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Pain. I couldn't think of anything but the pain. I tried to remember what happened. How I got to hell. What great sin I committed to damn me to eternal flames. I wanted to cry but couldn't even scream any longer. I have no idea where I was. I think I was on the ground. In dirt. What happened?
My name. My name was Bella. Bella what? Bella…Swan. Yes. I had been at a beach. I remembered looking out at the waves crashing to shore. A storm was coming. A howl in the forest. I turned. A noise behind me… A flash of red. Water. Waves. Drowning. Being pulled out. Fear. Screaming. Begging. Teeth.
Searing definitely stayed in my memory. Would there ever be an end to this pain?
It seemed like forever. I didn't understand how anything could be left to burn. I should be ashes but my heart was still racing.
My heart was slowing down. I was having a hard time breathing. Maybe I was dying finally and could be let out. Let out of this prison.
My heart continued to slow. The pain lessened. I kept trying to take a last breath before I died. My throat burned. But my body was cooling.
I heard it.
The pain was gone. I stayed in darkness. I was dead. There was no point in opening my eyes. I was dead. I must be dead. The pain had stopped.
What were those scents?
I gently moved my arm and it didn't hurt. It felt pretty good. I felt great. Being dead was surprising. I felt alive. Better than alive. What the hell happened to me? My thoughts were all over the place. Scents. Sounds were rushing at me from every direction.
I tried to slowly open my eyes but the minute I thought about it my eyes were open. I sat up. Too fast.
I looked at my surroundings. I was in a wooden building. Dirt on the floor. The building was little more than a shack. Some boards were broken. Sunlight shined through the cracks. A ray hit my hand and it sparkled. Oh no…no,no,no. Not this. Not…The breeze blew in and I heard paper blowing in the wind. A letter was stuck under a rock on a bucket. I took a moment to look at myself. I was wearing blue jeans and a blue short sleeve top. I had on white sneakers. Nothing special about my dress.
My name is Bella Swan. I'm from…calm down Bella.
Forks? Yes Forks. I live with my Dad. I have a boyfriend. I had a boyfriend. He hurt me when he left. What was his name?
Maybe the letter was from him? Was he what I am? Did he do this? I remember sparkly skin. It meant I was a monster for some reason. I knew I didn't want it. I did. But something changed.
I gently picked the paper up. It was a hand written note.
I hope you aren't to terribly angry. When I realized Edward left you, I really didn't see the point in killing you any longer. He obviously didn't care enough to stay and protect you. I didn't see the point of risking death by killing someone he didn't care about any longer.
Then it became clear to me. He left you because he didn't want you to be one of us. So what better revenge than to turn his precious human into the very thing he didn't want you to be. I won't tell you where you are. I won't bother you from this point on. I am off to find your precious Edward. If we do ever cross paths again make sure to call me Mommy. Be a good vampire and make me proud. I don't want you to think I am a neglectful parent. Stay where you are. At sundown someone will be there to help you if you wake up when I expect you to.
Memories flowed into my mind. Memories of a handsome boy in a cafeteria. A van sliding across the parking lot. A vampire attacking me. A prom. A summer spent in a Meadow. Talking late into the night after he snuck into my room through the window.
A blonde vampire diving at me. A walk in the forest. Wolves. Jake…oh my God, Jake!
I sat in the dirt trying to cry. My throat burned. It wouldn't stop. I tried to calm myself. Memories came back. I didn't want this. I only wanted it because of him. He left. I was getting over him. I was almost there. Jake was helping me. I didn't love him like that. Not how he wanted me to love him. But I was so close.
He protected me. He and his brothers. Emily. I would never see Emily, Charlie, Renee. They were all gone. I could never go back to La Push. I didn't even know where I was. I was dead. I had been at the beach. I had been thinking about Jake. My fears. My fear of being hurt if he imprinted. I was ready to take a chance I think. A howl startled me. Several howls. I turned towards the woods. But the minute my back turned from the ocean I felt her there. All I saw was the flash of red before she had me. She swam out into the water with me. I nearly drowned. She emerged from the water. I remembered the trees blurring as she ran with me over her shoulder. Victoria.
She bit me and threw me to the ground. She snapped my legs so I couldn't run. I instinctively felt my legs. They were fine of course. Vampires don't have broken bones. A vampire was what I was. A vampire with no money, filthy clothes, no idea of where I was at and a throat that was on fire.
A noise outside alerted me to the simple fact that the sun had gone down. Victoria told me that she would be sending someone to help me.
To kill me? I wouldn't mind right now. Honestly I was scared. I was angry. I…smelt that scent. My throat burned ten times hotter. My mouth felt like it was flooded with saliva. I was drooling like a hungry dog.
Please tell me she didn't.
Please go away.
