Serial Black Widow

BY : Jadiona
Category: Twilight Series > AU/AR
Dragon prints: 320
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, New Moon or anything else in the series, as I am not Stephenie Meyer. (I also make no money from this)

Serial Black Widow

AN: This story is set ten years after the Cullens left in New Moon, and deals with the idea of what might have happened had Bella remained, ultimately, broken. In this story, she never heard Edward's voice and therefore never sought out a hit of adrenaline, never sought out Jake.

Beta'd by SunflowerFran.

"My name is Bella Montgomery, and I'm a murderer."

It was almost funny for me to say those words aloud, but they were true. The first person I'd ever killed had been Embry Call – of course, given that he hadn't been human, calling that first killing a murder was debatable.

But I was getting ahead of myself, or possibly behind myself, because I was currently looking in my bathroom mirror and carefully applying the makeup that would make me look far more heartbroken than I actually was. I had a funeral to attend.

Ten years ago, I'd been a normal teenage girl, and I'd been infatuated with love – or possibly just the idea of it. But then my heart had been torn out by the man... the vampire, the one I'd fallen for. In the months which had followed him leaving, I'd drowned. Eventually, I'd given up on the idea of living and went to find a place that had once been special for both the one I had loved and myself – our meadow. A place for me to die in peace.

It took weeks of hiking, but I finally found my sanctuary. Unfortunately, someone else was also there, a vampire. Laurent decided to make me his next meal – part of me wouldn't have minded that type of death, it would have been swift, relatively painless, and ultimately ironic as hell. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be, because another supernatural creature I hadn't even been aware existed until that point swooped in and attacked Laurent. The gray wolf with the spots appeared to come out of nowhere just as I'd been about to be killed.

I hadn't known it at the time, but that gray wolf was actually a werewolf, one who went by the name of Embry. I'd never met Embry Call before the night he showed up at my dad's house after that day at the meadow. He tried his hardest to break it to me gently, but discovering there was another supernatural species out there – oh, and that one of them was supposedly destined to be your soul mate – was more info than my extremely depressed brain was ready to handle.

For a while, I tried to take what Embry was offering, but his insistence that he loved me to my already shattered soul was too much for me to deal with at the time. Days with this new man turned into weeks and then months. I gave him everything he asked for, including my body, but during that time, I never felt anything.

It was as if I – my conscious self wasn't present for any of it... at least, not until the end. The attack on Forks came as a shock, but when the vampires – with their bright red eyes and wild movements – struck and killed my father and several other people I knew, it was as if the last piece of my will, my soul, finally snapped.

I tried to get one of the vampires to attack and kill me, but Embry, while in his wolf form – got in the way and he was bitten. I hadn't wanted him to die, I'd just wanted my own life to end, but somehow the roles had reversed, and when they had, I was completely destroyed. I might not have killed Embry myself, but I was the one responsible for his murder, and I knew it.

In the aftermath of the vampire massacre that destroyed a decent percentage of Forks, I left. There was nothing for me anymore, and I'd known it, so I'd gotten in my truck and drove away.

A little over five months later, I gave birth to a little girl who was two months premature. I named her Nonna Swan. Since her birth, it was for her that I did everything.

I sighed, pulling on the poofy black shoulders of my dress until they hung on my arms the way they were supposed to. The dress was form fitting and made of crushed black velvet. It was the kind of dress that ten years ago a person would have never caught me dead in – ten years ago a certain vampire pixie I'd once known would have been envious of me over it – but I'd changed.

There was a knock on the bedroom door followed by a loud voice saying, "Mommy, you in there?"

I turned toward the door, opening it up for my eight and a half-year-old daughter. She was still in her bright pink nightie. She had long, black curly hair and bright blue eyes. My little girl wrapped her arms around me as she asked, "Are we going to Henry's funeral today?"

"Yes, honey, it's the day," I said gently. I wasn't a fan of putting her through the constant transition from one man to another, but it was what was needed.

I probably would have killed myself after I'd left Forks if it hadn't been for the fact that I'd discovered I was pregnant. Little Nonna, both my literal and metaphorical saving grace, had been born with an extremely rare and terminal heart defect.

The first few months I'd spent all my time going from one clinic to another in the hopes of some sort of treatment. I'd finally found a very expensive experimental treatment which could possibly extend her life, but insurance didn't cover medication considered to be 'experimental,' so I'd had to find another way to pay for it.

The first man I'd married, Stewart McConally, had been the owner and primary proprietor of Trinity Yachts. Back in high school, I'd never believed myself to be beautiful, had never seen that part of myself. However, it was only too easy to use my feminine attributes to capture the businessman's attention. Our whirlwind relationship had come to a climax at the wedding, with over five thousand guests and more than a dozen newspapers covering the event.

