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Love Is Watching Someone Die - Chapter 9
by Lauren (unicornhime)
at August 25th, 2008 (12:44 pm)

Title: Love is Watching Someone Die
Chapter 9: Another Visitor
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 2,462
Notes: I'm so sorry for the delay! It took a little while to recover from Breaking Dawn, and then my beta went on vacation, and then I went on vacation. And then I thought I posted last night, but it was to the wrong place. T_T firstillusion is still away, but I didn't want to make you guys wait any longer. So thanks to vanishdtwilight for her input on this one. I have mixed emotions about how this turned out, but I hope you enjoy it.


Edward POV

I was still pacing anxiously in my room when I heard her return. James quickly and smoothly apologized for his behavior, and Bella quickly and quietly forgave him.

“You couldn’t have known,” her soft voice pricked my ears. Would she be so forgiving to me?

“All the same, I wish there was something I could do to make it up to you.” His voice was car salesman slick and I didn’t trust it, but his thoughts did nothing to betray him.

“Really, it’s alright,” she insisted, sounding weary of the subject.

Just as I was about to rush to her side to shield her from him – in a more gentle fashion – a stench suddenly assaulted my senses and a conscience prodded my attention.

Wolf.

If it wasn’t one thing it was another, wasn’t it?

I was down the stair in a flash, my attention on Carlisle and carefully not looking at Bella. I didn’t want to push her away and I didn’t know how to keep her close without hurting her. So I shoved that problem aside for later consideration.

“I smell it, too,” Carlisle said warily. “Who is it?”

“I don’t know his name. Someone from La Push.”

“There’s only the one,” he murmured. “It must be Sam.”

My family tensed, and out of the corned of my eye, I watched Bella as her eyes widened in recognition and alarm. The nomads looked angry; no doubt they recognized the scent.

“What’s going on?” Victoria demanded in her high voice. The others looked just as curious, though remained slightly more polite about it.

“There’s a reservation nearby, and a member of the tribe carries the werewolf gene. We had a treaty with the tribal elders to coexist peacefully, but,” Carlisle hesitated, “recent events have nullified that treaty. It appears that Sam has discovered that breach.”

Bella froze, instantly understanding Carlisle was referring to her change. I wanted to go to her, comfort her somehow. But I didn’t know how. So I stayed frozen in my position at the bottom of the stairs.

“You had a treaty with those monsters?” Victoria demanded. She clearly had experience. Images of her and James fighting a great beast of a wolf in swirling snow and ice flitted across her memory. James, too, was remembering the same event, though his thoughts were a bit more…painful somehow.

“They aren’t quite the same as any werewolves you may have encounters,” Carlisle explained patiently, but quickly – Sam was fast approaching. “They are not ruled by the moon, and are quite capable of seeing reason.”

Damn bloodsuckers. I knew they couldn’t be trusted. Let’s see if they’re as tough as legend makes them out to be.

“We’re about to see how ‘reasonable’ they can be,” I muttered darkly, frustration worsening my mood. “The wolf’s in the yard. He won’t come in. And he’s not happy.”

“I’ll try to talk to him, explain the circumstances,” Carlisle sighed.

“You’re not going out there alone!” Emmett protested, jumping up from the couch, eager for a fight. “I’m going with you.”

Rosalie hissed angrily. The rest of my family had similar reactions, unwilling to put anyone in danger. Jasper struggled to keep his anger in check, concentrating his strength on keeping everyone else calm. Bella remained stock still.

“Emmett, there are seven of us. Eight with Bella, and eleven with our guests, should they join us.” Carlisle nodded to them. “Sam is intelligent. He’s not going to attack with the odds so high against him.”

The one called Laurent spoke up, reluctant. “I hate to leave you at such an inopportune moment, but I would rather not involve myself in such affairs. I mean no offense, but I must go. Your life intrigues me, though, are there others like yourself?”

“North, in Denali, Alaska, there is a family similar to ours,” Esme answered. “They would be glad to meet you.”

“And we take no offense,” Carlisle added, “Please continue on your way in peace.” He looked to the other two. “You are also welcome to leave at any time.”

Victoria looked like she’d rather the wolf was dead before she stepped foot outside this house, her murderous thoughts echoing that sentiment, but James was curious. “I’d rather see how this turns out,” he said pleasantly. “In thanks for your hospitality, I offer my assistance.” He face was smooth and composed, but his thoughts spun rapidly, playing old memories and wishing for another shot at a wolf.

