Chapter Five: Succubi
The room was perfectly silent for one long moment and then erupted as everyone began talking at once. “Carlisle, wouldn’t we have known that before now?” Esme asked worriedly, a note of concern and panic in her voice.
“I didn’t understand what I was seeing, but it all makes sense now!” Alice exclaimed.
“That would explain the emotions I’ve felt around them all day,” Jasper mused quietly.
“Edward, why do toi get all the luck?” Emmett grumbled, “Why couldn’t I get a hungry sex demon as a wife?”
“You are such a pig sometimes,” Rosalie snapped at him.
I, on the other hand, couldn’t speak at all. A succubus, was that even possible? The only thing I knew about them was told to me par Tanya. She and her sister’s had chosen the life themselves, enjoying their power over human men and also drinking their blood after they were through enjoying their bodies. I hadn’t known it was something that could happen involuntarily.
I looked up at Edward and saw that he looked as shocked and scared as I did. “Is this possible? Why wouldn’t we have known before now?” I asked him, trying to ignore the commentaires still flying around us.
“I have a theory about that,” Carlisle said, answering my question. Everyone quieted down and stared at him. It seemed that my whole family was deep into my personal life now, not that it was really avoidable.
“What could possibly cause this?” Edward asked hoarsely. I sat back down, curling into Edward’s side. To his credit, he didn’t flinch away from my touch as I half-expected him to. Instinctively he pulled me closer and rested his cheek on the haut, retour au début of my head. I felt comforted just being in his arms, it didn’t matter that Carlisle thought I was a life sucking monster… I had Edward and he seemed to l’amour me no matter what.
“I think that something triggered powers that she has had all along, she just never needed to use them. Bella, I’ve known vampires that have chosen the life of a succubus ou incubus, but they don’t have the problems that toi do. A vampire who chooses this life is one who enjoys physical pleasures and uses their beauty to lure humans into bed. After they grow bored with them, they drink their blood and dispose of the bodies. That’s where the legends of the sex demons spawn from,” Carlisle explained, looking from Edward to me.
“That doesn’t explain how Bella could gain these powers so suddenly,” Alice said. I looked over at her and saw the worry on her face too. How could I have forgotten how much she loved me? She was probably just as worried as Edward was.
“I’m getting to that,” Carlisle a dit gently, “The thing is, I’ve only met two succubi who exhibited symptoms anything like Bella’s. The first I met when I was in Italy with the Volturi. Her name was Nicola and she had been a French dancer before being turned. She was easily the most beautiful female of our kind at the time. Every movement was perfectly choreographed, every smile was meant to shatter a man’s heart. She had a very special gift; she could instill passion in anyone with just a glance. Those who spent a great deal of time with her knew that toi never looked her in the eye. She could choose not to expend her gift, but she enjoyed using it as a weapon. She also had something of a curse as well. She craved physical contact so much that if she went too long without it she would turn crazed. She enjoyed the company of human men and on nights when she had gone too long without the physical contact she needed to sustain her she could drain five men at least. The Volturi turned a blind eye on her appetites at first because it was Aro’s fault for creating her in the first place.”
“What do toi mean par that?” Edward asked. The whole family was listening intently; they hadn’t heard this story before. I had to admit myself that it was fascinating, though I would have enjoyed it plus if I hadn’t been facing the same issues myself.
“Aro, as I’ve told all of toi before, enjoyed the theater at night. He, Marcus, Caius and I would go to the opera, the orchestra, plays, anything that inspired us. On one trip to France, Aro met Nicola. He was captivated par her beauty, intrigued par her passion and intelligence. They began an affair and one evening in the heat of the moment he bit her during their lovemaking. Even as horrified as he was he couldn’t force himself to kill her. He loved her, plus I think than he has ever loved anyone. He waited at her bedside until she had become one of us, but she was different than the girl he had loved. She was amer and twisted. When she discovered her new found sexual powers she used them at every opportunity. Aro brought her back to Italy and tried to find a place for her in his coven. When I found them Nicola had Lost any part of the person she had once been and Caius was planning her disposal. Nicola was eventually sentenced to death par the council, about a an before I went my own way.” Carlisle was staring at the floor, Lost in his thoughts as he finished Nicola’s tale.
