Breaking Dawn till Dusk
Edward and Bella have been married for 3 months. Edward is well into his first semester of law school at Washington State and it is time for some major changes to take place in their lives. Things, however, do not go exactly as planned.
1. Edward’s POV: Phone Call Three months into my marriage and fourteen weeks into my first semester of law school, I was blissfully happy with one and rapidly beginning to regret the other. Medical school had stimulated my brain, challenged me time and time again. A true interest in the field, and of course a real longing to follow in the courageous and hardworking footsteps of Carlisle, had got me through, not once but twice. I had come to the bitter realisation many years ago that I was not capable of practising medicine – studying it would have to be enough. But times change, and life constantly brings with it new experiences and challenges. I was beginning to wonder if the dream of actually practising as a doctor was within reach. In the past two years, my tolerance of blood and my self control had improved beyond belief. Bella becoming a part of my life – the most important and loving part – was the reason. Dr Edward Cullen …… it certainly had a ring to it! Carlisle could easily mentor me through the practical aspects, just as I had mentored him through the theoretical side of things for many years now. Washington State offered a medical degree …. third time around I was guaranteed high distinctions in every subject ……… why was I hesitating? What was stopping me, for heaven’s sake! I had all the time in the world, didn’t I? Besides, the law was so damned boring! I glanced at my watch as the professor’s voice droned on and on. Would this never end? Were there really people out there that dreamed of a career in litigation? I pitied them. At last it was two o’clock, and as soon as the lecturer had left the room I snatched the cell phone out of my jacket pocket and flipped it open. I hit “7” on speed dial and listened as the phone rang 190 kilometres away in Newton’s Outdoors Sporting Goods. After several rings the phone was answered by Karen Newton’s youthful and polite voice, bringing forth a distasteful and unwelcoming image of her heavily made up face and her bottle-blonde immaculate hairdo. “Newton’s Sporting Goods, may I help you?” “Hello Mrs Newton, it’s Edward here”, I fought to keep the grimace out of my voice. “Could I have a quick word with Bella, if she’s not serving?” “Well! Edward …. hello!” she exclaimed. “Didn’t she call you? Honestly, she’s so vague at times …. such a darling, really. I would have thought she’d got in touch with you”. “About what?” I was confused and somewhat impatient. Karen Newton often tested the limits of my patience. “About going home”, she replied. “She was dreadfully pale this morning, and just before lunch she nearly passed out! If it hadn’t been for my Mike …….well I don’t know what would have happened. He caught her just before she hit the floor! I told him to drop her home and make sure she got to bed all right”. Her voice dropped to a hesitant whisper. “Not that it’s any of my business, of course, but there isn’t a chance that she could be ……. well …… expecting, is there?” I gripped the cell phone tightly in my hand and fought down the sudden panic that always accompanied any news about Bella being hurt or suffering in any way. It was a wonder, sometimes, that she managed to make it through an entire day without some type of injury. “Danger magnet” was an immense understatement to anyone familiar with Bella and her endearing clumsiness. “No, no chance of that, Mrs Newton”, I responded briskly. “I’ll catch up with her at home – please thank Mike for me”. “Well, of course I will! Its just that I’ve seen so many expectant mothers …….”. I ended the phone call, too impatient to indulge in her latest theory. I had little time for people so engrossed in gossip that they allowed it to rule their existence, and I couldn’t help wondering exactly how long it would take before the entire population of Forks was informed of the Cullens’ “impending parenthood”. I immediately pressed “1” on my speed dial and waited, growing more concerned by the second, as Bella’s cell phone rang out. I walked quickly to where I had parked the volvo, jumping into the driver’s seat and gunning the engine. I fought back the anxiety crawling its way up from my stomach to my throat, turning the car for home and pressing the accelerator to the floor. * * * “Bella?”, I called loudly as I closed the front door behind me. I raced up the staircase, straining to hear her reply but only encountering an ominous silence. The door to our bedroom was closed, and without hesitating I pushed it open, fearing the worst as I always seemed to do when it came to my beautiful and somewhat delightfully accident-prone Bella. She was in bed, and I breathed a sigh of relief as I moved towards her. Curled on her side, she lay on top of the covers, her knees pressed up towards her chest and her arms wrapped tightly around her abdomen. Her pallor was as pale as I had ever seen it, dark circles visible beneath her eyes, and the way she clutched at her stomach immediately