How It All Began
I do not own Twilight or Marvel.
The young woman gazed upon herself in the mirror. So today was the day… She was going to take that plunge. She would profess her undying love for a vampire by the name of Edward Cullen in front of an entire town, all her friends, and family… All of this… part of a deal she and Edward made. He had made it abundantly clear he wouldn’t turn her unless she married him – something she didn’t quite understand. What was more concrete than having the love of your life share his venom and spending eternity together? But that’s not what her fiancé wanted.
So here she stood, 19, right out of high school. She was about to walk down the aisle and have her father give her away. All in order to appease the love of her life… The more the thought occurred to her, the more nauseous she felt. Her hands grew clammy and she suddenly didn’t feel so great.
“You ready kiddo?”
Bella drew back the deepest of breaths and turned towards her father. She forced that smile as he offered his arm.
She wrapped her hand around her father’s arm and he escorted her on out.
“You can still back out of this you know…” he said in a teasing matter.
Something she would’ve normally laughed at. Her mind, however, was all over the place. She was beginning to see just how many times Edward had been calling the shots in their relationship, right down to the wire. When it came to the wedding itself she hadn’t a say in the colors, the décor, even her dress was decided for her. In some ways it felt as though it was Alice and Edward’s wedding rather that her and Edward’s. Memories of everything flashed throughout her mind. All the shit he’d pulled over the years. How many times he’d made her cry or feel insecure. These visions continued to hit as her father walked her down the aisle.
Then her nightmare came to play. The one she’d had last night. She looked to her guests in thought. She’d yet to look upon the groom to be.
What am I doing?
I’ve given this vampire three years of my life. Now I’m about to offer up my life and give him my eternity? One that could very well consist of being with a domineering, control freak, and often enough, green-eyed man, for centuries to come. One that can read the minds of others, something he’s used as a weapon many times against me. Another method of control… And his sister can damn near foresee my every move. Then his brother can make me feel certain things even if just temporary.
WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?!
I once said I was irrevocably in love with this man.
BUT WHY? HOW?
How could I spend months pining over someone who was so quick to turn his back to me? He broke every promise he’d ever made! Why did I go to Italy to save him when he was never there when I needed him the most? He left my father and I unprotected. He knew we couldn’t possibly defend ourselves against the likes of Victoria or Laurent. But he left anyhow. And I was the one saving him. How could I not be bitter over this?
Before she even realized it, her father had already given her away. She was standing beside a vampire she never deemed possible to loath, something she didn’t truly understand. Last night she was more than willing to offer up her soul in order to be with him. But now…Her lip actually curled with disgust. Resentment began to fill her heart and she stared Edward down as the ceremony began. Her ears were ringing and she could hear her blood pumping within her ears. Her entire body began to boil.
She thought on how she always gave and he’d always take. He had a gift of making her feel guilt and over the littlest things.
Soon she heard the words…
“Do you, Isabella Marie Swan, take Edward Anthony Masen Cullen to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
She let out a nervous laugh. All eyes were on her and she drew in a breath. She allowed her eyes to finally meet his. The bride-to-be had sworn he had this I’m getting my fucking way again look about him. That stupid smirk was planted on his face. I got you right where I want Bella Swan. Her jaw dropped in realization and she took a few steps back.
“I don’t want this…” she muttered under her breath.
Edward sort of chuckled as if she were playing around.
“Come on Bella…” he whispered and reached to her hand so he could place the ring on.
Bella shook her head.
“I’m serious, Edward. I don’t want to get married. I never did and you knew that…”
Gasps and gossip quickly spread amongst the guests. Edward’s eyes turned cold and dark.
“Bella… What are you doing?” he hissed looking beyond mortified and pissed.
She let out a unnerving laugh.
“I’m finally waking up…” she answered with a murmur.
Bella dropped her bouquet and turned towards her father. For some reason, that’s the only person she wanted at the moment. “Dad…” she damn near whimpered. Charlie hurriedly sprang to his feet with a nod. Edward’s eyes, however, were fixated on Bella. For the first time ever he looked upon her with hatred in his eyes. “I can’t believe you’re doing this…” he said in a damn near threatening matter.
