-Eclipse in Edward's Point if View- ~*~"It's more Inevitable than the sun rising in the East." -Alice Cullen Midnight Sun~*~
13. Getting Heathcliff
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For the first time today my mind and body were at peace. I lay with my sleeping angel in my arms, her soft breathing and steady heartbeat the perfect antidote for my day of worry.
Bella was curled up into my chest, wrapped safely in her thick blanket. One of my arms was draped lightly around her waist, my fingers running unconsciously through her long silken strands. The other lay up and under her pillow holding up Wuthering Heights behind her back. And as I had my chin resting on top of her head I could easily see and read the words through the darkness..
"Have you been listening at the door Edgar?" Asked the mistress, in a tone particularly calculated to provoke her husband, implying both carelessness and contempt of his irritation.
Heathcliff, who had raised his eyes to the former speech, gave a sneering laugh at the latter; on purpose it seemed, to draw Mr. Linton's attention to him. He succeeded, but Edgar did not mean to entertain him with any high flights of passion.
"I have been so far forbearing with you sir" he said quietly "not that I was ignorant of your miserable, degraded character, but I felt you were only partly responsible for that, and Catherine wishing to keep up your acquaintance, I acquiesced- foolishly...
"Your presence is as mortal poison that would contaminate the most virtuous: for that cause, and to prevent worse consequences, I shall deny you here after admission into this house, and give notice now that I require your instant departure. Three minutes delay will render in involuntary and ignominious."
Heathcliff measured the height and breadth of the speaker with an eye full of derision.
"Cathy, this lamb of yours threatens like a bull" he said "It is in danger of splitting it's skull against my knuckles. By god! Mr. Linton, I'm mortally sorry that you are not worth knocking down"
I found my lips forming a smirk as I read the words. In an odd way it reminded me of the vile Mike Newton. Sure his thoughts against me were strong, and pretty violent at times, he was still not worth any kind of retaliation.
Though I have thought if it more than once, the truth of the matter was he was nothing more than a lamb threatening like a bull...a very irritating and obnoxious lamb at that.
"It's just a hotdog..."
The mumbled, nearly unintelligible words drew me from the story.
Due to the fact Bella's face was buried in my chest I had to work extremely hard to stifle my chuckle before it bubbled into something stronger. I didn't want the vibrations to wake her... I was enjoying myself too much for her to wake.
The book now hung loosely in my hand as I drew my face back slightly to peer down at what little of Bella's face I could see, all my concentration was now there...waiting.
It was not the first time I'd been interrupted tonight though. I'm not sure if it was because she was so worn out earlier or because she had eaten too late, but Bella was extremely talkative tonight- even for her- and for the life of me I couldn't make since of anything she was saying.
Not even an hour ago she had mumbled "...cows are too big..." It took everything I had then to keep the overpowering laughter at bay during that moment.
If it wasn't so funny, with her added facial expression, it would have been beyond maddening not being able to make since of it. Because the yearning to know her thoughts was so much stronger when she was dreaming... her mind was completely open and free, and with her mumbled words I got a taste of what was blocked from me. It always left me excited and craving more.
So like always I waited eagerly...perhaps slightly impatient for more, but all I received was a soft sigh and a mumbled "warm" as she snuggled closer to me.
That I could not help but snort at.
The thick blanket Bella was rolled in may be keeping her warm at the moment, but it didn't change my temperature. Where the word warm came from was beyond me.
But of course my mind had to automatically analyze the trivial word. It was nearly a reflex reaction to do so with whatever Bella said, because she was the only person I didn't just know why something was said and what was meant by it.
With an uncomfortable feeling in my chest -that was becoming all too familiar and stronger with each day- I wondered if she pinned the word "Warm" on something....no someone else.
I breathed out a sigh and immediately cut that train of thought off before it grew any larger. This was becoming ridiculous. I had begun to wonder too much lately.
I wondered constantly if he was on her mind more than I thought. There were times when Bella would be silent, her warm eyes soft and thoughtful, and my first thought would be of him and then if her thoughts were the same. It bothered me only because I was selfish enough to crave her mind to always be aimed at me when she looked that way.