But Carlisle was firm in his decision. “I will go out alone. If we all go, we will overwhelm him, making it all the less likely that he will cooperate.” He glanced at Laurent, who was standing anxiously by the back door. “His anger is with us, if you leave now, I do not think he would give chase.”

“I wish you well, then. I’m sure our paths will cross again.” And with that parting remark, he slipped out the door and disappeared into the forest without a backwards glance.

My family grumbled their acceptance at Carlisle’s decision to face the dog alone, but Bella spoke up for the first time. “Should I come with you? It is about me, after all.” She sounded so small, so frail. I didn’t look at her.

Carlisle thought it over quickly and I hissed at the idea of Bella out there with that mongrel. Carlisle heard me, of course, ‘Edward, it makes sense. She may help to persuade him that we speak the truth.’

I frowned, letting him know in no uncertain terms that I did not like it.

“That might be wise,” he said aloud. “But stay back. And Edward, you’ll need to come, too. I doubt he will want to be in his human form and I’ll need you to translate.”

I saw Bella flinch, but still couldn’t bring myself to face her.

I know you know I’m out here! Come and face me!

“He’s getting impatient,” I informed Carlisle.

He set his mouth in a firm line and led the way to the front door. I felt Bella at my side but still couldn’t bear to see the heartache on her face and continued to stare straight ahead. If only I could just hear what she was thinking! I felt crippled, not knowing how to act or what to say.

Carlisle opened the door with one confident motion and stepped outside to face the wolf pacing across our front lawn.

Finally.

“Sam,” Carlisle began in a smooth voice, his hands raised in the universal signal for peace. “We know why you’ve come. But please let us explain ourselves.”

There can be no explanation. He sneered, watching me with dark eyes. Bella was half hidden behind my body and my father’s. Sam hadn’t noticed her yet. You killed an innocent girl.

I relayed his message and felt Bella flinch again at my emotionless translation. I fought to keep my own feelings out of Sam’s words. It was… difficult. He spoke the truth. I deserved whatever punishment he demanded of me. For taking Bella’s life, I deserved to pay with my own.

“Sam, she would have died. She was attacked in Port Angeles. There was nothing we could have done otherwise. Would you have rather we left her alone to die in an abandoned alleyway?” His voice was still calm and collected.

Yes! Anything would have been better than what she is now!

I gritted my teeth and relayed the message again. It took all my control to not attack him right there.

I heard Bella inhale sharply and suddenly step forward confidently. Sam visibly recoiled at the sight of her, but she spoke before he could do anything.

“Sam, isn’t it? Sam, please listen to me,” she pleaded. “I’m glad I’m not dead. I suppose you don’t really see this,” she gestured at her new body, “as any different from death, but it is. It is so much better. I was able to say goodbye to my father. I’m still here, still me. I would take this over a traditional death a thousand times over.”

A low growl rumbled in Sam’s throat, distracting me from her answer. His muscled bunched as if preparing to spring. I fell back in a defensive position, ready to strike if he so much as breathed incorrectly.

Lies, he thought, his eyes rapidly flickering between hers, mine, and Carlisle’s.

She is like them. She is an abomination. She must be destroyed.

He lunged forward without a sound, and I sprang at him with a roar of fury, our bodies colliding with a resounding crash.

A distant part of my mind registered Bella crying out, but I was focused on the dog attempting to rip out my throat.

His mind was furious, screaming obscenities at me as I blocked his every attempt to reach Bella. He couldn’t touch me – I was too fast and always one step ahead - but he couldn’t get around me either.

Let me at her!

“You’ll never touch her,” I hissed.

But Bella had other plans. When she saw he and I quite willing to kill each other, she jumped forward, too far from Carlisle and too fast for him to stop her.

She moved faster than she had in the forest, faster than I’d ever seen her, and a feral growl escaped her lips. She was angry.

“Leave him alone!” She shot towards him, eyes glowing a vicious red and arms outstretched as if she were going to pull him apart. Instinctively, I moved to cover her, to place myself between her and the threat, this time not handling her so roughly. I didn’t even touch her as I flung Sam across the clearing. But Carlisle had had enough.

“Stop this foolishness at once!” He shouted. Everyone froze. “This will get us no where. Sam, we want to settle this peacefully. Come back when you are willing to talk. For now, nothing good can come of your being here.”

Sam didn’t move, and neither did Bella or I.

“Sam.” Carlisle was firm and commanding. “Go home. You know you cannot win here now. Go home.”

