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Shes putting you back together, Edward. We can all see it happening right in front of us. Shes like the stitches closing up your wounds.”-Esme Bella isn't the first girl to fall head-over-heels for Edward, nor is she the first to believe that Edward loves her too. Dillon Saunders once believed that she and Edward would be together forever, but he broke her heart. Now all she has to get her through is the theater and a series of self destructive relationships. Both she and Edward need recovery, and that is exactly what they find, in the places that they least expected it. stitches banner


5. Chapter 5: Love Is The Slowest Form of Suicide

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Chapter 5: Love Is The Slowest Form Of Suicide.

Damn, she's beautiful, I thought. Bella sat across the cafeteria from me, surrounded by her new friends. Her beauty was something that had escaped me when I first saw her. I was probably too wrapped up in my self-pity to notice anything about her, other than her marvelous, torturous scent. “Self-pity?” I thought. “I'm starting to sound like Jasper.” That was never a good thing.

Emmett shook out his dark, curly hair. Alice and I ducked in time to escape getting wet, but our brother and sister weren't so lucky. Rosalie and Jasper ended up covered in melting ice. Alice, Emmett, and I laughed wholeheartedly at their misfortune, and after a second, the other two joined us. If we had been at home, dodging the ice would never be an issue, but vampire speed would certainly seem out of place in the Forks High cafeteria.

“Bella, what are you staring at?” The words rang clear in my ears. I abruptly stopped laughing, and looked up, searching for her eyes. Yes, her eyes. Those I had noticed before. Her gaze immediately met mine and she looked away embarrassed. Her hair fell in front of her face. I was almost sure it was intentional, but I could not be positive without reading her thoughts. Jessica saw me looking at them and said, “Edward Cullen is staring at you.” Bella visibly stiffened when the words left her mouth.

“Does he look angry?” she asked, her voice timid and soft. With fear perhaps?

“No. Why should he be?” Jessica replied.

“I don't think he likes me very much.” Jessica laughed, and my family joined her.

If only she knew exactly how much you like her, Edward,” Emmett thought. I fought the urge to punch him.

“The Cullens don't like anyone,” Jessica told her, “well, they don't notice anyone enough to like them.”

What she said was true enough. Even if we did notice the humans we interacted with daily, their instincts would kick in and they would run. “Hes still staring at you,” she said persistently.

“Stop looking at him,” Bella hissed. I quickly turned my head in case she decided to look at me.

Lunch passed in a blur. I spent most of the time figuring out what I was going to say to her. Obviously, we could never be friendly, but she thought I hated her because of my behavior last week. I wanted to make sure she knew that my strange behavior was not her fault. Even though it was. For some reason, I couldn't stand the thought of her not liking me.

All too soon, it was time for Biology. I had not figured out what I was going to say to her yet. I needed some kind of game plan, or I would make a complete fool of myself. It was strange, finding myself at a loss for words. I had never felt that way before. I didn't want to scare the poor girl, but I wasn't sure I could avoid that.

Alice stood on her tiptoes next to me and put her hand on my shoulder. “I'd go with a simple hello if I were you,” she said so only I could hear. I stared after her as she skipped to catch up with Jasper.

Before I knew it, I was standing in the door of Mr. Banner's classroom. She was already seated. Even from the back she was beautiful. I crossed the room to her, nervousness setting in. Maybe this would not work. I had decided to go with Alice's approach, a simple hello, but it still could backfire. Alice could be wrong.

I almost laughed then; I knew better than to bet against Alice.

I set down my book bag and slid into my seat. She seemed to be trying to avoid my gaze; her hair hung in front of her face, exactly as it had at lunch. I took a deep fortifying breath and began.

“Hello,” I said. My voice was steady, but I was sure if I had been human it would have shook when I spoke.

She turned to look at me as she spoke and I was momentarily dazzled by her eyes. “Hi.” Her voice was quiet and musical.

“My name is Edward Cullen,” I said, suddenly having no trouble finding words. “I didn't have a chance to introduce myself last week. You must be Bella Swan.” She stared at me openly.

“H-how do you know my name?” She stumbled over her words. Maybe she was just as intimidated of me as I was of her. Cut it out Cullen, I thought. You're just trying to be polite.

“Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town's been waiting for you to arrive,” I laughed softly. She was cute when flustered. Cut it out, Cullen, I thought again.

“No. I meant, why did you call me Bella?”

