AN: I usually update on Fridays, but a huge snow storm is coming and I thought it would be best to update today.
Thank you all for reading and reviewing this story. It really makes my day brighter that you are willing to take this adventure with me!
I have to thank RFM86 for pre-reading and mauigirl60 for being my Beta for this story. Their help has been amazing!
Quick disclaimer…this isn't going to follow Twilight. My monsters are different, but you might find some things that slightly mirror parts of canon. Finally, this is a scary story. If you are looking for sunshine and kittens, I can direct you to my other more happy stories. I do believe that if you're brave, the ending will be worth it. (Hopefully.)
Chapter 10: In the Dead of Night the Beasts Come Out To Play
Her first thought was of the heat that was flowing through her veins. It didn't hurt, but Bella felt the warmth flowing from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. It was a strange feeling indeed. What did hurt was the wound on her neck that Edward was sucking on like a preschooler with a juice box. The unrelenting pain made her want to cry out. Edward had stopped his dreadful screaming and shaking, but the thought that his cure would lead her to die from massive blood loss was not at all what Bella had planned for her day.
With a massive push, and the help of the Quileute men, Bella pushed the now calm Edward off her body. His body was lying still on the ground, his eyes closed and whimpering softly. She groaned, "Motherfucker, that hurt!"
Bella put a hand on the side of her throat where the large wound was pulsating painfully. Jared pulled off his shirt and gave it to her to press down on her neck. She could feel the blood soaking through it. She was a little unsteady on her feet and as she started to sway, Jared put a strong arm around her waist to keep her upright.
"You're a healer! Well, I'll be damned...Charlie was right! Let's get you to the lodge and cleaned up. There is so much to explain."
"I'm a healer? Shouldn't I be healing myself then? Because all I see is that my neck is still bleeding profusely, because my ex-boyfriend was sucking on my neck like it was a pixie stick," Bella groused. If this day got any worse, Bella wouldn't be surprised.
Harry pointed to Edward, who was strangely enough humming an old Nirvana tune. "You've healed the vampire for now. You'll soon heal quickly yourself."
He led her toward the car and Bella looked at him in shock. "Edward's not a vampire. I don't know what the hell just happened, but..."
"Be certain of this…that young man craves blood. Whatever demon is at play was triggered by our spirits on the reservation. The bastards who did this to the poor boy are playing with fire, Bella. Your friend is settled for now, but he'll try again. It's in his nature now."
"I don't understand? Did a vampire bite him? Will I turn into one too?"
"Bella, sometimes stories are just flights of fantasy; this includes the origins of vampires. Bram Stoker had it all wrong. A man let this boy be possessed by a demon, that's without question. Black magic, my dear girl, is the key to his affliction. The white magic in your blood has forced the demon away for…"
"I fixed him?" Harry settled her into the front passenger seat of his SUV. She turned to watch Jared and Brady pick Edward up and put him in the back seat of another car.
Shaking his head sadly, Harry said, "No, child, we have to kill the one who created the spell."
Bella rested her head and closed her eyes, wishing for the days of blissful ignorance and realizing they were no more.
Bella rested on a large couch in front of an indoor fire pit. The flames warmed her cool skin and made her feel calm. Much to some of the tribe's chagrin, Edward's head was in Bella's lap and she ran her fingers through his hair to give him comfort. He stared at the flames unblinking. The colors that flickered red, yellow, orange and even blue were comforting to the confused man. His long fingers clutched Bella's knees. He'd hurt her, but she still gave him comfort. He was a monster of the highest order.
"What we all must acknowledge is that Bella is more than just a shield like I previously believed. Charlie had always said his little girl had power radiating off of her," Harry announced to the members of the tribe's inner circle. "I have seen with my own eyes her gift as a healer. I can feel the power of her blood and I am sure there are more secrets to be discovered. The Swan family has always had a connection to the spirit world. It's my belief that we should send her to Aro for training. He has others in his family that are gifted as well."
