Bella never spoke a word to her; never responding to a woman who suffered at the hands of an abusive husband herself in her human days. Any love and respect she felt for the woman was long gone, lost forever from her heart.
The sound of the door slamming was so loud that even her human ears picked it up from her prison, setting her defenses on high. In the blink of an eye, Edward appeared at her door, his eyes blazing with fury as she crawled to the corner of her bed in terror.
“What did you tell them?!” he demanded. “Tell me!”
He never gave her the opportunity to get a word out. He never allowed her the chance to speak when he tried questioning her before his hand swung across her face. Her body was sent colliding against the wall and slumped down in a daze, unable to feel her jaw knowing it was broken.
From the corner of her eye, Bella saw Edward prepared to come after her again when Jasper rushed into the room and shoved him against the opposite wall. “What the hell are you thinking? You’ll never get answers out of the girl now! You just broke her fucking jaw!”
“If you don’t like the way we do things here then you can leave,” Edward hissed in his face before shoving him away.
Jasper glanced over at where Bella collapsed in a heap. He was no help to her there; the family had quickly become everything he didn’t believe. “Fine.”
The younger vampire smiled in triumph as he watched him turn and walk out before he made his way over to the girl. Stooping down to look her over, he reached out to pull her hair back only for her to flinch at his touch causing him to frown. With a sigh, he silently stood and left the room, leaving her on the floor, bleeding and in pain.
It wasn’t long before Rosalie slipped into the room, closing the door behind her. “Damn asshole,” she muttered as she looked at the broken girl. As she went to pick her up to get her back on the bed, she whispered a small reassurance. “Don’t worry. Edward took off hunting with Emmett. I made sure he took him far enough that they’ll be away a few days.”
All Bella could do was let out a grunt, her eyes watering as the pain was beginning to come to her. She felt her head being held up by cold, stone hands and forced her gaze to focus on only vampire left seemingly helping her. She watched as Rose ground up some tablets, explaining that they were simply normal Percocets that she had stolen from Carlisle’s medical bag; the best she could do in the current situation.
As she mixed it in with a small amount of juice and set her up with a straw, she tried to get her to drink as much of the medication as possible. “I will be able to wire your jaw into place to heal, but it will hurt no matter what. I think Edward knows that he has to back off for awhile, that he won’t get anywhere by causing more damage now. Rest, I’ll try to bring you something to get into your stomach soon.”
By the time Rosalie finished the most recent patch up from her brother’s assault, she had left her alone knowing how Bella had the tendency to withdraw into herself after his attacks. Curling up on her side, despite the amount of pain it brought her, she laid there with tears rolling down her face. All her body by that point was capable of doing was staring absently at the wall, allowing her mind to wander while the drugs ran their course.
Her mind took her far away from her prison. She found herself picturing an old mansion. A beautiful gothic style home that as she looked around at the dark interior, as dismal as it might appear to some, she saw raw beauty in the old architecture. The aged books on the shelves fascinated her, and if she didn’t believe herself in a fantasy, she would run her fingers over the spines. Beg their owner for some time to read one or two.
Bella’s ears picked up the sound of a door opening and footsteps approaching. Even in her mind, her instinct was to hide. Darting around a wall, she crouched down behind an armchair, hoping that whoever was there was just passing through. Whatever the events that were unfolding, the dream felt so real. The alarm and distress of her intrusion and potential discovery were so absolute, that whenever she awoke, she would almost believe she was there. Almost.
She was distracted for a moment as her fingers glossed over an etched symbol on the woodwork of the chair. It was an unusual symbol, deceptively simple in design with it’s curved circles but as Bella reached out to trace the pattern, it disappeared under her finger. When she moved her hand, a different design was carved into the wood but the one she had seen was no longer there. As if she had imagined it all.
Her eyes peeked over the arm of the chair where she saw two people walking through the room, completely oblivious to her. They had appeared to be arguing about something to do with a sacrifice that confused her. The man had poured a drink for himself and managed only a sip before the teenage girl. She was no older than Bella herself before she made a comment that irritated not only Bella despite not knowing the full situation. It also infuriated the man to the point that he slammed his glass down and stormed out of the room.
The girl remained silent, so silent that Bella had thought that perhaps she had followed the man out. Creeping out from where she was hiding, she was surprised at how silent she was considering her clumsiness. It wasn’t until she made it to the center of the room, her attention having had been on the stairwell leading upstairs when she heard a gasp and the sound of glass crashing to the floor. She turned sharply to look at the girl who stared back at her, pale and filled with fear. She tried to reassure her that she meant no harm. But as soon as she raised her arm and attempted to speak, she ‘woke up’ and found herself back in Forks, back in her prison. She never once noticed that she had been standing in the void of the same illusion she had witnessed earlier before it disappeared again from that living room.
