Monday, May 1, 2017 | By: Drotuno

Even In Death Chapter 13 & Pic

Chapter 13 – Springtime of My Life
Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say, but if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend
That you can build them again
Look around, the grass is high
The fields are ripe, it's the springtime of my life

Ahhh, seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry
Won't you stop and remember me

But look around, leaves are brown now
And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Look around, leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground...
“Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles (originally by Simon & Garfunkel)
“Yeah, Edward… I’ll see you ’round.”
Bella’s promise repeated over and over in my mind when my body felt like it was giving out on me. I felt weak and physically achy until everything that was hurting paled in comparison to the fiery hell that started in my wrist and hand, traveling quickly up my arm.
The flu, the pain in my ribs, the bump on the back of my head, my back – nothing came close to the molten lava that was now spreading throughout my entire body. Logically, I knew it was Carlisle’s venom, along with Bella’s as she tried to help him. I knew how the change worked. Jasper had explained it. Carlisle had explained it. And my Bella had explained it. I was educated on exactly how the venom pushed through the circulatory system, eradicating everything human in its path, while at the same time healing, strengthening, hardening, and killing.
The illogical part of me wanted to beg for death, beg for an end to all the pain. But I didn’t.

Bones snapped back into place in my ribcage. My head felt like a billion bees were stinging my brain all at once. My lungs seemed to shrink, making it harder to breathe than when I’d been sick, but when they finally expanded again, I could inhale deeply enough to grunt out a pain-filled sound. The congestion, the sickness…even the fever was gone, replaced by the ability to smell everything.
I could smell Steve – and his food bowl, his litter box, and his fur. I could smell the detergent that had been used on the bed linens, the feathers inside the pillow behind my head, and the sweet scent of the shampoo my Bella used.
I could smell my wife clearer than I ever had. And it was more. The fruity and floral scent of Bella was not just the soaps or lotions she used, but it was her. It was deeply and thoroughly…her. That thought made me groan, because I realized every time I’d smelled it in my house when I thought her to be dead was really the lingering scent she’d left behind as she watched over me.
I focused on the smells around me to avoid screaming in agony. Occasionally something would flare into a pain so excruciating that I couldn’t help but cry out, but the venom seemed to move on quickly. Though, I had no concept of what was “quickly” any longer. It felt like seconds, but it could’ve been days.
My hearing sharpened to the point of madness – Steve’s tongue cleaning his fur sounded like sandpaper across rough wood, and his purr and growl were as severe as a tiger. Soft voices of the Cullens and Bella became loud, as if they were yelling, though I knew they were in the hallway. The storm outside slowed, and the snow hitting the window rattled like sand being thrown against the glass. Breathing, water dripping in the sink, heavy heartbeats from somewhere in the house, and even soft laughter met my ears.
The best thing I heard was my wife. She whispered that I was doing so well, that she loved me, that when it was over, no one could touch us, separate us, stop us from simply living. And she vowed that we could live however we chose to live. She pressed kisses to my temple, my jaw, my knuckles, and while that simple light touch was painful to my fiery skin, I needed all of it. If she went quiet or stepped away, I panicked, crying out, screaming in the agony that I was alone.
I found that Carlisle was a different form of comfort. His voice was calm, almost indifferent to the whole change, but he soothed Bella, he monitored me with a soft droning voice that told me I was exactly where I needed to be, and he’d made Bella and me a promise and he was keeping it.
There were other voices – Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, even the Denalis – but I tried to ignore them. Eleazar and Alice fretted over my change, whether or not I’d have some sort of talent. Her visions said yes. His talent said yes. My pain couldn’t let me focus on it.
The bee-sting feel of my head, my brain, never let up. It was the constant in this fiery storm raging through my body. I shook with the pain of it when that became the center of the boiling feeling in my veins. The sounds of voices got louder and stranger.
He’s right on schedule. He’ll need to hunt first thing.
Holy hell, he’ll be fucking gorgeous. Bella won’t be able to contain herself.
Another newborn, but with that shield of Bella’s, we may have the advantage of teaching him in a controlled environment.
