May 25, 2011

Torn 7: Disappointed

Disclaimingness: I own a pile of reviews with lots of SHOUTY capitals and a hammock that I will be in all weekend. SM owns everything you recognize here, even the horny Vampella!


She wants him.

She wants her.

She does not want me.

After being attacked by Laurent and having to dispose of him, I lost Bella’s scent for a while. I couldn’t track any of them and I tried to hear them but for some reason they were muted. No matter how close I got, or how hard I concentrated, I picked up nothing from any of them.

Trying again to track them merely by senses was slowing me down, but I refused to lose them. I would follow them undetected as long as I could until I could get her alone. If I could get her away from them, then maybe I’d have a chance of getting her through the newborn bloodlust and confusion. Maybe I could get her back. No. I would get her back. Our bond was too great to be lost even with her as a newborn. I knew deep inside my heart, she was still mine.

Day after day I watch. They are slowly heading back toward America, but I cannot read their minds to know what they have planned. When the three of them are together, I get nothing. Bella follows them as though she’s tethered to them with a leash. When they get close to humans she even whines a bit and Victoria plays keeper, making James happy by soothing and calming Bella until they unleash her on innocents. It kills me not to intercede but I won’t ruin my chances of saving Bella from them. From herself.

Knowing she’s not in her right mind helps ease some of the pain of watching her holding his hand or him kissing her cheek. Remembering her kindness soothes some of the rage when I watch him chase down hikers or frat boys cliff-diving. He allows her first pick to decimate lives with a smile on her face. The idea that she desires the destruction of others chills me to my core. Her finding pleasure in their death brings me back to my own memories of killing humans. It hurts to think that when the newborn haze and lust has passed, she will have to reconcile what’s she’s done.

This is not my Bella, I know this. A few times I think she may sense me, feel our connection, the bond between our souls. Her eyes will flicker up into the woods and dense brush that cloak me and I can feel the tug against me, pulling me to her. She’s always with them. She’s never far away, so I never step forward. Biding my time, I wait and watch and hurt.

“Isabella? What’s the matter?” I hear Victoria’s sickly sweet voice call to my Bella.

With a whine she replies, “I’m thirsty.”

“We just ate, child.” The annoyance drips from her voice. Victoria is tiring of her already.

“But I’m thirsty again. Can I go on my own? I can find something.”

“No. James would not like that. He’s returning soon and he’ll let me know where we’ll go for more. You need to learn some restraint anyhow.” I consider jumping them now, with just Victoria on watch, but I know James is returning. I can hear his thoughts now that he’s away from the women. He needs bait so he’s going to send Victoria out to lure the men away from the town. They’re young men who will be easily swayed by a pretty face, but he won’t send Bella yet, not into a town full of people. At least he’s thinking ahead somewhat.

Bella’s head pops up before his voice sounds. “My sweet girls! We’ll be enjoying our meal soon.” James walks back into the clearing. I can see him from my perch in a tree yards away, enough to stay downwind from the tracker, but close enough to see and hear everything.

James quickly explains what he needs from Victoria and plans to meet her with their “takeout,” as he describes, in an hour. She is hesitant, but when James sternly reminds her that he’s in charge, she quickly disappears and James remains.

Bella is pacing back and forth beneath the trees like a caged animal. Shadows move across the forest floor as the sun moves along the sky above the trees. I can feel her tension, her anxiety. James does nothing to calm her, he only antagonizes her and I have to control myself when he taunts her. “Little pet is unhappy.”

“Yes.” She turns again walking away snaking her hand through the long, tangled tresses at her neck.

“Are you thirsty?” he asks condescendingly.

“Yes.” She paces back again, her eyes narrowed on his form.

“Do you want to have a snack, my dear?”

She turns quickly and lunges.

“Stop teasing, James!”

“Oh, little one. I can do whatever I want to you. You are mine.”

She has him pinned, but I can see he’s not trying to push her off. He wants this, even if I cannot read his thoughts, I can read his body.

