“I’m here, I’m now, arrived
I fell in to your love, I fell in to your lie eternal
I’m here, I’m now, survived
I fell in to your love, I fell in to your lie”
Poets of the Fall – “The Lie Eternal”
Chapter 21: Hell Hath No Fury…
Once again, Bella found herself smiling in the face of danger. She looked over Edward’s shoulder and shot Damon a look full of mischief as she tried to show her utmost confidence and faith in him. “Oh Damon… I don’t think he’s ever been able to find it. Not that he’d even know what to do with it.”
Edward growled, his anger getting the best of him as he slammed her painfully back into the wall. Before she could even attempt to catch her breath, Damon had sprung at Edward and all she could do was stay pressed to the wall and out of the way as the room erupted into snarls and growls.
Everything was a loud blur of chaos.
Her back pressed firmly to the wall, Bella tried to make out what was happening, but they were moving too fast. There was a flurry of sound that she was worried would draw attention, but she knew better than to move to block the door. Stefan or Edward’s reinforcements were bound to arrive at any moment.
Occasionally she’d hear Damon’s dark chuckle followed by Edward’s frustrated growl, but the whirlwind of their fight was impossible for her human eyes to interpret.
Not that she had any real doubt about what was happening.
Edward may fancy himself a dangerous killer, doing all he could do in the past to convince Bella of his ferocity, but never had he ever imparted so much as a whisper of fright to her. Damon, on the other hand, exuded an aura of deadly confidence. He didn’t try to persuade people into believing he was deadly, they simply knew it as easily as they could stick their head out a window and determine the weather.
Oddly, the current scene was reminiscent of one of Damon’s bar fights in Vegas. Bella felt the familiar stirrings of boredom while he toyed with Edward and fought the urge to sit down and clean her nails.
Too bad she didn’t have one of her books…
There was an abrupt and familiar wrenching sound like that of metal tearing, but before her mind could comprehend what that meant, the door was swinging open and Jasper’s calming influence heralded his arrival, Alice following closely after him.
It was clear he was being liberal with his gift because Bella had a sedated feeling that had her slipping to the floor, her muscles turning to jelly and unable to support her weight.
Jasper held out his hand to her and the feeling receded as he helped prop her back up.
“Coming on a little strong there, aren’t we?” she grumbled, shaking her head of the lingering fog.
Snorting, Jasper said, “Had to. Your vampire feels stronger than most and Edward is in quite a bit of pain.”
“Deservedly so,” she grumbled, turning her gaze to the vampires in question, her mind coming to a staggering halt as it analyzed the scene.
Damon was seething, his shoulders rising and falling quickly as he clearly fought Jasper’s influence but to no avail. Even with the forced calm, though, his fury was staggering. His vampire visage was on and he looked bloodthirsty, drunk with the need to rend and tear Edward apart. He was holding something in his left hand, but his thigh obstructed her view and she couldn’t make it out.
Edward was his near polar opposite. He was heaving great big breaths and clearly in a great amount of pain. Alice was at his side, helping to hold him up, and Bella’s eyes followed her wide gaze to where Edward clutched desperately at his wrist, his right hand missing.
So that’s what Damon is holding, she thought, remarkably undisturbed. She’d seen him beat Laurent with his own arm in their very first meeting, after all, so at the very least the scene was familiar if not completely apropos and par for the course.
“Mina,” Damon hissed, holding his hand out to her and Bella immediately went to his side, clutching his hand and allowing him to pull her behind him as he stared down the three vampires, rage simmering on Jasper’s straining leash.
“Bella, don’t he’s dangerous – look at what he did! He tore off Edward’s hand!” Alice said hurriedly.
“The hand that fucker used to bruise my wife’s wrist,” Damon bit out. “He’s lucky that’s all I did. I could have had his head a dozen times in that so-called fight. I’ve fought colds that were stronger than him.”
Jasper gave a grudging smirk, even as his sharp eyes honed onto the already darkening bruise on Bella’s wrist.
“That’s bad form, Edward. You weren’t supposed to come here tonight. It was your turn to patrol for Victoria,” Jasper said quietly.
