They lie intertwined, blissfully happy in their coupling. They've tried to christen each room of the house, but with a home as large as this, it's a feat. Once—as teenagers, perhaps—it would have been attainable, but now, it borders on impossible and obscene.
"This passion…where has it come from, Mr. Cullen?" she asks wistfully.
He looks into her eyes and is a little confused about how he's been feeling the past week, as if he's not able to sate his hunger for her. He'd like to think it's their new home and their new marital status, but he's not entirely convinced. He thinks this hunger may be out of his control.
The new bride lies peacefully sleeping draped in nothing more than tan cotton sheets. They are of high count—1200—a gift for the couple at their wedding; they are shamelessly intended for the impending activities in their newly shared bed.
"Babe, wake up." He runs his hand down her bare back, stopping to palm the cheek of her ass. He loves how smooth and firm her skin feels. He knows one day she will be covered in stretch marks and wrinkles, but he will love that, too. Now, though, he relishes the suppleness of her flesh and can't resist taking it into his mouth.
She stirs, aroused by the soft kisses and licks upon her body. Once he knows she's awake, he bites. It's intended to be playful, but as his teeth meet the flesh of her bottom, he can't help but sink his teeth into her skin. The resistance the skin provides excites him, and he wants to feel it break… to taste the blood.
"Edward!" she shouts in pain.
Rattled, he leaps from the bed, unsure what possessed him to act so recklessly or to inflict pain purposefully upon the woman he loves.
"Sweetheart, please come out of the bathroom."
She stands patiently at the closed door wearing the ratty robe she's had since high school. It's a source of comfort, which she needs now. "I'm not upset. I know it was an accident. You just got carried away."
He hears her unspoken pleas, "Please come to me. I'm lonely and frightened."
He apologizes a hundred times over. She wants to move past it and pretend it never happened.
"Can you believe your uncle lived here by himself?" She ponders their good fortune aloud to her husband during their evening meal. It was a… miracle… the house became available mere days before their wedding.
"He wasn't really my uncle, Bella. You know that. He was a creepy old man Carlisle befriended after the war." His voice is full of disdain as he reiterates the point to his wife. The house's former inhabitant was not a good man, and Edward knows it. Still, Bella is relieved they can start their life with such an extravagant home in Suffolk with no mortgage, regardless of the circumstances.
She senses his discomfort and decidedly changes the subject. "I went by the shelter again today." He tenses, knowing that Bella wants a dog, but he's not sure he wants the responsibility. She baits him further by selling the virtues of a dog as protector when Edward is gone. He travels some for work but not extensively. A dog would ensure she's safe under the circumstances.
"Did you find one you liked?"
"There are so many that need homes, babe. It's so sad." He graces her with a head nod indicating his support for a new acquisition to the family. Her happiness is paramount, and if a dog is the key, then so be it.
However, a dog will complicate matters.
"So, work is good?" Bella asks as the couple lie in bed. It's only been two weeks since they moved into the home, but she's finally starting to feels like it's hers. She's been passing the days with decorating, while he slaves away on drawings in his office.
Some of their things are here: wedding photos and contemporary art on the walls, updated hardware on the kitchen cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint in the master bath.
"Work is good," he growls, his tone relaying his discontent in talking about his day. What he really wants to do is fuck. It's been a stressful week, and he needs to release the tension. "He runs his hands along her torso, from pubic bone to breastplate, letting her know his intensions with his actions in lieu of talking." "Take your fucking nightie off." His timbre is rough, but she likes it. He's always been a sensitive lover and Bella likes this new, gruff role-play. He smells the mixture of her fear and arousal, and it spurs him on. The testosterone raging through his body is brimming at an uncontrollable level. He doesn't even realize he's no longer in control. The nightgown, which was a gift from Bella's best friend, now lies in shreds on the floor. Her panties follow close behind.
Birth control has always been a joint affair but not tonight. Edward is too frenzied to take time out for his part in protection. He pulls her down the bed and pushes himself into her. He's cognizant of her not being entirely wet, but she's not his concern as he spits into his palm and lubricates himself.
