Author's Note: Originally written for the Season of Our Discontent Contest but never submitted. This o/s was inspired by a prompt Yellowglue posted on Twitter for her birthday.

Contest: SeasonofOurDiscontentAnonymousAngstContest
Title:Consumed
Picture
PromptNumber:5
Pairing:
EdwardandBella
Rating:
M
Word
Count:2882

Summary: Edward is consumed with jealousy, lust, and finally oblivion.

Warnings and Disclaimer: Violence and sex.

Consumed by Purelyamuse

I can't—I just—but I have to. It's the right thing—Bella, Bella, Bella . . . I owe her everything.

I sit with my head in my hands, nude, on an old, weathered couch outside the abandoned recreation center on the reservation, his reservation. Jacob. The boy I killed with my bare hands.

We'd been back from Volterra for a few months, and things had been going well. Bella had agreed to take me back, and I was grateful, ever so grateful. But he was there, always there, always a part of her life, mucking things up. There was nothing I could do about it. They were best friends, or so she said. But I was no fool; I saw the way he looked at her, the way they looked at each other. There was something more there, even for her, though she always denied it.

She was late coming home from Jake's this afternoon. I had just returned from hunting, the blood of two grown mountain lions coursing through my veins.

He was being cocky and foolish as usual. But then things turned. He threatened me, ground out insult after insult, and I reciprocated this time. And, just as I had suspected, he was out of control, phasing in a split second.

A rip. A howl. A wolf. And Bella's hand was in my grasp. I held her back, snapping her frail bone. She wailed. I turned to see fear in her eyes and pain—so much pain – beyond the physical.

With her yell he was there – human again – kneeling in front of her, naked, like the wild man he was. He touched her with his filthy hands, making sure she was all right. The venom coursed through my body, consuming my humanity, and my resolve shattered. I wrenched him off her. In one single, simple, fluid movement his body laid limp in my hands, neck tweaked, distorted – something out of a horror film.

"Jake! Jake! Jake!" Bella cried, shrieking his name. What did I do? What happened? When did I take his life? How did I lose control?

I was protecting her from him, from us. He shouldn't have been there. He was supposed to drop her off at the treaty line. They shouldn't have been there together when I came upon them in the woods. I told them to stay away from each other. That he was dangerous. But they never listened, and now it was too late.

I let out a cry of anguish as I sob tearlessly, the ceaseless inquiries of the wolves flow through my mind.

Why is he naked?

Where the hell's Jake?

He looks unstable. I don't think we should . . .

Why is he covered in blood?

He's on our land! Let's take him out!

Oh, how I wish they would. I yearn for oblivion. Oblivion like Bella.

Bella, Bella, my Bella.

So beautiful. Chestnut hair, pale skin, and kindness, selflessness. So frail. I always knew this, always, from the time of Alice's first vision. Why hadn't I heeded that warning?

After I laid Jake and Bella's bodies to rest in his Rabbit I called Alice.

"You were right all along. It was just as you said – in the meadow, at my hands. So much blood. And, ashamedly, I loved it. She's gone; Jake's gone; I'm gone. All of you have to leave Forks and never return to Quileute land. The treaty's broken just as I am broken."

She scrambled on the other side of the phone, trying to get my attention, but it was no use. My mind was elsewhere, and I knew by the time she'd get to me, the wolves would have already served their purpose.

And yet, here I sit . . . waiting . . . the wolves my only company.

Why are they waiting? Don't they know?

Of course not. He was human at the time.

I stand, facing them. Fear is nonexistent in my bones. I am nothing – no one – because of what I have done.

"I killed Jake. I was jealous, worried for Bella, and I snapped his neck. His body lies with Bella's in the eastern ravine. It'll look like a car accident, like they skid off the road. No one will know. I—I loved Bella with everything—with all—but I know that she loved Jake in her own way. Truly. And now they will rest together."

Paul bares his teeth at the mention of Jake's undoing and takes a few steps toward me, growling. I wish he'd do much more than that.

He's lying!

Jake's dead?

He's alpha. He can't die. He can't—

I want to do it!

Sam, give the order!

I ignore there thoughts and continue on. "I'm going to run. I'll give you the courtesy of the chase. Then I'll stop, and the rest is up to you." I look down at my filthy, bloodied, bare feet and up again into the eyes of my mortal enemies. There's so much sadness there, even in their animalistic state. "If you could—if you're willing—I'd very much like it if you could spread my ashes over the meadow, Bella's meadow. Or you could contact my family to do it."

