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Life Beloved

Summary:
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him - and I don't know if it even existed in my present circumstances - that might have thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him. But... Daniel?


Notes:
Edward? With Tanya. Bella? Heart broken. ... Just friends, right?


4. Confusion

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3612   Review this Chapter

Edward Cullen

What the hell was I doing here?

I jumped from the tree to the wall, perching precariously on the small shelf of wood. But of course I wouldn’t fall. Of course.

I focused my brain back to what was in front of me. Bella Swan’s window.

Again, the same thought that had been going through my head for the past twenty minutes. Seriously, what was I doing here? It was like my sub consciousness, if I still had any, was acting of its own accord. It had started at another row at the house – Alice had gotten mad because Tanya had knocked over another of Esme’s vases in one of her fits. At least, it wasn’t too old, because Esme was rather fond of her antiques. Alice and Rosalie had turned on me, of course – and when I had no answer, they turned away, giving me looks of disgust, blocking their minds. Emmett and Jasper hadn’t been too supporting, either, turning to their wives. I had gotten out to get some fresh air – twisting out of Tanya’s grasp – and maybe go on a walk. My feet had led me here.

I undid the latch quickly, slipping in with less noise than the whisper of a leaf. I slid into the room, my footsteps light and silent. I stood on the floor hesitantly, watching the shape under the blankets. Bella Swan.

Again, feelings like I had never felt before coursed through me, and I couldn’t explain what it was. It overwhelmed me as I looked at her delicate features shine in the fresh moonlight (something new to the town of Forks), almost glowing. I looked at her for what felt like a new light, letting the feelings engulf me.

The way that she had whispered into my ear in that class – her breath so warm, so aromatic; her voice, so beautiful, chime-like… The way that her unusual yet unique scent would stun me when she ran her fingers through her soft, shining hair… The way she’d fiddle with that necklace of hers, cupping her neck with her other hand… I felt almost lethargic myself as I watched her sleep, swaddled in blankets.

I made my way over to a rocking chair in the corner. The room was clean – everything orderly, in place. But it was surprisingly different, too, just like her; not like most teenage girls – no pictures adorned her walls, no random clothes flung into corners, no blaring colors shouting from the walls…

My eyes landed on an iPod on her table. I picked it up, turning it on softly, as to not wake her. I went to her collection of songs – my brow creasing upwards in surprise. The songs were all unmarked and unnamed. I plugged in one of the earphones, turning on the music softly. It was set on full volume, for some reason.

As the harsh music played, I felt my nose wrinkle in disgust. All of them – maybe two hundred songs – were the same kind, with unruly beats and unintelligible words shouting out. Rap songs. I was sure it wasn’t her type of songs – what compelled her to listen to those kinds of songs? I gently placed the iPod back on the table.

I leaned back in the chair, carefully so that it wouldn’t creak. Again, as I looked over at her from under my lashes, I got lost. The full curve of her red lips, her soft rounded cheeks that blushed so often, her deep brown eyes… thinking about her eyes, I was drawn back to the movie day today in the Biology classroom. That unnatural, almost electric charge that surged between us as we stared into each other’s gaze… it was slightly unnerving. And when I had touched her shoulder, to rouse her, the way she had suddenly become uncomfortable and twisted away. Not only that was unusual, but also the light rise I had felt on her skin, under her brown sweater. A scar, maybe? But again… the way that she stumbled so often, the way I had caught her inches from the ground, holding her petite warm body so close to mine, looking into her bottomless, capturing eyes again… This plain, ordinary girl was emerging new feelings from me that I had never felt before. What were they?

A sound brought me back to where I was. I looked over to the bed covers, which were moving slightly. Bella started stirring slightly, and I tensed. But when she threw back the covers, I had to stifle back a gasp.

She was wearing a simple tank-top and shorts, but that wasn’t what caught my attention, and painfully held it. Almost every inch of her skin, from above her elbows, to across her shoulders – even the small patch of skin on her stomach from the raised clothe, and her legs – were covered in bruises, scars, scratches, and cuts.

I walked forward in a trance-like state, horrified. Who had done this? Yes, she was clumsy, but I didn’t believe that she was clumsy enough to cause all these pains to her body. I kneeled next to her, aghast – feeling sickened, appalled, and disgusted as I looked at her marked skin. I looked up to her face, and she stirred again, turning slightly. In her sleep, she winced as she turned on a side of bruises, while I stared with my eyes wide. What on Earth had happened?

It was frustrating that I couldn’t read her mind – the empty blankness! I could have found out what had happened. I was sure she hadn’t told any of her friends – the thought of her friends brought me to my siblings. Why on Earth did they invite her to sit with them? Not that I had any personal objection, I just wanted to know what they were doing. Interacting with a human. They had been acting the same way for the three days ever since Bella Swan came – aloof, mysterious, and not talking to me. Why? My head was filled with questions.

