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beautiful soul

Summary:
Bella has finally realized she is terrified to become a vampire. She is leaving to think over what she really wants her life with Edward to be. Bella does go away, but she finds out a secret about Edward that takes her far from Forks. Can Bella solve the mystery about his past and take away Edward's demons? If so, they could really be truly happy. The first chapter is a bit slow - stick with it - it gets better - I promise! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THIS IS OFFICIALLY THE LAST CHAPTER. I HAVE ALSO WRITTEN AN EPILOGUE HOW WILL EDWARD REACT WHEN BELLA TELLS HIM ABOUT HER DREAM AND SEEING ELISABETH? THANK YOU TO ALL WHO READ MY STORY - THANK YOU ESPECIALLY FOR YOUR REVIEWS!


Notes:


3. DISCOVERIES

Rating 5/5   Word Count 5602   Review this Chapter

DISCOVERIES

True to form Renee had kept me on edge with a steady stream of questions about Edward all the way to Port Angeles. Then she spent the flight to Seattle grilling me on what my plans were for school. THEN on our lovely 6 hour flight to Florida she regaled me with the dangers of marrying young and not rushing into anything. She laid out what I'm sure was a rehearsed argument for the benefits of living your own life before ever thinking about settling down with anyone.

I did my best to lay her fears to rest. I reminded her of what a sensible girl I had always been. ( I was hoping she wasn't thinking about me falling through a hotel window, or disappearing for three days.) I told her I had every intention of furthering my education and was excited about my future. I also told her that whatever I decided to do that Edward would be considered in my decision. I was honest and told her I loved him. She patted me on the arm with a worried look. Edward would be very proud of me.

On the way to Renee's car, I was surprised at how strange and uncomfortable the heat and sun felt. I kept searching for shade. Once we were in her car, I turned all my air vents on my face at full blast.

The trip had worn me out. I was glad to get to Renee and Phil's guest room and flop on the bed, but I couldn't rest, I was too anxious to talk to Edward. I plugged in the laptop and sent a message.

Hello love, I made it here without even a scratch. Have you had a good day? Tell me what you have been doing. Renee has been grilling me about you all day. I told her I love you. I miss you. Forever, Bella

I didn't know how long it would take him to know I'd sent a message, but he answered almost immediately. It thrilled me that he had been waiting for me to talk to him.

Hello Beautiful. I am relieved to know you made it there safely. Today Rosalie and I did some work on her car. We had a good talk. Thank you for talking to Renee. Tomorrow tell her I have asked you to marry me and let's see how she reacts! I love you so much. I miss you so much. Sweet dreams. Yours, Edward

I may have come here to make some decisions, but there was one thing I knew for sure. I absolutely hated going to sleep without Edward there.

The harsh sunlight streaming in my window woke me early the next morning. I would have to remember to close the blinds. That was something I never had to worry about in Forks.

There was another thing I knew for sure. I absolutely hated waking up without Edward there. I thought about how his skin would be shimmering like diamonds right now. I instinctively ran my hand over the empty spot next to me.

I shook my head to clear my brain. Thinking about how much I missed Edward was not going to help me make any decisions. I reached over to the bed stand and got the laptop. Might as well put it to good use, I thought.

I began typing out a list of all the advantages of staying a human. The list was not very long. It mostly centered around being able to see Charlie and Renee.

I also put down that it wouldn't break the treaty with the Quileutes. I didn't even want to think about the can of worms that would be opened with Jake if I became a vampire. He would become my natural enemy.

If Billy found out I was becoming a vampire, he would tell Charlie. If Charlie found out, well. . . .he was the Chief of Police and my father, I pretty much knew what he would do.

I started to think about farther down the line. If I stayed human, I would be able to have children, but I wouldn't have Edward's children. I would never want to have children with anyone else.

Right here and now I had to come to grips with the fact that whether I decided to stay human or not, I would never be a mother.

