Edward is an immortal prince, who is vexed by both a raging blood-lust and the aromatic, yet fickle Bella. What happens when Edward bets against Alice? This Brothers Grimm style one-shot is not your typical Twilight fairy tale.
Disclaimer: The world of Twilight belongs to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer. I just want to play with her toys. Limited dialog and text from the Twilight saga appear within the following text. No copyright infringement is intended.
Bella and the Prince
There once was a land where the moss and vines grew thick, and the trees hid the forest floor from the sunlight. This was a place where gray-billowed clouds covered the sky, sucking the shadows from the Earth and spewing them back as fog and rain. It was the perfect place for monsters and all manner of scary creatures to hide.
Under the sheltering pines and towering mountains of this mysterious land lived -- if you can call it that -- an immortal prince named Edward, who scarcely noticed the passage of time. He would have even ignored the rising and the setting of the sun, save the demand that he retreat from its full brilliance. Thus, the immortal prince lived in the twilight and nothing could break his gloom.
You see the prince had a problem. He could read minds. Some would say it was a marvelous gift; but the immortal prince was tormented by the meandering and mundane musings of mere mortals, and he was vexed to be the only bachelor in a household of happily-married couples. Therefore, the prince deemed mind-reading a curse.
But mind-reading was not his only curse, for the prince's immortality was a poisonous seed that left him sleepless and thirsty for blood. Only through patient and persistent self-denial, did the immortal prince resist feasting on humans and confine himself to animals of lesser sentience.
One day, the prince and his equally-immortal siblings ventured forth -- as was their custom -- to the nearby village of Forks to interact with omnivorous youth. It was in this village, while the immortal prince hid in the shadows, that Edward spied a young girl, whose mind was mysteriously silent and whose blood gave off the most tantalizing aroma.
So desirable was the maiden, that a darkness captured the prince and he thought to devour her, but instead, he fled his homeland in shame for having considered violating his father's teachings that prohibited the consumption of human blood. Yet, when the prince arrived in another kingdom, where he disappeared behind the snowdrifts, the haunted face of the young girl appeared to him, silently whispering that there were secrets the prince had still to find.
By the beckoning light that shone from the girl's questioning eyes and illuminated the agony of his immortality, the prince journeyed home, where he sought his sister's advice.
"Sister Alice, what am I to do?" he asked. "I don't want to kill the girl."
"Bella," Sister Alice whispered. "Her name is Bella, and there are but two paths I see before you: either you will yield to the temptation of her blood or, someday, Bella will be one of us."
No one I know would ever bet against Alice, but Edward did; and he continued frequenting the village and pretended to ignore Bella.
"Silly Edward, now the future is most uncertain," Sister Alice complained.
It just so happened that Bella worked in the village bakery and she made the most wonderful gingerbread men in the world. People from far and wide wanted Bella's confections, so Edward had a good excuse to see her.
"Hello," Edward said. "I'm Prince Edward. Can I buy your gingerbread men and will you converse with me about absolutely nothing of consequence?"
For her part, Bella developed a rather unhealthy obsession with the enigmatic prince and his family, and she began to piece together bits of gossip about them.
"Friends, what say you of Prince Edward and his family?"
"They are very beautiful, but they are really, really weird" said the jealous and spiteful Jessica.
"I wish they would adopt me," sighed the gentle Angela.
"He looks like he wants to eat you," grumbled Mike, who wanted Bella's gingerbread men to himself.
Then, one snowy afternoon as Edward was making his way to the bakery, he observed Bella laboring on the path. She was quite unaware that a village idiot - one of many, it later turned out - was recklessly herding an old bull and two cows to market. Impatient, the boy whacked a stick across the backs of the pitiful beasties to hurry them along and they responded by stampeding straight down the path toward Bella.
Edward reacted immediately, without a thought for his safety or that of his family, he swooped in and gathered Bella in his arms before the ungulate animals could gore her with their bony horns or pound her into the ground beneath their hooves.
Bella was astounded. "How did you get over here so fast?" she asked, mentally adding 'fast' to the list of bizarre behavioral traits she had noticed about Edward and his family. When Edward refused to answer, Bella became angry and she added 'secretive' to her list, as well.
"I'm not going tell anyone," she stammered. "I just want to know."
While Edward's refusal to answer drew Bella's ire, her anger was nothing compared to the fury Edward faced at home.
"Your carelessness will reveal our kind to the villagers," said Sister Rosalie. "The girl was supposed to die."
"I could not stand by and watch her die," the prince said.
