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Tough Love

Summary:
Leaving your love is hard, but forgetting about the pain is even worse. Try telling that to Edward Cullen. When he thinks he's imagining things, he doesn't know how real things are about to get. A twist on New Moon Chapter 3 is up!


Notes:
I know what you're thinking, this story is so over done! But really, IT'S NOT what you think it is. I don't know how to explain it, but it's actually really good. I just hope you'll like this.


3. Ruefully annoying

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1872   Review this Chapter

Sometimes, people just didn’t know when to stop.

“Why did you say no to her? What happened?” Marie asked, her eyes a soft chocolate color. I sighed and looked away. I really wish she’d stop looking at me like that. Like Bella used to when she wanted me to do something for her. As if I liked getting salt in my wounds?

“It’s hard to explain.”

“Can’t be too hard. Tell me!” She pulled on the sleeve of my sweater and I looked back at her.

“What is your problem? You’re so… inquisitive,” I huffed, annoyed.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means you’re prying… meddlesome?” I glared at the look of confusion on her face. “You’re nosy!”

“Oh. Well, why didn’t you just say that? I like being nosy. Now tell me!”

“I’d rather not discuss it with you.” I told her in clipped tones. “It – it hurts too much.” I made myself admit, and continued walking, although I knew she wasn’t following. I turned and saw her sit down on a nearby stump, folding her legs under her and placing her hands on her lap.

She looked up at me expectantly.

“I’m not moving until you tell me,” she threatened, as if I cared so much.

“Fine, I’m not the one who’s lost,” I shrugged, turning back around and walking closer to the trees.

“Fine, but you’ll come back… they always do.”

“Excuse me?” I turned around again. “Who always does?”

“I don’t know, it just sounded like a good thing to say at the moment,” she laughed.

“Fine, I’m leaving,” I said, feeling like a child who unnecessarily kept talking in one of these lame arguments. “See if I care. Actually, I’m glad to get away now.”

“Fine, go then.”

“I’m leaving. You’re going to be out here, alone. And it’ll be dark in an hour or less,” I emphasized. Was this girl really silly enough to think that she could find her way on her own?

“Leave then!” She stubbornly crossed her arms over her chest. “I don’t care. The wolves can eat me!”

I took a deep breath, somewhat reluctantly, pulling in the scents of the forest. There were your typical wolves that hunted in the immediate area of the forest, but none of the shape-shifting humans that run amuck back on the Olympic Peninsula.

Now that I thought about it… what if Bella happened upon one of those dogs? Charlie’s best friend was Billy Black, who was the son of Ephraim, one of the most powerful wolves back in my day… what if the wolves came back? Bella was a danger magnet…

“I thought you were leaving!” A stubborn shout interrupted my thoughts. I sighed, walking back over to her and kneeling next to the stump.

“All right. I’ll make you a deal. If I don’t have to tell you what happened between she and I then I’ll stay at your cottage tonight. Deal?” I raised an eyebrow.

I could almost see the gears turning in her head as she deliberated.

“Two nights, and it’s a deal.”

“What? That’s not fair.” My eyes narrowed. “You’re taking advantage of my kindness.”

“Fine, then tell me. And don’t leave a word out.”

It would hurt way too much to talk about it, plus the fact that I couldn’t tell her the reason why I left Bella. Because I was a filthy monster who deserved pain for the rest of eternity.

“How about… one night, and I’ll tell you half of the story? That’s my final offer.”

“One night. Tell me half of the story. And you have to smile more often,” she smirked at me. I shook my head and ran a hand through my hair, probably making it even more chaotic looking.

“Deal, but you have got to stop being so…irritating.”

“Sweeet,” she whistled. “I like your smile. Kind of crooked and it reaches your eyes.”

“Um. Thank you?”

“You’re welcome. Got any food? I’m starving!” She rubbed her stomach. She must have some sort of attention deficit disorder.

“You should’ve thought about that before you got lost then. No, I don’t have any food.”

“Then what do you eat all alone out here?” She asked, her eyes troubled.

“I don’t eat much.” I tried to reassure her. “I just finished my last meal that I packed.”

“Oh. Well then, it’s a good thing you found me. I’m an amazing cook,” she smiled, getting up from the stump. We continued our walk through the forest.

“Oh no, don’t worry about that. I’ll eat on my own.” I resisted the grimace when I thought about human food.

“Nonsense! You’re not leaving my house until you eat a full four meals. A growing man like you needs nourishment.”

Four meals?” I nearly gagged. How was I going to eat four meals and try to cough it up when she wasn’t aware? I would have to hide the food when she wasn’t looking.

