Ice cold water laps around Alice's naked form. Her teeth chatter. Mumbled words spill from blue lips as her huddled body rocks to and fro. She inhales deeply. Her pitch black eyes―slit like a serpent―focus on the blood covered wall in front of her. "One, two, three," she counts, slow and measured.
She blinks, praying that when she opens her eyes the blood will have disappeared. It doesn't.
"One, two, three." She tries again, but the blood remains.
"He's mine." A low, feminine voice floats around Alice like a fog and seeps into her bones like poison.
"You can't have him."
"I've always had him. He's always belonged to me. Look," the voice hisses, closer now. Her words crawl over Alice's skin and distort her mind.
Images flash like a movie reel, familiar yet not. Strong arms, adoring eyes, and a tender smile bathe her in warmth. "I love you so much," he whispers. His fingers trace her jaw and his lips press ever so gently to hers.
Alice's eyes slide shut and she leans forward, wanting more contact―wanting to feel his firm chest against her―but she is met with nothing. Her lips part in a silent scream of protest as his presence fades, drifting away with the wind until she's shrouded in darkness.
"Mine, mine, mine, mine," the voice chants from the void. "You see it. You know it."
"No." Alice's voice is nothing but a choked whisper. Her body trembles.
More images. Sweat-slicked skin glistens in the soft glow of candlelight. Calloused hands pull at her body, bending her to their will. Her back arches as his mouth descends. Lips, tongue, and teeth brand her flesh, each suck and teasing nip driving her closer to the edge.
"He's going to beg now," the voice taunts.
"Baby, please. Come for me." His plea is a tortured groan as he fights against the tightening in his abdomen.
"Stop it," Alice screams, her hands fisting her hair.
"I'll never stop. You can't have what isn't yours. You can't have him." The voice has grown angry. Each word is hard and biting. Demanding and forceful. Sure and confident.
A part of Alice's mind begins to fracture, creating a fault line of doubt and defeat. Her teeth grit and her fingers twitch as her expression shifts to deranged determination. "I will have him."
"Then no one will."
"No," the voice wails. But it doesn't matter. It's too late.
Alice's head snaps up. Her eyes are wide and unfocused. Unseeing. Lost. She rises slowly from the water. Her knees wobble and her hands shake. Emptiness weighs heavily inside her. It's a hollow feeling that can only be filled by him.
She clutches the shower curtain and rips it back. Her foot plants solidly on the cold tile. Water drips from her hair and slides over her skin as gravity pulls it to the floor. Each step is marked by foot stamps of water. Suddenly, her leg is jerked back. Her arms are unable to brace for impact as her face slams against the floor.
Blood sprays from her shattered nose. It pours from her lip when she pries a broken tooth from the swollen flesh. The room shimmers and shakes as the voice becomes stronger. Light and dark dance before her eyes. She fights to stay conscious. She fights for control.
"I won't let you win."
"You don't have a choice." The flat icy chill of Alice's words stun the voice into silence. She moves to the bedroom. Naked and bloody, she reaches into the nightstand and pulls out the gun they keep beside their bed.
The smell of garlic fills her senses as she moves toward the kitchen. The soft hum of classical music swells and crests in the room beyond. She silently approaches the doorway. Her body quivers. The weight of the gun and the feel of cold metal resting against her palm empower her.
He feels her presence the moment she enters the room. "Hey, baby. Are you ready to eat?" His voice falters and the room tilts when he turns around. His eyes widen as they rove over her body, bloody and naked.
"Baby?" He exhales, his chest tight.
"Am I? Am I your baby?" Alice steps into the room. Her black eyes and bloody face twist her beautiful features into something sinister.
"Of course you are. You always have been. I love you." He steps to the side. She notices the whitening of his knuckles as he grips the counter behind him. Her resulting smile is small, sad.
"Why can't you love me. Why does it have to be her?" She steps closer. Her thumb presses against the safety, the disengaging click echoing like a canon.
"I do love you. Look at me. Trust me."
Alice shakes her head. He's a demon disguised as a angel. He was born from hell and sent to earth to destroy her. But she has no intentions of destructing alone. "It's not me you love."
His eyes widen and everything becomes clear. He knows. "You didn't take them." It wasn't a question. She'd skipped her pills.
"I don't need them."
His cheeks redden and his eyes shimmer with tears. Fear slithers up his spine and his heart hammers against his ribs. With a shallow breath, his voice is barely above a whisper when he says her name. "Alice?"
Her answering smile is all the confirmation he needs.
"Please. Please don't do this."
For a moment she hesitates. The voice in her head suddenly grows louder, more fierce. "Leave him alone! Get away from him!"
Alice sways. "Too much, too much, too much." She grips her head, her fingers wrapping tightly around the gun. The sound of heavy footsteps echo from the hall. Someone is coming.
Thud, thud, thud.
They pound in her head like a hammer. Each step closing her window of opportunity. Her chance to have what she's always been denied. What she desires the most.
She raises her arm. It doesn't shake. Even as he begs, she doesn't waiver.
"Alice, no. Neither of you will survive without me!"
Smoke wafts from the barrel as the bullet leaves the chamber. Edward gasps as a hole is ripped through his chest. The bullet tears through flesh and bone, piercing and breaking his heart all at once. His knees buckle as blood seeps from the wound and pools on the floor. His eyes dim and fade as he clutches his chest. The light, his life, gradually leaks from his body with each slowing beat of his heart.
Alice drops the gun as her body is propelled into the wall. The vicious screams of protest from the voice inside her head finally shatter her fragile hold of power.
"What have you done?" The voice cries, anguish and despair causing her body to sink to the floor. She crawls over to Edward, cradling his ashen face in her lap. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Her words are barely intelligible because of the sobs wracking her body.
Edward's eyes flutter. His body jerks, convulsing in time with the beat of his heart as it races toward the end. He lifts his hand, the blood on his fingers mixing with the blood covering her tear stained cheeks. "It's not your fault, baby," he croaks. "I don't blame you."
"No." She tightens her hold and squeezes her eyes shut. She doesn't want his forgiveness. She doesn't deserve it.
"Look at me." When she refuses he asks again. The pain in his voice finally forces her to meet his gaze. With a sad smile and a final breath he whispers, "I love you, Isabella."
In a fog of grief she hears the front door bang open. Alice's self satisfied smile burns the backs of her eyes and splits her chest open. Isabella drops a final kiss to Edward's forehead and reluctantly moves away from him.
"I told you I would have him," Alice goads, her voice quieter now that she's lost control of Isabella's body.
Isabella shakes her head and lifts the gun to her mouth. "Like hell you will."
"Isabella, no!" Emmett screams, barreling into the room and lurching toward her. It's the last thing she hears before searing heat rips through her mouth and everything goes black. No more voices. No more pain. No more Alice. She's finally free.