The Fragrance of the Perfect Lie
Bella and Edward's wedding day has arrived, but the unexpected happens. An unlikely event crashes it; no, it's not the Volturi or Jacob, but the cold hard truth. Her experiences with vampires and werewolves had been a dream.
I don't own Twilight, obviously.
7. Falling Away with You
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2138 Review this Chapter
I can’t remember when it was good
Moments of happiness elude
Maybe I just misunderstood
All of the love we left behind
Watching the flashbacks intertwine
Memories I will never find
So I’ll love whatever you become
And forget the reckless things we’ve done
I think our lives have just begun
I think out lives have just begun
And I’ll feel my world crumbling
I’ll feel my life crumbling
I’ll feel my soul crumbling away
And falling away
Falling away with you
-Falling Away with you by Muse
Bella squirmed fearfully in her sleep, and beads of sweat rolled down her forehead as a series of nightmares took a hold of her subconscious with an unrelenting grasp. Small groans of fear escaped her throat as she saw visions of the Quileute tribe violently ripped apart by an unknown coven of merciless vampires.
As Bella gripped Jacob’s bloody sleeve, a sob choked up her throat and sent a wave of uncontrollable tremors through her exhausted body. The black clad coven of vampires merely stood by, staring at her with cold, unfeeling expressions. She instinctively knew it was then her turn to die and at that very moment, she would accept Death’s embrace with sickening joy. Words now can’t even begin to express how sorry I am. The lazy, yet heart-warming grins of Jacob, Sam, Quil, and the other flashed through her mind. Good-bye, I wish I deserved to have such kind friends as you…
A stone-cold touch and a velvety voice alerted her to a figure crouching right behind her.
“Edward,” Bella gasped. “What are you doing here?”
Edward took notice of her quizzical stare and gently wrapped his arms around her waist. The last wisps of her previous nightmare quickly dissipated as an overwhelming sense of comfort took its place.
“Shh, it was just a nightmare,” He cooed in her ear. Bella turned around to meet his slightly sympathetic, yet loving gaze with confusion.
His cold lips met hers in a soft motion that almost immediately steadied Bella’s irregular pulse back into a calm, rhythmic thump. Shortly afterwards, their kiss became rougher and a pleasing electrical shock ran through her scalp, which traveled throughout her entire body as Edward ran his fingers through her hair. After a few minutes, Bella gently jerked her head back and broke free from their kiss, feeling a little dizzy.
She contentedly laid her head on top of Edward’s perfectly sculpted chest and let out a long sigh. All around her, the previously bloody environment had faded and formed into her and Edward’s private meadow. The quick transition from drastically different emotions in which she went through, including the kiss, left her lightheaded. Edward rubbed small, soothing circles on the small of her back as she attempted to regain control of her breathing.
“Why can’t it be like this always?” Bella asked, troubled.
“What do you mean, love?” Edward questioned with a concerned frown.
“You’re just a figment of my imagination, and this is a dream! Our memories together don’t even exist, yet I love you the way I do. Does our love really exist, or is this just a desperate fantasy?” Bella felt the hot stream of tears flow down her face and onto Edward’s marble arms. She squirmed out of his arms and turned around to meet his serious gaze.
After thinking deeply and considering his choice of words, Edward’s mouth opened when a ringing noise drowned his voice out.
“No!” Bella screamed, desperately hanging on to the last threads of her dream as it faded into black nothingness.
Bella gave a gasp of shock as her eyelids flew wide open to meet her dimly lit room. She tugged at the cord of her alarm out of the outlet, and rubbed her eyes in disbelief. Warm, salty tears met her fingers and she quickly wiped them away with her sleeve.
A feeling of emptiness filled her heart as the last few seconds of her dream replayed inside her head. She felt as if she were closer to the truth than ever before, and couldn’t understand why Edward had to hesitate the way he did. She nearly considered skipping school for the day, but quickly decided against it. After straightening out her tangled sheets, she followed her daily ritual of preparing for another day of school.
Even as her Chevy slowly chugged away towards Forks High, cloudy fragments of her dream still lingered on the fringe of her thoughts.
Up until Biology, nothing of great interest pried Bella out of the depths of her dark depression. As her eyes began to glaze over in boredom, Mr. Banner cleared his throat loudly, startling her.
“Are you paying attention to my instructions, Ms. Swan?” Mr. Banner shot her a stern glare.
“As I was saying,” Mr. Banner huffed angrily. “The following experiment is quite simple. You will be reviewing the characteristics of water by conducting a series of tasks and recording your observations. I will hand out a sheet with instructions on it. After you have chosen a partner, you may begin.”
As a low chatter broke out and a unison of chairs scraping rang throughout the room, Bella heard Edward slowly clear his throat.
“Would you like to be my partner?” He asked with a kind smile.
“Sure,” She replied, feeling her pulse quicken at the sound of his voice. They found an unoccupied lab station and carefully studied the instructions printed before them. After searching for the necessary items - vegetable oil, ice, a cork, and other various things - they immediately went to work.
At first, the two worked on separate stages of the experiment in silence. It wasn’t the awkward kind of silence that one in Bella’s place would expect to feel, which comforted her. A slight frown appeared on the edges of her lips as the minutes passed by. Even though Edward continued to stay silent, she suddenly felt as if he were missing something crucial from his being. Her frown deepened as she pondered on this puzzling discovery.
