Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

The Inevitable

Summary:
-Eclipse in Edward's Point if View- ~*~"It's more Inevitable than the sun rising in the East." -Alice Cullen Midnight Sun~*~


Notes:


2. Seed of Doubt

Rating 5/5   Word Count 7583   Review this Chapter

Chapter One

"Seed of Doubt"

"Would you knock it off Edward" The frustrated voice of my brother pulled me from my thoughts. I didn't turn to him but to the clock...6:30; I suppressed a groan and finally turned to Emmet. He was looking at me with an aggravated expression and I noticed he seemed to be shaking a bit. Before I could comment on this however he gave me a pointed look and raised his eyebrows.

"What?"

He looked down and I followed his gaze. It was only then that I realized why it seemed like he was shaking. Seeming of its own free will my right leg was jumping up and down. This of course made the whole couch tremble. I willed it to stop and looked back up.

"Sorry" I said, not able to keep the smirk off my face. I could tell by the color of his eyes Emmet was thirsty. He was always more grumpy when he was over due for a hunt. He looked at me for second, before rolling his eyes and turning back to the TV.

I glanced up at the clock once again. If I was expecting it to read 7:00 already I might have been I bit disappointed, but I knew it wouldn't. Though I had expected it to be more than just 2 minutes since the last time I looked.

Sighing I turned back to the TV, my eyes focusing on nothing in particular. My concentration and thoughts were miles away from here.

It was yet another long afternoon; it seemed like everyday right when the clock struck 2:30 everything slowed. But that's how it always seemed to go right? When you're enjoying something... when you want a moment to last forever it's over before you can even ask. Then when you want... no need something, time creeps by.

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap'

"Edward!" Emmet sounded angry now.

"What?" I asked again impatiently.

"Knock it the hell off already"

I looked at my hand; my fingers were tapping on the side table in a perfect rhythm. Once again I stilled myself. Emmet groaned "God Edward just go already, you usually don't wait this long anyway"

"Yes" Rosalie's voice floated towards us right before she did. "Do us all a favor and leave; I swear your acting like a teenager" ‘So immature' she scoffed in her head as she sat gracefully next to her husband.

I raised my eyebrows at her. Immature? I was the oldest person in this room right now and she was calling me immature. I gave a humorless snort and stood up.

"My pleasure ma'am" I said giving her a mocking bow. Then I gave my already annoyed brother a good shove in the side of the head before I dashed out the room. If I was going to be called immature I might as well give them a reason.

And besides I would be in my car and halfway down the driveway before either one could retaliate.

I sped down the familiar road, the world around me turning into a dark green blur and as I listened to the soft hum my mind drifted off once again. I found that the more I let my mind wonder in these hours of the day the more bearable the wait was. It didn't make time go faster; it just kept my mind off time in general.

Being one of the undead made me capable of thinking of many things at once; my mind was able to cope with more than the average human. But when I was thinking of something in particular, of someone in particular, those specific thoughts seem to fill my mind.

A soft and natural smile graced my lips; it's amazing how just three short years ago those ancient muscles seemed frozen. I think I've used them more in these three years than I have in my whole one hundred odd years of immortality. Now it seemed second nature to me, natural even, if there was anything about me that could be called natural.

Finally I pulled into the driveway. The familiar house seemed to be waiting for me, though I knew it was the occupant inside that was waiting for me.

I usually have never ending patience; a century of practice made this possible, but not when it came to this...no there wasn't enough patience in the world for what I had been waiting for.

Ignoring the vision of Rosalie's smirk if she could see me right now, I rushed to the door knowing I probably did look like an eager teenager in my hurry.

Not that I cared.

I made it to the door and a voice drifted towards me.

"So what?"

I stopped and closed my eyes as the beautiful sound reached my ears. Had it really only been four hours since I saw that face?

"Nothing I was just...Just wondering what Edward's plans are for next year?"

I didn't have to read Charlie's thoughts to know what he was thinking. He generally hated me. But I had earned that hate. I deserved any kind of hostility or coldness he showed. For I knew I deserved much, much worse than anything he could throw at me.

"Oh."

"Well?" Charlie pressed on, not willing to give in.

I gave three quick knocks before the conversation could continue. I heard a chair scrape across the floor followed by a loud "Coming!" and my smile grew at the eagerness in the voice.