“Do you prefer Isabella?” I tried to listen for the answer in her mind, but, of course, I heard nothing coming from her.

“No, I like Bella,” she said, “but I think Charlie- I mean my dad- must call me Isabella behind my back. Thats what everyone here seems to know me as.”

“Oh,” I responded, still trying to figure out why I could not hear her thoughts.

Mr. Banner decided to begin class at that moment, so our conversation was put on hold. We were doing a lab today on mitosis. I had done this particular lab literally dozens of times.

“Get started,” he commanded us. The tables around us hurried to get started, probably knowing they would need the entire twenty minutes to complete the assignment. Instead, Bella and I just sat staring at each other.

“Ladies first, partner?” I smiled at her and she stared at me, her mouth actually falling open a little bit. This was becoming more entertaining than I had counted on. “Or I could start, if you wish.”

“No,” she said as a blush started to creep into her cheeks. My throat started to itch lightly, but I ignored it. “I'll go ahead.” She grabbed a slide and quickly adjusted the objective. She only looked at it for a second before declaring, “Prophase.”

“Do you mind if I look?” I asked as she began to remove the slide. I moved my hand to stop her, not really thinking. Our fingers brushed, and she pulled away quickly. Her hand felt so warm against my icy one. I wondered suddenly what she thought about that. Surely she had noticed. Her face wore an undefinable expression. “I'm sorry.” I looked through the microscope briefly. “Prophase,” I said as I wrote it down on our worksheet. I thought I caught a small smirk on her face, but when I looked again, it was gone. I changed slides without saying anything. Her face kept filling my head. “Anaphase,” I muttered, keeping my head down. Damn, she was distracting.

“May I?” asked. I smirked at her, but let her look at the slide anyway. I knew I was right. “Slide three?” She held her hand out toward me. I handed her the slide, avoiding her hand as I did so. “Interphase,” she said after the most cursory glance she could manage. She pushed the microscope across the table to me, and I looked briefly at the slide. She was wrong; it was telephase. I wrote the correct answer on the page and thankfully she didn't notice. I didn't want to embarrass her anymore than I already had.

When we finished, the rest of the class was still only about halfway through. I closed my notes and then began to stare at Bella. She was studying her hands, probably trying not to look at me, I realized. I certainly did not blame her. I probably made her extremely frightened. After all, I was a vampire. Her instincts must have been telling her to run from the room screaming. If only I could hear her thoughts.

She looked up and met my eyes. For the second time that day, I was left breathless. Her eyes were deep and rich. Like chocolate. I could probably get lost in her look.

“Did you get contacts?” she asked suddenly. The question took me completely off guard.


“Oh,” she mumbled, obviously put off by my harsh reply. “I thought there was something different about your eyes.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder, fanning her scent towards me. My body automatically reacted, and I had to clench my hands under the table to keep them from moving to her throat. I was so focused on not killing the poor girl that I did not hear Mr. Banner come up behind me.

“So, Edward, didn't think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?” he asked.

"Bella," I said, giving her a small smile as I did so. "Actually, she identified three of the five." Mr. Banner looked shocked for a minute, but quickly recovered.

"Have you done this lab before?" he asked her.

“Not with onion root,” she said with a sheepish grin on her face.

"Whitefish blastula?"


Mr. Banner nodded. "Were you in an advanced placement program in Phoenix?"


"Well," he said after a moment, "I guess it's good you two are lab partners." As he walked away I heard him murmer, “Poor girl.” If only he knew how right he was about that.

“Its too bad about the snow, isn't it?” I asked. I had not even noticed that it stopped, but I clearly heard Mike Newton mourning its loss in his thoughts.

"Not really," she answered abruptly.

"You don't like the cold."

"Or the wet."

"Forks must be a difficult place for you to live," I laughed.

"You have no idea," she muttered darkly. I wished yet again that I could hear her thoughts and save myself the trouble of voicing my questions.

"Why did you come here, then?" I asked. My voice came out sounding strangely sinister. I realized then how frustrated I was with not being able to hear her.

"It's… complicated."

"I think I can keep up," I pressed.

"My mother got remarried," I said.

"That doesn't sound so complex," I disagreed, but I tried to sound sympathetic. "When did that happen?"

"Last September." Her voice was sad, like she greatly regretted it.

"And you don't like him," I said, trying to figure out the reason behind her tone.

"No, Phil is fine. Too young, maybe, but nice enough."

"Why didn't you stay with them?"