“So, Succubi are banned par the vampire council?” I asked breathlessly. I wanted to scream, did my family need another reason to bring the Volturi on us? They were lying in wait for us to make some error that would bring them back to finish us off.
“No, they are not that unforgiving of natural talents,” Carlisle a dit soothingly to calm my fears. “Nicola was out of hand; she slaughtered men par the hundreds to temper her lusts. She was the very worst a succubus could be, not controlling herself at all.”
“Who is the other succubus?” I asked.
“You’ve met her once before, Mackenna. She and her mate Charles try to keep it a secret and they do a very good job at it. The Volturi know of course, but she keeps her talents for her and her mate’s use only,” Carlisle a dit and smiled at me again. “If it turns out toi are a succubus I’m sure Mackenna and Charles would be happy to help toi both.”
“What causes someone to become a succubus?” Alice asked interestedly. “I mean, there aren’t many of them who have the natural abilities.”
“From what I’ve learned about them, it seems that only a woman, ou a man in the case of an Incubus, who was turned during ou because of a sexual act can become one,” he paused and looked at Rosalie, “I believe that Rose had the ability to become one, but she never had her talents triggered the way Bella seems to have. Rosalie was focused on revenge during her early years, not on sex. Possibly if she had become frustrated enough it would have brought her powers to the surface.”
I didn’t seem to be the only one who was shocked to hear this. Rosalie herself seemed confused. “You mean I could still become one?” she asked.
“If toi haven’t shown any signs par now, I doubt toi ever will,” Carlisle a dit with a light shrug.
“Bella wasn’t turned during a sexual act though,” Alice pointed out.
“She was turned because of one, she had just donné birth. I don’t think there is anything else plus sexual than that,” Carlisle a dit wryly.
“So if I really am a succubus, how do I control my needs?” I asked. I didn’t want to hurt Edward any more; it killed me to see him lethargic and weak.
“Like I suggested before, tomorrow at school toi can see if repeated physical contact helps reign in the lust,” he suggested. “I think that the frustration of not being able to touch might have been the trigger in the first place.”
I thought about that for a moment. It was quite possible, before today I had never been denied the feel of Edward’s skin on mine. I could almost pinpoint the exact moment when it had become too much for me. What Carlisle a dit made a lot of sense… unfortunately. I didn’t want this to continue, I didn’t want to hurt my husband.
“What about our physical relationship?” Edward asked him, trying to ignore Emmett’s chuckles.
“If Bella truly is a succubus she can choose to use ou not use her formidable gifts. The only problem would be learning to control it. She may not be able to do that at this point, so I would be careful. On the other hand, if her frustration builds again then the events of the afternoon will play out much the same way. I would suggest that the two of toi take caution in your physical relationship for now…”
Edward held my hand tightly as we walked into school the suivant day. Alice stood close to my other side, warily looking around at everyone as though we were going to be attacked. I found that the over protectiveness of my family was a little tedious. It was comforting to know that they loved me enough to try and watch out for me, but Alice was jouer la comédie a little ridiculous. It wasn’t like I was a threat to anyone but Edward and myself.
“How are toi this morning, Bella?” Edward murmured softly in my ear. “You seem a little tense.”
“Do I? I wonder why, it couldn’t be the fact that I’m terrified of ripping your clothing off where we stand could it?” I replied sarcastically. Edward grinned my favori crooked grin, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. I knew he was worried about me but there really wasn’t much we could do until we had figured out once and for all what was going on with me. I knew instinctively that Carlisle was right, I was a succubus, but I desperately wanted him to be wrong.
“Just think, toi only have to wait until lunch,” Edward reminded me. He squeezed my hand and I took comfort in that. At least we were touching today; no one could take that comfort away from me.
