ENTRY #60 - AU
Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
Title: Blood Recipes
Picture Prompt Number: 2
Pairing: Bella and Edward
Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 8703
Summary: Edward is a vampire who falls off the vegetarian wagon. Bella is the new girl who does hunting of her own. Who will change who, and how? AU
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and its characters.
Boredom. It was a four letter word in my world. What does one do when one has endless time and no need for sleep?
Lately I had taken to running off to Seattle or Port Angeles in order to quench my thirst. Only Alice and Carlisle knew of my recent slip. My downward spiral into drinking human blood happened suddenly.
I had been shopping for piano strings in Port Angeles when I heard the thoughts of a murderer. He had found his next victim - an elderly woman who lived alone. His thoughts were loud and abhorrent. I had no choice but to follow them. I intended only to deter him but the deeper I sank into his mind the more I realized that this man did not deserve to live.
He had murdered and hurt a lot of people during his lifetime. He was sick, and in need of help perhaps. In my mind, however, he was beyond it and the world would be a better place without him in it.
I remember clearly the first gulp of his blood. It awoke something inside me. Something I could not deny. My true nature took center stage and once I had drained him I barely had the presence of mind to dispose of the body. I was wound up; high on the superior nourishment that human blood provided.
When I returned home that night I was overcome by guilt. I knew I had let my family down, especially Carlisle.
The next morning I nervously checked my eyes for a change and was horrified to see that after the consumption of just one human their color had been noticeably altered. They weren't intensely red but they certainly weren't golden anymore.
I had hoped they would return to their normal shade over the weekend but the color lingered.
Alice was the first to confront me.
"Your eyes will return to normal by tomorrow. You should stay home today." She looked at me with sad eyes. The hurt in them was genuine. She was worried about me but she didn't judge me. Her biggest fear was that harm would come to me. That I would somehow get into trouble I couldn't get out of.
"I'm sorry, Alice. I'll do better," I whispered unable to look into her eyes. "Have you told Carlisle?"
She shook her head. "I wouldn't do that to you. I think you should talk to him, but I trust you to make that decision on your own."
"Thank you." Her faith in me was heartbreaking and it made me feel ill. I didn't deserve her trust or her kindness.
"We're going to be late so I better get going. I'll tell the others you need to hunt."
Needing to hunt was the Cullen excuse to stay home from school. Esme and Carlisle never questioned it. Esme especially was sympathetic to it as she was around humans the least. She mostly stayed home and played housewife. Her interactions were limited to the few times she and Carlisle went to parent teacher conferences and her daily errands around town. Other than those instances her presence around humans was never for prolonged periods of time.
I quickly made my way into the forest. The scent of deer led me deep into its heart. As I fed I couldn't help but wish it was a human I was drinking from. I felt deprived, and a sudden anger bubbled up inside me. I was angry at myself for wanting human blood, and I was angry at Carlisle for making me deny who and what I was. I wanted human blood. I craved it.
I drained three large deer before collapsing on the forest floor. This deep into the wilderness I was free from the burden of my mind reading. There was nobody around for miles. All I could hear and smell was the peaceful life of the forest. The running of water, the movement of leaves, the heartbeat of whatever animal was walking near by. No animals ever came anywhere near me as their senses told them to stay away but they were close enough that I could hear them.
I spent the entire day in the forest wanting more than anything to hunt humans instead of animals.
That night I went to Seattle looking for a meal. I lucked out with a few criminals whose thoughts put them in my cross hairs.
The three men were a delightful meal and for the first time in a long time I felt sated. I was perfectly satisfied.
When I returned home I went straight into Carlisle's office.
He took one look at me and gasped.
"Son, what have you done?" His face betrayed nothing but his thoughts were loud and panicked. He feared I would run them out of Forks. Rather than feel sympathy for him or even remorse I grew irritated.
"I am a vampire. I have done nothing that isn't in my nature."
"I thought you were committed to our way of life. To our family."
Even though he did not say as much his words and his tone were beseeching. He wanted nothing more than for me to repent. To say it had all been a horrible mistake and to recommit to our 'vegetarian' lifestyle.
"I disgust you." It was a statement I struggled to make without some degree of sadness.
"Edward, you could never disgust me. You are my son and I love you. No matter what."
I knew his words to be sincere. Carlisle was a better man than I would ever be. He was kind, compassionate and loving. He made no excuses for any of us but supported us no matter what.
"Alice knows. Well, she knows of the first one and I assume she knows about tonight."
I proceeded to tell Carlisle everything. I told him how I stumbled upon the murderer the first time and how I went looking for criminals tonight.
"Is this what you want, Edward? Because if it is, I'm afraid...," he trailed off looking at the wall behind me.