It had put a dent in my initial plan because I hadn't been able to just kill him and take his fortune the way I'd planned. He'd been more than willing to keep my young daughter 'comfortable' but hadn't wanted to waste money on the experimental treatments she'd needed. I supposed if he'd been willing to help her, his story and mine would have ended far differently. Thanks to the publicity the wedding garnered, I stayed married to him for almost an entire year, before I finally tampered with his car. I put a timed kill switch on to the engine – set with just enough time to make sure he was on the freeway before his car died suddenly. His had been the only death that I'd specifically wanted and I sadly hadn't planned for the other ten people dying in that same pileup.

The money from his estate would have taken care of Nonna's treatments for years, except my guilt had driven me to offer reparation payments to the families of the other people who had lost their lives. It sucked being a killer with a conscience.

After mourning his loss for a respectable amount of time, I had finally started dating a new guy. That man, Steven Billshire, had been an up and coming investment banker. He wasn't rich, not the way Stewart had been, but he'd had a decent life insurance policy.

We'd only been married just over six months when I'd helped a heart attack come along.

My third husband had been Gary Brice, also not rich, but with a fair life insurance policy. Officially, he'd died from an allergic reaction while at a business function, and since I'd been at home at the time it happened, it couldn't have possibly been my doing. It had been, of course, but to everyone on the outside, it had been just an unfortunate accident.

Then there was Henry Montgomery, my most recent husband. I'd actually remained married to him for almost a solid two years, the longest of any of my spouses. He had been a nice man, a banker with a passion and flare for life which had been good for my daughter. But when my money for Nonna's continued treatments had started to run low, I knew it was time.

As far as anyone was concerned, he'd died of natural causes in his sleep.

In spite of what someone on the outside might think if they knew what I was doing, I didn't enjoy it. It wasn't the type of thing I looked forward to or wanted to do, but I was good at it. Throughout my youth, I'd never found something I was truly good at; not math, science, history, or art. Of course, they hadn't taught the craft of murder when I was in school.

At the end of the day though, I would kill a hundred people or more as long as it gave me the money to help Nonna. She was the only thing that mattered to me, and the treatments only helped to extend her life as long as she continued to take them.

"Do I have to wear that dark purple dress? I want to wear yellow."

I smiled softly at my daughter's words. "Yellow would be disrespectful to Henry, sweetheart. We wear dark clothes to show mourning and respect at the funeral. But you can wear your yellow dress after we come home. We can go through your closet though and choose a different outfit if the dark purple one isn't to your liking anymore," I said as I exited the master bathroom and we both headed to her room.

. . .

Six Months Later

I sat down at the bar and ordered a Cosmo to drink. It wasn't my preferred beverage, I was more of a beer and whiskey woman, but fruity cocktails were the type of drinks which caught men's attention. I'd learned several years ago that businessmen... the kind of men who either had lots of money or large life insurance policies didn't like girls who drank beer. They wanted a woman who was a bimbo, who couldn't hold her own when drinking, and who would give it up a little too willingly.

I wouldn't get drunk off of a Cosmo... but I could play it up like I did.

It was only my first night at this bar, and I didn't expect anyone to pick me up, not tonight. It generally took a few visits to catch someone's eye, but there was an art to the world of dating. It was an art I never understood before I had to master it for my daughter's sake.

I sipped the frilly drink slowly, occasionally typing on my phone to make it look like I was texting, and occasionally giggling to make people think I was being texted back.

It was better manipulation than a slow seduction. As a rule, people wanted things they couldn't have, and a woman engrossed in a conversation with someone via text was obviously a woman that was unavailable.

I wasn't surprised when someone sat down on the bar stool next to mine. I could see the pleat in the black suit pants out of the corner of my eye, telling me it was a guy. However, I didn't so much as glance at him. If he was interested, he'd start talking to me, or he'd buy me a refill of whatever I was drinking. It was just part of how the game worked.

"So this is your hunting ground?" a quiet voice asked.

It was a quiet voice I hadn't heard in over ten years but I still recognized it instantly.

I glanced at the face of the man sitting beside me, but immediately turned my eyes away from him. Ten years and Edward hadn't changed a bit. The suit might make him appear older to some, but to me, he still looked seventeen from that single glance.

"You're too young to be here, Edward," I said quietly.

I stiffened as I felt his breath on my ear. "I'm 115 years old now, in case you forgot."

He said it in such a quiet voice that I knew no one else would hear.

"What are you doing here? Ten years ago, you promised me peace without reminders."

"And you promised not to do anything reckless. What you're doing now goes far beyond that."

"You asked me not to do anything reckless for parents' sake – actually, I believe your exact words had been 'I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself – for him.' Well guess what? Charlie's dead. In fact, I don't have any parents left. I lost my father about ten months after you guys left and my mother and her husband died a few months later in a car accident. Besides, I have no idea what you're referencing to." I probably should have started with that statement and not finished with it, but I was flustered by his appearance and didn't get why he was here.

"You've apparently been able to make the police believe that, but you've had four husbands in less than eight years, all of whom are now deceased. There's a term for that, Bella."

"I don't like what you're insinuating."

"I left a Bella who was human, innocent, good. The Bella sitting here looking for her next victim isn't that. Just what have you become?"