I was suddenly aware that Edward had always known this would be a very big deal to me someday. It was probably one of the reasons he left me last September.

I wondered if Edward ever thought about being a father.

Okay, so now I was starting the list of the disadvantages of staying a human.

I knew what the biggest horror was for me. I would be growing older everyday while Edward stayed the same devastatingly beautiful angel.

He told me over and over again that this did not matter to him, but oh, it mattered to me. I imagined that with time it would matter much, much more.

I could hear my mom out in the kitchen. I did not realize that I had been sitting at my laptop for over an hour.

I went out to Renee and hugged her good morning like I had always done when I had lived with her. It was good to see her in this familiar way again. Phil was away in Minneapolis, so we had this time alone. We were both hungry for breakfast. We decided on toast and juice and we ate it out on the terrace. It was a beautiful morning.

I stole glances of my mom while we ate. She was still very pretty, but I noticed more wrinkles around the corners of her eyes than when we were in Phoenix. Her hair was still dark, but I knew she had been coloring it for years. She still had a great figure, but she worked at it. Always trying the latest yoga or pilates craze. I wondered how she would look in another 10 years.

"Bella, did you hear me?" my mother was repeating a question. I had been engrossed in other thoughts. I sat up and looked at her. "Oh, I'm sorry mom, what did you say?"

"Would you like to hit Market Square today? You don't have a lot of summer clothes, and there is a great place we can go for lunch." She got a mischeivious grin on her face. "Let's get your hair done today." She saw my eyes widen, and she waved her hand in the air and said, ‘Oh, nothing major, just trimmed and shaped a little bit." I thought about that and smiled, "Sure it sounds like fun."

We had a good time shopping. Though I protested, my mom managed to buy me a pair of sandals and some shorts. She wanted to buy me these high wedge sandals, they were cute, but I was not going back to Forks on crutches. We were trying on sunglasses when my mom spied these sundresses. They were quite pretty and my mom made me try one on. Maybe it was all the sun, but it put me in the mood to get that dress. It had straps that tied on my shoulders. It came in lots of colors, and I chose the blue. I knew Edward would like that.

My mom dragged me into the salon. I had definitely lost my nerve. I had not trimmed my hair in over a year, it was quite long down my back and just straight. I was at a loss to what I wanted the beautician to do, so my mom took over. When it was all dried and styled my chair was turned to look in the mirror. I was a little shocked.

She had taken off about 4 inches, so it now came to the middle of my back. I had soft layers with the shortest coming right under my chin. Instead of just straight, it was a bit rounded and curled under on the ends. I looked great! But, I realized, I also looked . . .older. I didn't look I was in High School anymore. I didn't look seventeen. I tried to show my enthusiasm for Renee's sake. I just kept staring in the mirror. Another change for me. Edward would never change.

Lunch was delicious. I had forgotten how mealtimes could be an event. Although Edward was sensitive to the fact that I needed to eat, I usually tried to downplay my hunger and grab something fast.

We strolled around a little after lunch, but Phil was coming back around 5:00 that evening, and I could tell my mom was getting anxious to get home. I had really enjoyed this day with my mom. She seemed to feel the same way.

After Phil and Renee went to bed, I took the laptop back out on the terrace. I was so excited to hear from Edward.

Hello my love. Another day without a trip to the emergency room. I spent the day with my mom. It was what you would call a "girl day". It was such a nice sunny morning, that we ate our breakfast on the terrace. We went shopping for clothes and went out to lunch. I got my hair cut today! Nothing too drastic. I hope you like it. I really enjoyed being with my mom. What did you do today?

I want you to know I am doing a lot of hard thinking. I know I did the right thing in coming here.

I love you more every day. I think about you constantly and wish you here with me. Last night when I lay in bed I ached for you.

Forever, Bella

It took him a few minutes to answer.

Hello Bella,

I am so glad you enjoyed your day with Renee. These are exactly the kind of things you should be doing. Your hair would be beautiful no matter how you wore it.

