Edward is planning to take Bella into hiding to escape James, but there is a horrifying surprise waiting for him when he arrives in Phoenix. Now he has to make a choice to save Bella’s life. (ie Part of Twilight written from Edward’s perspective)
We were flying at over five hundred miles per hour and yet it didn't seem fast enough. Running gave the feeling that we were doing something; sitting on a plane felt like doing nothing. Carlisle looked over at my still, tense posture. Relax Edward. Everything will be fine. We will be there soon.
Somewhere deep inside I knew he was right. However, until I was with Bella again, and could see with my own eyes that she was safe, nothing felt fine. I tilted my head the slightest bit to acknowledge Carlisle’s thoughts.
Perhaps you should act as if you are sleeping – you are not a convincing human when you sit so still and aren’t blinking.
Pretending to be human right now seemed pointless, but I took Carlisle’s advice and closed my eyes. Why pretend to be human when I so clearly wasn’t? How much longer would I keep putting Bella in danger?
Across the aisle, Emmett was nearly bouncing in his seat with excitement. The two vacant seats surrounding him shook slightly as he visualized meeting the tracker and the fight that would ensue. Yes, that was something I could focus my thoughts on. The tracker would catch up to us eventually and as soon as he was close enough, we’d attack. Three on one wouldn’t be much of a match; even if the female came with him, we’d still have the advantage. However, in my head, it was just the tracker and me. I knew Emmett wanted his chance, so if the female is there, he can take her himself; but James is mine. I will tear him to pieces myself. The thought of it brought the closest thing to a smile on my face since Sunday afternoon.
A hand firmly gripped my arm, increasing in pressure and breaking me out of my fantasies. I looked down. My right hand clenched around the hand rest between Carlisle and me, twisting and mangling the metal.
Edward! Carlisle sounded anxious. I saw my own face in his mind; it wasn’t a smile on my face, it was a snarl. My face twisted with fury, looking like the monster that I had buried deep inside me. You’re growling. Relax. Don’t make a scene here. That will not help anything.
He was right of course. I took a deep breath and worked to relax my face while smoothing out the indentations my fingers left in the hand rest. It was beyond repair but at least I could remove the incriminating evidence. “Sorry.”
He nodded. “We’ll be landing shortly.”
I could already feel the subtle changes in speed and pressure. Not long now, and Bella and I would be together again. I would not let her out of my arms until this was over. I hadn’t gone this long without seeing Bella since that first week, when I ran away to Alaska. The longing I felt for her was becoming unbearable and I was grateful that it would end soon.
Even before I exited the plane, I began listening for Alice. EDWARD! Her mental yell for me cut through all the other noise instantly.
“Bella!” I called, dodging around the other humans as I hurried to where I heard Alice. Then I saw them, running towards me, and –
For a moment, I froze and my whole body went rigid. The world seemed to stop still as I stared in fear. Something was terribly wrong. Alice and Jasper were alone; Bella was not with them.
“Where is she?” I demanded. I saw my own horrified face in Alice’s thoughts.
“58th and Cactus, a ballet studio. She’s with him.” I saw a flash of the vision: Bella and the tracker, alone, staring each other down.
No, no, no, this could not be happening! How could this happen? I barely heard Alice’s mental apology and Carlisle’s instructions to my brothers; I was already running.
Emmett and Jasper caught up to me, each grabbing one of my arms and forcing me to slow down to barely faster than human speed. I felt my panic reduce immediately and glared at Jasper. We need you calm and focused, Edward.
“Carlisle needs to get his bag,” Emmett explained calmly. “We’ll meet him and Alice out front with the car.”
“No!” Jasper’s control was holding back the rage and terror, but only just barely. “There’s no time. We get our own car.”
My brothers looked at each other and nodded. They knew anything else would start a fight. I scanned the airport map as we walked by – there was a covered walkway to the parking garage one level down. Emmett darted into a shop and grabbed a map of the area, but Jasper refused to let go of me. He whipped out his cell phone with his other hand and updated Carlisle on our new plan.
As soon as I entered the garage, I started searching for a fast car, preferably one with tinted windows. At the end of the first row, an Audi A6 caught my eye. It was the best I could hope for given the circumstances.
Jasper sat behind me, his hand on my shoulder, continuing to control me. Physical contact wasn’t necessary, of course, but it helped strengthen his effect. As much as I hated to admit it, I knew I needed his control. Emmett was already reciting the fastest route to our destination as we sped onto the highway.