“I couldn’t not come, Jasper,” Edward hissed, his voice quivering in pain as his venom seeped out of his arm. “He’s corrupted her. They were drinking and they were about to… to… in public!”
“To what?” Jasper frowned.
Unable to help herself, Bella smiled as Damon smirked, saying, “I was about to fuck my wife… in public. Oh the horror.”
Bella giggled into Damon’s shoulder.
“Bella,” Alice chided. “Edward is hurt. Don’t you even care?”
Stealing herself, Bella said dismissively, “Not at all. He brought it on himself. He should know better than to interfere when he’s not wanted. Besides, Damon was just sort of playing with him.” Like a cat batting at a mouse, she thought. She doubted he’d used even half of his strength taking care of Edward.
“This isn’t how it was supposed to happen,” Alice muttered.
Narrowing her eyes, Bella’s anger began to rise even against Jasper’s calm. “Did you both plan this,” she seethed quietly.
Damon’s hand tightened on her own and she was vaguely aware of Stefan arriving, taking in the scene silently before he he moved to stand beside his brother in quiet show of support.
She didn’t even blink at him, every ounce of her attention and rage directed to the duo in front of her who promptly shared a guilty look. Even Jasper looked surprised, his power easing up in his shock.
“Alice?” he asked.
“I just wanted us to all be together again. For our family to be complete,” she whispered tearfully.
Unswayed by her crocodile tears, Bella took a threatening step towards them. “So you thought you could fix the situation and manipulate me into somehow going back with you. Going back with Edward.”
Alice looked down in admission.
Damon had taught her to embrace anger, to not sit back and accept people mistreating her for their own gain. He’d turned her into a woman of action. So where she once would have suppressed her emotions, she now accepted them. The rage she felt flooding her was unprecedented, the purity of it staggering.
She looked to Alice, haunched over Edward protectively as if he were her babe, and saw the ugly truth in her. It was entirely possible she’d manipulated her into falling for Edward, using her visions as a cheat sheet for Edward to win her love and steal her heart. There was no sure way for Bella to ever know for certain… but as she stared at the pair of them, she rather thought she knew the truth.
And it pushed her anger from all-consuming into devouring.
Without even forming the conscious decision move, Bella turned to Damon, stuck her hand into his pocket and removed his trusty zippo lighter. Snatching Edward’s hand from him, Bella flicked the lighter to life and held it under the hand, satisfaction filling her as the venom ignited quicker than gasoline and consumed the still twitching limb.
She threw it into the sink and smirked as the purple smoke rose. A sickeningly sweet scent filled the room as Edward’s hand turned to ash.
There was a cacophony of sound, Edward screaming in horror, Alice screeching her denial and Damon chuckling even as he pulled Bella back behind him when Alice took a threatening step forward, hissing like a viper.
Jasper was strangely silent.
“Bella,” Edward gasped in sincere pain and sorrow.
But her heart had turned to stone against him and she stared him down unwavering, unsympathetic.
“Do you realize what you’ve done,” Alice yelled, anger vibrating throughout her arms and making her look like a shaking, demented Chihuahua dog.
Bella looked at her coolly. “I’ve only done what you’ve forced me to do.”
“He will never get another hand, Bella. Our limbs don’t grow back. You’ve sentenced him to an eternity of pain from a wound that will never heal.”
Tilting her head, Bella said succinctly, “Good.”
Alice released a low intimidating growl which had Damon stiffening in front of Bella, poised to defend if the tiny vampire should spring at them. “Easy there Tinkerbell. I’m getting tired of playing with you lot and if you make a move, I might just get mean.”
Stiffening as a vision took her, Alice wisely relaxed out of her offensive stance and took a step back. Bella didn’t need to know what she’d seen. Damon always followed through with his threats and she imagined Alice knew that now as well.
“I hope Victoria takes your head,” Alice hissed bitterly.
Jasper looked at his wife in shock.
Damon gave a derisive snort. “Please, that bitch is as good as dead. Why don’t you follow the yellow brick road back to whatever rock you crawled out of and stay there. You come near my wife again and losing a hand for eternity will look like a holiday compared to what I’ll do to you.”