“Edward I just can’t. When I truly think about everything…”
“And what about our deal?” he hints.
“I’m sorry Edward but it’s over.”
More gasping was heard.
“What did she just say?” Bella heard Alice hiss.
Edward grabbed her arm rather roughly.
“You dare humiliate me and my entire family like this? What are you thinking Bella?!”
“Son… You better move that hand if you know what’s best.”
And that’s when it happened… Her nightmare came to life. Through his humiliation and anger, Edward wasn’t truly thinking. He went to shove her father back as Charlie went to pry Bella out of Edward’s hold. Only when the vampire did this, his entire arm went through Charlie. Bella looked on with absolute shock. Her father looked down, seeing Edward’s arm through his chest.
“Dad…” Bella whimpered, praying to God she’d just wake up now. After all, this was just a dream right?
The Quileute’s shifted and all hell broke loose. A battle amongst the cold ones and shifters played out just like the legends Jake had spoken of. As though drifting amongst a cloud, she walked amongst the chaos.
You can wake up now…
Blood splattered along her white dress. She looked down to see Angela, a friend of hers, reaching out to her. Bella narrowed her eyes and looked around once more.
Her eyes darted towards the voice. The one it belonged to ran up and cupped her chin.
“HEY! YOU GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
Bella blinked a few times.
He tilted his head with great concern.
“Come on, babe. I need you to wake the FUCK UP!”
She observed the anarchy around her once again.
“It’s just a dream…” she said with a shrug.
Jacob Black grimaced as she went to help her friend up. Only when she did this, she shrieked out as Angela’s head rolled off. He hurriedly grabbed a hold of Bella.
“NO!” Bella screamed.
“We gotta get you out of here!”
Bodies were piling up. She gasped back as someone shoved Jake back. They snatched her right out from his arms.
“NO PAUL!” Jake shouted with fear in his eyes.
“This is all her fault! The fucking leech lover! We warned her! DID WE NOT?! NOW LOOK AROUND YOU! YOU STUPID BITCH! ALL OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT! THESE PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE TO DIE!”
“LEAVE HER ALONE! IT WAS ALL EDWARD!”
The very family that had sworn to always protect her, the ones that claimed she was family, were cleaning house in order to keep their secret. The shifters were doing their best to protect the guests, but the cold ones were too fast. Bella turned to see one of them heading towards her mother and Phil. Something within Bella came to life. Something she’d never known existed. She hollered out and spread her arms about.
Alice was lifted into the air and she turned back with look of bafflement. Bella gritted her teeth and stared the vampire down. The cold one began shrieking out in agony. Her body started to crumble as she was lifted even higher in the air.
“NOOOO!” Bella heard Edward yell.
“PLEASE!” the vampire cried, reaching to her temples.
Bella eyes started to roll back and she dropped to her knees. Her body swayed back and forth, but Bella snapped her fingers. The Cullens looked to one another in alarm. Alice’s arm landed right before Edward’s feet. A leg at Carlisle’s… One of Bella’s eyes had a golden stream of light coming off it. She cried out in agony as it started to burn and she felt as though her eye would burst out of the socket.
Jake swallowed back and hurriedly scooped her up.
And that was the last thing she remembered. Running…
A few months later…
“Excuse me, miss?”
The woman running the bookstore turned towards the customer.
“You wouldn’t happen to have A Catcher In The Rye now would you?”
She nodded and rose from her desk. The man watched as she walked over to one of the shelves. She grabbed the book and brought it over.
“Would you like to purchase it?”
“Why yes, thank you! My son’s been dying to read this but they didn’t have it at the library at his school. Apparently it’s a bit too controversial.”
She smiled at this and scanned his book.
“Thank you…” he said as she used the credit card he handed her.
“I hope your son enjoys.”
The rather attractive man nodded and went to step out of the bookstore but stopped. He turned back around.
“I’ve a confession to make.”
The store keeper raised her brows on this.
“I’ve been coming here damn near everyday. I kept trying to think up ways to strike a conversation with you.” He sighed looking embarrassed.
“Look, can I take you out for coffee or something sometime?”
“I’m flattered but I’m already seeing someone,” she lied.
