A Night Without Stars
It's amazing how one little phone call can change a person's life. After Rosalie's fated call, Edward's life is meaningless. It is a night without stars.
I don't own any of it. Just another obsessed fanatic! :) © Edwards Rose 2007
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2547 Review this Chapter
A Night Without Stars
By Edward’s Rose
Isolation. That’s what I’ve felt since my departure from Forks. Isolated from my family, from life…from Bella. It is better this way, though…she is safe and could forget me. But can I forget her…? How her white face turns a brilliant red when she's embarrassed, or her endearing clumsiness... I almost smile to myself. I absentmindedly look out the small, glass window, my eyes roughly scanning the outside world.
Suddenly, my tiny, silver cell-phone begins to ring. I slowly pick it up and see Rosalie's name flashing across the screen. What words could she possibly wish to share with me...?
“What?” I ask sharply into the receiver.
“Edward?” she asks in a rushed voice.
I sigh in frustration. “Yes, Rose, who else?” My voice rings with sarcasm. I wait for her angry response, but it doesn’t come. “Rosalie?” I hiss.
“Edward…something’s happened,” she says slowly.
Panic washes over me; Rosalie sounds almost…scared. “What's happened?” I ask, panic seeping into my voice.
“There was an accident…a cliff…Bella…” she stops abruptly and Bella’s name unleashes all my demons upon myself…
“Is Bella alright?” I ask softly. I am surprised at how calm my voice sounds…I feel like screaming.
“Alice saw…oh, Edward, I’m so sorry. Bella’s dead.”
The phone rolls from my fingers, and plummets towards the ground. I catch it before it hits, though. I hear Rosalie’s panicked voice as I snap the phone shut. She can't be dead! It was all a misunderstanding! I hastily dial Charlie’s house number and each ring tears into my consciousness with sharp claws.
“Swan Residence,” a deep, husky voice says.
I summon up my flawless Carlisle impersonation. “Hello, this is Dr. Carlisle Cullen. May I please speak with Charlie?”
“He’s not here,” the voice says tersely.
“Well, where is he?” I snap, allowing the frustration to penetrate the syllables.
“He’s at the funeral.”
My fingers tighten on the phone as I hang up, creating perfect molds on the shiny surface. The funeral…the funeral…Isabella is dead. She is not on this Earth anymore…I am alone. The anger wells up inside of me like a storm. She’d promised! I pick up a small table and throw it effortlessly against the blanched, white walls. It shatters with a thunderous crash and then the sad emptiness takes over. I feel like sinking into the floor and never coming back up…I want to die. I want to die. My words to Bella still ring true:
“Well, I wasn’t going to live without you!”
I cross over to the small window and throw it open. Hurling myself out of it, I land stealthily in the deserted, dark alleyway. I throw my cell phone in a trashcan…why will I need it anymore? Hastily pulling the hood of my sweatshirt up, I take a step forwards. And then I am flying…running effortlessly through the surrounding woods towards the airport. I was going to Italy, to Volterra. The Volturi were reasonable, they would grant me my request. I glance up at the sky, which has turned into a canvas of empty blackness. It is a night without stars.
I feel the weight of the wind on my back, and pretend like it’s Bella…her arms and legs clamped in a deathlock around my neck and waist. In a matter of minutes, I arrive at the outskirts of the airport. I melt into the large crowd and manage to walk towards the ticket counter. There is a woman with large, brown eyes standing there…Bella’s eyes. No! I can’t let the emptiness overtake me, for the present I have to be rational. Act carefully so I won't let the despair drag me down, and do something that I will regret.
“Hello, may I help you?” she asks, flashing me a wide smile, her eyes taking in my hooded appearance.
I turn the magnitude of my gaze on her, and she nearly gasps. “I need a ticket to Florence, Italy,” I say smoothly, giving her a wide smile. I feel like an actor…the smile makes me feel like my face is crumbling.
“Um, s-sure. Let me check,” her fingers clack noisily on her keyboard and it takes all of me to not scream in impatience. She looks up and gives me a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry; we don’t have any seats available on the next flight.”
