Enchantments Contest Entry

Title: Zombies Suck

Word Count: 9,993

Fantasy Element or Creature: Zombies

Summary: The world has been ravaged by an airborne virus. Bella Swan, along with her best friend, and her fiancé, are immune. But when the group loses a valuable member, everything changes. Bella loses hope. And upon encountering another group, something shifts.

Disclaimer: As always, absolutely NO copyright infringement is intended. All things Twilight belong to the oh-so-wonderful and amazingly awesome Stephenie Meyer. The below mentioned zombie film titles belong to their respective owners. I make no profit from this story. I may not own Twilight, but I DO own two cats, a 26 oz. jar of Nutella, and a severe case of Twific addcition.

A big thanks, multiple hugs, and a huge gift basket laden with goodies to my two betas, AzureEyedI and itlnbrt. You guys are AWESOME.

(((((((((((((((CONTEST ENDED. Check out the winners and the other entries HERE u / 2504895 / )))))))))))))))))

It started out as a cure. I don't remember what for. All I know is, it blew up in the scientists face. Bad. The virus mutated. It changed. People who were sick, suddenly got better. Then they died. But the problem was, they didn't stay dead. Not for long.

I know what you're thinking. Mindless, drooling zombies. Night of the Living Dead shit, right? Wrong. These guys were fast. Think, Dawn of the Dead, only worse. Granted, nearly all were dumber than a box of rocks. But there was talk on the news, when there WAS news, of zombies that were faster. And smarter. They could strategize, operate doorknobs. I didn't believe it at first. I don't think anyone did. Not in the beginning.

Anyway, the virus was airborne and later on could be transmitted through bodily fluids. IE, biting. Some of the survivors were lucky enough to have some sort of immunity to the airborne strain. Edward and I were both immune.

Jacob was too. Jacob and I had been best friends for as long as either of us could remember. We spent our summershanging out at each others houses. We even camped out at the beach a few times. One thing we both loved? Zombies. Movies, games, etc. Irony, table for two...

Edward and I? We'd been together since middle school, engaged for two years. I kept pushing the date back. Marriage scared me. It ruined what was a perfectly good relationship for my parents. I didn't want it to drive me and Edward apart.

All three of us were living together when the infection broke out. We boarded ourselves up in our tiny two bedroom home, and we got used to the routine. We got comfortable. And I let my guard down.

I was coming in from the crow's nest. I'd been passing the time on a particularly boring day by shooting some zombies. Jacob had called up while I was going through the attic, asked if I could grab some cases of lamp oil on my way down. I left the last board off the barricade to the window.

I didn't know I'd let in one of the infected. Not until it was too late. I'd just sat the oil down, and was trying to light one of our lamps. That's when Jacob shoved me away from him. The zombie had just reached out, and it grabbed at my head, only to yank a few strands of hair. When Jacob pushed me away, I tripped, and the lamp I'd been holding, and just managed to light, tumbled from my hands and smashed against the curtains. The flames quickly spread up the fabric.

Edward, hearing all the commotion, rushed upstairs. He pulled me to my feet and he, Jacob, and I overpowered the lone zombie who'd infiltrated our base. Then we turned our attention to the flames, which had already taken over half the sitting room, and were spreading rapidly. There was no hope that we could have extinguished them. So we grabbed the bags we'd packed specifically for a quick getaway.

The front door was already engulfed. The only way out was the attic window. We climbed the stairs, avoiding the blistering flames as well as we could, just in time for part of a support beam to snap and crash down on the staircase, making a return trip impossible. But, as our luck would have it, there was no sign of undead anywhere in the attic. Jake jumped down first, and I dropped my bag down to him, then closed my eyes when Edward dropped me into Jacob's waiting arms. Once we were all down, we took off. The house was burning fast, at least half of it already in flames. Soon, it would begin to attract attention. If it hadn't already.

We'd probably gone at least a mile when we saw them. There were five of them, all decaying flesh and rotten stench, crowded around a fresh corpse. Edward tossed Jacob a rifle and pulled out a shotgun. He handed me a pistol, and I held it ready while double checking that I still had my trusty baseball bat, Perses, strapped to my back. Perses was the Titan god of destruction. Jake thought it was hilarious that I'd named my bat, but Edward just thought it silly of me. He never understood why I bothered with it. But bats never run out of ammo. Plus, it was sorta gratifying, knocking their heads clean off.

When we cocked our guns, one of them looked up, and we gasped. We stared into the decomposed face of our high school principal, Mr. Banner. He'd always been really nice to all the students. So it was pretty weird to see him, eyeball out, (un)dead, and tearing into human flesh like a piece of fried chicken. Zombie Banner grinned, displaying a mouth of broken, gore smattered teeth. His mouth opened, and he screamed.

A zombie scream isn't a sound you'd want to hear, even on a good day. It just sort of stops you in your tracks. Your blood runs cold, and, for a moment you're paralyzed with fear. I think that's why they do it. Some sort of hunting defense…

Suddenly, one of their heads exploded. I looked over at Jake, who was grinning, and already lining up a second shot. The zombies sprinted towards us, and Edward took one out, and I nailed one between they eyes with the pistol. Jake's second shot had missed, but he got him with the next round. Zombie Banner hadn't moved. He was just sitting there, grinning. And then he was right in front of us, a split second later. Like he hadn't even moved at all. Edward rose the shotgun, and took aim. Banner flung him aside as easily as if he'd been a rag doll. There was a thud as he was thrown into the bushes. I cocked the pistol again, and something slammed into my ankle, sweeping it out from under me, I landed on my stomach, hard. I heard Jake's as shot after shot rang out, and I scrambled to my feet. My ankle collapsed, unable to take my weight, and I fell again. I looked to the right. Jacob tossed the depleted rifle to the ground, pulling out two pistols. Every one of his shots missed. Edward crawled out of the bushes, and pulled me up again. That's when we heard Jacob bellow in pain.

Uber Banner had sunk his disgusting teeth into his arm, and torn a chunk free. Edward grabbed my pistol. And fired three rounds into the back of his head, and Banner slumped to the ground, defeated. Jake was shaking, pressing his hands to the wound. Blood was rapidly staining his shirt. I reached out towards him, and Edward yanked me back. Jacobs eyes were wide as he looked down to the bite, then back at Edward and I.