Sam nods faintly, and I drop my head in relief. It's done. I'm done. I never have to deal with this irksome existence again. In a moment of clarity and decisiveness, I turn slowly, then run for my life . . . toward my death.

The wind in my hair is an awesome feeling. I close my eyes as I run, using my keen senses to guide me through the woods toward a clearing I know the wolves will make great use of. In my mind I see her – laid bare before me, quivering at my touch, my lips on her skin, my union with her.

Just moments ago, or so it seems, we were in each other's arms making love in our meadow.

She ran from me after I murdered Jacob. I hid his body deep in the woods where it wouldn't be disturbed and went to her. Her window was locked. Rightly so. So I knocked. It was just after dinnertime and Charlie was home.

"Chief Swan, I fear I have upset Bella and would like to apologize."

He looked me over and twitched his nose, making his mustache wiggle. "She doesn't want to see you."

"Sir, if you could just give me a moment to—I'll beg. I'll grovel. I'll—haven't you ever messed up before? Needed to say sorry to the woman you loved?"

"Hmph." He was not easy on me. . . . Don't know what she sees in his perfect postured pompousness.

"If she won't open her door, then fine, but please just give me a moment to try. I must apologize at the very least, and then I'll go."

Charlie opened the door wide and swept his hand into his living room. Oughta be good.

"Thank you, sir."

"If she's mad about this . . . it's on you." And you deserve it.

"Always is, sir." I climbed up the stairs, careful not to go too fast, though I wished somehow I could just materialize there. I had to see her, to see the damage I had done, to assess if it was reversible, if she'd ever forgive me. I had to know.

I rapped on her door lightly. I could hear movement from inside – a swish of fabric, a refastening of a pony tail holder. She was standing on the other side of the door.

"Bella, Love, please . . . can I speak with you? You have to know that I . . . I never meant to . . . Please, will you open the door?"

Her breathing was even, calm, but her heart was flying. Was she afraid of me? I would never hurt her, only I had. I was sure I had broken her wrist and I had killed her best friend – perhaps a boy she was in love with.

Please, please, Love, open the door so I can get on my knees and beg forgiveness.

As though she'd read my mind, the door swung open. Her eyes were bloodshot, cheeks stained with the tears of the day, no doubt.

Without a word I entered her room. I held my hand out to her; she took it, staring at it as I led her to the bed and gently sat her down. I bowed at her feet, my hands running a circuit up her calves and over her arms to soothe her. It didn't seem to do much as she sat still, staring out into space.

"Bella?"

No response.

"Love?" I said as I perked up onto my knees, eyes level with hers. She shifted her eyes slowly, reaching mine eventually.

"Jake's dead," was all she said. I nodded and tried desperately not to pull her into my arms. Her eyes were so lifeless, so sullen.

"I never meant—I'm so sorry, so sorry. You have no idea. I would never have—"

"But he's dead."

"I know."

"I would never have thought that you could be so reckless, so careless. Or, was it jealousy?"

Her empty eyes were on mine, surveying, seeking the truth.

"I'm not sure—I—maybe both. And I had all that mountain lion coursing through me. I—"

"And all this time you were worried about him. When you were the one to . . ."

"To what?"

"Jake never hurt me the way you did. Never. Not once. When you were gone he swore to me he never would, and he never did. He kept his promise. But you . . ."

"I know. I'm so sorry. If there's ever a way, ever, please, Bella, I—" I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I dropped my head into her lap in supplication. I hoped that she would stroke my hair, or at the very least pat my back. She did neither. She did nothing. It was like she was dead already, like I had already killed her. Little did I know.

I left Bella's feeling utterly dejected and useless, a monster, and most certainly a failure at being Bella's fiancé.

I laid in my bed gazing at the ceiling. The house was quiet as everyone was still hunting. Alice had secretly hoped that Bella and I would enjoy a quiet evening in my bed. This did not happen. As I contemplated my ineptitude at, well, everything, my cell phone rang.

Bella.

Once she invited me over I didn't hesitate. I was there within minutes, ready to do anything she asked of me.

As I slipped into the room it became apparent that Bella was not wearing as much as she usually did around me. She had always respected my boundaries even though she tried to push them quite often, but today I understood. She couldn't be bothered with such trivial things as pleasing me. It was my turn to do anything to please her, to show her that I was contrite, that I would do anything to stay in her life. And so I did.