This wasn’t the first time a customer had asked her out for coffee or something along those lines. But like usual, she turned them down.
“Oh… well he’s a very lucky man” he said with true disappointment.
He nodded and exited the bookstore. The moment he was out the door. She rushed over and put up the closed sign. She locked up and leaned against the door. The woman pinched the bridge of her nose. She started to wonder if settling down in this town was such a good idea after all. Maybe she should’ve kept moving.
But she’d grown tired of that and when she was offered the bookstore with room and board she couldn’t pass it up. The woman that originally owned the store had passed away not long ago. To Bella’s great surprise, she had willed the store over to Bella as she had no other family and Bella was her only friend and employee at the time. She finally had a place to live and a business to run. All illegally of course. She no longer went by the name Isabella Marie Swan. No she had that changed, along with the way she kept her hair and how she dressed.
She now went by the name Bethany Ann Thompson. A name that Lydia Thompson, the original owner of the bookstore, came up with. It was her that helped Bella get her life straight and somehow got her fake IDs, etc… A remarkable woman. It had saddened Bella greatly when she passed but she was 87 years old and it was bound to happen. She felt honored by the fact that in the will Lydia had her listed as her daughter.
Bella never planned on settling down anywhere. In fact, the day she came in here she was determined to buy a certain book and be on her way. She never dreamed what would come of that day. Now, here she was. She was no longer roaming about freezing her ass off and starving like most days. She had a roof over her head and was running a business. Sure, she didn’t make much but it was enough to put food on the table and pay her bills. That was all she needed. Some weeks were worse than others and vice versa. There were days she’d go without eating at all but then there were the ones where she ate like a queen, depending on the sales.
Since Lydia’s passing, Bella had grown quite lonely. She hadn’t any friends and didn’t really know anyone in town. That and she kept to herself quite often due to her past. She truly feared it would come back to bite her one day. Honestly, she was surprised it hadn’t already. She’d lost all her friends and family that day. The only ones that remained were the Cullens, excluding Alice, and the shifters. She hadn’t a clue what happened to her friend Jacob Black. All she remembered was him running off with her and then she woke in a hospital. When memory came to serve, she made her escape and never returned.
Her new-found abilities alone scared the shit out of her. Ever since that day, that thing with her eye often enough gave her migraines as to why she frequently wore shades, even in doors. When she didn’t wear shades, she kept her hair over that area as much as possible. That eye was very sensitive to light. Whatever took place back then also left her with one hell of a scar. Her right eye was now silver, while the other remained honey brown.
Bella made her way to the register and began to count the store’s earnings for the day. It wasn’t much but she could at least get herself a burger and fries. That, and she was aching for a drink. She’d run all out of whiskey and vodka. They were the only reason she was able to sleep at night. When she was out, the nightmares returned. She’d relive that day over and over. The alcohol helped her forget, helped her feel more at ease, and made everything numb.
But since she lost Lydia and the more time progressed, Bella or aka Bethany, found herself drinking more and more. Such as now… What she wouldn’t give to go out on a date… To make some friends… To not be stuck in this fucking bookshop, hiding out day by day. But that just wasn’t an option. Not for her. This was her life now. Paul was right. She had made her bed and now she had to sleep in it. Knowing she was the reason all her loved ones died that day because of her selfish thoughts on wanting to become a vampire and spend her eternity with some juvenile vampire… She hated herself and often enough couldn’t stand to see her own reflection.
She often wore Converse shoes, blue jeans and some band T-shirt. On days she ran the shop she’d put on her hoop earrings and makeup but only in attempts to hide her scar and make herself somewhat presentable for her customers. Men always took notice of her, but she never truly thought about it. In her mind she was hideous. She hated that eye and kept it well hidden. She truly figured that’s the only reason men ever showed interest. If they ever caught wind of that hideous scar and funky eye color, they’d run for the hills.
Bella put her jacket on. She took her hair down and brushed it out then she put on her black shades and headed on out. Her stomach churned as it ached to have something within it. She hadn’t eaten all day. But she passed by a local bar first and found herself desiring something else at the moment. She swallowed back, knowing she should eat first. Her mind went back to that attractive single father that asked her out.; how she had to turn him down, like always. She knew she’d go back to the bookshop after her little outing. She’d share her food with the stray cats in the alley. She couldn’t help herself. Most of them were just little kittens. That’s just who she was. She’d concern herself more about the starving animals than she had herself. After all, they were the only company she kept.