"C'mon, Bella," Edward pulled me back, grabbing one of the bags and throwing it over his shoulder. "We gotta go."

"What? No!" I yanked my arm back and limped towards Jacob, who retreated, shaking his head. I frowned. "Jacob, please, let me-"

"Get her outta here, Edward!" Jake grunted, gritting his teeth and shuddering. "Hurry…"

Edward grabbed me around the waist, and threw me over his shoulder, bag, bat and all. Considering the combined weight, it was quite a feat.

"No! We can't just leave him!" I screamed as he nodded to Jacob. "NO! Please, Edward, PLEASE! JACOB!"

"It'll be okay, Bells," he smiled, and his bloody hand reached out towards me, as if to touch my cheek. One single tear rolled down his cheek. I let out a sob, shaking my head back and forth. "I promise."

"Please, please, PLEASE!" I begged Edward, sobbing. "We have to help him!"

Edward kicked something across the way to Jacob, who knelt down and picked it up. His hands shook as he surveyed the pistol. My heart sank with realization. Jake looked up, a soft smile playing across his full lips.

"NO!" I shrieked, pounding my fists against Edward's back. "You put me DOWN! NOW! Jacob!"

"Love you, Bells," Jacob mouthed. Tears poured down my grime coated cheeks. "Be safe…"

"NOOOO!" I kicked and thrashed as best I could, but to no avail. Edward kept his hold on me, and then he turned and started running. "JAAACOB! NO! NO! JACOOOOOOB!"

I was sure my cries would draw attention. I didn't care. And though my screams were loud enough to wake the dead, my sorrow did nothing to drown out the one single gunshot that rang out. The shot pierced through me to my very core, and I stopped kicking. I stopped screaming. I just wept.

Two miles. He carried me and all the bags for two miles, finally stopping at a small convenience store which was boarded up. Edward placed me on the ground, against to the wall next to the door, which was ajar. He pulled out a shotgun, and pressed a pistol into my hand, wrapping my fingers around it.

"I need you to focus, Bella," he touched my cheek and I looked away. "If not for me, for Jacob. He wouldn't want-"

"Don't," I snarled suddenly, causing Edward's emerald eyes to widen as he looked into my own milk chocolate ones, now narrowed in anger. "Don't you fucking DARE presume to tell me what Jacob would or would not want. You just fucking LEFT him there, Edward. After absolutely everything that we've been through, you just abandoned him. So, no. Don't talk to me about what he would've wanted."


"Just…Go," I pulled myself up. My ankle throbbed, but I shoved Edward's hand away when he tried to help me. "Make sure it's secure, and I'll stand guard."

He opened his mouth to say something more, but then, thought otherwise, and closed it. Smart boy. He sighed, his shoulders slumping, and pulled out a flashlight, walking inside. I made sure the pistol was loaded, and pulled Perses out, resting my weight against him.

My thoughts returned again to Jacob. I wasn't sure how I'd go on without him. He was always reassuring me, always giving me a reason to hope for tomorrow. He gave us hope that, maybe, someday, things would return to normal. Losing him really started to put things into perspective. Before, it was like the infection was a bad dream. Now? It was like waking up from said dream, only to find that the nightmare had come to life.

"Bella?" Edward called from the door, and waved his hand, motioning for me to come in. "It's safe. C'mon in."

I grabbed Perses and my bag, and limped inside. It was list by a few dusty oil lamps Edward had lit, and sat here and there. There were sots in the back, complete with pillows and blankets. Cans of food were stacked against the wall. Edward secured the only door, and led me to a cot.

"Let's take a look at your ankle," he gently pulled my shoe off, and I winced. Taking my swollen ankle gently in his hands, his fingers gently probed along the bones, and then pulled the first aid kit out of a bag. "It's not broken, thank God. But it does look like a bad sprain."

He wrapped my ankle, and I sat on the cot, not speaking. He seemed to know that I was in no mood for shit chat, and he instead busied himself with taking stock of the supplies that were available. Finally, after several long minutes of silence, I could ignore what had happened no longer.

"Why…?" I began, and my lip trembled. I bit down on it, holding it still. "How could you , Edward? After everything that's happened, that's happened to all of us? Jacob stood by our side, never faltering. And you just…leave him?"

"Bella," he sighed, running a hand through his coppery hair. "You know just as well as I what would've happened to Jacob."

"How would you know?" I accused. "We're immune to the airborne strain, maybe Jacob could have-"

"That's not how it works," Edward shook his head, frowning.

"What makes you the expert?" I stood, and jabbed him in the chest with my pointer finger. My ankle throbbed, but I didn't hesitate. The pain fueled my anger. "You are the biggest pessimist I've ever known. Especially since Outbreak. Jacob was always the one who looked to the positive side of things. He gave us hope, Edward. Hope that maybe, someday, people might stop ripping each other to pieces and eating them. That one day we could rebuild."

"You have to look at the facts," he said, and seized my hand in his, ignoring my repeated attempts to pull it away. "Do you think I want to believe that the world that we know it is gone? That there will never be another book written? That there will never be another president?"

He dropped my hand and looked away. Silent for a moment, his green eyes were sad. "I don't Bella. But I've accepted these things. And you should, too."

"So you've just given up, then?" I huffed, glaring at him. He was quiet. "Fine. Quit, then. Don't even bother to think that things will change."

"They WON'T!" he suddenly shouted, causing me to jump little. Edward rarely rose his voice at me, ever. "Everyone you or I have ever known is DEAD! Your parents, your friends, your teachers, complete strangers…They're all GONE! Everyone is dead. Including Jacob."

That did it. I pulled my arm back and let it fly, slapping him across the face as hard as I possibly could. "I HATE YOU!" I screamed, pounding my fists against his chest. "It's your fault he's gone! All your fault…Jacob…why? Oh, God!"

Edward grabbed me and pulled me to his chest, holding me close. I screamed and yelled and tried to push him away. He only held me tighter. My ankle, having taken all it could, finally gave way, and we both fell to the floor. The more I cried and fought, the more I swore that I hated him, the closer and tighter he held me. Finally, I stopped fighting. I just broke. Edward rocked me back and forth, whispering that he was sorry, so sorry, as I wept for the loss of our fallen friend.