"In case you can't tell, Edward, I am still human. I'm aging, unlike you." I picked up the Cosmo I'd been nursing and finished it off.

"It takes more than mortality to be human."

I snorted. "Well, it's been fun... we should do this again in another ten years, but I've got to go home now."

I got up, pulling a twenty out of my purse and placing it on the bar before I turned and walked away, heading quickly outside.

I didn't get very far before he caught up with me.

"You need to stop doing this or I'll be forced to stop you."

"There's no way for you to stop me. As far as everyone is concerned I just have bad luck when it comes to love. Two of my husbands died of natural causes, one from a car wreck, and one from anaphylactic shock."

"Have you forgotten what I am?" he snarled.

"I could never forget. I lost my dad, and more than one of my friends, because of your kind. So how dare you try to insinuate yourself into my life after ten years and threaten me. You lost any right to be involved when you walked away and left me alone and broken."

He looked confused for a moment. "I left you to have a normal, happy human life, not to be some sort of serial killer. Are you telling me you killed your own father?"

"Is your hearing damaged? didn't touch my father, Victoria created a bunch of new vampires, and they decimated Forks, but I guess technically it was my fault. After all, if I had died in Phoenix, she wouldn't have done that. I think the papers called it a massive gas eruption."

I fought hard not to remember Sam and Jacob carrying the numerous dead bodies into the high school building, the only one big enough to destroy the evidence after the massacre.

Edward's eyes narrowed. "I remember reading the papers, it said something like two hundred died at some sort of fundraiser."

"I didn't stick around very long after it all happened, wasn't really there emotionally enough to care, but yeah, that was the story sold to take care of suspicion after the fact."

"If it was a group of vampires that were after you, how did anyone survive, especially you?"

I turned my back on Edward and continued towards my car. "You don't have a right to ask questions about what happened in my life."

I'd lived over nine years in a supernatural-free life, and I felt no desire to have it make a reappearance.

In spite of my efforts to ignore Edward, I could feel him shadowing my footsteps.

"I left you alone for ten years because I believed you were living a happy and healthy life. Alice had a random vision of you mixing some sort of killer cocktail and giving it to some guy about seven months ago. It prompted me to look you up. Imagine my surprise upon discovering that you apparently kill the men you marry. You need to stop."

"That's rich coming from a vampire. Just how many people have you killed, Edward? How dare you judge me for doing what I need to do."

I didn't feel his hand grab me, just the air suddenly rushing around me and then my back hitting a wall. We weren't on the main road anymore. Instead, it looked like we were in an alley, perhaps behind the bar – but I wasn't certain. He was holding me by the throat hard enough to hurt, though it wasn't constricting my airway.

"What the hell are you doing, Edward?"

"One chance, Bella. That's all I'm giving you to stop, or I will stop you. I used to stop murderers all the time. I can do it once more even if it kills me too, because I won't let you keep doing this."

"Then do it, because I'm not going to stop. I can't. I need the money."

The pressure on my throat loosened slightly. "You never used to be one for material things. If that's what you need, I'll give you money. Just stop doing this, please." There was sadness, pain, and another emotion which I refused to even give a name to in his eyes.

Even after ten years... and even though I couldn't look at him the way I had as a teen, I simply didn't have it in me to feel that kind of emotion anymore. My heart and soul both were still broken... he was still him, he was still Edward. He was the boy with the beautiful golden eyes, the amazing crooked smile, the laugh which lit up a room, the brilliant mind, and more... He was still the only man I'd ever truly loved.

"I never wanted that from you, Edward. And even though it's tempting, because of my needs... I won't be indebted to a vampire. Not after what I've been through."

"And you won't stop?" he asked.

"I can't." I supposed I could have lied and said I would, but I wasn't going to be cowed by the supernatural. Not anymore.

"Then you leave me no choice." The pain in his eyes was even clearer before his face suddenly became resolved.

I had no warning when he bit into my throat. His hand went over my mouth as I tried to scream.

I couldn't catch my breath as I felt both a harsh suction at my throat and a burning pain I'd felt once before.

I forced myself to focus, forced myself to remember the type of man he'd once been to me.

"Please, take care of my daughter." The words were muffled and garbled because of his hand.

Everything was starting to fade in and out of focus, but Edward pulled back. "What did you just say?"

I was able to focus just enough to see the extreme alarm on his face... then I closed my eyes.

"Bella? Bella, answer me."

I couldn't though because the fiery pain in my throat was so sharp that I couldn't even scream, let alone anything else.

"Your daughter? What daughter, Bella?"

I was blessedly thankful when everything faded to black.

AN: I've always been a fan of dramatic endings, and this is sort of a trick or treat style story in honor of Halloween. This story was initially supposed to be darker than it ended up being, but it is still dark. It's up to you if this Bella is despicable or not. She was definitely broken, but she still loved her daughter, so maybe she wasn't as broken as she thought. Again, up to you. It's also up to you if she survived (as a vampire, obviously) or if she died. At this point, I don't intend to answer those questions.

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