When she climbed on my back and wrapped her bare legs around me, telling me to take her to the meadow, I did. When she took her shirt off and asked me to kiss her, I did. When she straddled me and begged me to enter her, I did. Every last thing she asked me to do, I did, because that's what repentant people do. They owe the victim. And I owed her.

With every slide of skin, intake of her breath, and arc of her back, I said I was sorry. When she was sated, and I had nothing left to give, she asked me for one more act of penance.

"Edward?" she whispered, still wrapped around me and stroking my back.

"Yes, Love?"

"Again. But this time I want you to taste me – my blood."

"Bella . . ." I pulled back, my eyes examining hers. She couldn't be serious. She couldn't be. I didn't have the strength to stop, and most certainly not when I was consumed with lust. The scent of her blood running through her veins was hard enough to resist, let alone an open vein pouring into my mouth. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't.

But then the tears came, the slump of her body on mine, her head on my chest as she sobbed.

"He was so young, and he loved—and he warned me, but I didn't believe. And I loved him, Edward. I did. I loved him so much. You knew, too, but never acted, never, until today, and it was out of control, and I can't ever take that back. It's my fault. All my fault. All of it's my fault . . ."

She was right; I did know. I knew she loved him, but hearing the words come from her mouth hurt worse than when I believed she was dead. I wanted to head to Volterra again to put myself out of this misery. But maybe I misconstrued her words, maybe she loved me more. I hoped she did.

I rubbed her back and held her close, trying to calm her, but my efforts weren't accomplishing much. So I gave in, and I cried with her, even though no actual tears were shed. We sobbed in each other's arms for the mess that we had become a part of, for the mistakes we had made, and for the life I had taken.

When her eyes were dry and her breathing even, she gazed upon me and begged. One simple word, "Please," and I knew I would not deny her.

When our bodies collided this time, it was different, invigorating, commanding. She was confident in her movements and bold, so beautiful as I knew she would be. As we neared her release, her back bowed, and she leaned back, bracing her hands behind her, exposing her chest, her neck. "Please," was in the air, a quiet chant coming from the trees like they condoned this sacrifice. And that's what it was – Bella's sacrifice.

My lower body moved within her as my upper body leaned toward her torso, and I sank my teeth into the soft flesh of her breast.

A fire ignited within me, the frenzy of bloodlust taking over, consuming my cold, dead, human heart and swallowing Bella's life whole. I thought that I was over the scent and taste of her blood, but I was so wrong. The feel of her skin against mine, the smell of her arousal in the air, the taste of her blood on my tongue made me ravenous, and I couldn't stop. She gasped, her head snapping up to watch, and she exploded around me in ecstasy. Her movements slowed, and her face paled. I pulled away, wondering how I was able to do so, but it didn't matter for her hands were on my head, coaxing me to return to her sweet blood. I licked my lips, licked her wound, closing it with my venom, but she writhed with the fire of my poison doing it's magic.

"Please, I don't—Edward, no. Please. I don't want it. I don't want to live like this. Now, finish it. Finish me. Let me go."

I was still. I was incapable of answering, but I had to do something as her body shook with my venom inside. She was already changing. If death was the desired effect of my bite, then I had to act quickly.

"You took one life unwillingly today. You broke my heart even though I loved you more than him. I would've stayed with you," she said, her eyes closing in agony. "Please, let me die. Let me do it on my own terms. I give myself to you freely. This will absolve us. A life for a life. We can't live with this guilt. It will destroy us."

"I love you," I said, slumping my head onto her chest, this time her hand ran through my hair.

"I love you, too, always."

And so, I took her life. I drained her tiny body of its blood and carried it, naked and limp to rest near Jacob's side. She would forever rest near her best friend that she loved. I gathered the things I'd need to stage an accident, and now I'm making things right.

I run through a thick grove of trees, and I know that the creek bed is nearby. The wolves can make use of it when they clean up afterwards. I skid to a halt and spin myself around, many sets of silvery eyes fall upon me, teeth bared, claws digging in the earth. I close my eyes and thank Heaven that I had even one day with Bella and her love. I fix her sweet smile and shy eyes in my mind as I hear the sickening crunch of metal and fall to the damp forest floor. "I love you," she tells me, innocence and wide eyes, and I smile as the image of my love fades into darkness, and I am consumed by sweet oblivion.