"I don't want to leave. I just can't commit to stopping right away. I feel good. Great even. And while I do carry a lot of guilt over what I've done I can't find it in me to care. Those men were evil. They hurt people and were a drain on society."
"I don't want to tell the others. I will ask Alice for her discretion as well. You've got to promise me you won't hunt here in Forks and you will need contacts. Jesus, I can't believe I'm going along with this. Edward, you realize that if Esme finds out. Well, I don't know what she would do but she would be upset with me for keeping this from her."
"I just need some time."
He nodded. He had a strange look in his eyes. He was thinking, calculating the possible outcomes of my foray into a more traditional vampire diet.
In the next few weeks I gave up drinking animal blood entirely. My eyes turned just as red as the day I was born into this life. Carlisle and Alice helped me by creating contacts that perfectly matched the golden shade common to all the Cullens while standing up to the damage that the venom in my eyes would inflict on regular contact lenses.
Three months into my new diet I was almost certain I would leave my family. Part of me was saddened by this but the significant part of me was salivating at the possibilities. I was fantasizing about my life as a nomad when the new girl everybody had on their pubescent minds walked into Biology.
The teacher handed her a textbook and pointed to my table.
When she walked past the fan at the front of the classroom I was punched in the gut by the most delicious and intense scent I had ever inhaled. I grabbed onto the table for support as I closed my eyes. I was sure they had rolled to the back of my head.
Before I had the opportunity to compose myself she was sitting beside me.
"Hi, I'm Bella," she said casually as she opened her notebook to a blank page. She looked straight into my eyes. Her stare was not one meant to intimidate or threaten. She was simply a confident and mature human.
"Edward," I whispered trying not to breathe while she was so close. My mouth had quickly filled with venom. There was such an influx that I had to swallow several times to keep from slobbering all over myself.
"Cullen, right? I met your sister earlier. She's a firecracker. Does she ever sit still?" She gave a little chuckle, shaking her head and smiling at what I assumed was the thought of my sister.
"Yes, Alice can be a bit much. I apologize on her behalf if she did anything weird."
She shrugged. "It was nice to be approached. She didn't treat me like a new toy, and she was sincere. Unlike everybody else in this town."
At that point the lecture began and so I was spared from having to provide an answer to her last comment.
I was uncomfortable. My throat burned as if I hadn't fed in weeks and yet just last night I had been teeth deep in the neck of a nurse who abused and murdered her patients. She had been a rather large woman and had provided me with a decent amount of blood.
I took a tentative sniff of the air and I almost fell out of my chair from the heady fragrance. Bella smelled delicious. It was unlike anything I had smelled before. Every instinct told me to feast on her. I could tell she would taste sublime; her blood the finest and most potent nectar. She would be divine.
Even as I sat there debating with myself as to the fate of this young woman who was no murderer, rapist or a criminal in any way shape or form, something in the back of my mind told me to pay attention. There was something about her that was more important than the fact that she appealed to me in a way nothing and nobody ever had.
It was then I realized I couldn't hear her thoughts. Her mind was a blank canvas. I got nothing from her and the deeper I sank into her mind the less I could hear everyone else around me. I pulled back and was assaulted with the ruckus of the classroom. I quickly went back to focusing on Bella's silent mind.
It was like sinking into a cloud of warmth and comfort. I may have sighed contentedly at the pleasurable feeling.
When I was focused only on her mind I was in a state of suspended animation. Nothing could touch me. My thirst, my hunger for her blood dissipated and became insignificant.
After one period of swimming in her depths I had found a new addiction. My new poison that may or may not be just as deadly as pursuing a traditional vampiric lifestyle.
As soon as class was over I sent Alice a text asking her to meet me in the forest. I had to know if she had seen anything with regards to Bella.
"She's important," Alice said as when we came into view of each other.
As soon as she had spoken she changed the course of her thoughts effectively blocking me from reading her thoughts on whatever vision she'd had.
"Why can't I see?"
"I don't want to ruin it by giving you advance notice."
"It's never stopped you before."
"This is different, Edward. Trust me."
With that she ran off and out of my range for mind reading. I silently cursed her.
In the weeks that followed I made sure to drink not only human blood but animal blood as well. I gorged myself each night hoping that I could survive sitting next to Bella for fifty minutes each day without sinking into her mind...Or plunging my teeth into her slender neck.
We talked a little each time we had class together and I learned she was an avid and adventurous cook.
She told me about reading Julia Child's cookbook and wanting to try her hand at aspics. It sounded disgusting even by human standards which were admittedly low in my opinion.
One Friday after school I decided to venture into the forest. I wasn't really hunting. I just wanted to enjoy the quiet and maybe contemplate the implications that Bella had brought with her. Her being a mental mute puzzled me.