Edward

Crap, I was an idiot. Without thinking, I had talked about the morning sun, breakfast, changing my hair, and being with my mom. These were all the points he brought up every time I said I wanted him to change me. So much for all the times I said that stuff didn't matter. I just gave him the ammunition to keep arguing his side. Then my mind caught on a disturbing thought. Could Edward actually be right about all this?

I decided to play dumb.

Hey babe, you seem down. Do you want to talk about it? Bella

The answer came quickly. He avoided my question.

You said you have been doing a lot of hard thinking. Could you please tell me what you have been thinking about?

I did not think Edward should really know the thoughts that were presently going through my head. Especially considering the mood my "cheery recap of the day" e-mail had put him in. It would not be smart to start talking about treaties with werewolves and having a family. I sat there for a few minutes debating what I should write. He e-mailed again.

Bella.

That was all it said. I guess I'd better just do this. I wrote back.

I have beenmulling over the pros and cons of changing or not.

Well, that was pretty vague.

A message shot back.

Would you mind being a little more specific?

Oh great. I should be honest. But, I was afraid to talk about these things without him right in front of me. He could just turn off the computer and walk away.

Edward, I have not completely sorted out my thoughts. I don't want to talk to you about these things until I'm ready. Please don't be angry.

After a few minutes his e-mail came.

It's bad enough not knowing your thoughts, but when I can't see your face it's much worse. But I'm sorry. I promised you no interference. Take all the time you need. I love you. The nights are so long without you. Edward

My heart swelled. He was trying so hard to be understanding. I had to remember that he still wasn't sure I was coming back. I did my best to put is fears to rest.

Thank you so much Edward. I know this is hard for you. I want you to be happy. I want to be the one who makes you happy. I can't do that unless you know I am at peace with the life I choose. Your patience helps so much. I love you so very much. Forever, Bella

I did not know if he would write back, but he did.

I was never really happy until I found you, but I understand what you mean. I want you to be at peace. Sweet Dreams. Yours, Edward

I stayed with Renee and Phil for 3 more days. I was making progress, but I knew I needed to get away by myself. Phil's place was about 45 minutes away. It was actually a condo that he leased in the winter. He was very gracious to let me use it. I was so excited because Edward and I could talk on the phone from there.

I told Renee I would be back within the week. She was perceptive enough to know that I didn't come to Florida for just a social visit. She knew I was trying to work through something. She had tried to talk to me a few times, but I didn't give her many details. If anybody understood my need to think before rushing into something I would regret it was Renee. She encouraged me to go.

The condo was perfect and the beach was beautiful, but the first thing I did was e-mail Edward and give him the phone number to my place. I couldn't rack up Phil's phone bill. It was early evening, so I knew Edward wouldn't check it for awhile, but I didn't want to take the chance he might be close by.

I made a snack with food I'd bought on the way, and took the cordless phone outside and tested how far I would still get reception, and that's where I sat. I was only about 40 yards from the beach.

I began to think about Renee and Charlie again. Was there a way to keep them in my life if I was a vampire? Probably not for the first while. How long would I have to wait? At some point things would have to change. I would stop getting older.

How would I explain that Edward and I were not having children? Something told me Charlie would loved to have been a grandpa. He would have been a good one. He would teach his grandson to fish.

What would happen if Jake saw me as a vampire? Would he try to kill me? Actually, I already knew that it would be Edward that he would try to kill first.

I tried to imagine me actually drinking blood form an animal. The blood would still be warm. I would thirst for it, crave it.

My thoughts drifted to something more pleasant. They went to a place I loved to go. I pictured me with Edward.

I imagined he would walk lovingly towards me. He would take me by the hand and then we would start to run. . . fast.

I was a vampire.

In my thoughts I was graceful, extremely so. I would stop running and pull him towards me. I would wrap my arms tightly around him. I would be so strong that I would take his breath away for a moment. Then I would kiss him. No one would exist in the world but us.

