Temptation and Trust
A one-shot- much of chapter 15 of Twilight in Edward's POV. The monster has been defeated- he just doesn't know it yet. The man surfaces, unsure, and tries to find himself in this strange new existence, an existence where he has something to live for.
Well, this was GOING to be my submission to the challenge, but it started too early, so i wrote to a certian point and then wrote something else for the challenge. I disclaim.
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 1670 Review this Chapter
I slid quietly onto the chair by her bed. She was deeply asleep still, though the first light of morning began to shine. It was a surprise- but I was glad. I wouldn’t want her to wake without me there. I couldn’t bear missing a moment of her consciousness, a single second in which I could talk to her, touch her, be with her.
She stirred gently, and I caught my breath. I heard her mutter something, watched her roll over, and waited.
“Oh!” Suddenly, she jerked upright, looking around like she suspected an attack. Her eyes darted wildly around the room.
“Your hair looks like a haystack… but I like it,” I teased gently. I did- she looked very alive with her warm, chocolate-colored hair tangled in all directions around her head.
“Edward! You stayed!”
Her exclamation was unexpected. Did I really make her so happy? It seemed unlikely- she was an angel. Could her redemption of a monster like myself bring her so much joy?
It certainly seemed to. She stood and flung herself into my arms. For an instant, she froze there, totally immobile. Frightened, a sensible reaction to willingly placing herself in the embrace of such a creature as myself, and one who craved her sweet blood no less!
So I comforted her as best I could. Softly, I laughed. “Of course.” I rubbed her back- gently, I must not hurt her, must not press too hard on her delicate skin, must not tear and expose the blood, let it run down, run free, must not hurt her. Must never hurt her.
She rested her head on my shoulder, and my heightened senses can feel the delicate warmth through my shirt. “I was sure it was a dream,” she whispered.
I am real, my love. I am here. For you. Forever. “You’re not that creative.”
“Charlie!” she cried, jumping to her feet.
“He left an hour ago—after reattaching your battery cables, I might add. I have to admit I was disappointed. Is that really all it would take to stop you, if you were determined to go?”
She stood, looking around again, from me to the bathroom, like she was trying to decide whether or not to return to me. “You’re not usually this confused in the morning,” I say, spreading my arms wide.
“I need another human minute.”
“I’ll wait.” After all, what is one human minute in the face of the eighty years I’ve attended her already?
She smiled and ran to the bathroom. I waited patiently, still sitting in her chair. My Bella. My sweet Bella.
How odd, how full of triumph I felt. I shouldn’t be so happy. I should be wracked with guilt and torment- and I was certain those emotions, brewing beneath the surface, would eventually torture me. But it was so new, so different. I felt so real, so alive, knowing I had found something irreplaceable.
I had found true love.
She skipped back into the room. I heard her heartbeat pound and stumble as I reached for her and pulled her into my arms. “Welcome back,” I murmured. It was ridiculous that I had missed her in the two minutes she’d been gone. But I had.
I held her against me, feeling the warmth of her human body, listening to her soft heartbeats, ignoring the sweet temptation of her blood. After several moments of this bliss, Bella noticed something.
It was an accusation. I had to answer it with some defense. “I could hardly leave in the clothes I came in on- what would the neighbors think?”
She pouted, beautifully. Her lip protruded a slight amount, and I could barely resist the urge to lean in and cover it with my own.
“You were very deeply asleep; I didn’t miss anything. The talking came earlier,” I offered.
She groaned. “What did you hear?”
I can feel my dead heart swell in my chest, my eyes melt, my whole body quiver. “You said you loved me.”
She lowered her head, to my irritation. There was nothing to be ashamed of. “You knew that already,” she said.
“It was nice to hear, just the same,” I murmur, trying to alleviate her embarrassment.
She turned her face to touch my shoulder, hiding in it, and whispers, like she’s telling a great secret, “I love you.”
“You are my life now,” is the only response I can make. The thing I don’t tell her is that I didn’t have a life at all before she gave it to me, only an endless dreary existence.