“Yes. Now, stop changing the subject and tell me what happened.”

I’m changing the subject?” I sighed, struggling to get it out. But once I started, I couldn’t really stop myself.

“Her name is Bella Swan and she lives in Forks, Washington. I met her in my biology class about a year ago and I fell instantly in her… allure,” I started. Allure, Bloodlust same thing to me. “She captivated and interested me from day one, and a few weeks later, we were in love. She was perfect, and I was not. On her 18th birthday, something… bad happened, and even though I should’ve expected it, I did not. She was in danger from me, and some of my family. So then, I told her we were leaving. I know I broke her heart, but it was much better than her being in danger because of me and my irresponsible love, right?”

I looked back at Marie, but she just stood there, frozen. A deep look of pain was in her eyes as she stared at me.

“No,” she whispered through unmoving lips. “That’s… horrible.”

“What is? The fact that I left her? Don’t you understand though? She was in danger…”

“It doesn’t matter,” she nearly growled through clenched teeth. “A man and a woman in love should never leave unless it’s because one of them dies.”

“But don’t you see? If I was there, she could have died!”

“Then you should have been there with her, while she was dying! What kind of love do you think you have?! Are you not strong enough to be with her? To catch her when she falls? To show her the light out of in the darkness?”

“How would you know?” I could feel my temper rise rising, as it had not done in many months. “How would you know what it was like? Being involved with me was the most dangerous course her path could take.”

“But she took that path nonetheless! She knew of your danger, and she still followed you! And you left her? You left her on that path, while you took another? Just to save yourself the pain of her dying with your hands? You probably caused her much more pain than you were trying to take away from her.” She shook her head in disgust.

“I know. I know, I’m a disgusting creature for hurting her, but what could I do? If she had died in my hands—I couldn’t – I just -- I could not bear it.” I stammered, wondering who this little girl was to have me feeling like a teenager in hopes to reconcile.

“But you should have! You should have born it for her happiness. That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger, right? The longer both of you would stay with each other would make you both stronger. Don’t you understand?” She looked as if she were about to cry. In fact, as I watched, a tear slipped from her eye.

“How would I know?” She continued tearfully. “I would know because a few years ago, my mother left my father because she thought she was dying. She left because she thought it would hurt him too much to see her dying. But you know what, Edward? She wasn’t dying! Her cancer was terminated, and she came back! That’s what true love is. True love always brings people back. She loved me, and she loved him. If you really loved her, then you would go back, not only for her, but for yourself also.”

“It’s not that easy. It’s not cancer, and it’s not like she won’t move on.” I almost stumbled over my own words as they came out of my mouth.

“Easy? Move on? Do you think her love is weak enough to allow her to just move on? Oh, well then, we shouldn’t even be talking about this pity love,” she sniffled. Wiping the tears off her face, she started to walk while I stood there, now frozen.

“Her love was not weak… I am weak,” I mumbled, moving behind her slowly.

“Yes, yes you are,” she said, matter-of-factly. “And that’s why, after staying tonight, you will go back to her.”

I looked at her, amazed.

I didn’t realize that this was what I was waiting for. The rest of my family was either with my decision or against it. None of them forced me to go back. None of them could force me to do anything. Even Emmett or Alice. And now this human girl who looked like my Bella (the only one could make me do anything I didn’t want to) was forcing me.

“I can’t go back.”

“Yes, you can,” Marie said, glaring at me. “You can. You’ll take a bouquet of flowers that I will make for you, some chocolate, and you will go back to her and apologize.”

“Like I said, it’s not that easy…”

“I don’t care if it’s easy or not! You will go back! Do you understand me?” She put her hands on her hips and glowered at me.

“I…don’t know if I can. I don’t even think she’ll accept me.”

“She will. If you apologize, she’ll accept. Especially if you have chocolate. Chocolate fixes everything.”

“Marie…she looks like you, but she doesn’t act like you.” Not at all. Thank the higher heavens that my Bella did not act like this annoying, irritating girl that just crushed my ego over and over again.

“But she is a woman, and most women have the same instinct. We appreciate love more than men do. We understand things, and we can nurture apologies in ourselves. She will accept, don’t worry, Edward.” She shook her head ruefully, as if she were educating a particularly stupid animal on the reasons why he should not urinate on the sofa.

She smiled at me and patted my arm, sighing. I could see only truth in her words. Only fact, only reason. She was honest and clear, without the unnecessary words of comfort. Although she could have done without the dramatics and the insipid comments.

“It is pretty sad that I don’t get to keep a hottie like you all to myself though,” she laughed. I smiled back slightly, infected by her laugh. “There’s that smile you owed me!”