“Please give me something, it burns.” her voice cracking a bit with desperation.

“We still have time until we need to meet, Victoria. What if I distract you?”

“How?” She sits up quickly straddling his chest. “What will distract me from this burn in my throat? You don’t have anything.” Her voice is angry and my chest aches at the thought of her being in pain or unhappy.

He chuckles and flips her under him and again I must resist attacking them. I can sense Victoria approaching; she’s dragging one of the young men with her. I gleam his name from his thoughts. Riley. He believes he will be scoring drugs by following Victoria. This situation may work in my favor so I wait.

Bella, still unbeknownst to Victoria’s fast approach, snakes her hand into James’ hair and tugs, bringing his face to hers. He quickly responds, gripping her face and kissing her hard. I hate seeing his lips pressed to hers. My stomach threatens to empty again and I have to look away or I will throw up and possibly reveal myself. Over and over I tell myself, “She doesn’t know what she’s doing.” I am repeating it like a prayer.

Bella quickly flips them again, her body pushed against his and her hands ridding him of his jacket. Her reactions to him mentally beat me. Her touching him makes me want to kill him. It’s more intense than when I read the thoughts of rapists and murderers. I’d tear him limb from limb if I weren’t sure he could take me with Victoria’s help. After days and days of praying for this battle to come so I could rid the world of the nomads, I am wishing for my family. If I had them here, they could help me kill the bastards and save Bella.

As she runs her fingers along his body, he pulls her t-shirt off, the one she claimed from a young camper, and then removes her bra just as quickly. I feel a branch break under my grasp and I can barely restrain myself from leaping when James tears her pants off with disgusting desperation. They are lying flush against each other in the dirt like animals. She’s gripping him in her hand, begging him to take her and I know he will. In this moment he will die.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing, you little whore?!” Victoria comes through the brush; the young man follows her, mesmerized.

Bella quickly jumps up, but James remains sitting in the dirt, a disappointed scowl on his face. “We were having a bit of fun, Victoria. Weren’t you supposed to be working? What is this?” He gestures to the boy behind her.

“I’m out there trying to feed us and you play house with the little zombie? This... this is all I could get because I needed help, but you were too busy with your fucking toy. The plan was to meet in one hour so you both could help herd the idiots. Fuck you, James.” She turns back to the boy all the while growling.

“No, Victoria. Fuck you. I call the shots. Not you,” he sneers back at her as he reaches for Bella who has pulled her pants on and the small t-shirt. She started to back away as they yelled, but he’s beckoning her back to him and she’s obviously conflicted.

“I’m sorry, Victoria. I’m sorry,” she whispers. “Can I have him?”

“You want this? This boy? Fuck you, little girl. Greedy little bitch. He’s mine!”

Bella crouches in response. James puts himself in between her and Victoria. “Come now ladies, we can enjoy the treat that Victoria brought us then go find more.” His cockiness is wavering just a tad.

“Please. Please, James.” Bella begs, her body shaking like a junky in need of a fix. “Please let me have him, baby.”

“Baby?” Victoria takes a step closer to Bella and James. “He is not your baby. He never will be!”

“Victoria, calm yourself down. You are making a scene and scaring the boy.” He gestures back to Riley who has pushed himself against a tree and is watching the scene with confusion and disbelief. Obviously, the boy has drugs in his system; he’s completely stunned into stupidity. He stands slack-jawed while his brain tries to process what he’s seeing.

“You want her? You want to keep her, James? Fine. Then I get one too.”

I watch closely, waiting for a chance to strike as Victoria appears beside the boy and grips his throat. Although I cannot read her thoughts, I know what she’s planning.

“James, I want to feed. Please!” I hear Bella beg again as James approaches Victoria and Riley.

“Shut up!” he spits at Bella then turns back to Victoria. “You will not. I forbid it, Victoria,” his voice is cold and commanding. I watch as Bella whimpers and crouches again to protect herself. Every fiber of my being is telling me to protect her.

