Edward held Bella in a tight embrace, pressing his lips to her neck. At first it was just a kiss, but after a moment his teeth bared against her skin. She felt his cool breath and it sent a shiver down her spine.
“I love you.” He whispered into the crook of her neck. Her pulse beat raggedly under his touch.
“I love you.” She replied, breath hitching in anticipation. “I’m ready.”
He paused for a moment, probably savoring the last moments of her life, but Bella could hardly bear to wait any longer. And then he sank his teeth into her neck.
She felt the white-hot pain branding her like an iron. Her vision swam and her body slumped against his. Edward pulled her in tighter, a low growl escaped his lips as he fought for control. Her eyes rolled back and her body went slack.
When her senses came back to her, she knew she was lying down on the bed, but she couldn’t bring herself to open her eyes or think about anything but the burning pain in her neck. She reached up to claw at her throat, trying to tame the flames.
The fire began to spread. She could feel the venom seeping through her veins. She cried out. It was an anguished scream that pierced the silence. Her heart picked up the pace, circulating the venom and saturating her system. The flames burned through every inch of her as she writhed in agony. It pulled the air from her lungs and lit every nerve in her body alight.
She knew she couldn’t bear the pain any longer, but there was nothing she could do to stop it. She thrashed uselessly as she was engulfed in invisible flames.
Time lost all meaning. The pain was unending.
Bella was so focused on the pain that she noticed immediately when it started to change. Any senses that had been numbed to the fire were alive again. Her heart beat quickened and the pain began to pulse with the frantic hammering of her heart. Every beat was more painful than the last, and her body seized with the intensity of her racing heart.
She felt the last hollow thuds as it finally gave out and shuttered to a halt. It was followed by a silence she had never experienced before.
Bella Swan was dead.
The fire drained from her body, but it settled at the base of her throat. It was now a dry angry heat that demanded her attention. A thirst that needed to be quenched.
Every other thought seemed to drift away from her. She knew there were other memories and thoughts beyond the pain somewhere, but she couldn’t make herself focus on anything else.
With the silence of her heartbeat still ringing in her ears, her other senses started to pull her back into the world. New smells and sounds and feelings came alive all around her as she became aware of her surroundings again all at once. She knew there had to be something out there to satiate her.
Bella opened her eyes and took her first breath as a vampire. The fire in her throat flared.
The first thing she saw was the other person in the room. She growled a warning and rolled off the bed. She crouched defensively in the far corner of the room. He didn’t make any move to follow her, but instead held his hands up in surrender.
“Bella,” he said. She watched him closely, but he kept his distance. His face was creased with concern and his voice was comforting but strained. Bella couldn’t remember why, but she trusted him. She had so many questions for him, but the pain in her throat grew with every moment.
She took in another breath, fanning the flames, but allowing her to fully sense everything around her. His scent was the strongest, but she was able to sense so much more. Fresh linens, salt and sand, trees and flowers and acidic soil, and something else that she couldn’t quite place. It smelled sweet and warm and Bella felt the venom pooling in her mouth. Blood.