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Dreaming I'm Alive

Summary:
After a speedy wedding, Edward & Bella return to find the Volturi on their way. Edward insists on running but when a man claiming to have a cure for vampirism shows up with an assassin on his tail, the lives of the Cullens are thrown into chaos. Meanwhile, Charlie struggles with the existence of vampires and having to let his daughter go. Bella learns about her real past and the question of why Edward can't hear her thoughts is answered once and for all.


Notes:
All smut has now been removed. Rated PG-13 for violence and minorly confusing plots. Every chapter is dedicated to a different Muse song.


3. Last Chance to Lose Control

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4959   Review this Chapter

--

I didn’t know whether to be angry or skeptical so I turned back around and kept running out into the street. I didn’t look back till I was in the middle of the road on the way back to the hospital, wondering why there wasn’t any traffic in Chicago. When I looked back to where I was running from, I hit Edward’s chest head on and fell back onto the ground.

He helped me up and smoothed the hair back from my face lovingly. The madness seemed to have passed yet again but I couldn’t help but wonder for how long.

“Hey you,” he greeted, as he usually did, with his biggest smirk. “I couldn’t find where the smell went. Bella? Bella, why are you breathing like that?”

“I just… There’s someone at the house.”

“Our house?” He didn’t waste any time before blurring out towards it. In the distance, I could see him kicking in the door and the shower of dust and wood shavings flying out behind him.

Meanwhile, I stood in the middle of the cold street, trembling. Though the days were warm in the summer, the nights were freezing in Dunning and I had nothing but a thin sweater to keep me warm. We hadn’t brought too many clothes and I was shaking too much to move my arms up around myself. So I stood there, in the middle of the street, shaking in wait.

He came back towards me with a confused look on his face. “Bella, I couldn’t find anyone.”

“But you smelled it, right?”

“Which smell?” he lifted me up and took me to the front door so I could see for myself but I wouldn’t go in. We both stood on the porch and stared in. “Bella, what are we looking at?”

“There.” I pointed at a small pink box on the table. It was closed and the cake was pristine, waiting for someone to take the first slice.

“I can’t smell anything in all this dust,” Edward said, covering his mouth and nose again with his arm. “But you’re right. Someone’s been here. The house is warmer, like someone’s been waiting here.”

He went to stand where Oliver had been standing and opened his arms out to the place. I didn’t know he could feel body temperature in a room. I made a note of it in my head.

“Edward, you say my blood sings to you, right? It’s unique. It tastes really good, right?”

He raised an eyebrow and tried not to think on it, should his desire win the better of him. “Yea, you know that.”

I walked towards him, trying to feel the heat Oliver had apparently left behind, and said, “What if someone out there smelled exactly like me? I mean, why don’t Renee and Charlie smell like me?”

“Every person has their own smell, Bella. It doesn’t work like that. Why are you acting like this?”

I realized I must look crazy, twitchy. I knew my jaw was quivering uncontrollably because it hurt to talk.

“But in all this dust, isn’t it possible you confused the scent with mine?”

He raised his chin like the possibility was acceptable but undesirable and most likely improbably.

“How long have you smelled this phantom smell? Since Forks?”

“Yea, the day the truck nearly hit you and Charlie.”

I shook my head in denial. He hurried upstairs, grabbed some relatively clean blankets from the linen room closet, and wrapped me up like a cocoon, then rubbed my arms to try to warm me up. I couldn’t stop shivering.

“Look, let’s go find a hotel. This place isn’t any good to us tonight. We can talk where it’s warm,” he said sweetly. He put me in the car and turned on the heater. I stared at the house till we started moving, hoping to see even the smallest hint of Oliver so I didn’t feel so insane.

We hadn’t even left the grass when I yelled out for him to stop. “Just wait! We forgot something!” I called, running into the house to get the pink box. After all, it was all the proof I had.

He decided he’d take me somewhere big where he could hear every little thing. He could protect me better where there were less people. I didn’t doubt he could protect me. Oliver was human. He had to be.

Then, my mind opened to the possibility that maybe he was something more than human. Edward had always insisted how I was special – different – but I never believed it. Now, I had to reconsider everything that was “wrong” about me.