“We are going to the forest right, just as a precaution?” I asked nervously.
“Bella,” Edward soothed, “Trust me, nothing is going to change what we have. We will take all the necessary precautions.”
I tried not to cringe as I thought of the night before. It had been one of the longest nights I had spent since becoming a vampire. Edward and I had retired to our room shortly after the impromptu family meeting and the moment he had touched me in the privacy of our room my body had ignited once again. It had been daunting to have Alice rushing to knock on our door every few minutes to make sure Edward was all right. Eventually we had donné up trying to be careful and had spent the remainder of the night watching old films with Alice and Jasper.
Renesmee was chattering happily with Rosalie, their arms linked as they walked up the solid stone steps of the school building. It seemed that Rosalie was telling her about Emmett and my first arm wrestling match. “…and then he hit the boulder and half of it sheared right off!”
Rosalie snickered while Renesmee burst out laughing. The students around us stared as we walked by, mesmerized par our beauty. I noticed that the sound of my daughter’s laughter caused the male population to stutter and gape stupidly after her. I had to contain my own snicker of laughter at the dumbfounded expressions on their faces. For the first time in the past twenty four hours I was temporarily relieved of worry for my own problems as I watched the beginning of someone else’s.
“I think Nessie is going to need a little looking after,” I whispered in Edward’s ear. He nodded his face grim.
“If their thoughts get any viler I may just have to threaten a few of them with bodily harm,” he murmured back. Edward was swinging into his paternal mode and though I tried to contain it, it made me laugh. He raised his eyebrow at me and I knew without words that he was wondering what I could possibly be laughing at.
“Try not to pull a Charlie all right? These poor misguided boys don’t understand that Nessie isn’t available,” I teased him. Edward’s face softened a little and one side of his mouth turned up in a half smile.
“All right, I promise not to be as hostile as the good Chief Swan,” he promised and I giggled. It was a relief that I could look back on some of those embarrassing memories and smile now. I guess my perspective had changed now that I was a parent myself.
We walked through the doors into the school building and separated for our classes. Edward, thankfully, didn’t let go of my hand as we walked down the hall to our Spanish class. I took comfort in the warmth of his hand in mine, the way his thumb traced circles along the back of my hand. Nothing in life gave me as much pleasure as Edward’s skin against mine, just thinking of that had a burst of lust shoot straight through my body.
I almost ripped my hand out of his, but I knew it would frighten him so I worked on forcing the rising desire in my body to cool down a bit. I also had to ignore Edward’s eyes; otherwise we would be in the same uncomfortable situation we had been in the jour before. He didn’t need to suffer just because I was.
I released Edward’s hand and was making my way to my siège when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to see Alice’s tense body and pained expression. “Alice?” I a dit in a startled voice, “What’s wrong?”
“You need to leave the room,” she whispered so softly even Nessie didn’t hear her.
“Why, what’s wrong?” I asked in alarm. She shook her head, not daring to say another word. I turned back to face Edward, hoping he would tell me what Alice had seen. In a fraction of a seconde I knew exactly what was going to happen. A girl in our class was sauntering toward Edward, a bold and alluring smile on her face. My body froze in shock as I watched the scene play out before me.
The girl stopped in front of Edward’s bureau and tossed a sheet of rich brown hair over her shoulder, flashing him a dazzling smile. “Hi, I’m Amber Lee, freshman class president. I didn’t see toi around last an so I figured toi must be new and I thought I would introduce myself.” She stuck out her hand but Edward didn’t take it. Instead he nodded and gave her a tense smile.
“I’m Edward Cullen, these are my sister’s Alice and Renesmee,” he gestured at them and Nessie smiled brightly, having no idea what was going on at all. I took a possessive step toward Edward and took his hand in mine. He squeezed it tightly in his, so I knew he didn’t mind the contact.
“And toi are?” Amber asked me in a voice that feigned polite interest. Instead I could see her scrutinizing my perfect features. For the first time in my life I hoped that she found her own looks lacking against mine. Unfortunately for me a self-satisfied smile curled her lips as she noted the way I clung to his hand.
