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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!

8. 8. Hazy Realizations

Rating 4/5   Word Count 1102   Review this Chapter

8. Hazy Realizations

I slept in a daze for almost two weeks. Elizabeth called for the doctor again, this time his astute diagnosis of exhaustion coupled with pneumonia was only partly correct. Even though I knew he was full of it, I continued to allow Elizabeth to nurse me back to health.

This whole dream was beginning to slowly turn sour. I began to panic when I realized I may never find my way home, which brought on an entirely new problem, panic attacks.

On one particularly hazy day, Elizabeth hollered down the hall, screaming for Edward to go get the “damn” doctor. I couldn’t breathe, my chest began to throb and ache. My heartbeat so loudly within my chest that I thought I would go insane listening to its restlessness. The fear rose in me like a title wave, and my father’s and my mother’s faces flashed before me, how would I ever live without them? I stopped gasping for a moment. My head suddenly cleared. I had been willing just a few short months ago to give them up, just to be with him, my Edward. I would have given up ever seeing them again just so I could be like him and be with him, forever.

I felt shame rise in my face like a red hot heat.

“You’re blushing again.” His voice was melancholy sweet. It surprised me that it was waiting here for me. “Here,” he said tipping my head forward and allowing me to sip from a glass. “It’ll help you sleep.” The taste stung my taste buds with a sour twang. I cringed as the liquid rolled down my throat, burning lightly like a swig of liquor. He chuckled softly as he placed the glass back on the bedside table and sat down beside me. “When you’re well, I will introduce you to my life. Then, maybe will you tell me the truth.” He gently combed my hair back and pressed a soft kiss onto my forehead. The lights in the room began to darken and my eyelids drooped.

The morning dawned brightly, casting a slender slant of light across my bed and onto my eyes. As I opened them, I could feel the room coming into focus around me. The crisp sounds of morning awakened my senses.

A robe was hung over the chair near the window, where his sleeping body was slumped over. His brown hair was messy from mid-night, insecure rufflings. I let him rest a bit longer and quietly removed the robe from the chair.

The hallway was silent as I stole down it. Beams of light shot in from the open doorways along it. I rapped gently upon the bathroom door. No answer. I turned the doorknob and entered as silently as possible, for me. The door shattered shut behind me. It reminded me I was still human… and I was still real.

The water faucet on the bathtub groaned and let forth a loud grunt before spilling the water into the basin.

I dipped my feet in first to acclimate my body to a warmer temperature, and just as I had began to soak the rest of my weary body, a knock came at the door.

“Isabella?” It was Elizabeth’s motherly voice that echoed in the room. “Is that you?”

“Erm,” I paused, unsure if I had been within my rights as a house guest to run my own bath. “Yes.”

“Everything alright?”

I sighed gently, “I’m fine, just a bit untidy.”

“Feeling better, then?”

“I feel much better.” I let the rest of the water wash away the dirt and grim of a bedridden patient.

“Well, I’ll call the doctor for a quick examination. Just to be sure.” I heard her footsteps echo down the hall.

“Would a sponge bath have been too much to ask for?” I muttered to myself, swishing the soapy around my arms.

“Apparently so.” His stern voice startled me, his dark eyes even more.

“J-James…” I gasped, the water splashed around me as I tried to gain my ground. Naked and soaking wet, I stood no chance to outrun him.

His grin turned downward and his eyes brightened. “You don’t really think I’m here, do you?”

I gulped down a breath, trying to answer in a seemingly eloquent way, but instead, water found its way down my windpipe causing my lungs to burn and my throat to seize. I bellowed out a chain of coughs. My eyes turned red and my face a light shade of blue.

“I knew you’d look pretty as the undead.” His body burst into a cloud of black smoke as the bathroom door flew open.

Edward trained his eyes away from me, the moment he realized my body was completely exposed. With closed eyes, he reached for a towel and held it out for me, removing me from the bath water. “Are you alright?” His eyes finally turned to my face as I positioned my towel around my body, covering as much skin as I could.

I nodded, my body shook. How could I explain to him that I had just seen a ghost of the past… or… the future in this case? A man he didn’t know, who had tried to take my life for the sake of some stupid sport.

“You don’t look alright.” Edward caught my eyes with his own for a moment. He turned his face swiftly, dropping his eyes to the bathroom tile and crossed his arms over his chest.

I didn’t say anything, but I kept my eyes on him, studying his movements and mannerisms. The truth was, I didn’t know what to say anymore. It seemed each time I opened my mouth another lie flew out and splattered across him like a bloodstain.

“I’ll let you get dressed, then I am taking you out for lunch.”

“What about the doctor?”

He smiled and glanced quickly at me. “Don’t worry about it.” He turned and left in a flash.

It felt like my head was filled with helium and my body was a rock. I toppled over onto the floor. The cool tile felt calming against my skin as I let my head slip backwards. I sighed heavily, taking in as much air as my lungs could hold. The sunlight that came in through the foggy window was blurring my vision, and I saw his face again. Grinning perversely at me. I shook it off and pushed myself back up. I yanked the robe hook on the wall and threw it on my damp body.