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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:


7. THE ANCIENT TREE

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3359   Review this Chapter

THE ANCIENT TREE

I slept on the plane all the way to Seattle, then I made another plane wait for me to board to get to Port Angeles. I was not going to just sit all night in Seattle, that's for sure. I got the last seat open, and settled in for the hour flight.

By the time I got out of the Port Angeles Airport, it was after midnight. Despite sleeping on the plane to Seattle, I was exhausted. I needed rest for my big day tomorrow, so I found a hotel room.

The next morning, I felt great after a good night's sleep without one dream or visitor from the past. I couldn't wait to see Edward. Thirteen days was more than long enough. I did my hair just like the girl at the hair salon did it, and I put on the blue sundress Renee had bought me. I even had a slight tan from laying on the beach for 3 days.

I purposely told no one I was in Port Angeles. I rented a car so I could drive back in silence and use that time to think. As I drove out of town, I passed the Italian Restaurant where Edward had taken me the night I told him I knew he was a vampire. So much had happened since then. I needed Edward in my life as much as I needed air to breathe. I didn't even want to think of my life without him.

I went over in my mind what I planned to say to him, and my heart pounded harder with every mile. As I got closer to Forks, the surroundings became more lush and green and I laughed at how this calmed me. I used to hate this wet, dense greenness all around me, now it was home.

I didn't stop at my house. If Charlie didn't know I was home, that would give me the freedom to stay with Edward a lot longer. I might not have to tell Charlie for a few days! This was definitely a unique opportunity for Edward and I to be together.

As I pulled in front of the Cullen home, I smiled. It looked beautiful. Esme's flowers were everywhere. I got very anxious when Edward didn't come to meet me. I hoped it was because I was in an unfamiliar car. I grabbed the photo of Edward's family and took a deep breath.

I went to the door and Esme answered. She looked surprised to see me, and then gave me a loving hug.

"We did not expect you so soon," she said as she guided me into the house. She answered what was to obviously be my next question, "Emmett and Jasper took him hunting last night. He was pacing the floor until after 3:00 a.m. They'd had enough." She laughed again retelling the story, "They each grabbed an arm and said they would be home about 10:00 a.m. this morning." I glanced at my watch. He would be here within the hour.

She could sense my anxiety and she said, "Bella, the back yard is so lovely, would you like to see all the flowers Edward and I have planted, and sit and talk with me in my favorite spot?"

I gratefully smiled and nodded my head.

Esme grabbed a blanket from a window seat and we headed out the back door. The back yard looked magical. I couldn't imagine planting so many flowers. I felt like a fairy princess stepping into an enchanted garden. It gradually opened into lush green grass. She guided me to a beautiful ancient tree that seemed to envelop you as you stepped underneath it. It was just feet from the slow moving river. I had seen this place from Edward's bedroom window, but I had never been under this tree.

The weather was just how I liked it. The clouds were thick, but there was no real threat of rain. The air was warm, and calm, with no wind.

Esme spread out the blanket and sat down. I sat to the side of her and we looked out at the river. I could see a portion of the greenhouse as it wrapped around the other side of the house.

"Will you show me the greenhouse?" I asked. Esme smiled at me and said, "I will let Edward show you." Her forehead knit into concern as she said, "Bella, that was a very heavy question you asked me a few days ago. Do you know what you plan to do about it?"

"Esme," I said thoughfully, "I can only answer this way. If Carlisle had been able to talk to you before he changed you and given you a choice, what would you have chosen?"

She thought for a moment then answered, "Carlisle asked me that shortly after we fell in love. I'll give you the answer I gave him." She swallowed and continued. "At first, I was scared. I knew nothing of this life. After the change, I was overcome by urges I didn't understand. But, he was always there patient and loving. He became my life and I loved him without measure. He has given me my every wish. Even a family." Esme looked at me with that last line.

She continued. "I am thankful I was not given a choice. I would have chosen not to be changed, but oh, I am grateful everyday that I was."

I smiled at her. She was definitely more poetic than I was. "I feel the same way about Edward that you feel about Carlisle," I said.

She smiled and nodded her head, "I know. You love him a great deal. For that I am so grateful."

I looked at her and realized that was just what Elisabeth had said to me in my dream. Esme did love him just as a mother would.

We talked and laughed for a while, then all of a sudden she perked up and smiled at me and said, "He's almost here."

The heart pounding was back. I searched franticly around the house for his face. Esme stood up and said, "You stay right here. I'll guide him out the back door." Then she was gone.