Every minute spent driving felt like an eternity. My hands trembled on the steering wheel while I thought about what I might find when I finally got there. What if I was too late? Alice’s vision of Bella’s broken, drained, lifeless body flashed in my mind. No, I couldn’t let that happen. But what if it already has? How could I continue in this world without Bella? I struggled with that question since the day I realized I loved her and couldn’t live without her; I’d just always assumed I’d have at least sixty years to come up with an answer.
I already knew I couldn’t live without her, so there was my answer: if she were no longer in this world, neither I wouldn’t be either. That was the easy part. The difficulty lay in actually accomplishing the suicide. I knew the attempts Carlisle made, all in vain of course. There were the Quileutes – I could break the treaty and force their hand. Would they attack the rest of my family as well? Or drive them out of Forks? No, I would not put my family in danger. This was my problem and my problem alone.
I would need another vampire to do it for me. Emmett was always up for a fight but even if I didn’t fight back and let him overpower me, he’d never destroy me. Jasper wouldn’t help either; I knew how he felt about his past, and that was with vampires to whom he had no emotional tie. Would Carlisle’s compassion convince him to end my suffering? No, he would try to convince me of other ways to ease my pain. No one in my family would help me – that was clear. I was doubtful anyone from the Denali clan would agree either. I would need to find some other vampire, an unknown vampire. The tracker, of course, would be the obvious choice, but I would not let him continue to exist. That would be my final act in this world. So who then?
Then the answer came so quickly, and was so obvious, I nearly laughed at myself for not thinking of it right away. The Volturi. They would not hesitate to destroy a vampire who broke the rules.
We turned the final corner then, and I saw the ballet studio one block away. I scanned the area quickly, but no nearby thoughts focused on the building entrance so we almost certainly wouldn’t have any witnesses. Then I caught the tracker’s voice – he was thirsty.
It was mid-morning in bright sunny Arizona; there really was no other choice than to run into the cover of the building – moving faster than human eyes could follow was safer than exposing our glittering skin.
By the time I heard the metal of the car door crunch from my excessive force, I was in the building, leaving the front door off the top hinges. I held my breath as I ran through the lobby and into the west room. I could hear Bella scream, and although the sound will haunt me for the rest of eternity, there was relief too – she was alive.
And then I saw her lying on the ground, her body covered in blood. Her face was ashen, eyes closed, and she was no longer screaming. The tracker was standing over her, so intent on her flowing blood that he didn’t hear my entrance.
For a moment, my knees buckled at the sight of Bella’s broken body. Then my whole body shook as a boiling rage, a hundred times stronger than I ever could have imagined, rose within me. The monster, silenced by my love for Bella, suddenly awoke and overtook me. The moment I’d been waiting for was here: the tracker and I, face to face. Destroying him was the only thing that mattered in this moment.
My fierce growl distracted the tracker. He looked up at me in surprise, just as I slammed into him. The force of my attack threw us into the opposite wall, shattering the mirrors that lined it.
The tracker’s answering growls sounded like a kitten’s meows in comparison to the feral sounds rumbling from my own chest. With his foot to my chest, he shoved me off him, hurling me across the room. Rolling deftly to my feet, I launched myself at him again, aiming to rip off his arm, but something stopped me when he was just inches out of my reach.
“Edward!” The voice was familiar, but destroying the vampire in front of me was the only thing on my mind. It took several seconds for my mind to clear.
The tracker struggled against Emmett’s iron hold, growling and stretching to reach me. Jasper was holding me back. Didn’t you hear us?
Emmett and Jasper? I’d forgotten they were here, too. James’ struggles faded and I felt my own fury waver. But, even with his arms around me, Jasper’s control wasn’t strong enough to overrule my emotions completely.
Edward, the blood. We have to leave. Jasper thought urgently. Their eyes were flat black even as they held their breath.
We’ll take care of him. You need to help Bella now. Emmett added.
Although my primal rage was gradually diminishing under Jasper’s influence, my defensive instincts continued to rule over me. I growled at him – my own brother – as I strained against his arms to break free. Slowly, their thoughts reached through to my consciousness. Bella. Her safety was what mattered most to me. I hated to do it, to release the bloodlust and watch Jasper and Emmett drag the tracker away, but it would be impossible to protect Bella from three thirsty vampires on my own.