His grunts are feral as he wildly thrusts into her; he moves as if a demon has been injected into his soul-a soul that craves such things as fucking and the taste of flesh and blood.
She still can't believe the virtual stranger whose eyes are void of the enthusiasm with which he once consumed her. Now they are blank, looking through the object of his gratification.
"Edward, look at me, baby," she coaxes unsuccessfully. He immediately pulls out, flipping her over and reentering her from behind. While he hasn't hurt her—yet—he's not concerned that he may inflict pain. He pumps harder, shoving her tiny, curvy body up the bed and into the mattress. She clutches the sheets in hopes of gaining some sort of traction but to no avail.
The slap rings out. The high ceilings echo their erotic groans, grunts, and the slapping of skin against skin. He stares at the red print on her ass in the replica of his hand. He wants to see the skin tinged bright pink, perhaps even better if the tiny pockets of blood were to pool at the surface as well. With a force unbeknownst to him, Edward leans down and once again bites the flesh of his mate causing her to cry out.
Unlike the last time, he has drawn blood and he isn't sorry.
"Alice, I don't know what the fuck is wrong with Edward. He's been distant the last few days and he's…" she pauses while speaking to her friend on the phone. She's looking around as if she knows she's being watched.
"He's been…different." Silence stretches as her friend questions Bella further.
"It's embarrassing, Alice!"
Her friend pushes for more.
"I know there have never been secrets between us; it's just hard for me to vocalize." But the friend isn't satisfied.
"Right after we moved into the house, we were having sex and he bit me, okay? He just got carried away is all. Then a few nights ago, he hit me… like slapped me on the butt, and then bit me so hard it broke the skin and drew blood. It scared the shit out of me, Alice." Her eyes are glassy and the tears are going to spill.
She continues after her friend speaks. "I know, but he didn't even apologize. He finished, got up, and left the room. He went downstairs to the study and locked the door. He never came back to bed."
"Come on, Blue! Come on girl!"
The dog arrived this morning: a young Blue Healer. It's timid and careful, but it already senses something is amiss in the house. It refuses to go past the kitchen.
Edward chuckles at the hapless animal. "Guess I don't have to worry about sharing my bed with more than one bitch."
Bella is absolutely speechless as he turns and exits the room. He's never spoken a single word of disrespect in their years together. The sheer disbelief of his words has her biting back tears. She's beginning to break down, and it's easier than anticipated. Many women would lash out in anger at such vulgarity, the rough sex, the harsh words—but not her. She's already wondering what she's doing wrong to be treated like this.
She plans his favorite dinner and sets the scene for a romantic interlude in the bedroom complete with massage, bubble bath, and candles. She hopes that he will soften and they will rekindle their passion left dormant in favor of rough fucks and ripped clothing.
Edward doesn't return to the house after work. Instead, he finds peace and quiet, along with a bottle of Jack Daniels, in the abandoned shed at the back of the property.
"This place is so big!" the friend says, looking around the parlor. Much of the original furniture is still present and lends credence to her overall sense of foreboding.
"Let's get you settled in, Alice. Come on, I'll take you to your room." The pair treads the stairs, giggling about old times. There hasn't been happiness in the house for years…
"Do you mind if I lie down for a bit, Bella? Maybe it's just traveling, but I've got a migraine." Bella is disappointed but nods in acquiescence to her friend; there will be time for bonding later.
Alice lies down on the bed and shivers; she is cold all of a sudden and attributes this to the medication she takes to relieve her pain.
Bella relegates herself to the kitchen while her friend is at rest. She looks through the cupboards trying to decide what to cook. She comes to the space where she keeps her tea and reaches for her favorite: rosemary tea. She finds the container empty. "What the hell?" she asks aloud. The container was full yesterday, but now there is no trace of rosemary in sight. Upon further investigation, she finds her rosemary is missing from the spice rack as well. Deciding she must be mistaken, she looks through the cupboards at a feverish pace thinking she'd missed it the first time around. Still not finding the rosemary after an additional search, she stands rooted in the center of the kitchen looking confused and distraught. Only the scream from the guestroom brings her back to her senses.
