Edward threw me against the cliff lightly, standing in front of me protectively.
Edward, whats happening, I demanded but got no answer.
I looked around. Seth was standing about twenty feet away, growling at some unseen person thing? hidden by the trees around us, his fur rippling down his back. Then, I saw something from between the trees: a flicker of billowing, red hair. Realization hit me squarely in the chest so hard that it knock the air from my lungs.
I had been right. It was Victoria. It had all been connected. The newborns, the vampire in my room, and, then, the last piece of the puzzle, Victoria. She was never going to stop trying to kill me. I understood that, of course. If someone had killed Edward I wouldve stopped at nothing for revenge.
Victoria walked into the opening, her hair billowing behind her like a blood red cloud. She was followed by another vampire, a male, young and blonde. Edward snarled from in front of me. I guessed he was searching Victorias and the blondes heads for anything that might help us get out of this, alive that is.
Victoria growled and her hand flicked almost unseen at Seth. I trembled. Seth was so young. If he got hurt trying to protect me I would never forgive my self. But before the blonde could move, Edward spoke.
Shes lying to you, Riley, he said in his velvety voice.
Dont listen to him, Riley, Victoria said in an outrageously high pitched and shrilly voice.
She doesnt love you, Edward told him. Shes been lying to you all along.
Riley, dont listen to him! Victoria shouted. Attack the dog!
Riley sprung forward, attacking Seth, and a small shriek escaped from my lips. But the only thing I could pay attention to was Edward. He appeared to be dancing with Victoria, and if someone didnt know any better they wouldve guessed they were. She kept darting back and forth, looking for holes in Edwards strategy in which she could attack
me. Edward was always one step ahead of her, though.
This dance seemed to last forever but, all of the sudden, Victoria stopped, her thin lips curving into an evil smile. A strange thought flashed through my head. In my opinion she was too cat like to be a vampire, not pretty enough. If it werent for the red eyes and the chalk pale skin, I couldve mistaken her for a human with a bad hair coloring.
Victoria continued to smile but her blood-thirsty eyes moved from me to Edward. Edward grew rigid and stiff.
Strange, my gift does not work on her, she cackled. But it does work on you. Now, kill the girl.
It sounded like she was talking to herself. And what kind of gift did she have? And was I the one it didnt work on? Her gift was like Edwards or Aros or Janes if it didnt work on me.
I was brought back from my thoughts by the sound of Seth being thrown against the cliff by Riley. I couldnt dwell on my worry for Seth for to long because Edward lunged at me pinning me against the wall.
Edward! I screeched. What are you doing?
Bella! Edward whispered, fear in his eyes. I cant stop. Shes making me do this. Bella, I cant stop myself.
What? I yelled.
Then, I realized. He was bending forward, his teeth bared, leaning towards my neck. He still had me pinned against the wall with such force that the rocks cut into my shoulders. She was controlling him. He was going to kill me, drain me of all my blood, because of her. His perfect, razor sharp teeth brushed my neck, not cutting through my skin, yet. A chill went down my back.
Stop! Victoria said forcefully. Edward grew still. Im going to be more gracious to you than you were to me. I will let you say goodbye. But dont let her move!
Edwards grip on my shoulder did not loosen but his teeth moved away from my neck. He moved his face so that he was looking into my eyes. His expression was so readable. He was scared. He knew he couldnt stop Victoria from making him kill me. And - worse yet - she was going to kill me through him.
Bella, he sobbed tearlessly. Im so, so, so sorry. I dont have control. I cant stop her.
Edward, dont! I bawled, and my words were filled with tears. They were rolling down my face in huge blobs. I dont blame you.
I will do everything in my power to kill her, Edward said, his voice breaking. And I will.
No, I ordered. Dont endanger yourself. I want you to keep on living.
I love you, Bella, he whispered, so sincere it broke my heart.
I love you too, Edward, I told him. No matter what, I will love you forever.
He leaned in, but not towards my neck this time. Towards my lips. He pressed his hard lips to mine and I felt tears pouring out of my eyes in buckets. When he pulled away, I would swear that I saw a single tear roll out of his. But how could that happen? Vampires couldnt cry.
Times up, Victoria sang, sounding joyous. Now, kill her.
Victoria laughed joyously as Edward bent forward toward my neck. His teeth pressed against my skin again and this time they broke through. I felt like screaming in pain as his venom started to sear through the wound.
Another random thought crossed my mind. I thought of how many times I had dreamt of the day when Edward finally bit me. Now that it had come, it was nothing like I had imagined. I never thought that he would bite me to kill me, but to change me into something like him. Either way I wouldve died, but at least with the latter I wouldve still lived in a way.
I could feel Edward start to suck the blood out of my veins. I was starting to grow light headed and black splotches were obscuring my vision. The end was coming now, I could feel it. I was going to die. Victoria had finally succeeded in killing me, and she had done it in the most sadistic way possible.
I blacked out, doubting that I would ever open my eyes again.
-- -- --
I was going in and out of consciousness. I kept trying to open my eyes but I couldnt keep them open for more than a second. There were worried faces hovering above me and buzzing voices that I couldnt understand. But above all, there was a light, shining right into my eyes. Was this heaven?
I struggled to make out the voices. They all sounded like those of angels, soft and velvety. I wanted to ask what was happening, what was going on, but my lips wouldnt move. No, they were moving, they just wouldnt produce sound.
Whats she trying to say? one of the angels asked.
Love, love, can you hear me? another one said. He sounded oddly familiar. Why would he be in heaven with me unless he hadnt respected my wishes? He should still be living.
Edward? I moaned. Edward?
I tried to reach my arm out, searching for him. Something held my wrist down and I could feel a needle in my arm. But I was gaining consciousness. I opened my eyes. The light was still glaring into my eyes but my angel was standing above me.
Edward, am I alive? I croaked.
My angel laughed. Yes, love, he said. Youre alive.
How? I asked even though I would probably have forgotten by the time I was totally awake.
Seth finished off Riley and attacked Victoria, breaking her eye contact with me, seconds before I had drained you past the point of recovery, Edward told me. We were able to destroy her.
a vampire? I asked, highly doubting it though because of the way I felt.
No, Edward said. I was able to suck the venom out again. There wasnt much.
I was exhausted. I needed more sleep. Edward could tell.
Youre safe, Bella, Edward told me. Sleep, Bella.
And I drifted off to sleep again.