ENTRY #70 - AU

Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
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Title: Only The Good Die Young
Picture Prompt Number:
Pairing: Edward/Bella
Rating: T
Genre: General; AU/canon
Word Count (minus A/N and Header):

Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): A haunted house is the best place to commit a crime. No one would know which screams belonged to people being attacked and which ones were recorded.

Warnings and Disclaimer: The haunted house I describe is loosely based off of one in Connecticut. All characters belong to their respective owners. I don't own any of it. Much, much, much thanks to my two betas for the beta job. One is pure awesomeness, and corrected all my stupid-ass mistakes. The other is fantastic and made sure the second "e" was there, and that I got the dates correct. :)

. _.

Isabella Swan was the new kid in town, having moved to Forks shortly over a month ago. She was still something of a mystery to the citizens of the small town, but no one was more intrigued than Edward Cullen.

If there was something Bella hated most, it was attention. She couldn't figure out why everyone was so fascinated with her. She had hoped that being the police chief's daughter would have deterred curious townspeople, but much to her dismay, it only increased their curiosity.

Moving to Forks a month before school started seemed like a good idea at the time, but when she arrived in August, she hadn't gotten out much. She had been too busy adjusting to her new life and the Pacific Northwest. When the first day of her senior year rolled around, everyone's attention was on her. After all, it wasn't every day that a new person moved into town, let alone the high school-aged daughter of the chief.

Needless to say, it was monumental for the small-town; they finally had something new to talk about.

The girl was an introvert. She didn't make friends easily, and that was fine with her. That wasn't to say that she'd never had friends, but that she only ever kept a few good friends she trusted. For her, the first day of school was horrendous, with the exception of Edward. He'd left her alone while other people flocked toward her like a moth to a flame. Most of the students she met wanted to be her friend, but it didn't feel genuine.

The second day felt like a repeat of the first. However, slowly but surely, people eased up on her and within a couple of weeks she had forged friendships with the people she least expected: Jessica, Lauren, Mike, Angela and Ben, aka, 'The Gang.'

There was, of course, Edward, but they had a different sort of friendship. With him, there was an undercurrent of something else, something Bella could never pinpoint, but she knew it was otherworldly.

It could have been the way he read her like an open book; it might have been the way he constantly popped up next to her like a thief in the night; or it was possibly the fact that he tried to give her space, for which she was extremely thankful.

. _.

It was early October when she went on her first outing with The Gang. It was a Friday night, and they had all gone to the diner for an early meal.

Throughout the meal, she felt that someone was watching her, and she constantly looked around to find the culprit. At one point, Jessica had to ask her what was wrong since she turned around so often. Shrugging it off, she replied, "Nothing. Just looking around."

In the end, she chalked it up to nervousness. After all, it was her first time hanging out with them, and she didn't know what their personalities were like. What they were like at school could be totally different than when they were outside school walls.

Being study buddies, she saw Edward often outside of school, and being around him was easy as breathing. There was no pretending to be someone else, or playing the role that was expected of her; she could be herself around him, and often found herself sharing secrets and stories with him, something she hadn't typically done with people in the past.

When they finished eating, they headed up to Port Angeles for the haunted house. Bella wasn't particularly fond of haunted houses, but she went along to get to know the group better. She had promised her mom she would try to make friends. After all, she was going to be here for a year. Why not try to make the best of the situation?

During the hour-long car ride, the group chatted about school, the prom—which wasn't until the spring—and many other things, including prying into Bella's love life…or lack thereof. To say Mike was an avid contributor to that conversation would be an understatement.

The new girl was relieved when they exited the car since the haunted house took the attention away from her. The last quarter-hour of the car ride had been all about her, and, much to her consternation, her attempts at changing the topic failed.

The group rushed forward, tickets in hand, ready for a good scare. Bella trailed behind them, not nearly as enthused about being spooked.

On the outside, the dilapidated house was covered with spider webs and surrounded by old furniture, pumpkins, skeletons, brooms, and lots of dust to capture the old, abandoned, 'haunted' look. Music, screams, squeaky hinges, and other creaky, crackly noises associated with Halloween resonated through the speakers.

