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Victory from Failure
If Jacob kept Bella from jumping off the cliff...
If their relationship remained firmly on a friendly level...
If Edward just couldn't stay away any longer...
1. Chapter 1
Word Count 1393
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I had failed in my conquest to keep Bella safe. I just couldn't stay away. It was an impossibility. Still, I battled with my inner desires, reminding myself of all my previous arguments. But it was like trying to fight Jasper's influence. It was inevitable that I lose.
Now, crouched outside her window, it took all my self-control to not barge into her room and sweep her off her feet. I'll just look in, I told myself. One little peek, that's it.
Swiftly scaling the wall, I hung out of sight, readying myself for just a glimpse. My eyes flashed through the familiar room, pausing on the bed. Bella lay on her side, curled in a ball, her arms tightly wound around her chest. At first I thought she was asleep, but then she stiffly sat up, rubbing her hand across her face.
My eyes feasted on the sight of her. God, she was beautiful. I felt the first twinge of doubt. Would she believe me? Would my angel want me back?
I continued to watch as she wearily lay down again, closing her eyes. I waited until her breathing had slowed before easing up the windowpane and sliding deftly into the room.
So long... Her scent washed over me, intoxicating, but comforting. I didn't feel even the slightest urge to give into my monstrous ways. I bent over her still form, my weak resolve completely torn away.
She suddenly stirred, and I backed away. I sat in her chair for an immeasurable amount of time, my eyes closed, simply bathing in her breathtaking scent. She sighed, and my eyes snapped open and focused on her.
She shifted in her sleep, turning to face the window. I waited, sure she would start her trademark sleeptalking. I was anxious to hear Bella's thoughts, revealed to me only in her dreams.
She sighed again, then said clearly, "Don't be stupid, Jacob." I frowned. Jacob? Jacob Black? The one who told her the legends? Were he and Bella...? No, I couldn't allow myself to think about that. "I don't know, Jake," she continued. "I think I'll always love them, but..."
She trailed off, and her face turned angry. I waited impatiently to hear the rest. "Don't you dare call him a bloodsucker, Jacob Black. He has a name!" She fell silent again, and I sensed that she was finished for now. I had plenty to think about.
First, she was at least friends with Jacob Black, who knew about the vampires. Next, Bella still loved me – I assumed it was me – but obviously wasn't sure about my feelings. Both were potentially problematic.
"Why?" I heard her whisper. "Why did you have to leave me, what did I do?" I froze. She was talking about me. A single tear trickled down her face. "Edward..." My icy heart was shattering. I had done this to the most perfect creature alive. I truly was a monster.
In a flash, I crossed the room to her bed, gently shifting her and laying down next to her. Her back pressed against my chest, her warmth spreading through me. At first I thought she would go on sleeping, but she shook her head and her eyes opened.
She turned to stare at me, bewildered. I waited for her to speak, examining her sleepy face to see how I would be received. She finally said, "Hi." I was surprised, but I cautiously replied, "Hello." She turned to face me. "How are you?"
Now I was utterly confused. "I'm fine. Bella, I –" "That's good," she interrupted, then moved closer, resting her head on my chest. The next moment she was asleep again.
I stared at her, perplexed, then chuckled silently, tightened my arms around her. My silly Bella.
Time passed in another infinite moment, then Bella stirred again. For a small moment, I panicked. What on earth could I say to her? I'd spent the whole night without thinking of any way to win her back. Too late.
She stretched, blinking open her eyes. Then she froze. She stared at me with a mix of confusion, hope, and intense sadness.
"Are you really awake this time?" She looked away and didn't answer. "Bella? Are you alright?" I instantly cursed my stupidity. Of course she wasn't alright, I could see that. She refused to meet my eyes, but replied, "Not really."
Her voice was like choir of angels, and I gently touched her face, unable to resist the warmth. 'What's wrong?" I wanted to know what was going on in her obscured mind. She ignored my question, asking another. "Is it possible to dream that you're dreaming?"
"Well," I said cautiously, "I wouldn't know, but I suppose so." Bella nodded. "That explains this. You're here now, and I thought you were here before, so I must be dreaming."
I studied her for a moment. "What if I told you that you weren't dreaming?" She sat up and perched on the edge of the bed, so I couldn't see her face. "Well, you have no reason to be here other than in my dreams, so I wouldn't believe you."
I sat up as well and lowered my face close to the back of her neck. "You're not dreaming," I whispered. Bella turned to me and I saw the longing and doubt written on her face. "How can I believe you?"
I carefully took her hand, feeling the warmth and hardly believing this myself. "Let me tell you a story, Bella." I watched her carefully, to make sure she was listening, then cont
"About a year ago, I fell in love with the most perfect girl in existence. Her hair was the softest, richest brown, her eyes warm and loving. She was witty and smart and beautiful. But the best thing about this girl was that she accepted me, even after discovering my worst nature, my dark side. She was my angel.
However, I was putting this girl in horrific danger just by being with her. Anything could happen, and when it finally did, I was afraid I would accidentally kill her.
So I left to protect her from my own nature. After all, the devil surely doesn't deserve an angel. But I had to tell the angel terrible lies. My entire being fought, desperate to have her back in my arms.
So after six months, I returned, hoping that she would understand and forgive me." I gazed directly at her, and she met my eyes, a tear tracing its way down her cheek.
"Oh Bella," I murmured. "Why did you believe me that day? Even after the countless times I'd told you I loved you?"
Her tears became sobs, and I clasped her delicate hands tightly. "It never made sense for you to love me," she mumbled through her tears. "I always knew that." I was shocked.
"Bella, don't ever let yourself think that. You are too perfect." I pulled her against my chest, softly stroking her hair until her sobs quieted. "So I'm not dreaming?" she whispered into my shirt. "Definitely not," I smiled.
"You know, I had no idea your dreams were so vivid." She laughed weakly, straightening up to look at me. "They're usually not. But you're always a special case."
We stared at each other for a long moment, silent except for the sound of her staggered breathing. I began to wonder what it would be like to kiss her again, and if she would even let me. Maybe.
I placed my hand on her neck, feeling the blood rush through it and hearing her heartbeat speed dramatically up. She closed her eyes, and I took it as acceptance. My fingers traced her jawline and face, lingering on her lips, before I pulled her face closer and gently touched my mouth to hers.
After a moment I wound my fingers through her hair, feeling her do the same, and parted my lips, drinking in the warmth. She kissed me eagerly back, our breathing spiking until I unwillingly pushed her away, not wanting to get too caught up in her scent.
She leaned on my shoulder and whispered in her angel's voice, "I love you Edward."
My name tinkled from her lips, and I smiled at how well it went with the words she'd spoken. "I love you too, my Bella."