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An Ageless Promise

Summary:
“One day, Edward, I’m going to find that perfect match for you. Even if it takes me a hundred years,” Elizabeth Masen solidly assured her son. Now, a century later, Edward reflects on the best thing that came out of such an ageless promise... Bella.
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A oneshot that explores Edward's thoughts immediately after Bella falls asleep during the infamous Chapter 20 of Eclipse - Compromise.


Notes:
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm just a person who has a writing hobby and is a Twilight fanatic! I guess you could say this is my first story, but I have written quite a bit more. My other works are posted on a different website (the link is on my profile). Enjoy!


1. Promise

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2422   Review this Chapter

Was the word really fathomable? Could it be that I was simply hallucinating? Such talk had always been such an inconceivable concept to me that my mind was running in circles at just the mere thought.

Engaged.

Bella, my Bella, was curled up to my chest, emitting a mumbling sigh. Even my enhanced hearing couldn’t pick out the string of words. But I knew what it might be about – her acceptance to marry me. I felt myself shiver in delight at the very thought. My body was filled with such immense compassion that it was difficult to sit still. I continued to, though, because I dare not disturb the sleeping angel in my arms.

Her blood pulsed swiftly through her veins, teasing the monster inside of myself. I allowed myself a small smirk. The sensation of her blood had grown to be more enjoyable than appetizing. As stubborn as I have been to keep this sensation alive, Bella refuses, and I have found myself growing onto her as being one of my kind. Things had changed.

Tonight, it was suddenly like it didn’t matter that her reluctance was still clear, that I would take her human life away myself, and certainly what anyone else thought, because one thing was blatantly clear – she was mine.

I had found someone.

I had known this fact for a while, in fact, it was the very day I had declared my feelings for her. Before tonight, all of those emotions had seemed so temporary. Bella could so easily walk away (well, easier than I could, anyway) to be with someone who could give her so much more in humanity than I could even dream of. But tonight, she had just accepted to be with me forever. She would soon be officially, legally, eternally, whatever you want to call it, mine.

The dull waves of moonlight seemed to only focus on one single object, placed perfectly on Bella’s fragile left hand: my mother’s ring. I had never paid particular attention to it in my human life, because it was always something shared between her and my father. Its meaning had all changed the second Alice found out that I had inherited such an object, and she immediately insisted that my mother’s ring was the solution to my worry. Bella would accept a hand-me-down, regardless if Alice could see it or not.

Now, one hundred years later, I could only find irony in the little object.

My mind briefly drifted to one of the few memories of my mother’s endless protection of me, of my former life, and of my last months before I was changed into this life… It was a time when Bella’s existence would have given my beating heart a constant workout.

--

…with that, the drafting age is expected to lower to eighteen in the late summer – presumably late July or early August – and all able men will be included in the next round. Letters will be sent...

“Edward Anthony! Are you reading those articles again?”

I jumped up from where I sat at the long dining table, startled. My mother – Elizabeth Masen – appeared at the door frame, her two small hands placed above her hips. Her hair was down, an unusual sight for women these days; though, I knew it was fine in the safety of our home. After all, it was late afternoon, approaching dinnertime, and a casual appearance was acceptable.

Her skirt moved very slightly near the floor, but in such a manner that I knew she was impatiently tapping her foot underneath, waiting for my acknowledgment.

I glanced down at the reading material below me and looked away.

I had been caught. Again.

“Sorry, Mother,” was all I could manage before a sheepish smile played at my lips. I got up and folded the newspaper onto the table.

She never really appreciated it when I read the newspaper – she knew that I was looking for dates of the draft and reporting locations, always too hopeful. She never acknowledged that I also found it fascinating to hear stories and reports about the Great War being fought around us.

I could always use an excuse and say I was reading something else, for there were always more criteria to read in the newspaper, but I knew it was useless. Not only was it disrespectful to not be completely honest, but I also had learned that my mother could always see through a lie. She knew me too well, recognized my eagerness to be a soldier too much to actually believe I was reading a story about a Boy Scout local project.

At my contrite gaze, my mother’s face softened considerably, her eyelids closing over her emerald eyes to take a deep breath.

“You should be sorry,” she muttered before she walked up to me and pulled me into her arms. She left me in silence before sighing into my hair, “you’re just so eager to leave us.”

“Not to leave you, Mother, no,” I reassured automatically, returning her warm embrace. My face was lost in her long bronze curls, identical in color to my own hair. “Every man needs to protect his country, his family, at one point in time.”

It was wrong in many ways to play the whole ‘protecting family’ reason. I had to, though, for it was the only way to get the subject dropped, because I wasn't the only one who felt that way. My father was also very adamant about protecting our country – if he were of reasonable age he, too, would be in line to sign for the draft.

“Oh, Edward,” she pulled away, and looked me directly in the eyes, “but you’re barely of age. You should be worried about finding a lovely girl to settle down with – not sailing across the ocean to be trained to kill.”

I could barely manage to shake my head as she looked me in the eyes. My mother had such a talent for gazing at people. Every time you looked at her while she was in deep concentration, it was impossible to look away. She was so thoughtful, so full of life, and such strong emotion always shone through the glow in her eyes. Everyone always told me I not only looked much like my mother, but I also took on that aspect of her personality.

I glanced at her petite figure, at an uneasy stance, which was the only thing I had not inherited from her. I stood a few inches above my mother, and my long fingers were twice in length compared to her short ones.

“I will only learn such dangerous techniques to protect all of us here. We don’t want the war to come here,” I said, motioning my hand to the current headline in the newspaper. She looked down somberly at it, shaking her head.

