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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:


27. Bond

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4255   Review this Chapter

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Chapter 26

Bond

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When it hurts to look back and you're scared to look ahead you can look beside you and your best friend will be there'

-unknown

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I pulled in the driveway and cut the engine. I wasn’t even out of the car when I heard Alice. ‘It’s all cleared’ she thought, giving me a quick replay of how she’d tricked Charlie. She seemed very pleased with herself.

Shaking my head I climbed out of the car and closed the door. That poor man didn’t stand a chance in my sister’s hands. Alice was such a sweet, demanding, little thing.

Stepping lightly up onto the porch I knocked and instantly heard Alice’s too innocent voice say, “That’ll be Edward.”

Bella’s voice quickly followed. “I’ll get it.”

I watched from Alice’s mind as Bella jumped up from her chair and headed out the kitchen. I smiled, the amusement in Alice’s mind mirroring my own.

The front door was quickly opened and though I was as thrilled as always to see my Bella’s face after being away—however short the separation—I was disappointed when the bright smile that usually met me was absent. Though the guilt that had clouded her features earlier today wasn’t as strong it was still the most prominent emotion on her face.

Wanting to lighten the look in her eyes and wanting to make her forget—even for a moment—the maelstrom building up around us I immediately took her face gently in my hands and leaned down.

Disregarding the fact that Charlie could be leaving the kitchen and heading down the hall any minute I kissed her warm lips. It only took one skipping heartbeat for her to respond. Bella breathed in deeply against my mouth and her hands come up to cover mine, pressing them tighter against her face as she leaned forward, stretching as far as she could on her toes.

I smiled against her moving lips and went to pull away. At the last second Bella pushed forward, prolonging the kiss for that extra second I was always willing to give her.

I chuckled when I had to move my hands to the top of her arms to steady her balance. I pulled her away gently and looked down. My smile grew into a pleased grin when I saw her lips were now stretched into a bright smile.

“I missed you,” she whispered.

“I know,” I murmured, not missing the undertone in her voice. I opened my mouth to soothe the worry that was suddenly growing on her face again when I saw Alice come dancing around the corner, coming to a stop a few feet behind Bella.

Charlie was still in the kitchen as I could hear him placing dishes in the sink and the light running of water.

Bella was gazing up at me, completely oblivious, so when Alice smirked and cleared her throat lightly she jumped, her cheeks burning. She turned quickly, despite the blush, to glare teasingly at my sister. “You were right Alice….” She said. “Imagine that.”

Alice laughed, “What can I say? I’m gifted.”

At that moment Charlie was joining us, his thoughts running along the same path they always did when I was in his presence. However I was surprised when I didn’t see the usual barely concealed dislike in his eyes.

I nodded politely in his direction, “Evening Charlie.”

Charlie paused in front of us and I was the only witness to the hesitation in his mind. I had noticed after the incident with Jacob and Bella’s hand that Charlie was silent and slightly uncomfortable in my presence. But now I noticed something completely different in his thoughts.

Charlie took in a deep breath and then shockingly he nodded before answering just as friendly, “Edward.”

I was more pleased by the progress of approval than I thought I would be. He was still far from considering me a friend, much less family, but as I witnessed the lessening of hate in his thoughts toward me I couldn’t help but smile.

He was nowhere near the point of trusting me with his daughter’s heart, but the sliver of progress I had just witnessed was more than I could ever hope for.

“Well that was definitely an improvement,” Alice commented as she pulled off the road, just a quarter mile from Charlie’s.

I had left with Alice in the car—for the sake of Charlie’s sanity—but I was turning back to meet Bella in her room while Alice drove my car the rest of the way home.

“You could say that,” I murmured, knowing she was talking about Charlie.

Alice laughed. “Well he wasn’t giving you the usual death glare…. not to mention he was actually polite, and not even grudgingly polite. He seemed really sincere.”

I nodded. “He was.”

Alice gave me a smirk. “Told you he’d forgive you eventually.”

I rolled my eyes. “Believe me Alice, Charlie is nowhere near forgiveness... I believe at this point one could call it strained tolerance.”