I ran to her side and knelt next to her. Looking at her face, her blood-soaked shirt, her leg twisted at a sickening angle, I felt nothing of the monster that consumed me a moment ago. Anguish overtook me as I realized I might have been too late.
"Oh no, Bella, no!" I cried as I cradled her face in my hands. Jasper and Emmett tore James apart in the other room; I was thankful Bella didn’t have to watch that. I hoped she wasn’t able to hear the high-pitched screeching. How horrifying that would be to her!
I pleaded with Bella to stay with me. Suddenly, I heard another car outside and I felt the first ray of hope. Carlisle was here.
"Carlisle!" I called frantically, as I stared at Bella’s closed eyes, willing them to open. I was losing her; her breathing was faint and irregular. "Bella, Bella, no, oh please, no, no!"
And then he was there, one hand on my shoulder as he knelt at Bella’s head. We’ll save her, Edward.
Alice sat on Bella’s other side and held her hand. Gently Carlisle probed Bella’s skull, evaluating the damage as only his experienced fingers could. At that moment, Bella gasped and her body lurched forward in a spasm of pain as her breathing strengthened.
"Bella!" Relief washed over me.
"She's lost some blood, but the head wound isn't deep. Watch out for her leg, it's broken."
Damn James, damn him to hell! Anger flowed through me again for one moment as I wished I could have been the one to destroy him. Bella cried out when Carlisle touched her side.
"Some ribs, too, I think," he continued.
Bella’s cries of pain would haunt me forever, and yet I was full of joy at hearing any sign of life from her. She tried to speak then, my name perhaps.
"Bella, you're going to be fine,” I reassured her. “Can you hear me, Bella? I love you."
"Edward," she said weakly.
"Yes, I'm here." My voice was steady and calm, exactly the opposite of how I felt. I lightly brushed my fingers across her pale cheek.
"It hurts,” she whimpered.
"I know, Bella, I know." I’d never be able to tell her just how sorry I was, just how much I couldn’t bear her pain. I turned to Carlisle, pleading. "Can't you do anything?"
"My bag, please… Hold your breath, Alice, it will help," Carlisle suggested calmly as Alice handed him the black medical bag.
"Alice?" Bella’s voice cracked.
"She's here. She knew where to find you."
"My hand hurts.”[MSOffice1] Her voice was rough and her words were so slurred I almost couldn’t make out the words. Oh God, please, no. Stay with me, Bella.
"I know, Bella. Carlisle will give you something, it will stop."
"My hand is burning!" she screamed suddenly, her eyes finally opening. However, they were wide with pain and unfocused.
"Bella?" The fear in me doubled; something about her expression was wrong.
"The fire! Someone stop the fire!" she continued screaming.
I turned over her hand and horror washed through me. Blood was oozing from a crescent-shaped slash. "Carlisle! Her hand!"
"He bit her." Carlisle's voice was no longer calm; it was appalled.
I couldn’t breathe. Broken bones and a head wound were the least of Bella’s problems now. Even after all my efforts to save Bella, she was still going to be condemned to this half-life.
"Edward, you have to do it," Alice insisted, wiping away Bella’s tears. I saw the image in Alice’s head: Bella –pale-white, with red eyes. It’s already started, just let it finish.
"NO!" There had to be another way. I wouldn’t let that happen, Bella deserved to have her life.
"Alice," Bella moaned. Her entire body was in spasms from the pain.
"There may be a chance," Carlisle said slowly, hesitantly.
"What?" I grasped at any shred of hope that might save Bella’s life.
Carlisle began closing the wound on Bella’s head. "See if you can suck the venom back out. The wound is fairly clean."
"Will that work?" Alice was doubtful.
"I don't know," Carlisle admitted. "But we have to hurry."
"Carlisle, I…I don't know if I can do that." I was ashamed to say it, but I knew that if I tasted her blood I wouldn’t be able to stop drinking it.
"It's your decision, Edward. Either way, I can't help you. I have to get this bleeding stopped here if you're going to be taking blood from her hand."
"Edward!" Bella screamed, and her eyes finally focused on my face.
If I tried and failed – as I surely would – she would die. If I let her change, we would be together forever, and I’d no longer have to fear killing her. An endless future stretched in front of me, with Bella at my side always. It was an irresistible fantasy, but Bella’s screams brought me back to reality. She was in excruciating pain, and I had the chance to make it stop and save her life.