Edward set me down on the bed but I was warm enough to sit comfortably on the edge. He’d blasted the heater in the car. I stared off at a little corner of carpet by the door and began to think while he turned on the water in the tub. I must have been filthy from traveling and the house but he didn’t say anything.

He came towards me with a kind smile so I wouldn’t feel any more irrational and carried me up in my cocoon of dusty, yellow blankets into the bathroom. I rested my head against his chest and continued to stare out into the room.

He sat me on the edge of the white tub. I was still shaking too much to move by myself so Edward helped me out of my blue sweater and my favorite printed skirt as gently as he could. He didn’t want to touch me either, being so cold himself. He pulled off the blankets and I got into the tub with his help. I smiled a little when I saw the bubbles. I wasn’t the sort of girl who usually put any effort into baths. I didn’t own scented beads or special oils or strangely shaped sponges.

I must admit it felt marvelous, especially having him kneel next to me and rest his head on the edge of the tub. I played with his hair. He joked about wishing he were a cat, then all was still. The silence calmed me. He wasn’t demanding answers, wasn’t angry or disoriented like he was in the hospital. I realized the only way Oliver could have gotten close to me was to be rid of Edward but then how could he have waiting for me at the house when I got there?

He must be working with someone else.

The thought made me sit up in the tub. I looked into Edward’s puppy dog eyes and smirked. “That’s what I like to see!” he exclaimed at the sight of my smile. “Feeling better?”

I stuttered a “Yea.”

“You’ll be fine, love,” he reassured me but he didn’t know. He wasn’t there.

He wasn’t there.

“He – Oliver – said,” I began but froze. I didn’t want to say it.

“Said what?”

“He said he was my father.”

Edward raised both eyebrows. He still had a little trouble believing me. “What about Charlie?”

“I don’t know. Edward, I know it’s hard for you to get because you can’t smell him and, for all I know, you can’t hear his thoughts but he looked just like me. He smells like me. He… He said his name was Oliver. He was from Denmark.”

At that, Edward jumped up onto his feet, his face grim. “What did you say?”

I didn’t repeat myself. I knew he heard me. “Do you know him?”

“Only by reputation. He was part of the Volturi.”

I gulped. “A vampire? Do you think they’ve found us? Are they just playing mind games?”

He laughed like it was ridiculous. “The Volturi don’t play mind games. They find you and they kill you.”

“Then? What did this Oliver do? What reputation?”

He didn’t want to tell me. He stared at me, trying to rustle up the courage but he still didn’t want to. I knew if I asked him again, more directly, he’d spill his secrets. He would never keep something like that from me. But then, his silence and his eyes said it all.

I automatically jumped at the worst. “He was a murderer, wasn’t he?”

He shook his head and I relaxed. “He was an elder, hundreds of years old. He wasn’t one of us, not ‘vegetarian,’ but—but I swear I heard he was killed.”

I shook my head. “His eyes were brown, like mine. I didn’t touch him but he wasn’t pale either. I know a vampire when I see one. He didn’t fit.”

He relaxed too and knelt down again. “Could it have been a crazy person or someone who followed you from the hospital?”

I slammed my fist into the edge of the tub. It did nothing to calm me or to the tub and my bandaged arm just hurt more.

“No. He knew my mother’s name. He said the Volturi weren’t after me or the family. He said they were after him,” I explained, as calmly as I could manage. I was comforted by that in a way. Despite Edward’s precautions, I’d heard the screams of the Volturi’s victims once and that was enough to fear them for a lifetime. “Edward, I think we have to get the family together again. This is too much for just us. I don’t think he’s working alone.”

Were Edward a human, I imagine he would have gulped. He thought about it for a second then nodded and rested his head back on the edge of the tub, looking up at me. One unknown force was bad. Two was just scary, even for a vampire. If this man, my supposed father, could walk in and out of a building without Edward noticing, how did we know he wasn’t listening in right now?

There was no place to hide.

--

I didn’t really think I could fall asleep but Edward had a way of calming me with his voice and his touch that completely knocked me out. He knew that if left to my own thoughts, I’d never go to sleep. If he spoke, endlessly, about every trivial thing that came to mind, I’d eventually tune him out and his voice would lull me to sleep.