When a gust of cold wind swept past, she shivered and wrapped the coat tighter around herself. Quickly stepping into the foyer, she patiently waited while her senses began to adjust. Inside, the hollow laughter blaring through the speakers was louder, the air was colder, and everything smelled musty.

Entering the first room, she felt it again—the nagging feeling that someone was staring at her—just like at the diner.

However, trying to find out if someone was actually following her or if she was simply being paranoid was difficult. There were too many people around to investigate and her eyes were still adjusting to the strobe lights so she couldn't tell if she recognized anyone.

She decided that no one was going to attack the police chief's daughter and attributed it up to nerves again—this time caused by being at a haunted house. After all, the point of the haunted house was to spook you.

Working her way through the house, she jumped at the skeleton animatronics, cringed at the gory images on display, and even shrieked at the CGI ghosts that flew at her. The actors who jumped out unexpectedly didn't do much to startle her, but the clowns hidden in the doorways struck a nerve—she was sure to have nightmares about them. To say she did not like clowns would downplay the emotion.

Much to her relief, the evening went without a problem. The only overly exciting thing that happened was Jessica winning a raffle drawing of some sort, but Bella didn't care enough to pay attention to her rambling. However, she did act the role of a friend who was excited that her friend just won something cool.

Three weeks later, she discovered what Jessica had won: the Haunted House's grand prize, which was an overnight stay in the graveyard for the winner and three friends on October 30.

Jessica had approached her about the overnight stay, but she resisted at first. It wasn't until the third time Jessica asked her to reconsider that she caved. Knowing her dad would say no, she said that she would have to ask him first.

Much to her surprise, Charlie not only said yes, but actually encouraged her to go. He went on about building friendships with the girls and how he trusted her. Also, he knew the person in charge of both the haunted house and the overnight stay, so he knew she would be safe.

. _.

The night of the overnight stay had finally arrived. Even though Bella didn't want to go, she kept her promise to Jessica.

The girls—Angela, Jessica, Lauren and Bella—grabbed a late dinner before making the drive up. Once again, they could hear shrieks and laughter when they arrived at the haunted house.

They had just finished setting up out back when Jessica convinced the girls to take another round in the haunted house since it was the last night it would be open.

As they made their way toward the front of the house, they suddenly ran into Edward, and much to Bella's surprise, he began talking to her. The girls continued on while they chatted.

Eventually, they moved inside the haunted house, where Bella made a point of sticking close to Edward. During the month she'd known him, she had developed more-than-a-crush—she was constantly dreaming about him, and even had daydreams of making out with him in the middle of their fifth period biology class.

They were near the exit when he tugged on her hand. She looked up at him, and he tilted his head toward what seemed like a wall. Curiosity getting the best of her, she followed him through a narrow, hidden doorway that took them outside.

She looked around, surprised.

"How'd you know that was there?" she asked when they reached a secluded area near the forest, not too far away from the haunted house.

He smiled at her and answered, "I have my ways."

Tilting her head to the side, she gave him a questioning look. It wasn't that she didn't trust him, because she irrevocably did, she just wanted to know what was going to happen next.

"It doesn't matter," he said, moving closer to her.

She paused, trying to determine if he had just read her mind or if she had unconsciously spoken the words out loud. When she felt his hand in hers, all her thoughts vanished. She nodded and waited for him to make the next move. When he did, it surprised her.

He moved closer to her, staring at her lips, and asked, "Can I try something?"

Mesmerized by him, she nodded in agreement. Despite not knowing him well—not having known each other long—she felt as if she'd known him for ages. She was comfortable around him and felt like she could talk to him about anything. They had an undeniable connection that many people had noticed.

Edward slowly leaned in, her breath hitching as his lips drew nearer to hers. She had just a moment to lick her dry lips before his settled on top them. After a moment, she responded, deepening the kiss. He moaned against her lips and started leaving a trail of pecks down her throat.

She was thrown completely off guard when Edward reached the area where her neck and shoulder meet. Instead of kissing, he started smelling the area, mumbling, "So sweet and delectable."

Before she could ask him what he was talking about, he bit into her. She let out a shriek and tried to push him off her to no avail; it was like trying to push a boulder.