“Alice,” Jasper jumped in when it looked like his wife was about to sling some scathing retort. “Take Edward back to the hotel and tell everyone to pack up.”
Alice glared at Damon and Bella, but obediently helped prop Edward out and moved to leave.
“Bella,” Edward whimpered pathetically.
Smoothing her features to reflect the blank coldness of glass, Bella said, “Goodbye Edward. Make sure you stay gone this time.”
He didn’t respond as he let Alice pull him away and, hopefully, out of her life for good.
“I’ll make sure they leave,” Jasper said softly, trying to look as nonthreatening as possible as Damon still looked geared up for a fight. “But with your permission, I’d like to help see to Victoria. I’d wanted to go after her after the ballet studio, but Alice and Edward said… Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what they told me. I’d like to help tie up this loose end before I leave.”
Bella looked at Damon in askance, not really caring one way or the other since Jasper was the only Cullen who seemed to accept and even approve of the fact that she’d moved on.
“What?” Damon said at her look. “Even though my kind is stronger, I’m not foolish enough to tell the Major no.”
“The Major?” Stefan said, completely shocked. He eyed Jasper with new wariness and concern.
Jasper’s lips lifted and he threw back in mock surprise, “The Ripper!”
At Damon’s raised brow, Jasper smirked. “You really think I wouldn’t do my research about you or your brother, especially when someone I still owe a debt to is spending time with you?”
Bella shook her head. “You don’t owe me anything, Jasper.”
He stared at her and she recognized his expression as the one he wore when trying to sort out a person’s emotions. Bella focused on her ambivalent feelings for him and her sincerity over her words, sending out both emotions for him to receive.
Sighing, Jasper looked away from her with a small smile. “You always were so sincere, Bella. But you’re wrong. I should have followed my instincts and went after Victoria like I’d wanted to. I also shouldn’t have listened when Alice insisted it wasn’t necessary for me to hunt the day of your party. I don’t believe she saw anything bad, but I had pushed my hunting trips too far apart and should’ve known better. Accidents happen, after all, and especially around you. Her visions, as you are well aware, are subjective and I should’ve trusted my instincts over them, in both accounts.”
“Jasper,” she said quietly, uncomfortable that he clearly harbored so much guilt over the events that were beyond his control. It was likely the curse of being the empath.
“We were never very friendly, though after spending time with you in Phoenix I counted you a friend. You are the only human to never fear me, not even when I went to attack you that night.”
Bella confessed with a sigh, “I don’t think any of you gave me enough credit. As young as I may be comparatively to you all, I’m not ignorant and I’m not a child. I always knew the risks that came from running with vampires, even more so with those of your diet since you basically starve yourselves on tofu while hanging around prime rib. I was told frequently how yummy I smelled… so really, I accepted very early on that it may well be my fate to die at the hands of one of you in such a manner.” Damon growled lightly in protest and she silently entwined their fingers reassuringly as she finished softly, “It was my risk to take and one, at least at the time, I deemed worth it. You were worth it.”
A ghost of a smile crinkled his eyes as they stared at each other. “Worth it,” he echoed, and she knew that he, too, was thinking of their conversation in Phoenix and how he’d said the very same thing to her. “You are an extraordinary woman, Isabella Swan.”
“Salvatore,” Damon corrected with just a hint of a possessive bite.
Jasper inclined his head in acknowledgment. “Salvatore,” he corrected, smirking lightly. “You know, I always thought you were too good for Edward. I think that’s part of the reason he was so insistent on keeping us from really talking beyond vague pleasantries. The way you felt when you were with him…” he trailed off with a frown and Bella recalled exactly how it was Edward had often made her feel. Useless, unworthy, helpless… whether intentional or not, it hardly mattered. Edward had emotionally crippled her.
“Well,” he let his previous sentence float between them, giving her the courtesy of not voicing just how pathetic she’d been. A wicked grin curled his lips upwards as he finished with a simple, “It’s nothing like you feel now, and in case you were in doubt, your vampire feels just as strongly for you.”
“I know,” she said archly. She’d never doubted that Damon returned her feelings wholeheartedly.
“Seldom do I run across mates with a bond as deep as yours, especially as new as it is.”