When I woke up, he was on the phone in the kitchen. I hadn’t noticed how large the suite really was till I wanted him in my arms again. I was sweating and tore the mountain of sheets off me.

The suite smelled of cheese so after a quick stop at the bathroom, I followed the scent to the kitchen. I’d never seen Edward cook before. Now I knew why. There was a wide variety of spices laid out but just one little egg, not enough for an omelet. He hung up and turned to me with a confused look on his face.

“I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m doing,” he admitted, resting both hands on the island counter in defeat.

I chuckled and leaned over the counter to kiss him. “How are you supposed to cook if you can’t taste it?” He shrugged. I went to the refrigerator and found some more eggs and made myself an omelet while he watched. The cake was in the freezer by a large carton of vanilla ice cream and some licorice for some reason. I pulled it out and set it to defrost on the counter. “Who were you talking to?” I asked.

He crossed his arms and looked down. “Alice.”

I raised both eyebrows. “I thought we weren’t supposed to talk to them. What’s changed?”

“Oliver.”

He looked like he’d swallowed some bad mountain lion. “What? What is it?” I asked quickly, startled. “Are they okay?”

He nodded. “The Volturi never got to Forks. He was right. They weren’t coming to change you. They were coming for him.”

“Why didn’t Alice see it before?”

He shrugged. “She can’t see Oliver. She just saw them coming here, not why.”

“Is he a werewolf, maybe?”

“Definitely a vampire.”

I shook my head and set the omelet on a plate. “I am so getting tired of eggs for breakfast,” I grimaced and sat across him at the table. I’d had eggs every day we were on the road. “I’m telling you. He did not look like a vampire.”

“The Volturi sure think he is. They sent Alec.”

“Whoa. They really hate him, huh?” He smirked and I took a bite. I felt like he was staring me down, trying to get more information out of me. “Does that mean we get to go home?” I asked anxiously.

“No, the family’s coming here.” I went to wash the plate but he gestured for me to leave it. I noticed the bags were packed by the door and looked at him questioningly. “Just in case. Alice and Rosalie are almost here. Jasper, and Esme went back to Forks to make sure Charlie’s okay and Emmett and Carlisle are going to Italy.”

My face instantly fell. He gently led me to the couch, thinking it would calm me. “What do you mean? To Volterra?” I snapped, jumping back up. He pulled me back down. My wrist hurt for hours after but I didn’t say anything. I’d hide the bruise, like I always did. I sometimes wonder if he knew they were there and by hiding them, he felt like I was afraid of him.

I was just afraid he’d never touch me again. If that happened, I knew my whole world would lose meaning. “It’s bigger than us now. Carlisle can handle it.”

“Well, why didn’t Jasper go to calm them down, butter them up?”

He scoffed and ran his hand over his eyes. “We got the feeling Charlie might need him more.”

I rolled my eyes. “There’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there?”

His eyes didn’t deny it. He could try but he could never truly make me believe his lies. I always knew, the way I knew there was a big part of the transformation he wasn’t telling me or the reason we still hadn’t made love. I wasn’t foolish enough to believe he didn’t want me. I knew he wanted me, needed me. There had to be something more.

“Edward,” I whispered, moving away from him on the couch. He knew something was wrong immediately. “What’s going to happen to me? I mean, will you ever change me?”

“Bella, after--”

“No!” I yelled, bringing my bare feet up between us. “I am tired of being scared!”

He went to reach for my face but stopped when I back against the arm of the couch. I figured I was going to have to treat him like any man and just pull away. I suddenly felt like the needy girlfriend dealing with the old boyfriend who still didn’t want to get married. I looked down at the ring on my finger and went to hand it back to him.

He looked at me like I was crazy and put it back on my finger. “Bella, are you serious?”

I tried to pull back tears. I was tired of crying. “I’m not leaving you, not for a second. But I’m not really your wife, am I? I don’t feel right wearing your mother’s ring until I am.”

I went to give it back to him again but he just shook his head and ran both hands through his hair. He got up and, in a blur, he was on the other side of the suite, sliding down the wall and hugging his knees. I looked away. I couldn’t see him broken.

