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Angel

Summary:
Edward Cullen is a human. Bella Swan is a vampire. This is their story. It's only my second fan fiction, people. Please feel free to criticize it.


Notes:
I'm not really sure where I'm going with this... I think it'll be long, though.


23. Raindrops

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1778   Review this Chapter

Chapter 22 – Raindrops

BPOV

I smiled gently at Carlisle, who still sat on the couch in a state of hazy shock. I’d wondered many times what it was like to be on the receiving end of my power, but I’d never thought much about the negative effect of remembering. Surely, that was worse than forgetting.

“Are you alright?”

He shrugged with weak nonchalance. “It’s a bit much to digest.”

“I’m sure.” I wished I’d handled him better in the beginning. It would have made everything so much easier. If vampires could get headaches, I would have had a migraine at that point.

“Bella, please.” He waved a hand. “Don’t wait around. Charlie needs you.”

“But someone has to be here with you, too. Give me some time. I can get one of my friends to stay with you.”

“You’re leaving?” Edward asked. He frowned at me.

“Of course. I have to get Charlie. I don’t have a choice.” I tapped my foot anxiously. I had to wait until someone could get here. I’d made a mistake in leaving Charlie alone. I didn’t need to chase after a million other humans. “Please excuse me, Carlisle, Edward.” I made to leave, but Edward got up quietly and followed after me. I pretended not to notice.

“Bella?”

I stood on his front porch, staring out into the rain. I needed to be alone; I needed to think. God dammit, I needed answers. I sat down on the steps of his porch, and buried my head in my knees.

“Bella?” Edward came up behind me and timidly sat beside me. “I need to talk to you. I need some answers.”

I did too. But I didn’t have any.

“Do you mind if I just, um… babble?”

If I could tune him out. “Sure.” I didn’t look up.

“Okay.” He took a deep breath. “I’m really confused. I mean… duh. It’s not every day that the girl you love tells you that she’s a vampire. But I don’t really understand. What really happened with you and Carlisle? There’s something you were keeping out. Something I don’t understand. Who is this Robert guy? What exactly does he want with you? I don’t – Bella?” He trailed off uncertainly.

I hadn’t heard a word he said since “the girl you love tells you that she’s a vampire.” My brain, usually quick and analytical, processed that phrase slowly. The girl that Edward… loves?

Oh God, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I shook my head, and a few drops of water slid down my bangs and into my eyes. I wiped the rain away furiously. No. Not love. Never love.

“Did I say something?”

I stared at him in horror. Rain dripped down his nose – it blew at us under the covered porch in frigid, April gusts. He had a very attractive nose. It was delicate, but not quite feminine, a dagger, a blade. It was very straight. His hair was a tangled wet mess of copper-colored strands above his soft, expressive green eyes. He was frowning, confused. I’d never really seen how perfect his lips were.

“No,” I whispered. I squeezed my eyes shut and felt my heart contract. NO! This was Edward Cullen. I. Hated. Edward. Cullen. I took a deep breath and winced. The cool, crisp scent of rain made his blood seem warmer, sweeter. Sunshine and honey wafting through sharp, clean rain.

“Bella, please tell me what’s wrong.” He sounded concerned. He touched my face.

I hadn’t loved anyone – truly loved anyone – in over forty years. Of course, I loved Charlie, but that was different. I had to love Charlie. I toyed with loving Carlisle, but it never would have worked. We were too different. And he had Esme. I thought I loved Robert for a very short time. And then I realized that he was a cold-hearted bastard. There was no way that I could have any semblance of feelings for this insignificant, too-tempting human boy.

“Did you say… love?” I managed to choke out.

He became very still. I couldn’t bear to look at him, but I felt him shift into a defensive, straight-backed posture. “I’m sorry.”

I looked up at him. His face was stricken, too pale. He swallowed nervously and gnawed his lip in a terribly endearing way.

“Why?”

“Did I say something I shouldn’t have? I know that you probably love Charlie, or Carlisle, or something. I didn’t mean it like that…”

I snorted. It was very clear that he did mean it like that. “Not at all.”

“So…” He frowned. “So you don’t mind?”

I sighed. “You smell so good.”

“What?”

I took another deep breath and ignored the venom. “The rain. It makes you smell even better.” I couldn’t look at him; instead, I looked at my hands, folded in my lap.

Edward shivered. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.” If I could sit here for an eternity, soaking up his sweetness, his warmth, I think I could be happy.

“Bella,” he whispered. Very carefully, he leaned into me and rested his head on my shoulder.

I froze. I heard his heart, beating too fast, felt his blood, rushing under the thin layer of skin. I felt his warmth, spilling into me. Slowly, like it wasn’t actually part of me, my arm laced itself around his shoulders and pulled him closer.

