Pairings: Edward/Bella (all canon pairings)
Summary: BD AU - The Denali clan arrive two weeks early for the wedding, bringing mischief and trouble in their wake. But Tanya and Irina are the least of Bella's problems. When the Volturi and the werewolves both remind the Cullens of their promises, Bella realizes that she will ignite a war, no matter which choice she makes. What no one will realize until too late is that Aro wants something - and he will do anything to get it.
A/N: All chapters can be found here. Slight BD spoilers - nothing from the plot, just small details. Thank you sooooo much again to cinnamon_kisses, who I'm pretty sure I owe my first born by now <333
I was walking through a field, the grass soggy under my feet, smoke all around me. My eyes burned – the smoke smelled sickly sweet, filling the air with a color that was almost purple rather than grey.
Like vampires burning.
This thought caused the smoke to clear and I could suddenly see why the grass was wet beneath my bare feet, why the air was pungent with purple smoke.
And I held back a scream.
The bodies of my human friends and family were strewn across the small clearing, their bodies contorted into positions that would have been painful had they been alive. The lucky ones looked to have been drained before they were killed, but others…
I shivered as the open and lifeless eyes of Ben Cheney stared back at me. I wondered why I wasn’t crying.
Up ahead, surrounding a burning pyre were figures dressed in robes, their colors ranging from lighter grays to black. My breath caught in my throat. The Volturi.
I knew what bodies were burning in those pyres and felt my knees weakening, yet I still forced myself forward, closer to them. Closer to the smoke and fire that consumed my loved ones.
One of the three Volturi in black cloaks sensed my approach and turned around. “Hello, my dear Isabella,” Aro said, smiling down at me.
“Why?” I asked softly, my voice sounding unfamiliar. “Why did you do this?”
Aro chuckled, and his laughter was echoed throughout his guard. “Oh, Isabella. I didn’t do any of this.”From seemingly out of nowhere, a small, ornate mirror appeared in one of his hands – perhaps from the folds of his robes. “You did.”
I took the mirror from him and gasped at the sight of my pale face, blood-stained wedding gown – and bright, crimson-red eyes.
I raised those eyes back to Aro, who held out his hand. Shakily, I raised my own to his.
My eyes shot open and I gasped, clutching the sheets. I could feel a cold sweat dripping down my spine, and my legs were twisted in my quilt from all of the tossing and turning I must have been doing all night.
The feel of a cold hand on my ankle made me scream. I whipped my head around, heart pounding, to see Alice sitting on the edge of my bed.
“Alice,” I choked out. I’d almost forgotten I’d called her after last night, as soon as Edward had run off. I sat up shakily, trying to push the images of my nightmare from my mind. “When did you get here?”
“A few hours ago. You were already sleeping. I figured I would let you rest.”
I ran a shaky hand over my face and then let my arm drop to my side. “How’s Edward?” I whispered.
Alice sighed. “I don’t know. He’s not talking to me right now.”
“He’s not talking to anyone.” I whipped my head around. Rosalie was standing, leaning against the windowsill, arms crossed over her chest. To say I was surprised to see her would have been an understatement.
I sat up, throwing the sheet off of me, and Rosalie let out a quiet hiss. I was stunned to see my bed was covered in a sheen of soft white, like snow. I ran my fingers across my sheets – feathers. My bed was covered in them. Was that what Rosalie was so shocked about?
I stared up at Alice and swallowed hard. “Why am I covered in feathers?”
“I don’t think the feathers are what you should be worrying about,” Rosalie said quietly, and I was stunned to see a look of tenderness cross her face. She took my hand and slowly led me over to the full length mirror that was hanging on the back of my closet door. I was glad I’d thought to throw on pajamas last night after Edward ran off.
Rosalie grasped my shoulders gently, and I inhaled sharply as I got a good look at my reflection. I was just wearing a t-shirt and shorts, so I was able to see perfectly the purple bruises marring my thighs. I raised my shirt a bit, fighting back a wince at the movement – there, on my hips, were a set of marks that would probably match Edward’s fingers. I rolled up one of my sleeves and saw there were bruises on my upper arms as well. I lifted my head just enough to notice the bruise on my throat, where my neck met my shoulder. Where he’d almost bit me. I ran shaking fingers over the mark.
Rosalie turned, and I was shocked to see her glare viciously at Alice. “How could you not warn them that this could happen?”
My head whipped around. “What?”
“I didn’t know! They made the decision so fast, I only saw last night, and Edward didn’t pick up his phone -“
“You’ve seen this outcome before, Alice,” Rosalie argued.
“It wasn’t supposed to happen so fast,” Alice whispered, refusing to look up from the floor. “They weren’t supposed to try until the wedding night. They were both supposed to be prepared.”
“Prepared for what? For her to die?”