I wanted this dream to come true. More than anything. But, so many other frightening parts came with it.

Would this dream still hold true one hundred years from now? Two hundred years? My family would be long dead. What would Edward and I be doing that far in the future? Carlisle was over three hundred years old. The Volturi was 3,000 years old.

The phone rang and I jumped. I grabbed greedily at it and anxiously said, "Hello?".

"Bella," The velvet voice on the other end caused all the air to escape out of my lungs. All I managed to say was, "Oh Edward."

We talked for over 3 hours on the phone. I sat by the beach for a while, then it started to get dark and I went in and laid on the bed.

He told me what he had been doing. He had kept his promise and had been planning places he wanted to take me when I returned. He had been helping Esme with some gardening, but he had been spending most of his time working on an addition to the house.

"You're making the house bigger?" I asked. He had answered that Esme felt that she needed a greenhouse. She wanted to be able to reach it from the house, and she wanted to be able to garden through the winter and not have to refrain on sunny days. I was relieved he had something to keep his mind occupied while I was gone.

I expressed concern about the phone bill and Edward just chuckled and said not to worry about it. If we talked this long every night his bill would be enormous!

He did not like the idea of me being in the condo all alone. I tried to tell him I was fine, even though I had never slept anywhere by myself in my whole life. My head was dizzy thinking of how great it would be if Edward and I were here together. We could go to the beach at night. He could take me swimming in the ocean. I told him my thoughts and he sighed. I told him to put it on the list of places he would take me.

It was getting late. I stifled a yawn. Edward said he would wait while I got ready for bed. I hurried and then I grabbed the phone and climbed in the covers. He hummed my lullaby over the phone and whispered he loved me. I told him to call me in the morning. We hung up and it was the best night sleep I'd had since leaving Forks.

Edward called around 10:00 a.m. It was 8:00 a.m. for him, but if you don't sleep, I guess no time is too early. "Good morning beautiful", he said when I answered the phone. They were taking a break from working on the greenhouse. He wanted to let me know that he wouldn't be able to talk to me tonight until quite late because he would be hunting wit Jasper and Emmett. "It's like a boy's night out," I said. He chuckled at that.

The last thing he said was, "Think hard today so you can come home."

I loved hearing him say the word "home". It didn't seem like he was referring to Charlie's house.

Home. Where was my real home?

I spent most of the day out by the beach. I had never done this much thinking in my whole life, but it took me to some discoveries.

I could not have everything I wanted.

Compromise, that was the word that fit. What I had to do was figure out what things I could not live without, and that would be the road I was to take.

I spent much of the day on that topic.

I was surprised about one thing, all this time there were some things that I thought were really important, and I realized they weren't important at all.

So that was it, just figure out what I knew what I could do without and what I would always need.

I typed on my laptop some things I needed to discuss with Edward when I got back.

As I came to these discoveries, I had a few questions that needed to be answered before I could make my decision. I couldn't necessarily ask Edward about them though, I needed to talk to Alice and Esme. I would call tonight while Edward was hunting.

I waited untiI I was sure he would be gone. Alice answered. "Alice", I said, "I need to talk to you. Can you spend some time on e-mail with me?" She laughed conspiratorially, "You bet! You know, Edward will kill me when he finds out, and you know he will."

It's not anything I wouldn't want him to know. You won't be breaking a confidence," I said.

I sat down to write. I was afraid of what her answer would be to my first question.

Alice, I don't know very much about your and Jasper's relationship. I know even less about Carlisle and Esme's. But can you tell me, is it much like a human marriage? I mean, do you expect to be together for the rest of your existence, no matter how long that will be? Are you committed to each other?

Alice answered back.

Bella, I can't speak for how things will be for you, but I can tell you how it is for me and Jasper. We are as close as two people can be. We are actually more like one person. I don't know if it is primal, having to do with what we are, but the need for each other is extremely intense. Even vampires that do not practice as we do still have mates for life. I have never tired of Jasper, nor do I expect to. I know he feels the same about me.

