Bella had fallen asleep on the flight to Brazil. Not that I was bored, I could look at her sleeping all of the time and never tire of it, but now I was left alone with my thoughts. Thoughts concerning the compromise Bella and I had created so that she’d marry me. The compromise was the only reason why I’d forsake her soul, and I hated myself for it. I couldn’t tell Bella that however. I had tried to change her mind before, tried to save her by leaving, tried to show her the monster that I really am, but nothing was more stubborn than Bella when she set her mind to it. And this compromise, the eternal damnation of her soul, was something that she’d never change her mind from. Not even Jacob, the one person besides me who Bella could depend on, could get Bella to think logically about this. It was frustrating. I loved her, but this stubbornness was going to get her hurt, especially this new clause, to love her while she was human.
Pain laced through my body. It was phantom, but it could’ve been real the way I reacted. I had promised her that I would never hurt her again, and here she was, propositioning herself in a position that would get her hurt. Promising her that I would try would be an error I’d always torture myself with.
My monster on the other hand seemed gleeful. There, in the back of my mind, he sat chuckling. Twisting my fears to benefit him. Bella on the ground, bleeding from the number of bites I had inflicted. Bella in terror, screaming at me. Bella as a vampire lost and confused. Bella… dead. I grimaced in my first class seat. My face was in a permanent scowl, scaring even the most veteran of flight attendants aboard to stay away. That didn’t stop their thoughts from floating through my head of course. Take a good look at him, if he wasn’t giving this off the vibe I’d be over there. Who is that girl next to him? She’s plain. She doesn’t deserve this hunk. Look over here, please… I just want to look into your eyes. I need something to fantasize about tonight. I sighed. Between the onslaught of women in their thirties and my terror for what would happen between Bella and me, a migraine was forming. Before I could escape to the bathroom to escape the stares, Bella turned in her sleep and grasped my hand. I sighed once again, but not in irritation, and brought her hand to my lips. My throat started to burn, but the pain was welcome. A good distraction for the rest of the flight. With that thought, I closed my eyes to make it seem like I was sleeping, and focused on the burning building in my throat.
The surprise on Bella’s face as we loaded onto a boat instead of staying in Rio was one of disbelief. I couldn’t hear her mind, but I could imagine exactly what she was thinking. We’re not staying in Rio? Where else would we go? The Amazon? I chuckled at her reaction before setting us off. Isle Esmé loomed off far in the distance, but with my vision, I knew that we would be there soon, fifteen minutes at minimum, but Bella would not be able to see the island in the dark and would be utterly surprised at what was in store for her.
There was silence between us, minus the sound of the waves and motor running, but the silence was not uncomfortable. Bella was admiring the stars and I was admiring Bella. She looked beautiful in the moonlight now, but nothing could compare to seeing her in her wedding dress making her way towards me. Last night had been enchanting, easily making my top ten, knocking the memory of Bella agreeing to marry me to the second spot. Bella had been a vision. Wearing a Victorian-themed wedding dress, my mother’s ring on her finger, the “I do,” nothing could top that. Not even when Jacob tried to ruin it in his anger after finding out that our honeymoon would be a honeymoon. Watching him manhandle my new wife after she had been missing him had almost sent me into a rage. I had to stay calm, however, especially for Bella’s sake. She needed me and no lousy dog was going to distract me.
We pulled alongside the dock and I watched Bella startle from her daydreaming. I docked the boat and as we stepped into the house’s lights I got the sudden urge to cross the threshold with her in my arms. The need was so human. Something that I would’ve done with Bella if we had a normal relationship. If either I had been born in her world, or her in mine. I dropped the luggage suddenly and scooped Bella into my arms bridal style. She giggled and I wondered how life could be better than this. My entire world was in my arms, there was no danger around, and it was just us and the wildlife.
After setting her back down, I led my wife around the house, the grand finale being the master bedroom. The further we went, the harsher Bella’s heartbeat. I knew it was just nervousness for later, but the doubt of her belief in me started to grow with every thud of her heart. What if I actually did hurt her? If I lost control for just a second and I bit down on that tantalizing neck of hers? The terror of ever causing my life pain had my mind spiraling and I was so lost in the moment until Bella let go of my hand.
I looked outside as Bella glanced over the room. I needed to do something before we got to making love so I offered an idea to go night swimming.
“Can I have a few human moments?” Bella asked as she shifted on her feet. Her heart was beating rapidly, making me wonder what she was imagining at the moment.
“Of course, I’ll be waiting,” I murmured. I turned towards the french doors already starting to strip. There was no point in grabbing swim trunks, I was going to take them off anyways.