There came a knock at the door and we both jumped up onto our feet. “It’s just Alice,” he said. I cleared my throat and went to open it, wiping at my face in case any tears had managed through my defenses.

Alice knocked again, this time faster and louder. I thought the door would fall off. When I opened it, the expression on Alice’s face had even Rosalie scared.

“Alice, hey!” I faked enthusiasm. She could see right through me. She knew what I’d just done.

She pushed me in and turned to Rosalie. “Stay with Edward,” she told her, staring up at her with blazing gold eyes. “Don’t let him say a word. Not a word. I’ll know if either of you talks.”

Rosalie looked a little scared and nodded. Edward went to grab me away from her but Rosalie stopped him.

Alice pulled me into the bedroom and closed the door behind us. “What are you doing?” I asked. Nothing about Alice could scare me but I felt like I’d done something wrong. “They can hear us. I don’t see the point of this.”

“I don’t want Edward to see your face.”

I sat on the bed and rested my hands on my lap, staring at the ring still on my palm. “What? Why?”

“Alice, no!” Edward shouted outside the door. He roared at Rosalie and I knew she was trying to pull him back. “Alice, don’t do it! Please! Please!”

She sighed and closed her eyes. “Fine,” she growled back. She turned back to me and quickly whispered, “Bella, darling… you have no idea what you are--”

“Alice!” he called again.

The doors burst open and Rosalie and Edward came rolling in, tearing at each other with teeth fully bared. “Edward!” I called. “Stop! Just stop it! Both of you!”

Rosalie finally got up off him and pointed towards me. “She’s been lying to you Edward! How could she not know?”

He dusted off his jeans and shouted back, “Of course she doesn’t know! You weren’t here last night when she first saw him! You didn’t see how she reacted!”

“Stop talking like I’m not here!” I broke in, going to stand between the both of them. Alice pulled me back. Her look said it all. Never get between fighting vampires. “WHAT IS OLIVER?”

They all stopped and looked at me. Edward gulped and licked his lips. “He was a vampire,” Alice answered calmly.

“Was?”

“If he says he’s your father, there’s a chance he’s found a cure, Bella,” Rosalie finished.

I looked right to Edward. Having Edward, my Edward, be human… My heart started to beat like crazy, my hands to shake. It was last night all over again. I sat back down on the bed and stared at him. The image of him in the sun, of us living in a home far away from the world… children. God, the beautiful children.

Of him and me, together as man and wife.

“I don’t understand,” I breathed. “Ca-Carlisle’s a doctor. He’s probably been looking into a cure for centuries. How did Oliver find it?”

Alice and Rosalie sat on either side of me but I just stared at Edward and he stared back. He knew what it meant too. “Right now,” Alice began, “We just need to know what he told you at the house.”

“I told Edward everything. That he was from Denmark, that I looked like my mother, and that he was my father.”

“Did he just burst it out?” Rosalie asked, still doubtful.

“He brought her cake,” Edward whispered. The girls looked up at him. “He brought a cake in a pink box.”

“Yea,” I added. “He said cake can make everyone happy, just for a moment. That everyone loved cake.”

Edward scoffed.

“Yea, my answer exactly.”

He turned around and walked to the kitchen phone while Alice surreptitiously slipped the ring back on my finger. I went to stop her when she stared me down. “Not again, Bella,” she whispered. “He thought he lost you once. Don’t do it again. We love him too.”

I felt my jaw quiver but I didn’t cry. No, I told myself. I didn’t cry. But how I wanted to. What had I done?

I had to get up and walk so I went to him, my bottom lip still acting of its own. I opened my mouth to apologize when he raised a finger in the air, telling me to stop. “Jasper?” he said into the phone. “You’re at Charlie’s? Good, put him on.”

He covered the receiver into the phone and asked me to give him a moment, not to go anywhere. I nodded.

“Charlie? Hi, it’s Edward… Yes, she’s fine. I’ll put her on in a second… Yes, yes I am. Listen, can you do me a favor and search a name up for me?”

“Edward, what are you doing?” I asked. He reached out for my hand and I quieted again.

