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The Road Not Taken

Summary:
Epilogue: “She didn’t really seem like that sort of girl,” Tanya commented, her tone just a tad sour, and Demetri quirked a smile.

“I get the feeling there’s a lot more to her than we’ve suspected.”
Sequel to The Road Less Traveled by Daintress of tm_switzerland.The Road Not Taken


Notes:


5. Chapter 5

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 926   Review this Chapter

When Bella was finally alone in her new room, she peeled off the pajamas she’d worn. She stood, nude, at the foot of her completely unnecessary bed and held them for a moment, then launched them toward the garbage can. They hit the inside rim and went in, but the can tipped over from the force of it. She grimaced, righted it, and found the bathroom. Without glancing into it, she lifted the huge mirror from the wall and turned it around, placing it back in the archaic brass holders backwards, promising herself she’d dispose of it as soon as possible.

Sweat had dried on her skin, and her hair was still damp with it. She desperately needed a shower. She marveled at the feel of everything that touched her. Water, soap, and her own hands. She didn’t feel cold, but EVERYTHING felt slightly warm against her skin, except her hands.

She dug through her bag to find something to wear. The clothing she’d been wearing on her last day in La Push was on top, and she set it carefully aside, her nose slightly wrinkled. Werewolves DID smell awful, but at least they didn’t make her stomach feel queasy like humans. And in spite of the burning in her nose, the smell was comforting, somehow. She wondered if there was some way to preserve it, then shook her head, realizing the silliness of the thought. She forced her eyes to slide passed the blood on those jeans, and then changed her mind and stared at it. Finally she picked the whole outfit up and put it in the bottom drawer of the antique dresser that stood on the opposite wall, determining to get a trunk or something to put them in later.

She put on the very next articles of clothing she found, and tossed everything else into the first four drawers haphazardly. That complete, she turned her attention to the box of blank journals. In the sitting room there was a small desk, a television, and a leather couch that reminded her very much of the squishy armchairs she’d purchased for her bookstore, a lifetime ago, it now seemed. She turned her back on the couch to sit down at the desk with a journal in her hand, and found herself a pen in the first drawer.

And then she wrote. She put her pen all the way through the first several pages, tearing them, when she first began. She ripped them out and threw them away, beginning again and again. It took several tries to determine just how much pressure she could safely put on the pen to keep from destroying the paper.

She was thrilled that she could still remember her life in Forks in such detail. Clearly human memories didn’t fade immediately. She made sure to write even what she’d thought and felt at the time, knowing that one day she would need this reminder. She would memorize her life all over again, as soon as she realized it was slipping away. In this way, she would make sure she never lost Jacob or little Charlie or Will. She would remember everything about them.

She also never wanted to lose the wonder of her first days with Edward. She’d finished seven journals about her life with Jacob – everything consequential that had happened since the moment of his return until the day he’d died – and had only just begun to write the true beginning of the story, her first days in Forks, when someone knocked at her door. She hadn’t been paying close enough attention to hear their approach.

“Come in.”

Edward opened the door hesitantly. He had spent the remainder of the day wishing she would come to him before it was time to hunt. She had not. He could see plainly what she’d spent the time doing, and he felt a little foolish. It was only natural that she would be mourning Jacob Black, but that hadn’t prevented him from hoping that she would seek him out. He would have liked the opportunity to comfort her in whatever small way he could. He looked at the stack of books and forced a smile. “You’ve been busy. Do you think you have time to learn to hunt?” he teased lightly.

“Important vampire skill,” she returned with mock seriousness, closing the journal in front of her. “I suppose I could make time.” She smiled at him, but he was still looking wistfully at the completed journals. “Edward, eventually, you can read those,” she said quietly. His head snapped around, then, and he couldn’t keep the surprise from his face. “Not yet,” she clarified quickly. “But someday – when it doesn’t hurt so much.” She knew she would heal. That the pain in her heart would fade, and she and Edward would be together, then. Maybe it would even be a lot like it had been before, if he could stand to stick around until then. But in the meantime, giving him permission to read those books would only hurt them both.

“You can read this one tomorrow, if you want,” she added, tapping the one she’d been working on when he came in. “I just got to the Italian restaurant in Port Angeles.” She smiled again. Edward smiled, too, and held out a hand. She took it, and he led her down into the deserted streets of Volterra. They scaled the city wall, Bella trying out her newfound strength for the first time, and then they ran through the woods side by side, beginning the hunt.