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Without You

Bella is on her own when she finds the clearing. When Laurent finds her there, her werewolf saviors are nowhere to be found. Is Laurent a good guy, or will his bad side overcome him? Thanks a jillion to MRSBellaCullenBlack for the wonderful banner!!! :D

So, I had this story on here for a little bit... but then I deleted it. I totally forget why, actually. So, if you've read it already, you don't have to review... until I put up new updates, that is :)

10. Ouch

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1425   Review this Chapter

I was bouncing up and down in my seat after the plane took off. I had never been to Spain, or another country for that matter, and, despite the whole running away from werewolves thing, I was excited.

“Relax, Bella,” laughed Laurent. He'd gotten us first-class tickets at very short notice. I knew they had to be expensive, and that embarrassed me a bit. The seats were large, comfortable, and warm.

“Sorry. I've never been... well, anywhere really. I'm just looking forward to it,” I explained. I did try to stop fidgeting, though, and I settled for twiddling my thumbs.

“Really? That's so strange.” He was looking at me curiously.

“It's not so strange,” I said defensively. “Lots of people haven't left the country.” I switched my gaze out the window, slightly offended by what he said.

“Oh, I didn't mean it like that,” he said. He took my hand and held it in his ice cold fingers. It reminded me of what had happened earlier that morning.

“Laurent, can we talk about what happened today?” I asked skeptically. I was never really comfortable with discussing my feelings, so I hoped that he would say yes while I was feeling oddly confident.

“We can talk about whatever you want,” answered Laurent.

“Laurent... I don't know if I'm able to have a relationship with you. There are things that you don't know, and they would ruin it for you.” I didn't look at him.

“What do you mean?” he asked. He took my chin in his hand gently, and tilted my face so I could look at him.

“When Edward left, he took almost all of me with him. It… it hurts to think about him, about what we used to be. If I were to be with you, you'd only be getting the little sliver of me that he left behind. I'm capable of so much more than I'd be able to give you. I'm... broken on the inside. I'm sorry,” I breathed. My heart started to ache, and I felt tears welling in my eyes. It didn't seem like a reality until I spoke it out loud.

“Bella, don't be ridiculous,” whispered Laurent.

“You deserve so much better than me.”

“I disagree with you. I'll take whatever I can get of you, Bella. I understand if you don't want a relationship. That makes perfect sense. But please don't shoot down the idea because you think I deserve better. If anything, you deserve much better than me.”

“Please, Laurent. Don't give me that whole speech. I don't need you to lie to me,” I sighed.

“I am being entirely truthful!” exclaimed Laurent, laughing loudly. “I find it simply absurd that you think of yourself the way you do. If what you say about the... amount of your heart that's left to be invested in an intimate relationship is true, I'll accept any more that comes my way as a bonus. I like you for who you are now, and I do wish you could see that. I'll wait for you, just tell me when you're ready.”

His hold on my hand got tighter as his speech went on.

“Ow,” I gasped just after he finished talking.

“Sorry!” He dropped my hand like a hot potato, and scooted a little farther away from me.

“It's okay,” I replied, ignoring the slight throbbing in my fingers. I didn't want him to stop holding my hand, but he refused to touch me for the rest of the flight.

When we landed, he did lead me out of the plane with his hand resting lightly on my lower back. It seemed like he did it absentmindedly, almost like a habit. I enjoyed the thought.

He was being unusually quiet, something exceptionally rare for Laurent. It was bothering me. Laurent was perfectly capable of keeping any conversation going if he wanted to. Even after renting the car, Laurent was silent.

Instead of starting the conversation, I had a chance to look at where I was. It was much more mountainous that I thought Spain actually was. Laurent's impeccable driving skill was the only thing keeping my heart rate under control. We'd not passed another car on the road for quite some time, and I had a feeling that the place Laurent was taking me was not around a very populated area.

Finally I got fed up with the silence. It'd been hours since we spoke, and I honestly didn't know exactly what I did.

“What's wrong?” I asked quietly.

He stared ahead, a slight frown on his face. He gripped the wheel tighter. Just when I thought I'd have to ask again, he spoke. “Sometimes I forget how fragile you are,” he answered.

“That's what you've been ignoring me about? If I get hurt it's my fault. I know that having vampires around is a risk, and I still do it like the crazy person I am. I could care less, really,” I explained.

He looked at me and smiled slightly. “You are pretty crazy.”

“I know it,” I laughed. I was going to say more, but my stomach growled loudly. I blushed.

“Crazy and hungry,” said Laurent. “It's a good thing we're almost there.”

I looked out the window once again. It didn't look like we were almost anywhere. Vampires sure did like to live out in the middle of nowhere.

I put my head against the glass, and was surprised to feel that it wasn't cold at all, like the mountain environment had made me think it would have been. Sure, there was no snow on the ground, but I'd always associated mountains with cold in my mind. It was warm, and I smiled slightly. I'd always loved the warm weather.

“Bella, look to the left,” said Laurent.

I reluctantly removed my cheek from the car window to do what he told me to. As soon as I looked, I was glad I did. It seemed that just as he rounded that last bend, the land stretched out until it ended in a sandy white beach. The water was crystal clear, I could see it even from the distance I was at.

Sitting right on the edge of the sand was a house so magnificently large, I knew I'd never be able to find my way around. It wasn't just an imitation of a castle, like the house in Denali, it was a real castle. The sun was setting, casting a golden glow over the shimmering water.

“Wow,” I breathed.

“That's where we'll be staying while the little wolf problem is dealt with,” said Laurent, smiling at my reaction. He turned off the road, and drove down a long lane to get to the castle entrance.

“I'm not going to lie, this place looks kind of... intimidating,” I admitted. The closer we got, the bigger it looked. Laurent pulled to a stop in front of the strikingly tall front door.

He looked at me skeptically. “Like I would let you get lost.” He left the car before letting me respond.

He already had my bag in-hand when I got out. “I could give you a tour, but I'll feed you first.”

“Thanks,” I said, putting my hand on my stomach. I could feel it rumbling.

He opened the door onto an absolutely massive front hall. I looked up to the ceiling and almost fell backwards. There was a staircase on each side of the room, leading to a second floor balcony. The walls were painted cream, and the tile was deep red. It was an interesting choice, to say the least.

I looked to the left to tell Laurent what I thought of the inside, but he wasn't there beside me. My heart skipped a beat. He left me alone, and he knew how anxious that made.

“Laurent!” I yelled. I was sure he could hear me, no matter how large the house was.

I waited another second before calling again. Before I even finished his name, he was standing next to me.

“Where were you?” I gasped.

“I just went to put your bags down in your room,” he said. He must’ve seen the anxiety in my eyes, for he continued. “I’m sorry I made you anxious.”

I sighed. So far, this giant castle house was already proving to scare me. “Will you... will you promise not to leave me?” I asked. “I don't like being alone.”

“I know, Bella. I'm terribly sorry. I won't leave you.”

I knew he meant it.