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Mirrored Pain

What if Edward knew that Jacob was taking care of Bella while he lay in the attic of a store in South America? What would happen if by the time Edward heard about Bella's plans to jump off a cliff, that he had already caved into his mounting jealousy and pain and had boarded a plane to return to his beloved? What if Edward was there before Jacob to save Bella from her own choices? Would this alternate path lead to the bliss Edward and Bella both craved, or inflict more pain than it would heal? This is AU, as you've probably guessed. Pairings are all canon. Besides that, I'm not all that sure of what the rating is or might turn out to be, I'm cautiously rating this teen.

This is my very first fanfic, so be nice! Special thanks go out to my close friend Maya, who not only inspired me to write this fanfic, but did me the honor of editing it! She made it the masterpiece it is today. If not... it wouldn't be worth reading, so thanks.

1. Memories

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1780   Review this Chapter

Bella's POV

“Bye, Jake,” I called, waving carelessly behind me, not bothering to look back. It had been a long, awkward day. Jake had wanted to talk to me about the Cu-- them. I had pretty much refused to respond. As I sat down on the sofa in my warm living room, I recalled the events of the uneventful but agonizing day, Jake’s exasperated voice still ringing in my ears.

“Bella., this has gone too far! The reason I risked my neck telling you my secret was so that you could be happy... hell, the reason I had a secret to keep to in the first place is because of the reason you’re unhappy! Come on, Bella, this isn’t healthy. Could you just try getting over... him?”

I could understand his unhappiness with the situation. Jake knew that if he left me in the dark any longer than he had, I would end up doing something very stupid. He also knew that bringing me into the pack would have its downside. Ever since he had admitted to me that he was a werewolf, he and the rest of the pack had let their less-than friendly feelings about my vampire friends known to me. Although nobody ever talked about the good ones, their insults that came up when speaking of Laurent and Victoria were directed at vampires in general. Whenever the term “vampire” came up, I didn’t think of the vampires that wanted to kill me. Despite myself, I thought of the good ones. So the insults hurt.

I forced myself not to think of the best vampire of them all... I wanted to postpone the heart wrenching pain for as long as possible. I let my worn out self slump sideways onto the couch, breathing in the familiar smell of home. I sighed. Home... for the past few months, home had seemed a million miles away. The sad part was, I knew exactly what had happened, why the warm, safe feeling in the pit of my stomach was gone. He had taken it away from me.... he had literally become my home, my sanctuary, my reason for existing. It didn’t matter where I was, I found more peace and solace in his arms than anywhere else.

When he left- I felt the hollow where my heart had been drop and sting me inside a bit at the thought- he had ripped that comforting security blanket off my shoulders- a clean break, he had called it. It felt like he had doused me with ice water after an eternity of warm bliss.

I found myself mentally backtracking a few months, to my “zombie state”, as I called it. I had missed so much... I had literally spent four weeks wallowing in self pity, too self-absorbed to notice that I was hurting the people around me. Angela, Mike, Charlie... I vaguely remembered my dad’s defeated and broken expression when all I muttered was “Thanks, Dad” when I opened the new CD he had given to me. If they were still here, Christmas, among other things, would be a very different affair. I pained me to think about it, but I could just picture Alice, in full Christmas mode, flitting about and papering the house with wall-to-wall decorations, the soft melodies of Christmas carols floating softly from the piano...

I drifted in and out of fantasies, feeling the tears welling up in my eyes and spilling onto my pale, lifeless face. My trademark blush hadn’t brought color to my cheeks in over six months. I felt the familiar ripping sensation in my chest as the cavernous hole where my heart had once been tore open again, the wound still as raw as they had been on that very day, many months ago.

“Take care of yourself, Bella,” he had told me. Even as agony ripped through me like a rusted blade, deep inside I knew that it was worth it, in a way. For a second there, I think I might’ve felt... happy. I had taken care of myself, let myself be as happy as I could get, for a few seconds. I doubt this was the way he wanted me to be “happy”. If only he knew how hard it was....

Edward's POV

I waited. I thought that if I waited long enough, the pain would eventually subside. As I dropped my pretense of being human and embraced the solitariness which was a large part of a vampire’s life, I believed that time would hasten itself the way it did for those who had fully embraced immortality. Vampires got better at it as they aged, the Volturi count the hours as seconds, the days as minutes, the months in hours, the years in days. To them, eternity did not seem too long. This was the ideology I desperately hoped to achieve.

