A Better Place, A Better Time
It’s impossible, this can’t be… 1917. Even time, itself, can’t keep them apart. If this is a dream… I don’t ever want to wake up. Bella finds herself nearly 100 years in the past. Coincidentally in the city of Chicago. (Takes place during New Moon when Edward has left, AU.) Time traveling should be illegal. *COMPLETE* Sequel "All This Time" is posted on my profile.
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters in the story. Warnings: None yet. This takes place during New Moon, when Edward is M.I.A. It does not take the rest of the series into account. Enjoy. *Complete as of 4-25-2008!
13. 13. The Promise
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1522 Review this Chapter
The stairs creaked beneath my shoes, sending my stomach jumping. It twisted in knots as I mounted each stair. He held my arm through his and led me slowly up the stairs, like it was my death march. He paused at the top of the steps and turned to me.
In a whisper he said, “Sorry about the fiancée thing…” He locked his green eyes onto mine.
I choke down a breath as he said the word again. I nodded.
“I needed an excuse to be bringing you to my grandfather’s door.”
I found my voice suddenly. “I don’t suppose you could have mentioned that to me before we got here?” I was slightly annoyed, but the smirk on his face was too much to resist. I couldn’t stay mad.
We continued slowly down the dark hall. Only one light lit the floor and just barely did it do its job. I watched the hall carefully counting each door. Each step was one step closer to a place I wasn’t sure I wanted to be. We stopped suddenly outside a door I recognized as Carlisle’s office.
“Stay here,” he whispered into my ear, his warm breath trailing down my neck. As he opened the door slowly, I caught a glimpse of the room. It was dressed in maroon curtains and dark wood paneling. A large leather chair sat behind an oversized desk, scattered with papers and books. The door slid shut slowly, and Edward disappeared behind it.
I stood, shaking, waiting for him. I could barely hear him ruffling about inside. A few, what seems to be, drawers creaked and a chair scraped against the floor. There was a short silence before the door opened again.
His eyes were gleaming the low hall light. He had his hand clutching something. Something small. It fit neatly within his palm.
He nodded and reached for my hand with his free hand. He held my hand close to his chest and continued toward the second set of stairs. Each step was agony, feeling my weak knees tremble and my dress press tighter and tighter… suffocating me. The stairs loomed before me, terrorizing me.
I remembered back to those movies where the actors were stuck in a trap room… and the walls began to close on them. That’s how I felt. The dark walling closed in on me from all angles. They suffocated me like down pillows. I choked out a breath and clutched my chest.
“Are you alright?” Edward had stopped just short of the first stair.
I nodded, faking strength.
He bowed his head gently before moving us forward.
Each step was like a knife in my chest. Tightness and pings of pain shot through my body.
The first step was his eyes. Topaz, like melted honey and diamonds. They loomed just out of reach, at the top of the stair case. Staring down at me.
The second step was his lips. Lustful and pale. They poised themselves in a pucker as if sour words had just come from them.
The third step was his hair. It flowed like liquid bronze around his eyes and nose. Softly tussled in the nonexistent wind.
The fourth step completed his face. Pale and daunting, glowing in the low hall light.
The fifth step rippled a pale white down to the floor, constructing his formidable frame. A sight to be seen, rippling stomach and arm… lightly pink nipples.
As I ascended closer, just a step away. His wardrobe took shape. A grey, knit sweater and a pair of dark blue jeans…
The next step… He was gone, vanishing like a vapor of a thought. As if he was never really there. I stopped in my tracks and slowly caught my raging breath.
Human Edward waited patiently, drawing circles on my back. “Shall we?” His voice was smooth and unaffected by my odd behavior. I heard his voice whispering… Insignificant things, odd things… Things that didn’t make any sense.Bella… my love… Where are you? I know you’re here! Please Bella! Bella!
“What?” I whispered to Edward.
He shook his head, “I asked if we should continue.”
I was taken back suddenly my mind was playing tricks on me. No, I thought, it’s this house that’s playing tricks on me. I shook off the voices ringing in my head. I nodded gently and took the last few steps at a slow, painstaking speed. I narrowly avoided a fall, catching my foot on the lip of the stairs. Edward held me tight, determined to make me finish this trip.
The hallway was short. Just a few doors on the left… the very last door… the very last… I couldn’t make myself even think it. I didn’t want to remember what had happened that night. I was becoming so comfortable here, with him. I shook my head gently.
“What’s wrong?” Edward’s voice was still quiet and sweet.
“Which one is yours?”
“The one at the end of the hall.” He pointed a skinny finger towards the door.
I nodded knowingly, with a fake smile on my lips. I took my steps forward cautiously, clutching Edward’s arm.
He stopped suddenly and turned to me, holding my hands between his. The door only feet from us. He had a crooked smile on his face as he said, “For the ruse.” He held up on hand, pinched in between his thumb and index finger was a silver band. It twisted upward into a good-sized diamond.
I choked. “For w-what?”
“I told my grandfather you were my fiancée… you need to look like it.” My hand was frozen to his, unable to move. At his will, he brought it up between us, inches from my face. My fingers splayed at his wish. He brought my hand flat, fingers toward him. The cool melt of the ring was against my skin. I felt it before I saw it… In fact, my eyes were slowly behind the events that were going on between us.
I was distracted by a faint, white mist near the door, standing just in front of it. Out of the inauspicious fog, a face formed. White like a sheet… eyes like toffee. He was everywhere.
Bella, his voice rang in my head, I know you’re here! Please! I’m sorry; I’ll never leave you again.I promise.
I shut my eyes as the ring slid down my finger. It stopped like time was frozen, but I knew it wasn’t. Edward was still gazing at me like he did, in that suspicious manner.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered. I heard the door open. The hinges’ creak echoed in my head. The floor boards moaned underfoot as he slowly lead me forward.
I knew the moment I had set foot in the room. The air around me was icy and mentholated… like Edward. My Edward.
“No you don’t.” I let the tears flood from under my eyelids and stain my cheeks. “There’s so much that I wish… I just wish I could tell you.”
“A had a dream about this room… about you. About that night.”
As I opened my eyes, I saw the room was bare. No furniture, no lighting… Nothing. Just like that night. “What?” My voice cracked.
“That’s how I knew.” He had let go of my hands and moved toward the window. He stood with his back to me, his hands clasped behind his back. “At first I didn’t believe it, but you have a queer way of illuminating the truth.” He chuckled softly and considered his words. “The things you said… the way you said them. The way you looked. It was all there in my dream. I couldn’t deny it. And just now, I felt it all fall into place. The second you stepped inside this room.”
“And you brought me back here?” My voice was low and shaky. I wasn’t sure how I found any breath to speak.
He nodded and turned over his shoulder. “ I needed to know if it was true… And whatever happened here… needs to happen again.”
“How do you know that?” I moved towards him, unwilling to just let him go.
“I just do.”
“You want to wait a century to find me again!? Why? When you could have me now…” The tears were pouring down my face, my body heaved with sobs. “I can’t lose you again.”
“You won’t.” He pressed his hands against my shoulder. He took my hand in his, as he added, “And this,” his pressed a finger against it, twisting it slightly around my finger, “You just keep it. It was my grandmother’s, my grandfather won’t miss it. This way… you’ll find me again.” He gently kissed my clammy forehead and pressed his hands on my shoulders. My feet stuck to the floor like they were in wet cement.
I watched him in slow motion. His face solemn as he turned from me, walking past my shoulder. I turned my head to watch him, and he took one last look at me. His mouth formed a word… a single, ominous word.
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