"No, the girl must be destroyed," agreed Sister Alice's world-weary husband, Jasper.
But Sister Alice spoke sternly to him, "I will be most put out, because one day I will love her, too"
"Love her?" Edward's family gasped, each processing the import of the revelation in his or her own way. "Love Bella?"
"That's what's been going on? You're in love?" snorted Brother Emmett, whose laughter would have had him rolling on the floor, if his wife, Sister Rosalie, hadn't kicked him in the shins.
"Well, it's about time," sighed Mother Esme, who had long worried that Edward would never find someone to love. "I know she will love you back."
"Well, this changes things," said Father Carlisle. "No one will hurt Bella."
The Prince was confused. He loved his father and his mother and all his siblings, even the persnickety Rosalie, but he was adamant that he did not love Bella. But . . . he was certainly curious. Yes, he most curious, indeed; but he said, "I can resist all temptation. This will pass."
And time did pass, but the raging curiosity about Bella did not. In fact, it grew till one night the Prince could bear the curiosity no longer, and he stole secretly away to her house at the edge of the forest and climbed into her window.
"Oh," the Prince whispered to the sleeping girl. "Bella, you are the most amazing creature in all the world. I would trade anything to hear your mind, if only for a minute."
The Prince was sad, because he knew that his strong, pale hands had caused the demise of many and that he did not deserve Bella's secrets. Resolving to retreat into the night and flee far from the village, the Prince stepped close for one last look.
And Bella spoke.
"Edward," she mumbled. Then, through the weight of her slumber, she added, "I love you; don't go."
"Ah," Edward said, as the warmth of those words filled his cold, dead heart; and he fell deeply and irrevocably in love.
Thus, night after night, Prince Edward returned to Bella's room to listen for the words from her dreams; and day after day, he offered Bella his protection and sought her company, except of course, on those days when the sun rained down upon his path.
In the meantime, Jacob, the wretched town cur, observed the prince's unhealthy interest in Bella and whispered, "Be warned, fair Bella, stay away from the prince and his family. Why their very presence brings the wolfmen to life."
Bella only laughed, "They are just like other men; they only want my gingerbread."
"Your Prince is a 'cold one' and a drinker of blood; he will not be hungry for gingerbread men," Jacob said. "I have even heard that their psychic has already seen your death."
Deep in her heart, Bella knew that Jacob was right: Edward and his family were monsters.
The next time Edward came into the bakery, Bella declared, "I know you are a vampire, but I don't care; I am not the running and screaming type."
"Then, I will carry you deep into the forest where we can read sonnets and stare into one another's eyes for hours."
"Aren't you afraid of the wolves?" Bella inquired, knowing the village was protected by mythical shapeshifters
"No, of course not. Wolves are like children: they only care to play and sleep and eat. I want you to see who I really am." said Edward. "Are you afraid?"
"No," she answered, as she packed her picnic basket. "I'm only afraid of losing you."
Silly Bella. Of course, she should have been afraid.
Deeper and deeper into the forest they went, until at last they came to an enchanted meadow; it was there that Edward revealed the mysteries and burdens of his cursed immortality.
"Edward, your skin is like diamonds; you are beautiful."
"These are not diamonds, Bella, these are the scales of a snake. A killer, Bella."
She looked into Edward's beautiful golden eyes and murmured, "You will not hurt me."
"I wanted to kill you; you're scent is like ambrosia to the fiend that lurks beneath my breast," Edward groaned.
"I trust you," Bella declared.
"How can you trust me, when I cannot trust myself?" Edward lamented, but inside he remembered Bella's sleep-talking and hoped that the fragile girl with the remarkable scent would bring an end to his loneliness.
"How can I help you?" Bella asked.
Edward paused; hearing not the sound of a solitary thought, he said, "Well, there is one thing. Just don't move." And with those words, Edward pressed his frozen lips to Bella's soft mouth ever so gently.
Edward was certain that two lovers had never before shared such a kiss; and that he could indeed resist the call of Bella's blood, and would never harm her intentionally.
Unfortunately, the fickle Bella was not impressed and decidedly less fascinated than before. Suddenly, she began to wonder what manner of temper Edward might display when she rejected him, so she began to unpack her wickedly aromatic gingerbread men.
"Tell me love, why have you brought all these gingerbread men?" Edward inquired.
"Silly Edward, I know you do not eat or drink anything, but the wolves will want something for dessert."
Upon hearing Bella's words and smelling ginger in the air, the wolves sprang from their slumber and ripped the prince to pieces. Never forget: sleeping dogs lie.