But I had personally ruined any chances of that being possible. That fact was becoming clearer with each passing day.
Due to my idiotic idea of what I thought was right for her I had made the biggest mistake of my very long life and the consequence of that was...I now had to share.
I could no longer dominate Bella's affections like I had during those long beautiful months before her eighteenth birthday. Jasper's words from earlier tonight had proven that fact.
Bella loved Jacob too. Regardless of what kind of love it was or how deep it ran there was no one to blame for that outcome but myself.
Shaking my head slightly I pulled the book back up and settled my head back into the same position it had been in, with Bella's hair nestled under my chin. If I threw myself back into Nelly's mind and story it would give me a small relief from my own.
"I say Mr. Heathcliff...you must not: you never shall, through my means. Another encounter between you and the master would kill her all together"
"With your aid, that may be avoided" he continued "and should there be danger of such an event- should he be the cause of adding a single trouble more to her existence- why, I think, I shall be justified in going to extremes! I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss: the fear that she would retrains me...
"And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place and I his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have laid a hand against him. You may look incredulous if you please! I never would have banished her from his society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out and drank his blood! But till then- if you don't believe me, you don't know me- till then- I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair on his head!"
Who would have thought I'd ever understand something that came from Heathcliff's mouth...sympathize with him even. Sure he was a monster just as I, but I'd like to think we were of a different kind.
It revolted me that I kept finding these similarities with a character I could never understand...didn't even want to try to understand.
This whole damn story was completely ludicrous to me once upon a time. And yet here I was reading it again decades later finding myself in a situation that, however slightly, mirrored his.
I did hate Jacob...perhaps unfairly on his part, but I did nonetheless. It went beyond the fact he was born to be my mortal enemy, that was a small conflict compared to the sleeping girl in my arms... because I knew his thoughts...he craved her, loved her...wanted her for his own.
Just that thought right now made my breath hitch and my chest tighten automatically around a growl. And yet through that unimaginable loathing, born of fear and jealously, I knew that if it truly came down to a fight...just me and him...I would not be able to strike.
He had pushed me more than once and I had felt the urge to lunge more than once, but one look at my angel would have stopped me...just like that one look Catherine threw at Heathcliff stopped him the day he had his enemy there in front of him.
Though the dog had more strength and nerve in one finger than the Character Edgar Linton had in his whole body I knew I would still be the one to walk away if there ever were a fight. But I also knew I would rather let him win than see the pain on Bella's face if I ever stepped up to his taunts and threats.
For my life was a small comparison to Bella's happiness... in all reality I had no life. She was my life, she was my absent heart beat... she made It possible for me to live.
It was just all ironic really...or maybe not.
It couldn't be too unbelievable that a monster found similarities with another...the fact that one was completely fictional was beside the point.
I was definitely loosing what little sanity I had.
There may have been a time when I could have considered myself sane... but not now.
Bella had altered me so completely...the only way I could begin to describe it was it felt like I had been turned inside-out, shredded apart with foreign, unfamiliar emotions, and then slowly put back together.
Even now I think I was still being pulled together... becoming more human with each snapped in piece.
In the end though, even when the last piece was finally in place, I knew it would never be enough...not for her.
"....so young ..."
I once again pulled my head back, my eyes automatically sliding down to Bella. I could just make out the side of her face, the rest hidden in the folds of my shirt. My mouth curved into a soft smile when I realized I would be getting more from her mind tonight than I thought.
"...third wife..." she mumbled. "...helpful...wish I..."
To my disappointment I couldn't make out much more. Her mumbled words flowed together so quietly they became indecipherable, even with my sharp hearing.
I leaned in closer, dropping my head and waited.
Disappointed I began read again.
"But till then- if you don't believe me you don't know me- till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair on his head"
"And yet" I interrupted (Nelly) "you have no scruples in completely ruining all hopes of her perfect restoration, by thrusting yourself into her remembrance now, when she has nearly forgotten you, and involving her into new tumult of discord and distress."
"You suppose she has nearly forgotten me?" he said "Oh, Nelly! You know she has not. You know as well as I do, that for every thought she spends on Linton, she spends a thousand on me!"