Ignoring the mumbled "go away" I waited. Listening as the quick footsteps drew nearer... not even 3 seconds later the door was wrenched open.

The sweet aroma hit me full blast as the offending piece of wood separating me and my desire was removed. It surrounded me like a soft but strong caress. It was unlike anything else...there was no way to describe it; no word in the human language could put a name to it.

I have tried, many times before now to label it but the only thing that ever comes to mind...the only thing that ever makes since is simply...Bella. It was the only name that fit. The only way I could describe it to myself, for it was the first thing that popped into my head whenever I caught even the slightest whiff of it.

I studied her beautiful face, taking in that pale heart shaped piece of art. Yes, it had definitely been too long, and to think I would have to do it all over again tomorrow.

Her soft hand reached for mine and as soon as the warm flesh wrapped around my stone fingers I felt muscles in my body -I never knew were tense in the first place- relax.

"Hey" she breathed, the smile on her face growing even wider. It still staggered me every time I looked into her eyes. After everything I had put her through, after everything she had suffered, there was love in the soft brown as she looked up at me.

Unfortunately there was something else there too, something that would be completely lost to someone who did not know what to look for... Relief.

Relief because I had returned to her. I knew she had been anxious and scared; she hid it much better than she had the weeks following the return from Italy, but it was still there. I could see the underlying fear in her eyes whenever I had to leave.

Unworthily I had gained her forgiveness, but it was going to take a long time before I gained her trust again...before she trusted in the fact that I wasn't going anywhere.

I raised our interlocked fingers and lightly touched her soft cheek. The increase in her heart rate and the warmth rising in her face was exactly what I was aiming for. And I rejoiced in the fact that it had been me who had caused such a reaction.

"How was your afternoon?" I asked softly,

"Slow" she answered

"For me as well"

Slow was a bit of an understatement but it would do.

Unable to resist myself any longer I pulled our tangled hands towards my face and skimmed my nose across her tender wrist. I wanted to smell the blood as it ran through her veins. Breathe in the beautiful fluid that was both pure pleasure and pain.

The raw thirsting in the back my throat and the pounding ache in the depths of my stomach were still there, but they held no power over me. That particular monster had finally been beat. There were still times when it would growl and fight for release but it was all in vain. The venom filling my mouth was nothing more than water as I easily swallowed it down.

The loud stomping reached my ears and I dropped our hands, but I couldn't let go. I needed the contact, needed the warmth that my ice cold hand selfishly stole from hers.

Charlie's eyes moved from our interlocked fingers to Bella, and then reluctantly to me.

"Good evening, Charlie" I said politely. All I got was a grunt, but it was more than I deserved. I turned to Bella and pulled the envelope from my inner pocket, slipping the roll of stamps onto my finger. "I brought another set of applications"

I knew what her reaction would be so when she groaned in annoyance all I could do was grin. "There are still a few open deadlines. And a few places willing to make exceptions." I may not be able to read her thoughts but I could see the disbelief and annoyance written on her beautiful face. I couldn't help but laugh at the expression... so strong and stubborn and yet still so very innocent.

"Shall we?" Ignoring her reluctance I quickly lead the way to the kitchen.

Charlie grumbled all the way behind us. His thoughts were full of frustration. It was a mixed jumble of anger that I was, once again here and irritation that we were going to be doing something he couldn't disagree with.

What kind of 18 year old comes to his girlfriend's house to get her to fill out transcripts?'

I suppressed a snort; I was far from being an 18 year old, more like a 105 year old inside a 17 year old body. And girlfriend was no way to describe what Bella was to me. She was my life, my reason to continue, my every thought, my every pain, my every, everything.

More than likely he's just trying to get her to go to the same collage as him' Charlie's mind continued.

I can never completely block someone's thoughts from my head, the best I can do is zone them out, make it background noise to my own thoughts and the other sounds around me, but considering no one was talking and Bella's mind was as silent as ever towards me, his thoughts were the only things there.

well if he thinks she's going to pick a school for the simple fact that he is planning to go there, he has another thing coming, I don't care if I have to work three more jobs I'll have Bella sent to Alaska if it's the last thing I do'

"Speaking of collage applications Edward" Charlie began out loud "...Bella and I were just talking about next year. Have you decided where you're going to school?"