She was sobbing as she continued to shriek, but no one came to her rescue. Her voice wasn't discernable from the recording playing loudly through the speakers in the house.

Just as she began to feel lightheaded, he pulled away. Weakened, she crumbled to the ground in writhing agony. She felt as if she was being pricked with hot needles from the inside out. That pain slowing, it was replaced by one that accelerated until it was so intense she nearly went insane from it. Her shrieks fell on deaf ears as her insides were washed with lava.

. _.

An unknown time had passed when Bella jarred awake with Edward next to her. They were lying down in the middle of a meadow, Edward at her side. His copper eyes stared down into hers. She was confused, not remembering much about what happened in the last couple of days. She felt different, but didn't know why. She had so many questions, including—and most importantly—why her throat was burning.

Sitting up and surveying their surroundings, she remembered what he did, and backed away from him, afraid that he would finish the job.

He moved closer to her, which made her stand up and retreat. "Don't!" she warned him, with her hands held out in front of her. "Stay away. You tried to kill me! Don't look surprised, I remember!"

He sighed, and nodded. "Yes, I tried to kill you, but the important thing is that I didn't. And I won't. I can't."

Confused, she prodded him to explain.

"I promise I'll explain later, but first, you should drink this. It will help relieve the pain in your throat."

The burn was so bad that she had no other choice but to believe him. Pointing to the space between them, she said, "Put it there."

He nodded and placed the jug, full of something, where she had indicated.

Surprised that he knew about her throat, she gladly took the jug and swiftly drank it. To her astonishment, the smolder was alleviated. However, that still didn't give him allowance to come near her. Until the trust was rebuilt, they would keep their distance.

Shortly after the burn of her throat had eased, she asked him to explain what happened and what he was. She remembered bits and pieces of her life, and what happened that night, but most of it was a blur.

Edward, after much consideration, gave her the Cliff's Notes version, with the promise that he would give her more details as time progressed. After all, she had all of eternity to hear the details.

He was much more thorough as he told her about what she was now and all the rules that accompany it. She seemed to vaguely understand, and had questions for him, including why some of them have powers. He answered them all, but knew that the reality of what he, and now she, was hadn't quite sunk in yet. She certainly wasn't acting like most newborns when they discovered they were powerful creatures that would live forever. He decided he would wait patiently and tell her again in due time.

A week later, he had made leaps and bounds in rebuilding his trust. It helped that he didn't try to eat her again, and explained that she was his mate. He had pulled away when he drank her because he had seen Alice's vision of them together. The vision startled him so much that he instantly went to find his sister and demand answers. When he had returned to Bella hours later, it was too late to drain her—the transformation had already begun.

While he was filling her in about his family's history, she saw an elk run by and, being a newborn who smelled blood, attacked it. Halfway through the feeding, the realization that she actually was a vampire struck hard. It was like someone had punched her in the stomach. She abruptly stopped drinking and ran to the nearby stream. As she was washing off the animal blood, she caught her own reflection, her blood-red eyes startling her more than her delayed realization over what she now was.

She looked up at Edward with wide eyes. "Am I really a va—you know?" she whispered.

He let out a sigh. This was it, the reaction he had been waiting for. Something—perhaps denial—had prevented her from realizing this before. "Say it."

She shook head.

"Say it – out loud."

"No, I can't be. You can't be. They're not real!"

"We're as real as it gets," he said with a humorless laugh.

"No, no, no! This is all just a bad dream and I'm going to wake up at any second," she mumbled to herself, wiping the blood off her face, trying not to panic.

Letting out another sigh, he went to calm her. Rested his hands on her shoulders and looked down into her red eyes. "Bella, this isn't a dream. You're a vampire now."

Looked up at him, trying to come to grips with her new reality, she meekly asked, "I'm a vampire?"

"Yes, you're a vampire. Everyone thinks you died two weeks ago."

She could never see her parents again. She would never be able to return to the life that she remembered. She would never know that Charlie lamented his only child. Life as she knew it was over, and she had to let go of the past. She would be alive forever with Edward, her mate and creator, but to the rest of the world, she was dead.

"But I'm too young to die," she whispered into his chest.

"On the contrary, Bella . . . only the good die young."