Time passed. Ever so slowly, but pass it did. Edward and I remained in the store. Until we knew what else to do, or where else to go, it was our only option.

Edward had taken up broadcasting over the solar powered radio that Jacob had built. Jacob had painstakingly built it from scraps, and broadcasted once, sometimes twice a day.

"I repeat, there are survivors," Edward continued, giving our location. "We have some supplies. We have plenty of clean water, blankets, and empty cots. We do need food. Please, if there is anyone out there, there's still hope. We can survive this together. You are not alone."

"I don't know why you bother," I grumbled over our lunch that day. Some beef jerky and stale crackers.

"Hmm?" Edward looked up, confused. His brow wrinkled. I used to think that was cute. "With what?"

"With the radio," I shrugged, and ate another cracker. Mmm. Cardboard-ey. "Like you said, everyone's dead, remember?"

"Well, not necessarily," he gestured to our tiny safe house. "Someone had to do this. Someone was here at one point."

"Yeah, and what do you think happened to them?" I pushed my food away, and grabbed a bottle of water. I drank deeply, the liquid like silk on my parched tongue.

I hadn't been the same since the night Jacob was infected. Before, the infection had been like a bad dream, one that we had been sure we'd wake up from. Now? With Jake gone, it was like we'd finally woken up, only to find that our nightmare had become reality.

Edward's pessimistic attitude had rubbed off on me. Every day, I lost a little more hope that we'd be rescued. Every day, I died a little more on the inside.

"Bella, I know things have been hard since Jacob-"


"You can't just-"

"Shut up, Edward!" I hissed at him, and clapped my hand over his mouth. "Listen!"

We were silent, and, moments later, we heard it. The unmistakable sound of multiple sets of feet crunching across the gravel outside. Accompanied by the groaning and growling of the undead.

Edward and I quickly tiptoed over to the boarded up windows, and peered through the tiny cracks in the boards. There were at least ten, maybe fifteen of them, shuffling along. I gagged; the stench rolled off of them, and it was horrendous. Like a thousand rotting carcasses all laid out in the midday sun.

I'd never seen that many together at once. As I Edward and I watched silently, we saw a dog crawl tentatively from his shelter under an abandoned minivan. He sniffed the air, and his hackles rose. He growled when he saw undead. He backed away, but he wasn't quick enough. We watched in horror as the horde leapt upon him.

I gasped, and hid my eyes in Edward's shoulder. That poor animal…

"How good is the security here?" I asked, chuckling a little. I surprised myself. I couldn't remember the last time I'd found anything, even something as disturbing as a torn apart dog, remotely close to funny.

"I believe, if we're quiet," he grinned his crooked grin, and it warmed my heart. Smiles were few and far between these days. "They should pass us by, no problem."

I chanced another look out the window. The poor dog was down to practically nothing. Two of the infected were fighting over a lone body part. As we looked on, one of the undead raised it's head and sort of looked around. Raising it's decaying stump of a nose into the air, it sniffed. It's eyes widened, and the head whipped around to look directly at us. It could fucking smell us, too? Wonderful.

"Oh, crap," I whimpered, and immediately felt Edward leave my side, springing into action. The zombie who'd caught our scent growled. A few of it's companions stopped what they were doing and they too, sniffed the air also. One of them shrieked, and every single zombie crouched, and sprang towards us. The dog's body part, part of it's lower jaw, I realized with dread, lay forgotten.

I head Edward loading a gun. Perses was leaning against my cot, I ran to get it. Gripping the handle tightly, there was a splintering crash. I looked around, and saw an arm sticking through a hole punched in the wood.

"On it!" Edward pulled out a long, sharp hunting knife and with a smooth motion, severed the decomposer's arm from it's torso. There was a roar from the other side, no doubt from the previous owner of said arm. Prevous owner, anyway. The stump retreated, the arm continuing to pull itself along the floor.

I kicked it away, leaping back. There was another crash, and something grabbed my hair. A board had been broken completely off, and my greasy ponytail was now clutched in the grip of one of the infected. I let out a shriek, and yanked my head in the opposite direction. Ouch. Big mistake. Aside from several strands ripped forcibly, and painfully, from my skull, it served no purpose other than to give my a migraine from hell.

It's other hand grabbed onto my upper arm. That's when the machine gun fire started. Suddenly, the hands gripping me went slack, and released. The gun fire continued, mingled here and there with the shriek or growl of one of the undead. It seemed we were forgotten, however, as the zombies turned their attention to our saviors. Another sound. A…car engine? Followed by a rather loud thud, much like the sound of one being struck by a vehicle moving at a high velocity. The mayhem continued, and then it all went quiet.

"Everyone alright in there?" someone, a male, shouted. We were speechless for a moment. We hadn't heard the sound of a stranger's voice in…forever, it seemed. "Hello!"

"W-we're fine," Edward called back. His voice shook, and his green eyes were wide. "And yourself?"

Our hero laughed. I mean, full on laughed. "Mighty well, thank you. Would you be so kind as to grant us access to your fortress?"

"Uh-huh," I squeaked, and hurried to the door. Edward helped me pry the boards off, and I opened the door.

A young man, about our age, stepped in. He pulled off his tattered bandana to reveal honey blonde locks, down almost to his shoulders. The same shade scruff lined his cheeks. He eyes were a startling grayish blue, harsh, yet soft at the same time.

He was accompanied by a female, tall and slender. Statuesque came to mind. Her hair was a light blonde, and braided on either side of her head, below her ears. She had sapphire blue eyes, and full red lips. She was pretty. She even had a Marilyn Monroe beauty mark.

They stood, eyeing us, and taking in their surroundings. Edward re-bolted the door, and came back to stand at my side.

"There used to be three of y'all," the male said, looking around.

"How do you-" I began to ask.

"We heard your broadcast," the blonde said, as if we had to have knows that already.

"He…didn't make it," Edward stated grimly.

"Well, I'm mighty sorry for your loss," he nodded sadly. "We've lost most of our original group. Rose and I are the only ones left.

"Oh, my apologies," He smiled apologetically. "I'm afraid I'm out of practice greeting new friends. I'm Jasper Hale." He gestured then to his blonde companion. "This is my sister, Rosalie."