Frowning, she asked, “Mates?”
Jasper waved a dismissive hand. “Couple, mates… all the same really. A vampire’s bond is eternal and nearly never changes, usually taking extreme events to alter,” he cut off with a small smirk and then added, “Like the kind of extreme when the one you’d have for your mate burns your severed hand before your eyes. I’d say that’d destroy whatever lingering bond a vampire would have for someone.”
Bella sniffed. “He deserved that and more.”
“You’ll notice,” he said pointedly, “I didn’t stop you.”
That he didn’t, she abruptly realized. She wondered if his actions, or lack thereof, spoke just as loudly to his wife and pretend brother. A part of her worried about any backlash he may receive for his inactions, but she dismissed that easily. If everything Damon had told her about Jasper’s reputation was true, then she didn’t really see him accepting a dressing down from Carlisle like a schoolboy.
“You can stay and help on the Victoria front,” she said definitively, growing tired as the earlier adrenaline started to drain from her body. Leaning into Damon, she felt him slip his arm around her in a seemingly flirty manner but was really propping her up. Even now, he did what he could to make her look strong in front of others, protected her in even the smallest gestures. “I don’t care what the others do, but I don’t want to see them at all. You’re the only one I’ll talk with.”
Jasper took that as a compliment and smiled at her, tipping his head slightly in acknowledgment even as he warned, “I can keep the others away if they decide to stay behind as well, although I don’t expect they will. Emmett, on the other hand, never had the good sense to be scared of me and will likely stay behind and try to pester you into forgiveness.”
“So he’s going to spy on me some more like a little stalker,” she grumbled bitterly.
“Now darlin’,” Jasper said reprovingly. “I’m not one to tell ya how to feel, but in his defense, Edward told him you were in danger and he thought he was protecting you by being there. When he figured out you were fine and Edward was just spying, he tried to get him to leave and when that didn’t work, he stayed and sang dirty limericks in his head to piss off Eddie and distract him from you.”
Though she didn’t show it, Bella felt buoyed by his words. Emmett had always brought a smile to her face and to know it’d been him out in the trees with Edward had stung more than she wanted to admit. Jasper shot her a knowing look and she shrugged noncommittally.
There was an awkward silence between them all then, no one really knowing how to transition into a goodbye.
So of course Damon broke it by saying, “Right. Well. This was fun and all, but I’m going to take my wife home now and ravage her thoroughly since we were so rudely interrupted before.”
“Damon,” she scoffed, a blush quickly overtaking her.
“What?” he asked in wide-eyed faux innocence.
“Really?” she drew the word out in admonishment.
He grinned unrepentantly. “Oh yes, really, mina. The things I’m going to do to you will make you scream… but no one will save you. I’ll make you forget your own name and all you’ll be able to shout is mine.”
“And on that note,” Jasper smiled, strolling out of the room.
Bella and Damon shared a heated look before they were interrupted by Stefan.
“I don’t think it’s wise to be mingling with the Major,” he commented.
Looking away from Bella, Damon shot his brother a long suffering glare. “Really Stefan? Have your balls already receded? What happened to the pair of low-hangers you were sporting earlier?”
“Damon,” he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. The action reminded her of Edward and an irrational anger shook her again, but before she could do something like tackle Stefan, Damon was pulling her into his side and running a soothing hand up and down her arm.
“Don’t be such a pussy, Stefanie. A guy like the Major is a good person to have at your back. Plus, he’s got the brotherly feels for my wife which practically makes him family.”
“And he once tried to take a bite out of her, so forgive me if I’m not all excited to have him near Elena.”
Bella snorted, but Damon responded quicker than she could. “Which he only did because Doucheward couldn’t control his thirst. I think if we need to worry about anyone it’s you and your awakening hunger for human blood. If anyone will make the Major snap again, it’ll be you because you’ve already proven you can’t control your thirst.”
“What are you saying, Damon?”
“You need me to spell it out? Fucking fine… Stop going through my storage of blood bags like some underage binging frat boy going through his daddy’s liquor cabinet. Worry about yourself before you start judging others.”
