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five times something almost happened and one time it did

Summary:
Carlisle/Bella.


Notes:
New Moon AU: Bella says no to Edward's offer of marriage, and Carlisle changes her after graduation instead.


1. five times something almost happened and one time it did

Rating 5/5   Word Count 934   Review this Chapter

one

She's broken, body more than soul, but sharp shards of her innocence mingle with little pieces of glass, littering the ground where she falls. The fire is receding from her veins and she's increasingly aware of a soft, sure touch tending to wounds all over.

In the hospital she waits in a bed as impersonal as the clothes she's wearing, waiting for when the angel with golden hair and golden eyes comes in to take care of her. These regular check-ups are the only things that break the monotony of her day, and he's the only thing she has to look forward to.

Sometimes she wishes he'd talk with her, really talk with her, instead of being an unattainable figure of authority (show me the compassion you're so known for, I want to get to know the real you)

But Edward's right there and a blush comes to her cheeks, embarrassed of her own thoughts. Not for the first time is she glad that his intrusion doesn't apply to her.

two

Her heart thuds painfully in her chest, the drum beat to her funeral song. The ghost of her last word (yes, she'd said, her voice quavering but it doesn't matter, now) hangs in the air, heavy like a thick blanket masking the smell of her fear and shame.

One last, longing kiss from the only one who truly knows what this means. Tasting her humanity for the final time, photographic memory filing away the snapshots of warm, breathing life before it's gone forever.

He watches as the one who isn't him reaches across her pale body and sinks his teeth into her flesh, making methodical incisions with professional precision. The girl writhes beneath him, and in any other situation it would look more like ecstasy than agony.

three

The first person she sees when she opens her eyes is Carlisle.

Her stomach lurches and her new instincts tell her, he smells like you.

She lunges forward and wraps her arms around his neck, straddling his lap, smelling his skin and the venom that courses through his body. Then she brings her hands to her face and inhales deeply. The blood still inside her burns with the scent of the poison, and she's fascinated by this connection.

As she buries her head in his shoulder once more, Edward appears beside her. She looks up, guilt written in her expression..but why should she feel this way if she hasn't done anything wrong?

four

She's volatile, prone to loss of control at any moment. They're planning to leave for Alaska soon, and until then she has to be constantly watched -- members of her new family waiting for the moment when she slips up and gives in to those tempting voices (it's just an inch below the skin, no obstacle for you, tear through like tissue paper).

Edward takes her hand and whispers promises in her ear, a swift kiss and then he's gone.

The house is quiet. Her thin body makes an imprint in the couch, not quite warming it up, but she doesn't say anything. Just stares at him two feet away, reading. He looks up, instinctively feeling her glance on him, and she blushes faintly with the traces of blood still left in her system.

But she can't look away. His eyes are liquid gold and something about him draws her in, an unwilling participant in this event (or so she tries to tell herself). She leans forward, close enough so that she can count each individual hair on his head (but it's not like she couldn't have done that from two feet away -- you need to stop deluding yourself, girl).

Their noses are almost touching when he glances away and pulls back, not quite fast enough for her heightened senses to miss. She feels breathless (but it isn't possible, nothing about him is).

five

He takes her hunting, once. He points out the different animals and the tracks they leave. She's supposed to be learning, but all she can really think about is the cautious no-contact distance that he maintains at all times. It reminds her of Biology class and her head swims with deja vu and the desire to reach across and touch him.

six

In the middle of the night, when there's nothing better to do than lay awake, wishing she could sleep --

-- she pads silently across her room, leaving Edward on the bed behind her, and makes her way to Carlisle's study.

She tells herself it's because the pictures are pretty (but she's never honest with herself, is she?). She stands still for a long time, staring at the wall and all the paintings. Especially the one with four glowing angels, and especially one angel in particular.

The door opens before her, then shuts silently. She knows who it is before she has a chance to see his face.

"I don't want to avoid you anymore, Bella."

She turns slightly, looking him in the eye, and without saying anything she steps closer and kisses him on the lips. Even here, even now, he's calm and collected, not losing control and not pushing her away, either. She's always wanted to make him break those careful boundaries; somehow she's always thought she'd be the one.

(this isn't the way it was supposed to happen)

She steps back and looks up at him. His expression is smooth, giving nothing away, and she sighs, looking down.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, and without glancing back up again she turns and leaves the room.