I smiled and answered honestly, "Not yet. I've received a few acceptance letters, but I'm still weighing my options"

Uh hu...right'

"Where have you been accepted?"

Once again I answered honestly "Syracuse...Harvard...Dartmouth..." Then I added just to burst his bubble a bit "...and I just got accepted to the University of Alaska Southeast today." I turned and gave a quick wink in Bella's direction and she grinned back.

I wasn't trying to be mean to Charlie; I respected the man and had no hard feelings toward him, but he needed to realize that wherever Bella went, I was going. I was here to stay unless she ordered me away and then I would never be far. The old saying ‘out of sight out of mind' would play a big role in that situation. And besides what was the point of being a mind reader if you couldn't play around a bit.

Charlie gaped and I heard Bella trying hard not to laugh "Harvard? Dartmouth?...well that's pretty...that's something."

‘Wait...Alaska?...I knew it... well at least he's been accepted to other places, I doubt Carlisle would let him choose the University of Alaska over Harvard.'

Charlie seemed to want to confirm his thoughts because he went on, "Yeah, but the University of Alaska...you wouldn't really consider that when you could go Ivy League, I mean, your father would want you..."

"Carlisle's always fine with whatever I choose to do" Well except for maybe one exception, I, like other teenagers, had my own bought of rebellion many, many years ago, and though he didn't try to stop me I knew he was disappointed.

"Hmph" he said

I knew it'

"Guess what Edward?" I turned to my angel, and my grin matched hers, it was clear she hadn't missed my little game and wanted to play along too.

"What, Bella?" I asked just as enthused. This was just one of the Hundreds of reasons why I loved my Isabella, only she can make a century old vampire feel young again.

"I just got my acceptance to the University of Alaska!"

"Congratulations!" I tried to hold in my laughter due to Charlie's thoughts and went on "What a coincidence"

A coincidence?...this is ridiculous, I swear if I didn't know any better I'd say they both planned this out'

"Fine" Charlie mumbled

I give up'

"I'm going to go watch the game, Bella. Nine-thirty."

"Er, Dad? Remember the very recent discussion about my freedom...?"

"Right. Okay, ten-thirty. You still have a curfew on school nights" ‘and any other night he shows his face here'

"Bella's no longer grounded?" I asked feigning slight surprise.

"Conditionally" Charlie ground out, he didn't like talking to me and it seemed his nerves were running thin for one night.

When it comes to you she is always grounded'

"What's it to you?"

I shrugged slightly, once again ignoring the anger in his voice and mind "It's just good to know...Alice has been itching for a shopping partner..." that was no lie, if anything itching didn't quite cover it. I turned back to Bella and smiled "...and I'm sure Bella would love to see some city lights"

Hell no!' Charlie yelled in his mind, this made me look back up at him, he no longer seemed angry he was down right furious.

"No!"

"Dad! What's the problem?"

She isn't going anywhere near Seattle' Charlie's angry thoughts went on.

Different images and news headlines seemed to run through his mind all at once. I now understood where he was coming from, I had no intentions of letting Bella anywhere near Seattle either, especially if our assumptions were true.

"I don't want you going to Seattle right now"

"Huh?"

"I told you about that story in the paper ... there's some kind of gang on a killing spree in Seattle and I want you to steer clear, okay?"

Did he mean today's paper? Carlisle and I had been keeping a close eye on this "killing spree", but I hadn't heard about anything today. Seeing the paper lying on the table I grabbed it.

Death Toll on the Rise Police fear gang activity'

I read over the article quickly. Another body had been found and it was clear the Police were finally picking up on the pattern... bodies drained of nearly all blood, broken necks and arms, bruises in the shape of fingers around the upper arms and/or chest.

Yes it all fit. Newborns were extremely sloppy and they do not care for secrecy, all that matters to them is blood. The thirst when someone is first made is nearly unbearable, and it makes things much worse if that new born isn't taught, when all they have to rely on are their instincts.

"Dad there's a better chance that I'll get struck by lightning than that the one day I'm in Seattle..."

No no no NO!'

Cutting Bella off before her father exploded I said,"No that's fine Charlie..."

I really didn't want to continue seeing the images Charlie's imagination had conjured up at the very thought of Bella going to Seattle. The real images that flashed across his mind every now and then, about those months when I was gone, were bad enough.