There was another tense moment while Sam mulled over his options. I took the brief moment to glance at Bella; she was just behind me, staring at me intently, as if trying to read my mind, her bright eyes boring into my own. I could not fathom what she was thinking. My own mind was numb with shock.

Sam did not relax, but he dropped his hostile stance, slowly backing away, drawing my attention back to him. Bella would have to wait. Sam’s movement indication that he still didn’t trust us one bit, not even enough to turn his back to us.

Only because there are more of you.

With one last snarl, he slunk away.

Only after he was gone did the weight of Bella’s actions finally hit me. I turned to fully face her, “What were you thinking? You were supposed to stay out of harm’s way! There is nothing worse than an angry, volatile, immature dog.” I practically spat the last word and she flinched away from me.

It was the motion that caught my attention and my cold heart sunk in my hollow chest.

I had done it again, hadn’t I? She was staring at me with wide eyes. But my temper was flaring, obscuring reason; didn’t she realize how dangerous the situation had been? How easily she could have been hurt?

“Edward,” Carlisle said sharply, trying to catch my attention. ‘Perhaps you should go cool off for a while.’

Cool off. Yes.

I looked at Bella with a pained expression, whispered, “I’m sorry,” and turned on my heel and ran.

The normally comforting rush of the wind had nothing to offer me now. There was no thrill as I raced away, my thoughts too tangled and snarled to even notice the feel of my muscles stretching and coiling, the power of this cursed body completely lost on me.

Why could I do no right with her? I replayed everything in my mind, scrutinizing my actions. I had been doing alright until she threw herself in harm’s way. But then I remembered what she had said as she had done so.

Leave him alone. Him. Not me, or us, but him. She was specifically warning the mutt to stay away from me. Why would she do that? I could take care of myself, he was not threat to me. Didn’t she understand that? Surely she knew how I could read his every movement.

And then I had gone and yelled at her. I punched a pine tree as I ran past. It uprooted itself and toppled over, taking two others with it. My frustration was consuming me, I needed to take control of it.

But how? I needed to talk with her, that much was painfully clear. I couldn’t ignore her – I’d always known that, hadn’t I? I could still give her space and talk to her at the same time, couldn’t I?

I stopped in my tracks, staring endlessly at the shadows shifting around as my thoughts mirrored the way they danced.

I would explain why I’d gotten so angry. I would ask her what on earth she had been thinking, what had possessed her to throw herself into the fray like that. And then I could ask her what she wanted from me, how I should behave around her. I couldn’t risk scaring her off.

Would that be enough? Simply explaining? I thought back to the way she had so readily forgiven James, and it gave me hope. An explanation would have to be enough.

With newfound resolution, I headed home. I’d been gone for hours, and I approached the house, the sun was setting.

I had expected to find things somewhat calmer than when I had left, but I was mistaken.

“What’s going on?” I demanded as soon as I was inside. Everyone turned to stare at me anxiously, their thoughts jumbling together so that I could not make sense of them. Carlisle and Esme spoke in low tones from the dining room. Rosalie was looking anxiously out the back window, Emmet at her side, his expression mirroring hers. Alice was waiting for me at the bas of the stairs, Jasper with her, his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to relax her.

“One at a time, what’s happening?” I noticed the nomads were no longer with us. They must have left after the matter with Sam was over. All the better.

But Bella was gone, too.

“Where’s Bella?” I turned to Alice.

She looked back at me mournfully, wringing her hands, clearly wishing she had better news.

“Bella’s gone. She left with the nomads.”


Comments

Posted by: Cat (angelus_buff)
Posted at: August 25th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Twilight

YAY for an update! lol

Enjoyed the interaction between them and Sam, though I wanted to smack him for saying that Bella was better off dead than what she was. *rolls eyes*

And OMG Bella left with James and Victoria?! WTH?! LOL Didn't see that one coming. Can't wait to see what happens now; how Edward reacts to the news.

Still really enjoying this fic, you're doing a great job. :)

~Cat~

Posted by: Lauren (unicornhime)
Posted at: August 26th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC)

lol, I love that pretty much NO ONE expected this to happen. I've gotten so many reviews saying pretty much exactly what you did. It seriously makes me so happy. I love taking you all by surprise. *grin*

And thank you so much. <3

Posted by: alannalynn (alannalynn)
Posted at: August 31st, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
Join Sckathers

Yay! An update! Whoo hoo!! haha.

She left with James?!? OME! Grrr... Damn you James! :/

Great Chapter! Update soon!

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