I climbed up my favorite tree and sat on one of the sturdier branches I could find. I pulled my journal out of my backpack and turned to my last entry. I was reading over it when I smelled her.
Bella was in the forest.
Her scent grew stronger. I began to hear her footfalls, and eventually her breathing and heart beat.
When she came into view I gaped at her. She was dressed in full hunting camouflage and was toting a large rifle. What in the hell was Bella doing hunting? I tried to pick through the memories of all of our conversations but found nothing that would lead me to associate Bella with hunting.
Before I could think better of my actions I jumped down from my perch and approached her.
She swung around violently aiming the barrel of the rifle at my head.
"What the fuck?"
"I was thinking the same thing."
"I'm hunting, duh."
"I see that. Why?"
"I need deer blood and nobody will sell it to me. Something about laws and the like. Besides I want it fresh. God knows how those fools preserve it or how old it would be by the time I got it."
"Have you done this before?"
"Hunting yes. Harvesting deer blood, not really. I mean we usually drain them before we bring them back but, yeah. I've never done this."
I thought for a moment, debating whether or not to offer to help her.
"I think I can help."
"I bet you can, Vampire Boy."
My venom ran cold. She knew. Bella knew what I was.
"What? How?" I stumbled over the words feeling more nervous than I ever had.
"Those blood red eyes gave you away. Guess you forgot your contacts." Her brown eyes were full of mischief.
"Are you afraid?"
"No," she answered quickly. "I'm not scared of you, Edward. I figured you've had plenty of opportunities to kill me and yet here I am." She swung her arm over herself demonstrating that she was, in fact, still standing intact and whole.
"How do you know about what I am?"
She shrugged and sighed. "Jacob Black, Ephraim Black's grandson, great grandson? Whatever. He told me of the legends. I always believed them. I've a sense for these things."
"I see. Well I'm at your service now. Why do you need deer blood?"
"I'm making blood sausage. I want a gamey flavor. Charlie loved the sausage I made with chicken blood but it was a pain to find live chickens and then draining them was trouble too. I figured deer would be easier since I don't have to bring the live animal to my house."
Her logic seemed faulty but I wasn't going to question her.
"I've never done this with an audience. You should stay back while I hunt."
My biggest concern was losing control and attacking her right after I drained the deer. I had never killed a deer without drinking from it. This would further test my control.
"I'll hang back, and hey, thank you. You so don't have to do this. Figures I'd bump into the one person who understands a need for blood." She snorted and shook her head.
Moments later I had caught and killed a large deer. Bella had quickly produced some containers from her backpack and I managed to fill two of them without making that much of a mess. It was hardly all of the blood the deer contained but Bella assured me she had more than enough for what she was planning on making.
She sheepishly offered to look away while I drank from the deer, turning around as she blushed.
"Why does this embarrass you?" I asked, puzzled.
"It seems intimate. Nobody ever sees you feed other than your family I presume. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable or appear like a spectator."
At that moment I was convinced Bella was actually insane. Where most people would run away and not look back she was perfectly content to stick around and mind her manners.
By the time I was finished I was a mess. My shirt was ruined, and my jeans had not fared much better. I unbuttoned my shirt and removed it. I remained in my white undershirt which was also stained but not as much. I proceeded to bury it, an act that drew an eyebrow raise from Bella even though nothing else had by that point.
"Well thanks for this," she said softly. "I better get going before it spoils." She hoisted her backpack onto her shoulder and turned to leave.
"Wait! Let me run you home." I was eager for more time with the 'new girl.'
It took some convincing but soon we were zooming through the forest. Bella let out a few squeals. It was difficult to distinguish which were out of delight and which were out of sheer terror.
We arrived at her house much faster than she anticipated and she seemed pleased about that.
"Would you like to come in and learn how to make blood sausage?"
Suddenly I was the seventeen year old boy I pretended to be and not the ancient vampire I was.
"Uh, sure." I smiled as I weirdly accepted her kind invite.
"I'll throw your clothes in the wash. Charlie won't be home until morning. He's working a double shift tonight."
"Won't he come to check on you?"
She gave a hearty laugh. "Are you crazy? What could I possibly get up to?" She gave me a wink before disappearing upstairs.
She returned with a shirt and a pair of basketball shorts. I took them from her wordlessly but not before accidentally brushing my fingers with hers.
Her loud gasp startled me.
"Wow, you're cold."
"I'm dead," I said matter of fact.
We both laughed at that.
Once I was dressed and my clothes were in the wash I proceeded to silently watch Bella prepare her disgusting sausage.
I watched her chop an onion and saute it in lard of some sort. She then let it cool while she mixed ground deer meat with some fat chunks and spices. Then of course there was the blood. When all was said and done she had made what looked to be a slurry albeit a tight one. Once that was combined to her satisfaction she pulled some equipment out of the freezer and retrieved some casings from the refrigerator. I watched in awe as she filled and tied links of sausage like the seasoned pro that she was.