Alice shrugged. “Well, you would know,” she said brightly.

I hesitated as I reached for the door handle. Something was off with her voice. Looking over my shoulder I looked at her eyes, they were excited and….expectant.

I raised an eyebrow when I realized there was something lurking in her mind, something she was trying to keep back.

“Alice,” I said warily. This type of reaction from my favorite sister was never a good sign.

“Yes?” she sang.

I looked into her excited eyes, concentrating on her thoughts alone.

I was pulling Bella from her truck, tucking her into my arms.

Standing in the foyer with Bella’s face in my hands, her lips molded to mine.

‘….Welcome home…’

A crystal heart glittering in the dull lamp light.

‘….it was my mother’s….’

“Stop cheating!”

Alice’s shrill disappointed voice broke through the vision, or I suppose it was her memory of a vision.

“What was that?” I asked, somewhat in awe.

“Something I’m not going to let you see.”

I raised my eyebrows questioningly. Alice stared at me, clearly struggling to keep her face stern. It didn’t work because in the next second she was grinning.

“How much do you love me?” she asked, bouncing twice in her seat.

“Alice,” I warned again. The thought in her head hadn’t been bad, or anything to be cautious of, actually they had left me wanting more.

“There was a reason I talked Charlie into letting Bella come over tomorrow night and it had nothing to do with the newborns.” She said cryptically.

I sighed impatiently. “And?”

“Well..” she said slowly. “Jasper made the comment that we should all go hunting the night before the fight but since you’re sitting out it would be kind of pointless for you.”

Frustration filled me when Alice stopped speaking and looked at me as if I should be getting some missing piece.

“So…” she began slowly, empathizing the word. She was clearly trying to get me to take the hint.

“So?”

She sighed heavily. “And so….our house will be completely empty for almost twelve hours. Well it would have been if I hadn’t sweet talked Chief Swan.”

My eyes widened as I realized what my irritating lovable sister had done for me. “Really?” I asked. “All night.”

She nodded, her little face stretching into a pleased grin. “I saw you giving Bella something special soon and decided to give the occasion the perfect setting.”

“Will she like it?” I asked at once, knowing that Alice knew what I had planned on giving Bella, because I had no doubt she had seen our deal of a hand-me-down.

“That’s for me to know and you to find out,” she said lightly.

I laughed, a sudden wave of excitement filling me. “Of course it is, and you’re not going to give anything away are you?”

“Nope,” she answered shaking her head. “It makes the moment sweeter if you don’t know how it will play out.”

I chuckled. “This coming from you.

“Actually I’m not even sure how it will all play out myself, I was only able to see certain moments.” She paused her thoughts contemplating something. “I only know for sure how it ends,” she murmured.

Then she opened her mind.

My room was dark, lit only by the pale moonlight streaming through the large window.

I lay, stretched out fully on the wrought iron bed, the pillows propped up behind my head.

Curled up on my chest and wrapped tightly in my arms was an angel.

Her head was tucked into my neck, her face was relaxed, glowing soft and beautiful in the pale light.

My head was tilted slightly, my cheek resting in the dark hair that was fanned out across my shoulder.

Alice’s face slowly came into focus. I sat there, stunned.

The vision had been so calm….peacefully perfect. If I hadn’t known better I would swear I had just witnessed myself sleeping.

“You’re welcome,” Alice said quietly.

I blinked, looking at my sister with new eyes as I realized what she had done for me.

Tomorrow night it would just be me and my angel.

There would be no need of keeping quite. No loud snoring down the hall. No sensitive ears over hearing every word spoken. No eaves dropping into the future. No reading of our emotions. And….more importantly than all the rest…no invading thoughts. With my family gone for the night I would be left with nothing but my own thoughts and Bella’s silent mind.

We would truly be alone…. in every possible way.

I lunged across the car and pulled my sister into my arms as an excited burst of laughter escaped my chest.

“Thank you Alice.” I said, pulling her back and kissing her forehead. “This is exactly what Bella needs…..what I need.” I let her go and pulled back all the way, seeing my now lit up face reflected in her gold eyes. “And she’ll like it?” I asked again.