"Aro Voltuiri?" Bella asked, and Harry nodded in confirmation. "I know him! He's like another father to me!"
Harry looked surprised, but pleased. "Fate is on the side of the light, Bella. This is truly a prime example of this fact. Aro was friends with me and your father. We were all trying to find the truth of why we saw things so differently than our peers. We were quite the wild men in our youth, always playing with magic like it was a toy."
He slowly walked to a bookcase and pulled out a worn-looking leather picture album. He opened it and placed it in Bella's hand, which she in turn rested on Edward's head.
"Hey," he quietly protested.
She looked down sadly. "You get no protests after trying to suck me dry, Cullen. I'm allowed to use you as a head table."
He moved slightly and looked at the white bandage on Bella's neck. It made him shudder. "I...I can't believe...love..."
He wanted to cry, but couldn't.
"Shush now, Edward," Bella said in a soothing tone. She looked down and back up at Harry. "My father never went to Italy!"
Which was what Bella had believed throughout her childhood, but the old, creased Polaroid told a different tale. Bella had always been told that Charlie had never left the state of Washington, but it was a lie. A young Charles Swan, without the mustache she had always known, stood in front of a gondola in a Who tee-shirt and bell bottoms. Next to him stood a much slimmer Harry, whose hair was onyx and hung long down his back. He was dressed similarly to Charlie, which made them look like young backpackers. It was Aro, on the other hand, who stuck out like a hilarious sore thumb. The fedora perched upon his head had a peacock plume sprouting from the ribbon. He also wore a multi-colored leisure suit. It was vintage Aro and she loved it.
"Aro is..." she started to say.
"He's an amazing and creative individual." He knelt down by Bella and took the album. Lifting her hand, Harry placed his hand so the pads of their fingers were touching. "Aro has the gift of knowledge. He can teach you and guide your powers better than I can. I have things to work with you on as well, but he has to develop your gifts. My friend Aro is a collector of sorts. He never meant to collect people with special skills, but it's in every cell in his body. He's a good man and I have no doubt that he will be of great assistance."
Jared, who had been solemnly leaning against a wall, straightened and walked over with his finger pointing at Edward. "What are we going to do with the cold one? Bella isn't safe with him! Shaman, you said that her blood didn't cure him. Just looking at his head resting in her lap is making me twitchy. God, Bella, the man just tried to suck all the blood out of your body and now you're letting him use you as a pillow!"
Bella looked down and it was true. She had no concept of self-preservation. As soon as they arrived, Harry's wife, Sue, whisked Bella into a small infirmary. She cleaned Bella's wound, caked the area with herbs and bandages and sent her back to the leaders of the tribe. Immediately, her gaze fell onto a slumbering Edward on the couch. Her heart beat quicker, the bandage on her neck was forgotten and all she wanted to do was hold him tightly. Whatever was done to Edward wasn't his doing and she felt a righteous anger and need to hurt whoever did this grievous injustice.
Now sitting so close to him and rubbing his head, Bella could see Jared's point. "Do you think he's going to snap?"
Edward struggled to sit up. "I won't hurt her. I care too much for Bella."
"You'll drain her dry and I for one don't want to lose someone that's so precious for an ass who decided to be possessed by a fucking demon," Jared snarled. Edward and Jared glared at each other.
Jared had been Jacob's best friend, along with Bella. He had remembered how that girl could light up a room with her smile. She deserved better than trying to save a man who was a jerk when he was a teenager and probably remained that way.
Before she could protest or agree, because frankly she could see Jared's point, Jacob's father, Billy Black, came into the room. One look at the man's worn face, the wrinkles more prominent since Jake's passing, made Bella start weeping silently. She moved Edward, stood up shakily and then propelled herself into Billy's arms. He said softly, "Oh, honey, you've been through so much."
"Seth is innocent," she wept. "There are wolves and vampires, Billy! Everything is a mixed up cluster fuck and I don't know who I am anymore!"
"You are going to save us all, Isabella Swan. Mark my words, you'll save us all."