"And you are?" Rosalie eyed Edward appreciatively.

"Edward Masen," he took her hand, shaking it. The HELL?

"And his fiancé," I added, stressing the final word. Edward dropped her hand like a hot coal. "Bella Swan."

Rosalie looked me up and down. Clearly unimpressed, she smirked. I rolled my eyes.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Bella," Jasper took my hand in his, and touched it to his lips gently. "Nice to know someone else has made it."

We then double checked our perimeter. The horde had damaged our defenses in numerous places. Edward and Jasper quickly set to work with repairing them, and Rosalie brought in a small case of food from their car. I peeked out at it. It was slightly armored, and the windows had been removed, to be replaced with chicken wire and chain link.

We ate, then. A feast, no less, consisting of canned tuna on crackers, pickle spears, and Mountain Dew. God, soda tasted amazing. While we ate, Jasper explained how he'd found us.

"We've been tuning into your broadcasts for several weeks," he spoke with a slight Southern twang. "We'd planned on coming sooner, but we'd been running low on fuel. When your location changed, we decided to come out. We're about an hour away, and I think we have just enough fuel to get back."

"I think there may still be fuel in the pumps," I added helpfully. "I dunno how you'd get it out, though."

"I'm sure we could think of something," he assured me, smiling. Hmm. Boy was kinda cute. "Seems we were almost destined to find you."

"Well, it was good luck, at least," Edward agreed. "Though I'm not so sure destiny had anything to do with it. If there is such a thing as destiny, was the outbreak part of the master plan?"

"Everything happens for a reason," Jasper said. "I believe there's still hope for humanity."

"Doubt it," Rosalie sighed, using a toothpick to clean her nails. "Don't think there's enough of us left."

"That's the spirit, Rose," Jasper rolled his eyes at his sister. "Always the picture of optimism. What about you, Bella?"


"Do you have hope?"

I frowned, considering his question seriously for a long moment. "I'm not sure. In the beginning, I thought so. I just knew that any day now, someone would knock on our door, and they'd say everything was okay, that it was safe. I'd hoped that the government would own up to their mistakes for once. I guess I'm not surprised they turned a blind eye.

"To answer your question," I concluded, pushing my chestnut hair back. "I did. Now? Who the hell knows?"

The conversation turned. Edward stood up from our plywood milk crate table and stretched, asking Jasper if they needed shelter.

"Actually," Jasper rose, also, from the table. "Overnight it might be a good idea. But we did come here with the intention of asking you to join us, back at our base. That is, if you're interested. We have plenty of clean water, as well as food to last for a while."

"We have a shower," Rose added, crinkling her nose a bit at me. I had to resist the urge to punch her. Hard. So I was a bit ripe. Okay, really ripe. Wasn't my fault, y'know. The Apocalypse rarely leaves one with running water. God. Zombies suck.

"And rooms with beds as well," Jasper added. "We're pretty well on security, too."

I looked at Edward, who shrugged. "We'd need to discuss it." I frowned. What exactly was there to discuss? There were survivors. And a shower, for God's sake! Sign me up.

"Or course," Jasper nodded his head in understanding. "So we'll stay here overnight, and in the morning…?"

"We'll let you know," Edward finished.

"I'm going to get my pillows," Rosalie leapt to her feet. "I am not waking up with a crick in my neck."

Edward accompanied Rose outside, and Jasper and I arranged the cots.

"I was beginning to think that we were the only survivors," I admitted as I removed my weathered Chucks, and sat them at the foot of my cot.

"Us as well," Jasper smiled, pulling his shirt over his head, and I had to turn away from the sight of his lightly tanned body, so I didn't ogle his six pack. Jeez, Swan. You're engaged, remember? "It's nice to know that there really is a chance. There could be more of us out there."

"Yeah, maybe," I sighed. Things still didn't seem all that great. "I'm still not completely convinced.

"After Jake…" I caught myself. I steadied my nerves, and took a deep breath. My eyes watered. "Uh…sorry."

"Was he someone special?"

"Jacob was my very best friend. I really miss him."

"I know how you feel," he smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. Instead they were focused far off, like he was remembering something. "My girlfriend, Alice…she was infected mere weeks after all this started. I remember she told me to keep hoping."

"I'm so very sorry you lost her."

"I am as well," he nodded, somewhat slowly and sadly. His face brightened though, and his grey blue eyes twinkled. "She is in a better place now. No doubt your Jacob is there as well."

Nodding, I bit my lip as it trembled. Losing my battle against the tears, they spilled from my brown eyes, and trickled down my cheeks. Jasper took a tentative step forward, pulling out the same handkerchief that he was wearing earlier. He dabbed at my cheeks lightly, drying the tears.

"A face as beautiful as yours shouldn't be so sad," he smiled, and touched my cheek, his fingers almost burning my skin. A strange shock flowed through me at his tough, and by the change in his expression, I was sure he felt the same thing.

Edward and Rosalie took that very moment to make their presence known. Blushing crimson clear to my toes, I looked towards my feet suddenly. Jasper chuckled and went to his cot, flopping on his back.

We said goodnight then. But I didn't get to sleep for a long time. I sat up, hugging my knees and listening to the silence, punctuated here and there with a soft snore from Jasper.

"Bella?" I heard Edward whisper from his cot. "You sleeping?"

"No," I replied quietly. I heard him tiptoe over to sit at then end of my cot.

"Have you given any thought to their offer?"


"I'm not sure what to think," he voiced. "They are strangers, after all. I think we'd be perfectly fine here on our own. We could reinforce the barriers and-"

"I'm going, Edward," I said suddenly. I trusted them. Well, not Rosalie. Hell no. But I trusted Jasper. He just struck me as an honest person. Okay, he was hot too, but that had nothing to do with it.


"I…I want to go with them," I placed my hand on his arm. "They saved our lives, Edward. If they were after our shelter, or our supplies, they could have let the zombies have us. They didn't. I trust them."

"So you've made up your mind, then?"

I nodded, and then realized that in the pitch black, he probably couldn't see me. "Yeah, I have."

"Then I suppose we'll go," he squeezed my hand. "Where you go, I must go also."