Suddenly, the back door swung wildly and I just had time to stand up and then he was there. His face had been never been out of my mind, but his beauty took my breath away. He stopped about 15 feet before getting to me, not sure what he should do. I did.

I ran and jumped into his arms and I heard him laugh as he swung me around. He didn't let go of me. He held me as close as he could. How could I have been away from this dream for so long?

He buried his face in my neck and said, "You came back."

I didn't say anything, all I could do was take in the scent of him, and feel our closeness again. His face was still in my neck when he said, "I can hear my family, they are so glad you're back. They couldn't take one more day of me without you."

He was still holding me up. I released my stranglehold on his neck and looked down at him and said, "They will never have to go through it again."

He stared up at me and didn't say anything. I smiled and kissed his nose and he gave me that crooked smile I would walk through a desert to see. We were both so happy to be together again.

His strong arms could have held me up like that for days, but finally I said, "Come sit with me on the blanket."

He let me down gently and took my hand and led me to the blanket.

Before we sat down he held me at arms length and looked at me. "You are more beautiful than when you left." he said breathlessly. He ran his fingers through my hair and said, "I like your hair very much." He pulled me closer to him and said, "This color on you is so lovely, and. . .your skin is darker." When he said this, he kissed my shoulder. His cold lips on my shoulder were intoxicating.

I somehow got out the words, "I did a lot of my thinking on the beach."

He sat down and pulled me into his lap. I lifted my head and kissed him on the chin, then I buried my face in his neck and held him tight. He rocked me gently as we sat in silence for several minutes. I had so much to say, so much to tell him, and I wasn't sure where to start. I took a big breath. I had been rehearsing this, now was the big moment.

"Edward, I have been preparing what I want to say, and I need to get it out, so for the next few minutes I need you to hold your comments. You can say whatever you want to at the end, okay?"

It was his turn to take a big breath, and then he got a resigned look on his face and said, "Okay."

I began, "I was very confused when I left. I knew I loved you, and wanted only you, but other than that, I didn't know what I wanted the next step in my life to be. All my life I had wanted certain things and then, after having you," I looked up at him. He was staring out over the river, "All those wants changed."

"I didn't know how I could have all the things in my life I had always dreamed about. There were going to have to be sacrifices of that I was sure." I stole a quick glance at him. He hadn't moved an inch but his eyes were closed.

"But Edward, after a few days of solitude, I realized that I had been thinking about this all wrong. All I had to do was figure out in my heart what was most important to me. What were the gifts I wanted in my life that I could never do without. Once I figured that out, the rest was easy."

I was so passionate about what I was saying that I climbed out of his lap and sat facing him. My eyes were alight with my enthusiasm, but his were guarded. He raised his eyebrows to urge me on.

I grabbed his hands in mine and continued, "Edward, there are some things I will need in my life. I need to tell you what they are, and then tell you what I've decided.

Edward took both my hands and kissed them and then looked up at me and said, "Go ahead Bella, I'm ready."

"Edward, the first thing I need is true love," I reached up to touch his cheek and he leaned into my hand. "Now that I have had it, I can't ever be without it again."

"The second is trust. I need to know that you will always be with me, not out of obligation but because I am your true love."

I grabbed both of his hands tightly again. "I need assurance that you will be patient with me and love me even though I might pout or get angry now and then. I need you to grab my hand if I fall, and not grumble if I am not as brilliant or wonderful as you."

"I need you to hold me tight when I am afraid and don't know if I can handle things."

"I need adventure. I want to try new things and see places I have only dreamed about."

I was getting braver the longer I spoke.

"Edward, I need family. I need to have contact with the people whom I have loved all my life."

"I need to be able to go after my dreams. I know that if I work hard enough I can make the things I want happen."

This last one was going to be embarrassing, but I had to say it. I leaned in and touched his forehead to mine. "And Edward, I want to be married to you and be. . .with you." I felt his intake of breath. I talked with more emotion, "Every time I kiss you I feel it more and more. I can't go the rest of my life just kissing you. I want to be. . . closer to you."

It was time to ask the question, "Edward, can you give these things to me?"

He swallowed hard. He was breathing harder as he brought his hands up to my face and pulled me back to meet his eyes. We were inches apart. His topaz eyes had love, happiness, passion, and longing all in one look. "Yes Bella," he answered huskily, "I can. I have dreamed about being the one who could give all those things to you."

Here it was. The last thing I had to ask. "Then please Edward, please make me a vampire."

I heard a sorrowful groan from deep in his chest and he lowered his head into his hands. My heart sank. I was hoping for a different reaction, but I was prepared for this.