Carlisle and Esme have an extremely intense, close relationship that has only deepened with time.

I will tell you that Edward commented to me once a long time ago that if he ever did find someone, he hoped his relationship would be like theirs.

I do want to say, I know he will never love anyone the way he loves you. I don't need to use my powers to see that. Alice

Her answer did put me at ease. I still had one more question. This one was for Esme.

Alice thank you, I hope I do not cause trouble for you withEdward. Thank you for always being such a true friend. Is there a chance I could talk to Esme? I asked.

Sure, hold on a second. By the way, you are smart to go and think this through. Edward is doing okay while you're gone. We are trying to keep him busy. See ya soon. Let me know if you have any more questions.

A few moments passed and Esme was there.

Bella dear, how are you doing?

It was comforting to talk to Esme. She always had that effect on me.

I began.

Hello Esme, I am doing well, thank you. I am making progress on all of this. I have a rather large question. I am so grateful that I have you to talk to about it.

Someday I am afraid I am going to feel a great desire to be a mother. I think I know how intense that desire was for you. You must have been so distraught over the death of your baby to do what you did. You must have wanted so much to have a child.

I don't know if Edward ever thinks of this, and maybe I won't care of think about it, but Esme, I am very afraid that if I became a vampire that one day I would regret not being a mother. You have found a way to have a family. There is so much love in your home. I just don't know if logically Edward and I would ever be able to have the same thing. We would both be too young to ever pass as parents. I don't want Edward to ever think I was unhappy if I chose his life.

I also worry about the family I already have, could I lose my parents too? Can you help me with any of this?

My stomach was in knots wondering what she could possibly say that could help me. I knew it would take some time for her to respond to this. I got up and walked around the room.

Finally, her answer came.

Dearest Bella, I'm am honored you felt you could come to me with such a difficult question. And indeed, this is something you must think long and hard about.

First, I want you to know that Edward has thought about this. He has agonized over it for your sake. He does not want to take this experience of having a family away from you. Your need for a family may never fully go away. My need for a baby has never fully left me, but I was given a different gift. Carlisle and I love our children with all out hearts. My hope for you is that somewhere in your journey with Edward, whether you chose this life or stayed human, that you would also receive the gifts that you desire in your heart.

Concerning your parents, if you decide to change, you may be able to interact with humans and be around your family, it may take years, there are no guarantees.

May I suggest that you should discuss this with Edward as well. I love you Bella. Esme

I wrote back and thanked her for her wisdom. My head was spinning. I lay on my bed for a very long time trying to sort out the impossible in my head.

Choices.

But, no matter what I did in my life there were always going to be hard choices to make.

No one in the world had ever been able to make a choice and know years down the road what the outcome would be. Well, no one but Alice. But, even so, her premonitions were all based on the changing decisions others made around her.

Everyone in the world had to make decisions based on what they knew at the time and how they felt at the moment and hope they made the right decision. They had to go on what they knew for sure and then work to make their dreams come true.

That was it.

I smiled.

My choice was coming to me clearly. I had never been more sure of anything. I was surprised at how sure I was.

I wanted to talk to Edward right then and tell him I was ready to come home, but he was still hunting. I would have to wait until morning. I was so tired I just laid down on top of the bed.

I was awaken by the phone at about 9:00 a.m. the next morning. I realized when I stood up to get the phone that I fallen asleep in my clothes.

It was Edward. He apologized for calling so early. They had just got back from hunting. His voice was very quiet.

I was worried about what he had gathered in the minds of Alice and Esme. I didn't have to wait long.

"So you had some questions for Alice and Esme," He said flatly. I paused, "Yes," I answered.

"Bella, you should be a mother. I would give anything if I could. . . ." He never finished his sentence.