But to me, one second was an eternity, and eternity was a concept I didn’t want to understand in its ghastliness.

I was wrong. I hadn’t hunted, moved or uttered a sound in weeks. I just lay there, in the attic of that wretched, abandoned house, waiting for the incessant pain to fade. It never did. This pain was on another level of suffering, only comparable to the immeasurable agony of transformation. But it was not venom that seared through my long dry veins. No, it was the heavy, burning ache of loss that attacked my still, cold heart. I had bit my lip painfully for weeks on end, stifling the screams building in my throat.

Eventually, I just stopped resisting as I let the horrid pain attack my useless body again and again. When I forfeited against the excruciating pain, I found that I didn’t really want to scream. I suppose my resistance was simply instinct when encountered with pain. Outcries of anguish were an effort to soothe pain, unburden yourself. As soon as I gave up, I knew screaming would never help. Just as I had only screamed a few long minutes when changing into a vampire, I stayed silent as a different poison weighed down my stomach like lead and accentuated the excruciating abyss in my chest.

I knew I deserved what I was feeling, but I couldn’t help but crave to see her again. To hear her heart hammer frantically in her chest when I pulled her fragile body close, to feel her soft, warm, eager yet nervous lips under mine, to see her breathtaking blush creep up her face and stain her pale cheeks upon my words- my Goddess, my Angel.

I longed to catch her when the many times she fell, to hear her rich, bubbly laugh. I pictured her beautiful brown eyes, like deep chocolate pools, full of unwavering and unconditional love, staring into mine and taking my breath away. My sole reason for existence had been stripped away from me, my will to live extinguished.

I felt my eyes snap open as I jumped up, feeling my emotions spill over as an inhuman growl tore at my throat. I forgot all reason, all self-restraint, I forgot my own name as I lashed out in purest fury, all boundaries forsaken. I barely felt my fist collide with a nearby table, smashing it to splinters as they ricocheted in all directions, hitting the walls. I had never felt more savage since I was a newborn.

I breathed heavily, the pure self-hatred overtaking me as the growling began to morph into agonizing, tearless sobs. They ripped through me as I fell to the floor, panting and shaking. I felt my sanity slowly retaking control of my body, and I knew no one could ever see me in this state: I was an utter emotional train wreck. I needed to pull myself together. I stretched out on the hard, cool floor, pondering once more. How could she have believed I didn’t love her? Had I not conveyed the true intensity of my obsession, my total devotion to her my passion for what we had ?I mentally kicked myself for every time I had made her hurt, every time I had been the cause of sadness in her trusting, honest eyes.

Never mind, the dog takes care of her now...” A malicious voice in my head reminded me. I remembered how he had looked at her, what thoughts had crossed his mind when she was near him. No. Those weren’t the ones that drove me to insanity. It was the thoughts he harboured, the fantasies that bastard developed as he took her in... The anger boiled up inside me again, but I remained immobile, my nostrils flaring in ill-controlled anger. The thought of her being with another, someone else making her happy drove me absolutely mad with rage because I knew they could never love her as much as I do and always will. Nothing that dog could offer her would come within seeing distance of what I could do for my love...

I was tired of being in the darkness, I knew I needed to see the light of day again. I trudged listlessly up the stairs, passing by a large mirror. A stray beam of light caught my gaunt, pale face. Even as my skin threw rainbow streaks of light ricocheting off the windows and mirrors, the shadows under my eyes were more pronounced, darker against my skin which lacked blood from my starvation- I was so pathetic and alone here. I didn’t want to look into my own eyes, to stare into the face of the monster that had ruined my Angel’s life, who had put her in so much danger, who had hurt her so deeply... I finally let my gaze wander upwards into my dull, jet black eyes. I didn’t even feel the sharp tug of hunger, the self-disgust was all consuming.

Despite knowing I had done almost everything to devastate the most important woman in my existence, I still craved more from her. More time with her, more love from her, in spite of the damage I knew it would cause. Selfishly, greedily, I wanted her anyways. As I stared into my pitiless, onyx eyes, I wondered how she had ever grown to like, to love such a horrendous creature. Bella... Bella… at the mere thought of her name... I lost control once more, my clenched fist crashing, unchecked through the mirror. I caught my reflection in the shards, my face of evil multiplied hundredfold. I was more revolted than I had been in my life. I ran, never wanting to stop so long as the pain continued to destroy me.