Once the sausages were done she cleaned up the kitchen leaving it spotless.
"I'm going to take a shower. Don't go," she insisted, giving me a stern look.
"Where would I go?"
After she was under the shower spray I quietly crept up the stairs and went into her room. As expected, her scent was concentrated there. The room was quaint and clean although a little untidy.
I looked through some pictures she had laying around. None had been taken recently but all included one or both her parents. She seemed like a happy human.
I turned my attention to her desk. It was an old thing with cracks on the wooden surface. There were pen marks and nail polish smears as well as some spots where the varnish had been rubbed off. Her computer was closed and it was surrounded by papers. A large stack of them that had been clipped together caught my eye and before I knew it I had it in my hands.
Blood Recipes - A Collection of Recipes Using Blood
I. M. Swan
I was intrigued. It appeared that Bella had been compiling a list recipes she had attempted or simply stumbled upon. She had detailed notations about the qualities of the blood depending on the animal it came from. She described the blood in its various stages, from fresh to congealed to cooked.
I thumbed through the first few pages reading and learning about all of the various cultures that used blood in various forms. In Kenya blood was mixed with milk to create a beverage. In China blood was congealed and cut up into bars. In Finland it was used to make bread.
I had never stopped to consider blood consumption by humans before and here was Bella assembling a compendium of sorts on it.
She came into her room not expecting me to be standing at her desk with her manuscript in hand.
"Holy crap," she breathed out. "You scared me." She tightened her hold on her towel.
"Sorry, I was exploring."
"I can see that. Continue. As you were." She smiled at me.
"This is some interesting stuff." I shook the papers at her.
"You probably think I'm a freak." She was running a towel through her hair and I found it distracting.
In all my years as a vampire I had never been plagued by my baser instincts. I had always thought myself above sexual urges and the few times I had participated in self pleasure I was left feeling indifferent. Sure, climax felt great but not having somebody to share it with made it seem pretty pointless to me.
"You're not a freak. I mean look at who you're talking to." I pointed at myself.
Bella put down the towel she had been running through her hair and picked up a comb.
"You know as much as it fascinates me to learn about cooking with blood the only thing I've ever made is blood sausage. I don't like to eat it but Charlie loves it and so he's allowed me to try different variations of the recipe."
I was suddenly struck with the urge to brush out her hair. I wanted to untangle the knots and snarls.
I placed my hand over hers and slowly pried the comb from her.
She turned her head to face me and in that instant the elongation the movement produced in her neck made me want her in ways I had never wanted a woman before.
"All right," she whispered before adding a sweet 'thank you'.
I proceeded to comb through her hair with gentle precision. I did not understand where this desire stemmed from or where I had acquired the technique.
"That feels good," Bella offered as I continued to quietly comb through her hair. It was long and soft. I could tell she took care of it and had never chemically altered it.
Those few minutes I spent tending to her were the most relaxing minutes I had ever experienced while in her presence and outside of the comfort of her silent mind.
When I finished I handed the comb back to her and made to leave, figuring she'd want the privacy in order to get dressed.
"Why are you leaving?"
"Aren't you going to get dressed?"
"You don't have to leave on my account. Unless you feel uncomfortable."
I knew I was pushing my boundaries as it was. Spending a day hunting and cooking with a human was beyond the pale. I had to get out of there before I completely lost my mind.
"I need to go. I've a thing with my family." It was a lame excuse and Bella's expression told me she knew it too. Luckily she was kind to me and let it go without pressing the issue.
"I'll see you in biology." Her smile was superficial.
I took my leave quickly. Grabbing my still wet clothes from the washing machine before slipping on my shoes. My run home was spent trying to sort through the many feelings she had invoked in me.
The following week was strange. Bella and I danced around each other as if the past Friday had not occurred. We had shared intimacies that were not insignificant and yet we were both trying to pretend that there was nothing between us.
I had managed to sneak the clothes she had loaned me into her locker along with a hastily scribbled note of thanks. Esme had been adamant that I wash them first and if it hadn't been for her watchful eye I wouldn't have done so. I wanted her to have my scent.
I spent each class deep in her mind, where her scent and body could not taunt and tempt me. I pulled out only long enough to speak to her when necessary but other than that minimal interaction, Bella and I hardly said a word to each other.
It wasn't until Friday that I decided to break the tension and approach her.
I waited for her near the hunk of rust she considered a road worthy vehicle. The truck was ancient and resembled something that would be more at home in a junk yard than in a school parking lot.
"Oh, look who is gracing me with his presence." Her tone was sour and bitter.
