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Sunset of Hearts

Summary:
As the sun sets, it is the ending of a life. Sure, lives end every day, and new ones begin. But on this twilight, the sun was setting on the most important life in my world. But, it was also dawning on a new life as well. The only catch was, those two lives were both the same. What if Bella had come to Forks, and Edward and his family were human? What if they were like every other family? But, what if they were unfortunately pulled into a dark situation, that was to transform them into the thing of their nightmares, and inconsequentially, something darker than they had ever dreamed of? And what if Bella was the one to keep Edward going through all of this? Basically, what if Edward and his family were human in Forks? (Were being the key word.)


Notes:
Okay, I know that, if you read my previously completed story, Daylight, I promised an entirely different story. But, I felt a different inspiration to write this one. So, here it is.


18. Chapter 17: Reunion?

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1425   Review this Chapter

EDWARD

“Oh. My. God.” It wasn’t exactly the greeting I’d been looking for, but better than nothing. She could have slapped me across the face and stormed off – though I wouldn’t have stopped her – , which would have been much worse.

I decided to start. “Hello, Bella.” Saying her name took an enormous weight from my shoulders, and I almost felt my still heart begin pumping my non-existent blood in my empty veins.

I was worried now. She said nothing, but stared without breathing at me, as if she’d never seen another hum- well…not really a human, per se…like she'd never seen me before. All things taken into account, it had been nearly ten years. Ten very long, slow years.

I used those ten years to strengthen myself. To cure my addiction to human blood and substitute with animal blood. I used those years to test myself, to make sure I could be strong enough to come back to her. I stared slowly, starting first in almost unpopulated areas and then trying myself in more crowded places. And then I decided I was ready to come back.

“Will you sit with me?” I didn’t like the color she was turning, and I thought she might pass out. To my relief, she did sit, and placed her bag on the seat beside her. I gave her a minute to collect herself, for the shaking of her fingers to stop.

She placed her elbows on the tabled, putting her hands over her face. I didn’t like that – I’d lived without seeing her face for so long that I didn’t want her to hide it from me now. I hoped I wasn’t upsetting her – that was the last thing I’d come to do.

After a long pause, I decided to say something – I figured she wasn’t. “How are you?” It was a little blunt, I’ll admit, but I was about out of ideas. She looked up for the first time, and I saw two dark streaks down her cheeks from the smudged eyeliner. She’d been crying.

“Edward,” she whispered my name, then raised her voice back to a normal tone to say the rest; “it’s been ten years.”

“I know. I had to make sure I was strong enough,” although I didn’t want to give meager excuses.

“You haven’t aged a day,” she noted, gazing at my face in wonder.

“I don’t age at all.” She seemed to think that over for a moment before starting again.

“You could have called,” her voice accused me like a sharp knife. I knew I should have called. I’d thought about it at least a million times, but every time I’d given myself the same excuse. Don’t interfere. You’ve caused her enough trouble.

“I wanted to.” Nothing I could say could excuse not calling, not sending a letter, at the very least. “Believe me I wanted to.”

“Yeah right you wanted to!” Her tone was angry now. “If you’d really wanted to, you would have.”

“I’m sorry,” was all I could reply.

We were silent for a minute before I tried again.

“I missed you.”

She glared up at me. “Do you have any idea how much I missed you?”

“If I’m lucky, at least half as much as I missed you.”

“Well, that’s not very much then is it? That was almost insulting.” So were her words.

“Bella, I –” I stopped, not having an excuse yet again. Nothing could excuse what I’d done.

“My name’s not Bella anymore,” she said coldly. “People call me Izzy.”

“Bella, you hate being called Izzy!”

“Shows how much you know.” Her meager explanation told me that there was no real reason.

She bit her lip, staring down at a speck on the table and scraping at it with her thumbnail.

“So,” I started in a different direction, “you work here?” Her eyes returned to mine, accusing.

“Yeah. My grades weren’t good enough to finish college. I dropped out.”

“How did that happen?”

“Hmm…maybe the fact that I got absolutely no sleep at night, therefore I was falling asleep in class, and maybe because I couldn’t focus on anything at all!” Her voice dripped with the sarcasm she had interlaced between her words.

“Bad mattress?” I tried to tell myself that she hadn’t failed out because of me, even though the accusation in her eyes told me my assumptions were correct.

“Nightmares. Crying myself to sleep.” The wave of emotion hit me with full force, and the guilt twisted inside my stomach.

“Bella –” I corrected myself, “Izzy, when I left you, I assumed you would get over me. I had no idea…” I didn’t finish the sentence.

“Well, you assumed wrong.” She was almost yelling now. People around us were throwing curious glances in our direction, and a waiter seemed to be deciding whether or not he should step in.

“You haven’t…?”

“No. I haven’t gone out with anyone with any degree of permanence, and,” she lowered her voice so that only I could hear, “I’m still a virgin, if that’s what you’re getting at.” The twenty-seven year old virgin. If it didn’t make me feel so bad, it would be almost funny.

“I thought for sure Mike Newton…”

“I haven’t seen him since graduation. High school reunion was last week and I had to work.”

“How often do you have to work?” I was happy not to be talking about something that made me the bad guy. Coward.

“Ten hour shifts, seven days a week. I get off on holidays to see Charlie and Renee.”

“They actually let you work all week?”

“I don’t do well with free time.” Then again, maybe we weren’t off the topic that everything was my fault. She wrapped her arms around her chest.

“How are they with sick days?”

“I wouldn’t know, I never get sick.”

“Never?” It had to be an exaggeration – everyone gets sick.

“Edward,” she laughed a cold little laugh, “I’m practically sterile. I don’t get sick.”

That hurt, just a little.

We spent a long time in silence, and I was surprised a waitress hadn’t come by yet. I guessed they felt the tension of the conversation and didn’t want to interrupt. Maybe Bella – Izzy – had told them not to.

“Can you get to the point, Edward? I’ve been in this dump for ten hours and I’d like to get home.”

“I just wanted to see you again, was all.”

“Well you did.” She rose to her feet, taking her bag in her left hand. “Goodbye, Edward.” And with that, she turned on her heel and strode to the door.

“Bella, wait!” I caught up with her in the doorway, grabbing her hand.

She yanked her fingers from my grip and spun around, glaring up at me through tears. “Leave me alone, Edward. You left, before, you can leave again. I don’t know why you even bothered coming back.” She turned again and ran off to the parking lot, and this time, I didn’t stop her. Despair stung at my insides, and I hung my head and sulked off to the hotel where I was staying.

On the way, I saw a rusty red truck pass me. It took me a minute to realized who’s car it was, and then I was running after it – which didn’t take much effort. I wasn’t sure why I was following her, but something told me I should.

She pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex, and slid into parking spot number 55. She slammed the door and ran through the rain to the steps, where she fumbled with her keys at the door of apartment number 22A. She let her self inside, and, unthinkingly, I followed her inside.

Her apartment was sparsely furnished, the walls a boring off white. She went into the bedroom, and I heart a creak of bedsprings and a thump as she dropped her purse to the floor. Silently I hid in the bathroom, peeking into the dark bedroom inconspicuously.

I heard the soft sounds of crying fill the apartment, and felt guilt in the pit of my stomach.