My fingers clench and I smoothly reach into my pocket. “It is imperative that I’m on that flight,” I say in a velvety voice, leaning over the counter. I swiftly hand her an a thousand dollar bill, regarding her pleadingly.
She stares at me, shocked, and then fumbles around the counter for a moment. “Of-of course, here’s your ticket, sir.” I take it and thank her…turning around as she offers pleasantries about my flight.
I walk hastily towards my gate, sinking into one of the generic, uncomfortable seats. I have twenty minutes until boarding. Twenty minutes of unchecked agony…twenty minutes of trying to ward off all thoughts of her. I lean my head back against the wall and see a girl watching me. Unconsciously, her thoughts float through my head like a sieve:
“Helooks so sad…like he’s lost something. His expression is so broken, so pained…did someone die?” I close my bruised eyelids and my fingers clench the arm- rests of the chair. I feel like standing up and screaming to the airport:
“Yes, someone died! Bella did…the one thing in my life that ever mattered to me! She killed herself because I left her…my love is gone. She’s gone from this world, and now I am following her! My world is shattered.” My musings are interrupted by a loud and jarring voice announcing that first class passengers can board. I am surprised my pain had carried me all the way through the twenty minutes.
Strange. It is as if time does not exist anymore.
* * *
Once I am on the plane, I am in agony. Why is the plane not taking off? I could fly it…get to Italy in record time. Or I can just reveal my true self, and scare the pilots into compliance. Finally, I feel the plane rumbling underneath me, and know we are in the air. Concerned flight attendants come up to me every so often, and I wordlessly deny their offers of refreshment or assistance. I stare out the small window which is filled with the radiance of the setting sun.
A painful memory burns into my heart as I think of Bella. The first time I had ever taken her to my meadow. She had stood in the tall grasses, beckoning to me to step out from the constraints of the dark trees. Her face had been framed by the golden sunlight, a smile on her full lips, her dark hair falling around her face in waves. Stop it! I command myself. I’ll be with her soon enough…Unless I went to hell. A place I know Bella cannot be.
I close my eyelids and pretend like I am sleeping…when really the only thing I am doing is tormenting myself with my memories. The hours pass slowly…time slowing to a monontnus tick. Second by second. Hour by hour. I feel the wheels of the airplane touch the ground, and I fluidly rise from my seat. I am the first one off the plane, and I can feel the stares of worried passengers bearing into my back.
I walk outside and look up towards the rich Italian sunlight. I pull my hood closer around my face, swathing me in darkness. Floating swiftly towards the waiting sanity of the trees, I am once again running. Concentrating on the whooshing of the wind past my ears. Letting the dull, hollow sound fill my senses.
I soon arrive at Volterra. The city is bathed in light, and I know that I am not the only one that has to hide from the golden giant. I advance upon the sheer city walls, scouting them with a practiced eye. Crowds of people are milling around the city, and I wonder why it is so crowded. A festival, perhaps…? I don’t care. I scale the walls easily and land in a crouch in a dark alleyway.
I slowly make my way towards the round tower where the Volturi dwell…one of the many things I remember from Carlisle’s stories. I keep to the shadows…a predator returned to the dark. Some peoples' eyes flicker in my direction, but their slow, human minds don’t register my presence.
I stand for a moment in front of the elegant and refined doorway. I wrench it open, a frail gate between predator and prey. I let my hood down, and walk quickly into a large lobby, not paying attention to its inhabitants or décor. I come upon a set of elevators and angrily punch the buttons, careful not to punch them through the wall.
After an agonizing wait, I step into the elevator and watch as it descends into the depths. I think of Carlisle…how he had roamed these same streets at one time. Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, even Rosalie…I’d lose them all, but that's a price I am willing to pay for Bella. I get out anxiously and walk over towards the counter. A human woman sits behind it, and I know she is working for the Volturi. How ironic…a human in the hands of its hunters. She gives me a sunny smile as I approach, not at all shocked by my appearance.
“Hello. Can I help you with something?” she asks smoothly.