"I'm sorry that it's been weird between us. I didn't mean for it to be."
She crossed her arms in front of her and tapped her foot impatiently.
"It's hard for me to be around you. I want your blood. I want to drink from you."
"All you had to do was ask."
"What?" I asked, incredulous.
"You're more than welcome to drink from me. How would that work exactly?"
"Bella, that isn't something I can do without killing you. If I drink and stop you will turn into a vampire but that is something immeasurably difficult especially for somebody like me."
"It's cold out here, let's sit in the truck."
"Does that thing even have a heater?"
I led her over to my car instead.
I turned on the car and cranked up the heat as high as it would go.
"What did you mean earlier?"
"Bella, my family lives on the blood of animals. It's why our eyes aren't red."
"I thought you all wore contacts."
"I wear them because I recently started drinking from humans. Our eyes are naturally red if we maintain an all human diet. Once we switch exclusively to animal blood our eyes change color."
Bella shifted in her seat. "So you kill people. Is that why you're nice to me? Because you plan on draining the life out of me?"
Her heart rate was elevated and I could sense the fear coming off in waves.
"No, I don't want to hurt you."
I went on to explain my mind reading and how her mind was silent to me. I also explained to her how and why I chose my victims.
After I was done explaining myself I braced myself for Bella's rebuke. At the very least I was expecting her to tell me off and ask me to never speak to her again.
She surprised me, not for the first time by excitedly responding, "Great, I've a list a mile long!"
I blinked several times wondering if I had misheard her.
"Sure, I've a list of people who shouldn't walk this Earth."
I couldn't tell if she was joking or not so I stared into space hoping she would start laughing or give some indication of her mental status.
"Can I come with you?" She shifted so she was sitting cross-legged on the passenger seat.
"Come with me where?"
"To a crime scene. What do you do with the bodies?"
I felt very uncomfortable but I wanted to tell her anyway. I wanted to tell her everything. Luckily for her common sense won out.
"I don't think that's a very good idea, Bella. Besides, why would you want to see me at my worst? I don't want that. I'm a monster."
She pouted and gave me the stink eye. "I thought we could have some fun. Imagine a completely exsanguinated corpse but instead of leaving it like that we put all this fake blood around it. I have some great blood recipes, you know fake blood. It's basically corn syrup and red dye. Anyway, we stage a crime scene. The cops will be scratching their heads at that one."
She laughed boisterously and made a show of clutching her stomach as she did so.
I concentrated on smelling her scent in order to discern if she there had been a change in how she smelled. I wondered if she had been on some sort of psychotropic medication that she had since stopped taking.
"Geez, Edward. Don't be so uptight. I was totally joking. I'm sorry I took it too far." She nudged me with her elbow and wiggled her eyebrows at me.
The tension magically disappeared and I allowed myself to relax.
"Would you like to have dinner with me?" I finally asked after chewing on the words for a long while.
Bella scrunched up her nose but nodded in the affirmative. "As long as I don't have to drink blood."
She abruptly opened the door and hopped out of my car. Running towards her truck of doom with more speed I thought her capable of.
I was next to her in a flash and she yelped in surprise.
"I'll pick you up at seven. Oh, and give me your phone."
She dug around in her pocket and produced a scratched and banged up flip phone. I plugged in my number and called myself.
"I'll text you when I'm on my way." I kissed her forehead gently before running back to my car.
By this time the school parking lot was empty. It appeared that Bella and I had spent more than just a few minutes having one of the strangest conversations I had ever been a part of.
I chuckled to myself as I drove home thinking that Bella was unlike any human I had ever encountered before. Based on her fascination with blood alone I was sure that she was one after my own heart. Nothing grossed her out, nothing fazed her. She accepted me for who and what I was without question.
When Alice had told me that she was important I wondered if perhaps Bella would be the catalyst to my foray into a more permanent lifestyle away from the Cullen family. I was sure, however, that if anything, Bella would be what brought me back to who I was and who I wanted to be. I did not want to be a monster.
Our first date was a memorable one. Bella and I went to Port Angeles where I took her to a little French bistro that I had heard about. She insisted on only getting a few pastries and cheeses to go stating that she wanted to picnic in my car. I found this to be an odd request but I obliged her. I had never been on a date before and I assumed that letting her lead was the prudent thing to do.
When we got back to my car she pulled out a metal flask out of her purse and handed it to me.
"I know it's not fresh but I think it will be okay."
I opened the flask and if I was capable of going into cardiac arrest I would have. Bella had filled the flask with blood. Her blood.
"I have a phlebotomist friend. He doesn't ask questions."
"This is a sweet, albeit morbid and inappropriate, gesture. I don't quite know what to say."
"Say 'thank you, Bella for bestowing upon me the sweet nectar of your blood'." She stuck her tongue out at me and began to tear at one the croissants she had selected.