"I didn't mean Seattle. I was thinking Portland, actually. I wouldn't have Bella in Seattle, either. Of course not."

I could feel Charlie's gaze on me but I did not look up from the paper. His thoughts were once again frustrated. He wanted more than anything to be mad at me and have a reasonable reason to be so, but it seemed he couldn't find one and just settled on being mad at my presence like usual.

"Fine." and with that he stalked off towards the living room.

I heard the TV cut on and, as I knew she would, Bella began to speak.

"What..."

"Hold on" I stopped her quietly holding up a hand.

Charlie was still listening intently in the living room, from what I picked up from his mind he was waiting for either the sound of feet going up the stairs or for an argument to break out for me agreeing with him about not going to Seattle.

"I think you can recycle your essays for this one. Same questions." I said pushing the Dartmouth papers towards her. I said it just loud enough so Charlie would hear without making it obvious. It seemed to work, he grumbled a bit more before the television was cut up higher.

Bella began filling out the paperwork and my eyes slid to the window. I needed to call Carlisle, this was getting a bit out of hand.

What confused me most was the fact that the Volturi hadn't come into play yet. Then again the thought of them actually interfering worried me even more.

Seattle was way too close to Forks for my liking, if I knew anything about them they would more than likely stop by just to "check" in on things.

My hand curled into a fist on my lap, it seemed like everybody had their say into Bella's life, or lack of, but me.

"You're not the only vampire that I know"

"It's not the end, it's the beginning"

"Unless...Unless you do intend to give her immortality?"

"Mean it...Please"

"I would want you to do it"

Bella snorted and pulled me from my dark thoughts... she seemed to be very good at that particular action.

I looked up just in time to see her shove the paper away; I caught it before it slid off the table.

"Bella?"

"Be serious, Edward. Dartmouth?"

Ah, so she had finally seen the school's name, I smiled gently at her exasperated expression and set the paper back in front of her.

"I think you'll like New Hampshire" I said lightly "There's a full complement of night courses for me, and the forests are very conveniently located for the avid hiker." Then I added with a crooked smile "Plentiful wildlife'

I saw her take a deep breath and I could tell what was about to come out of her mouth, even though I couldn't hear her thoughts.

"I'll let you pay me back if that makes you happy" I said before she could speak "if you want I can charge you interest"

"Like I could even get in without some enormous bribe." She said, very clearly annoyed "Or was that part of the loan? The new Cullen's wing of the library? Ugh. Why are we having this discussion again?"

I took an unnecessary breath. I love my Bella but she could be so very stubborn. "Will you please just fill out the applications, please, Bella? It won't hurt you to apply."

Seeing the muscle clench in her jaw and the brown eyes tighten, I knew exactly what was coming. Before she even opened her mouth my hand flashed out and grabbed the papers.

She didn't even seem to notice.

If she was going to be like that I'd just do it myself.

"You know what? I don't think I will"

As I had expected, her hands reached for the now absent application, she stared at the table for a few seconds before it clicked and her angry gaze flashed back up to me. "What are you doing?"

"I sign your name better than you do yourself. You've already written the essays"

"You're going way over board with this you know...I really don't need to apply to anywhere else. I've been accepted in Alaska. I can almost afford the first semester of tuition. It's as good an alibi as ever. There's no need to throw away a bunch of money, no matter whose it is"

It's so amazing how Bella's words can truly hurt me, even more so than Jane's ‘special gift'. I knew she didn't do it with the soul purpose of hurting me... No, my Bella was too kind hearted for things like that...but the meaning behind her words hurt none the less.

"Bella..."

"Don't start..." this time she cut me off "...I know I need to go through the motions for Charlie's sake, but we both know I'm not going to be in any condition to go to school next fall. To be anywhere near people."

God it hurt to even think about talking about this, much less actually having the conversation. I knew it was inevitable, in all reality it seemed destined to happen the moment Alice had had her vision. But I could deny it then; refuse to even consider such a thought.

Now it was too late, Bella knew too much, either way her knowing me and loving me would kill her in the end.

"I thought the timing was still undecided" I said quietly. I knew it was only me who was pushing for more time. I felt like I was literally hanging by my fingernails on this, grasping at whatever I could. She was still sweetly ignorant to what she wanted, to what she was ultimately giving up.