Bella stood straighter beside Damon, her hand squeezing his in agreement and gratefulness that he’d called him out. She’d tried warning Elena but the girl was far too naive when it came to the ways of vampires despite everything she’d seen. She put Stefan on a ridiculously high pedestal and their relationship was far too reminiscent of her old one with Edward, even if their emotions were more genuine.
For their sake, she hoped they woke up from their perpetual ignorance soon and really started communicating, otherwise their relationship was doomed. While that’d ended up being a good thing for Bella, she actually rather hoped Elena and Stefan would make it. As annoying as she found them to be, there was no denying their love was real, unlike what she’d experienced with Edward.
Stefan’s silence was damning and he quietly exited the bathroom without a word or look back to them.
Damon wore the look of a man equally concerned and pissed off at his little brother, so wanting to ease his troubles, Bella wrapped herself around the arm holding her to him, stood on her tiptoes and pressed her lips to his ear, whispering, “What’s this I heard about being ravaged?”
His arms slipped around her, cupping her ass and pulling her against him as his mouth dipped to graze along her neck as he breathed her in. “Hm…” he moaned lightly, his fingers flexing against her and pulling her even closer to him. “I do believe I mentioned something about ravaging you, yes. That sound alright to you, mina?”
“More than,” she said, kissing his chin.
In one quick motion, she found herself lifted over his shoulder and his hand giving her a playful smack on the ass.
Propping herself up, she turned to playfully glare at him. “You’ll pay for that, culo.”
His laugh was so deep it vibrated against her gut and had her chuckling as well as he carried her down the hall. Bella found herself intrigued by the way his body moved under hers and the flex of his muscles as she ran her hands along his back.
“So it’s true,” a new voice broke her thoughts.
Damon came to a halt with another one of his martyred sighs. “Barbie… Sabrina…”
The nicknames registered and she knew it was Caroline and Bonnie who had cornered them; Damon’s old Renfield – as he’d referred to Caroline – and Elena’s best friend the witch.
Sighing, Bella knew Damon was going to draw this out a bit and have some fun. He was so theatrical sometimes.
“The world is a cock-blocking little bitch tonight,” Damon groaned, but Bella could detect the faint eagerness and humor behind the mild annoyance.
“Yeah, I told them that intros could wait, but…” Elena was there too, apparently.
“Well aren’t you going to introduce us to the missus?” one of the girls, Caroline she rather suspected, asked.
“I’d rather re-introduce her to my…”
“Damon,” Bella gasped, sitting up on his shoulder and slapping him upside the head. “That’s rude, culo.”
“So abusive,” he muttered with a smirk.
“Serves you right for earlier,” she smarted, referencing the little love tap he’d given her.
“God, you can be such a bitch sometimes,” he said, smirking in eagerness at her ire.
“And you” Bella said with a lift of a brow and flicked his ear. “Made me that way. So suck it up, big boy.”
Leering at her, he said, “I’d like to have you do the sucking…”
“OMG, it is true! Listen to them! Practically having sex in front of us…”
“Well, aren’t you going to introduce us?” Bonnie asked. She could tell it was her because she was significantly colder than Caroline.
“Wife, meet Barbie and Sabrina… Ladies, my wife.”
“Well, that was productive,” Bonnie sneered.
“Yeah, um, you must not know him at all if you think he’s going to put me down,” Bella replied, once again propping herself up to look at the trio of girls who were getting a good shot of her ass. “And hi, I’m Bella.”
“I’m Caroline,” the blonde smiled widely. “And this is Bonnie.”
Bonnie stepped forward purposefully and held out her hand. “Hi, nice to meet you…”
Damon snorted at the transparent maneuver, but Bella was pretty amused by it all. “Come on,” she said to him with a smile. “Even you have to admit you’re curious to see if it will work, considering you can’t compel me…” She spoke just quietly enough that Caroline would take no notice, but Bonnie was close enough to hear and looked mighty intrigued.
As he still refused to set her down, Bella twisted about until she was able to throw out a hand to Bonnie, saying with a little smirk, “Well it’s nice to meet you too, Bonnie.”
Bonnie’s fingers curled determinedly around hers. She held her hand a minute longer than proper before her expression fell and gave way to clear disappointment.