What was I doing? No! NO! NO! I touched his shoulder tentatively, and he made a little hum in the back of his throat. I found myself smiling lightly, and I brushed the hair out of his eyes.

Edward looked up at me, confused.

“Edward, I –” I what? “Do you really love me?”

He flushed. “Yes. I have for… a while. Since you were gone. I didn’t like you being away. It made me nervous.”

What, after he’d watched me kill a bunch of people? “That… is wrong.”

“Why is that wrong?”

Dear, sweet, innocent Edward. “I don’t think you understand. How could you?”

“I want to understand.” He touched my face uncertainly, and I closed my eyes, just feeling the warmth.

“It’s wrong for you to want me. You see what you’re supposed to see when you look at me. You see the mask; you see the public image. I’m a predator, Edward. You’re supposed to want me. But really I’m a monster.”

“I don’t care. You’re not a monster. What you did in the past is over. If you were still like that I wouldn’t be alive right now. Charlie would be dead. Robert would still have Carlisle. You are good, Bella.”

“Edward, I killed people.”

“To help me.”

I stared at him, gnawing my lip. He looked back at me with perfect sincerity, which hurt. No one was supposed to think of me this way. It was fundamentally wrong. But it made my heart feel warmer, lighter. It felt right to have my arm around him like this – protectively, possessively.

“Edward –”

“No, Bella. I don’t want to hear excuses. Unless you really hate me or something, I don’t care what you are.”

“I’m a vampire!”

“I know.” He set his face uncompromisingly, his jaw in a tight, fierce line. I smiled a little at how ferocious he looked. “And I’m telling you, I don’t care. You’re more than just a vampire. You’re you.”

My eyes stung, and a lone drop of rain ran down my cheek like a tear. He wiped it away softly. “Don’t cry.”

“I’m not crying.”

He wrapped his other arm around me, and I drew him close enough that I could press my face into his glorious hair. It was soft and damp, and it smelled like him.

“I’m not crying, Edward, I’m just afraid.”

“Afraid of what? Of letting me see how much of a ‘monster’ you are? Bella, it’s not a problem.”

I shook my head. “No, I’m afraid of hurting you. I can’t bear the thought of losing you.”

“Bella, I –”

I didn’t want to hear a complaint, or an argument. I just wanted to be in the moment. Slowly, cautiously, I leaned forward, testing my control at every moment. He looked at me, confused, and I pressed my lips softly to his forehead.

His eyes fluttered closed, and he took an unsteady breath, weaving one of his hands through my hair, pulling me closer. I kissed his forehead, his eyelids, traced the soft lines of his cheek. I followed the line of his jaw, and felt him tense when I came to his neck. I kissed him, right over the place where I could feel his blood rushing under my lips. He shuddered, and I inhaled deeply, losing myself.

“Bella?” he asked hoarsely.

I looked up at him, and saw that his eyes were soft, warm, wondering.

“Yes, Edward?”

“Do you not hate me anymore?”

I bit back a smile. “I never really hated you. I just hated you for being so tempting. I hated you for making me want to lose control.”

“And now?”

“Now…” What now? “Now I care about you far too much to hate you.” I cared about him? I supposed I did. I was surprised by the words that came out of my own mouth, but they were true.

His eyes were wide. “Do you?”

“Yes.” I buried my face into his hair again, somehow relieved by how solidly there he was. “I do.”

“But what about Carlisle? Charlie?”

I giggled. He actually thought that I still loved Carlisle? “That was a long time ago, Edward. Carlisle is with Esme now, and he’s very happy.”

“But –”

“No buts. He’s too old for me, anyway.”

“I thought you were old enough to be my grandma?”

I giggled again, and he laughed with me. “I guess I am. If that bothers you, please just tell me. I wouldn’t want to force you to enjoy the company of an almost senior citizen.”

“You’re not forcing me to do anything.”

I tried to smile at that, but I couldn’t help feeling terribly selfish. It was one thing for me to want him, and to want him to love me. But I couldn’t let him do that. I couldn’t let him love someone who was so undeniably bad for him. “We’ll see about that.”

“I don’t think there’s anything to dispute.” His beautiful eyes traced my face as if memorizing it. I smiled gently, and he grinned in return. But then he sobered. “Can I… um…”

“Yes?”

“Can I kiss you?”

The wind had slowed, and the rain fell quietly around us. It pattered a steady rhythm on the leaves of the trees, and stained the porch steps we sat upon black. It made his hair a shining mess, and dripped down our faces like fresh, clean tears. It fell around us as I leaned forward, barely breathing, and stared into his lovely face. It pattered softly as I lifted his chin and he looked up at me without the fear that I expected. And the rain and the grey skies were our only witness when I softly, gently pressed my lips to his and kissed Edward Cullen.