"You might enjoy a semester or two of collage. There are a lot of human experiences you haven't had."

"I'll get to those afterward" she answered immediately. So very sure of herself and yet so very clueless.

"They won't be human experiences afterward. You don't get a second chance at humanity Bella."

"You've got to be reasonable about the timing Edward. It's just too dangerous to mess around with"

Was this part of the reason? I could never really figure out why she was so eager to become one of us, why there seemed to be no hesitation in her desires. Was this it? Was she frightened...actually scared to remain human.

"There's no danger yet" I said truthfully. And though I knew there was a big chance the Volturi could come walking up to our front door in the near future, everything was still clear. Alice had had no vision yet of them making any kind of plans.

She gave me a look of disbelief. I couldn't blame her really, all she knew was that an ancient army was out to make sure she was killed either by their hand or mine and that the vampire who had been chasing after her for nearly two years now was still out there.

I knew different though... she might think there was something to fear but I knew there wasn't. We would have a warning before the Volturi even moved and as for Victoria, well that piece of filth wouldn't touch a hair on Bella's beautiful head if she valued what existence she had left to her.

Bella became oddly silent and her eyes slid from my face, unfocused.

I couldn't help myself, it was almost a reflex reaction to try and zero in on her thoughts, but it was useless. I wasn't disappointed for I had expected nothing else. Then as I saw the slight flush -which seemed to remain in her creamy colored skin whenever I was around- slide away I realized that she had just realized something.

Was she finally beginning to understand what she would have to do in order to get what she wanted, who she would have to leave, who she would hurt?

If we remained set on the course we were currently on she would have to say a finale goodbye to all her human ties in little over a month.

The pain that showed through her eyes made me realize that that was exactly what she had finally understood. The hurt I saw flash across her features was more painful than anything she could ever say to me.

"Bella..." she looked up, though her eyes didn't seem to focus on my face, "There's no hurry. I won't let anyone hurt you. You can take all the time you need."

"I want to hurry" she whispered, more to herself than me.

Then she pulled out of her daze and her brown eyes focused on mine. She gave a smile, seeming to want to lighten the mood, but I saw straight through it.

"I want to be a monster too"

She was trying to make a joke, I knew this, but she could be so very frustrating sometimes. Just when I think she was looking at the big picture, looking at all the consequences of her future choice, she goes and says something stupid like ‘I want to be a monster too'

"You have no idea what you're saying" I flung the newspaper onto the table and pointed at the headline. If she wasn't going to realized herself then I would just have to make her understand. Make her see first hand that ‘becoming a monster' was no light matter.

She read the bold letters written across the front page and then looked up at me in confusion.

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Monsters are not a joke Bella" I said it harder than I intended, but she had to understand.

She looked back at the paper and then comprehension dawned on her face. She looked back up.

"A...a vampire is doing this?"

I gave a cold smile when I saw the shock on her face. After all the experience she had had with vampires she was actually shocked to learn such a thing.

"You'd be surprised, Bella, at how often my kind are the source behind the horrors in your human news"

I hadn't planed on telling her this, it would just be something else for her to worry needlessly over, but if this was what it took to make her see, than so be it.

"It's easy to recognize, when you know what to look for. The information here indicates a newborn vampire is loose in Seattle. Blood thirsty, wild, out of control. The way we all were."

Her eyes left mine and dropped back to the paper, but I went on.

"We've been monitoring the situation for a few weeks. All the signs are there...the unlikely disappearances, always in the night, the poorly disposed of corpses, the lack of other evidence....Yes someone brand new. And no one seems to be taking responsibility for the neophyte...."

Seeing the look on her face made me stop and take a deep breath...I didn't want to frighten her, I just wanted to make her see the truth of the matter

"Well it's not our problem. We wouldn't even pay attention to the situation if it wasn't so close to home. Like I said this happens all the time. The existence of monsters results in monstrous consequences"

Bella was staring intently at the paper now and I followed her gaze. She was looking at the victims names.

Yes, it always seems to be the innocent who have to pay the price for said monstrous consequences.

"It won't be the same for me" she whispered. And I agreed with her, to a point. She would be blood thirsty just like any new born but I would never allow a thing like this to happen, not ever.

