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The Power of Love

Chapter Text

Kelly Clarkson ~ Addicted

It's like you're a drug
It's like you're a demon I can't face down
It's like I'm stuck
It's like I'm running from you all the time
And I know I let you have all the power
It's like the only company I seek is misery all around
It's like you're a leech
Sucking the life from me
It's like I can't breathe
Without you inside of me
And I know I let you have all the power
And I realize I'm never gonna quit you over time

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me

It's like I'm lost
It's like I'm giving up slowly
It's like you're a ghost that's haunting me
Leave me alone
And I know these voices in my head
Are mine alone
And I know I'll never change my ways
If I don't give you up now

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me

I'm hooked on you
I need a fix
I can't take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I'll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that's it
Just a little bit more to get me through this
I'm hooked on you
I need a fix
I can't take it
Just one more hit
I promise I can deal with it
I'll handle it, quit it
Just one more time
Then that's it
Just a little bit more to get me through this

It's like I can't breathe
It's like I can't see anything
Nothing but you
I'm addicted to you
It's like I can't think
Without you interrupting me
In my thoughts
In my dreams
You've taken over me
It's like I'm not me
It's like I'm not me


Chapter 1—Addicted


"Are you sure, my love?" Edward asked her as he held her in his arms at the door of her house.

Bella pulled back and produced a shaky smile. "Really, Edward. I'll be fine." She plastered a smile on her face, but inside she was shaking and crying, please… go.

A frown marred the vampire's face as he studied her for a long moment, but to her utter relief, he sighed and nodded. "All right. If you are certain."

"I am," she whispered, trying to sound firm, swallowing against the sick feeling in her stomach. "Go, Edward. You need to bond more with your family. I'll be fine."

He stared at her a moment longer before groaning like the teenager he was. "I ache at the thought of leaving you, but shall at your behest. But Bella," he intoned, his demeanor changing for the countless time almost at the flip of a switch. When he next spoke, his voice was flat, his eyes dark, his lip curled back over his glinting teeth. He reached up to grip her chin, squeezing his fingers so tight the skin underneath whitened and Bella whimpered. Tears welled in her eyes at the pain, but she forced herself to look up at him. "Do not think it wise to test me. If you were to run from me, it would not do well for anyone."

She swallowed, the sickness in her rising, the panic. She knew he could hear it, but she swallowed it back down. Knowing she had to convince him, the smile she sent him was meant to be as reassuring as possible as she forced herself back into her mate's arms. "Of course not, Edward. I could never leave you." She rested her head on his chest, breathing in his overwhelming scent. Swallowing bile and tears, she whispered, "I—I love you."

He wrapped his arms around her and smiled against her hair. "And I you."

She almost sighed. It had worked; he believed her. She leaned back and smiled. "Now go, please, you're making me nervous. You know Alice wanted you to go to this celebration."

"Of course, my love, but I cannot understand why she would not want you to accompany me."

"Because I've spent too much time at your house. We need to do this to get the pack and Charlie off our backs, before Dad ships me off to some unknown location." Her heart beat faster at the thought, though Edward misinterpreted it and smiled at her.

"I will never let that happen," he whispered, pressing a kiss to her lips.

Bella gritted her teeth as the mating pheromones pounded within her, blinding her mind from all thoughts but of him. She gave in for a moment, lost in it as she often was in moments like this, but with all her inner strength she pushed it from her mind as hard as she could. It was wrong. This was not what it was supposed to be. She needed Edward to leave. Then she needed to run. A mantra in her head, she looked up at her mate, for that, despite her feelings, was what he was to her. "Go," she said, forcing a laugh as she gave him a gentle push away from her, "before Alice comes here and drags you away."

He nodded, and with a final stinging kiss and crushing hug, he pulled away and ran to his car. She watched him, arms crossed over her chest, as the rain poured down. The blare of the car headlights hit the house and her, making her squint as she watched him leave.

She waited a while longer before the dam burst and first one sob, then another and another, ripped from her throat, her body shaking hard. She grit her teeth against the pain of the mating bond and pulled herself back into the house, walking up the stairs, movements slow and exaggerated as she fought the mating bond trying to pull her back in the direction of her mate. The last thing she needed was to fall and die.

Though a tiny part of her wondered if perhaps that wasn't such a bad idea.

It would, without a doubt, simplify things. For one, she wouldn't have to run away with the risk of Edward finding her hanging over her like a shadow for the rest of her life. For another, she would not have to feel this—the farcical bond that controlled her and made her little more than a fucking simpering pet to a man stuck in an archaic world of archaic ideas and societal structures. This bond that was warping her and changing her so much she could not recognize herself, until she wasn't herself, until there was nothing but him.

She was always running from him, and then always running back. She gave him the power, keeping misery for her company as Edward, like a leech, sucked the life from her. Ironic, since he wouldn't touch her blood, he'd take her very soul.

She had realized that in his presence she could never quit him over time. She had to get away, to be able to think without him interrupting her, be it in her thoughts or her dreams.

He had taken over her… and she was not herself anymore.

Slowly since she had met him, she had become lost and given up. His presence was constant, even when he was not beside her in person… he was there, haunting her with the pain of being separated from one's supposed other half. When he was gone, there was no room for her to question the bond with how much pain she was in, how much every single fiber of her was yearning for him to be at her side. And when she was with him, she often found herself thinking about it, but then he'd do something or say something to make her feel better or take her mind off it, distract her somehow. While her mind questioned, every other part of her gave in. So slow she hadn't realized until it was almost too late.

Because of that, she knew she'd never change her ways, change the cycle of running from him and then back if she didn't leave now.

She was hooked. Plain and simple. And it was only going to get worse.

Like he was a drug, she was hooked, fixed on him.

Addicted.

And the addiction was getting worse.