After Bella had fallen asleep, I had a strange feeling of foreboding. Something had changed and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It sat heavily within my stomach like I had decided to eat human food for the fun of it. I sat up. The feeling stayed and I had to start moving. Leaving Bella after our first night together was not what I wanted to do, but I had suddenly become anxious and needed to do something. Maybe I would run around until sunrise or maybe even hunt. I glanced at Bella to make sure she was ok, and then had to look at the room.
It was utterly demolished. The bed frame had been shattered, the supports were gone leaving the mattress partially touching the ground. The headboard was crushed in random places, places that I had grabbed so that I wouldn’t hurt Bella. Bella herself laid in the middle of the destroyed sheets and blankets. Feathers were everywhere. There was not a place in the room where feathers did not settle on. If Emmett had seen this scene his thoughts would probably say something being “thoroughly fucked.” And if he had been here, I would’ve agreed. The sight of the bedroom almost made me forget the bad feeling in my chest, but seeing Bella brought it back. It was faint, and the lighting of the dark room didn’t help, but my sharp sight got snared on the faint bruises starting to form on Bella’s body. Hatred, disgust, and fear welled up inside of me. She shifted in her sleep, turning over so that she curled up with her back to me and I damn near exploded from self-hatred. Along her shoulders near her neck were obvious bite marks. The skin wasn’t broken, meaning I had just pressed my teeth hard enough to leave bruises and indents, but I had still come close to ending her. My eyes traveled down her torso to take in any more damage only to see perfect finger-shaped patterns gracing her hips. Self-hatred and disgust flowed heavily through me to the point that I couldn’t stay in the room or house any longer.
I burst out of the building, speeding through the foliage, startling nocturnal and diurnal animals alike. I raced towards the top of the island, and when I made it the sound that escaped my body was a combination of a roar, a scream, and a cry. How could Bella not see it? Her husband, the one she willfully tied herself to, was a monster.
I stood there for hours frozen. Time passed me by, getting closer to dawn, and then suddenly it was morning. Bella would be up soon. She’d wonder where I would’ve gone. It wouldn’t take her long to stop worrying about me, however. One look over her body in the mirror and she’d despise me. I didn’t want to see that emotion grace her face, but I had to be back. I had to tell her that we were never doing that again until she was turned. I was not going to budge on this decision. Her safety was above everything, even if it was being safe away from me.
Arriving at the house, I found Bella in the bathroom. She looked lost in her thoughts and her thumb was caressing her bottom lip. As much as the image before me tempted me, I needed to know how much pain she was in so that I could torture myself every time I even thought about having sex.
“How much does it hurt?” I whispered, reaching out. Bella whipped around, startled, before relaxing at the sight of me.
“What?” she asked, confused.
“Bella… Look,” I moaned. My hands took her robe and lifted the sleeve. Bruises littered her arm.
“It doesn’t hurt, I’m fine,” Bella said. I knew that she was lying, however. She just needed convincing. For more proof, I removed her robe from her shoulder. Anger flared in her eyes, the exact emotion I was looking for.
“Don’t you ruin this,” she snapped.
“I already ruined it.”
“Last night was perfect. I know that as a vampire, it might’ve not been great, but as a human, I couldn’t imagine anything better!” Bella hissed.
That statement floored me, “Bella, are you worried that I didn’t enjoy myself last night? Everything was perfect and more.”
Understanding lit her eyes. Even if I couldn’t read her mind, her emotions were always clear within her brown eyes.
“You’re never going to touch me again, are you?” she whispered. I knew what she was talking about, but I had to play naive so I reached my hand out to stroke her face.
Bella sighed, “You know that’s not what I meant.” Her tone made me want to hide and I could not think of any other way out of this conversation, so I murmured about making her breakfast and sped out of the room.
For the next couple days, I spent time making sure anything that would compromise my promise to not touch Bella was ignored. Seeing Bella wet and in a swimsuit? I swam ahead of her. Bella sweaty and panting from hiking? I stayed upwind. Bella wearing lingerie? I had to close my eyes and pretend to snore. Everything was going to plan until my little wife decided on a black nightgown to sleep in and woke up crying.
“Was it a nightmare?” I pondered, holding her shaking form in my arms.
“No… It was a really good dream,” she murmured back.
“Then why are you crying?” I queried.
Bella paused before responding, “Because… Because I wanted it to be real .” The tone of her voice broke me. Whenever she pleaded with me, I couldn’t say no.
I knew exactly what she was implying. And there laid an unsaid question. My body was already responding for me, but I had to make sure, “Are you certain? You have to say something if I hurt you.”
Bella’s teary eyes met mine as she let out a begging, please. I was weak to her. And I gave in.