led me to believe that she was in some kind of pain. I knew from experience that her monthly period always left her low on iron levels, and sometimes wracked her body with debilitating cramps, and this was the conclusion I came to as I sat beside her on the bed and gently cupped her pale face in my large hand, managing a smile as she opened her eyes and looked up at me, a mixture of confusion and relief in her expression. “Edward? I thought you had lectures all afternoon”, she spoke softly and I shrugged as my fingers curled protectively around hers. “I think I can keep up”, I told her and pressed my lips gently against her clenched hand. What’s wrong, sweetheart? What can I do to help?” “Nothing”, she shook her head slightly. “I’m just ….. tired, I guess”. Bella’s delicious scent was always stronger during those four to five days each month when she was having her period, but I was surprised to discover, as I bent over her, that this particular scent I had been expecting was absent. I kissed her lips softly, and was taken back when I saw what looked to be fear in her eyes as I met her gaze. “Tell me”, I encouraged her gently. “Is it cramps?” She nodded slowly, and I took both of her hands in mine and pulled them away from her stomach. “Straighten out your legs”, I told her and she did so obediently, uncurling her body and moving onto her back. Silently I unbuttoned her hipster jeans and pulled down the short zipper. I placed my cool hand onto her flat abdomen and began to rub in a firm but gentle circular motion, willing her body to relax under my touch. As I caressed her I watched her pale face, wondering if it was just my imagination or did it look thinner to me than usual. Had she lost weight or was I merely reacting because she all of a sudden appeared even more vulnerable to me than she normally did? “Bella”. I spoke softly. “Did you eat today? You missed breakfast, remember? What did you have for lunch?” There was a full minute’s silence before she replied. “I wasn’t hungry”. “So you last ate when?” I tried to keep the frustration out of my voice, but by the look of guilt on Bella’s face I assumed I had failed dismally. “Edward …. don’t ….” “When did you eat?” My left hand continued its gentle caresses whilst my voice unintentionally hardened. “Dammit Bella, no wonder you’re passing out! Why aren’t you looking after yourself?” “I am. I just ……” she took a deep breath. “I still feel a little queasy from that flu last week. I’ll eat when I’m hungry, Edward, I promise”. I sighed as I pressed my lips against her warm forehead. “I’ll heat up some of that chicken soup in the fridge. Esme made up a gallon of it for you and there’s still plenty left. Give me ten minutes and I’ll bring some up with a slice of toast, and if you don’t eat every damned spoonful I’ll call Esme and tell her you can’t stand her cooking. Oh, and I think you should know, you’ve got Karen Newton knitting baby bootees in between serving customers”. I expected a smile, and instead was shocked when she squeezed her eyes shut tightly and pulled away from my hands. She was breathing in and out quickly, and what little colour had been in her face drained away completely. “Bella? What …….. ?” Without a word she jumped off the bed and rushed towards the bathroom, her hand clamped tightly across her mouth. Seconds later I heard the unmistakable sound of retching. I followed her, pushing the bathroom door open slowly and stepping inside. Bella was on her knees beside the toilet, her hands clutched tightly around the seat, her dark hair covering her ashen face, looking as if she was steadily losing an ongoing battle to hold onto her consciousness. I noticed that the only thing she was bringing up was bile; there was obviously nothing in her stomach. I knelt down behind her and pulled her gently up against me, supporting her weight. She offered no resistance, as weak as she was, and leaned back against me. There was a fresh sheen of perspiration on her forehead and her eyes were tightly closed. The handtowel was within easy reach and I grabbed it, rinsing it briefly under the cold tap with one hand whilst I kept a firm hold on Bella with the other. I wiped her hot, flushed face, folding the towel and then pressing it against the back of her neck. “I’m sorry”, she whispered as I pushed the damp hair away from her brow. “For what?” I spoke soothingly. “I didn’t vomit on you, did I?” “No”, I managed a smile. “You missed me entirely. Just relax, okay? I’m going to take you back to bed. You need to sleep”. I picked her up easily in my arms and carried her through to our bedroom. I tucked her in and then sat beside her, my fingers brushing gently against her cheek. Bella’s eyes were closed, her breathing even although her face was still pale and drawn. Her fingers clutched my other hand and I swallowed, my throat tight with emotion. “I’ll stay home tomorrow”, I whispered as her eyes closed. “I’m not leaving you alone”. Her eyes struggled to open. “No, Edward, I’m okay! Please, please go on your trip. Promise me, okay?” “Let’s see how you are in the morning”, I sighed, and bent down to touch my lips against hers. “I love you, baby. Sleep well now”.