"You won't let me be like that" she went on voicing my very thoughts. "We'll live in Antarctica"

I snorted, Antarctica? Of all the places to live, Bella chooses the coldest place and the place lacking square meals. I tried to lighten the mood; I could only stand that look on her face for so long.

"Penguins, lovely"

It worked somewhat, she did laugh but it was too shaky to be sincere. Then she pushed the paper onto the floor. Maybe I did get through to her finally, at least in one way.

"Alaska then as planned. Only somewhere much more remote than Juneau...somewhere with grizzles galore"

"Better" I said glad she had relaxed back to herself. "There are polar bears, too. Very fierce. And the wolves get quite large."

Bella made a noise and her warm breath hit my face. I looked up in confusion. "What's wrong?" But as I took in her expression, I realized what it was that had offended her. I felt myself stiffen as I fought off yet another human feeling only Bella could awaken inside me... jealousy.

"Oh, never mind the wolves then if it's offensive to you"

It's not like I meant a particular wolf in the first place, and besides I would never feed from a werewolf anyway. Just the smell would keep me from getting that close.

"He was my best friend, Edward...of course the idea offends me"

"Please forgive my thoughtlessness I should never of suggested it"

"Don't worry about" she mumbled staring down at her hands.

My eyes rolled to the ceiling...of all the people in this small town she could call her best friend it had to be a werewolf, and a young one at that. My eyes slid back to her. She was still staring at her hands. They were clenched on the table top un-moving.

And then I remembered the circumstances under which she had befriended Jacob Black, the reason to why they had become so close.

Me

I had forced her away in the hope of keeping her safe. I convinced myself I was giving her the chance to have a normal life, to have normal friends and meet a normal love. But me pushing her away from monsters only led her to find a more hostile version.

I once again saw pain on her face and for reasons I didn't quite understand guilt.

And once again I was at fault.

I leaned forward and lifted her face back up so I could see her eyes.

"Sorry. Really" and I meant it this time, my little fit of jealously was gone all that mattered was seeing my Bella smile again, and if it took me never feeding on a wolf again for all eternity I would gladly do so.

"I know. I know it's not the same thing. I shouldn't have acted that way. It's just that....well, I was already thinking about Jacob before you came over."

I resisted the urge to cringe when she said his name, something must have showed on my face because she hesitated before she went on to explain.

"Charlie says Jake is having a hard time. He's hurting right now, and...it's my fault."

No, I was at fault, I had made this necessary.

"You've done nothing wrong Bella"

"I need to make it right, Edward. I owe him that. And it's one of Charlie's conditions, anyway..."

Absolutely not.

I don't care if Charlie never lets her out of this house again, Bella will not be spending time with an adolescent werewolf. Not only could I not follow her but Alice could no longer see her.

Whenever a werewolf came into the picture Alice's visions immediately became blank, which in turn makes Bella's future become lost.

"You know it's out of the question for you to be around a werewolf unprotected, Bella. And it would break the treaty if any of us cross over onto their land. Do you want us to start a war?"

"Of course not!'

"Then there's really no point in discussing the matter further" I dropped my hand from her face; I was done with this conversation. If it wasn't her impending doom we were discussing it was Jacob Black.

I spotted her beaten copy of Wuthering Heights on the counter. The pages were bent and the cover was worn from so much use.

Did she really have nothing else to read? It seemed like the as soon as she finished it she was turning to the front page again.

"I'm glad Charlie has decided to let you out..." I began; glad to find a good change of subject. "You're sadly in need of a visit to the bookstore. I can't believe you're reading Wuthering Heights again. Don't you know it by heart yet?"

"Not all of us have photographic memories"

"Photographic memory or not, I don't understand why you like it. The characters are ghastly people who ruin each others lives. I don't know how Heathcliff and Cathy ended up being ranked with couples like Romeo and Juliet or Elizabeth Benet and Mr. Darcy. It isn't a love story it's a hate story."

"You have some serious issues with the classics." She snapped at me.

Mmmm touchy...here was yet another mystery of Isabella Swan I craved to solve through her thoughts. Though I have to admit doing the exploration was rather thrilling at times, when it wasn't down right frustrating.

"Perhaps it's because I'm not impressed by antiquity" I smiled.

I rather loved it when my Bella got so passionate about something, it was amazing the way her eyes would blaze and her jaw set.