In the morning, Bella’s ripped nightgown laid on the floor, and Bella herself was smug. She bounced around my form and flitted between my hands. My love was ecstatic that she had gotten what she wanted. Her constant movement was leaving a large cloud of her essence. It didn’t help that I was beginning to get thirsty and her scent was highly appealing, but I could wait another day. The housekeepers Gustavo and Kaure were due today, and I needed to direct them to the master bedroom so that it could be fixed. Bella and I had been staying in the blue room since our habits had left a makeover. I had to be on my best behavior, because I had already heard the thoughts of Kaure before. She had thought my family and I to be what the Ticuna called libishomen. Demons, those who ate humans. Kaure wasn’t entirely wrong, but she would never know the depth of my devotion for the woman who was currently giggling in my arms.
I was fixated on her. We were cuddled up in the couch and Bella was trying to get a rise out of me, probably for sex, but I couldn’t help but let her mess with me. I was so joyful that it actually startled me when I heard a knock on the door. Thoughts began to enter my mind. A man’s: I hope Kaure isn’t standoffish, we make good money here. I don’t even care that she thinks that something is wrong, we can’t afford to lose this job. And a woman’s: This place is wrong. The libishomen live here and that poor girl… She’s in grave danger. Have to warn her somehow… Kaure and Gustavo were here. That meant I had to take Bella off of my lap. She pouted like a child and was about to complain before I explained to her that I had to get the door for our housekeepers. Bella pouted even more, but she sighed and let me go.
The couple waited patiently behind the main doors. Gustavo had a look of indifference while Kaure looked like she would jump out of her skin at any moment. Her eyes were constantly flicking between the house, Gustavo, and I. Her heartbeat was rapid, like a rabbit’s. I ignored it.
“I need the master bedroom fixed up, that’s my main concern,” I instructed in Brazilian Portuguese as I started my way back to my wife on the couch.
“Of course sir. We’ll get right on that,” Gustavo agreed. His wife was still lost in her thoughts about warning Bella about me when Gustavo said her name to get her moving. She startled, before nodding her head and following Gustavo to the bedroom. I smirked at her thoughts before returning to my lamb.
Bella was where I left her, curled up on the couch soaking in the sunlight. She smiled when she saw my return, holding her arms out as an invitation for my embrace. She started asking questions about who was here and what was going on. I answered all of her questions, but I no longer felt the need to be on my best behavior, just to mess with Kaure for a bit. Bella bent her neck to pop it as the housekeepers got closer. Taking a chance, I leaned over to start peppering kisses along her throat, lightly nipping here and there. Bella’s giggles began turning into moans just as Kaure had stepped back into the main room.
“Monster!” Kaure hissed in Brazilian Portuguese as I placed a kiss along Bella’s shoulder. Gustavo was right behind his wife, carrying the broken headboard.
“Kaure,” he sighed. His patience for his wife was beginning to run thin with what he believed to be her anxiousness. “Go open the door. This is heavy.”
Kaure took another glance at the woman in my arms before nodding and scampering away to open the front door. Bella watched with fascination and worry. I placated my mostly selfless wife before distracting her once again.
That night, after Bella had fallen asleep, I got up. My body demanded that I go hunt, and I wasn’t going to push it. The house was silent, and I hoped that Bella would still be asleep by the time I got back. Just in case I wasn’t when she did wake up, I left a note on the counter before heading out.
Once on the mainland, I raced towards the forest on the outskirts of Rio. There weren’t any of my favorite mountain lions, but jaguars were just as good. I also ended up catching a couple of monkeys, just to be safe. I was so engrossed in making sure that I wasn’t thirsty, I completely lost track of time. Just as I was finishing off the last monkey, the sun started to peek over the horizon.
“Fuck,” I groaned. Even at my top speed, I wouldn’t make it back to Bella in time to get started on breakfast. Not that we had anything to make breakfast. Bella had been eating eggs in any form nonstop. Which was strange in of itself, as she normally tried to stay away from animal products. Now that meant I had to find some eggs for Bella as well as get back quickly. If I had remembered yesterday, I would’ve told Kaure and Gustavo to bring back eggs, but I had been occupied. I scrambled and rushed towards Rio, trying to find a grocery store that was open. The sun was my only enemy here, and I couldn’t let myself be caught out like this, so when none of the stores in the immediate area were open, I gave up on my quest for eggs and made my way back to the boat.
I arrived back on Isle Esmé around 9:30. Kaure and Gustavo hadn’t arrived yet. Bella was nowhere in sight, but the half-eaten chicken sitting out on the counter caught my eye. It looked like she’d only taken a couple of bites. Nothing too substantial to be considered that she was full, but yet, it was left out. Forgotten. This was not like Bella at all. I moved to the blue room. Bella wouldn’t go somewhere she didn’t know, leaving our room as the only other option.