“You can forbid all you like. You are my maker, but you do not rule me like you do your little bitch,” She snarls as she nods to Bella. “You get a pet, I get a pet. All’s fair then.”

“No.” James states calmly. I begin to make my way down the branches while keeping my eyes on them. Looking for my chance to strike, I keep myself ready.

I hear the sick crunch of teeth against skin and muscle, just a fraction of a second before the agonizing screams rip from the boy’s throat. The god awful sound pushes me into the clearing. The acrid smell of the boy's drug tainted blood permeates the air; Victoria somehow refrains from killing him. She throws him behind her as she lunges at James just as he charges her.

“I hate you!” she screams at the top of her lungs. “I should’ve killed you the second you brought that whore into our world!”

James doesn’t even react as they collide, Victoria ripping at him with all her might. He deflects several of her punches and when she tries to grip him at the neck he throws her into a large tree to the left of Bella. Her instinct is to cower as she watches her maker and his mate violently battle. I’ve never seen something like James and Victoria’s dynamic before. This isn’t how bonded mates behave and it confounds me, but I have to focus on the task at hand.

Looking toward Bella, her black eyes locked on Riley who lies writhing and tortured as the venom begins to spread. His screams obviously affect her because she’s not attacked him. I know she can smell the blood, but the screaming is hurting her sensitive ears as well as the thrashing of Victoria and James who are still near her. Bella grips her head and falls a bit into a tree. Her body is completely overwhelmed. It’s almost like she’s shutting down.

Reaching out my hand, I brush against her shoulder and she jumps backward, several feet away. “Don’t touch me,” she growls as she lowers quickly into a crouch again ready to attack. Her eyes flash against the sunlight peeking through the trees, a light sparkle shimmers across her bare arms and neck. I notice her eyes flicker away from mine and down to the spots shining on her body. Thinking back to our time in the meadow, how I imagined myself a monster and she convinced me that I was beautiful. I wish I could pull her into my arms and help her understand what has happened to her, help her remember her love for me and mine for her.

From behind me I hear a cracking sound and turn in time to see James snapping the screeching boy’s neck. “You will not be a maker. I own you! You have been mine for a long time Victoria and I won’t let you ruin us!”

She screeches like a banshee then lunges at him. Seeing two mates attacking each other is beyond what my mind can comprehend. Mates are bonded for life, yet James sought out a second, vampires always respect their maker’s wishes and in the end, the maker’s decisions are final, yet Victoria is refusing to submit to his will. I’ve heard of makers killing progeny when the newborn gets out of control. I’ve never heard of a maker and a newborn destroying each other.

James and Victoria are savage and violent as they pummel each other, destroying the trees around them. Putting myself between the melee and Bella, we both watch as James tears Victoria apart. I am not ashamed to say that watching him destroy her terrifies me. My only instinct is to protect Bella from the battling nomads.

Shock and fear emanate from Bella’s body as we stand aside watching helplessly as one mate destroys the other in a fit of jealousy and rage. Victoria soon lays dismembered, nothing but her flame red mane can be recognized.

Suddenly, James turns, “You.” He notes my arrival and begins to strike. I am able to deflect him. He lands on his feet swiftly. His voice eerily calm as her speaks, “You cannot have her. I’ve lost one mate, you won’t get this one.”

“She’s not your mate, James. You just killed your mate!”

“I did not kill Victoria, she killed herself. A mate must submit to their maker. She had to die if she was willing and ready to defy me.” He stands quickly and arches an eyebrow at me. “Isabella, come to me,” he demands while his hands reach out to her.

I feel her walk around me toward him. “No, Bella. Please listen to me. You don’t have to listen to him.”

“Yes, you do. Come along, my girl, we must leave this place. This boy wants to hurt us and take you from me. I need you. Don’t let him take you from me.”

Bella whimpers and looks back to me.