"Honestly though, why do you read it over and over?" I reached across the table and placed my hand on her face, looking directly into her eyes. "What is it that appeals to you" I wanted to know what it was about this particular story that grabbed her attention so thoroughly.

She thought over it for a minute, and I, still unable to read her thoughts, tried to wait patiently.

"I'm not sure...I think it's something about the inevitability. How nothing can keep them apart...not her selfishness, or his evil, or even death, in the end..."

I guess I could see why that would fascinate her, but still. "I still think it would be a better story if either of them had one redeeming quality."

"I think that may be the point..." she said softly "Their love is their only redeeming quality."

I mulled that over in my mind for a bit. I had never really thought about it that way and on some level it did make sense, not that I would ever admit it. I grinned, and before I could stop myself I said "I hope you have better sense than that...to fall in love with someone so...malignant."

"It's a bit late for me to worry about who I fall in love with...Even without the warning I seem to managed quite well"

How could I not laugh at that? Oh yes she had managed well alright. She had fallen in love with a vampire who craved her blood and forced her to befriend a hostile werewolf, oh yes she had managed quite well.

"I'm glad you think so" I said through my laughter, still holding her warm face in my hand.

"Well I hope you're smart enough to stay away from someone so selfish. Catherine is really the source of all the trouble not Heathcliff"

"I'll be on my guard" I teased, though I had no worriers, Bella was many things, but selfish was not one of them.

She sighed and I knew my efforts- though had thoroughly distracted even myself- weren't going to work anymore. As I've said before my Bella is very stubborn.

She put her hand over mine and I relished in the feeling, though I knew what was about to come.

"I need to see Jacob"

I closed my eyes; I couldn't bear to see her face when I said the word, but I would not be swayed. I too am very stubborn, especially when it comes to her safety.

"No"

"It's truly not dangerous at all" I hated to hear the plead in her voice, it was truly torture. "I used to spend all day in La Push with the whole lot of them, and nothing ever happen"

The falter in her voice said what she hadn't; she must have seen first hand the unpredictability of a young werewolf. The rise in her heart rate only confirmed my suspicion. I nodded "Werewolves are unstable. Sometimes, the people near them get hurt. Sometimes they get killed"

She seemed to be remembering something else. I wish I knew what it was that had happened, how close she had come to being hurt or worse. Then again maybe it was good thing I couldn't read her thoughts at the moment; a war was the last thing we all needed.

"You don't know them" she whispered.

"I know them better than you think Bella; I was there the last time"

"The last time?" she asked somewhat surprised.

Sometimes I wondered if Bella forgot my age, forget my real birth date and saw only the 17 year old on the outside. Then again it seemed like whenever I was around her that was the one quality about me that showed the most.

"We started crossing paths with the wolves about seventy years ago..." I explained "We had just settled near Hoquiam. That was before Alice and Jasper were with us. We out numbered them, but that wouldn't have stopped it from turning into a fight if not for Carlisle. He managed to convince Ephraim Black that coexisting was possible, and eventually we made the treaty...We thought the line had died out with Ephraim...that the genetic quirk which allowed the transmutation had been lost..."

I paused looking up at Bella's intrigued face...leave it to her to find such trouble, if I didn't know better I would say she had done something to trigger it...though I knew that wasn't possible...Still

"Your bad luck seems to get more potent everyday. Do you realize that your insatiable pull for all things deadly was strong enough to recover a pack of mutant canines from extinction? If we could bottle your luck, we'd have a weapon of mass destruction on our hands"

"But I didn't bring them back. Don't' you know?" she said her eyes widening slightly

"Know what?"

"My bad luck had nothing to do with it. The werewolves came back because the vampires did...Jacob told me that your family being here set things in motion. I thought you would already know..."

What? They were blaming us for their genetic quirk returning. If that was the case we would never have come to Forks in the first place, why stir up trouble.

"Is that what they think?"

"Edward, look at the facts. Seventy years ago, you came here, and the werewolves showed up. You come back now, and the werewolves show up again. Do you think that's a coincidence?"

Well that is a rather large coincidence when you look at it that way. I wonder why I never saw it or Carlisle for that matter. "Carlisle will be interested in that theory."

"Theory" she scoffed.