“Well, that’s interesting,” Damon noted, easily interpreting her expression.
“I’m just a walking contradiction,” Bella chirped. “Now giddy up, Damon. You have certain duties to fulfill,” she ordered, blushing at her own daring.
“What a delicious little demon I’ve created,” he said, his hands rubbing her thighs. “Well, you heard the lady. TTFN, ta-ta-for-now… I’ve waited long enough to feel her come around me again.”
“Damon!” she gasped in horrified laughter as he walked briskly away, his entire bearing screaming that he was a man on a mission.
To get into her pants, she giggled at herself.
But she stopped laughing when Damon slid her down the front of his body, pressing her up against his car as he attacked her lips.
He kissed her sloppily, completely unconcerned with the hunger he displayed for both her and her body. She loved how he was so unashamed about his desire for her. It didn’t matter where they were, he always showed her that he wanted her with him, and ever since they’d had sex… well, they both were a bit eager for more exploration in that area.
“If you don’t get into my car now, mina. I’ll fuck you here in this parking lot.”
Gulping, she knew it was no idle threat and as much as the idea strangely enthralled her, she found herself scampering into the vehicle.
Damon wasted no time getting in, throwing the car into drive and speeding away to his house.
Only, they didn’t quite make it that far.
The road that took them to the Salvatore home was a long stretch of bareness with only trees around them. Feeling confident, Bella un-clicked her seatbelt and slid across to him, letting her hands trace over his arms, play with his hair and ever so slightly lift up his shirt to trace the skin above his jeans.
“Fuck it,” he growled. The car jerked as he pulled over, throwing the car into park while simultaneously yanking her to straddle him.
“I swear to god, mina. If anyone interrupts us now I really will decapitate them.”
She was too far gone to care about his very real threat. His hands were on her hips, grinding her down against him as he also lifted up to meet her. It never ceased to amaze her how each time he devoured her like it was the first time, or their last time. Every second with Damon was never taken for granted and they savored each other, sometimes slowly, but other times – such as now – with a fervor that left her dizzy.
Unable to wait anymore after the evening long foreplay, Bella’s hand went to his zipper as his came up to her shirt, yanking it off as though offended by its presence.
“Damon,” she gasped as he immediately went to her pants next, unwilling to wait for her to shake them off so he just tore them apart.
“You know you love it,” he smirked, his hands rubbing against her teasingly before her panties got the same treatment as her pants.
“Fuck,” she muttered, stunned because he was absolutely right. She completely loved it.
He obediently lifted his hips for her as she pulled down his jeans and boxers. “There’s my fucking dirty girl,” he teased, groaning as she sank down on him in response.
“Oh God,” she moaned against his lips.
“No, no… the name’s Damon, sweetheart.”
To which she lifted up and slid back down, smirking as he lost himself in a groan of pleasure.
There was little talking after that as their bodies sought friction against each other, their bodies burning until pleasure ignited and she came, his name a trembling gasp she lifted to the heavens, her own name falling from Damon’s honeyed lips like she was the answer to his unspoken prayer.
He held her to him, both of them unwilling to move though they knew they’d eventually have to.
“Hey,” he said quietly, smoothing her slightly sweaty hair away from her face. “I’m proud of you, mina. For what you did tonight.”
There was no doubting what he was referring to.
“For setting his hand on fire,” she muttered dryly.
“No,” he said, still soft and serious. “You stood up for yourself and took control of your own life. You didn’t let anyone manipulate you. It was beautiful.”
She melted against him, her arms circling his shoulders as she mumbled against them, “It’s because of you, Damon. Everything I am is because of you.”
His arms tightened on her and he took a deep, shuddering breath laced with emotion that she gave him the courtesy of pretending not to notice.
“I love you, Isabella,” he said into her hair.
“Love you,” she laid a kiss on his shoulder.
There was a long, but relaxing silence.
“But that was pretty cool when you set doucheward’s hand on fire,” he stated.
Bella dissolved into giggles, Damon chuckling with her.
(A/N): A lemon! And no evil cliffhanger! See – I’m nice 🙂