I watched the mounting sun send more light into her room as we stood, embracing in silence. All the words we needed had been said.
“Breakfast time,” I said after a while, anxious to begin the day.
Her hands flew to her throat, eyes widening. In an instant, I realized what she was thinking. Shock darted across my face.
She laughed. “Kidding! And you said I couldn’t act.”
“That wasn’t funny.” I would never hurt you, but the temptation… do you not see it’s nothing to joke about?
“It was very funny, and you know it.” Her eyes met mine, and I lost myself in the rich brown depths.
“Shall I rephrase? Breakfast time for the human.”
Whimsically, I lifted her easily and threw her over my shoulder, carrying her down the stairs. It was effortless, of course.
“Hey, I can walk,” she protested, but I ignored her. When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I turned her around and sat her on a chair, gratified to see that her short stint upside-down had left her with a blush staining her cheeks.
“What’s for breakfast?” she asked with a smile.
It was the first time in close to fifty years I recall being truly staggered- and I have a perfect memory. “Er, I’m not sure. What would you like?” I asked as soon as I recovered from my shock.
“That’s all right. I fend for myself pretty well. Watch me hunt.”
I did, fascinated by her movements as she grabbed commonplace items- a blue and white bowl, a spoon, a box of cereal- and put them together. She sat the meal on the table and then stopped for an instant, turning to meet my gaze. “Can I get you anything?”
I rolled my eyes. “Just eat, Bella.”
She sat softly, meeting my stare. I studied her motions, each one engraving itself for eternity in my mind. I would always know the way she lifted the spoon, the twitch of her neck as she swallowed, the spike in her blood’s scent as the food began to digest.
“What’s on the agenda for today?” she asked. I wondered idly if my examination had bothered her.
I considered also how to say this. I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t certain how to phrase my request. “Hmm… What would you say to meeting my family?”
I could see her throat bob as she gulped.
“Are you afraid now?” I stared into her eyes to force her to tell the truth.
“Don’t worry. I’ll protect you.” I would never let them hurt her. She would always be safe with me there.
“I’m not afraid of them. I’m afraid they won’t… like me. Won’t they be, well, surprised that you would bring someone… like me… home to meet them? Do they know that I know about them?”
I smiled gently at her sweet stuttering explanation. “Oh, they already know everything. They’d taken bets yesterday, you know-“ I explained cruelly, not bothering to soften the harshness of the happenings. She needed to be reminded of the danger, because as much as I needed her, I needed her safe far more- “On whether I’d bring you back, though why anyone would bet against Alice I can’t imagine. At any rate, we don’t have secrets in the family. It’s not really feasible, what with my mind reading and Alice seeing the future and all that.”
Unexpectedly, she added, “And Jasper making you feel all warm and fuzzy about spilling your guts, don’t forget that.”
I was surprised to hear she’d remembered so clearly. I wouldn’t expect such instant internalization of information received just once from her human mind. “You paid attention.”
“I’ve been known to do that every now and then. So did Alice see me coming?”
It was a very unwelcome question. No. She saw me kill you. She saw me steal your heartbeat and your soul for my own selfish desires. She saw me take your future and condemn you to an eternity of unchanging nothingness. Any of these are potential answers. I merely said, “Something like that.” And then I changed the subject. “Is that any good? Honestly, it doesn’t look very appetizing.”
“Well, it’s no irritable grizzly,” she murmured. I grimaced. I don’t find my diet particularly delectable either. And I don’t like the suggestion that she might.
I stood, looking out the windows as she ate. I could see the forest move gently beyond the backyard. Each movement of the wind twined trees and vines and moss and scurrying little animal lives.
And then I turned back to Bella and smiled. I could see the depth and motion of the forest reflected in her brown and eternal gaze.
I could see that I loved her, just looking at her, as she ate her meal. And though the exchange of this morning might not have seemed very significant, I knew it was- because in all this time, I hadn’t thought once about her smell, only how much I loved her.