“Bella,” I call out to her. “Do you remember the meadow? Our meadow… with the flowers and the waterfall? Do you remember that, Bella?”

Her feet stop short and she pivots on her dirty toes. “Meadow?” A flash of recognition behind the garnet-rimmed onyx eyes.

“Do not listen to him, Isabella. He wants to hurt you, to hurt us!” James yells again, but I can hear the panic in his voice.

Ignoring him I continue, “Yes, we have a meadow. Yours and mine. And Charlie. Do you remember your dad, Charlie?” Her body turns toward mine and I can feel the pull to her increasing. Her eyes search mine as I continue, “He misses you so much. We all miss you, Bella.” I take a step closer to her and notice James does too.

“Isabella, you are mine. I don’t want you to end up like Victoria. You must stay with me. You are mine.” His shaky voice betrays him, showing his panic rising.

I continue on, steady-voiced. “Do you remember your dad? Or your mom, Renee? They both miss you and have been looking for you for so long, Bella.” She continues to look between us, each sentence I say, I cautiously take a step closer, as does James. Soon we’re standing on either side of Bella. Her head bouncing back and forth between us - her eyes wild and frightened.

“Ignore him, Isabella, he lies. He wants to take you. To hurt you. Do not believe him. Don’t let his lies take you away from your maker. Feel our connection. You are mine, Isabella, I made you. You will always be mine.” If I didn’t despise James with every ounce of myself, I might feel sorry for how pathetic he sounds, scrabbling for her attentions.

Her ear is just before me and I whisper to her, “You are my life, Bella.”

“She is not!” James growls loudly causing Bella to drop to her knees and grab her head. I take this opportunity to lunge at him as he looks down. Crashing my body into his, I nearly trip over Bella. Pulling him down with me, I try to figure out his next move, but he flips us quickly. In a blur of movements I try to gain the upper hand. I cannot hear his thoughts, but I’m faster than he is so I react well to each of his moves. I hear Bella cry out and I turn toward her, James takes advantage and crushes my body against a large tree, part of the tree giving way under the pressure. “You will not take her from me!”

My view of Bella is blocked and James crushing my throat, pushing me by my head and neck through the tree. He reaches to my arm and begins to tear, and I scream from the pain.

Suddenly, his thoughts are clear, like a curtain being pulled up to reveal him and I see he’s trying to use leverage to rip me apart. I manage to move my other arm, gripping him under his ribs to throw him off of me. Every time he grabs me I’m able to pull him down and gain the upper hand, seeing each move he makes before he actually makes it. He is becoming frantic because of his frustrations and begins lashing out even more in his panic. He manages to gain ground on me and throws me over him, slamming head first into the trunk of a large tree. He’s on me quickly, kicking me repeatedly.

I find myself pinned against the ground; he has me trapped with his hand on my neck. His mind flashes quickly to his time with Bella, how soft she is, how beautiful he thinks her hair is, the way she tasted. This last thought sears through me like a bolt of lightning burning everything in its path. I cannot control myself, my body is vibrating with rage. Using this fury, I launch him off and over my head into the same tree I hit, only this time it gives way, toppling with him as he goes over.

Quickly, I have him stuck against a large mound of rocks just beyond the trees, I slam him against them repeatedly until he’s rendered powerless and incapacitated. I make haste ripping him apart, throwing the pieces on top of his mate’s. Part of me is relishing in the fact that I’ve destroyed James. I set their pieces aflame to get rid of them. I turn to get the boy, Riley; to throw his body into the raging flames, but his body is gone. I quickly move around the small clearing of broken trees but his body is gone. So is Bella.

My mind locks down, paralyzing me with fear. Bella is gone. She’s run away from me again. She's nowhere to be seen, however after running for several yards, I'm able to pick up her scent through the brush and crawl up the rocks. She’s managed to climb upward and is huddling against a rock cutout. She’s shaking, folded in on herself with her knees pulled into her chest, her forehead on her knees. I notice the boy’s body is lying prone beside her, a few more bites along his arms. She must have tried to feed from him, but he had venom pulsing through him until his neck was broken. She tried to drink from him as he was changing. I don’t know if it can hurt her. Please, God, don't let the venom hurt her. Vampires can't drink from each other, the skin impenetrable, but his hadn't completed the change, so I don't know. I need Carlisle.