We should head to Alaska this time, for real.
I have no fucking clue what to tell Charlie.
Mind reader!
That last one was Alice, and I frowned, fighting the bedding and the hands holding me. All of it was too much – the sounds, the smells, and the lights in the room. The touching, the shoving, and the conversations were consuming me like the venom.
“Stop touching!” I ground out through gritted teeth.
All hands left me, leaving me with the only thing that mattered. Bella.
My poor, sweet Edward. It’s almost over. He’ll need to hunt. Hell, I need to hunt.
Arguments surrounded me, but Bella seemed to stand her ground, and the room went quiet, except for the sound of her breathing and the pounding of my heart. I could hear it in my own ears, feel its thump everywhere.
The venom has almost fully taken over. Anytime now.
Carlisle sounded calm, but I heard him shift a little from his chair in the corner.
A cold, wet nose pressed to my cheek, and a purr pushed out against my heated skin. The purring continued, settling across my chest as my heartbeat picked up more and more. Again, my overly sensitive skin wanted to reject the feel, but the purring was soothing.
However, Bella’s soft laugh drew my attention as she spoke to Steve.
“Buddy, you getting impatient? You miss him?”
I could smell Steve, but more, I could smell my wife. I couldn’t hear anyone other than her and Carlisle, though.
We’ll be the same – same temperature, same strength, same diet. I won’t break him now.
I wanted to reach for Bella, but the stinging in my head increased at the same time that my heart felt like it would burst from my chest. And as hard and intense as it had started, everything simply…stopped.
Bella gasped, and I heard Carlisle get up.
“Edward?” he called softly. “Things will be a bit overwhelming at first.”
When he opens his eyes, he may be in a bit of shock.
The stinging in my head changed to a soft buzzing, and I squeezed my eyes tight, finally opening them to the room. It was candlelit, the glow coming from the windowsill and the tables.
I hope he doesn’t hate me for this or regrets this decision.
“Why would I do that?” I asked Bella aloud.
“Edward?” Bella gasped. “Why would you do what, baby?”
“Hate you for this?” I answered her confusedly.
“Oh shit,” she breathed, looking to Carlisle. “Alice was right. He read my mind.” She snorted adorably and gazed back at me.
“Amazing.” Carlisle stepped forward, and Steve hissed loud and hard from his perch on my chest.
The sound was feral and loud, causing me to jump a little, but Bella’s voice warned me, “Edward, be careful. He can’t hurt you now, but you can break him. And he won’t leave you, so…”
I glanced to the ginger cat on my chest, seeing way more colors than I ever had before. His fur was white and red and orange. His eyes had endless shades of green and yellow, but the color was being overrun by the black of his pupils.
“I’m okay, Steve,” I whispered, but I was afraid to touch him. While he was watching me intently, I could hear his purr, his blood rushing through his small body, and smell that same liquid, which caused a burning in the back of my throat.
I swallowed to ease it, but it didn’t do much. Reaching up, I placed my fingers across my throat.
“Yes,” I answered.
Carlisle chuckled, and it was an intriguing sound. “That may take some getting used to…for you and for us.”
Bella nudged Steve off my chest. “Edward, sit up for me.”
I did as she asked, and my movements were so fast that I ripped the covers in my hands. “Oh.” I grimaced, turning the strips of fabric over in my hands, but I glanced back to my wife. “Sorry.”
I finally got a good look at her. God, if I thought she was beautiful before, nothing prepared me for how she looked through new eyes, sharper vision. The honey of her eyes was darker, with so much more than the colors I was used to seeing. I could see a hint of her old warm brown, bright sparks of a champagne shade, and an amber so deep I lost myself for a second. Her hair was in a messy ponytail, with deep auburn curls framing her face, and her skin was so tempting that I reached out for her.
“You’re stunning,” I whispered.
She laughed, scooting closer. “I am going to touch you now. So…”
I don’t think I let her finish, because we moved at the same time. Bella was in my arms and on my lap in a blink. The sensation of holding my wife, my Bella, again was so settling I barely could contain it. My arms wrapped all the way around her as I buried my face in the crook of her neck and shoulder.
So scared. Thought I would never get to him. I didn’t mean… I can’t… This changes everything!
“Like what?” I mumbled into her neck.
She chuckled a bit, pulling back and cupping my face. The sensation of her hands on my skin was electric and tingling. I liked it very much.
Bella smiled, saying, “I want to test this.” Her lips didn’t move with the next question. You can hear my mind?
So you know what I’m thinking?
“I guess?” I looked at her, confused, and then up to Carlisle, who was watching us with fascination.
Wonder how far he can hear? Who all he can hear…