"Edward, I began, "all those things I want in my life, that you said you would give me, can't happen unless you change me. If I could turn back time to before I met you, I would come straight back to you. You seem to think you have done me some horrible wrong by loving me, it could not be farther from the truth."

I was getting a little bolder now. "You seem to think that my life is so much better than what you could give me. Human life is great, but it is also fragile and vulnerable. There is sickness and death, you should know that better than anyone."

"Edward, life is beautiful, it is a gift in any form. Our life together would be precious and sweet and I know that many more doors will be opened to us than would ever be closed."

I grabbed his arms. His face was still buried in his hands. "Edward, without you this is just an ordinary world, and I can't go back to ordinary. Won't you please take my hand and lead me through your world. Would you be patient with me and teach me everything you know. Would you help me? Edward, I want to run beside you, I want to hold you tight and have you feel it."

He looked up with earnest eyes and said, "I feel you every time you touch me."

His face was full of agony, as he let out a sigh and said, "Bella, all those things you said you needed in your life I can give you as a human."

My face went hard. "No Edward," I shook my head slowly, "You can't."

I was hoping I would not have to go to this place, but I had thought this through too.

"Edward," I said, ‘I know you think this is the solution, I'm telling you it is not. It would work for a while, but I am going to get older. I'm guessing we have a good 5 or 6 years left that we could be together in public, and then. . ." I shook my head at him. "Do you want me to only be able to come out at night to be with you?"

He started to speak, but I was not anywhere close to finished with this argument. "As I grow older I know how I'll handle it no matter how much you say you love me." I couldn't sit down for this, I had to stand up. "Edward, I will become obsessed with looking younger. I will hate the way I look. You will still be this beautiful angel. . ." I wrapped my arms around my middle. "Eventually, no matter what I do, I will be very old."

I turned and faced the river. "Edward, this is only if I have good health. I could get really sick when I'm 45 and it will all be over with so much sooner than we'd hoped."

I still had my back turned, but I could hear determination in his voice, "Then I'll follow you as soon as I can."

I whirled around and raised my voice, "What would that do to Esme? Carlisle? After all they have done for you, would you really do that to them?"

I made my voice softer. "Edward," He had been avoiding my gaze. Now I made him look at me. "What if I end up in a wheelchair? What if I end up with a lingering illness and it drags out for months and months and I am in horrible pain?"

Edward's face twisted in agony. He whispered, "I don't know."

I made him look at me again. "I know." My voice was choking back tears. I would not let him see me weak about this. "When it gets to the point that I'm old, sick, or feeble. . . I'll leave." His head snapped up.

I started to back away as I said, "I'll go so far away that Alice won't even know where I am and when I die you won't even know it! I'll die alone and. . ." He jumped up and yelled, "Stop!"

He ran to me and grabbed my arms and held them in front of me. His eyes were crazed and he whispered, "Please stop it."

I met his gaze and made myself look determined. He had to know how bad this life would be that he wanted to sentence me to. I didn't know what else I could say.

Looking at his stubborn face, I realized that even with all my planned arguments he was not going to give in. My doubts came out.

"Edward, my voice came out very high and weak, "Is it because you are only attracted to me if I'm human? You love to listen to my heartbeat, and you love my warm skin. Will my scent go away if you change me? I". . . he cut me off.

"No! No!" He dropped my arms and was wandering around under the tree with a look of anger and frustration. He stopped nowhere in particular and stared out at nothing.

"Bella", his voice was the most velvet sounding I'd ever heard it. "There is one more thing I do while I watch you sleep." He turned and looked straight into my eyes. His eyes were full of longing. "I dream of you being . . . like me."

There, he'd said it. My heart all but leaped out of me. I didn't dare move. I was afraid to break the spell and I needed him to keep talking, "Oh please keep talking this way" was all I could think.

He stared back out at nothing again, "It would be absolutely. . . all I could ever hope for and so much more. We would be so happy." Something ran through his thoughts and broke the spell. He straightened and shook his head saying, "You deserve more."

He looked over at me and I assume he thought I would be upset, but instead he saw a calm smile on my face. He seemed confused by my reaction.

I softly said, "You were thinking about demons and lost souls weren't you?"

He didn't answer, he just kept staring at me.

I calmly walked toward him and laid my hand on his cheek. "I haven't told you everything that happened while I was away. The first half I made my decisions." I laughed, "Edward, I was ready to come home after the first week!" I put my hands on each side of his face and said, "Now, I am going to tell you what happened after that.