I quietly thanked her before knocking back the entire flask.
That night I learned about spontaneous ejaculation in vampires.
My relationship with Bella was peculiar. It sort of manifested out of nothing and neither of us had done nor said anything about it. I definitely felt a strong pull towards her and after drinking the flask of her blood I discovered a couple of things. Firstly, I was now sexually awakened. Not a day went by wherein I didn't imagine Bella in some state of undress and wondered what it would be like to touch her body and have sex with her. It was a sickness.
I also discovered that since drinking her blood I could feel her thoughts. I was still not able to read her mind but if she was near me I noticed that I could get a sense of what she was thinking by way of how she made me feel. It was a queer phenomenon. I first noticed it after our third date. It was a strange thing, I could compare it to Jasper's gift except my emotions remained markedly separated form hers.
I was waiting for her in the middle of the forest. We had found a small clearing amid the tall and imposing trees. Bella, who insisted on making the trek to the meadow alone, had cautioned me to refrain from tailing her as I often did when she went hiking. I didn't understand why she insisted on walking when I could carry her, especially in light of the fact that she was constantly tripping over roots and smalls rocks.
A rustling of leaves startled me out of what must have been a meditative state. Thinking about Bella was a huge distraction in which I lost myself often.
She emerged from the trees flushed and glowing with a fine sheen of sweat.
She wiped her brow and smiled brightly at me.
"I thought I would never make it. I am so winded." She tossed her bag on the ground before collapsing next to it. She was breathing heavily from her exertion. As her chest moved with her breathing I zeroed in on her breasts. Instead of feeling like a pervert I felt happy to be normal. My relationship with Bella and my sexual attraction to her made me feel almost human.
Human male or not I was alive to my obligations to my friend. I unzipped my own bag and pulled out a bottle of water.
"Have some water," I said hading her the bottle.
She grabbed it from me and drank hungrily. She handed the bottle back to me and fell back onto the soft grass of the meadow.
I lay down next to her enjoying her company and the soothing metronome that was her heart.
A while later she stirred. She sat up slowly and stretched her arms over her head.
"Edward, may I ask you something?"
"Am I your girlfriend?"
Her question caught me off guard. I was not expecting her to be the one to bring it up. In fact, I had been working up the nerve to do so myself.
"Would you like that?" It was the only thing I thought to ask in response.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I like you, Edward. There is no doubt about that. We've been spending a lot of time together. We've been out on dates and well...What is this?" She motioned to the meadow.
"Admit it, Edward. We are in a relationship. We're more than just friends."
I sat up at her words and watched her crawl over to me. She kneeled by my side, her hands on her lap.
"More than friends," I repeated. The words tasted funny in my mouth. Their alien flavor, I decided immediately, was something I could enjoy savoring long term. More than friends. Bella and I were more than friends.
She slowly raised her hand and brought it to rest on my shoulder.
"I'd like to kiss you. Scratch that, I want to kiss you. I need it. I've been fighting with myself over this for too long. Your lips, Edward, your lips. They drive me crazy. I spend a lot of time wondering how they would feel on me. I also wonder if you're even capable of kissing a human. Are you?"
I swallowed, nodding not in answer to her question but in surrender to it.
"Fuck it," she said before pulling me towards her and pressing her lips to mine.
They were as I expected them to be: petal soft and warm.
Her hand made it's way to the back of my head and she pulled me towards her. I didn't resist her. Her lips caressed mine, slowly coaxing them to dance with hers. I parted my slips slightly and captured her top lip. She moaned and pulled at my hair.
We had shifted so that we were both kneeling facing each other. My hands rested on her hips. I held her so that her pelvis wouldn't come in contact with mine. I wasn't ready for that torture. It was enough to be aroused while she pulled and tugged at my hair as she kissed me.
Gently, almost in slow motion, she pulled away from me. Her breathing was labored and her entire face was flushed. My own breathing was more pronounced, a peculiar happening as my breathing was nothing more than a ruse to appear human.
"Amazing, " I finished for her.
"Yes, amazing. Had you ever done that before?"
"Not with a human," I admitted.
"Hmmm, how about sex. Do you think you could, with me?"
I had never actually engaged in coitus. My view of it had been clinical at best and I had never met a vampire or a human with whom I had considered the idea. It wasn't until Bella came along that I had given the subject much thought. A lot of thought actually.
"I've never had sex." It was all I could think to say. I didn't think Bella would be interested in the reasons or my lack of sexual appetite until recently.
She sat down and released her hair from the confines of a tortoise shell colored clip. As the hair fell down her back in a waterfall a fresh wave of her scent washed over me. I sat beside her willing my hands to resist the urge to touch it.