GREAT WAR IN EUROPE CONTINUES – WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE U.S.?

“With any luck, this horrid war will be settled before I lose you and your father to the draft.”

“Father is too old,” I began. My mother cut me off from the rest of my sentence.

“When they lower the age, they will raise it, too. With so many young men… You’re going to need someone to calm them down,” then, her expression clouded, “young men can be very careless, especially in these times.”

“I wouldn’t be like that,” I soothed. It seemed all I did in those days when it came to war-talk was to say things to pacify her. I acknowledged heavily that I was half of everything she had left. Her entire life was set into my father and I. Still, she worried too much about us.

“You’re so inexperienced in life,” she ran her short fingers through my hair. The strands were so hard to manage and preferred to stay in an unusual kind of disarray – I was frequently combing it over to please my father – but my mother seemed to like it more in its natural state.

“I will be properly trained, first. The war might be over by then.”

“Accidents happen all the time in training, too,” Mother’s hands fidgeted with her apron. She abhorred talking about such things.

“I will be extra careful.” I didn’t like arguing with her in such a manner, and I longed for a subject change. “You always tell me I’m not like many other boys my age.”

“That is true, Edward, you are not,” she replied, “and thank Heavens for that, because I hear that young soldiers are very easily distracted away from home by the foreigners. Particularly the females.”

I laughed.

“That is the reason some sign up, I believe.” That was true; many from school were pining for the attention they would receive from the women when they knew they fought in war and the thrill of being away from home and their mother’s disapproving reign.

I, on the other hand, wanted the privilege to say I went to defend my family – the most important thing to me.

My mother chuckled darkly. “Yes, I hear those French girls are a real piece of work.”

“Maybe I could find the perfect girl there,” I joked, knowing my mother would be horrified at the very thought (the neighborhood mothers had a tendency to exaggerate the stories men brought back about experiences). She didn’t believe all of the stories about them, even though she acted as if she did. I was always able to see such things in people, especially Mother. Father called it observant, but I preferred to think of it as an extra connection that I had been blessed with.

“Then I will expect a letter to home the second you take interest in her,” Mother’s eyes sparkled with jest. We enjoyed joking around with each other, since we were so much alike. “I would, however, like to point out someone closer to home… Remember little Julie Watkins that lives a few blocks down? She always brings your papers from school when you miss – I hear her parents are going to give her a debut party in the coming weeks. If you would go…” Her thought trailed as her countenance turned into the future, browsing through the profound list of possibilities.

I groaned softly, but it was enough for her to hear.

She suddenly turned serious.

“One day, Edward, I promise that I’m going to find that perfect match for you.” She took my face between her hands. “Even if it takes me one hundred years, I will still be looking. I will not let you live this life without your other half.”

Her voice was so firm, so sure, it was difficult not to believe. But when nobody truly interested me as someone to spend the rest of my life with, it was still an incomprehensible subject to think too closely about.

--

Wedding… Renee…”

Bella’s voice pulled me out of my near century-old memories, now mumbling at a hastened pace that was gradually becoming clearer. Finally. Some unintended insight into the workings of her mysterious mind. I smirked and pulled her small body closer.

I would have never imagined that my mother’s promise to me that she would continue looking could one day be valid. I had understood the promise to be nulled with her death. Carlisle had always known that when she had demanded my survival in the turmoil of the Influenza, she had a reason. Never before had I conceived that her promise had been ageless.

Before Bella, I never believed that my mother might’ve been inadvertently giving me the chance to do the one thing she had most hoped for in her son – find someone that could be to me like my father was to her. He wasn’t just a protector to her; he was the other half of her soul. Even the mere human mind I once had could see that.

Bella turned in her sleep once more, unconsciously wrapping her arms around me. Her mahogany hair fell to conceal her beautiful face and I gently brushed each strand away. It was far too hard to not be able to see her changing emotions that might give a clue as to what she dreamt of.

This time, they played across her radiant face as pleased or content. I stared at that face for a long time, still sometimes caught off guard from her innocent beauty.

“We need to plan… guests… Alice… Honeymoon…”

Even in slumber, her cheeks still could flush a rosy pink, with a soft smile tugging at the corners of her lips. She truly had no conception of how desirable she was, and with that last comment, she highlighted it.

Her dreams and thoughts were a blank page to me, but I could imagine.

Even in all of the hardships we had encountered and with everything that is still to come, I knew that this night would help us pull it through it all.

I owed a massive debt to her impatient hormones, because they were my only companions in the compromise tonight. They were all that kept us from crossing a line into uncharted territory for both of us. Also, if Bella weren’t so impatient, she wouldn’t be wearing the ring. But she was, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic.

She might not like to think about it now, but she was engaged to marry a vampire. I savored every warm touch now, every burning kiss, because those were numbered if she planned to get married this summer. I would certainly miss being consumed by her body heat, but I knew my feelings could never change. The passion that burned through me was what would keep me warm inside, as long as she was there.

The ring continued to sparkle in the moonlight, becoming the brightest thing in the room (second to Bella, that is). I had so much to be thankful for – especially the human mother that I had vague memories of.

Bella was now growing slightly restless – burying her face into my shirt, talking quicker, and pulling herself ever closer. I chuckled and marveled at it as I took in the miracle before me.

To calm her slightly, I placed a small kiss on her forehead and sat back. So carefully, as not to make much movement, I inhaled deeply.

“Thank you, Mother. You kept your word,” I muttered into Bella’s hair, taking in another deep breath of her exhilarating scent. “And, if I may say so myself, you did a wonderful job in finding her.”