The next morning, Rosalie and I packed supplies, Edward and Jasper loaded them into the car, which Rosalie figured out how to refuel. She messed around with the controls to the pump, and had free fuel within about an hour.

Gassed up, we left about noon. It was odd, riding in a vehicle after so long. We had to pull over halfway, because I'd gotten motion sickness for the first time. Jasper thought it was hilarious.

Finally we arrived at an old, small motel, that looked like it had been bred with a prison. There were boards and bars lining all the windows, and barbed wire covered nearly every surface. I nodded, clearly impressed.

"Been here a while?" Edward asked, as we all grabbed boxes and bags.

"Few months, I'd guess," Jasper answered, unbolting the door and opening it. We carried everything inside, and Jasper bolted the door once more. "Well, this is it. Me case es tu casa."

Rosalie explained that there were ten rooms, four of which were livable. "I have room 1, Jazz has 7. Room 5 has the bathroom."

Jasper told us that they had built a cistern, which as located on the roof. Luckily, it rained a lot. The water ran through a charcoal filtering system. Room 5's bathroom had been rigged with (somewhat) running water. He explained that all we needed to do was flip the switch on the heater, which was powered by a generator, five to ten minutes prior to running the water, and it would be hot.

"Say, Edward," Jasper asked, scratching at the scruff lining his cheeks. "Happen to have a spare razor?"

"Sure," Edward rubbed his own clean shaven face. "We have several. Bella demanded that razors be a top priority."

"What?" I said defensively. "Zombie apocalypse or not, I refuse to have astro turf growing on my legs." I shuddered at the thought. "Ick."

Edward dug out the razors, and I carried our things to Room 4, closest to the working bathroom. I sighed, flopping down on the soft mattress. I stretched my limbs. Wow. An actual ? I needed a shower.

Rosalie popped her head in, carrying a bag of clothing. Jasper had sent them, guessing that I would want some fresh, clean clothes after my shower.

"They may be a little small," she raised an eyebrow. "They were Alice's."

"Thanks," I took the bag and pawed through it.

"Mmmhm," she said, shutting the door.

Rolling my eyes, I pulled out some clothes, and made my way to Room 5. The room was twin to my own, sans bed, and I raised my hand to knock at the door, almost colliding my fist against Jasper's forehead.

A small gasp stuck in my throat as I surveyed his now bare face. The skin was perfectly smooth, and his full lips stuck out just so. I wondered if said lips were as soft as they looked. He smiled when he saw me, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

"Hey," I said, a little breathlessly. "You, uh, look…"

"A little less Grizzly Adams?" he smiled, and laughed, a warm throaty sound. Oh yeah, a little less Grizzly Adams, a little more touch me, I added in my head, and blushing a deep crimson red.

"Yeah," I smiled softly. "Is the bathroom available?"

"Why, of course, madam," slipping into a deep southern accent, he bowed and extended his arm. Giggling, I passed by him. "I figured you'd like a shower, so I turned on the heat, and it's ready when you are. There's some shampoo and stuff in the basket in the sink, too."

"Cool, cool," I looked around. "And, towels are…"

He leaned around me, and I inhaled the rich scent coming from him. Deodorant and vanilla and spice. God, he smelled good.

He handed me the towel. "Anything else, ma'am?"

"Nope, just go," I all but shoved him out the door. "It should be illegal to be within ten feet of me. Go, go, go!"

I heard him chuckle as I shut and locked the door. Shedding my dilapidated clothing, I stepped in and tested the water that shot from the nozzle. Aah. Perfect. I moaned softly as the hot water ran over my body. I scrubbed myself, once, twice, three times.

It was hell getting out. I'd briefly considered staying in for the next week. Instead, I exited the shower, and dried off. Giving myself a cautionary sniff, I was greeted with the delicate scents of citrus and melon. Phew.

Once dry, I pulled on the clean clothes that Jasper had given me. They fit, but were snug. Alice had been smaller than I, obviously. But beggars can't be choosers, and besides, they weren't too shabby. I slipped on my shoes, returning to my room.

Edward was there, arranging stuff in our room. He looked up as I entered, smiling. I grinned back. Amazing what a shower could do to your mood. Especially after going without for so long.

"Shower's open," I dropped my ratty clothes into the wastebasket. "Still hot, too."

"Awesome," he picked up a stack of clean clothes, I assumed, from Jasper. They sure weren't Rose's. "Who's clothes you got on?"

"Mine, now," I shrugged, attempting to remember where I'd packed my hairbrush. "Jasper sent them."

"Little small, don't you think?" He arched an eyebrow.

"You calling me fat?" Abandoning the first bag, and grabbed another.

"No, I just think he may have had an ulterior motive behind his choice," he smirked.

"Be nice," I busied myself in looking though a bag, letting my mahogany hair fall in a damp sheet between us. My blush was a deep red, mostly because he may have been right.

"Just playing, Bells," he swooped down and kissed the top of my head while he left the room.

I finally located the damned hairbrush, and set to work combing the tangles from my hair. Much easier after it'd been washed, might I add. Finishing up, I tied my hair back with a scrunchie, allowing two bits to dangle in my face.

Pulling out my harness for Perses, I hung it on the nightstand next to the bed. I grabbed the bat, and it slipped from my hands, rolling under the bed. Great. Dust bunnies. Perfect.

I mumbled to myself, annoyed, as I crawled halfway under the bed, reaching for the handle.

"Lose somethin'?" Jasper's voice startled me, and I banged my head into a support board.

"FUCK!" I cringed in pain. That was gonna hurt later. I seized the handle of the bat and shoved it out the other side, slithering out. Jasper reached down to pick it up.

"And you were standing there how long?" I asked, one hand on my hip, the other probing gently on the tender patch of skin. Ow. Goose-egg already.

"Long enough to know that the pants fit," he admitted grinning. "Rather well, I'd reckon." If that wasn't flirting, I was a duck.

"Um, yeah, thanks," I mumbled, turning red. Damn capillaries.

"Not a problem," he nodded. "Alice hated seeing clothes go to waste. She would've given them to you herself, had she been here.

"They look really nice, by the way."

"Thanks," Quite the conservationist. Idiot.

"Feel better? After your shower, I mean," he asked politely, turning my bat over in his hands.