She was hunched over the toilet of the adjoining bathroom when I found her. She was pale and there was a light sheen of sweat on her face. When she registered that I had walked in, Bella leaned over and flushed the toilet before closing the lid and sitting on it.
“You don’t need to see this,” she moaned, clearly embarrassed at her display of sickness.
“In sickness and in health, remember?” I scolded as I kneeled down and grabbed her hands.
My wife smiled and sighed, “Can you get me my bag?” I got up and grabbed the bag she was currently pointing at. The contents within were some Pepto-Bismol, tampons, Advil, and bandages. I handed the bag over and watched Bella start to reach for the Pepto-Bismol, only for her to hesitate. Her eyes widened and her already pale skin paled even further. Bella rushed to her feet and started pacing.
“How long has it been since the wedding?” Bella begged. I paused and thought.
“Seventeen days. Why?” I was confused.
Bella stopped in front of the full-body mirror before clutching at her stomach, “I didn’t think it was possible.”
My brain restarted and I stood still as I started to process the information. Seventeen days, constantly craving eggs, throwing up the chicken she had eaten. If I could hyperventilate, that’s what would’ve been happening now. My thoughts whirled and nothing made sense. Even when my phone started to ring, I didn’t move. It felt like I was in a tunnel and the only thing I could see was Bella’s hands clutching her stomach. My ears felt like they were filled with cotton. Bella had grabbed my phone at some point and had started talking rapidly into it.
“- vampires go into shock?” she questioned as I started to regain my senses.
“What has happened?” Carlisle calmly demanded.
Bella’s eyes flitted around before responding, “I think I’m pregnant.” She gasped and grabbed at her abdomen once again. “I swear, I think something just moved in me.”
The sentence kick-started my body. I moved towards her and grabbed the phone from her hand. “Is this even possible?” I snarled into the phone.
Carlisle sighed, “I don’t know. You’ll have to come back so I can check on her.”
I didn’t wait for anything else and ended the call. I turned back to my wife, “We have to go back.”
I couldn’t control myself as I started cleaning up the room and repacking our clothes and items. Bella watched from the bathroom. Her eyes held fear and something else. Acceptance maybe. I didn’t want to see. As I zipped the last bag shut, Kaure and Gustavo arrived.
“Dammit,” I hissed and rushed to open the door.
Kaure and Gustavo were scared at my current appearance and I couldn’t hide the fact that I was starting to shine from the sunlight. At this point, I didn’t honestly care. Kaure’s thoughts began to think of the Ticuna tribe and I suddenly got an idea.
“I need your help Kaure. It is of the utmost importance,” I stated in Portuguese. “My wife, there’s something wrong. I need you to certify what it is.”
Kaure glanced at me. She didn’t trust me at all, but she could see that I was frantic and agreed. I led her back towards Bella. Bella was still where I had left her, cowering behind the bathroom door, but there was a light in her eyes that made me want to shake her. That light only showed up in her eyes when she had a plan and I had a feeling I would not like this plan.
“She’s here to help, Bella,” I called out. Bella snapped out of her thoughts and looked at Kaure before nodding. Kaure shuffled her way to my wife before placing her hands on her stomach. Her body was still for a moment before I saw the slight nod of her head. Bella was pregnant. Suddenly, Kaure’s body language changed before she whipped towards me.
“You’ve doomed her!” she snarled.
“I love her… Please, is there anything we can do?” I urged.
Kaure’s eyes turned to study Bella’s eyes again before she moved to face me. Her face was in a scowl. Her mouth lifted into a sneer.
“Death,” she hissed. With that, she stormed out of the room. As the door slammed the perfect picture of Bella and I’s life together shattered. Bella’s eyes were wide, beseeching me for answers. Instead of being able to explain what had happened calmly, a rage I hadn’t felt since Bella’s near-death experience with James clouded my senses.
“We’ll get that thing out of you. I won’t let it hurt you,” I growled. My hands grabbed the suitcases and bags and started heading out of the room.
The rest of the day was spent traveling. Bella and I barely spoke to each other. Unlike the ride into Rio, where Bella had been pressed up against me in the back seat, Bella had made sure that there was space between us. Her eyes had stayed permanently fixed on the outside. I was sure the flight back to Washington would be worse. To ease the tension I told Bella to stay in the car as I got us ready for take-off. Bella continued to stare out the window. I wanted to hold her, beg her to forgive me for my harsh words earlier, but the rage I had felt would resurface. Barely twenty days into our marriage and Bella was in danger. And it was all my fault.