Three hours later, Bella stared out at the darkness, still feeling as if nothing was settled. At least, there was a temporary solution to Edward's vampire problem. One of the tribe's ancient tombs had a mixture that used a healer's blood and other plant ingredients to create a brew for the infected man to drink. It was of the opinion of the tribe's most learned men that this would control Edward. It could be used until the demon that originated the spell, which turned Edward into a blood addict and members of the tribe into vicious puppies, was sent back to Hell.
It was without a doubt to Bella that Ben Cheney was the cause of all of the misfortune, with Emmett as his willing helper. The only problems were that they needed proof, she needed training, and, ultimately, a spell had to be concocted to use an ancient blade to stop the creation of monsters. The whole situation was creepy and daunting. Bella wanted her simple days of work and school back.
She was alone with Edward in a small guest room. Some of the younger and stronger men were keeping watch in the other rooms of the lodge. In the room that they were supposed to sleep in was decorated with rustic furniture, and the woodland scenes on the walls mimicked the view that was just outside the window. Jared had protested this arrangement, but Billy and Harry disagreed with him. Bella would give Edward normalcy and it was clear that he was in control of his impulses. They needed Edward to feel safe and Bella would help him feel that.
Bella gripped a window pane tightly as she looked out at the full moon. Its light lit the grass, making the individual blades glow and the trees appear not so ominous. It was a beautiful sight, until she heard noises filling the air. It was the call of the wolves. The howls she heard in the horizon made her tremble. She wasn't certain at first if it was a regular and ordinary wolf pack that she used to watch on nature programs like Wild Kingdom when she was young. They weren't. Bella watched these gigantic monsters that looked like wolves on steroids. Vile foam dropped from mouths filled with fangs, and their red eyes were fixated on the lodge.
She swallowed hard and jumped as a pair of hands gripped her shoulders. Turning to find Edward, she tried not to shake. There were monsters outside and although she didn't want to admit it to herself, there was a monster inside as well. She was okay being close to him when surrounded by the tribe, but she felt a bit frightened of being alone with him. He quietly asked, "What's wrong, Bella?"
He stroked her cheek and she pulled away quickly. "Look outside!"
The hiss that erupted out of Edward was terrifying. She backed away from him further. Before she could use the excuse that she needed to find Jared, shots rang out. She heard whimpering and looked to see the beasts retreating.
Edward moved closer and took Bella's quivering hand. Her head was chanting, be calm, be still, feel...
Outside, she heard men yelling and chanting ancient words created by their ancestors from the past. The blood in her veins was sizzling at the harmonization that was filling the air. Bella closed her eyes and joined in by humming the cadences that filled her mind. She was part of this, part of the modern warriors, and could feel that whatever was radiating off her was helping the tribe protect their lands.
Edward pulled his hands away quickly as if he was electrocuted by her touch. "What's happening to you?"
"Power," she stated calmly, gazing back onto the bright moon, as the chanting quieted down and her insides cooled.
"I won't hurt you," he said, as he poked her with a finger. The electricity that came off her body had stopped. "I still lo..."
"Don't say it, Edward." Bella looked at him coolly. She took her palm and placed it on his cheek. "This situation with monsters and other creepy things from the movies are the only things I can deal with right now. My world has been shaken to the core and I can't deal with anything else, Edward. Put a hold on all the flowery declarations because, honestly, you just tried to eat me earlier."
"You're correct; I'm one of those monsters now. I just need to feel close to you and feel like a human again." He placed his hand over hers, nuzzling into her with his face. "If this hadn't changed me and knowing that we've been set up..."
"I'm here trying to help you be a real boy again. I can't give you any other part of me until this is over." She centered herself and moved back from him. "We still have so many questions, please don't push this!"
Edward's body responded unexpectedly to her words. Instead of backing off and respecting her wishes like he wanted to, he felt a need to close the gap she was making between them. His body had become hyper-aware to her movements. All of his muscles tensed to pounce. He felt like a lion stalking a grazing gazelle, or a snake ready to strike the clueless frog. He needed and wanted the stressed-out girl before him.
