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The princess and I

Summary:
About half a century after Edward's departure, Bella and Edward find themselves in an extemely uncomfortable position, Bella's the bride, but Edward isn't her groom.


Notes:
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all. I would be thoroughly grateful if you review. This is my first piece, so please lower your expectations.


9. Chapter 9: Conflict

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1239   Review this Chapter

Bella’s P.O.V

The speed was exhilarating, infinitely better than the fastest I was able to push myself.

Finally he set me on my feet, moving to stand five feet, give or take, away. As I inspected his expression, I noticed it was blank, empty. It was a perfect replica of my expression when I welcomed them. With painful realization, I was hit with the desolate recollection of fifty- one years ago.

I was unable to halt the flood of memories. The dull green- tinted atmosphere of the forest, his distance, my desperation, panic, fear… My… Pain. All of it came rushing back, untouched by half a century. As if by pure coincidence, everything molded together, blended, the past and the present, then and now.

It hurt me to see his face expressionless once again, to repeat this sorry scene once again.

“Okay, let’s talk.” I said. It sounded braver than it felt.

Edward’s face twisted for a fraction of a moment, and I realized that those were the exact words I had spoken, so long ago.

He took a deep breath. And for a flicker of my non- existence heartbeat, I expected him to say, “Bella, we’re leaving.” Irrationally, my heart clenched. Leaving was good, they ought to leave, yet why did it hurt me so?

“Bella-“

This was it. Goodbye. I could almost hear my already ruined heart shattering a second time, once just wasn’t enough.

“-hear me out.”

That was completely unexpected. I stared back at him evenly, my face, too, wiped clean of emotions.

“I am.”

His eyes held mine, and his melancholic tone weaved a song out of his words, “Fifty- one years ago, fate brought the love of my entire existence to me. She was a lovely girl, brilliant and beautiful. Ironically enough, a monster, such as myself, would fall in love with such an angel.

“Luck was with me, for this stunning creature would love one soulless, me. Her kind heart could find and feel real love for a creature doomed to an eternity of damnation.

“Each day, I lived- and I use that word loosely- in worry, that my angel would someday be claimed from me. Until the faithful anniversary of her birth, my fears were confirmed. I should never have fooled myself into pretending I could pass as a mortal for me.

“I tore a hole through myself, carved it perfectly in the place of my heart, on that very day I said goodbye. It hurt to leave my sole reason of existence, but I had to, for her.

“I was nothing, in her world and mine, without her. Do you think, with your knowledge and experience as who you are my princess Bella, that she’d find something in her to love and forgive me after all I had done?”

I stood, frozen in shock, my mind was utterly blank, my body utterly stiff.

Gritting my teeth, I broke away from my memory, unable to allow myself to fall into the trap, the illusion, of love. I chanted the words in my head like a mantra: Doesn’t want me, doesn’t want me, doesn’t want me…

My voice was flawlessly detached when I replied, “If you truly love her, there ought not to be any problems, Mister Cullen. Although, I’d have to say, in my honest opinion, your tale does seem slightly impossible. It may take time for one to believe, as there are certain… questionable points. Frankly, I don’t quite believe it myself.”

I started, triumphant in my act of deceit. My glory did not last long, it never did. I tripped over what I supposed was my own feet, or perhaps it was the train of that horrible wedding cake- gown, impossibly so being a vampire, yet still managing to embarrass myself.

My body braced itself for the impact, but it never came.

A pale pair of cool marble arms wrapped themselves around me, and I glanced up to meet that hypnotizing, scorching gold eyes I loved with all my still heart.

“Bella,” Edward breathed, voice soft, eyes fierce, “Don’t pretend you can’t remember me. I know you do and I know you’re hurting as much as I am. Don’t torture yourself.”

My eyes narrowed defiantly, “Oh, don’t flatter yourself. Edward, let go of me.”

Instead of doing so, he held me closer, placing a hand on my comparatively warm cheek.

“You’re a lousy actress, Bella,” he whispered in a deeply seductive voice.

I struggled futilely, desperately trying to pull away from the one and only being that could heal my broken heart, “I said ‘Let go of me!’”

“No, Bella,” his voice slid down my spine in a caress, “You said ‘Edward, let go of me. ’ Edward, not Mister Cullen.”

“There’s not a difference,” my protest was weak, as I realized my awful slip.

Fiery determination sparked his eyes, and his hand held my face with a possessiveness that both thrilled and frightened me. I could easily see where this was heading, and helplessly tried to tug free of him.

“Let go,” I begged.

His lips were an inch away from mine, and as he spoke, his irresistibly sweet breath fanned my face, promising to lull me into a state of fantasy.

“Why?”

His topaz eyes searched my obsidian pair, and he paused for a moment. Taking full advantage of his hesitance, I drew up my physical barrier as a last resort, throwing him backwards by its sheer force.

My entire frame was shaking, with the words that threatened to explode.

“Because,” Gearing up, I drew myself to my full height, “Because. You don’t love me, Edward.” My pathetic voice broke twice.

I could see he was about to protest.

Shaking my head, I cleared my throat and tried once more. “You don’t understand you think you love me, but you don’t. I know you don’t. Your memories are wrong. Your feelings are wrong! You can’t trust them!”

Edward reached out longingly. Instinctively, I took a step back, just as he moved forward. We walked in perfect synchronization, each quiet footstep in harmony.

“You’ve got to believe me.”

His voice was a gentle murmur, “You don’t believe me either.”

His pace quickened, and I hastened mine to match his. Quite expectedly, I stumbled, falling straight into his strong arms, one secure embrace my heart yearned for.

“Bella,” he breathed, his cool breath tickling my ear.

His golden eyes melted my heart, and the fortress of lies I spent decades building, to keep out the hurt, crumbled away to dust. I needed him, no matter how much he scarred me, how much he wounded me, I needed him with such a fierceness that scared me.

My eyes closed in contentment, as his lips skimmed my jaw line. Would it be a horrible sin for me to put my ‘Magnetism power’ into use for once, to let him love me even though it is no more than my talent of attraction at work? It was strange, to feel ‘whole’, a nice kind of strange, after half a century of numbing emptiness.

Feeling Edward’s muscles lock in place, my eyelids fluttered open in shock.

“Milady!”