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A Bittersweet Love

Summary:
Edward and Isabella's love for each other is stronger than ever. But what happens when it is threatened?


Notes:
Based after Edward and Bella return from Italy. They had never gone to the Cullens' for a vote.


6. An Icy Embrace

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1000   Review this Chapter

In that moment, it wouldn’t have mattered if Edward was able to read my thoughts. My mind was totally blank as his words sunk in. “Did you just propose to me?” I whispered, my voice tight. He nodded slightly, his jaw clenched as he awaited my answer. “You just asked me to marry you,” I marveled to myself, “You just proposed to me, and…And my answer is yes.” He reached for my hand, and slipped the ring onto my finger, where it fit perfectly. I wrapped both my hands around his, and tugged upward, signaling that I wanted him to rise. Complying, he drew me to his chest, securing me in an icy embrace. “Yes, yes, yes,” I repeated in a whisper, completely numb.

“You’ll have me forever?” Edward inquired softly, our faces close, his butterscotch eyes burning into mine. I gulped, and mumbled, “Forever?” Forever meant turning me into one of his kind. Forever was love for eternity. “Forever,” my angel confirmed, his tone unsure. The poor thing had no idea what he was getting himself into. As a vampire, even if he didn’t want me, I would be able to chase him. I clutched him to me, inhaling his sweet scent, before answering his question. “I’ll love you forever, Edward. And now we have time enough for it.” Two silent seconds passed with us in that position: holding each other tight, before Edward had enough sense to put me back into my seat. He crooked a finger in the direction of the kitchens, but before the waitress could scurry up with our check, my world came crashing down.

“Bella!” Rosalie shrieked, running into La Bella Italia with her usual poise and grace. “Bella, I’m so sorry! It was too late, and we didn’t know…Oh, Bella!” With that, she collapsed onto her brother’s shoulder, her dark topaz eyes large with misery and fright. I could only stare as Edward’s face grew more and more livid. “Bella, we need to go. Now,” he snarled, remembering briefly to throw money onto the table before scooping me up once again.

“Please tell me what’s happening!” I begged for the thousandth time as his shiny black car screeched out of the parking lot and onto the road. Rosalie merely ignored me as she stared aimlessly out the window in the backseat. A low growl rumbled in Edward’s throat, and (if it was possible) his glare increased in fierceness. “Edward, please…I’m scared.” The whispered words escaped my lips, my voice breaking thrice, as I bowed my head. Hot, bitter tears slipped out from under my lashes. A cool arm wove around my waist, and held me to a marble statue.

“Bella,” the vampire said. It sounded as if it hurt him to speak at all. As was his habit whenever he was agitated, Edward began to speak so quickly I had to strain my ears to understand. “Alice had a vision of Charlie…” He trailed off, gazing worriedly down at me until I had resumed breathing. “…dead on the kitchen floor. She didn’t get the vision until it was too late. Bella, I’m so sorry, it is all my fault. The visions of…well, the visions Alice was receiving distracted her from checking on Charlie. They…” I glanced up at him, numb for a new reason, and waited for him to continue. “They found Victoria’s scent on his body. Bella----Bella!”

“No, no, no, no…not because of me, please no,” I sobbed quietly, now half-way into my fiancé’s lap. “Tell me this isn’t happening, tell me this was all fake…”

“Look on the bright side, Isabella,” Rosalie offered helpfully from behind. “Carlisle said that Victoria went easy on Charlie. It looked as if she hadn’t tortured him too long! Apparently, he suffered minimal pain.” Her perfect mouth dipped into a frown. “What’s wrong? I thought that would comfort---”

“Rosalie, do be quiet!” Edward snapped, clutching me closer to his marble chest as the flow of my tears doubled. The rollercoaster of emotions that I rode was making me feel numb, pained, and slightly nauseous. “Edward…Don’t leave me,” I murmured, feeling consciousness slip away. But just before my mind drifted, I heard my angel whisper, “I never will.”

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When I awoke, I was curled upon the black couch in my beloved’s room. His CDs lined the shelves, and various items were scattered across the different surfaces. My chocolate eyes were drawn to a single, framed photo of Edward and me, holding each other tightly, smiling into the camera. Said vampire chose that moment to dash to my side and scoop me into his arms, cradling my against his chest, murmuring words of comfort into my hair.

“She was supposed to come after me,” I choked out between sobs. It was obvious who ’she’ was. Who else would it be? Renee? Esme? “Me! Not Charlie, oh god, not Charlie…” After a tearful pause, my grief-ridden rant continued. “This would never have happened if I had been strong enough, if I had been---” The rapid gush of words halted as a frozen finger pressed itself to my lips.

“Bella, I know what you’re getting at,” a strangely bitter voice said. I was surprised to find that it came from Edward’s mouth. Poisoned velvet. “I…I was planning to change you after the wedding.” His tone of voice, his facial expression: it all led me to believe that he thought the wedding was canceled. Pshaw. “But, in light of recent events--” I winced visibly, the new wound in my heart still raw, but he forged on. “--Carlisle has, for lack of a better word, urged me to, for the sake of innocents, change you very, very soon. But only if you wish it upon yourself.”

In response, I merely bared my neck for him, a smile playing at my lips. He frowned in a rather god-like manner, and reached up with one hand to pull my chin back down. “I’m becoming a vampire, we’re getting married, Victoria is re-dieing, and we’re going on our honeymoon,” I stated firmly, “In that order.”