I realized that, even though I hadn't updated for months, I had forgotten to give you even the slightest excuse—or apology.
My apology: I am so sorry. I haven't been fair to you. My updates have been irregular and, to be honest, sometimes they are downright shitty. I am so sorry for that, but thank you for sticking with me. I'm talking about the people from the USA who make up most of my views. I'm talking about my Scottish friends. My English friends. The odd viewers from Trinidad. Just…everyone who clicked on any chapter I have ever written. Thank you.
My excuse (which can be mistaken for a reason, if you squint) for being MIA for the past months:
I was writing a book. Then, I was finishing a book. I edited the suck out of it. I was researching how to publish it. I decided that self publishing was my best option, considering that a) I am a minor and b) I have good connections online and in my area. I'm in the final stages of self publishing now, and I'm thinking about going electronic as well as in print. I would talk about my book, but I don't think that it's my place to. You're here to read fanfiction, right? This author's note is already unacceptably long.
Anyway, I wanted to ask, have any of you self published? What obstacles have you found in it so far, and what tips do you have for me? Is it unacceptable for me to promote my book in author notes? Should I also go electronic with publication? Would any of you even be interested in reading my work?
Well, I already said it: this note is far too long. I'll try to make up for that a longer chapter that (I hope) will provoke newer, faster chapters.
Without further adieu,
The next time I woke, I was heavily aware that it was the last time I would be able to do so. My last night as a human was history as soon as the first rays of sunlight hit the window. Someone had draped a blanket over me, but that was a sentimental gesture. We all knew that I wouldn't get cold during the nights, not anymore. At least it was a soft blanket. From the feel, I knew that it was one of Rosalie's design. Esme had told me that just a few years ago, that the prettiest of the Cullens had gotten a sudden obsession with bedroom design. Almost all the curtains, blankets, sheets, and carpets were Rosalie originals.
The girl in mention was pacing the area right outside the room. By the sounds that her heels made against the linoleum, I could tell that the door was less than two meters away.
I wasn't in the Cullen house, I knew. The air here was too cold and sterile. The Cullen residence always smelled like a mix of cookies (from Esme's glorious attempts at cooking), flowers (from Rosalie's arrangements), and pine trees. It smelled lived in. The room I was in now smelled like a hospital, but I knew that it wasn't. A hospital wouldn't be so quiet.
I took another breath, this one through my mouth, and tasted stone and gas. The unexpected mix made my eyes snap open and I looked around. I was laying on a gas station floor, swaddled in Rosalie's purple blanket. I looked down to see an indentation the size of my body in the floor, and I wondered how I hadn't noticed that. The floor had been so soft!
"Ew," I stared at a yellow stain on the tiles, not four inches from where my face had been. Rosalie looked at me through the open door, her face guarded. I saw that sunlight hadn't been flooding through a window after all—just past Rosalie.
"Good morning," she said, blocking the doorway. Further on, I could hear Carlisle talking on a phone. His voice was too low for me to hear what he was saying, and I could only guess that the action was intentional, "How are you feeling?"
"Like I could grab a bite to eat," I said, running my tongue over teeth that seemed suddenly sharper. Rosalie laughed at my shallow attempt at humour, "Want to join me? We could go to McDonalds."
Who would notice if someone there disappeared? Then again, it's Forks. People notice if you disappear from church for five minutes. I can't imagine how bad it would be if someone actually vanished.
"You can't eat human food anymore, Bella," she reminded me slowly. This wasn't her first time talking to a newborn, but that's exactly how she was treating me. She acted like I was an infant, which made me wonder just how slow Emmett had been when he first came around.
"Who said I would be going there for the food?" I asked, tossing my head back for a laugh, "And I think I'd like to go by Isabella now. Why not? It's what everyone in Forks calls me, anyway."
Isabella Swan. Isa. Isabel. Isabella. Isabella. Isabella. Oh yes, I could have fun with this. New me, new name.
"Bella," she said strongly, "You're not thinking like yourself. Why don't you give me a chance to explain everything that-"
I stood up, dropping the thin blanket to the floor as I did so. My old favorite shirt hung off me nearly in tatters, stained red in several places. My jeans hung low on my hips, revealing the lingerie Alice had gotten me months ago. I stared at Rosalie and smiled, brushing my long bangs out of my face, "You don't have to explain, Rosalie—ah, sorry, I meant Rose. I'll remember that now. But as I was saying, you don't have to explain. It's clear. You somehow managed to get the help of the Volturi-"
"They were in the area, investigating some newborn army," Rose interrupted me, and I carried on as if I hadn't heard her. I still didn't mind being interrupted, but I was going to finish saying what I had to.