“I wouldn’t have let that happen!” Alice yelled, then she and Rosalie stilled. I could hear Charlie’s footsteps on the floor, and hoped he wasn’t coming here – but the creaks of the floor moved away, and the three of us breathed a sigh of relief.
“Take me to your house,” I told both of them, not wanting another close call. If they were going to argue, they could continue in the car. “I want to talk to Edward.”
Alice winced. “Bella, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”
I slammed the drawer to my dresser shut, holding my clothes loosely in my hands. “Well, I’m going whether you take me there or not, so either I can go in your car, or I can go in my truck. Make your choice. And don’t even think about trying to stop me.”
Rosalie sighed, took one look at the clothes I had in my hands and grabbed them from me. Before I had a chance to protest, she threw my shirt on the bed. “Wear long sleeves. And keep your hair down. I don’t think you want to explain to your father why you have a giant bruise on your neck.”
“I’ll go get the car. Even though I still think this is a bad idea,” Alice grumbled.
“Do you see anything bad happening?” Rosalie snapped.
“No,” Alice said, teeth clenched.
“Then stop worrying so much. If you’d worried a little more beforehand, we wouldn’t even be here.”
Alice opened her mouth, but changed her mind about whatever she’d been about to say. Instead, she jumped out the window, presumably to run back to their house and get her car.
I walked towards the bathroom, but paused in the doorway. “Rosalie…why are you helping me?”
Rosalie sat on my bed and clasped her hands in her lap. “Bella, I don’t hate you. I don’t think we could ever be friends, but…” She shook her head. I sat down next to her.
“Alice was frantic when she came in the house last night – practically screaming that Edward was about to kill you and that Emmett and I had to come help her and Jasper stop him. Then, you called Alice begging her to come over just as Edward ran into the house and locked himself in his room.”
“He hasn’t come out at all?” I couldn’t say I was too surprised. Edward’s guilt complex was bigger than he was.
Rosalie shook her head. “Jasper tried to coax him out, but he still won’t say a word. Emmett suggested breaking down the door, but Esme told all of us to just leave him alone.”
“It just happened, Rosalie,” I whispered, not looking at her. “I didn’t think…”
“No one is blaming you.” She stood up and crossed her arms. “Or Edward. Although both of you should have known better.” I blushed furiously. “Either way, Alice should have warned you both that this was a certain possibility.”
“You said she saw this happen.” I was afraid of the answer to this question, but I asked anyway. “Did you mean… before?”
“That’s exactly what I meant.” My stomach dropped. I remembered Alice almost telling me something the other night after I commented that nothing would happen between Edward and me before the wedding, then changing her mind and saying it was nothing. I wondered if this was what she’d considered warning me about. Then, there were all the interruptions… “How – why Alice kept this outcome from Edward is a mystery to me.” She eyed my pajamas and waved towards the door. “Go get dressed and do what you humans do.”
I had to change slowly – if I moved my arms too fast, they hurt. Showering was no better. The pressure of the water stung, but there was no helping that. I would have to be careful about the way I moved around Charlie. Standing in front of the mirror after I showered, the bruises stood out even more against my skin. I got dressed as quickly as I could and winced as I dried my hair. I arranged my hair over my right shoulder, hoping Charlie wouldn’t be suspicious.
Of course, Charlie was sitting in the kitchen when I came down the stairs. “Hey, Bells. Another busy day of wedding planning?” He grinned.
“Uh – yeah. Alice should be here any minute.”
“Actually, she’s already here – she and her sister are waiting in the car.” His brow furrowed. “Why didn’t Edward pick you up today?”
I rolled my eyes. “He probably slept in.” The thought of Edward sleeping at all was laughable. “We’re not completely joined at the hip, you know.”
“That I’ll believe when I see.”
“Goodbye, Dad,” I shouted, already heading out the door.
As soon as I got into the car, we sped down the highway at an alarming speed - almost the same speed of Alice’s apologies. “Bella, I’m so, so sorry. I didn’t think anything was going to happen until the wedding and I thought I had enough time to talk to the two of you, and that was only one outcome! The rest were fine! Edward would have killed me if he found out I was spying, but I just wanted to make sure everything was going to be all right, and then last night happened and-“
“It's okay, Alice.” I was too sick with worry to think about anything else at the moment, wondering what must be going through Edward’s head. I knew he was blaming himself for what happened. The guilt would be eating him alive.
As soon as we arrived at the Cullens’ house, I dashed out of the car, making a beeline for Edward’s room. Most of the family had congregated there, including the Tanya and Kate, who I would admit I was shocked to see.
Jasper must have sensed my surprise. “When leaving him to come out on his own time and asking him nicely didn’t work, we thought goading him might.”
“And no one is better at goading Edward than I am,” Tanya bragged.