"Alice?" she yells sprinting up the stairs. Bella skids to a stop at her friend's door and is horrified by the sight before her. Alice sits on the bed clutching her head and yelling. Through Alice's sobs, Bella hears the words "get away," and "it hurts."
"Alice! I'm taking you to the emergency room!" Bella is frantic. She's never seen her in this much pain, and while Alice has always had migraines, she's never reacted so violently.
"I'm so sorry, Bella," Alice apologizes as they reenter the home. "I feel so silly. I just have no idea what came over me." The girls talk for a few more minutes about how intense Alice's pain had been, but subsided on the way to the hospital. However, it doesn't take long before Alice is feeling poorly again. She excuses herself to her bedroom, but stops off at the hall bathroom and expels the contents of her stomach. Bella calls Jasper, Alice's husband, and explains the illness. Jasper suggests that perhaps it's best for Alice to come home. He will make the ninety-minute drive in hope of somehow being helpful.
Jasper arrives ninety-three minutes later. He stands just inside the door, a feeling of heaviness looming over him. "I'm sorry, Bella, but I have to get Alice and go. We'll figure out later how to get her car. But I—we—can't stay here. This house is screaming at me to get out."
It only takes the blond man five minutes to fetch his wife and her luggage. As Jasper drags Alice to the car, she screams for Bella to go with them. As she watches from the doorway, she wants to chase after them, but feels something holding her back. A tear slips down her cheek as the car disappears down the driveway, and Bella is left alone once again with the house.
She sits in the tub, bubbles sticking to her skin. She isn't modest when she doesn't think there is anyone else around. She touches herself, her hand sliding over her nipples and down between her legs. It's been a week since she's had any time with her husband aside from delivering him a sandwich at lunch. When he comes out of his office, it's late at night. He often smells of liquor; Bella hopes it's the stress of his job that has him preoccupied.
She continues to touch herself, thinking of her more erotic experiences with Edward. Her scent mingles with the steam of the bathroom and permeates the air. Goosebumps appear on her skin as a chill runs through her. It heightens her arousal and she comes, feeling a cold heavy weight upon her.
She finally climbs into bed committing to herself she will leave the house. She's been here since they moved and Bella thinks some sunshine may help dissipate her feelings of loneliness and despair. She tucks herself beneath the covers, and falls asleep with the aid of her trusted Benadryl to lull her into exhaustion.
A young woman runs down the stairs, fear evident on her face. She looks behind her, stumbling on a rug. She falls to the floor and any distance she put between her and her perpetrator has been lost. He's there, standing above her, only his wide grin visible—just before he snaps her neck.
She wakes with a start, a thin sheen of sweat covering her. The dream was vivid as though she were being chased, then murdered. She glances to the snoring man beside her, smiling that he came to their bed last night instead of sleeping on the couch. His hair is greasy and he's unshaven—her face shows concern for his unkempt appearance.
She heads to the shower for refuge despite her bath last night. She washes herself, filling the bathroom with steam. Old homes don't have exhaust fans, so the cool air of the house combined with the steam from the shower makes the air thick.
When her firm, supple, and enticing body exits the shower, she is barely able to see her reflection in the vanity mirror. What she sees, though, as she looks closer are two words: Get Out. She begins to question her sanity and wonders if Edward put the message on the mirror as a way to tell his bride he's made a mistake by marrying her. She'd like to chalk the experience up to stress, but given his recent behavior, she's not entirely convinced.
She'll leave the house today to reset her bearings.
"The bookstore was a nice change of pace, Mom. I haven't been able to get much writing done since we moved, but getting out of the house for a little while was good. I think the pressure of all the changes we've been going through is making us a little stir-crazy." She continues to make excuses for the feeling of foreboding she's been having as of late. "Edward has been really frazzled, too, but we have something planned for next weekend when he gets back from his business trip. Maybe a couple days away will help us reconnect."
As Bella says this, she doesn't realize the connection will only be temporary.