"Absolutely fucking phenomenal," I sighed. "I'm sure I smelled overly ripe."

"Well, Rose smelled worse before we came here," he winked at me, grinning. I laughed. "So, Perses, huh?" He looked where I'd scrawled the name in black Sharpie. "Titan God of destruction, right?"

"Yeah, actually," I cocked an eyebrow, impressed. "Into mythology?"

"I dabbled here and there," he told me. "Appropriate, considering all the zombie skull smashing and what not."

He held it out to me, and I reached out to take it. His fingers brushed mine, and instead of withdrawing his hand, he surprised me by seizing mine. His thumb traced small circles in my skin, all the while shooting tiny twinges of electricity throughout my entire body. My eyes widened a little at the sensation. He placed the bat on the bed, reaching up to touch my cheek gently. The same shooting feeling erupted on my face, as he grazed the skin with his fingertips.

"You feel it, too?" he whispered in a honey tone.

I nodded and bit my lip. The almost electric current flowed throughout me where our skin met. I swallowed, looking into his eyes. I felt drawn to him, and judging by the look in his blue eyes, I knew, almost instinctively, that he felt the same, almost magnetic pull.

The hand holding mine relaxed, and reached up to cup the other side of my face. He brushed my face with a feather light touch, whispering across my lips.

"Jasper…" I whispered, closing my eyes, and turning away slightly. "I'm engaged…" Unfortunately.

"I don't care," he admitted huskily. His hands gripped my hair, and I felt his lips press to mine. They moved slowly, but firmly, and, wouldn't you know it? I kissed him back. Every brain cell I had screamed that it was wrong, what about Edward? But every fiber of my body yearned for his touch, and I was torn.

My hand wove into his soft locks, and my heart hammered as Jasper pulled me closer. The battle raged on in my head, and too soon, I pulled away, breaking the kiss. My body screamed in protest, and I wanted nothing more than to tackle him to the ground. My head, damn the stupid thing, reiterated that I was, in fact, engaged.

"I'm sorry Bella, I-" Jasper took a step back. "Shit. That was out of line. I don't know what came over me."

"Um," I murmured, looking down. "I think…I think you should go." Quickly. Before I molest you.

Jasper was silent at first, and then he sighed. I looked up to see him nod, and he slowly exited the room, his head down, and his shoulders slumped. I heard him whisper as he left, "I'm sorry, Bella."

He closed the door behind him, and I moaned, throwing myself onto the bed. A thousand different emotions began coursing through me, wreaking havoc in my skull. Regret. Shame for what I'd even considering doing. To Edward. To our relationship.

Confusion. Why had I allowed him to kiss me? And, if I loved Edward so much, why had I kissed Jasper back?

Anger. Some was directed at Jasper. He knew I was engaged. Most was directed at myself, for being so weak.

Overall? The feeling that coursed through my being, threatened to burn away all my hesitance, my reason, my willpower…Was lust. Pure, sheer lust. God, I'd wanted him to kiss me, wanted it like mad. I'd longed to feel his hand on every part of me. I wanted Jasper, and badly at that.

And Edward. Aah, Edward. What about Edward? part of me wondered. I surprised myself with my answer; Who cares?

The next few weeks passed by agonizingly slow. Jasper and I both chose to ignore what had happened. Every so often, I'd catch his gaze, or vice versa, and we'd immediately look away. It got to the point where I couldn't be left in a room alone with him for more than five minutes. It's not that I didn't trust him. I didn't trust myself not to jump his bones if I was given the opportunity.

Some nights? I'd dream of him. His lips would move against mine, and his hard body would be flush with mine. I'd wake up, covered in a cool sheen of sweat, and feeling a throbbing ache between my legs. And it certainly didn't help that Edward hadn't touched me in months. I'm surprised I didn't spontaneously combust. Every time I'd tried to get frisky, he'd push me away. I'm too tired, or, I have a headache…Jesus Christ. Half the time I expected him to say, Nope. On my rag.

One night, Edward and I had just gone to bed after a particularly trying day. A few of the undead had managed to break down part of the fence, and had almost made it in. We'd spent the day repairing the perimeter, and reinforcing everything. I myself was exhausted, and I was out as soon as my head touched the fluffy pillows. That night, Jasper was waiting for me in my dreams again.

I'd felt his warm mouth leaving a trail of kisses down my neck, across my chest and my stomach. His hands massaged me, right there. I'd moaned his name, and pulled his mouth to mine. I begged him to make love to me. And then? I woke up.

The details of my dream were already fading, leaving only the damned ache between my legs. I rolled to my other side, trying to get comfortable again. I felt Edward stiffen next to me, and he sat up. Then he turned on the battery operated lantern.

"Ungh…" I groaned sleepily, pulling the pillow over my head. "What the hell…Turn the light off, Edward…"

"Pleasant dreams?" I heard him sneer. And then I remembered. I'd always had the unfortunate habit of talking in my sleep, and…Oh. Shit. And I'd just…Hol-ey crap on toast. I took the pillow from my face and sat up.

"It was just a dream, Edward. Is it-"

"A dream about another guy, Bella," he cut me off angrily. His arms were crossed, and his emerald eyes cold and hard.

"But, still. A dream all the same," I yawned, exhausted. His frown deepened, and his eyes narrowed. "What? What is the big freaking deal, here? It's not like I control my dreams, y'know."

Shaking his head slowly, he turned his face away. "This isn't the first time, Bella." He said softly, but still angry. "You've said his name before. This time you were a bit more…Descriptive."

"You're really pissed, aren't you?" I asked him, suddenly wide awake. "Christ, Edward! They're only dreams. It's not like I'm cheating on you or anything."

"No, but you could at least try and restrain your thoughts," he snapped.

"Oh, this is just perfect," I threw the blanket off, and stood up. My hands on my hips, I pivoted to face him. "Maybe, if you'd have touched me just ONCE within the past god knows how long, I wouldn't be so sexually frustrated. Maybe then I wouldn't have to dream about someone other than you getting me off."

Edward's jaw dropped. He was very clearly pissed, and shocked that I'd uttered such a thing. But it was true.

"How is it my fault?" he quizzed me, throwing the blame right back at me. "It's hard to get turned on by someone who spends their nights crying their eyes out over another man."

