking about how much you love her is not going to change that!"
"Jazz, you need to calm down," Alice said, putting a hand on his arm.
"Don't tell me what to do," Jasper growled, more angry at the situation, but taking it out on Alice. He yanked away from her hold and fled from the house.
His leaving was not a surprise. Bella's chasing after him, however, was. Before Edward, or any of the other Cullen's could stop her, she took off, taking advantage of her newborn speed and following Jasper's scent.
She finally caught up with him hours later. He'd made his way deep into the Alaskan wilderness and was sitting on the bank of an ice-covered pond when Bella stepped from the forest into his view.
"What are you doing here?" he growled.
"You feel it too," she said simply. He looked up at her and saw the sadness and restlessness in her eyes. He let her feelings in and quickly analyzed them. Yes, Jasper knew what Bella was referring to: the pull to run, to leave the so-called civilized existence with the Cullen's, and to give into instincts instead of constantly fighting them.
"Bella, go home," he said, clenching his fists.
"What does it taste like?" she asked, moving closer to him.
He looked up at her in question.
"Human blood," she clarified.
He closed his eyes as his perfect memory recalled the powerful sensations that drinking human blood always brought.
"Bella, don't," he practically pled.
"I hate Edward. I don't know why, but I do. From what you have told me, and the pictures you've shown me, we were happy. But I can't remember much except for when he left me. That I remember clearly. I hate him," she repeated sadly, and then moved to sit directly by Jasper.
"No you don't. Your emotions are just overwhelming right now. In time, when the newborn frenzy passes, you will see and feel things in a much more balanced perspective," Jasper assured.
"I want to taste human blood," she whispered as she moved her body until it was touching Jasper's.
"No you don't," he whispered back. "You don't want the guilt that goes along with that."
"Will it make this…void in my chest go away?"
Jasper knew the feelings to which she was speaking. He'd felt it. She was in pain with the constant memory of betrayal and abandonment running- like a continual film reel- through her mind. She wanted to forget, even if it was only temporary relief.
"I don't want to be told what to do, and you don't either," she said as she moved her hand tentatively until it rested on his right knee.
Jasper sighed. "No, I don't want that, but it's necessary in order to live the vegetarian lifestyle. You will get used to it," he said unconvincingly.
"You haven't," she said, moving her hand up just inches until it rested above his knee.
He grabbed her wrist. "Bella, stop."
"No. I'm tired of doing what they want."
Jasper studied her. There was no doubt that Bella was beautiful and surprisingly seductive. "Bella," Jasper pled. "We can't hurt them."
He was able to fend off Bella's advances, but only for a couple more hours. On the way back to the house, they found and drained a pair of bobcats. The rush of the fresh blood in his veins, the recent relived memories of drinking human blood, and Bella's efforts at seducing him had weakened Jasper's resolve. As he watched her pull the last of the blood from her prey, penning him with her stare, those glowing eyes, full of desire and lust-he decided he was no longer going to fight this one urge.
Their mating was frantic and frankly, animalistic. There was clawing, biting, pulling, and pushing. Jasper took her in ways-degrading ways- that Edward had never even considered. Jasper had called her names as he entered Bella and thrust into her from behind.
"Is this what you need, slut? Are you going to make us all miserable until you get fucked into submission?" His words were dirty and degrading, but welcomed.
Jasper made her suck her own juices off of his cock before he fucked her for the fourth and final time.
Bella should have been repulsed by his treatment of her, but she wasn't. His rough handling and control, fed a need deep inside her.
As they lay on the ground spent from their furious coupling, Jasper struggled with regret. He'd never wanted to hurt Alice. But Bella had tapped into his deep rooted frustrations and resentments that had come from constantly fighting his nature. He was usually able to control those emotions. However, being forced to feel Bella's struggle with the same emotions over the past several months, had made it especially difficult to ignore the monster within. Too many urges had been repressed for too long. He had snapped and cheated on his wife and betrayed his brother.
Bella struggled with how to convince Jasper to run away with her, never returning home.
Jasper didn't give into her demands to run away and insisted they return home.
"We should just go. You know Alice has seen what happened," she reminded him.
"I know," he said sadly. "I can't just run away. I can't do that to her. I have to face her and the consequences."
"Edward will know too. He will read her mind," Bella said, hoping that realization would somehow sway him.
"I know. Don't be afraid to face him. Whatever happens, the family won't abandon you."
"I'm not afraid of Edward. I'd leave him if I had somewhere else to go."
Jasper shook his head. "Bella, you have to come to terms with this…"
"Get used to living with a man I can't stand- who doesn't listen to what I want? No thank you."
Alice met them six miles from home. Her expression was sad, but stoic. She didn't make eye contact with either of them. She only whispered that Edward was at home, along with Esme and Carlisle. Rose and Emmett had left to obtain materials to fix the extensive damage caused during their earlier fight.
Jasper nodded to Bella, indicating she should go to the house. Bella was reluctant to make her way home. She knew she should feel guilt and remorse because she'd betrayed not only her husband by breaking her wedding vows, but also Alice, whom she was supposed to consider her sister. But none of those feelings surfaced. If anything, she only felt regret that Jasper forced her to come back. For those moments in the forest with him, she felt free; the void was filled. Bella wanted more of that.
She expected Edward's anger, even his temper as she entered the house, but instead she was met with a broken and resigned Edward sitting on the floor of what was left of their bedroom. The walls were smashed in and all the furniture destroyed. Her clothes had been ripped to shreds and strewn across the room.
Edward's head was bowed over his bent knees. "You fucked him?" he asked without looking up. Bella had never heard him direct such profanity to anyone.
"Yes," she answered simply, not moving from her stance just in the doorway of the room.