Physically, there was nothing wrong with Edward. He was already quite handsome before he was a vampire in her dreams. His speech hadn’t changed at all, and he still kept true to his chivalrous attitude…yet why did Bella feel like she could’ve easily been working with someone else, like Angela or Mike? A small gasp escaped her throat as Edward’s hand reached towards a Graduated Cylinder and slightly brushed her arm.
“Is something wrong?” Edward asked, a little puzzled.
Embarrassed, Bella averted her gaze from Edward to the beaker filled with water before her. She had foolishly expected Edward’s touch to be freezing and electric, nearly forgetting that he was human. She couldn’t exactly explain to herself exactly why this bothered her, so she brushed the thought off and turned her attention back to the experiment.
“How do you like Forks so far?” Edward asked in a casual tone, keeping his gaze on the Graduated Cylinder in front of him.
“It’s okay so far,” Bella answered nervously, struggling to remember the details of her life before her dream with the Cullens. She was surprised to find how hard it was to sift through her memories back to when she first moved to Forks. “The people around here are pretty friendly. By the way, I was at that party you threw at the beginning of the year. Do you play the piano often?”
“Yes,” Edward with a sheepish smile. “I learned from my step-father, Carlisle, when I was younger. I’m actually planning to major in Music after I graduate from here. If you don’t mind me asking, what are you planning to do after high school?”
“I-I’m not sure, actually,” Bella uncharacteristically stuttered. “I plan on going to college, but I’m not sure where yet.”
Noticing her sudden discomfort, he quickly changed the subject. “What is your favorite color?”
His eyebrows slightly furrowed as this simple question caught Bella completely off guard. It reminded her strongly of the part in her dream when he had asked her a series of never-ending questions regarding to little trivial things. She stifled a small giggle as she thought about how eager he had been to question her, and the way his topaz eyes lit up as she answered each of his questions.
“I think I could guess why. You moved here from Arizona, right?”
“So brown is a warm color, and it probably reminds you of Arizona. I paint a little when I’m not playing the piano.”
“Really?” Bella asked, trying to mask the surprise from seeping into her politely interested tone. It puzzled her how more artistic this Edward was from the one in her dreams. Stop referring him as “this Edward.” He’s the only Edward Cullen that exists. Suddenly becoming irritated at herself, she returned her focus to her paper and wrote down her latest observations.
Unfortunately, their conversation ceased to continue for the rest of the period as they hurried to finish the rest of the experiment. They barely managed to complete it on time, and Bella found herself running towards Gym without waiting for Mike to catch up. During the entire duration of Gym class, she managed to mull over her and Edward’s earlier conversation without receiving more injuries than usual.
“Bella, watch out!” Mike yelled, five feet behind her.
By some unexplainable miracle, she ducked in time to watch the volleyball whiz over her head and hit another classmate in the face. The entire game had stopped momentarily as everyone around - including Coach Clapp - stared at Bella with their mouths hung open. Never before had Bella ever avoided anything during Gym; their reactions would’ve been the same if an eye were growing in the middle of her forehead.
“Wow, that was actually kind of amazing that you avoided that volleyball in time, huh?” Mike teased at the end of class.
“I’m just as stunned as you are,” Bella replied truthfully.
By the time she changed into her regular clothes and entered the parking lot, half of the school had already left. She quickly noticed Edward and she was about to wave, when she also noticed a very disgruntled Jessica arguing with him. A line of cars honked at a particularly slow Honda - which made it very difficult to hear what the two were arguing about- but Bella realized the matter of the situation once a few people nearby stopped to whisper among each other and stare at her.
A faint blush blossomed in her face, and she quickly made her way towards the Chevy in order to avoid attracting too much attention. As her Chevy creakily exited the school’s parking lot, she noticed Alice and Rosalie from the distance staring at her with equally satisfied smirks. Once Bella reached her house and parked in the driveway, she cut the engine off and stared at the steering wheel before her. She then noticed that her grip on the wheel was so tight that her knuckles went white.
Still gripping the wheel, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath to settle her nerves. A fist loudly rapped against the window, so she opened her eyes to meet the puzzled frown of Jacob Black. Resisting the temptation of igniting the engine and driving away, she instead cranked the window down to greet him.
“Hey Jacob, what do you want?” Bella asked wearily, rubbing the bridge of her nose with a frown. She already had an idea of what he wanted, and she was not in the mood for dealing with anyone at the moment.
“This is kind of earlier than expected…” Jacob said hesitantly. “But you need to talk with the Council as soon as possible. I was sent here to pick you up.”
“All right, all right,” Bella groaned. “Let me leave Charlie a note firs-”
“I already talked to your father, Bella,” Billy appeared in his wheel chair next to Jacob. “You have his permission to spend the rest of the afternoon down in La Push. If we hurry now, we may be able to finish before night time falls.”
“The more we know about the situation,” Jacob averted his gaze from Bella’s face. “The better it is for everyone.”
Bella gulped uneasily at the way he over-emphasized the word ‘everyone’, yet continued to get her belongings in order. After placing the keys to her Chevy in her pocket, she grabbed an extra jacket and got out of the car, being careful to lock the door behind her. She followed Jacob and Billy towards their van, and sat in the front next to Jacob once he wheeled Billy in. Once they were on the road, she tried to ignore the uncomfortable silence that enveloped the van, and tried to imagine what the Council had planned out for her.
What would happen if they were dissatisfied with the ridiculous-sounding answers she provided? Would they banish her from the reservation, or worse, somehow find a way to force her to move back with her mother? She still had many questions that were left unanswered, and was not planning to travel anywhere until she received a few answers of her own.
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