“Bella?” I say as softly as I can.

Growling is her only response as she moves in the blink of an eye into the attack position. “Shh… I won’t hurt you. I swear it.”

“You- you killed him. My James.” Her whispered, pained words are like knife cutting at the edges of my already shattered heart.

“I had to, Bella. He was going to kill me and take you away.” Her growling increases with my words. I need to calm her, but I’m not sure what I can do.

“You want to hurt me. James said you wanted to hurt us, him. You did. You hurt him. Now you’ll hurt me.” Her hands are gripped tightly around her middle even though she’s still trying to look menacing. I know she could injure me if she attacked.

“No, Bella.” I raise my hands showing her I mean no harm. “No, I will not hurt you. I will never hurt you. I’m here for you.”

“Liar!” Her back is pressed against the rocks, her eyes shifting around, looking for her escape.
“You took my mate. You killed him and he killed Victoria. I have no one!”

“He was not your mate. Me. I- I am yours. Yours. Your mate. Me, Bella. Not him. Me.” She has to see. She has to feel this between us. It is more than her bloodlust and newborn confusion, it has to be.

“James. James is my maker. He made me. He said you abandoned me and didn’t- you didn’t want me.” Her confusion is palpable. I may not be able to read her thoughts, but I can read her emotions and she’s breaking down. My panic is rising, I feel like I’m lost. I hear noises inside my head, but I know I can’t hear Bella.

“That’s a lie. I will always want you. I never left you. I will never leave you, Bella.” I feel a sense of calm start to wash over me as a distracting voice resounds in my head, “I’m coming. We’re almost there. Hang on.” And I feel like my mind is fracturing along with my heart. My family couldn’t possibly be with me. I must be going insane.

“You don’t look like me. Your eyes are- they’re gold,” she stated, her small voice shaking me from my confusion. Her mind must be flipping through hundreds of pieces of information.

Needing to keep her mind with me, I decide to keep her talking. “Yes, I have gold eyes. You can, too. Do you want gold eyes?”

“They’re pretty. I know your eyes. But they aren’t like mine. Like James and Victoria. You aren’t like me.”

I shake my head slightly trying to quiet the voice and the noises around me. I need to focus on Bella. “No. I’m not. But I am yours, Bella. I will always be yours.”

“Mine?” Her body relaxes. She seems to be calming.

“Yours. I swear it. Please, let me help you.” I hedge closer to her so I am nearly touching her.

“My throat hurts. He didn’t taste good. It made me sick.” Her eyes flicker to the boy’s body then back to mine.

“I know, love. He had venom in him, you can’t drink venom. I know you don’t feel good, but we can fix it.”

“I can hunt?”

I shake my head. “No, no hunting right now.”

“Need to drink.” Her hands clench again around her middle, her back flush to the rocks. “It hurts.”

“I’ll help you. We’ll find something for you to drink.”

“Your voice. I know your voice.” Her eyes locked to mine. She remembers something.
She lowers her head again and sinks to the ground. Her body is still shaking. I need to think of something. I need to soothe her. Then it hits me. Her lullaby. I begin to hum and her body relaxes more. With every bar, the muscles and tendons unwrap and ease.

Soon she’s lulled into an almost catatonic state. This is the most still I’ve seen her in weeks. Maybe the newborn urges are waning. Even as I’m touching her now, she’s not rejecting me. I rub my hands along her shins as I kneel in front of her; the feel of her is different yet it's exactly the same.

“I love you,” I whisper. “Please, Bella. Please, let me take you home.”

“Home?” She says, barely lifting her head.