He continued, “Yes, his name’s Oliver. No last name, no. He would have lived in the area in the last twenty years. Check any bakeries too. Something in Danish or with the word Denmark, maybe. I think there’s something there… No, sir. The sooner we get a hold of him, the sooner I can bring her back… Yes, I understand. Don’t worry. I’m doing everything I can, sir.”

He sighed and after a moment, handed me the phone. I raised both eyebrows and took it reluctantly. “Hey Charlie,” I answered.

“Bella, honey, are you really okay?” he asked in a hurried voice. It sounded like he was in a car with an open window. They were most likely driving to the police station.

“Yea, Dad. I’m fine. I’m in a 1,000-a-night hotel suite, for crying out loud. Don’t worry about me.”

“Who is this guy, Bells? Why do these Volturi people think you know him?”

“I don’t know yet, Dad,” I lied. I knew who they thought he was. “Just you do everything Jasper and Esme say, okay? We’re all family. You gotta remember that. We’re family. You need to trust them. They’re the kindest people you’ll ever meet.”

I looked to Edward as I said goodbye and hung up. I wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest. He understood. Then I pushed away and went to get the answers I wanted from Alice.

“Alice, do you know where Oliver is?” I asked calmly, reaching for Edward’s hand for strength.

“I told you. I can’t see him. But I see…”

“What?” I insisted. Edward looked away.

“I see Edward feeding on you and I’m sorry Bella. You die.”

I sighed and shook my head in denial. “Is there any…”

“No mistaking it, sweetie. I see you and him in this bed and he’s feeding off you. Then, you both just disappear.”

I jumped at the loophole. “We disappear but we don’t necessarily die, right?”

Alice looked to Edward. Then I understood. If I died, he would find a way to kill himself. If my life ended, so did his. But it still didn’t explain it.

“I’m sorry,” Alice whispered. “I wish I could be of more help. But… I’m in the dark when it comes to him.”

“Anything else?” I asked, still trying to keep my calm. Edward squeezed my hand a little harder.

“I see you going into Mason House tonight. Then, it goes dark again.”

I shook my head and started for the door. “Bella!” Edward called after me.

“WHAT?” I shouted and spun around, ready to defend my case for going.

Rosalie rolled her eyes and pointed down at me from the bed. I looked down and realized I was still in my pajamas. Alice looked over to a pair of jeans and a blue sweater that’d been laid out for me on the back of the chair by the lamp-lit desk and I got the hint.

“I don’t see you going till midnight,” Alice said.

“Fine. I’ll get dressed. You two…” I pointed at the girls. “Give us some privacy, would you?”

Alice opened her eyes wide and pulled Rosalie after her, in a flash of colors and wind, towards the door. Edward, who must have seen what Alice saw in her head, chuckled lightly.

“Do you know what’s coming?” I asked coyly.

He walked towards me and started to unbutton my pajama top. He answered, “I don’t have a choice do I?”

“No, you don’t.”

“Bella…”

My heads went under the rim of his t-shirt and slowly slid up his chest. “If this is going to be my last day on earth, I want to spend it with you. I want it to be memorable,” I said. “I don’t care about what happens tomorrow, or tonight. All we have is right now… All I want is you.”

I could see he was still afraid but he smiled down at me and lifted both arms in the air so I could pull off his shirt. The full force of his kiss found my lips and before I knew it, he had lifted me up and I was on my back in bed. His kisses went to my neck, down my now bare chest, and this time, he kept going.

When he reached the rim of my pants, he slowly pulled them off, his kisses going down my thigh towards my knee. He threw the pants in a corner and he still kept going. It was going so fast that I was waiting for him to stop. I was waiting for his hands to shake or his touch to fade away but it didn’t. He didn’t.

I undid his belt and he to ripped off his pants. It was all too fast. “Edward, go slow. We have until midnight,” I said, almost out of breath.

He stopped, his hands on my thighs, to hover over me, staring down at me with hungry, gold eyes. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, the greatest feeling… just to be desired by the man I loved.

“Don’t worry,” he said with an arrogant smile. “I’ll try to stop before then.”