"Did it make you happy?" he asked through clenched teeth, finally raising his face and making eye contact with her.
"Yes," she responded simply again.
His body shuddered with pain. "Is that what you want? To be treated like… that? Or is it just Jasper you want?" he asked with difficulty after swallowing down the venom that had pooled in his mouth in response to his anger.
Bella shrugged. "It doesn't matter. I think he wants to fix things with Alice," she said, spitting out Alice's name with disdain.
"What happened to you, Bella?" Edward asked in bewilderment.
Bella's laugh was taunting. "You happened to me Edward. You changed me into this."
"Why do you hate me? I don't understand why you seem to hate all of us?" he asked as he stood up, his movements graceful as always. "Well, except Jasper I suppose," he added bitterly.
"I'm not happy, Edward. I hate being here. I hate hunting in this stupid, God forsaken forest. I hate the fact that I can't sigh without the rest of you discussing it and analyzing it and making decisions as to what you should do about my life."
"Damn it, Bella, you're the one that asked for this. I begged you to stay human, but you wanted to be a vampire. You wanted to be one of us. Now you hurt me, cheat on me, all because I gave you what you wanted?"
She didn't respond. Edward shook his head as he moved to look out the window. He rested his hand against the glass, simply staring out for several moments before he spoke again.
"Everyone says I need to be patient, that this will only last a year and then you will be able to rediscover who you are. We're half way there, Bella. Can't you just…hang on?"
"I'm not going to change in six more months. I can't change what I am now, or who I am. I just don't belong with you, Edward. I can feel it. You must feel it too. I-" Her next words were cut off as Edward swiftly moved from the window to grip her arms.
"No! You're mine. You're my wife, my mate. I sired you. You can't leave me. I won't let you!"
"You won't let me?" Bella practically screamed. "I won't stay here another minute, trapped with a man I don't love, with a family I don't fit into. You have to let me go, Edward."
The words were soft, but confident when they came from an unlikely source.
Edward turned and looked at Alice with disbelief.
"Let them go, Edward."
"Them?" Edward asked, and then as he realized she meant Bella and Jasper, he gripped Bella tighter, growling "no," repeatedly.
"Edward, calm down. Let Bella go. You have to. It's the only way." Alice carefully moved to Edward's side as she spoke. She reached out to loosen his hold on Bella's arms. "Look at what I have seen," she beseeched him.
After she shared her vision with him, he dropped his arms in defeat, and turned sharply away from the pair of women. Bella looked at Alice in confusion, but Alice ignored her, still concentrating on Edward. After several tense minutes passed, Edward sighed and whispered a command.
Alice finally turned to Bella. "He's waiting for you five miles due south." Bella didn't hesitate and took nothing with her, fleeing from the Cullen home as if she had finally escaped prison.
That was thirteen months ago. Bella and Jasper had traveled the world in that time. They had been to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, remote areas of Africa, South America, and finally returned to the United States. Ironically, they had returned to Jasper's original home in Texas. They arrived in Galveston and immediately fed.
They enjoyed themselves immensely for the first several months. Alice granting Jasper permission to take a break from their lifestyle and to live a nomadic experience with Bella was so liberating. Bella relished in the freedom of exploring the world, familiarizing herself with all of the advantages of being immortal and feeding off of human blood. She and Jasper still shared a rather feral physical relationship, but they had also developed a friendship over their months together. They were not mates, there was no romantic love. They were more like kindred spirits, both suffering from a deep buried need to live out their vampiric urges without constraint.
However, in the last few months, as they traveled through the Andes Mountains in South America, slowly making their way back to the United States, Jasper noticed a shift in Bella's feelings. She spent hours, sometimes days, quietly reflecting. While Jasper could not read her thoughts, his empathic abilities told him Bella was finding some sort of joy in her reflections. He was also picking up on the distinct emotion of love. The love had not been directed at him, but he could easily guess who it was directed at. Just as he always suspected would happen, she had finally settled down enough in this new lifestyle, that she was able to process more of her human memories.
Time continued to pass as the couple made their way across Texas and parts of Mexico, feeding when necessary and fucking when the mood struck. Bella never mentioned the conversation from the docks again, but it became glaringly obvious to Jasper that she was thinking about it. He understood; he oftentimes found himself wondering about returning to Alice. Would she forgive him? Could she forgive him? Could he adapt back to the Cullen lifestyle again? He could sense that Bella was having the same thoughts about Edward.
Nevertheless, neither of them was brave enough to suggest returning. Both were so overcome with shame and regret at just the thought of facing their former mates, that they ignored the topic and continued to try to find what solace they could in drinking human blood and fucking each other, desperate for relief from their regrets.
E/N-The next chapter will pick up about a year after Jasper's and Bella's conversation on the docks and about 2 and ½ years after the left the Cullen's.
Please let me know what you think. Go easy on me. I'm new to this angst thing. I know Bella is behaving OCC but I think given what we were told about typical newborns, it is entirely plausible that Bella could have reacted in such a way to the change. I hope you find it interesting to see IF and how she will ever be able to return to the Cullen's...
If anyone is interested in preparing a banner or blinkie, please let me know. You will have my gratitude as I have not a drop of ability to do such things.
Shout-out to all of the people helping me with this story: Just Robin, who is working her beta booty off on this one and putting up with my big oops (she knows what I'm talking about); Lemonmartinis, who is famous and known to most in the fanfic world, but still finds time to pre-read for me and give me great feedback and encouragement; and last but certainly not least, Sis, who is taking out time from her busy schedule of lounging by the pool and drinking vodka martinis all day to pre-read. Love ya Sis!
SONGS I JAMMED TO WHILE WRITING THIS CHAPTER: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong and She F***ing Hates Me by Puddle of Mud.