Alice smiled and shrugged, her thoughts blocked again.

I found myself laughing again and shook my head. “I knew there was a reason I loved you,” I said quoting Emmett’s words from weeks ago.

She laughed remembering the night she had brought Emmett the extra pair of pants, saving him from the wrath of Rosalie. “Yes, we all love each other, now go,” she said flicking her hand toward the passenger door. “Bella’s going to bed soon.”

The smile seemed permanently glued to my face as I reached for the side handle and opened the door. But I hesitated before I climbed out, looking over my shoulder. Alice was still staring at me, her smile as wide as mine. It was hard to tell who was more excited, her or me.

I turned back around quickly and leaned back over, cupping the back of Alice’s head and pulling her towards me. I kissed her forehead again “Thank you…foreverything.” I whispered, trying to express how sincerely grateful I was for what she had done for me in those few words.

Her little hand reached up and patted my cheek. ‘You of all people deserve a little peace.’

Making it back to the little house I quickly made the familiar ascension through Bella’s window, landing lightly on the wood floor just as Bella was saying goodnight to Charlie. I sighed softly wishing she was really coming up here for a night’s sleep instead of enduring another sleepless night in the clearing.

I leaned back on the small bed, knowing I wouldn’t be receiving that wish. I placed my head on the sweet smelling pillow and listened as Bella climbed slowly up the stairs.

The door opened and she slipped inside, not bothering to cut on the light. The first words out of her mouth as she closed the door and crossed the room held no surprise for me.

“What time are we meeting the wolves?” She whispered.

“In about an hour.” I answered, pulling myself up to lean against the headboard so she could climb up on the bed with me.

“That’s good,” she murmured, worming her warm body into my lap and laying her head against my chest. “Jake and his friends need to get some sleep.”

I wrapped my cold arms around her back and pulled her up closer. I breathed out heavily, feeling my muscles relax as they absorbed her warmth. “They don’t need it as much as you do.” I grumbled, running my lips lightly across her hair.

“Did Alice tell you she’s kidnapping me?” Bella asked, very clearly changing the subject.

I grinned, feeling the anticipation filling me again. “Actually she’s not.”

Bella pulled back and looked up at me with her brow furrowed. I couldn’t help but laugh at her blank expression. “I thought I was the only one allowed to hold you hostage.” I reminded her. “Alice is going hunting with the rest of them” then I added. “I guess I don’t need to do that now.”

Bella’s eyes widened as she pulled all the way up into a sitting position. I let my hands fall to her sides.

You’re kidnapping me?” she asked, her voice shocked and confused.

I merely nodded, gauging her reaction cautiously.

Her eyes drifted from mine, seeming to focus on something behind my head. In her sudden silence it was clear she was thinking something over. I began to feel uneasy. Perhaps I should have asked her first, though I hadn’t known what Alice was up to till tonight. I leaned forward and peered up, trying to catch her gaze again.

“Is that alright?” I asked cautiously.

Bella blinked, her eyes meeting mine. They were still unreadable.

“Well sure,” she finally said. “Except for one thing.”

My brow furrowed, the uneasiness growing. Maybe I had been wrong. Maybe Alice had been wrong….maybe Bella didn’t….

“What thing?” I asked nervously.

Bella’s brown eyes grew accusing, and it wasn’t until she finished speaking that I noticed the playful sparkle in her eyes. “Why didn’t Alice tell Charlie you were leaving tonight?”

I laughed in relief and hugged her back towards me, feeling her soft chuckle vibrating against my chest. Her sudden happiness making the eagerness I had for tomorrow night grow ten-fold.

The contrast of Bella’s body language as we ran through the woods made me realize just how terrified she had been last night. She was relaxed against me now, as if this was any other run.

Her chin was resting lightly on the top of my shoulder, her cheek pressed softly into the curve at the side of my neck. Her heartbeat was calm and beautifully steady as it beat against my back. I could also feel the soft constant pulse points where her neck pressed into the back of my shoulder and where her wrists laid clasped against my chest, all four points keeping in tune with each other and filling me with a peaceful contentment.