"Edward, they were just questions I needed answered. Esme was the best one to ask. I told you I was looking at this from every angle." I answered. I tried to downplay the significance of my concerns.

"Bella, I should have talked to you about this sooner, it's just I was so afraid to do it. I won't take away all your dreams. You would have the best life. You could be so happy. He said this in such an agonized but determined tone.

"Edward, I plan on having a very happy and full life, and guess what? I get to choose it." I could sound determined too.

"One day you will look at me and regret everything." He was sounding so upset. I could tell he was pacing.

"One day you could look at me and feel the same way," I shot back.

‘That will never happen, I'm the monster, I'm the one with the demons, with the past that I can never tell you. . . . ." He stopped talking again.

"What Edward, what were you going to say? Please don't stop talking. Can never tell me what, Edward? What can't you tell me?" I was holding the phone with both hands.

"Bella, "

Oh man, I hated it when he used this voice. This always meant bad things for me.

He continued, "I am not going to call anymore or answer your e-mails. I am taking everything away from you." I could hear him growl. "I am a monster. . .I . . . always have been. I lost my soul long, long ago."

Then there was nothing but silence.

"Edward. . . . damnit Edward. . . .you can't just. . . .what are you talking about? . . . talk to me! . . . at least tell me you love me. . . . . ."

I was not going to be the one to hang up. I could wait, and wait, and wait.. . . . . .

Then I heard him whisper very softly, "I promised I would never leave you again, but you can leave. . . just let me. . . . let me know if you're coming back. I love you Bella," and then he hung up.

Great, why did that particular conversation have to take place over the phone thousands of miles apart?

I sat there going over every part of our conversation. So he had thought about my future and how it should be. How nice for him. He could be so aggravating.

What did mean about being a monster? He talked about demons. He said that he had a past that he couldn't even tell me. What was he talking about?

He had told me before about his past as a young vampire. Was his tortured past about him as a vampire or when he was still human?

He told me before that human memories fade. What else. Oh yeah, that he had few memories of his past, and that changing was his most vivid memory.

How could I help him? If I helped him figure this out would we have a chance at real happiness? Probably the happiest that any two people could ever be?

I changed clothes and went out to the beach.

I had been ready to leave and go home.

I had everything figured out.

One thing that bothered me is that apparently Edward had these demons all along and had never confided in me. He kept so much inside. It hurt me to know that he wouldn't tell me when something was causing him so much pain.

I didn't know what to do. I stared at the water for hours.

Maybe it was the sun, maybe it was desperation, but I decided to do something I hadn't done since I was a little girl. I decided to pray.

The last time I remember praying was when I asked God to get my mom and dad back together. That prayer was never answered, but it didn't stop me from trying now. I was losing Edward. I was losing him to something I couldn't see or feel or touch. I guess that was why I decided to talk to someone that I couldn't see or feel or touch either.

I didn't close my eyes or kneel down, I just sat there staring out at the waves.

"God, I began, Edward needs your help. If you really are aware of everyone and everything, then I know you are aware of him. He is. . ." I started to cry. "He is a magnificent person. He is the love of my life and he is hurting. I know you are aware of what he has. . . become. I believe he is haunted by a past that he can't remember. I know that he was loved. Are his mother and father with you?

He says that he has lost his soul, but I have never believed that was true. To be the person he is, I know he has a soul. . . a beautiful soul. I don't know how to help him. Please God, please help me know what to do. Amen.

I didn't know what I expected to happen, but nothing happened. I was aware of people talking around me and the waves. Clouds started to roll in. After a while it started to rain. I lifted my face up to the raindrops so I could feel the water on my face. I needed to feel something.

Edward was lost. We couldn't even start a life until there were no more demons.

I was soaking wet. I finally went inside when it was dark. I hadn't eaten all day. I took a shower and went to bed. I lay there and thought about how much I loved Edward. I should go home. I needed to get to Edward. I needed to get to Edward. . . .