“This is Bella, she is living with my family while hers is in France,” he told her politely. Once again a smirk crossed the girl’s pretty face and she turned her attention back to Edward.
“I noticed that toi left the cafeteria early yesterday,” she said, “I guessed that toi found the lunch room boring with only your family for company. We have an extra siège at my lunch table, I’m sure toi would find us quite interesting.” She stepped vers l'avant, vers l’avant in one bold movement and touched the collier of his jacket, tugging on it flirtatiously.
Before I could stop myself my hand lashed out and knocked hers away from Edward. My family was La Reine des Neiges in shock, while Amber let out a surprised shriek and tucked her hand against her chest. “What in the hell is wrong with you?” she demanded, her eyes wide with fear as she looked at me.
A snarl ripped from my throat and Amber backed away from me quickly, hitting a bureau and then falling to the floor. “Bella, stop,” Edward demanded in a low voice.
I flashed my angry eyes on him. “Were toi going to stop her? ou are toi just tired of me already?” I snapped at him in an equally low voice. The room fell silent around us; all the kids who had made it to class early were watching us with open mouth and surprised eyes. This obviously wasn’t what they had expected when coming to school today. They couldn’t hear what we were saying, but my snarl and Amber’s subsequent clattering to the floor would have been impossible to miss.
Fury flashed in Edward’s eyes and Alice rushed to his side. “Go! I’ll tell them that Bella got sick and toi had to take her home,” she whispered to him in a rush. When he didn’t déplacer she snapped her fingers in front of his eyes and he turned his furious, glorious face on her. “Take Bella home, I’ll make the excuses. toi don’t want everyone to see this.”
“Act sick,” he snapped at me under his breath, his grip on my hand becoming a strangle hold. As instantly as the rage had come I felt exhaustion creep in, settling in my Bones and muscles. My body felt weak and I wondered if I was going to be able to déplacer on my own. I knew better than to ask Edward to help me though, he looked angry enough to drag me behind him if I couldn’t walk myself.
Somehow I made it out of the building and into the parking lot without turning into a shivering mass and collapsing on the ground. Edward never released his death grip on my hand but I understood his anger right now. I knew that if it our places had been reversed I would have been just as pissed as he seemed to be. We were married and had been for ten years. There was no reason at all that I should have been jealous of some fourteen an old girl who was flirting with him… except that nothing I had done in the past two days could be considered rational.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered but he didn’t respond. When we reached the car he walked right past it and into the forest, I should have expected that but it still came as a surprise to me. “Where are we going?” I asked.
“Far enough into the woods that we won’t scare the children when we discuss this,” he a dit tersely. I cringed at the thought, I hated fighting with Edward.
He started running as soon as the school building was out of sight. I made a noise of protest and he swung me up onto his back, not missing a beat. This wasn’t the playful running that we had yesterday afternoon, this was Edward running out his frustrations, pounding against the ground. I knew he was trying to calm himself so he wouldn’t say something to me that he regretted and I was grateful for that. I rested my cheek against his back and took the chance of opening my thoughts to him to help soothe his anger.
I thought about my regret for snapping at Amber, it really wasn’t her fault that she was interested in Edward. I couldn’t imagine any girl not falling for my beautiful, wonderful husband. I felt guilty for almost attacking her but I felt guiltier for not trusting Edward. If he couldn’t see anything malicious in her thoughts than I should have left her alone. He wouldn’t betray me; he loved me just as much as I loved him.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, tightening my arms around him.
“Bella,” he moaned, his voice agonized. He stopped, pulled me from his back and cradled me in his arms against his chest.
“I’m sorry,” I repeated over and over. My body heaved in tearless sobs as I clung to him. My emotions were just all over the place, perhaps my insane jealousy was part of the new problems arising in my body. Things just kept getting worse for me. “I was jealous, I’m sorry.”
“I know, Bella, I know.”