He grabbed her arms and pulled her close to his body. The look he gave her made Bella feel that Edward had stripped away all her layers and was staring at her every molecule. It was disconcerting. She attempted to move away saying, "What did you not understand about waiting?"
Instead of answering, Edward touched his lips on hers. He needed to possess the one he desired. He wanted her body, not her blood, and his need could not be stopped.
Bella's mind was trying to understand what the hell was happening, but her heart melted in his embrace. Her arms wrapped around his neck and her body went flush against his. It felt so right to do, but so wrong in the timing. She knew this, but couldn't stop mashing her mouth against his, as their tongues danced together. It was agony to know that it was the monster, and not the man who needed her so desperately.
"Bella, can you come out here?" Jared's voice filled the room.
She pushed Edward with such intensity that, to her surprise, he flew backward and landed on the floor. Watching Edward stumble back to his feet, she said resolutely, "That can't happen again until Ben is taken care of."
"This isn't over, Bella!" He felt panicked that she was leaving the room.
"It's on hiatus, okay?" She heard the knob turn and called out, "Just wait a minute, Jared!"
Edward snarled, "He wants you!"
"He's always been a buddy, Crazy." Bella started to turn, as Edward grabbed her arm.
It surprised her when he gently said, in the saddest of tones, "But you're mine, right?"
"Edward, I belong to myself." She removed his hand from her arm. "You need to get in control of that vampire who is trying to take over you. If you don't, there can never be an us."
Before she exited the room alone, Bella turned to look at a despondent Edward, gazing at the floor. She had to admit that she loved Edward; but right now, it didn't feel like an uplifting joy, but an antagonizing hell.
The women were laughing as they exited the restaurant. Kate needed an ear to hear her romantic woes and some insightful intellect, which came in the form of her best friend, Irina. The advice to pursue the gentle coffee shop owner was much appreciated. Now, Kate just had to get up the nerve to tell Garrett her feelings.
The margaritas that they enjoyed had made them giggly and not aware of the time growing late. The manager had to ask them to leave, so they could close the restaurant. Kate and Irina thought this was hilarious, but the cold air sobered them up rather quickly.
It was eerie in the empty parking lot. Shadows made ominous shapes on the cracked pavement. Only the women's cars remained in the lot, sitting next to each other. It made Kate shiver.
Irina pulled out her cell phone. "I'm getting us a cab. It's safety first, Katie girl."
"Tell them to come quick! It's cold out here." Kate left out the real reason was because she felt scared. Irina loved teasing her about her fear of the dark.
"Ladies, do you need assistance?" A deep voice questioned, as two men came up and looked at them with dark eyes.
The larger of the men looked very familiar with his handsome face and dimples, but there was something off-putting about him. His thin friend, with his sandy hair and all-American good looks was less frightening, but the look on his face didn't seem normal.
"No, we're fine," Kate said quickly. "A cab's on the way!"
"No need for a cab, Miss Katherine Scott," the larger man said, his grin widening at the shock she expressed at him knowing her name. "Alec, take her to the car. I want to become better acquainted with her lovely friend."
The man named Alec grabbed Kate's arm and whined, "I want her, man! I fucking need it!"
"Katie is going to be helping us out so keep your mouth off, fucker! Call Ben and have him get Tanya prepped for you," Emmett stated and then smiled down at Irina. "You ready to party, baby?"
"What are you going to do to me?" Irina asked, shaking in fear. Her mind went through all the horrible scenarios that could befall a woman in distress, but her actual fate never crossed her mind. It was too horrible and unreal to comprehend. It was a horror only found in the scariest films or twisted fairy tales.
"I'm going to rock your world." He grinned manically. "I'm famished!"
Clamping a large hand on her mouth, Emmett dragged Irina in an alley way. It wasn't until Kate was pushed into a large SUV that she heard Irina's screams. It was the stuff of nightmares.