I ignored all of them, even as all of their eyes turned to watch me. “Edward,” I said, knocking on the door. “Edward, please come out.”
There was no answer from within.
“We’ve tried everything, Bella,” Esme said quietly, and I could tell she was as worried as I felt. “He won’t talk to any of us.”
“It’s been hours,” Tanya groused. Kate hushed her, eyeing me sympathetically.
I closed my eyes and slumped against the wall, thinking of what I could say to get him to listen to me. “Edward, you can’t stay in there forever. Please, come out and talk to me.”
Silence. I glared. I’d had enough of this. “Edward, if you don’t come out of there in ten seconds, I’m having Emmett break down the door.”
“I’m beginning to like her,” Tanya muttered.
The door clicked open, much to everyone’s shock. Esme immediately began herding everyone else down the stairs.
“We’ll be close by if you need us,” she told me, touching my shoulder as she passed.
Taking a deep breath, I turned the doorknob and stepped inside.
Edward was sitting on the bed, hunched over, head bowed. I closed the door behind me and slowly approached him, not wanting to make any sudden movements. “Edward?”
“How badly did I hurt you?” His voice was so quiet, I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly.
“How badly did I hurt you?” he asked me again, clearly this time.
I didn’t want to lie to him, but I wasn’t sure how he would react to the truth either. “Not so badly.”
He looked up at me and I froze at the stark pain I could see in his eyes. His eyes widened and only then did I realize that my hair had fallen back over my shoulder. He could clearly see the bruise on my neck and would know exactly how it had gotten there.
Edward stood up and approached me, raising a trembling hand to my neck. His touch was light as a feather as he brushed his fingers over the bruise. He dropped his hand slowly.
Suddenly, his eyes narrowed, and his hands clenched into fists. “I am never going to hurt you like this again.”
“Edward, I’m fine, really-“
He cut me off. “I am never going to hurt you like this again because we are never going to do this again.”
My heart pounded in my throat. I’d had a feeling he would say something like this, and while I understood his feelings on the matter, the rejection still stung. “While I’m human,” I added.
Edward was silent, his face turned away from me.
My eyes narrowed. “We won’t do this again until I’m a vampire.”
Still, he didn’t say anything. My heartbeat accelerated further as I realized he might try to go back on his word. My eyes brimmed with angry tears. “You promised!”
“I know!” he shouted, then quieter, “I just don’t know if I can.”
Neither of us said anything after that. The silence in the room was suffocating. I was thankful when someone knocked.
“Bella,” Alice was standing at the door. “Could you give Edward and me a few minutes please? Esme would like to speak with you in the living room.”
I turned away silently, hoping that maybe Alice would be able to say something to talk some sense into him.
“Bella,” Edward’s voice made me turn. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
I walked over to him and cupped his face in my hands. He stared at me with that same agonized look in his eyes.
“You have nothing to be sorry for. Do you hear me?” Edward’s eyes fell closed, like he didn’t want to hear a word I was saying.
“Edward, look at me.” He opened his eyes, albeit reluctantly, and I leaned forward slowly to press my lips to his, not sure if he was going to pull away.
He didn’t, and I was a little surprised when one of his hands hesitantly went to my waist, the other, very gently, to my shoulder, right below my neck.
“I don’t know how you can touch me after what I did to you,” Edward whispered, running his fingers back and forth along my neck.
“That’s easy. I love you.” I kissed his cheek and pulled out of his arms, heading for the door. I looked back over my shoulder and smiled, hoping to reassure him. I don’t think I succeeded.
Esme was sitting on the couch in the living room waiting for me. I looked around for the rest of the family.
She laughed. “I kicked them out. They were being too nosy.” She patted the seat next to her, and I sat down, pulling my knees up to my chin.
“How did things go upstairs?”
I groaned. “Horrible, but I didn’t really expect anything less. He won’t even look at me, Esme.”
She sighed and shifted so she could take one of my hands on hers. “Bella, you know Edward is going to blame himself for what happened.”
“But it’s not his fault!”
“And no matter how much or how often you or any of us tell him that, he’s not going to believe a word of it.” Esme shook her head. “Bella, Edward loves you. I’ve never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at you.” I blushed and she smiled. “You’re still getting married in two weeks and you’re still going to be a part of our family,” she said, and I knew that she’d heard our conversation.
“I don’t know about that,” I mumbled. “Edward can be pretty stubborn when he wants to be.”
“And if I remember a vote for a certain person’s mortality correctly, so can you.” I could feel my face heating up again and she laughed. She released my hand so she could give my shoulder a gentle squeeze. “Give him some time, and all of this will just be a bad memory. You’ll see.”
“You’re right,” I said nodding my head. “Everything is going to be fine.” Esme turned her head, hearing Edward and Alice coming before I did.
Edward’s face as he descended the stairs made me reconsider my words.