“Um…just you two.”
“Hmm,” he said thinking a moment. “Bella, I know you shielded the room when Edward begged for us to stop touching him, so could you lift it now?”
“Okay,” Bella said, but she didn’t let go of my face.
Suddenly the onslaught of voices hit my head like a freight train. I put my hands on my head, trying to shake the noise out, and squeezed my eyes closed. I couldn’t get away from it, a cacophony of different voices and minds. I pushed away from it, kicking at the blankets of the bed until I was pressed against the headboard, which gave an eerie crack.
He’s awake!
He is a mind reader!
He needs to hunt. What the hell are they waiting for?!
Another brother… Hot damn!
Edward, you’re going to snap in a second. Calm down.
That last thought was clearly Alice, because following her warning was what had to have been one of her visions. The thoughts in my head were too many, too loud, and I apparently destroyed the bedroom in my frustration.
“Okay, Alice!” I snarled, shocking myself at how nonhuman I sounded. Gasping, I met Bella’s worried gaze. “It’s loud, too many… So many… I can hear everyone.” Frowning, I realized with everyone’s mind in my head, I lost hers. “Except you… I’d rather… Where’d yours go?”
Bella slowly crawled to me, climbed back onto my lap, and studied my face. Instantly, all noise shut off. Better? she asked silently.
“Yes,” I said through a sigh, practically sagging in relief. But with that relief came a fiery burn in the back of my throat. “It hurts. Is that…”
“We’ll hunt, baby,” she promised, her mind starting to worry. “The burn is your thirst. We’re going soon.” She glanced up at Carlisle. “My shield stops the thoughts from hitting him all at one time. If I lift it, he can’t hear me, but he hears everyone else.”
“That shield of yours may save him his sanity,” we heard from the bedroom door. We all turned to see Eleazar standing there. “He’ll need it to control his urges during the hunt, and he’ll need you to stop the bombardment of so many thoughts at once until he can get used to it.”
I squeezed my eyes closed again.
“Hey, hunting will help you think clearer, too, Edward,” Bella soothed, reaching up to rake her fingers through my hair, and my eyes rolled back at how amazing that felt. Her giggle made me smile, even with closed eyes. “Some things didn’t change.”
“Apparently not.” I smirked her way, but my eyes widened at the direction her mind went.
The memories of us together – skin, lips, touches – were something I missed but had been willing to wait for, but now the possibilities were endless, since we were the same in strength, temperature, and immortality.
“Bella, you’re killin’ me…” I groaned, shaking my head to clear it.
“Sorry!” she squeaked, covering her mouth with her hands. There was a bit of a laugh laced in her embarrassed apology, and I knew my wife well enough to know that had she been human, her cheeks would’ve been deep pink.
“Hunt!” Jasper snarled from down the stairs. “He’s killing me! All the things, all at once. Please! I’ll take him. Bella and Emmett can help. Alice will tag along, but holy shit, get him out into those woods!”
Bella’s nose wrinkled, and she extricated herself from my lap, holding out a hand. “C’mon, baby. We’ll show you the ropes.”
Concentrating on my movements, I reached for her hand. Standing up and taking a step happened quicker than I expected, but at this point I wasn’t sure I cared. The burn was killing my throat.
“We’ll go a little north to Alpine Lakes Wilderness,” Bella told Carlisle, but I got the feeling that was for everyone involved. She turned to me. “Edward, you’ll stay with me, but some of them are going to follow, just in case there are any campers around.”
I grimaced, nodding a bit, but at this point she needed to lead me, because I felt overwhelmed and a little wrung out. I felt like I’d worked a fourteen-hour shift yet had more energy than I could control. And then there was the noise in my head – Carlisle’s mind, which was listing things he needed to show me, and Bella’s mind, which was a complex combination of worry, love, and a touch of pity. I couldn’t fathom what it would’ve sounded like had she lifted that shield, because just hearing everyone speaking downstairs was enough. To add in their thoughts would have driven me mad.
Bella led me to the window and opened it, but I hesitated at the sight of the snow that blanketed everything around the house. Her smile was sweet, patient, and understanding. “You won’t need a jacket anymore, baby. Hell, you don’t even need shoes,” she stated gently, pointing to my bare feet. “And you’re going to be able to jump from here.”
In her mind, I saw her own calculations, her own assessment of how to get from one point to another. She positioned me at the window and let go of my hand in order to make her jump. She landed perfectly and gracefully in the backyard, spinning to wave me to her.
“It’s easier than you think, Edward,” she told me from down below.
