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 5/5 Word Count 1186 Review this Chapter
4. Edward’s POV – Emmett
My first call to Bella during the afternoon resulted in the familiar voicemail message, informing me that the cell phone I was trying to reach was switched off. After glancing at my watch, I realised that she was probably in the cinema with Angela. I left it for a few hours and tried again after 8pm. My impatience grew as I listened to a repeat of the earlier message. Bella had obviously forgotten to switch her cell phone back on after the movie, and was now uncontactable. On impulse I called Charlie’s number, hopeful that she was still there. I listened to the phone ring out in the small house in Forks, wondering if Charlie had taken Bella out to dinner. It was unlikely but not impossible. There was no other explanation, unless Charlie had taken himself off to bed early. I would wait until ten o’clock, I told myself, and then try again. She was sure to be home by that time.
I hunted with Carlisle and Esme, venturing further into the thick forest and trying unsuccessfully to throw off my persistent feelings of apprehension. Something was not right – I felt it deep in my bones, and if I was to follow my instincts I would have jumped into the volvo there and then and headed for home. However, I knew better than anybody that I was prone to overreaction, and I could just imagine the look on Bella’s face and the first words out of her mouth if I showed up at the house in a panicked state, only to find her safe in bed after an enjoyable night out with her father. I had to learn to let go a little – to be slightly less overprotective and to allow Bella a free reign. She could look after herself, I told myself doubtfully whilst trying hard to believe it. I could not oversee every single step she made.
Yes, but somebody has to! A voice in my head protested loudly, and I shut it out. Bella was fine! She had simply forgotten to switch her cell phone back on after the movie – a simple explanation.
Yeh, right! “Oh shutup”, I spoke aloud before I could stop myself, glancing nervously at Esme behind me and hoping that she hadn’t heard me. I had let the time get away from me during our last hunt and I saw that it was now after 11 o’clock. Too late to call Bella, unless I wanted to wake her, and I didn’t. I remembered too easily her pale, exhausted face and the dark circles underneath her eyes. No, I would let her sleep and call again first thing in the morning. She would be up at 8 o’clock in time for work, and I would be able to put my mind at rest after speaking with her. I sighed heavily to myself; I was reminded once again that I did not cope well being away from Bella for any length of time.
* * *
My watch told me that it was eight thirty in the morning, and yet Bella’s cell phone was still switched off. I leant back against the driver’s door of the volvo and searched through the contacts on my own phone for Angela’s number. I was too worried to be angry any longer. I just wanted to hear her voice – dammit I needed to hear it! Where the hell was she?
“Angela, its Edward Cullen here, I hope I didn’t wake you”.
“No, I’ve been up for hours”, she assured me brightly. “How are you, Edward? Is Bella feeling better?”
“I’m …… actually away from home at the moment”, I explained slowly. “I’m trying to get in touch with her but her cell phone’s switched off. Was she all right yesterday, at the movies? I was just a bit worried because she wasn’t feeling too well when I left”.
There was a moment’s silence. “Actually, Edward, we didn’t go. Bella called on Friday and cancelled. She said she was still trying to get over the flu bug”.
Bella had cancelled her plans on Friday? The day before I’d left. Suddenly nothing was making any sense. Why had she lied to me the morning before? And lied very convincingly, too, I had to admit. I couldn’t believe that I’d actually fallen for it.
“I think she’s on the mend now”, I replied shortly. “Thanks, Angela. I’ll see you soon”.
“See you later, Edward”.
I pressed the end button on my phone, and then hit “4” on speed dial. After a dozen rings, just when I was about to give up, the phone was answered.
“Hey bro! How’s it going up there? Did you down a grizzly for me?”
“Emmett, I need to speak to Rose”, I wasted no time. “Don’t tell me she’s out”.
“Er ….. she’s out”. He chuckled briefly as I clutched the phone tightly, my frustration about to break through. “She’s in Seattle, checking out a couple of car auctions. What’s up, my brother? You sound pissed about something”.
“I need a favor”. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. “Can you help me out with something, Emmett?”
“Yeh, sure, whatever you need, Edward. What’s up?”
“Can you drive out to the house and check on Bella for me? I can’t get in touch with her – she’s not answering her cell phone – and I’m worried about her”. I hesitated. “She was sick yesterday morning when I left ……… I’m heading home now, but it’s going to be at least two hours ….”
“No sweat, I’ll take a run over there now” Emmett answered and I breathed a sigh of relief. “You want me to give you a call when I get there?”
“Yes, or just get Bella to ring me”. I paused. “Thanks, Emmett, I owe you one”.
“And don’t forget it”, he laughed. “Give me ten minutes, bro, and either Bella or I will ring you back”. He ended the call and I snapped my phone shut, glancing around our camping site and beginning to throw things randomly into the trunk of my car. I was anxious to be on my way – back to Forks, to Bella.
Ten minutes passed, fifteen and then twenty. Carlisle and Esme returned from the forest, taking in my thunderous expression and obviously deciding against asking me what was wrong. I held the phone in my hand, willing it to ring, and as the minutes ticked by my anxiety grew. Twenty five minutes ….. thirty ……. the phone buzzed. I glanced quickly at the caller ID before answering. I noted that it was Emmett returning my call, not Bella.
“Emmett? What’s going on?” I spoke urgently, and Emmett’s words had me jumping into the driver’s seat and revving the engine, my hands gripping the steering wheel in a mind-numbing panic.
“Edward, you’d better come home”. His voice was low, but the concern in his tone was unmistakeable. “She’s …… not good. I’ll stay with her till you get here”.
“I’m on my way”.
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