Rosalie was standing there with a glass, looking at her confused and worried. “Are you alright? I’ve been trying to get your attention for almost an hour. Perhaps that painkiller was too strong for you.”
Bella hummed a negative sound as she struggled to sit up. If anything, she could use another one though but not knowing how much time had passed left her uneasy. She allowed Rosalie to check her work on her jaw before helping her with her new liquid diet, thanks to Edward’s affections.
Unable to hold the occasional grimace, the vampire’s cold fingers helped ease a small amount of the pain she felt. “Sorry,” Rose apologized softly, sighing as she did the best she could. She looked at her with concern. “Are you alright? Jasper went to try to get help, but I doubt it will come anytime soon.”
She looked back at her confused as this was the first time that the woman shared any information like that with her. Glancing beyond her towards the door, not knowing if their words were being heard by anyone else. A flutter of panic erupted in her chest, causing her to jostled in her hold too much as she was making sure the methods she used to secure the girl’s jaw had remained in place.
“Easy! Chill out Bella. It’s only Emmett in the house right now. While he doesn’t completely agree with what Edward is doing, he’s still an asshole. We’ve talked the rest of the family into leaving for awhile, so it’s just us, but Alice is watching if we decide to leave the house with you. Only one of us can leave long enough to hunt until they are back from their trip,” she complained.
The knowledge that she had somewhat of a reprieve did not exactly sit well with Bella. It would only mean that her beatings would be just as harsh, if not worse when he returned. Sometimes, she prayed he would just kill her. If it wasn’t for the fact that he wanted her alive for some reason, to willingly submit, she was sure he would have killed her long before.
But she was still hanging on to what little hope she could find. She was finding bits of solace of escaping into her mind though she was thinking herself crazy when the episodes were over. She found herself disappearing more and more into herself, angering the male vampire more frequently.
Though she believed the people to be figments of her imagination at first, she had attempted eventually to reach out. So far it hadn’t gone as well as she had hoped. Most places, the people that had noticed her freaked out. The more brave attempted to attack her, but both she and her assailants seemed surprised at how they went right through her.
In one of those instances, Bella had been fascinated at finding herself in an old, historic city she had dreamed of someday visiting. One of the frightened men who gone through her in his attempt to kill her was lying on the ground behind her, groaning in pain from the amount of force he had used. She had looked up from him to find a two more males, though not threatening this time, eying her curiously.
The brunette look at her with intrigue. As he opened his mouth to speak, the blond beside him held up his hand to silence him as his eyes had were entirely focused on something else. He nodded slightly to where the girl stood. Both men’s eyes slowly slid down her slight frame causing Bella to follow suit, wondering what caught their attention in such a way.
Three blurred, swirling circles spread out from her. In each place she appeared, she had found the symbol but hadn’t known what it meant. Looking up to the two, she had a pleading look in her eyes. She stepped forward, ready to ask if they knew what it meant but she felt the pull, bringing her back to her body just Edward’s cold marble hand came across her barely healed features.
She barely was given a chance to gather her bearings when he spat a question in her face that she couldn’t understand as she could almost see cartoon birdies circling around her head. Spitting out a mouthful of blood, she rolled her eyes up to look at him with as much disdain as she could, attempting to focus on his words.
Laughing at him, Bella soon sighed as he reared back in surprise at her reaction. “Drop dead Edward,” she muttered out before a serene smile covered her lips, and she closed her eyes. “Leave me. I have another concussion to sleep off now because of you. I might get lucky and have brain damage.”
He narrowed his eyes at her, wondering where this brazen attitude came from suddenly. He’d been monitoring his sister’s thoughts, and Alice had been watching her decisions, but neither has found anything that could have predicted something like this. He did not like it one bit. This sort of behavior was set back any progress he might have been making in their plans.
As he’d done each time when his visit didn’t end the way he wanted, he left her room in a tantrum. Bella opened her eyes once she felt that she was alone and free to reflect on her most recent out of body experience. Each event away from the Cullen prison felt so real that she could not help but pray that it truly was more than just a fantasy.
The symbol seemed to have held more significance, but to what extent she didn’t know. One of the men this time had appeared to recognize it, stopping the other in his path toward her as he had seemed rather fascinated by it. So much so that it made her wonder what it meant. She only had no idea how she could go about finding out.