“Yes, sweetheart. Home.” She puts her head back on her knees.

Taking a chance, I move quickly without a sound to pick her up, but she startles and begins to fight me.

“Stop, stop. Bella, stop. I’m trying to help you.” Reasoning with a newborn isn’t my brightest idea. Soon she’s wrenched herself away from me and running. She’s fast. Her energy is immense, but she’s thirsty. Everything, all the scents and sounds around her, distract her quickly. I tackle her, pinning her to the ground, but then she flips us easily. She’s so angry with me for stopping her. I let her up and ask her again to let me take her home, but then I smell it. She does too. We have come across the scent of a large bear and I think of an idea to help her. Running as fast as I can, her following closely with curiosity, I take the bear down, ripping it’s throat open with my teeth. Almost instantly I see Bella revert to the hunter within her. She’s coiled and ready to spring, the seeping blood calling to her lust.

“Mine!” She growls out before she’s up and running toward me. The territorial newborn in her is ready to fight me for the kill, but the smell of fresh blood is too much for her and she is soon sinking her teeth into its fur and flesh. The animal’s growls are merely gurgles as she drains him with ease. I don’t even have the time to become thirsty she drinks so quickly. She rolls the bear off of her, her t-shirt stained, her hair in tangles around her face, matted with dirt and dried blood. Even with blood dripping from her mouth, she’s beautiful. She’s glaring at me as though I’ve tried to hurt her, but I guess in her newborn mind, I have - I've tried to take away her meal, and I've tried to take her somewhere without her permission.

“Bella?” I hedge.

With her voice a shaky whisper she asks, “Why do you follow me?”

“I love you. I will always follow you.”

"Edward!" As I turn toward my sister’s voice I hear Bella whimper. She’s gripping her head. If I didn’t know better, I would think she was getting a migraine. I don’t remember much from my newborn time, but I don’t remember headaches. Looking again to my sister, I’m not surprised to see her, or Jasper. She wouldn’t be Alice if she didn’t come to help me before I even had a chance to ask.

Suddenly Bella collapses.

“Bella!” I pull her up against my chest and carry her off the rocks. “Alice! Help me!” I call out as I see Alice and Jasper move into view from the trees.

“Bella!” I hear them both call out as they reach me in seconds. “What’s happened?” Alice asks as Jasper tries to calm us all. I can feel the peace licking at the jagged, frayed ends of my psyche, but I’m beyond his reach right now.

“She drank from a boy Victoria tried to change, she drank blood with venom!” I can’t help but yell, my mind seizing up with the possibilities of what could be happening to her.

Jasper’s calm voice permeates my panic, “We need to get her to Carlisle.”

Alice yells, “Oh God, Edward. Run!” And we all take off in the same direction. I only hope we can help her… that we aren’t out of time.

I look down to Bella, limp in my arms, almost as she was when she was human, when she was my Bella.

As fast as I can possibly move, I run. I run toward the only person I know who can help me with Bella.

E/N- I know. I suck. But in a good way right?

So, she’s with Edward… but is she still Bella? What do you think? I’d really like to know what you think!

Thank you to my girls- Edward’s Eternal, Sunshinegal3, and 22blue- for putting up with my neurosis, freak-outs, and IM conversations debating canon details like permeable skin and how to break a tree with a vampire. Y’all complete me!

A shout out to the Krisbians- sunshinegal3, parismylove, hockey_chick10, lyricalkris, kellyprovence, theswandive, & donnersun. You guys make my heart happy.

I’ve been tumbling lots of teasers and naughty (@ theraingirl4) if you’d like to join in. It’s mostly NSFW, if you appear under 18 I won’t let you follow me, jussayin.

Recs- If you aren’t reading something by these people, hop to it: sadtomato, JadaLulu, Savage7289, erinbatt, lyricalkris, phoebes.promise, littlecat358, skeezon, 22blue, oh! and check out the vampslash contest! Follow them on twitter @ vampslash!

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!


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