"If we have sex, will your penis turn my insides to mush?"
It was a legitimate question. I had spent a good deal of time warning her about my supernatural strength and the possibly fatal implications of carelessness of either of our parts. My nails could slice her skin easily, my teeth, although not pointed, could part through her flesh with surgical precision, and my sheer strength could tear her into pieces without my exerting any effort. In all, it was a fine line I walked.
In my years as a vampire I had learned how to handle fragile objects. I had learned how to hold fruit in my hand. Peaches bruised easily and it wasn't until I could handle one without marking it that Carlisle deemed me ready for physical interaction with humans. Handshakes and other societal norms require a certain amount of contact. Of course all of this gentle touching was done while I was in control of my mind and my body. Sex would be a different matter entirely.
"I honestly don't know. I'd like to think that I can be gentle. That I can control my...thrusting...enough to not hurt you. But, Bella, that is something I am not ready to attempt just yet. This physical stuff is new to me."
She looked up at me smiling that kind smile that made me feel warm inside. Warmth. Bella created a heat inside me that made me feel something I had never felt before. That tiny spark of hope that I now had something, someone, worth living for.
I had found my reason to live. To continue existing in this mundane, never ending life of a vampire. Suddenly my desire to veer off Carlisle's more humane existence seemed childish. For the first time in my vampire life I did not feel like a monster. I wasn't a monster. I had a choice. To say I wasn't human was a cop out, an excuse I held onto because I was a coward. Instead of facing my fears, my demons, and my loneliness I put up a wall. I had convinced myself that I did not want companionship. For too long I had quietly mocked my family in my head. I envied their pairings, envied their nights of love making and hard fucking. I was empty, but now, now I had everything.
"I think you will be able to control yourself. We'll work up to it." She stroked my arm slowly. Up and down, her small, warm fingers traced the length of my forearm.
"Thank you." I was thanking her for everything she had brought into my life, most of which she had no idea about. I was thankful to her for being fierce and self confident. For approaching me and taking the lead when I had been too stupid or just plain incapable to do so myself. I was the hunter and she was my prey but somehow she had the upper hand. Her fearlessness and kindness had overpowered me.
"We best get started soon. I don't want to enter immortality with a hymen."
My face must have given away my startled reaction to the words she had just spoken because Bella started laughing almost as soon as she'd spoken.
"I don't want to be a virgin forever. Besides, I've no idea how that would transform with the rest of me so in the interest of covering all bases, pun intended, we must have sex at least once. I would give defloration by dildo as an option but I really want it to be you. Not some piece of plastic, latex, polyurethane or whatever else they make them from."
In just a few hours Bella had gone from friend, to girlfriend to future vampire. I could barely keep up with her. I was reliever, naturally, that she seemed to want me just as much as I wanted her. I had never given the thought of her as a vampire much consideration. In fact, I had given it no thought at all. It had never occurred to me to envision a life with Bella by my side as an equal. An equal physically for I already considered her my equal in every other respect.
"You want to be like me?" I was still incredulous even though I knew her answer to be self evident.
"I want you, Edward. I know we haven't been the most expressive of couples, and I know that this all seems to be coming out of nowhere. The thing is that since you came into my life my world makes sense. Not to make light of your predilections but who else could stomach my interest in blood? Who else would not have balked at my collection of blood recipes? Sure there are some sick and twisted people with strange fetishes and the like but that's not me. I'm not even into blood really, I just found it interesting that in a lot of cultures blood is not regarded as disgusting waste, but rather, a nutritious substance that is not to be wasted."
She stood and began to pace in front of me. Her jeans were covered in dirt and pieces of dead grass. She made no move to dust herself off.
"My point is that I think we were meant for each other. My age might make this statement seem trite and even detract from the passion with which I say it. But I mean it. I know this is right. You and me, we are forever. You've been rebelling and though I joked about wanting to watch and all that, seriously, killing humans...even ones that deserve it is not a burden you should assume. I don't want that for you."
I wanted to tell her that my life was not something I wanted for her. I wanted to dissuade her from her position that I was somehow worthy of her affections. I wanted to, but I was no fool. I knew better than to question Bella. I wasn't about to throw the gift of her love back in her face. She may not have said it but I could feel it rolling off her and cascading onto me. Her love washed over me like rains over the Kalahari, quenching my deep-seated thirst that decades of drought had caused.
After that day at the meadow time became fluid. It sloshed around me and drenched me with its quick passing.
Bella and I had progressed gradually and steadily in our physical relationship.
I had watched, fascinated, as she brought herself to orgasm on many occasions. I, too, participated going from embarrassingly quick completions to ones I could be proud of.