She continues to absentmindedly talk on the phone as a cockroach catches her eye. The home is clean, and she wonders why a roach would inhabit her kitchen. As she goes in for the kill, she sees another. A cursory glance brings her attention to the activity in the sink.
"Mom—I gotta go."
A swarm of roaches crawls from the sink drain, having had their fill of death and decayed flesh. There are so many, and she hears the clicking and hissing sounds as they crawl onto the kitchen counter. "Jesus Christ," she mutters, disgusted by the vile creatures. She cleans religiously, and doesn't understand the infestation. Roaches are nocturnal, and their exodus from the dark depths of the sink adds to her confusion.
She becomes manic in swatting the bugs, squishing them several at a time. Her shoe is covered in the milky guts of the despicable pests. After several moments, the horde seems to be dead and she moves to clean and sanitize the area.
She also adds insect spray to her growing shopping list.
But despite her efforts and her victory today, there will be more…
Edward sits in the study, his gaze locked on the fire in front of him. "I know what I should do." It appears as though he's talking to no one, perhaps even talking to himself. "You tell me to kill her, but it seems wrong, and I can't be around her without feeling so angry." His voice is monotone, and his face is expressionless; these are not the words of a man who loves his wife. "The depravity I feel is so overwhelming. I imagine splitting her in two as I fuck her. Her body is pliable and willing to succumb to my sickness. Perhaps slitting her throat is the humane thing to do." A satisfied hum rings through the room. Edward's thoughts are approved… by someone other than himself.
The possession is nearly complete, and soon… there will be a reward.
Through the night, he continues to read the journals he's found. He should be disgusted by their contents, but he's not. At one point, Edward begins to pleasure himself during a particularly descriptive sex act.
January 30, 1974
She was a brunette. I love the brunettes because they are usually more susceptible to my coercion. Red heads and blondes typically have more self-esteem, and by default, self-worth. I've tried on a few occasions, but I always come back to my brown-haired girls. This one agreed to come straight from work, so she was wearing her uniform. The striped pinafore had me salivating instantly. I hoped to see if the shade of red in the apron would match the color of her blood as it seeped from her body. I wasn't disappointed. She was ready for our encounter upon arrival. She hinted that she left her panties in the car and was ready to be taken. I barely got my pants down before she took my cock in her mouth. It was all I could do not to shove myself through the back of her skull. The thought of seeing a mix of blood, brains, and hair at the tip of my cock had me thrusting with fervor.
He stops reading as he reaches the precipice, the book hanging limply at his side. He strokes himself, his grip tight and unrelenting. He's quick in his jerks, bringing on his orgasm quickly. It's the first time in weeks he feels satisfied.
After cleaning up with his pocket-handkerchief, Edward continues to read the soothing words with a quiet purr, words that detail intercourse and then the spilling of blood. As the mantle clock chimes for the early morning, he sighs, closing the journal and setting it aside as if he were surrendering his favorite book of poetry. There is no detour for his new morning ritual, however. He rises from the chair and trudges to the shed where he found a small sense of solace not long ago. Now, though, it provides anything but.
He slides the doors open and stands in front of the workbench. His tools are arranged before him, the order not consciously known. His hand slides over the handles, one by one, while mentally ticking off his checklist. Then, Edward picks up the hand-axe and begins the ritual.
"I can't believe you have to go again so soon." Her lower lip protrudes, showing her sadness and dissatisfaction as he packs a bag.
This will be a short trip for Edward, but for Bella, it will seem like a lifetime.
There is an awkward pause for the couple as they wait at the car. She stands, eyes glassy, wanting him to hold her and tell her everything will be all right. But it's an embrace that never comes. With a resigned grunt, he gets in the car, backs out of the garage, and drives into the morning sun. She remains in the house amongst its shadows.
Deciding that sleep will pass the time, she pads up the stairs feeling more desolate than ever before. She tosses and turns for an hour before she makes her way back to the family room; television is the next diversion.