--

A knock came at the door around noon. I groaned and got off him slowly, careful not to get any ice cream on my clothes as I quickly dressed.

“Uh… Bella?” he called from the bed. “Can I rip these off now?”

I laughed and nodded and he gave two small tugs at the belts that tied him to the bedpost. They came right off. “Why did I even bother?” I whispered to myself on the way to the door, slipping my sweater over my head. The knock came again.

“Who is it?” I mouthed towards Edward. He mouthed back “Jasper” so I quickly opened the door.

“Hey you!” Esme said, coming to hug me but stopped in mid-step, retreating her open arms. Her face went suddenly warped. She looked me up and down and over to Edward who was now perfectly dressed and coming towards me. Jasper let out a small chuckle. It was the most I’d seen him laugh in a while.

“Alice told me to knock first but I didn’t imagine this,” he said, walking in to give Edward a congratulatory hug though he looked taken aback. I could only imagine the sort of escapades Jasper and Alice got to on their honeymoons and how much Edward had been privy to thanks to his talents but I tried to set it aside for the trouble at hand. Esme tried to ignore my obviously disheveled hair and flushed skin but I’m pretty sure I’d stopped feeling my heart a few hours back.

Edward whispered something to Jasper along the lines of, “You lack imagination, then,” then led them to the living room while I went to put the ice cream back in the freezer.

“Has Alice filled you in on her visions?” I asked, clearing my throat and setting down beside Edward on the couch.

He nodded. “I take it we’ll be your escorts tonight.”

“He’s human,” I told him. “I doubt he’d do anything stupid with you guys around.”

“Do we even know he’ll be there?” Esme asked, looking scared. I smiled, trying to reassure her. I really didn’t feel fear when it came to Oliver. He was just a man. Worse, he could be my father. It was his words that hurt.

“Alice can’t see him. Where he is, the whole world goes blank. He’ll be at the house tonight. I just know he is.”

“Why?”

“Because he needs me for something. It’s why he came to find me, why the Volturi want him.”

Edward nodded in agreement. “Any word from Carlisle?” he asked.

Esme shook her head. “They’re probably still on the plane. It’s a bit of a long trip and they just left today at 7:00.”

“Where are Alice and Rosalie?” asked Jasper.

Edward and I looked at each other and shrugged. “If Alice knew you’d be here,” he pondered, “wouldn’t she have called us by now?”

Jasper pulled out his cell phone and hit the first number on his speed dial. He stood up and paced by the door. We all watched and waited.

“Alice?” he asked, worried. He stiffened and stared at the door. “Who is this?”

“Jasper?” Esme whispered, standing. “What’s wrong?”

Edward blurred by me and took the phone from him. Jasper placed both his hands on his head and looked terrified.

“This is him. What do you want?” Edward answered brusquely. I was desperate to hear the rest so I went to stand beside him. “What do you want with me? No! I refuse to let her go alone. I don’t care about the cure. I care about her! I will not let you harm a hair on her head, do you hear me?”

The line went dead and Esme looked to Jasper, who stared at me like I was Sunday dinner. “What’s happened?” I asked softly, trying not to make any sudden movements.

“It was a woman,” Edward answered. “She said she demands to talk to me, alone, on the roof of the hospital in twenty minutes.”

“WHAT?” I yelled. “How did she get Alice’s phone? What’s happened to her and Rosalie?”

“She’s taken them.”

“How can she have taken them? They’re vampires!” I yelled. “No. You have to--”

He shook his head and drew me to his chest to comfort and quiet me. “Even if Esme or Jasper came, there’d be no way to stop her. Rosalie’s one of the most vicious fighters I’ve ever seen. How can anyone stand a chance? I have to go.”

“Into an unknown struggle with a vampire? Even I think that’s crazy,” Jasper added, taking his eyes off me.

I couldn’t just stand there, waiting, doing nothing, while my husband went off to face a possible killer. Then I thought of Alice and Rosalie and I thought of Oliver. This couldn’t be a coincidence. Either they were in league together or this woman was trying to get to Oliver through us. But why would she want Edward?”

I had no choice. I had to trust Edward would be okay.

I had to let him go.

--

TO BE CONTINUED...

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