"Oh, no," I shook my head. "Hell no!"

"Get over it, Bella," he shouted. "He's GONE. Your precious fucking Jacob is gone."

I was across the room in a matter of milliseconds, slamming him against the wall. There was a crash as he slammed into the stand, knocking over assorted weapons.

"I HATE you!" I screamed, slapping him across his now shocked face. "It should've been you! I wish it was."

"So sorry to disappoint," he panted. His face was a vivid red where I'd struck him, and the side of his mouth was already swelling.

I shoved him one last time, just for good measure, then stomped away. I grabbed an oversize tee, pulling it over my head, and slipped on my sneakers. Grabbing my bat, I swept to the door.

"Where are you going?" he demanded.

"Away from you."

"To your oh-so-wonderful Jasper?"

"Fuck you, Edward," I snapped. "Go to hell." I opened the door and stormed out. Once out, I slammed it with as much force as I could muster. "UGH!" I stomped my foot in frustration.

Looking up the hall, I saw Rosalie with her head stuck out. Her eyes widened when she saw me leave the room, and I could've sworn that nosy bitch giggled.

"Can I help you?" I growled, tightening the grip on Perses handle.

She shook her head, another fucking giggle escaping her pouty lips. "Domestic dispute, have we?"

"Oh, I'll give you dispute," I raised the bat. "Right upside your snooty fucking head. Go ahead. Push my buttons, please do. Give me a fucking reason."

She took the hint. Unfortunately. Withdrawing her head from the hall, she shut her door quickly. A small chuckle escaped me as I heard the sound of her lock being turned.

I stalked down the hall, passing Jasper's room. I saw a light issuing from under his door, but I continued on, all the way down to Room 10, pushing the door open.

Shutting the door behind me, I leaned my bat against the bare mattress and sank down onto it. I pulled my knees up to my chin, wrapping my arms around myself. I was still shaking.

How dare he even try to blame this on me? I mean, sure. I was the one who was jonesing for Jasper. But, if Edward and I were still intimate, maybe I wouldn't have wanted to jump Jaz's bones.

Once upon a time, I'd thought the same about Edward. Thought he was just perfect. Like those statues of Greek beauties. And I was right, He was perfect. And cold, and uncaring. Like a statue would be. And he thought he could do no wrong.

What had happened to us? There was a time when we were so happy, blissful, even. We'd needed each other like the air we breathed.

Random memories flashed by me. Our first kiss, in a gorgeous meadow. Our first time, in his cousin Emmett's bedroom. His proposal, in the very same meadow where we'd first kissed. See? We were happy. And once, he DID care about me. Now? He cared about himself.

Suddenly furious, I shrieked in frustration. I began pounding the mattress with both fists. Sobbing, I cursed Edward for being such an asshole. I cursed myself for not being good enough. And I cursed God for ever having allowed Outbreak to happen.

Gasping for air, I collapsed to the floor, sobbing. Why did everything have to go wrong? What did I do to deserve this crap?

I didn't hear the door creak open. Probably because I was still in the midst of a mental breakdown. I felt something touch my shoulder. I looked up, and my swollen eyes met Jasper's.

"Are you-" he began, looking genuinely concerned, but I cut him off. Throwing myself into his arms, I wept. He cradled me in his arms, much like an infant, and picked me up, sitting down on the bed, and placing me in his lap. His hands rubbed my back soothingly, as he shushed me and rocked me back and forth while I bawled.

Eventually, hysterics morphed into hiccups, and I finally began to calm down. I released the death grip that I'd had on his muscle tee, and sniffled. Dabbing at my eyes with the bottom of my shirt, I took a deep shaky breath.

"Sorry," I mumbled, wiping my nose.

"Don't apologize, Bella," he pushed my hair behind my ear. "Are you okay?"

I shook my head, tearing up once again.

"I heard a little of you and Edward shouting," he explained, still stroking my hair comfortingly. "Rose told me you'd come in here, and I wanted to bring you blankets and a pillow. Want me to fix the bed for you?"

I nodded, and he told me to stand up. He made the bed up quickly, with clean sheets and blankets. We then sat down.

"Want to tell me what happened?" he asked politely. "You don't have to."

"It's just-" I sucked in a shaky breath. "He completely freaked on me. It wasn't even my fault! It was just a dream."

"He got pissed over a dream?" Jasper's brow wrinkled, confused. "Well, what'd you dream about?"

"Sex," I blurted out, turning a very dark red, and looking at my hands.

"Well, why'd that bother him? Everyone dreams about sex, right?"

"It wasn't…about…him, exactly," Blushing even more if possible, I chanced a peek at his face. God, I wanted to disappear. Where the fuck were the zombies when I needed them?

"Then wh-" he trailed off, and realization dawned. His grey-blue eyes widened. "Oh…OH! Uhm…wow. I'm…sorry?"

I laughed dryly at his flustered apology. "Don't be."

We were silent a moment, and then I apologized for my reaction the other day. Jasper insisted that I had nothing to be sorry about, that he'd crossed a line kissing me. He'd known about mine and Edward's engagement, and he'd tried anyway. I rolled my eyes and told him that it did a whole lot of good. I was done with Edward. I think I had been for a while. I just hadn't realized it yet.

"I think it was over for a while," I mused. "With Jake gone, our relationship was the only thing from my old life that I could hang on to. But I think I stopped caring a while ago. And I'm not sure if Edward has ever cared about anything but himself."

"He was a fucking moron, then," Jasper said, so matter of factly that I couldn't suppress a smile. "You deserve to be treated like the princess you are."

"I don't know about all that…" I shook my head. "I'm not like Rose, for example."

"Rosalie is a shallow and superficial person. She may have outer beauty, but her insides are ugly. She's cold and selfish.

"You, on the other hand, Bella, have something rare. True outer beauty, that is only surpassed by the beauty of the person you are on the inside. A beautiful face, a stunning personality. I may not have been around long, but I can tell that you are truly a good person," he spoke softly. His hand rubbed my shoulders gently. I caught his smoldering gaze and turned away. His fingertips gripped my chin gently, and tipped it back up. "Edward was a damned fool."

"Thank you," I whispered. "I can't remember the last time he said something nice to me…I always thought that I wasn't good enough for him. Maybe I was right."