"I'm supposed to deliver one hundred pounds of feed to this shed. The lady said someone would meet me here? I really need to get paid and get home. Hello?"
Oh God he smelled good. Please don't open that door.
The door opened.
"Hel…well hi there…are you okay?" he looked so nice. He looked so concerned. Middle aged, probably early forties. Dark graying hair. Mustache. He wore a work shirt and blue jeans. The shirt had the name Tim on it.
Seconds later I was cradling his dead body. I didn't even have time to take in his screams. They didn't last long. I…oh my God.
I nearly bit through his neck.
I dropped his body and scrambled into the far corner. I knelt down and placed my head in my hands. My hands were covered in blood. I realized I was licking my fingers. Oh God.
His body wouldn't go away. His head was at a strange angle. His eyes were open and vacant. He had a simple gold wedding band on his finger. I just made someone a widow. I just killed someone's father. Someone's son. Someone who just wanted to get paid so he could go home.
I ran. I kept running. Occasionally I would get close to the smell of that man and change directions. I still had no idea where I was. I struck a few trees. I ran. The sun rose and the sun set twice. I went north. I recognized the North star. The temperature dropped the farther North I ran. I think I was in Canada.
My throat became more and more painful by the hour. I needed more. I thought of hunting animals. But perhaps if I didn't eat I could starve and die. Edward told me Carlisle tried that once I think.
So I kept moving. My mind running through scenarios to kill myself. I ran.
Before sun up I realized I was running towards a lake. I was running towards a scent I should have been running from. She was emerging from an early morning swim. She had a wet suit on. A beautiful lady.
She never had time to scream. I bit her in the shoulder. Her bones crunched beneath my teeth. Her blood flooded my mouth. I clamped on and sucked as hard as I could. I knew what I was doing. I didn't want to. My mind didn't want to. I wasn't listening to my head. My body was in control and my body wanted to drain every ounce of blood from this woman.
Once again within seconds her heart had stopped. I laid her down. I don't know why. What was the point in being gentle now?
I should go to La Push. Jake would kill me.
No. He wouldn't. I would have to beg him and he would still not. His brothers would. He would never forgive them.
To be honest I didn't want them to see what I had become. I can't believe I ever wanted this. It sounded so romantic with Edward.
It wasn't romantic. It was vile. It was disgusting. It was death in its ugliest form.
I had to stay away from people. No matter how long it took. I had to stay away from people until I figured out how to die.
One year later
I dropped the body at my feet. He was young. Blonde hair. Reminded me of the Newton guy. I can't exactly remember his first name. Mike or Mark.
I had gotten very good at not getting blood on me. At least on my clothes.
Mike or Mark had been rock climbing near my cabin in the woods. I smelt the blood from his cut knee a mile away. I can imagine the fear he felt looking down and seeing me climbing the rock at an inhuman speed seeming like a demon from hell. I suppose that was what I was. A demon from Hell.
I fed from animals. I didn't attack every human who came within a mile of me. But when I smelt human blood no amount of feeding from animals was enough. The smell drives me crazy. I couldn't control myself or I didn't want to. I don't suppose there was much difference.
I had killed 38 humans since I woke as a vampire. I slaughtered whole herds of animals. But it didn't make a difference. I still couldn't resist humans. My clothes were nearly rags. I would have to chance a run into a city to steal new clothes. I wouldn't take the belongings of my victims. I wouldn't do that. I took everything else.
One year and I had not figured out how to kill myself. No mountain was high enough to jump from. I laid on the bottom of the ocean. After three days I worked up the courage to open my mouth and allow water to flood my body. I remained alive. I also ran out of the surf in time to see a lovely young girl in a green bikini laying out a picnic blanket. Her boyfriend walked up on me as I was finishing her. I killed him to.
Some memories faded over the past year. I could barely remember what my father looked like. I knew he was tall, had dark hair and a mustache. But the nuances of his face. I couldn't grasp them.
Other memories however were stronger. Memories of Jake. I had given myself to him the night before I was taken. I wanted to try. I wanted to try so badly. I wanted to be whole. But it wasn't to be. Maybe he could have gotten me there. Maybe I would have pulled myself out of the misery I had allowed my life to become. I like to think I would have. But I will never know.
I also had clearer memories of my mother.
Then there was him.
I remember how I let myself be torn to pieces over him. God how stupid I was. I wish I had ran from him when I found out. I wish I had never moved to Forks. It doesn't matter now.
I don't hate Edward. A small part of me might. If it wasn't for him Victoria would have never had a reason to come after me. If he had stayed the worst that could have happened would be that she killed me.
That would not be a bad thing. Still though. It was my fault. My fault for getting involved and my fault for becoming a wreck after he left. The memories I want to go become clearer. I hated who I was. Still though. Thirty eight people would be alive if I had just died.