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 1859 Review this Chapter
Bella’s POV: Nightmare
I tried, I really did. Dozing fitfully was probably the most I achieved that night – sleep, which I knew I needed desperately, continued to elude me.
I was aware of Edward’s arms around me, was soothed by his hands making slow and gentle circles on my abdomen and his lips resting upon my temple. I was comforted by his very presence, as had always been the case during the past two years of my life. But my mind seemed to focus only on one thing; that relentless image causing my stomach to cramp painfully. Two blue lines blazing across the small window of the home pregnancy test I had purchased only the week before from the pharmacy in Port Angeles; obviously I had not been brazen or foolish enough to visit Forks’ one and only drug store. The word would have spread like wildfire within hours. A positive result so vividly clear - dispelling any doubts I may still have desperately held onto that all of these ominous symptoms were merely a coincidence. I had stared, stunned beyond belief, as if maintaining eye contact would somehow miraculously make those lines go away. How? How could this have happened? How many times had I been told – from Edward, from Alice and Rosalie – that this was simply beyond impossible. Vampires could not have babies!
“But you’re not a vampire, Bella”, a small but persistent voice spoke in my head. “Not yet, anyway”.
But Edward was! And had been for over ninety years! How could human sperm possibly survive inside a vampire’s body for that long?
I wanted to talk to Edward, to share this with him. But – I didn’t know how to start. It was a topic we had never discussed because it had never been a possibility. Having a family was something I had turned my back on when I had chosen Edward as my partner for eternity. I had always considered it a small price to pay for what I was gaining. Therefore I had absolutely no idea how Edward felt about babies, about children, about being a father.
And, of course, there was something else to think about. If I decided to go through with this pregnancy, my plans to become a vampire and to become a true Cullen would have to be postponed; for how long I had no idea. Could I be a mother and a vampire at the same time, or would my child be forever in danger of me losing control and ………..
I shuddered uncontrollably, sick with fear, and felt Edward’s arms immediately tighten around me. “I’m here, my love. There’s nothing to worry about. Try to sleep now”. His voice was soothing in my ear and I held back the tears with an enormous effort. I had no idea what to do, or how to ask anybody for advice. For the first time in a very long while, I felt desperately alone.
* * *
I was in a darkened room, dimly lit by a small bedside lamp. It was a room that I did not recognise, although it was furnished with items that were familiar to me – the king-sized bed I shared with Edward, the built-in closet, even my very own comfortable pillow that I loved was there. Yet this bedroom was in another house, a strange house that did not offer me any feelings of safety or security. I was uneasy as I glanced around, trying desperately to familiarise myself with where I was and how I had got there.
My head turned sharply as the door to this unwelcoming room opened. I breathed a sigh of relief as Edward stepped in, the anxiety that had begun to creep up from my stomach to my throat instantly disappearing at the sight of my beautiful, perfect angel.
“I don’t know where I am”, I managed a shaky laugh. “How did all our stuff get here? What is this place?”
Edward was silent as he walked up to me, and the tentative smile that I had managed to greet him with slowly disappeared as the light from the lamp washed over his face, revealing a dangerous fury in his topaz eyes that I recognised, that I had seen before; however, this murderous anger in the past had never been directed towards me. This was a first.
“E .. Edward?” My throat closed with fear.
“What did you do?” At the speed of light, his hand shot out and gripped my wrist cruelly. His eyes blazed into mine, and his lips were pulled back in a grimace of intense anger. “Dammit, Bella – what did you do!!”
“I don’t …..” My voice broke off, my heart hammering within my chest as I stared up at him. For the first time in my life, I was terrified of him.
“Yes, you do!” His hot breath exploded over me as he brought his face down towards mine, only inches apart. “How dare you do this to me! How dare you ruin my life!!”
My eyes filled with tears, and I struggled to hold them back. I knew now what he was talking about, and I tried to take a breath in order to fill my lungs with air – it felt as if there was an immense weight on my chest, crushing me. “Edward, I’m sorry ….. I didn’t mean …….”
“You’re sorry?” His harsh laugh mocked me. “That’s really not very helpful, is it Bella! I don’t want to hear your useless apologies; I want to know what you’re going to do to fix this!” His hand tightened painfully around my wrist and I bit back a cry. “I want to know right now, Bella!”