It wasn’t long before she received a rare visit from Daddy Cullen. Groaning as she rolled over on the bed, away from him, she huffed out a breath of annoyance. She could hear the sigh come from the man as he observed her silently. “I wish you really wouldn’t force him to put you through these measures Bella,” Carlisle said gently.
She snorted in response as the sound of his rummaging through his medical bag that he always had with him was behind her. “Fuck off,” she replied. “I’m trying to sleep, but I suppose you’re going to help with that now. Aren’t you? Haven’t your methods of forcing my compliance all failed already?”
“Bella…” he chastised as he pulled back her arm with a gentle but firm grip. She could feel the needle pierce her skin and knew it wouldn’t be long before it took effect. “You wanted to be one of us once. With Edward. Think back on that.”
Bella didn’t respond with anything but a snort of amusement. It was the same speech. Each time he came to drug her. Edward would call daddy to sedate her when he didn’t know how to react to her. She wondered if she should get mouthy with him more often.
It wasn’t long for the drugs to begin working through her system, causing her nod off. She found it ironic that before the Cullens taking her captive, she hated the idea of using drugs. For all the clumsy accidents she had, she always resisted using the prescriptions the hospitals would provide her. Now she welcomed whatever narcotic they shot her up with because it simply made her care even less than before.
Coming down from those highs, however, was the bitch. Hours later, as she sweats out whatever drug she was given, she blinked as she stared at the across from her bed deliriously. Swearing it was the drugs playing tricks on her mind, she had thought she’d seen a symbol she had come across only in her fantasies glowing on the wall.
This one was different in that the swirls seemed distorted somehow. Crawling out of the bed, she stumbled across to get a better look at it. Her hand reached out to trace the glowing edges, but it burned her. Jerking her hand back, she noticed the same image on the wall being etched into the inside of her wrist. Grasping it, she gasped out, trying not to cry out through the pain.
It felt like her head was on fire, her very being ripped apart as she grabbed the edge of the dresser to hold herself steady. Grinding her teeth together, she saw herself standing across the room but at the same time she was able to see her body hunched over as she was. Almost simultaneously, the illusioned image of herself disappeared, and she collapsed from the weight of what just occurred.
Waking up, she expected to be in her prison but she was standing in the middle of a large, empty room. The walls were bare, except for simple coverings of fabric with what appeared like Chinese lettering. She turned around slowly to find a man kneeling on a pillow as he watched her. She could have sworn that he wasn’t there just a moment before.
“Where am I?” cautiously she asked as he hadn’t seemed to be afraid of her being there.
He smiled back at her as he lifted a cup from the floor and held it out to her. “You are where are meant to be,” he answered back.
“Okay,” Bella replied as she stepped closer, but her eyes caught the pattern on the floor and immediately looked to her wrist. “Did you do this?!”
“Not I child, but the magic within you. Drink. You will need your strength and focus to find the ones capable of your rescue,” he said as he continued to hold out the cup. “It will not harm you, but it will help sustain you to the brink of death without crossing the threshold.”
She hesitated as she knelt down in front of him, watching how his eyes followed her every move. “How am I here?”
“You have brought yourself here. It is within you and you must learn to control it. Now is not the time, but you will see. Keep searching, you will find others like you soon,” he nodded towards the symbol on her wrist. “Drink. Then you must return and begin your journey.”
At the moment, she closed her eyes to drink the tea he had given her and reopened them, the man had disappeared, and she looked around. “Well great. Now, how the fuck do I get back now?”
Setting the empty cup down, she stood and walked around the area, feeling around the wall and finding it completely solid. Sighing in defeat, she made her way back to the center where the symbol was in the middle of the floor. Looking up from her wrist to the larger image, she still hadn’t learned anything about what it meant. It’s significance. Stepping into the center void, she tried to recall the previous experiences she had if there might have been any relation to her position but as she stood there, she felt a little foolish. “Well, that was an utter failure,” she muttered as she thought about the torture awaiting her back in her prison when she returned.
She closed her eyes and thought about Forks, about getting home to her mother. Something must have worked because she was outside her home where she could see her mother and stepfather through the window. They appeared well enough, but tired and depressed. It looked as if they were carrying boxes down to the basement for storage. Her mouth fell open when she saw that they labeled as things from her room. “What did he tell them?” she asked herself before she felt herself being pulled back to her body.
Blinking, Bella stared up at the ceiling as she laid on the floor of the room, she let out a sigh. Running her hand over her face and rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she narrowed them as she took notice of the swirled image on her wrist. “It was real…” she murmured as she sat up in shock. She couldn’t help but think about what she could do to find a way out.