Perfect, now I found myself envying Heathcliff.
How I wish I had his confidence now... knew for certain Bella thought of me more than she did the mutt. It was childish really, like two children fighting for their parents' attention. But Heathcliff was so confident in his words... and they were true. That certainty was written on every page of this book.
As I began to read again I felt Bella tremble in my arms and mumble ‘third wife' again. What did she mean by that? She had now said it more than once and it was odd hearing her mumble something like wife in her sleep. She usually shied away from -and sometimes flinched- at words like....wife, husband...fiancée.
I felt Bella shiver again and though I didn't want to I gently slid my arms from around her, knowing she was probably getting cold despite the thick blanket. Immediately, to my slight surprise, she turned putting her back to me before curling back into her usual position.
I slid back towards the edge of the bed putting a gap between her warm body and my skin. It wouldn't be long till she turned and pressed herself back into me.
In the mean time I went back to Heathcliff's ranting...
"At a most miserable period of my life, I had a notion of the kind: it haunted me on my return to the neighborhood last summer; but only her own assurances could make me admit to the horrible ideas again. And then, Linton would be nothing, nor Hindley, nor all the dreams that ever I dreamt. Two words would comprehend my future- death and hell: existence, after losing her, would be hell...
"Yet I was a fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Linton's attachment more than mine. If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day. And Catherine has a heart as deep as I have: the sea could be as readily contained in that horse-trough, as her whole affection be monopolized by him. Tush! He is scarcely a degree dearer to her than her dog..."
That did it; even clamping my hand over my mouth did not stop my suppressed laughter from filling the room, nor stop the mattress from shaking.
I was preparing to slide from the bed before my laughter over powered me, but stopped when I felt Bella jerk next to me. She let out a low gasp and turned back towards me, almost frantically, to bury her face into my shirt again.
My humor was instantly gone "Did I wake you?" I asked softly as I fumbled to close the book and drop it onto the floor behind me. Her body was tense and I could hear her heart beating a little too fast. Perhaps I had frightened her.
"No" she said her voice slightly shaky. I wrapped my arms securely around her again, knowing it would calm her. She sighed and I felt her body relax back into mine. "I had a bad dream" she mumbled as her heart steadied back out.
Ah, that was nothing new. Bella had had her fair share of nightmares...result of the many horrors she had been through by being in my life.
After I had returned she had them nearly every night for weeks, her screams always including my name. Over time though they had begun to lessen and I had hoped they were gone now... hoped she knew I was never leaving her again. That action was now impossible for my body to follow and my mind to comprehend.
"Do you want to talk about?" I asked pulling her tighter to my chest.
Her head shook slightly "Too tired." she muttered "Maybe in the morning, if I remember"
I chuckled softly...if she couldn't remember then it couldn't have been too bad. That was a nice thought.
"In the morning" I agreed
"What were you reading?" she asked groggily. I could tell she was already halfway to sleep again.
"Wuthering Heights" I answered with smile, knowing what she would think of that.
"I thought you didn't like that book"
"You left it out" I said softly burying my face in her hair. "Besides...the more time I spend with you the more human emotions seem comprehensible to me. I'm discovering that I can sympathize with Heathcliff in ways I didn't think possible before"
The words came softer than a whisper and straight from my thoughts "I find myself envying him in ways I wish I didn't"
Bella's heart was its calming rhythm again, her breathing even and as soft as a feather.
‘...the love I feel come off her when she's with you doesn't even come close to the level love I felt today.'
‘It's the same emotion yes, but they are on completely different scales.'
As Jasper's words echoed through my head from earlier tonight Heathcliff's own words followed...
‘If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day'
I smiled and gently kissed the beautiful head nestled into my chest.
"Sleep my Bella"
- Seed of Doubt
- Unwilling to see
- The Right to Know
- Strike One
- Worth It
- Getting Heathcliff
- Curious Uncertainties
- Strike Two
- Not Today
- Getting Heathcliff Part 2
- Self Preservation
- A Change of Plans
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- 06 Jul 08
- 12 Mar 10
- In Progress