Fandom(s): Bridgerton / Twilight Saga
Pairing(s): Anthony Bridgerton/Bella Swan, (past) Edwina Sharma/Anthony Bridgerton, (slight) Kate Sharma/Anthony Bridgerton
Warning(s): soulmates, vampire bites, broken engagements
Prompts: for haru who wanted Anthony Bridgerton/Bella Swan? Soulmate mark? Bella as Darcy relative?
Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton was pleased with himself. In a matter of weeks of deciding he was going to marry, he had courted and become engaged to Miss Edwina Sharma, the Season’s Diamond.
His mother, however, was unhappy with him. She desired that he have a love match—and she knew his engagement with Edwina was not a love match.
Three percent of England’s population possessed soulmarks and Anthony Bridgerton was within this three percent. When he was born, he had an imprint of teeth on his right wrist. It sparkled slightly in the sun and was cold to the touch. His parents, worried, immediately sent for the physician. The physician, after a long examination, had declared it to be a soulmark.
Violet and Edmund Bridgerton had been more than pleased but by the time he was ten, Anthony knew it was a curse. His soulmark was a bite from some sort of mythical monster and he was convinced, after much research, it was full of poison. His soulmate, whoever she was, would not be able to survive such an injury, and so, Anthony concluded with a solemn heart, she must have died.
He had years to come to terms with this realization, and if he buried himself in the arms of prostitutes and opera girls, no one truly knew his pain but himself.
Edwina Sharma would make a fine Viscountess. She knew what duty was. She was accomplished. She was beautiful. And she did not believe in such ridiculous nonsense as true love.
Neither did Anthony—except in his darkest dreams.
After he returned from Aubrey Hall, Anthony was attending a ball at the Lowells’ as chaperone to Eloise when he fancied a breath of fresh air. Edwina was in attendance and he had already danced with her and, at her direction, with Kate. His mind was occupied with the elder Sharma as he walked down the few stairs to the lawn and looked up at the stars. At first, he did not hear anyone else come outside, but then the sound of fabric catching and a gasp sounded in the air, and he turned to see a young woman tumbling down the stairs.
Quickly, Anthony rushed to her and caught her, looking into her pretty doe eyes, one arm around her waist while the other held her wrist—which was cold even through his gloved fingers. Surprised, Anthony looked down at her arm and ran his thumb over what was clearly an old scar, cold to the touch.
The young woman gasped and pulled away from him, quickly pulling her glove over her wrist.
“Wait—” he begged, his brain suddenly alight with possibilities. “Does it sparkle in the sun?”
She looked up at him in amazement, her large eyes questioning, before she nodded.
“Is it in the shape of human teeth?” he asked, desperate.
Her eyes widened, and she didn’t need to answer. Anthony knew her answer.
“Bella—” a voice called, and the young woman looked up to a man in a green jacket. “I saw you fall—”
“This gentleman caught me,” she explained, indicating Anthony. “I am quite well, Mr. Darcy. You have not failed in your duties as chaperone this evening.” Bella gave him a small smile and then glanced at Anthony. “Good evening,” she murmured before rushing up the stairs.
“You are clumsy, Isabella, you should not hurry so,” Darcy chided her as he ushered her back into the ball room.
Anthony stood, stunned, at the bottom of the steps and felt his stomach clench at this knowledge. That young woman—Isabella—Bella—was the second half of his soul—inexplicably she was alive—and yet he had given his pledge to Edwina Sharma.
After seeing his mother and Eloise home, he walked the streets of London, thinking on the problem. As the sun rose, he realized he must see Bella again and then act from there. He knew of Darcy. He remembered him from Cambridge. There was a Darcy House in Grovesnor Square. He would go there directly after breakfast.
He was shown into a study where he saw the man from the night before, and Anthony was glad he had the right house.
“Darcy,” he greeted. “I believe you were several years ahead of me at Cambridge.”
Standing, Darcy offered his hand. “I do not recollect—”
“Viscount Bridgerton,” he supplied, glad of his title as it gave him the upperhand. “I came about Miss Isabella.”
“What about her?” Darcy asked carefully, going over to a decanter of brandy. “I read in The Times you are to marry Miss Edwina Sharma.”
“Yes,” Anthony replied carefully. “However, I believe Miss Isabella and I share a soulmark.”
Darcy paused and turned toward him. “How could you have possibly have seen it?”
“When she fell,” Anthony told him. “I grabbed her wrist and felt it. When I described it to her, to be certain, Miss Isabella confirmed it.”
