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September 13th

Summary:
CHAPTER TEN -- the last chapter -- NOW POSTEDThe waiting is finally over ... The days leading up to and following Bella’s 19th birthday – the year she never turned 19. And yes, this is a sequel to “August 13th.”


Notes:
ATTENTION READERS: DO NOT STEAL MY STORIES. Someone has stolen some of my stories from this website -- including this one! -- and posted them as their own on fanfiction.net. It is plaigarism, it is stealing and it is illegal. Read, enjoy -- but don't steal. Post-Eclipse This is a sequel to "August 13th" -- you don't have to have read that story to understand this one, though I highly recommend it! ;) To do so, check it out here: http://www.twilightarchives.com/viewstory.php?sid=986


3. Chapter 3

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1692   Review this Chapter

* * *

“Many’s the time I ran with you down
The rainy roads of your old town …”
* * *

I felt incredibly small sitting nestled in the center of the extremely large and unnecessary bed in our room, hugging my knees to my chest. Edward stood silently at the doorway, watching me as I took in the vastness of our new room.

The ceilings were high and vaulted with a heavy, dark wooden beam running along its peak, another delicate chandelier hanging from the center and casting a warm, diffused glow about the space. The walls were painted an ochre color – a shade I happened to find particularly comforting – and were highlighted by the sharp contrast of the black and white fabrics covering the bed and the curtains and the sofa and chairs – very modern-looking prints – an oversized houndstooth and a graphic toile. The floors – the same cherry wood as the entry – were softened by a plush white area rug centered in the room. And the furnishings – the dresser and wardrobe and nightstands – carried the same cherry finish. It was beautiful and new and warm and comforting. It was also extremely opulent and I felt very unimportant sitting there amidst the grandeur.

Finally – either satisfied that I’d seen my share or tired of waiting – Edward crossed the room in the blink of an eye and eased himself onto the bed beside me, trying very carefully not to disrupt the mattress. Unconsciously, I uncurled my limbs as he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled myself to him – my arms naturally tangling about his shoulders and neck and my legs settling across his lap. He kissed me chastely, but I was not satisfied by such a brief affection. I pulled my face to his in an effort to prolong our contact. But – for the first time I could remember since before the wedding – he pulled back, pushing me away just slightly.

My brow furrowed and my eyes flittered across his face, looking for some sign of unease. I was equally perturbed to find nothing there. “Edward?”

“Not now,” he said. “Not here.” I did not have to ask for further clarification; the confusion was plain in my eyes. “Too many witnesses,” he explained. “Everyone can hear us. There’d be absolutely no privacy.”

In my haste and urgency, I had forgotten that two families of vampires were scattered about the house – all of them with preternaturally excellent hearing. “But what about the others – back in Forks?” I pressed. “Alice and Jasper? And Emmett and Rose? And Carlisle and Esme? Didn’t they … not wait for everyone to leave? Couldn’t you all hear them?”

Edward chuckled and I bounced against his chest with the force of it. “We could have,” he said, “if we’d listened. But we knew better. We always just tune each other out … it’s not like we really want to hear that, anyway, and besides … while there are no secrets in the Cullen household, we do try to give each other as much privacy as we can.”

“So wouldn’t they do that now, then?” I asked. “For us? Couldn’t they tune us out?”

His lips twitched, showing a ghost of my favorite crooked grin. “They could,” he said. “But they wouldn’t be able to help themselves – all of them, even Carlisle.” He rolled his eyes. “I’m afraid they are all far too curious about the vampire and the human together to tune us out.”

“Oh,” I said, understanding coloring my cheeks red.

Edward’s cool fingertips brushed my face. “I will miss that,” he whispered. “The way your blood just rushes to the surface – heated and rosy on your cheeks.” He pressed his lips against my warmth. “So it’s a good thing I’ve memorized the sight and feel of it.”

“You’re not having second thoughts, are you?” I stiffened in his arms.

He smiled and shook his head and I instantly relaxed against him. “No,” he said warmly. “In fact, I’m actually quite looking forward to having you not so breakable. As much as I’ve enjoyed our time together, Bella, I’ve grown quite frustrated always having to control myself so much. It will be much better when that won’t be necessary.”

“So you do want me to be a vampire?”