Jasper was silent, and then he placed both his hands on either side of my face. Leaning in, he placed a sweet, chaste kiss on my forehead. I felt him smile against my skin. He leaned down, pressing his forehead to mine, and our eyes met. That familiar surge rushed through me again, and I licked my suddenly dry lips. His fingers brushed my lips, my chin.

"You are without a doubt," he whispered, kissing my cheek. It tingled where his lips met my skin. "One of the most-" His lips moved closer to mine. "-desirable women that I have ever laid eyes upon." His lips whispered across, coming to a rest very near my lips. "Tell me to stop, and I will."

Gathering my courage, I snaked my hands up his chest, weaving them around his neck. "Don't stop."

He let out an interesting sound, halfway between a moan, and a growl. His hands wrapped around my waist, and he pulled me into his lap, my legs wrapping around his waist. There was no hint of hesitation in his kiss this time, far from it…His tongue danced along mine, seeking entrance, and I gladly obliged, parting my lips, deepening the kiss. Warm waves of an almost electric pleasure rolled over my body. His hands made their way to the hem of my shirt, and paused briefly.

Throwing caution to the winds, I moved his hands out of my way, and pulled the shirt off quickly, tossing it to the floor. His hands cupped my breasts, clad in a simple black bra, with hints of lace here and there.

"You're so beautiful," he moaned against my mouth. "I can't believe you don't see it…But you will. I promise."

His mouth left mine, and I whimpered. His lips trailed to my neck, gently kissing and sucking just below my ear, and then the crook of my neck. I gasped at the sensation, and clutched him tighter. Grabbing at the bottom of his muscle tee, I all but tore it off his body, muttering "You're overdressed."

He chuckled, then stopped at my hands moved over the muscles of his chest and taut stomach. There was a sharp intake of air as I grazed my fingernails across the skin, ever so lightly. His fingers untied the strings to my shorts, and slowly pulled them down my legs. He unclasped his belt, unzipped his jeans, and pulled them off, throwing them across the room.

His mouth returned to mine with a passion that could've set the room aflame. I pulled him closer to me and we fell across the bed. Jasper climbed over me, reaching around and unhooking my bra. It fell away, and his hands went immediately to my naked breasts, rubbing them. I moaned when his thumbs grazed over the nipples. He removed his hands then, only to replace them with his mouth. I all but went over the edge at the feeling of his wet mouth on my nipple, kissing and nibbling gently.

While his mouth worked wonders against me, his hands pulled off my panties, tossing them away. I yanked his boxers off, pausing momentarily at the sight of him. I think I might've looked scared, because Jasper chuckled softly.

"I'll be very careful, darlin'" he whispered, lifting his head to kiss me again. "And you don't have-"

"Shut up," I growled, pulling his mouth down on mine.

His (somewhat intimidating) erection rubbed against my thigh, and he groaned at the feeling. My hand crept down to it, and grasped him tightly. He jerked, moaning, as I gently slid my hand up and down his length, feeling him grow even harder at my touch. I whimpered as his hand rubbed my heat, and his fingers caressed the folds. He slid one finger in, and I moaned loudly. After adding a second, his thumb rubbed circles over my swollen clit, and I all but came right there, whispering his name into his mouth.

Removing his fingers, he positioned himself over me, spreading my legs a little more. His eyes traveled over my body, heavy and lidded with lust. They met mine, and I didn't look away. He lined himself up at my entrance, and with one push, was inside me at last. His eyes widened as my fingers clawed at his back. Cheese and fucking rice, he was huge. I felt like I was being split like a cord of firewood. In a good way, of course. He growled deeply as my nails dug into his warm back. Easing out slowly, he pushed into me again, and I whimpered, pulling him closer. I heard him moan my name as he began to thrust slowly in and out, filling me to the brim. That familiar tightening feeling began building in my nether regions, that feeling that I'd craved for so long.

Jasper's hands tangled in my hair, and his lips went to my throat, placing light bites along the skin. I trembled at his touch, wrapping my arms around him as tight as I could. He pushed into my harder and deeper, and his lips returned to mine again. His thrusts quickened, and the fire began to build and spread rapidly. Sinking his teeth into the skin above the collarbone, the fire exploded as I went over the edge, whimpering his name. Moments later, he followed me, and began to shudder.

Panting, he collapsed over me as our hearts beat rapidly in unison. Neither one of us spoke as our heart rates slowly returned to normal. I sighed contentedly and snuggled into his arms, smiling. He kissed the top of my head, and wrapped his arms around me.

"Wow," I finally muttered, after what felt like hours of blissful silence.

Jasper chuckled. "Live up to your expectations, did I?"

"Surpassed them by far," I smiled.

We spent the next few minutes cuddling, talking, and laughing quietly. It felt as though a heavy burned had been lifted from my weary shoulders, leaving me feeling free and whole again. As I looked at Jasper, my heart felt light, and I felt a happiness I hadn't felt in ages. Maybe, just maybe, things weren't so bad after all. Maybe things would get better.

Suddenly, we heard a scream. Jasper's eyes widened, and we threw on our clothes quickly. I grabbed Perses, and then we both looked over as our door was flung open.

Jasper stuttered, and looked from me to the person standing in the door. And though I'd never laid on eyes on them before, I knew exactly who they were. Their name fell from Jasper's lips on a breath, disbelieving and amazed.


Rambley Ass Author's Note: That was the first thing I had ever published. As you probably gathered whilst reading...Wait...Is anyone still there?...*spots a few lone readers still struggling through the muck* Oh hey, there! Like I said, as you can probably tell, it was for the Enchantments Contest in 2010. And, uh...Yeah I didn't even come close to the competition. I had some tough ones to contend with and, sadly, this just didn't grab people's attention.
I would absolutely LOVE to revisit this scenario on ce I have brushed up on my writing skills and character development...Oh...and the lemon writing skills...THat one was my first, believe it or not. *dodges tomato* I know, I know...It was hardly a lemon...But, I would love to revisit this and make it something wonderful. It has potentioal, just...THe author needs work, I know. I'm trying!
So, tips? Flames? Loved it, hated it? Let me know! I'm a big girl! I can handle whatever you gotta say. ^_^