She drew back a breath. Before long she found herself at the bar. She ordered a beer and a couple shots to go with it. Those couple of shots and beer became two more of each. The lonely girl hadn’t noticed anything else around her. She never paid any attention, purposely so. She never made eye contact. She never went to these bars to make friends. No, she wanted to get good and plastered and pass the fuck out once she got home. That was her normal routine. It seemed as if that was all about to change though as a group of men thought differently. Little was she aware she was about to gain the attention of two other men as well. Ones that weren’t apart of this group and were in the middle of a poker game.
“Hey next one’s on me…” a man said as he plopped down beside her.
One of his friends took the other side next to her.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” she said and downed the rest of her beer.
“Come now… We’re just getting to know you.”
The men sitting beside her were giving her the once over. So were the other three behind her…
“Do you mind telling your friends to back up a bit? I can feel them breathing…” she uttered with a look of disgust. They laughed. “You heard the lady. Give her some space.”
“I’ll give her something alright,” one of them said, whilst running a hand along the slope of her back.
She sighed and downed one of her shots.
“Don’t touch me.”
“Oh come on baby. Don’t be like that.”
“You’ve got five seconds. Move your hand… Back the fuck up.”
The guy and his friends started to laugh once again. One of them leaned into her ear.
“You look like the kind of girl that likes to party… So why don’t you come back with us. We got a place not too far. You can drink and fuck to your heart’s content sweetheart.”
She came to her feet and gradually turned around. The young woman smiled and ran a hand along the guy’s chest.
“Tell you what… You can buy me that drink.”
The guy raised his brows and motioned for the bartender to get her another. The bartender looked towards Bella with concern. “Why don’t you leave her alone fellas?”
She cut him a wink.
“It’s okay Marty…”
He nodded and slid the beer over. She reached over and grabbed the bottle only to whip back around and take it across the guy’s face.
“You were saying something about a party?!”
The two men that were watching from afar shot up, putting out their cigar and cigarette as the men surrounded her, threateningly. The one she hit with the beer bottle shoved her back. Just as the two onlookers were about to intervene and come to her defense, Bella thrust her hand forward. Without even touching the men, they sailed back and went through a wall of the bar.
One of the men that were sitting beside her went to grab her. She snatched him by the collar of his shirt and threw him out amongst the others. She turned towards the other.
The guy’s eyes widened as her eye had golden sparks coming off it. He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
Bella turned back towards the bartender.
“Get…” he told her. “We don’t want your kind around here.”
“My kind? It’s just me Marty.”
He nodded and took out a gun.
“I don’t know how the hell you did that, but you better get the fuck out of here.”
She reared back as he fired. Her jaw dropped and she staggered back, speechless.
“Ah shit…” one of the bystanders muttered.
Bella reached to her arm.
“Next one goes in the knee.”
She grabbed her jacket and hurriedly took off. The two men nodded towards one another and followed.
Bella ran as fast as she could, but her vision was blurry and she could barely stay on her feet. She ducked into an alleyway and hid amongst the shadows. She looked to her arm where she was shot.
“…Fuck…” she groaned out and threw her head back against the brick wall.
She swallowed back and dug her fingers into the wound doing her best to try and retrieve the bullet. Bella felt it, realizing she was only pushing it further in. This rather hysterical laugh escaped her but that laughter soon turned into tears. Everyone had seen what she was capable of which meant she hadn’t a choice. She couldn’t stay there in New Orleans.
Bella forced herself back up. She knew what could happen if she passed out here. She needed to get home. The girl staggered about holding her arm. She made it a good five steps before her eyes rolled back.
“I got you, chere…”
(Third place winner in Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Superhero Fest Contest. Thank you For those that voted! Truly means a lot! And thank you Bertie Bott for Beta’ing this story for me. There will be a sequel – Love Me Till It Hurts! Coming Soon!)
Btw please be a sport and leave your review/comment. I know hearing what you think! Thank you!