Engrossed in the reality show playing out before her, she misses the first shadow that falls across the screen, but the second pass has her leaning forward and squinting. She sees the movement and looks to see if Blue has moved from her usual spot in the kitchen doorway. The dog sits up, ears perked looking in Bella's direction but doesn't make a move toward her master. She leans back against the couch cushion deciding her eyes are playing tricks on her.
Another moment passes, and during the transition to commercial, she sees the unmistakable image of a silhouette. It's a man, standing tall, behind the couch, looking down on her. She quickly gathers her blanket and runs up the stairs to the bedroom, never looking behind her, afraid of what might actually be there.
The morning comes, dreary and rainy. She doesn't want to leave the warmth and security of the bed, but she knows Blue waits for breakfast, so she climbs from the bed and heads for the kitchen.
What waits for her in the light of day is no less disturbing then the incident last night. As she enters the kitchen, she sees that every drawer and cabinet has been opened. She stands in the kitchen, with a look of confusion that eventually morphs to sadness.
Soon after, tears follow.
"I think I'm losing my mind."
Her chest rises with each breath. It's so alluring, but I've been able to resist until now. Seeing her here, lying in the bed, so vulnerable and unprotected, I can't stop. While the games have been titillating up to this point, the sadistic part of me can't help but torture her a little more. Knowing I can't relive my human days—by ravaging her body—I can still inflict pain… and pleasure.
I glide along the sheets, my formless hand ghosting up her calf to her thigh. She whimpers with the contact, but doesn't wake. Perhaps she thinks it's a dream, where her husband lovingly embraces her. The sheet moves downward and I continue my caress to her back, then to her plump cheeks. She wiggles, with a sleepy smile on her face. She thinks it's a dream filled with strokes from her lover. As my weightless fingers glide over her pussy, I let her know my touch has nothing to do with love.
"Bella, calm down." She has him on speaker, her hands shaking too much to hold the phone. "Take a deep breath, sweetheart." His tone is saccharine and I know he's lost his edge in my absence, but I'll rectify that quickly upon his return.
"I'm not crazy, Edward. I know what I felt! It felt like I was being cut open! Seriously, I squatted over a fucking mirror to make sure my vagina was still intact."
Even though there's no one to see it, my demon smile is wide. Inflicting pain was always a source of great pleasure, even in my human days. Seeing the fear and sheer terror in their eyes has always been my ultimate goal... my ultimate source of gratification.
"Baby, I will be home tomorrow, okay?" She's not placated by his words, though. "There are cockroaches! Everywhere! I can't get rid of them no matter how many I kill. They are coming out of the kitchen sink by the ton, Edward! And that's not all, there was the television and the cabinets…" She continues to ramble hoping to convince him, and possibly herself, she's not lost her mind.
Despite his additional attempts to calm and soothe her, she hangs up completely unsettled.
"I'm so sorry." He apologizes, kissing her on the cheek, neck, shoulder. "I was a dick to you. I don't know what happened to me, baby. I just felt so… unlike myself. But I'm better; I feel better." Edward promises her that his bad behavior is behind him, but little does he know, my game has just begun.
His hands move to her breasts as she accepts his words of regret. She missed his warmth, his body on hers, and the connection that making love brings them. I'll let them have this moment and delight in the sight of his cock moving inside her.
"Please, touch me more," she begs. He flattens his palm against her right nipple, while he pinches the other with his teeth. The smell of her arousal drifts from her body, filling the air. As she spreads her legs, the aroma intensifies. He takes a deep breath, bringing the smell fully into his lungs. His mouth waters as he pushes her onto her back. He pulls her shorts down with her panties, and tosses them across the room. He quickly buries his face in her wet little cunt, pink and glistening. He moans as he licks, his teeth tugging at her pussy lips, while her hands alternate between fisting in his hair and the sheets.
Her body goes rigid and her breath catches. She clenches tight around his fingers still inside her. He doesn't waste any time climbing up her body and positioning himself between her legs. He's hard and ready to reclaim what belongs to him. After some minor shifts, he plunges deep, hard enough to raise her slightly off the bed.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck."