Carlisle chuckled from behind me. “She needs this as much as you do, Edward. She felt lost when we first started to teach her these things, but now she has you. You’re both new at this, but she’ll make a good teacher, because she never had the bloodlust. Let her shield help you.” He reached out to squeeze my shoulder. “However, we’ll help both of you, so we won’t be far behind should you need us.”
“Okay,” I answered, stepping to the ledge. Remembering how Bella’s mind had prepared, I did the same, and I landed next to my wife. “Whoa,” I breathed, glancing back at how high that had been versus just how damn easy it was to do.
Bella’s soft laugh made me smile, and when she offered her hand again, I took it. Just before we stepped into the woods, a scent caught my attention. It was sharp, acrid, even a little spicy-sweet, making my nose wrinkle.
“We burned Victoria and her newborns,” she stated. “That’s what you smell. It’s faded a bit, but it’s still around.”
Nodding, I thought back to the memories of what had happened the night Victoria had shown up at the house but then shook my head to clear it.
“So where we’re going is a little over forty miles into those woods. And trust me, you’ll love this next part.” She grinned, taking my face in her hand. “Edward…we’re gonna run.”
There was a wickedly sexy gleam in her eyes, which made me smirk right back at her. “Show me, sweetheart.”
With a tug on my hand, Bella led me into the woods, and we started to run. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. No fast, expensive car could compare to the thrill of the speed. No snow or underbrush slowed us down. There wasn’t a detail missed, either, because my eyes, my mind, and my reflexes were so quick that I could avoid it all. I could hear small animals darting out of our way, birds taking off when we startled them, and the snow crunching under my bare feet, which weren’t even cold. And yet, everything blurred by us.
Bella’s shield had to have lifted, because her thoughts left me, replaced by some others from off in the distance, which made me stop suddenly and growl low.
“It’s just Jasper to the east, Emmett to the west, and Carlisle behind us. Rose isn’t far either, and she and Alice are together. No one will bother you, but they’re there as a precaution.” She said these things slowly, calmly, walking to me as she spoke and took my face again. “Breathe deep. Assess where they are.”
“I…I…” I started, swallowing against the burn. “I hear them, their minds. Jasper is worried. Emmett is…amused. Carlisle is merely curious, because he thinks…he thinks we’ll be just fine.” I grinned at Bella’s snort of soft laughter. “Alice…” I tilted my head. “Alice can see what I’m going to do, but…it changes. Well, that’s interesting,” I mused softly, turning the direction of the little immortal. “Rose is…happy for you.”
Bella chuckled, pressing up onto her toes to touch her lips to mine, causing everything in me to light on fire. “I’m kinda happy for me, too,” she whispered against my mouth. “Now…just a little farther in, Edward. But we can walk.” As we walked hand in hand, she explained where we were. “This is Alpine Lake Wilderness. It’s a small chain of lakes, full of wildlife – mountain goats, elk, deer, moose, and bear. Though Emmett said the bears are hibernating, so they’re off limits.”
I snorted into a laugh. “So…what does that mean?” I asked, but my senses kicked into overdrive when the sound of a heavy heartbeat caught my ears. The scent was enticing yet a touch muddy at the same time. Woodsy, really.
Bella stood up on a large rock behind me, placing her hands on my shoulders, her lips at my ear. “Let yourself go, Edward. Use your new instincts to hunt. It’s an elk. Close your eyes, breathe deep, and listen. Now…where is he?” she asked me softly.
I did exactly what she said, practically tasting the air. The heartbeat was coming from my right, so I pointed that direction. With my eyes closed, I could hear bugs on leaves, the wind through the treetops, and Bella’s breathing behind me. I could also hear only her thoughts, her mind, which meant she was shielding the entire area for the moment.
“Bella, show me how you do it. Think about it…” I requested from her, turning a little to look at her over my shoulder.
“Oh!” she gasped, a smile curling up beautifully on her lips. “Okay, I’d do it like this…” She trailed off, showing me how she hunted. It was a slow start, softly moving through the trees, then a launch at the animal so quick and strong that it had no time to fight her or run away. She showed me exactly where to drink on the elk’s neck, which made my throat burn that much more seeing it in her mind.
She mentally offered me several options of getting to the big elk that was foraging for grasses on the side of a small lake – over the rocks, through the woods behind it, going up into the trees, and even diving into the freezing lake to pop up like a crocodile in front of the unsuspecting animal. The last one made me laugh, which earned me a kiss to the cheek.
“Okay, I’ll try.”
“Edward, you can do this. Trust me, it comes pretty easy and natural after the first time.”
