**All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.**
You wanted me to be human, I reminded him. Well, watch me.
"Please. For me."
But you won't stay with me any other way.
"Please." It was just a whisper in the blowing rain that tossed my hair and drenched my clothes—making
Me as wet as if this were my second jump of the day.
I rolled up onto the balls of my feet.
"No, Bella!" He was angry now, and the anger was so lovely.
I smiled and raised my arms straight out, as if I were going to dive, lifting my face into the rain. But it was
Too ingrained from years of swimming at the public pool—feet first, first time. I leaned forward, crouching
To get more spring…
And I flung myself off the cliff.
But I never hit the water.
Instead, something slammed into my back, milliseconds before I reached the water. Surely it was a boulder, a dump truck, something impossibly hard, as hard as the jagged rocks that formed the cliff face that raced upward as I fell.
I was literally, unconscious before I knew what hit me.
"Ohhhh no, no, no. Wakeup, little bitch. I want you nice and conscious for this."
A palm-shaped marble slab crashed into the side of my face. Something cracked audibly in my jaw. The pain was blinding, disorienting. My knocked loose teeth moved with my breaths.
Flat on my back, I opened my eyes, seeing stars, and look up into Victoria's face, her hair like a fire. Like a terrifying flashback, like the nightmares that woke me screaming most nights, I realized she was holding a camcorder. My heart pounded hard in my chest, every beat throbbing in the side of my face. Adrenaline coursed through my veins.
"Don't move. Do as she says."
Of course. In my most terrifying moments, I heard his voice. Of course, I'd hear it now. Even now it comforted me. It gave me the strength to assess my surroundings.
A cave? Was this a cave? I heard waves crashing near, behind my head. The ground was soaked, frigid, slippery stone. It was dark, the only illumination coming from the small and craggy opening fifty feet away. Beyond the opening was nothing but sea.
Victoria stepped over my body, one foot on each side of my hips, and looked directly down at me through the camera.
"I thought, in James' memory, we could continue the film he started for Edward. Except, I am NOT as kind as James was. You'll beg me for death in the next few hours.
Now see, the trick is, we can't let you bleed. No, we're not going to shorten this. Even your bruises smell delectable."
My smell. Always my smell. I was listening to my eulogy.
She knelt down, straddling my waist, leaned over and traced my jugular with her cold tongue, her cool breath starkly apparent on the hot, swollen skin over my shattered jaw. Even through the excruciating throb and terror, her cool vampire scent brought back memories of the Cullens. The camera rolled, close, right in my face. I closed my eyes against it.
"Wouldn't want to lose control of myself too early..." she whispered into my ear.
Her knees slowly began to squeeze my hips together. Tighter and tighter, steadily and slowly. The screaming came without control. I felt my hip bones shatter, and still she pressed. My pelvis, pulverized.
"A little internal bleeding never hurt anyone though. Anyone who wasn't human, of course."
The pain could not be adequately translated through words or rational language. Time didn't matter because all of it was an eternity. I lost control of my bladder.
She moved down my legs on her hands and knees, my body underneath her, camera in one hand. She stood on her knees and crushed my femur. She pushed my knee caps nearly to the backs of my knees, slowly as to not break my skin. She sank her fingers into my legs, smashing bone, like clay in her hands. My screams echoed off the unfeeling granite walls.
My mind went, at some point, I think. If the sweet black release of lost consciousness began to creep in, she pulled me out of it with violent shakes. Still, the camera rolled.
I can't say how much time had passed. Victoria was torturing me. Some part of my mind knew this to be a fact. Holding my breath, I wished for death. The begging she wanted never came. Begging would entail somewhat rational thought. Nothing was real but pain now.
The idea came to me like an oasis in the endless desert of Hell. Blood. I needed to bleed. If I could bleed, she would kill me. I would welcome anything that would put this terrible pain to an end.
With every ounce of energy my broken body had left, I beat my head into the granite underneath it. Two hard smacks and I felt the skin split and the blood spill. Victoria moaned as though touched by a lover.
"Damn it…" she hissed, breathing heavily through her nose. She set the camera down next to us. She straddled my ankles, on her knees, almost tenderly, she reached, and her fingers found their way to the back of my skull and into the wound. She brought her blood sodden fingers to her face, smelling deeply, and licked the blood from her fingertips.
"Oh my God. How could anyone resist that..."
Her teeth were in my thigh before I realized it worked. She's going to kill me! It would all be over soon. I won. I was getting out of this never-ending pain. Victoria moaned as she drained me. Another few seconds, just a few more eternities, and it would all be over. Darkness and absolute horror imprisoned me. Now the world was gone; I was just one.
I felt, at that moment, like I had always known what my last thoughts would be. What they would always be, what they had been since the second I laid eyes on him.
Edward's voice no longer spoke; it stood in the corner and screamed with me.