His movements are calculated and rhythmic. He watches her face, searching for signs she's lost in his touch. He smiles as her nails dig into the skin of his biceps.
He pulls away, flipping her onto her stomach. He knows this is the best way to reach her deep inside. With her legs spread wide, he penetrates with long stokes. His hands firmly grip her hips, pulling her onto him as he thrusts forward. A grunt escapes her lips with each push. His pace increases as he nears his end; flashes of his come on her skin, his teeth breaking through her flesh, blood pooling on the sheets, finally bringing his release with a monstrous growl.
My possession is complete. He's now mine as long as he's in this house.
February 5, 1975
I have found one that is willing to be degraded to the ends of the earth. Nothing seems to be too depraved for her. She likes the pain I inflict. She's even suggested some scenarios which include blood and breath play. She's allowed me to pierce her nipples with needles and make cuts on her pussy lips. She writhes in ecstasy as I lick the blood from her open wounds.
I read over his shoulder, reliving the moments that brought me so much satisfaction.
March 14, 1975
I finally pushed her to the limit.
Finally, she said no.
She's no longer of use to me.
She'll be added to the others, under the shed.
I remember how angry I was after I lost her. It was also when I made the passageway from the basement to the shed. The shack was an extension of my home… of me, a place to showcase them.
He gets up from the bed at precisely 3:15 a.m., just like the last seven mornings. He makes his way to the shed and I smile. It's the only chance I have to see them now—through his eyes. Each of their faces hangs on the wall, their photos a reminder of the lives I took. I loved what each of them gave me, and Edward will give me his as well. She will make a wonderful addition to my collection.
The only emotion that is readable on her face is fear. She's in absolute horror as her husband stands only a few feet from her, his sharpened axe in hand. He's been working on it for weeks to insure the blade would slice through her body like a knife through butter.
Her scream fills the house as he moves closer. "Baby, we have to get out. This isn't you!" she pleads.
"Edward, stop, PLEASE!" He continues his forward motion, undeterred.
"Edward!" She stands, feeling empowered. She's been reading about demons on the internet. She believes that Edward is possessed, and it's the only plausible explanation for his behavior over the last month.
She discovered that rosemary was a natural repellant for evil spirits, and why all of hers disappeared. She read about evil spirits inhabiting a house while mentally and physically terrorizing their victims. She'd made the connection of Alice's migraines and the constant foreboding feeling. She realized that Edward's behavior wasn't his own, and he was merely a puppet caught in my games of terror. The only question she hadn't been able to answer was why.
That was the reason it was time for her to go. She'd put the pieces together and was no longer pliable.
I hadn't been able to persuade him to play with her before killing her, so I decided it best to dispose of her and then collect another. He was young and handsome, much like I'd been, and he wouldn't have any problem finding a suitable replacement.
"Stop running, Bella. It won't help. He says it needs to be done." But as I suspected, she bolts from the room, running down the stairs. He hadn't been quick enough. We needed to keep her from leaving the house.
The axe thumped each step as he followed her down. She was at the door, but I held it firm. I was only able to hold it for a few more minutes, my strength waning quickly. I wanted to scream at him to hurry, but my voice was of no use. Only my hushed whispers and written journals were able to reach him; shouting would yield no result.
As I looked upon the face of my progeny as he neared the door, I could see a momentary lapse in judgment. I was using all my will to hold the door, and the possessive grip I had on his soul was slipping. In haste, I threw more force towards him, and the door gave way.
It only took two seconds for her to disappear into the afternoon sunlight, lost to me forever. I'd never feel her blood on my tongue, her bones in my hands. I hadn't anticipated Edward's additional resolve, however, and he limped out the front door as well to carry out my will. Once outside, it only took him a few moments to gather himself—realizing he held an axe in hand, and that he'd been intending to kill his wife. He dropped to his knees.
I could only look on from my window perch, no longer in control of my minions, no longer the puppet master.
I was, once again, alone in my house.
Alllll Riiiighty then...
**Thanks to the super duper Chaya Sara for her red pen weilding expertise, and to Unimaginative Olena for her helpful, yet tough words of love :)