I felt as if I could face anything as long as this steady peaceful rhythm continued.

Despite where we were headed and why, this moment was almost perfect. Just her and me. Only one thing was missing….

I had taken a slightly different trail to the clearing than I had last night, avoiding the stench of dog as the breeze carried it through the forest, and when I saw the fallen tree emerge in our path I smiled.

Cupping one hand around Bella’s clasped hands on my chest I reached the other behind me and placed it gently but firmly on the small of her back.

“Wha…?” Bella began but the question quickly cut off into a soft gasp as we soared up and over the large tree trunk.

In less than two seconds we were on the ground again, moving swiftly in between the trees and bushes, and Bella’s soft chuckle was filling my ear.

Now it was perfect.

I grinned in triumphant and let my own chuckle join hers. That was exactly what I had been hoping for.

“Show off,” she mumbled, but I could still hear the smile in her voice.

I moved my hand from her back and brought it up to her hair, stroking it gently. She sighed at the touch and turned her head, running her nose lightly along the side of my neck before placing a soft warm kiss just bellow my ear.“I love you.” Her breath was hot as it met my cool skin and a soft shudder carried the warmth down my spine.

I leaned my head down and kissed each hand that was still trapped between my fingers and chest.

“I love you too,” I murmured. ‘More than you could possibly know’ I thought.

I wondered if she knew how much my silent chest grew each time she blessed me with those three words. Blessed me with her kisses and warm hands. Blessed me with her.

But then, as we neared the clearing and the thoughts of others began to trespass into my mind, some of the bliss that had filled me slowly began to leak away. I missed having quiet peaceful moments with Bella, but I didn’t realize how long it had been since we had been truly alone and happy - happy just to be together- till this little stolen moment in time was taken away.

I silently thanked my sister again for her gift to me, for granting us a stolen moment in time. I had to wait till tomorrow night.

We were in the clearing now and the approaching storm we had momentarily pushed from our minds was back.

Bella was tense again, the beautiful laughter gone from my ears, taking with it the warmth and peace. At the same time a new wave of unease and guilt hit me as I saw my family and heard Jasper’s thoughts as he pinned Emmett to the ground. He was going to be explaining the moves that could be done to take on multiple attacks.

I sighed as I let Bella slide gently to the ground. Jasper would be teaching us the process of fighting more than one newborn whether I was going to be fighting with them or not. I knew this. But I also knew the chances of one of them taking on two or more attackers alone was more of a possibility than it had been. Because even with the wolves help we….no they, I reminded myself, they were still outnumbered.

“Where are the rest of the wolves?” Bella asked as we walked hand and hand to the others. I threw a quick glance at Jacob, Quill, and Embry.

“They don’t all need to be here.” I answered. “One would do the job, but Sam didn’t trust us enough to just send Jacob, though Jacob was willing. Quill and Embry are his usual…” I paused looking for the right term that would explain it. “I guess you could call them his wingmen.”

Bella looked up at me, her eyes wide. “Jacob trusts you.” She said sounding surprised.

Jacob’s thoughts were aggravated as he heard our conversation. But his eyes never left Bella’s face.

I nodded. “He trusts us not to kill him,” I said. “That’s about it, though.”

Jacob’s low grumble reached my ears, followed by his thought. ‘Trust isn’t the same as confidence’

“Are you participating tonight?” Bella’s hesitant question drew me back and I suppressed a sigh.

What would be the point? I thought, feeling the former disappointment begin to fill me. Instead of voicing my thoughts though, I shrugged. “I’ll help Jasper when he needs it. He wants to try some unequal groupings, teach them how to deal with multiple attackers.”

Bella’s face suddenly paled in the bright moonlight and I regretted my answer. She nodded once and turned to look at my family as Jasper gestured them all forward. I squeezed Bella’s hand reassuringly while at the same time resisted the urge to move closer and join them.