"Alice, get me something to brace her leg!" Carlisle was urgent as he continued to work on Bella’s head wound. "Edward, you must do it now, or it will be too late."
I stared into Bella’s eyes, trying to decide if the risk was worth it. As always, the world surrounding us disappeared, and it was just the two of us. Staring into her eyes was like looking into her very soul, and suddenly I knew what I had to do. My eternal happiness was not worthy of the cost: her soul. I would remove the venom from her blood and I would stop. I would not kill her; I was resolved. I held her bleeding hand securely, keeping it still against the violent spasms, and covered her wound with my mouth.
Her hot blood flowed easily into my mouth. The dry burn I endured in my throat every minute I spent with Bella was soothed immediately. But the taste…oh, the taste. It was exquisite, better than I could have imagined. Her scent, once so potent to me, paled in comparison. My eyes rolled back and closed in pure ecstasy; I couldn’t deny that I was enjoying Bella’s blood and that my vampire instincts were re-surfacing. I never wanted the flow of her blood down my throat to end; she was just a human, my prey. I would drain every last drop of blood from her body, and with it take her life. Just another weak animal overpowered by a stronger predator.
More! I needed more! My fingers tightened convulsively around her wrist as I sucked harder, eager to have my fill of the sweet blood.
And yet…yet, a small part of me that knew this was wrong.
I struggled to open my eyes again, finding her eyes and locking in on them. Her spasms slowly calmed, until she was almost still. In her eyes, I found the truth. Bella wasn’t my prey, she was my every reason for existing in this world; I loved her with every fiber of my being.
And I was going to kill her.
I’d come full circle to the first day I smelled her – Alice’s vision was correct all along. I was going to kill her myself. I knew the moment I drained the last of the venom from her blood, but I couldn’t stop. I’m so sorry, Bella. I love you, but it just isn’t enough. I can’t fight the monster in me.
“Edward,” she whispered, almost inaudible.
From the very first time that I’d heard Bella say my name, my body reacted in ways I didn’t understand. This time was no exception. Somehow, I found strength within me that I didn’t even know existed. A shudder flowed down the length of my body, silencing the monster as it passed. Enough. Save her life. The words rang as clear as if someone spoke them aloud. I pulled my lips away, loosening my grip on her delicate wrist. Just to be sure, I swiftly pushed myself back, putting two feet between us.
“He’s right here, Bella,” Carlisle assured her.
"Stay, Edward, stay with me…"
"I will." I was trembling, recovering from a feeling so intense that it was beyond words, but I felt victorious at the same time. Bella sighed and her eyelids fluttered closed.
"Is it all out?" Carlisle asked, looking at me with a peculiar expression.
"Her blood tastes clean. I can taste the morphine."
You are quite amazing, you know. I realized then his expression was a mixture of pride and awe. It was more than I deserved – he didn’t know how close it was.
"Bella?" Carlisle turned back to her.
She tried to open her eyes again, but couldn’t. "Mmmmm?"
"Is the fire gone?"
"Yes," she sighed. "Thank you, Edward."
"I love you," I replied. The words seemed too simple for this moment. Certainly, whatever it was between us was more than merely love.
"I know," she whispered.
I laughed then, surprised that I was even able to, as the relief flooded my body. Bella was alive, her soul intact.
"Bella?" Carlisle asked again.
"What?" She frowned.
"Where is your mother?"
"In Florida.” She turned her head slightly towards me. “He tricked me, Edward. He watched our videos." Her voice was so weak but the anger there was unmistakable.
"Alice." Bella’s eyes fluttered again – opening briefly. "Alice, the video — he knew you, Alice, he knew where you came from…I smell gasoline," she added, with a note of surprise.
"It's time to move her," Carlisle said calmly, nodding towards Emmet and Jasper standing in the doorway. Emmett had a lighter in his hand, waiting until Bella was safely out of the building.
"No, I want to sleep," Bella protested weakly. Her head moved a fraction of an inch to the side. The effort it took for her to shake her head exhausted her even further.
"You can sleep, sweetheart, I'll carry you,” I promised, stroking her cheek.
Gently I lifted her from the floor, holding her as close to me as possible, cradling her head against my shoulder. I remembered another time I carried her, just two weeks ago and yet it seemed like a different lifetime. I had held her as far from my body as possible and tried not to touch her skin. So much had changed since then. I leaned my head against hers and kissed her forehead.
"Sleep now, Bella," I whispered.