Darcy looked pensive. “Why then are you engaged to another woman?”
“Have you seen it?” Anthony asked him.
“Of course I haven’t seen it,” Darcy replied, a little angry. “Isabella is my ward, not my sister. It would be indiscrete.—I simply know she has a soulmark.”
“Well,” Anthony told him carefully, “if you had seen it, you would not be surprised that I thought Miss Isabella had died from the soulmark. I’m quite surprised to find her alive.”
Darcy thought for a moment. “You truly thought her dead?”
“On my honor, since I was ten.”
Darcy nodded. “You will break it off with Miss Sharma and then you may see Isabella.—I don’t want her getting more caught up in a scandal than she need be.”
Anthony made to protest but Darcy held firm.
“I must think of her reputation.”
Anthony immediately went to Lady Danbury’s after he left Darcy House. He asked to see Edwina for a moment’s reflection, and hated to see her happy face when she entered the room. Taking a breath, he said outright, “I have come to end our engagement.”
She looked at him, startled, “End our engagement?”
“I have a soulmark,” he told her, before pressing on: “I thought my soulmate was dead, but I found her last night. I am deeply aggrieved for the pain I cause you, but my honor is engaged elsewhere.”
Edwina nodded and took a seat. “Of course,” she murmured. “Soulmates are revered.” Looking down at her hand, she took off his mother’s engagement ring and held it out to him. “I thank you for thinking of me.”
He took the ring carefully from her fingers and looked at it. “I shall write The Times.”
“No doubt Lady Whistledown will have much to say,” she murmured. “If you would be so kind as to leave me.”
He put the ring into his breast pocket and left her as she asked him. Although it had been less than an hour since he had left Darcy House, he immediately returned, presenting himself for “Mr. Darcy and Miss Isabella.”
He was shown into a small anteroom and then, ten minutes later, into what was clearly the drawing room. A large pianoforte dominated the room, a young woman with dark curls sitting at it. Darcy was standing at a window, hands behind his back, looking out onto the street, while Bella was sitting on a sofa with a book of verse in her hands.
She was as lovely as she had been the night before. Her dark hair, darker than her large doe eyes, was pinned atop her head. She was wearing a gown of dark green that instead of being capped at the sleeve, reached down to her wrist to cover her soulmark.
“Ah,” Darcy greeted as he turned. “You know my ward, Miss Isabella Swan.”
Bella stood and offered her hand, which was warm in his. He immediately kissed the back of it, before acknowledging the other young woman.
“My sister, Miss Georgiana Darcy, who is not yet out.”
“Miss Darcy,” he greeted with a bow. Then, “May I have a moment with Miss Swan?”
“Of course,” Darcy agreed, ushering his sister out of the room.
Bella stood, eyes wide, watching them leave, before turning again to Anthony once the door was shut. “It’s too soon—” she blurted out.
“I beg your pardon?”
She blushed prettily, the color suffusing her cheeks and neck. “For an engagement. Darcy told me we most likely share a soulmark—but it’s too soon—”
He nodded. “May I see it?”
She looked at him carefully before murmuring, “You first.”
Anthony smiled at her boldness before unbuttoning his coat sleeve and then rolling up his shirt. He showed her the bite and said, “You may touch it, Miss Swan. It’s your soul, after all.”
Her touch was light and she gasped at the coldness of it. “How long have you had it?” she asked, her doe eyes looking up at him.
“All my life,” he told her honestly.
She looked at him in surprise. “I was bitten four months ago.”
Completely taken aback, he waited as she rolled up her sleeve and showed him the same teeth marks in her skin.
“You were bitten?” he asked.
“Yes,” she agreed. “You were born with it?”
“I was.” Then, “what bit you?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you—” Her voice trailed off and she shivered when he lightly touched the cold skin.
“I think I might,” he disagreed, “but I leave that for another time.”
“It’s still too soon,” she murmured when they stood there, their sleeves rolled back over the bitemarks. “I am only seventeen.”
“Then I shall have to convince you of my merits,” he told her simply. “I can be patient. After all, I thought you were lost to me all these years. Now, I find you very much alive and real.”
She looked up at him, so beautiful, so young, so full of the future, and his heart constricted in anticipation. When he left later that morning, his soul was full of joy for the coming years and he knew it was only a matter of time before he put his mother’s ring on her finger.
2 thoughts on “Soulbite”
I enjoyed it ☺️, though I wish it was longer 🙂