chapter twenty-fourMature

Chapter Twenty-Four
Word Count: 1,975


The ocean floor was silent, peaceful. I was grateful that the fish stayed away. I just wanted to be left alone with my thoughts, and even the silent fish would have felt like my privacy was being invaded. This was why I liked the ocean. The silence. The endless space. The calming feeling of slowly moving water on my skin. The darkness. Of course, it didn't really matter how dark it was, I could always see.

All I could see right now was the stream of fire that flew from my fingertips in the parking lot. Even I was struggling with this knowledge, and it had happened because of me. I didn't know what caused it, I didn't know where the fire came from, I didn't know why I wasn't burned. I did know one small thing, though. I tried the thought out for size.

I throw fire.

Hm. Didn't have the impact I thought it would.

I'm a vampire that throws fire.

That had a bit more of a kick to it. Vampires are notoriously flammable. What was I doing tossing fireballs around? And while we're on the subject, what was I doing throwing fireballs at James? Was it really at James? Was it at Ethan?

Was it at anything in particular?

I couldn't imagine wanting to throw a fireball at James.

Ethan, maybe. But not James.

This was so unbelievably strange. It felt surreal to say the least. I throw fire. The thought still felt incredibly unusual in my head. Was I dreaming? Was this just an incredibly long dream and I would wake up human? I couldn't imagine that being the case, no matter how weird this entire situation was.

Why did James want me down here? I'd really like a cigarette. I wonder if I could light it myself? What was the purpose of putting me under water? I couldalmost recall him giving me a reason of some sort but his words had been so distant to me, I was barely even focusing enough to understand that he wanted me down here. My brain was in a completely different place.

This place. The place in which I threw fire.

Still weird.

I crossed my arms over my chest, pulling my legs beneath me Indian style. I would wait here like he'd asked.

He did ask me to.


I rolled my eyes at myself. Of course he did. And now I will wait patiently for him to come back and explain everything to me. Because he would. It's what James did. He knew everything, always, and I had become used to this. I relied on it. But for now, I was alone. Underwater and wondering if this was going to water-log me. Could that happen? How many fire-throwing vampires were there? Would they know if this was somehow damaging? I frowned to myself.

Was it worth the risk to continue sitting here if it was going to affect my ability just so I could listen to James?

I was an adult, I could make my own decisions. What would Edward suggest?

Suddenly I was furious. What the hell did I care what Edward would think? Edward would probably hope I drowned, if I was honest with myself. He didn't have a right to dictate my choices anymore. Fuck Edward.

Different tactic.

What would James suggest? Calm washed over me suddenly, the peace easing the tension in my shoulders and the small amount of panic that was welling in my chest. James would tell me to calm down, first off. He would tell me to think rationally, weigh the pros and cons. I shut my eyes, blocking out the sights of the heavy blue ocean.

Pros of staying under water: James had suggested it.

Cons of staying under water: I could get water logged and never throw another fire ball again.

I pouted. One for one. There has to be another reason for at least one of the slots. Assuming I got out of the water, would James be able to find me? Did I have somewhere I could go to wait for him discretely? Did I even know where I was?

Hell, did I even know I threw fireballs? Did vampires hallucinate? What was wrong with me! I growled low in my throat, frustrated at the circles I was thinking myself into. This couldn't go on anymore, I had to make a decision. I opened my eyes and pushed myself upwards harshly, breaking the surface of the water within a few seconds even though I was at least a thousand feet below the water. I swam to shore slowly, sitting my wet self onto the sand just far enough that the waves crashed and foamed just at my toes, bending my knees up and pulling them against my chest. I let my chin rest on my knees as I studied the water in silence. I really needed to figure things out, and the more I thought about it, the longer the list grew. I frowned into my knees.

I felt a growing pressure in my head. I knew I should have just figured out this growing list already, there was no point pushing things off. But I wasn'tcrazy and I didn't want to feel like I had to fix my head. The truth was that I was just scared about the things I would end up with, the decisions I would make. About Edward, about my old life, about James. What could I do that would just... solve everything? I used to think that becoming a vampire would do that, I would get to be with Edward forever - we'd have all the time in the world to figure things out. But that wasn't the case, and now that I was stuck in this decision, I knew that. I had left Charlie behind, a fact I certainly wasn't ready to face. James would give me the saddest eyes whenever I mentioned Charlie. I never let him know how much I struggled with my choice, how much I had to smother the feelings it brought into light.