“Edward, please .. you’re hurting me!”
“Get rid of this child, Bella!”, he spoke through gritted teeth. “I’ll ask Carlisle to give me a name and a phone number, and you are to contact this person immediately and deal with this problem! I will not have my life destroyed by your carelessness!”
“I wasn’t careless, Edward! You told me this couldn’t happen …… you told me it was impossible!” The tears ran unheeded down my cheeks, but the death-like grip on my wrist did not ease up. His face twisted into a mask of hatred as I spoke and I had to turn away, unable to watch as his fury only escalated.
“This is my fault? Is that what you’re saying? I don’t believe this!!” He roared at me as I tried in vain to pull my aching wrist from his cruel fingers. “You did this on purpose – you know you did! You knew very well this would put an end to your transformation plans! Well, you didn’t have to go to these extreme lengths, Bella! You could have been honest with me instead and simply told me you no longer wished to be a part of my world”.
“Edward, please believe me – I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” I sobbed, heartbroken at his words. “Please don’t leave me, please don’t go! I’m so sorry, Edward, I’m so sorry ……..”
“Shhhhhh. I’m here, sweetheart, right here. I’m not going anywhere”. His familiar, comforting arms were wrapped tightly around me, and his hand stroked my hair away from my hot, flushed face. He no longer sounded angry; instead he sounded like – Edward! My head was pressed against his hard chest, and I realised that I had soaked his shirt with my tears. Another strange thing – my wrist had stopped aching! Slowly and reluctantly, I pulled away from Edward and glanced around the room in confusion. I was in bed, in my own familiar bedroom, and Edward was sitting beside me, his eyes full of worry as he took in the fear that must still be showing on my face. And then it hit me. I had been dreaming!
“It was just a dream!” The relief that came with that knowledge was overpowering, and the tears began to flow again. Edward pulled me closer, one hand making slow and soothing circles on my back.
“That’s one word for it”, he spoke softly. “I think the word ‘nightmare’ however might be much more appropriate”. He sighed heavily. “Bella, you were terrified. I couldn’t wake you up – you just kept screaming ‘I’m sorry’ over and over again”. There was anguish in his eyes as they met mine. “Sweetheart, what were you dreaming about? What had you so frightened? Can you tell me about it?”
“No”. I shook my head quickly. “I ….I can’t talk about it right now. I don’t want to talk about it. Just ……..just keep holding me, okay?”
“Absolutely”. Edward pressed his lips against the top of my head as I hid my face against his chest again. “I’ll be right here, Bella. Go to sleep now, and dream of something calm and peaceful – our meadow, perhaps?” There was the sound of a smile in his voice and I closed my eyes, holding onto him tightly as I tried to push the memory of the nightmare out of my mind. It had been so vivid …… so real! And yet, the moment Edward had spoken to me in that terrifyingly furious tone I should have known ….. should have realised immediately that this could not possibly be reality. Edward could never, ever bring himself to speak to me that way, to utter such heartbreaking words. The memory of his fierce grip on my wrist and the accompanying pain caused me to shudder against his chest and he pulled away slightly, searching my face with his eyes.
“Bella, please talk to me”. His voice was pleading. “You’re shaking like a leaf – tell me what it is that’s upset you. What were you dreaming about?”
How could I possibly tell him – even begin to try to explain – that he had been hurting me beyond belief. With his hand, clenching my wrist with his hard and brutal fingers, but even worse with his words – unforgettable, cruel words that had torn at my insides. A tiny, minute part of Bella wanted to convince me, I knew, that my dream had been a premonition – a taste of what was to come when I somehow, eventually told Edward my news. I wanted to grab that small part of myself and throttle it, squeeze the life out of it until it was dead and gone. I wanted to believe with all of my heart and soul that this news was something Edward would embrace, with wonder and excitement and acknowledgement that this could only be a miracle – nothing less. I wanted to believe – more than anything else in this world – but I couldn’t.
“Nothing” I muttered as my fingers clutched his shirt tightly, desperately. “Just …. a dream. It didn’t mean anything”.
“Such an abysmal liar” he sighed. His hands were gentle as they stroked my hair – such a contrast to the frightening violence of my nightmare – and even though I thought it impossible, I eventually slipped into a deep and thankfully dreamless sleep.
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