"Phil travels a lot. He plays ball for a living." she half-smiled at me, almost sending shivers up my spine.

"Have I heard of him?" I asked, suddenly extremely interested.

"Probably not. He doesn't play well. Strictly minor league. He moves around a lot."

"And your mother sent you here so that she could travel with him." It was simply an assumption. I couldn't imagine anyone deciding to move to Forks because they wanted to.

"No, she did not send me here. I sent myself." I was shocked. Again. Would this girl never cease to take me off guard? I figured the answer was probably no.

“I don't understand,” I said. She sighed in exasperation but continued her explanation.

"She stayed with me at first, but she missed him. It made her unhappy… so I decided it was time to spend some quality time with Charlie." Her voice was sad again.

“But now you're unhappy.” Again, it was an assumption on my part. However, this time she confirmed my suspicions.


“That doesn't seem fair.”

She laughed, but the light didn't reach her eyes. "Hasn't anyone ever told you? Life isn't fair."

"I believe I have heard that somewhere before," I agreed dryly.

“So thats all,” she said when she saw I was still staring at her.

"You put on a good show," I told her hesitantly, wondering if I was overstepping my bounds a little bit. "But I'd be willing to bet that you're suffering more than you let anyone see." She turned her head so she would not have to meet my eyes. “Am I wrong?” She still ignored me. “I didn't think so,” I said almost triumphantly.

"Why does it matter to you?" She still did not look at me, so I knew I had touched on a nerve.

"That's a very good question," I said softly. The truth was, I didn't know the answer to her question, and I should have. She turned from me in disgust and stared at the whiteboard.

“Am I annoying you?” I asked somewhat amused by the expression on her face.

"Not exactly. I'm more annoyed at myself. My face is so easy to read — my mother always calls me her open book." I laughed. Of course she was easy for everybody else to read.

"On the contrary, I find you very difficult to read," I told her earnestly.

"You must be a good reader then.”

“Usually.” I smiled at her.

Yes, She had definitely captivated me. And no, that was not a good thing. For either of us.


When I arrived at school the next morning, anticipation was flowing thickly through my veins. I knew I was in way over my head, but I still could not wait to see Bella. Something in her called to me. Something other than her blood. I smiled. She always seemed so confused around me, probably her natural reaction to being around a vampire. Of course, a more appropriate reaction would have been to keep her distance, but I had caught her staring at me more than once in the single day that I had been back. Maybe she felt the same draw that I felt.

I was sitting on the trunk of my Volvo when I saw her ancient red truck pull into the parking lot. A glitter of silver caught my attention; Charlie had put chains on her tires. For some reason, I felt infinitely better knowing that her chances of crashing were decreased that much. She could not walk across a flat surface without falling. I highly doubted that she was less accident prone in her driving.

She walked carefully to the back of her truck, obviously afraid of falling. I was tempted to think that her fear was strongly grounded in reality because she slipped once while traveling a space of three feet. She examined the snow chains with a strange look on her face. Almost like she was strangely... touched.

“BELLA!” Tyler Crowley screamed.

A thousand things hit my mind at once. I saw a dark blue van, Tyler's, I presumed, skidding across the lot. I heard the tires scraping across the ice. Bella's face was entirely frozen in shock. The thoughts of everyone present hit me at once, flooding my mind. Then my own thoughts broke through, and all I could think was, “Not her. Anyone but her.”

Instinctively, I ran across the parking lot, not bothering to go human speed. There was not enough time. I threw her to the ground, landing on top of her as I did so. Her scent was so strong, I was almost unable to move away from her. The grating sound of metal scraping against metal drew me from my thirst and brought me back to reality.

Bella's legs were directly in the path the van was now taking. I flung her out of the way, cringing when I heard her head hit the pavement. I braced myself for the impact of the van. It crumpled like paper against my shoulder. I pushed it away from me and turned to face Bella.

She was staring at me, her brown eyes wide with disbelief. Her scent hit me so strongly, I almost staggered. We were still in dangerously close quarters, but I felt the temptation was getting easier to resist. I still wanted her though, and in some ways it was even getting stronger. Now I didn't just want her for her blood. I wanted her for who she was. That knowledge almost killed me in that instant, because I knew I could never have her.

I was falling in love with a girl who could never know me, never even be friends with me, and it was ripping me apart. In the moment I saw that car careening towards her, I knew. My life was never going to be complete if she was no longer in the picture.

Whether it killed me or not, I was falling irrevocably in love with her.