I hated Victoria. If I saw her again I would do everything I could to kill her. I had never been in a fight in my life but I would tear her to pieces.
Another memory that came to the forefront was Edward talking about the Volturi. He had mentioned them in English class when he said he wasn't sure if he would get to me in time in the Ballet studio. He would provoke them and they would kill him.
They were in Italy though. I did remember one thing that stood out from the rest. They kept the law. The number one law of vampires.
Humans cannot know of our existence. Why? Because humans would rise up and defeat us. Instead they are kept in the dark. Unsuspecting prey. It was with that thought my plan came together. Humans deserved to know what they were facing. The vampire world shouldn't get to hide in shadows.
If the humans had a vampire they could experiment on perhaps they could figure out a way to kill us.
I had made my decision by midnight. They could do what they would with me. I could have my death and go to hell and send the vampire world straight to hell with me.
I had stolen a map. I was one hundred and eighty miles away from Washington DC. I think I could be there in 30 or 40 minutes. I had nothing else to do. Stay around and wait for my next victim. It was time to end this.
45 minutes later I reached the outskirts of Washington DC. I had no idea where I was going. I saw a convenience store closed. Breaking the door handle was easy enough. The alarm sounded but it only took me half a second to find what I needed and leave. A Map of the DC Metro area.
No. That would just piss off the Secret Service. Someone may get hurt. The fallout would be too difficult to hide. I wanted the Government to know. They could decide how to deal with this. I would leave the media out of it. I would go straight to where the main players were. The Pentagon.
I found it within ten minutes. It would have been five but I took a wrong turn and did my best to stay in the shadows. A guarded gate prevented cars from going in. I checked my stolen watch and saw it was 11:00 PM. Not exactly a high traffic time period. Still though. This place had to operate 24/7. Somebody would be in charge or could call someone in charge.
I ran through the gate without stopping tearing it down and leaving it lying on the pavement. There was no point in being sneaky. I had gotten where I wanted to be. If I lingered too long I would be tempted to drain a human. I didn't want that. I didn't want to kill anyone else.
I ran through a door into the main building and realized I had no idea where to go. Alarms were going off. Doors were everywhere. Everything looked restricted. Said so right on the doors. The halls seemed curved.
Oh yeah. Pentagon.
Damn it. Soldiers were holding guns on me from both ends of the hall. Damn they smelled good. I could feel venom pooling in my mouth. No! Not this! I didn't come here for this.
"Oh fuck. She's a vampire! Call Garrett now!"
The soldiers started backing up quickly. Soon they were gone.
She's a vampire? What the hell? Who is Garrett?
I finished this thought just as I was tackled from behind. Hard. I hadn't been touched in so long unless I was killing someone. I couldn't believe it happened at first. An arm was around my throat. Whoever this was did not feel human. He felt like humans felt when I was human, He was a vampire. He could kill me.
He could kill me. Thank you Lord.
"Now little lady would you mind telling me why you didn't knock like a polite citizen?"
"I…" I wasn't sure what to say. His knee was in the small of my back. I couldn't move.
"I wanted to let someone know about the existence of vampires." I wheezed out.
May as well be truthful. I literally had nothing to lose.
"Because I want them all dead. Me included. Especially me."
Instead of feeling my neck snapped, I felt a lessening of pressure. He got off of me. I stood up quickly and prepared to attack him. To provoke him.
Then I saw his face. He was handsome. He was smiling. He was wearing a black t shirt and blue jeans. He had shaggy dark brown hair with red highlights. It reminded me of mine.
"Now why would you want me dead?" he laughed.
"Humans have a right to know. I'm a killer. They can't defend themselves against us. That isn't right. I thought if someone in the Government knew…"
"They do know. The US Government has known about vampires since George Washington was President."
"How?" This was surprising. Why then…
"I told George myself. My name is Garrett. I realize you want to die but would you give me a moment to speak with you?"
"I came here to turn myself in. To let the Government use me to figure out a way to kill vampires. That's all I came to do. I didn't come to hurt anyone. But I don't know if I can control myself."
"Don't worry. You won't hurt anyone while I am around. I promise. But let me ask you one very important question. I imagine that you haven't been a vampire long. You also seem to have a lot of guilt you are carrying on your soul. The fact that you still feel guilt tells me you are a good person whether you think you are or not.
So now my question. Do you want to die a coward who can't live with herself or do you want to live and atone for the lives lost? Perhaps use your unfortunate circumstances to save others."
I wasn't sure what to say. I hadn't spoken to someone in so long.
"Will you at least listen?"
I nodded my head. "The government knows?" I asked again.
"Yes, about vampires and good many other things."
"Other things?" I whispered. Was he talking about the Wolf Pack?