‘What’s wrong?’ I turned my head in Jacob’s direction automatically, though the question wasn’t for me, and saw the wide wolf grin slide from his large face. He was looking at Bella, his mind expecting a smile in return. Then I saw her face through his mind and everything else fell into the background. I looked down to see her force out a weak smile that didn’t even come close to reaching her eyes.

The deep brown was filled with the same raw guilt that had been there earlier today, making my chest tighten painfully around my last breath. Before I could react I heard Jacob’s mind register the guilt and fear at the same time I did and he quickly jumped to his feet.

He moved forward, his large body stopping just a few feet from Bella’s small one. I gritted my teeth, trying to push away the automatic panic at having the beast so close to her and the irrational anger I felt at myself.

I was angry at myself because I wasn’t angry at him. Because I couldn’t get angry. I was in his mind and the only thing in it was Bella’s face and the yearning to know what was wrong and the need to see the fear gone.

The same as mine.

“Jacob,” I nodded.

He ignored me of course, his eyes never leaving Bella’s as he ducked his head, bringing his large black eyes level with her own. I could smell and see the moisture in Bella’s eyes and as soon as the sweet moisture registered I wanted to pull her towards me.

But I resisted.

Because maybe….just maybe she needed a different kind of reassurance than I could give her.

But I hated it.

All of it.

Hated how well Jacob understood my Bella’s features.

Hated how familiar the broken look on her face was to him.

Hated how his mind automatically went into overdrive at seeing the moisture in her eyes.

Hated how he instinctively wanted to comfort her. Comfort her in his arms… like he had done so many times before.

And I most of all hated how I couldn’t hate him for any of it.

Jacob’s large wolf head tilted to the side. ‘What’s wrong Bells?’

I opened my mouth to pass the question along, but was shocked when Bella was already answering. As if she heard his mind as clearly as I had.

“I’m fine,” She sighed. “Just worried you know.”

He grunted. ‘That’s really stupid, what is there to be worried about?’

I waited till I knew for sure Bella wasn’t going to say anything and then murmured, “He wants to know why.”

Jacob’s eyes cut to me for the first time and he growled. ‘If you’re going to be in my head at least get it right.’

Bella looked at me and I tried not to smirk.

“What?” she asked.

“He thinks my translations leave something to be desired.” I answered. “What he actually thought was, ‘That’s really stupid. What is there to be worried about?’ I edited, because I thought it was rude.”

Bella’s lips twitched as she turned back to Jacob. “There’s plenty to be worried about,” she said, eyeing him critically. Her tone was almost that of a mother, protective and worried. I stared at her in slight fascination, as I’d never heard her take that kind of tone before. “Like a bunch of really stupid wolves getting themselves hurt”

Jacob let out a broken bark as his mind filled with laughter.

‘Can I borrow you for a moment Edward?’ I looked up at Jasper. ‘I want to show them…’

I raised my hand to cut him off and nodded.

“Jasper wants help,” I sighed looking back down at Bella. She looked up at me and I gave her a soft smile. “You’ll be okay without a translator?”

Her smile was more sincere as she gazed up at me. “I’ll manage.”

I had been right, she did need a different kind of reassurance. And apparently I wasn’t the one capable of giving it. And I definitely wasn’t needed as I translator. Jacob wasn’t the only one in tune with Bella’s mind. She seemed to know his thoughts just as well. But as I couldn’t read her mind, like I could his, it took a moment like this to fully realize how deep their connection went.

I was already aware that they shared a connection. I had resigned myself to the fact that Jacob understood and related to Bella on level I would never be able to. But I was slowly coming to realize this connection wasn’t just one way. Bella understood Jacob on that same level. A level I didn’t have a chance of reaching.

I was the only mind reader present and yet Jacob had more or less read Bella’s face like a book and Bella had answered his questions without a single word being spoken on his part.

The rest of the night seemed agonizingly slow as I helped Jasper. Because our preparations for the coming fight wasn’t enough of a distraction for me, I could still see Bella resting against the side of a werewolf. The love she felt for him clear in her relaxed position and the way her hand ran softly through his thick fur.

I hated these moments. Moments when my mind analyzed Bella’s every action and my thoughts tortured me with the question of how far her feelings ran for Jacob Black.