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One shot for Daintress's Mike/Edward challenge at Team Switzerland. Bella is home sick after returning from Italy with Edward. Edward is subjected to a mental flogging from Mike in American Lit class. Mild New Moon Spoilers.


1. Chapter 1 - Haunted

Rating 5/5   Word Count 588   Review this Chapter

Edward tried to concentrate on today's lecture about e.e. cummings but Newton's inadvertent mental assault had been going on all through American Literature. Mike was obviously angry that Edward was back in Forks. Mike had been out of his mind with worry when Bella disappeared last week. As much as Edward hated Newton he was glad Mike was looking out for her while he had been away. He was not enjoying the mental pummeling Mike was giving him for disappearing even though Edward knew he deserved every second.

Bella was not at school today and Mike seemed certain it was Edward's fault. The trip to Volterra had been hard on her and she'd come down with a nasty cold a few days after they had returned. She had come to school yesterday but had left early with a bounding headache. Edward desperately wished he could be taking care of her today, but Charlie had put a stop to that by staying home from the station. He was hell bent on keeping Edward away from her. He could not stop her from seeing him at school but Charlie was determined to make sure Edward knew he wasn’t welcome at the house.

Since the beginning of the period the visual and verbal onslaught from Mike seemed to be never-ending. The thoughts had been flashing through his head since he turned and saw Edward slide into a seat at the back of the room. Each thought was mixed with images of Bella after Edward had left last September. They were not a surprise. Edward had seen some of the same thoughts from Charlie but they had been brief and peppered with rage and anger along images of Charlie’s police issue gun. The thoughts and imagery coming from Mike were sullen and distraught and sure to haunt him for the rest of his existence.

...Bella huddled on her bed, her face drawn, eyes tightly shut, arms wrapped around her knees. Mike sitting next to her in the rocking chair he had pulled close to the bed trying to get her to speak in the first few days when had gone to go check on her...
"Bastard. What is he doing here? Hasn’t he hurt her enough already?" Mike yelled angrily in his head.

...Bella sitting in the lunch room arms wrapped so tightly around her chest that it looked like she might tear in two if she let go...

...Bella at school trudging to class, thinner, purple shadows under her hollow eyes, face blank as if the mask would hide the pain...
"I wish that asshole could see what he did to her." Mike thought with venom in each word. Edward suppressed a grimace, the irony of that did not escape him.

...Bella at work, stocking shelves, helping customers, lifeless, as if she were a puppet controlled by invisible strings...

Edward closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose; he endured the images until it was all he could do not to yell out for Mike to stop. He frantically fought for control against the pain that pierced him. Each image sliced through him like teeth, making the mistake of leaving her harder to bare. Likewise, each image strengthened his resolve. He would never leave her again, he couldn't bare it. Even if she left him for someone else, he would not leave her. He would stay and watch over her until the end of her time or his. He would not leave again. Not ever.