He rolled his eyes, obviously feeling my question superfluous. “Yes,” he said emphatically. “I told you before – it’s not what I ever wanted foryou … but it’s what I’ve wanted for a very long time. Although …” His voice drifted off momentarily, his eyes flickering across every detail of my face and body – moving more quickly than I could hardly register. “I am glad to have known you as a human, even if it means I am the one to take away your life,” he said quietly. “It has really changed how I perceive things.”

I grinned wickedly. “You mean, like impatient human hormones?” I wriggled unnecessarily against his lap and he groaned in response, shoving me aside. I laughed alone by myself on the bed as he glowered at me from several feet away. When I was finished laughing – no longer amused by myself – I sat up and attempted to look petulant. “I’m sorry, Edward. I’ll be good now. I promise.”

He stared at me a moment longer, his lips drawn together on one side of his face before his features relaxed and he was once again pulling me into his embrace. “Whatever will I do with you, Bella?” he said, sighing melodramatically. But he grinned afterwards, so I knew I had been forgiven.

“I’m sorry,” I said, shrugging. “I didn’t realize that our last time together would be our last time together before … before I’m not human anymore!”

“There will be plenty of time for that after,” he said. “Once you’ve had some time to adjust – then you and I can leave and spend some time alone. Just the two of us – as newlyweds – and then we can do whatever you want … for days at a time, if you like.”

“Weeks!” I suggested enthusiastically.

He laughed. “Weeks, sure,” he said. “Whatever you want … after we’re alone.”

“Why do we have to wait? I won’t be human anymore … no one will be curious anymore.”

“I’m afraid the novelty will not have quite worn off,” he said, frowning. He was clearly irritated by his family’s own curiosity. “Besides, you’ll need some time to adjust to being a vampire. And I’d prefer you did that here, where there is a bigger support system.”

“You mean … it could be years?” I was saddened by this thought. As much as I wanted to be a vampire, I still desperately craved intimacy with Edward – especially now that I’d experienced it.

“No,” he said, his tone brightening. “It could be years before you want me more than blood … before you can spend time with humans again. But I was thinking more like a couple weeks. Just enough time for you to understand your new body. You’ll be much stronger than you are now, Bella. Your eyesight, your hearing … all of your senses will be much more attuned to things. You’ll be just as fast as I am. You won’t need to breathe anymore. Your heart will have stopped beating. It won’t be miserable,” he promised me. “But it will be different … and you’ll need a few days to adjust, and the others here can help you do that.”

“Oh,” I said complacently. “That’s not so bad.”

His lips quirked and his eyes did sort of a half-roll, flipping up and then back down. He shook his head slowly. A small chuckle rumbled in his chest, but it slowly eased into a prolonged purr. He pulled us back against the pillows and I found myself dozing off in his arms. One of my hands reached across and twined with his, the other rested against his chest – clutching at the fabric of his shirt. It was comfortable with Edward; I forgot time in his embrace. I don’t know how long we’d been like this, when I finally broke the silence. “Edward?” I broached, my voice cracking from its recent silence. “When … when are you going to … when will I …”

But the question would not form; I could not force it past my lips. I was grateful for Edward’s understanding, even if he could not read my mind. “Soon,” he promised. “First you have to call Charlie, and that will have to wait two more nights to allow time for him to believe we’ve actually arrived at college. And then … and then, I’ll do it whenever you are ready.”

“I am ready,” I said. My voice was small and soft – but there was a force behind it which conveyed the truth behind my words. Edward could not doubt their sincerity.

“So ready to die?” he said sadly, though his tone was light.

“No,” I said fiercely. “I’m ready to start my life.” I pulled away from him slightly so I could look directly into his eyes. I wanted to leave no doubt whatsoever in his mind; I’d already hurt him enough this summer. “I made my choice, Edward. And once I’d made that choice – really made it, after careful consideration of the price – I was ready to pay. I want my life to begin – my life with you.”

He smiled, the brightness reaching his eyes, and I knew he was okay. Perhaps a bit of the pain I’d caused him in the last months mended slightly. Edward reached towards me, cupping the back of my head – his fingers tangling in my hair – and crushed our lips together. My breathing hitched and my heart raced and as I struggled to control myself for both our sakes, I made myself a promise. That I would spend the rest of eternity erasing those cracks and bruises; I would make Edward whole again.

* * *