Was I a bad daughter? Did I not love Charlie enough?

Should I go back and let him know I was okay?

As if the guilt that plagued me over Charlie wasn't enough, I knew how Renee had reacted to me. I was bitter over that. I remembered everything she'd said when she came into the room at the hospital. I may not have been completely attached to my body but I was certainly capable of hearing what was going on around me. All up until I fed from James, that is. That was the last time I fell asleep, and it would be for the rest of my... non-life. I couldn't address the issue of my mother.

I could always address the issue of Edward. Or of James. Or my sudden powers. Or my restlessness. Ugh.

Fine. Edward.

I loathed him lately. I could remember clearly everything he had ever said to me, and in the impeccable sights of my new eyes, I saw everything. The half-truths, the subtle hints, the way he made every fucking decision for me. I was not a child, I was capable of making my own choices. I had done it my entire life up until him. I may have only been seventeen but that certainly wasn't excuse enough for him to step in and run my life the way he thought it should be.

It sure as fucking hell wasn't his place to decide whether or not he was putting me in danger. I was more than capable of deciding that for myself. And yes,I may have flirted with the danger. I may have welcomed it. But I was entitled. He was doing the same thing. Who was he to make my choices for me when he clearly was making the same "mistakes"? It infuriated me to think about. I felt the burning rise in my throat and I swallowed back a mouthful of venom.

I hated him.

But more than just every now and then my mind would wander to him. As if he would creep into my subconscious and deliberately trick me into thinking about him. It felt like he was still somehow controlling my life. It felt like I was the only factor that had little to no say in my life. Except James. I had to give him credit where it was due. He never made my decisions for me. He simply stepped back and smiled, making a few suggestions. He never made just one because it would probably make him look like he was partial to it. It was always at least two suggestions, giving me choices. Forcing me to make the decision myself.

He was a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room.

I missed him.

Then it occurred to me that I had no idea where he'd gone. He'd left me here, for reasons I couldn't remember, and I was suddenly concerned for him. Was he all right? How long had I been here? What the fuck was he doing?

Was he with someone?

That didn't make any sense. I mentally slapped myself for the thought. I needed a cigarette.

I looked around for my clutch, my eyes landing on a small section of sand that was shaped as if by hands and not waves. Right, he'd hidden it instead of letting me take it into the water with me. I walked over to the small mound of sand and dug out the tiny little purse, digging my cigarettes out. Djarum Blacks. My favorite things in the entire world, second only to the way James's blood tasted.

That's how good they were.

Or he was.

The thought made me chuckle to myself as I set the smoke between my slightly damp lips. I pulled out my lighter and looked at it for a minute. Then I looked at my empty right hand. Lighter. Hand. Lighter. Curious.

I snapped my fingers. Nothing. No sparks. The disappointment was hard to ignore. Of course, it wouldn't just happen. Somewhere in my head I knew that. I stared at my fingertips, focusing every minuscule bit of my attention on imagining fire the next time I snapped.

I counted down from five, still imagining the little flame bursting from my fingers, and snapped quickly.

There was a spark! Barely, hardly noticeable, but there. The excitement grew in my chest. I did it again, the spark was even smaller. I pouted down at my hands. Perhaps I was waterlogged? Grudgingly, I decided to stop attempting before I did something even more detrimental, and flicked the lighter at the end of my cigarette. I situated myself in the sand again, sitting identically to the way I was before. I smoked slowly, enjoying every long drag and blowing it out of my nose. I watched the sky lighten slightly. Now I was really wondering where he was.

Before I realized it, I'd smoked the rest of my pack. My pout returned. It was nearly dawn and James was nowhere to be seen. How long ago had we exited the nightclub? If I could remember that at least, then perhaps I could estimate when I'd gotten here and how long he'd been gone. I'd glanced up at the clock when James had gone into the bathroom. It had been just after midnight. How long had the fight gone on? Not long, really. They were vampires. Five minutes, tops. The run here had been quick, that much I knew. So at the absolute latest, I'd arrived here around one in the morning. Now it was dawn.

Five hours.

That was a long time for a vampire to be gone. Now I was panicking just a little.


The End

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