"Yes. There are more things in this world than you can imagine. Some are what you would call beneficial to the human race. Some exist to kill humans, such as our kind. Others exist to…well this is all very top secret. Would you really like to hear about it?"
Did I? What else did I have to do? I could never atone for those people I killed. Never. But maybe…
"Excellent. What shall I call you?"
"Well Bella, follow me."
"She is new. Probably uncontrollable." General Mathieu's said, telling me nothing I didn't already know.
"So was I when I first met George. She came here of her own free will. She came here with the idea of turning herself over to the Government and allowing herself to be experimented on. To help you fight her kind. There are only two of us. We need help. He is good but he hasn't been ready that long."
"So you want another new one to train."
"For over two hundred years it has been me and only me. Doing the crap you couldn't. The enemies are more numerous now. Demons, lycans, vampires, witches. The list grows. I have my limits. I need help. Look at her damn neurological reading."
I motioned to the screen showing her standing in the corner of the interview room, not moving. The room also served as an EEG of sorts. The device picked up different neurological waves coming off vampires. It helped me determine what vampires have gifts. I have had three in here. Two had the same patterns I did. One didn't. I found out quickly what his power was. It hurt.
The patterns coming out of her beautiful head were all over the place. Almost like a scrambler. It would be interesting to see what she can do.
"Fine. Talk to her. If she doesn't want to play ball kill her. If she doesn't look like she is trustworthy, kill her."
"No and no."
"General, perhaps this is the time to remind you what I have reminded many of your predecessors. I don't work for you. I don't work for anyone really. I serve the Government of the United State because I fought for this Country and I wish to defend it against enemies foreign, domestic and supernatural. But do not think for one second that I am one of your soldiers. The President says you give me what I need to get the job done. That is your role. We work together to determine what threats are most prevalent. But never make a mistake of thinking that I am your servant. I decide what I need and how to accomplish my missions. Understand?"
The good General did not like this. No surprise. He was used to people doing what he says. Understandable.
"Yes." He finally gritted out.
"Good. I have decided I need her. Now I am going to get her. If you will excuse me."
I rose and walked into the interview room.
"Have a seat Bella." I offered.
"Why? We don't get tired."
I shrugged my shoulders. "Have it your way. I plan to kick my feet up and relax. Get to know you, Bella."
I sat down and placed my legs on the table. She moved very quickly to a seat. She has had no time around humans trying to blend in. Judging by the wild scent over her natural strawberry scent I would imagine she has been in the wild for a very long time.
"So Bella tell me about yourself. How have you come to find yourself here?"
"No. You first. If the Government knows about us why haven't they done anything? Warned anyone?"
"What makes you think they can?"
"So we really can't die?"
Poor kid looked so sad.
"Oh no. We can definitely die. But not by human hands. Besides if I wasn't around who would protect humans from other enemies? Demons, witches, lycans…"
"What are you talking about?" Finally life in her eyes.
"I will be glad to tell you Bella, but only if you will agree to help me. I don't need someone looking to die Bella. I need a partner who wants to protect others. Now are you suicidal or are you interested?"
"You can teach me? To kill vampires?"
"Vampires and other things. Scarier things. Or you can go. Go back to your existence in the wild."
"Can you help me with my control? I don't want to kill anyone else."
"Your eyes are red." Clever girl.
"Yes. I drink bagged human blood. Or the occasional target I need to take out. You can certainly have all the bagged blood you want. So. In? Or out?"
"What do I have to lose?" she sighed. She really was beautiful. Probably the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my existence. She looked broken though. Her nature had made her do things her soul would never accept. She needed a goal. A mission. She needed me. Whether she realized it or not.
"Excellent. Why don't we start by telling me about you and how you got here. Then I will show you around and explain everything."
"Okay. Have you ever heard of vampires named the Cullens?"
"Yes. If a vampire is over ten years old I have a file on them. I personally know the Cullens. We keep a close eye on them, due to their habit of existing among humans on a daily basis."
"You didn't keep a close enough eye on them I suppose. I dated Edward Cullen…"
She continued talking. She told me everything. Two hours later she was done talking. I admit I was angry. Angry for her. I also felt horrible. A 17 year old girl with a bright future got dragged into this world and then left behind to be defended by a pack of young shapeshifters. They never stood a chance of keeping her alive against a vampire of Victoria's skill. But my pity isn't what she needed.
"Okay. Atonement starts today. You ready to make a difference in the world?"
"Yes. Yes I am." She said quietly but firmly.
"Good, come with me. We are going to sub level 7."
"What is sub level 7?"
"My home. Your new home. Let's go. We have much to accomplish. First on the list is getting you some clothes. I will always be honest with you Bella. That is my pledge to you. And honestly, you stink."