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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!

7. 7. Fiction

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1149   Review this Chapter

“What do you mean by that?” I studied his face for any tell of emotion, any tell of what he was thinking. Maybe he knew who I was? Maybe he knew the truth.

“I’ve had this dream before, only… that kiss was something my dream could never have made up.”

I sighed with relief. Just a dream. He would have to be ludicrous to believe that I had traveled back through time almost a century and somehow had landed in Chicago all the way from the Forks. “A dream?”

He nodded solemnly and leaned back against the leather seat. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes, seduced by his thoughts. “Just last night.” His voice was barely a whisper heard over the sound of the wind pulling up off the water and soft lapping of the wakes to the shore. “I was,” he began, still holding his eyes tightly shut, his head jerked forward and his fingers gripped tightly on the wheel, “white.”

“Wh-white?” I stuttered. I pulled my eyes off of his entrancing face and stared at the wakes breaking the water’s surface.

“As a sheet.” He shook his head like a demonic presence was holding his body captive. “Cold as ice.” His voice broke as the word left his mouth, ice.

“You were dead?” I managed to spit the words out of my own frozen mouth. I didn’t know whether to fake I knew what he was talking about or act completely obvious. I chose the latter.

“Not dead. I was moving, but I wasn’t breathing.” I held my eyes at bay, avoiding his stiffened body.

I kept silent willing him on. Maybe he’d realize it, maybe I wouldn’t have to lie… Maybe he would know how much he would love me… and we could live out our lives together as normal, human beings.

“I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep… I felt it all… and you were there.”

“Me?” I squeaked, allowing my eyes to trace his silhouette.

He nodded. “Strange, isn’t it?”

“I guess.”

“You guess?”

“Well… it’s all just a weird coincidence. Right?”

“And the kiss?”

I didn’t have an answer for him, and he knew it. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could, hoping that I could make the entire situation just go away. I was brought back to reality a moment later when the car rumbled beneath me.

The ride back was just as nauseating as the trip to the lake front. Not to mention, the tightness of the corset wasn’t helping. I wrapped the scarf tighter around my neck and face to keep the cool night air out.

The gas lamps of the city were a rudely awakening sight, but also welcoming in a thank-god-this-is-over sort of way. He pulled the car to the front of the building and hopped down from his seat. With an arm out he gently lifted me from the car and set me down on the sidewalk. He hadn’t spoken since the rhetorical question he had posed at the lake front. He held the door open for me and let me inside before allowing it to shut. I stared at him from the other side of the glass, unwilling to let my eyes release from his.

As I blinked, he was gone.

The door to their apartment was unlocked, and I heard soft chatter coming from the living room.

“Edward, dear, is that you?” His mother’s voice was strung with a sweet twang.

“It’s just me, Mrs. Masen.” I walked slowly into their living room. Edward’s father had draped his arm around his wife’s small shoulders and was swirling a glass of brandy in the other. “Edward is putting the car away.” I was suddenly aware of how my dialect was substantially less formal that their own tone. “I would just like to thank both of you for your utmost generosity.”

“Of course, dear,” Elizabeth smiled. “We couldn’t have you out in the streets, such a pretty young lady.” Edward, Sr. smiled in accord with Elizabeth, such a man of few words.

“I think I’ll retire for the evening.” I bowed my head respectfully and left them to their privacy.

I struggled to loosen the corset and unhook the closures. By the time I had gotten myself free, I was exhausted. I left the linen chemise on and crawled beneath the covers of my newly acquired bed. Sleep seemed to come swiftly and with it, came my Edward.

I was hearing his cool, seductive voice again. It was different than the fleshy Edward’s voice. My Edward seemed more matured in his tone. It had a cool, docile tone, his chilly breath frosting my cheeks.

“Be careful, Bella. My love, be careful.” The words swarmed around my head in a misty breeze. It swam through the air in a visible fog, forming little hearts and then bursting like bubbles. The mist splattered against something hard. Little by little, each mist built on his form and he appeared in front me, a ghostly image. His hand reached out to my cheek, but paused before coming into contact with my flesh, “You must come back to me.” Suddenly, his form burst like the other mists…

“Isabella,” he was muttering from the foot of my bed.

“Edward?” I pushed myself into a sitting position.

Just like in my dream, his hand reached out my cheek, this time gently brushing it. “Why is this so real?” He stared at his hand as it cupped my cheek.

I pressed into it, feeling the humanly cool of it against my flushed cheek.

He continued on with his rhetorical interrogation of the universe. “Why does my heart ache every time I am near you?”

I wasn’t sure if I should push his hand away or continue to let our contact drown him in questions.

“Why do I know just how to touch you, kiss you, speak to you?”

I wanted to let everything out. I wanted so bad to just tell him the truth, but I couldn’t. I could risk sounding like a crazy person. I heard about what they didn’t to mentally ill people during this time… and I didn’t want that to be me.

“Isabella,” he whispered, bringing his face closer to mine. “Why do I love you?”

I choked back a gasp and pulled my head back. “I-I… don’t know.” His eyes were brimming with crystal tears. I pressed my lips to his forehead. “Don’t you believe in love at first sight?”

His look caught me off guard. His eyes were wide, the tears dripped freely down his cheeks. His mouth was agape. “Like in books?”

I nodded.

He shook his head, letting his eyes fall to lap. “Never.”

“Never say never.”

He kissed my kiss as he rose to his feet. “I don’t think that’s it, Isabella.”

“Why not?”

“Because, this is real. Not fiction.”