When she was at last in her room, she shook herself from her thoughts. Like a drug addict going through withdrawals, her body shook, but she pushed on, pushed through the bond.

This was the right thing to do. All she could do was hope the instinctual part of her, which was trapped in a bond to Edward, would see that someday, or warm up to the idea at the very least.

She did not pack a bag of clothes. Alice had swooped in some weeks ago and thrown out her entire old wardrobe and changed it to what was deemed perfect for a vampire mate. Stuck in the Middle Ages as the vampire species was, there was a lot of formal wear—pretty dresses, heels, all of the stuff that Bella was neither familiar nor comfortable with. When the subject had been broached, and it was said that there was no choice in the matter, it was perhaps the first warning sign to her that indeed made Bella think.

She couldn't do that. She was not comfortable with any of their other practices to begin with, but wearing formal dress just because the entire coven was together, because the matriarch and patriarch of the household were home with them? Having dinner in damn-near ball gowns?

She had already half-accepted the lack of independence, for the most part because of the pain she felt when she tried to achieve such. She'd already accepted that she would be tied to and changed by a controlling vampire and taken away from her family.

But to accept that she no longer had any say in anything in her life? From haircuts and clothes to when she'd be changed and who she'd spend her time with on top of that?

No. That was too far.

So here she was, after such a long time of contemplating and giving in, doing the right thing. She was running away, leaving everything from them behind.

Instead of packing the clothes Alice had bought her, Bella grabbed a bag and filled it with the most meaningful items in her room: her Grandma Swan's locket, her favorite oldest books, among other things. And then the more practical things—like a bank card she had opened in Seattle last weekend that she had put her inheritance from her grandmother in, and her passport, etc. The things she would need to make a new life for herself, at least until she could adopt a new one. She already knew that it was quite probable that she would have to change her appearance and do her damnedest to alter her scent when she arrived where she was going.

Something she was not allowing herself to focus on. True, Alice had a hard time seeing her to begin with, as Edward could not hear her thoughts, and Jasper could not manipulate her emotions—could just sense them, in fact, like a shield was wrapped around her or something was interrupting and producing static to his radar. But if something were to go wrong, then she was quite fucked. And against cold ones, she needed all the advantage her meager human self could get.

When her bag was packed, she looked once more around her room, hating that it was coming to this—to running away. When she had first moved here, before meeting Edward, she had been happy. She'd felt like this had been a second chance for her and her relationship with Charlie. But then she'd met Edward and he'd taken over her life until nothing of her old self remained and no one but he mattered.

Her fist clenched the bag strap on her shoulder, and with tears in her eyes, she swallowed and walked out of her bedroom. Going downstairs, she ran fast for her truck, which she'd be abandoning at the Port Angeles airport, where she'd take flight.

Become another teenage runaway.

Hatred curled in her belly at Edward, like sharp talons ripping at her insides. She blamed him for this situation. She wished, oh, how she wished she had never met him. More so, she wished she could make Edward pay in a most violent way. She yearned to make him wish he'd never been born.

In the car now, she started the engine, feeling a moment of tension as it did not start, before she realized her mistake, calmed herself down, and tried again, relieved almost to tears when the engine roared to life. She rolled out of the driveway and sped down the road. She paid attention as she drove through Forks, tears in her eyes and a sob threatening to burst from her chest as she drove past the police station and spotted Charlie's cruiser.

I'm so sorry, Daddy.

She drew breath so harsh her teeth stung from the cold air slipping through them as she scrubbed at the tears, irritated. No. She could not do this. She could not cry. If she did, she'd stop, and if she stopped, she'd give in. She couldn't.

She wouldn't.

She put her foot down harder on the accelerator and sped through the rest of town. She couldn't spare a glance at the school, because then she'd think about how she wasn't just becoming a teenage runaway, but also a high school dropout.

Anger clawed at her again, and it grew and grew as she drove further through town and toward Port Angeles. So many missed opportunities to come, because of him. It was quite probable that she'd end up alone for the rest of her life because of this fucking cursed mating bond. That was if she didn't kill herself or Edward didn't find her.

After what felt like a lifetime in slow motion, she was out of town, and then it was just her and the road. She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not, but needing a distraction, she turned on the radio and flipped until she found a good station. She sang the lyrics as loud as she could to push all thoughts from her head.

It worked, and faster than she thought it would take, faster than driving through Forks had seemed to take, she was at the airport. Grabbing her bag from the passenger seat, she abandoned the car, leaving the keys inside it, and walked into the airport, pulling her thick and low-hanging hoody over her head, putting on a pair of large sunglasses. She looked like an idiot, but she didn't care as she looked up through her eyelashes to monitor the security cameras, knowing the Cullens would get them soon enough, and knowing she had to do what she could to get away from them.

Part of the reason she had also booked her ticket under a random name, and not to the final destination she had in mind. She would fly into a nearby state and then drive the rest of the way.

She knew it was inevitable that they would catch up to her, at least where she was planning to go, but she had come to terms (she thought, at least) with the idea that she would be forever on the run for the rest of her short life, never settling down, moving from place to place every few months, or perhaps even more often. All she wanted was a few months, maybe even a few years, before they inevitably found her. And when they did—when, not if—she'd kill herself. It was as simple as that.

Yes, it was a gloomy outlook on her life. But it was still better that she have a few years of a life away from that than having a life as she had until now. With Edward, overwhelming and overbearing, blocking everything else out into inconsequentiality.

Gritting her teeth, she soldiered on, and soon enough, she was on a plane. And as the plane took flight, she cried—both in relief of being—well, not free… but freer… and also in mourning of the life she could have had, the relationship she could have had with her father.

Because nothing would ever be the same again. She wasn't sure she believed her life would get better again.

Edward Cullen was the one demon in her life she could not face down.