Entry #45 - AU

Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest

Pen Name(s): NotHalfGothic

Twitter or Facebook: NotHalfGothic

Title: Lapse

Picture Prompt Number: 2

Pairing: Alice/Bella

Rating: M

Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 1633

Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): Jasper isn't the only one who has lapses in control.

Warnings and Disclaimer: Contains femmeslash, sexual content and mention of character death.

All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

LAPSE

We have all done it.

I am by no means the first of us, and I will be by no means the last. It is not only I who have felt the desire, nor the thrill, nor the burn of shame when it is over. It is not only my thirst that has been quenched by the blood of the innocent, nor only my hands that have stolen breath from a child's throat.

This changes nothing. A girl is dead because of me.

My throat had been dry and I had searched only for deer with which to soothe it, until I caught the scent of jasmine on the wind. She had been slight and lightly tanned, with hair the colour of honey and eyes of deepest blue, and before I even realised it she was pinned to the damp, soft ground, and my knees were on her chest and my hands about her arms and she was crying, but I cared not, as my fingernails carved through her flesh like so many needles and I dipped my head to trace a line up her throat with my tongue. She tasted bittersweet, and she whimpered when I kissed the hollow of her throat and squirmed beneath me, until I sank my teeth into her jugular, tearing away at skin and muscle and finding what I longed for.

She was barely fourteen, and she tasted so.

Her blood was pure and untouched by lust, and it is this that shames me most. She had not a single flaw but misfortune.

When I returned to my family, eyes stained with the gravity of my sins, I was welcomed with silence. The man I had called my father for over half a century looked at me with an odd mixture of pity and disgust. I was led to my bedroom by my sister and mother, who sat with me and cooed that it was not my fault, that I was not to blame, that I had such wonderful control...

"Let me be!" I cried eventually, torn between fury and anguish. "Please, God, let me be! Was it not my teeth that tore into her throat? Was it not my hands that held her? Am I not a fiend for what I have done?"

The two angels with eyes that proved their innocence departed and I was left alone, on the bed I could not sleep in, staring at the ceiling but seeing only terrified blue eyes. Soft pleas for mercy rung in my ears.

Had I only seen that it would happen, this could have been prevented. If I had only known...

But it was done now, the child was gone, and I had only myself to blame. A single lapse in my concentration had let me kill. Who would that happen to but a monster? What creature with an ounce of goodness in its soul could do such a thing?

And so I lay, and I wondered, and I grew to resent myself and my very nature more with each passing moment as every time I closed my eyes I saw her, and I felt her struggle beneath me, and every time I remembered her taste I knew that in that moment I had wanted nothing so much as her, and I knew when I recalled my burning throat that if I were in that position again I would do nothing but what I had already done.

Time passed; perhaps minutes, perhaps hours. The house was quiet and would have been silent if not for the occasional closing and opening of the front door that signified the others leaving and returning as they disguised my crimes. The girl was to be left in the bushes, her death attributed to an animal attack. Was it truly a lie? Had it not been some feral beast that had pounced on her and taken her life?

Quite abruptly, the silence was broken by a sound I that was all too familiar with, nearly deafening against the grave hush that had preceded it. The steady beat of a human heart.

Having been so recently fed, the discomfort I usually experienced was fortunately absent. Due to this I was able to focus on the sound as soft, bare feet padded up the stairs, and my door slowly opened.

I did not move my gaze from the ceiling until I heard the latch close, at which point I slowly sat up.

Isabella stood at the entrance to the room, completely still. Her mahogany hair curled about her slender shoulders. Her feet, as I had expected, were bare, and she wore a dress of ivory silk that reached her ankles and clung to her every feminine curve. She was the picture of purity; like a virgin ready to be sacrificed to some bitter deity.

She took a few tentative steps towards me, her gaze locked on mine, as she saw, for the first time since we had met, my eyes, crimson as the blood that sustained me. I hated to look, for I feared that I would find that terror I had seen once before today in brown rather than blue, but she did not seem afraid, only interested.

"You have heard, then, of my crime?" My voice stung even my own ears. She did not flinch. "That my brother should permit you to be in the same house as me is quite difficult to believe."

Sweet Isabella tilted her head as she moved closer, her light steps silent. "You are wrong," she said finally, and her voice was so soft and sweet I could have wept.

"You know not what I believe," I responded bitterly.

"On the contrary," she smiled, closing the distance between us. "I know all too well what you believe. You believe yourself to be a monster, because you made a mistake."

"It was no mere mistake, Isabella," I murmured. "I killed a young girl."

"She was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Isabella stood before me now, only a few feet away. "You could not have helped your instinct."

But I was not listening. "I took her life," I growled, raising my voice at her for the very first time. "I killed her."

"And have you not paid your penance? You have sat here in agony for nearly a day."

"What are a few hours to a creature who never sleeps?" I fell back on the bed.

Slowly, so gently I barely felt her weight, Isabella placed her legs either side of mine and straddled my hips. "You are no monster, Alice," she breathed, taking both of my hands in hers.

She guided my hands to the top button of her dress and I slowly began to undo it. My fingers brushed the soft flesh of her throat and she shivered. When the button was undone I leaned forward and pressed my lips to her collarbone as it was revealed to me.

Once every button was undone she shrugged off the dress and cast it to the floor like a serpent shedding skin. Beneath it she was nude, and pale as milk. Her body was so soft and supple I feared I would bruise it simply by looking too hard. I trailed my fingertips from her hip to her face, caressing her cheeks, her brow, her scalding lips. She kissed the tip of my finger.

I memorised every part of her body with my touch; her throat, with the vein that pounded against my hand; the exquisite swell of her breasts, nipples the colour of roses; her navel – for here she was ticklish, and giggled like a child when I touched her.

And when my hand went between her thighs, caressing the softest, warmest part of her body, and my lips to her chest, and her eyes flew closed and she gasped and moaned low in her throat, I could no longer taste the lifeblood of a dying girl. When she writhed with pleasure, not pain, from my touch, my hands no longer felt like those of a demon. And when she leaned forward to kiss me with a sigh of release, I was no longer a monster.

Spent, Isabella rested her head in the crook of my neck and, still breathing heavily, drifted off to sleep. I stroked her hair with one hand, the other resting on her hip. She was so warm against me, and her skin so soft, but I had not bruised her. The only mark I had left was the blush on her cheeks.

Yes, perhaps she could not have undone what had been done; she could not bring the girl back, or wash away my sins – I carry them with me even now, in the tinge of red that will never fade from my eyes, and the ghost of a heartbeat under my hand.

But when I had Isabella, I needed nothing else. Her taste drowned out all others. When I felt her heat, and her slickness, and her silk in my hand, the beat was muted.

And still, when I look in the mirror and see crimson eyes, I feel her soft breath on my neck and the dull vibration of her words.

You are no monster, Alice.

No, I truly was not; for what monster could bring a girl such pleasure? What demon could stroke such tender flesh so gently as to avoid bruising her?

My hands, truly, have taken lives. I have felt the breath leave a child's throat. I have torn skin from bone. I have killed in my time.

I will not deny this. I feel no shame, no regret.

We all have our lapses.