Title: The Stockholm Syndrome
Written for: VampireNits
Written By: Claire Bloom
Summary/Prompt used: Horror and Hope
If you would like to see all the stories that are a part of this exchange visit the facebook group: Fanficaholics Anon: Where Obsession Never Sleeps or add the C2 to get all the stories direct to your inbox.
My eternal gratitude is owed to AcrossTheSkyInStars aka Tanya Zedor for being my friend, my beta and the little sister I never had. Thank you for always pushing me to write better. x
I would also like to thank Vampmama/readingmama aka Tiffany, for all the hard work and dedication she gives to each and every FAGE. You are inspirational, and thank you for always talking me into it!
Disclaimer: All the character names are the property of Stephenie Meyer. This storyline is my alternate universe for them to play in.
The Stockholm syndrome
Bella lifted the bloody hammer above her head, and then she paused, ready to strike one more time.
Her fingers felt sticky; the blood dripping down the handle made it difficult to grip, but sheer determination - the need and the will to survive - far outweighed the humanity left inside her.
With each swing of the hammer, with each soft impact into his skull, his face, his body, she had felt everything which made her human, dissipate. She should have felt elated. She should have felt free. She should have felt something, anything. She had expected the crowning emotion to be anger for a feeling had to exist in order to drive her on, to make her fight, but all Bella felt was empty.
She looked down at her assailant, at her victim. In the dim light filtering from the open basement door above them, she could see he was laying still, his features swollen and pulverised. She couldn't tell if air passed through his lips. They were fat and bleeding. Bella found herself staring at his face, or what was left of it. It didn't look real, not human. Fake. Like a dummy in a horror movie.
He looked dead. She didn't need to strike again.
Dropping the hammer, Bella wiped her hands across her face. She could feel the bruises left behind from his punches, the scratches sweeping down her right cheek from his nails, and her nose crunched when she touched it. She was pretty sure it was broken.
She was wet with tears and spittle, but her filthy hands didn't help to clear them away. Her lips were parted and her breathing was fast and shallow. Sweeping her tongue out, she tasted the coppery fluid her fingers had just smeared there. She glanced down at her hands, her dress, her bare feet, the walls, the floor, back to his mushy features; everywhere was stained with blood.
The room was painted with it; some of it Bella's, most of it his.
With a sob, she fell to her knees. She looked down at her hands, expecting to see them shake but they remained steady, as if she were calm. Two of Bella's fingernails were missing, completely ripped off, leaving the tips red and sore.
She wanted to scream but her throat was dry. She wanted to cry but her tears were gone. She wanted to shake but adrenaline was still coursing through her body, giving her strength when she should've been feeble.
She hadn't eaten in days; she couldn't be sure exactly when her last bite was as she had no concept of time or how long she had been down here.
She hadn't bathed, or used a toilet since she had been taken. Her excrement and her sweat were no longer putrid because she had inhaled the stench for so many hours it had simply become air to her. But she knew it was still there, still ripe in the air, for when they had walked down the basement steps their faces had scrunched with disgust.
But now she was free.
A groan from across the room startled Bella from her stupor. Scrambling over the cold, concrete floor, she gripped Jasper's shoulders and lifted him till his head lay in her lap.
"Jasper," she whispered, smoothing her hand over his chest. She found the bullet wound and applied pressure.
"Bella," Jasper murmured. His breathing had become gritty, like he needed to cough and clear his throat. "Where's...?"
"He's over there," Bella nodded her head towards the bloody heap. "I think he's dead."
"Good." Jasper coughed, and blood trickled from his lips. Bella ignored it, and bending down, she kissed his face.
"Just lay still, ok. The ambulance is coming. Help will be here soon." She stroked his hair and continued to pepper his cheeks and nose with kisses. "Just lay still, ok?" Jasper didn't respond. "Help will be here soon," she heard herself say.
Beneath her hand she felt his chest rise and fall, and with each exhale warmth flooded her palm where she pressed it against his injury. He was bleeding quite profusely and Bella didn't know how to stop it.