Mutual touching was next on the agenda and that was by far my favorite. To be brought to climax by her hand was only second to having her come all over mine. As if she wasn't vulnerable to me already, seeing her in her ecstasy completely unaware of the world around her deepened my affections for her. She trusted me completely.
We had agreed to wait to have sex until after graduation. I figured if I somehow harmed her I could quickly turn her. The thought sent a deep sense of discouragement through me and on some level I felt as though we should not go through with it.
Graduation was a nightmare. I was so keyed up and nervous about that night that I could hardly keep still. Meanwhile, Alice managed to do a piss poor job at concealing her thoughts from me. She had taken Bella to the spa where she had gotten a bikini wax among other treatments. Bella was ready to head into immortality with just the right amount of body hair it seemed.
With my family's help we had convinced Charlie to allow Bella to vacation with us for the summer. It was a small victory but a necessary one. Bella and I were not to return to Forks until the following summer if all went well. We would be up in Alaska where Bella and I could consummate our relationship and would be able to hide out while Bella gained control of her bloodlust. The lie we told was that we wanted to get a feel for living in Alaska and wanted to visit while the weather was favorable.
Charlie was weary and rightfully so as my family would be nearby but would not be living with us as he thought. He did not understand why we had to leave the day of graduation but Esme was quick to point out that with Carlisle's schedule being what it was he only had a couple of weeks during the year when he was able to take off from work.
The plan was to go straight to the University of Alaska from our vacation and not return until the following summer. That would give Bella a year before having to return to full on human contact.
The trip to Anchorage was exhausting and Bella had spent most of it sleeping. A combination of nervous excitement and weepy goodbye to Charlie had worn her out. The car ride from Anchorage to the remote cabin we would be occupying didn't help either.
"We're here," I whispered softly when we finally arrived.
She slowly came to, opening her eyes and blinking a few times. I helped her out of the car and into the cabin. My family had driven ahead in order to get everything ready for us, plus they didn't have to stop for food or bathroom breaks.
I was inspecting the provisions in the kitchen when Bella came out of the bathroom dressed in only a pair of tiny panties and a t-shirt.
"I'm ready for you," she said seductively.
I wasted no time in picking her up and carrying her over to the bed. Nerves be damned. I wanted her.
We kissed, touched and licked our way into nakedness. I brought Bella to orgasm with my fingers while she did her best to reciprocate. I didn't allow her to finish me off. I wanted this to be about her.
"I think I should be on top. What do you think?"
We had discussed positions for our first time but now that we were faced with the reality both of us seemed to have lost what little confidence we had.
I cleared my throat. "It's probably best. You can control depth and I can control my hands."
I sat on the bed with my back against the headboard. She climbed on top of me and straddled me. She had effectively nestled my throbbing erection to her stomach.
"I'm a little nervous, but I want this."
"I want this, too."
She kissed me then and it was a kiss to end all kisses. It was the most forceful kiss Bella had ever planted on me and while I struggled to maintain my composure she ground her wetness into me eliciting sounds of pleasure I did not know I was capable of making.
"I'm so wet, Edward. So wet."
She continued to kiss me. Nibbling and biting my lips and tongue as she persisted in her seeking of friction.
"I want you to bite me tonight. I want you to inject me with your venom at the same time as you inject me with your seed. Please, Edward."
At that moment I felt her grab my with her hands and suddenly I was entering her.
She sank down slowly. I detected a little bit of fear as she did so. She was expecting pain. As soon as she had began to take my erection into her body I smelled the faintest amount of blood. I almost came right then. The neanderthal within me was beaming. Such a badge of honor it was to have my dick marked with her blood.
Once she was sitting on my lap with me deep inside her she began to move.
"How does it feel?" I asked, barely managing to get the words out.
"I feel...full. There was some stretching and a slight burn but...you're cool. Like temperature-wise. Your dick is cold. Mmmm."
I barely held on to her hips as she gyrated and tried different movements. Everything she did felt amazing.
Wet, silky, tight heat.
Grunting, moaning, begging, invoking of the Lord's name in vain.
"Edward, I love you."
I looked at her face. Her eyes were focused on mine. I did not have a literal heart but my figurative one was full and happy. I had a happy heart because of Bella Swan. This exquisite creature that had let me inside her life, heart, and now body."
"I love you, too, Bella."
And so it was that on that night, as we made love for the first time, and professed our love for the first time that I bit my love for the first time.
She offered her neck to me so willingly, with a huge smile on her face. I enjoyed my first climax inside a woman as my teeth found her neck and sank down into the tender flesh.
I felt her come around me as I took the first pull of her blood. I came again when it touched my lips.
A few sips and then I licked her wound clean. It closed up immediately.
I set her down on the bed.
I watched her as she burned on the inside.
She awoke a few days later.
My immortal lover.
My own blood recipe.
She was made for me.