I turned in front of her. “I do trust you. I’m pretty sure that’s why we’re here.” I gestured between the two of us, raising an eyebrow her way. “I trusted you to make the decision, and you did. I know it was early, but…” I sighed in frustration when I couldn’t articulate much of anything, nor could I stay on the task at hand.
“Go hunt, and we’ll talk when you can focus,” she stated patiently, shooing me off.
Nodding, I turned to face the elk. I opted to take the approach from the woods, running quickly and quietly just along the edge of the trees, but I kept my eyes on the target. Once I was near enough to the animal to leave the trees without spooking him, I left the protection of the forest and rushed across the rocks that encircled the small lake. My whole being seemed to know what I needed once I was set on course, because the elk’s heartbeat, the scent of blood rushing through its veins, and the chase itself told me exactly when to jump. I tackled the animal, my arms around its large neck, and my teeth found the perfect spot before I even landed on the hard stone ground beside the water.
The very second the warm liquid hit the back of my throat, my eyes rolled back. It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t exactly delicious, but it was the feel of it. The sensation of clarity, of quenching that burn was instantaneous, and as soon as it had begun, it was over. I pulled away from it, gasping deep breaths of air, sensing Bella’s presence instantly.
My first instinct was to growl, which was why she was walking slowly, hands raised. But then my second instinct was to acknowledge exactly just what she was to me.
“Mine,” I breathed, frowning and shaking my head.
“He’s yours, I know.”
“No!” I breathed deep. “You… You’re mine.”
Bella laughed, grinning the most stunning smile I’d ever seen. “Yes, Edward. I was and always will be yours.” She shoved her hands into the front pockets of her jeans, glancing to the ground a bit before locking her eyes back on to me. “Mates, baby. I told you. It’s overwhelming, but…amazing.” I started for her, but she shook her head, taking a step back. “You need to hunt more. Then we’ll…talk.”
I tilted my head her way, raising another eyebrow at her, because in her mind, she knew we weren’t alone in those woods, that I’d think better once I’d hunted more, and that talking wasn’t exactly on the agenda, but the people surrounding us to keep me from making a mistake weren’t invited.
“Okay,” I agreed, trusting her completely.
She let me find the next two animals – another elk that was over on the next lake and a mountain goat that had been hanging out up on a mountain ledge. She then explained how to dispose of the carcasses.
It was as we were walking slowly back toward the first small lake that I caught the scent of something that was stronger, sweeter, and more potent than all I’d already consumed combined. My whole body tensed, my eyes darting around for the source, until Jasper and Alice suddenly appeared in front of us.
“Park ranger,” Jasper stated, shaking his head my way and bracing his hands on my shoulders when I took a step in the direction that was pulling me.
“It’s a human, Edward,” Alice said, staying perfectly calm, but she showed me every decision surrounding this one unsuspecting human, all while narrating it in her mind silently just for my benefit. He’s a husband, father, and grandfather. He’s worked in these woods for twenty-five years. He served in Vietnam. If he goes missing, they’ll search for him – everywhere. If he goes missing, then you rip his family apart. He’s only passing through, and he’ll be back in his truck in three minutes and thirty-two seconds. Remember this scent, though. As potent as it is, you don’t want it, if only for what it brings – guilt, heartache, self-hate. Now, let your mate help you, Edward.
That last thing got my attention and brought me up short. “Okay,” I rasped out.
“Bella, shield him now.” Alice’s voice was still that calm thing, because it seemed she relied on her second sight for just about everything.
Bella’s mind came back into focus, blocking out everyone else and the scent of the ranger. My breathing was coming out in pants, as if I’d run a marathon, but I looked to her.
“Thank you.”
“We won’t let you screw up,” Jasper stated, nodding once. “It isn’t easy for any of us, so we all work together to keep to the diet.” He shrugged a shoulder, looking to Alice. “They okay to leave alone, darlin’?” he asked her, smiling when she nodded and tugged his hand. “See you back at the house, then.”
Bella linked her fingers with mine. “C’mon, handsome. There’s a place I want to show you.”


izzy said...

He looks so good even with red eye. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Yep ... red eyed Edward is hawt! ;) Now Edward and Bella need to tell everyone else to bugger off so our newly vamped couple can live ALONE as husband and wife. Them joining the Cullens and PRETENDING to be kids would be so dumb for them since they are married adults.

rdmickey1989 said...

You used my pic?!
Faints !

wallpaper ?

Post a Comment