“Yes,” I say tersely. “Yes you can.”
She looks at me expectantly, not blinking.
I take a deep breath. “I need to see the Volturi.”
“That can be arranged,” she says silkily. “What’s your name?”
“Edward Cullen,” I say through gritted teeth; her calm manner is beginning to wear on me.
She slides off her chair and leads me down many winding passages towards a large, ornate door. She knocks respectfully and folds her hands placidly behind her back.
“Enter!” I hear a voice swathed in layers of arrogance and majesty call.
The door swings open and I see six of them…Marcus, Caius, Aro, Alec, Felix and Jane.
“Who is it, Gianna?” Jane calls in a shrill voice.
“Edward Cullen,” Gianna answers.
I see Aro stand abruptly, a delighted smile creeping across his face. “Can it really be? Can it really be my dear friend Carlisle’s son?” he asks excitedly.
“The same,” I say carefully, my tone impassive.
Aro floats towards me, and turns his head to face the rest. “Marcus, Caius! Did you hear that?”
“We heard, Aro,” Marcus says in a rather bored voice, as if he was used to Aro’s over-enthusiasm.
“My dear boy, this is an honor! How is Carlisle? I haven’t seen him in so long!”
“He’s fine, I’m sure he sends his warmest regards.” I say this calmly, and know what I want will occur shortly…
“I’m glad to hear it! Please tell me, Edward, what are you doing in our humble city?” He gives me an exaggerated sweep of his arms.
I look straight into his bottomless eyes. “I want to die.”
* * *
I angrily stride out into the streets of Volterra. I speed down a deserted alleyway and lean heavily against the wall. My hands ball into fists, and I try to repress the gnawing anger in my heart…they have refused my request. How dare they! They said it would be a “waste.” They even offered me a place amongst them. I don’t want a place in their dammed group! All I want is to be with her again! Why can’t they grant me my request? I let loose a guttural snarl and watch a pigeon take flight in fear.
I slam my fist into the wall and see fine grains of dust float throught the air as some of the bricks become dislodged. I lean my head against the wall, closing my eyes. I think of Bella…the scent that came off her skin, how her arms felt around my neck. In that instant, it all becomes clear to me. If the Volturi won’t willingly fulfill my request, I will make them.
I begin walking, not caring where my feet lead me, planning. For centuries, the Volturi have prided themselves on keeping Volterra “safe.” They keep all the vampires in line, safe from discovery. Any vampire that causes a disturbance in their own city will be dealt with swiftly…with death.
I smile to myself as I contemplate my own demise. What shall I do? It will be so simple. I can lift a car above my head…? Go hunting in the city, which will get their attention. But then I think of Carlisle’s face. I can’t disappoint him like this…not after all my years of self restraint.
Then it comes to me. I will step out into the sun. How my skin'll sparkle in the light…not something your average tourist can do. Also something that Bella had once seen… My mind is set. I glance up at the clock tower. Its numbers read eleven-thirty. I’ll step out into the sun at twelve, high noon. Then I’ll see Bella again. I smile to myself at the thought, and begin walking towards the clock tower. I cling to the shadows, and feel almost enlightened.
“I’ll be with you soon, my love,” I whisper. “Soon.”
* * *
I regard the small, white heap that is my shirt for a moment. The plaza is crowded with hundreds of people, for St. Marcus’s Day. Lovely…a big audience for my little performance. I hear the clock chime the hour. It is time. I close my eyes for a moment and think of Bella’s face. Do I hear someone calling my name, or am I just imagining it...? The cadence is so familiar, though. All part of my flawless hallucination. I take a step forward towards the light, my destiny.
Then I hear her.
Someone slams into me, not making much of an impact, though.
“Edward!” her angel’s voice calls.
I open my eyes and regard Bella for a moment. I must be dead…this is nice of them; I hadn’t felt any pain. Bella’s words are pleading in my ears, and then I understand. I am not dead, she isn’t dead. Relief floods over me, I am happy again. The blinding love and relief change in an instant. though.
I realize I have put ourselves in mortal danger.