But it did not matter what she thought, or what the dogs thought. There was no way I would let Bella go and visit a gang of wolves, conditions or no conditions it wasn't happening.

"Interesting but not exactly relevant...the situation remains the same"

She was silent for a moment and then got up and walked around the table towards me. I knew what she was asking and I opened my arms, all too willing to give her what she wanted, at least with this matter. I knew she wasn't done yet but maybe she had finally given up for the night.

I sighed as she snuggled into my chest, her warmth enveloping me like a long lost blanket.

"Please just listen for a minute"

Ok so it was wishful thinking on my part.

"This is so much more important than some whim to drop in on an old friend. Jacob is in pain...I can't not try to help him...I can't give up on him now, when he needs me. Just because he's not human all the time...Well, he was there for me when I was...not so human myself."

I closed my eyes against the pain that rose up in me. How could she forgive me so easily? I had seen what I had done to her, seen glimpses of it in other minds...that pale and gaunt face, the dark circles under those beautiful eyes, and worst of all that dead and beaten down expression that was once full of nothing but life and joy.

And I had done that.

"You don't know what it was like..." She went on. "If Jacob hadn't helped me...I'm not sure what you would have come home to. I owe him better than this, Edward."

But she was wrong on both accounts.

I knew all too well what it was like, the never ending days, no break in the pain and emptiness; I hadn't even had the sweet forgetfulness of sleep on my side. As to coming home...well if it wasn't for Jacob Bella would have been killed on more than one occasion and then I would have nothing to return to. My home was only where she was, there was and is no other place for me.

"I'll never forgive my self for leaving you...Not if I live a hundred thousand years" and it was true there was no forgiveness for what I had done.

Her warm hand touched my face and once again she pulled me from my dark thoughts. My muscles instinctively relaxed under the contact. I opened my eyes to see her brown ones looking back with nothing but love and understanding.

"You were just trying to do the right thing. And I'm sure it would have worked with anyone less mental than me. Besides, you're here now. That's the part that matters."

"If I'd never left, you wouldn't feel the need to go risk your life to comfort a dog"

I felt her flinch against me and it made me feel even guiltier for what I was about to say, but there was no simple way around it; the risk was just too high for me to take.

"I don't know how to phrase this properly...It's going to sound cruel, I suppose. But I've come too close to losing you in the past. I know what it feels like to think I have. I am not going to tolerate anything dangerous."

"You have to trust me on this. I'll be fine"

I did trust her, I trusted her with every part of my being. That wasn't the problem; the problem was I didn't trust them.

The look in her eyes... I couldn't take it, and I had to fight to not look away. I hated to refuse her anything, hated that it had to be this way, but I just couldn't risk it. I couldn't.

"Please, Bella" I whispered, pleading in my voice.

"Please what?"

"Please for me. Please make a conscious effort to keep yourself safe. I'll do everything I can, but I would appreciate a little help."

"I'll work on it" she murmured.

I needed more than that. If I ever lost her again it would destroy me. The last time it had nearly destroyed the both of us and Alice.

I pulled her closer to me; I would never let her out of my sight again if that's what it took. "Do you really have any idea how important you are to me? Any concept at all of how much I love you?"

Her soft lips touched my neck and I felt my skin tingle with warmth. "I know how much I love you"

"You compare one small tree to the entire forest."

"Impossible"

Oh no it was 100 percent possible, and this wasn't going to work, I would not be swayed. I kissed the top of her head, lessening the blow of my words. "No werewolves"

"I'm not going along with that. I have to see Jacob."

Alright fine.

"Then I'll have to stop you" and I would, there would be no problem with making sure their was a pair of eyes on her at all times and I could always have Alice kick up her radar a bit, she would not slip out of my grasp.

"We'll see about that...he's still my friend"

I knew she was bluffing, but as I held her in my arms like I had done a hundred times before, something changed.

I ran over this bizarre and frustrating conversation once more and that's when it hit me.

Was this really just a strong friendship?

I knew Jacob's feelings all too well, our last encounter told me that. His mind had been running wild with hurt and betrayal, the kind that only came when it was a loved one who had done the betraying.

But Bella?

She seemed so fierce with her argument. The way she talked about him, I could tell she cared deeply. It hurt her to see him hurting. But was the base of that pain mere friendship?

Or was it more?

The tormenting seed of doubt had been planted.