Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: I've been itching to start writing again. So, I decided to start anew. This is a Bella and Randall pairing. After binge reading Twilight fan-fiction, I realized that no one has attempted this couple. With that being said, I'm going to alter Randall's character – not that there is much known about him. Also, I would like to add that I'm starting this with a mature rating. I don't like holding back the muse. Any who, I hope y'all enjoy the first chapter! Thank you for reading!
Chapter One: "The Scavenger"
Bombs destroyed the isolated village. The platoon attempted to outrun the blasts, but the mercenaries showed no leniency. Bullets pierced the survivors; blood stained the moonlit sand. In a matter of moments, dozens met death. Their bodies charred by fire. Bella watched the carnage in fascination, hiding within fiery walls. Unlike the other American soldiers, she had run into the lion's den to seek cover. The locals were less likely to attack their people; their sights focused on those in fatigues. Bella's tactical mind took advantage of their hatred, finding shelter in a windowless home.
Clutching a rifle, her chocolate eyes locked onto the front door. She could not hear the battle. The blasts had caused temporary deafness. Bella had only her vision to calculate the enemy. Unfortunately, the smoke had burned her corneas. Salty tears blurred her vision. "Fuck," she breathed, eyelids blinking. Without senses, a soldier was nothing more than a sitting duck.
Another bomb landed within the battle zone. Bright light shrouded the room. Bella was thrown into a clay wall, severing her spine. She could no longer feel her legs. Desperate, she tried to crawl into the shadows. Her efforts were met with a resistance. The solider looked upwards to see a man. No, not a man, he was a vampire. Bella recognized the hunger within his black irises. A choked laugh escaped her. Even in the desert, one of them had found her.
The immortal lowered himself onto the ground. Sharp teeth plunged into her femoral artery. Bella remembered the pain. Much like the flames surrounding them, the venom burned her skin. However, this wouldn't be like the previous encounter. She would not survive the feeding. This vampire wasn't sadistic like James; he snuck into the village to eat without being noticed. Truthfully, it was a perfect method. Isabella Swan would be nothing more than a statistic in history – a causality of war. No one would suspect that a mythical creature sucked the life from her body.
Bullets interrupted the communion. Three of the enemy had spotted them within the rubble. The covered men tried to kill the monster, but their ammunition bounced of the vampire's torso. "Run," Bella pled, blood dribbling from her pout lips. The vampire released her. His hunger redirected to the mercenaries. Scared shitless, they scattered like cockroaches. Bella closed her eyes. She didn't want to witness their deaths. Once upon a time, Edward Cullen had told her that vampires were very protective of their prey. To intrude on a hunt was a death sentence.
Time passed, slowly. Bella felt the vampire's venom crystalizing her cells. Pain licked every inch of her skin. She waited for shock, but it never came. Silent screams poured from her mouth – unanswered. The solider began to prepare for the inevitable. If the vampire did not return to kill her, she would become a Cold One. Bella couldn't help but find the situation ironic. Edward had only prolonged the inevitable. Oh, how she hated him for it. She had wanted to awaken as an immortal among family. Now, she would be alone in the desert – not an animal in sight.
The ground stilled as the battle ended. Not a soul survived the destruction. Bella knew because her body remained untampered. Even as her lungs cried, no one put a bullet in her head. The vampire, her maker, vanished from the scene. As the change furthered, she felt a twinge of his life force traveling the opposite direction. It was an unexpected sensation. The Cullen Coven had never mentioned such a bond. However, maybe, it was something unique to them – the scavenger and the solider. Bella had to wonder if it was one-sided because how could he leave a newborn? The question plagued her mind until she pumped her last heartbeat.
Awakening as an immortal was startling. With heightened abilities, the world appeared foreign. Bella's crimson eyes examined the scene like a curious infant. Despite the manmade destruction, the desert was an oasis. Human memories flickered to the present. "Arizona," the soldier chimed, "I lived in a desert." Of course, the old images paled in comparison to her current view. She vaguely recalled cacti. Yes, Bella enjoyed uprooting plants from dry soil. A woman would pot them for her when she'd return home. Who was the woman? "My mom," she surmised, "Rach-Rebecca? No, Renee."
The wind carried an odd noise from the east. Bella darted towards the commotion. Her movements were uncontrollable – as if being possessed by a demon. Whishing sliced through the sky; it was a helicopter. The vampire froze in fear. She couldn't smell the humans, but their heartbeats taunted her eardrums. A fierce thirst consumed her. "Shit," she cursed, searching for a hiding place. Nothing stood-out amongst the dunes. Even if there were, the army would search for survivors. Americans refused to leave a comrade, dead or alive. Defeated, Bella decided to hold her breath.
The pilot spotted her bloodstained fatigues with the helicopter's headlights. They landed a few feet away, rifles in tow. However, only one man approached her. He was middle-aged, a career officer. Bella's lips tightened at his proximity. The man didn't seem to notice her anxiety, offering a fatherly smile in greeting. "I'm Lieutenant Erikson. We are searching for the Roughnecks. They've been off the grid for three days. Are you a private in the platoon?" Bella nodded, refusing to breathe.
"What's your name, Soldier?"
Slowly, the immortal removed the tags from around her neck. The metal bent between her fingertips but remained legible. Lieutenant Erikson pulled out a flashlight, reading the credentials. "Swan, Isabella," he announced to the others, "Private of the Roughnecks." Satisfied, he returned the identification to her. The heat of his skin clung to the jewelry's surface. The red of her irises turned black, her composure slipping.
"Private Swan," the officer implored, "I think you're in shock." A beam of light crossed her inhuman eyes. Bella growled at the sudden disturbance. Without warning, she grabbed the lieutenant's wrist, shattering the bones. "Fuck," he screamed, flashlight dropping onto the sand. The vampire held onto him. Once again, she felt possessed by some unknown force. Bella tried to fight it, but the quickening beat of man's heart was too tempting. He would be her first meal – animal or not.
The soldiers shouted in the background, demanding she release their leader. Bella ignored them. Her sharp teeth bit into Lieutenant Erickson's neck. The officer begged for his life – bullets pelted her back. She wanted to stop, but the thirst refused to sate. Even as she dropped his lifeless body, Bella couldn't dull the hunger's roar. It consumed her. She latched onto her next victim – And then, the next. Within minutes, the vampire found herself surrounded by bloodless corpses. Guilt replaced the thirst.
Bella stood frozen for hours. The event replayed in her mind, over-and-over. It wasn't until the sun peeked over the horizon that she moved into action. Another squad would come to their location. Undoubtedly, the helicopter carried a signal. She stripped off her bloody rags and swapped fatigues with the smallest male. Searching the chopper, Bella found gloves and a military cap. She covered every inch of skin, praying for no sparkle. Her plan was to head south towards water. Once she was away from humanity, the newborn would focus on control. Bella wouldn't leave the ocean until she had overcame her thirst.