"-after I nearly died, by the hands of my old-best-friend's-cousin-who-is-actually-a-vampire-hunter. Really didn't see that coming. Oh, wait, but I guess I did die, since I'm a vampire now-"
"Slow down, Bella," Rose cautioned me, putting her hands in front of her in what was supposed to be a calming gesture. It didn't influence me in any way, and I didn't see how it would in any case.
"-I said that I go by Isabella now. It's a whole new me," I said, smiling, "Oh, and Carlisle is outside so I would assume that we're in Forks or somewhere near it. Am I wrong?"
"You were bleeding out," Rosesighed, taking a step towards me. That was a mistake, seeing that she left a huge gap between the door and herself, "Carlisle met us a few miles away from the airport. You've been here for a few days and-"
Her voice faded away; I'd found something far more interesting to listen to. It was just a steady whisper at first, letting out beat every two seconds. It grew closer and closer. Rose's mind had probably filtered it out, deeming it as unimportant. She didn't like rock music. She thought it was too human.
The stench of the bathrooms around us hid the scent of human, unless you were searching for it. Thankfully, I was. I inhaled deeply but unnoticeably. Rose still thought that I was paying attention to her. I was turned away from her. She couldn't see the hunger in my eyes.
Human blood still smelled the same as ever. It smelled earthy with the slightest hint of metal. The very mention of it used to make me feel sick, but not anymore. Now, I hungered for it. I needed it. I needed it all, and fast.
As soon as the human had gotten close enough, I made a run for the door. Rose flinched as I passed her, not expecting me to try and bolt. She thought that she was dealing with rational Bella, ordinary Bella, oh-please-use-me-as-a-doormart Bella.
Oh, hell no. The world was dealing with Isabella Swan now.
I followed my nose and ran through the woods, ignoring all instincts to turn and face the vampire behind me. Rose wouldn't hurt me. At the very most, she would hurt herself trying to protect me from my 'sinful urges'.
Christian vampires. They were all a little silly.
My eyes zeroed in on a dark brown jacket and I jumped. I snapped the girl's neck before she could scream and ripped away the jacket. Rose was closing the distance and I snarled to keep her away. This human was mine now. Finders keepers.
I swept aside the girl's light hair and ripped away the necklace before dipping my head down. I breathed in and shuddered in something near ecstasy. I licked a spot of skin just above the carotid artery (thank god I had paid attention in health class last year) and I was suddenly aware of how dry my throat was.
I bit and tasted…everything. This was my forbidden fruit, as the Cullens would see it. It was sweet and metallic, hot and evil. It spilled over my lips as I sucked, my hands latching onto the girl's right arm. Fragile skin broke bruised under my grip, and bones snapped before I remembered my strength.
"Bella!" Rose chastised me from behind, as if speaking to a dog who wouldn't listen. I continued to suck at the wound I created until there was simply no more blood to suck. I straightened, stretching my legs slowly. I wiped the remnants of my snack off with my sleeve, grinning at Rose as I did so.
"What are you going to do? Tell m' dad?" I asked, laughing.
"That won't be necessary."
It wasn't Rose who spoke. No, it was a voice I'd never heard before—at least, I don't think I've ever heard him. I turned to see a vampire turned at my age, but who carried a grace that can only be earned by centuries of walking this planet. A blank expression sat on his pale face.
If he were human, he would be unremarkable. Brown hair cut into a neat style, brown eyes, and average height for a man. Still, vampirism brought out his unique bone structure, which was beautiful in its simplicity. He wore a red robe so dark that it was almost black, but it fell loosely around him. Underneath, he wore a plain black hoodie.
"Isabella," his full attention was on me, which I found surprising. His brown eyes –the color of dirt after rain- had never once strayed to Rosalie's gorgeous figure, "We've never officially met. My name is Alec, a key individual in the Volturi's upper-"
"You sound like you're reading off a business card," I informed him, slipping out of my tattered shirt. He didn't blink, even when I stood in front of him in just my bloodstained bra. I changed into the thermal that my prey had been wearing, which was stained red only near the neck.
"What are you doing here, Alec?" Rose hissed more than she asked. She was standing in a defensive position, sliding so that she stood in between me and the boy she perceived as a threat. I took two steps forward so that I was beside her. I could tell that Alec did not have any intentions on harming me.
"The Volturi would like to offer you a deal," his hands remained in the pockets of his oversized robe as he spoke, "Protection in return for your help with the investigation and eventual extermination of vampire hunters."
"Bella's not interesting in-" Rose started to answer for me, but I silenced her with a glare.
"I have conditions," I said, taking another step towards the boy named Alec, "Take me to your leader."
I was the only one to laugh at that.