The girl – Bella, started mumbling softly, and I bit back a chuckle. Her volume grew, but her voice was still soft. She mumbled a string of incoherent words, until she turned on her back. I stood up, about to leave, when something stopped me.

Edward Cullen.”

I froze. Had Bella woken up and seen me?

I was out of the window in a beat, perching on the tree. Hopefully, she hadn’t seen me, or hadn’t been coherent enough to understand that I was there. Maybe she thought she was still dreaming.

I was back to my spot in the tree, peering cautiously into the window. I could see everything clearly – Bella Swan was still in her bed, in the same position she had been in. She was still sleeping. Apparently, she had said my name in her sleep.

Again, a feeling coursed through me, so strong that it wiped out all the other feelings. I had a strangest urge to… protect her, to keep her safe. To guard her from whoever was hurting her… The thought brought me back to the bruises on her body, and I felt anger boil through me. Before it could progress, I heard a sigh from inside the room.

Bella Swan was still dreaming, and she had sighed. If only I could see into her mind and see what she was thinking! As I looked at her through the framed window, I saw her blush in her sleep. She softly bit her lip, and I smiled. She had just blushed in her sleep.

All of a sudden, she started to move. For the next minute, she tossed and turned restlessly, squirming. Tears began forming at the corner of her eyes, and one of them leaked over. I continued to watch quietly, seeing more and more tears trickle out of her eyes. I tried to suppress the strong feeling telling me to just go over to her and… hold her.

She started saying something through her sleep tears, and at first it was hard to hear, but it grew louder. “No! I’m sorry… sorry!” She whimpered. Her face was overcome by pain. “I’m sorry! Daniel… no…

Who was this Daniel?

All of a sudden, she shot up in her bed, her eyes wide. Now she was definitely awake.

She sat up, pushing her hair out of her face, wiping her tears. She wrapped her arms around her torso in a protective manner, looking down at her arms. She brought her knees up, holding them tightly. At first I couldn’t understand what she was doing – convulsing furiously, strange sounds ripping from her throat. And then it dawned on me.

Oh. She was crying.

It was like she was sobbing her heart out, as I watched from my awkward position on the tree. I felt like I was intruding on her privacy, but I was too fascinated. She put her head on her arms and cried, sobs and moans ripping from her throat, shaking her body. I just watched on, helpless, trying to ignore the feeling that so desperately wanted to go over and wipe her tears, pulling her into my arms.

Get a grip, Edward. That was my own thought, for once. What was wrong with me?

She continued on like that for a few minutes, clutching her hand to her heart as if it might have just fallen out. Why was she crying so hard? Why? I felt like I had to find out, like I was supposed to.

Eventually she stopped, wiping her wet face on her arms. She walked over to the window, and I started feeling scared that she had actually seen me. I burrowed deeper into the tree, careful not to lose my footing.

Bella walked over to the window and sat on the cove-like ledge on the other side, bringing her legs up. She leaned her forehead against the cool glass, her fingers trailing meaningless patterns on the frosted window. I continued to watch her. Another tear trickled out of her eye, trailing down her cheek. I ignored the feeling that was telling me to wipe it away.

We both stayed like that for an hour – she stayed on the ledge, letting another tear drop out every once in a while, and I stayed on the tree, watching her. Part of me was screaming to go back, but the more dominant part of me was screaming to stay put.

So I stayed put.

After a while, she got up abruptly, and I followed her with my eyes. She seemed to be picking up a few things – I noticed it was a pair of shoes and her iPod (a twinge of guilt followed as I remembered I had looked through it), and grabbed a few clothes. She slipped a pair of sweatpants over her shorts, and wriggled into a sweatshirt, putting on her shoes. Where was she going? I saw her leave her room.

A minute later, she exited out the front door. Her overlarge “hoodie” was so huge that it swallowed her, looking to be about Emmett’s size. She plugged in her iPod (I had to wrinkle my nose again at her taste) and, overwhelming me beyond anything, ran into the woods.

I looked around, surprised. It was growing lighter – during the time that I was carefully observing Bella I had totally forgot what time it was. My phone ran, and ironically enough, it broke me out of my thoughts. I looked at the ID number. Alice.

“What, Alice?”

“Hey Edward!” Her voice was the same as always, enthusiastic and bright. I found myself missing it – it had been a while she had talked to me like that. “Where are you?”

I looked around me – the habitat of the tree. Another leaf floated into my hair. “Er… still, um, walking. Home.” My voice was rough.

“Oh, really?” Her voice was challenging. I could hear the others in the background – Rose, Emmett, Jasper – so she must have had the phone on speaker.

Yes, Alice.” I was talking rather defensively – I had no idea why I had lied in the first place.

“Hm… don’t you think it’s a little odd that you’ve been walking for a little over three hours?” I could hear the others laughing in the back, for some reason. I ignored her.

“Why are you calling me, Alice?”

“What?” she said. Her voice was innocent. “Can’t a caring, loving sister talk to her wonderful, sweet, lovely brother once in a while?”

I sighed exasperatedly into the phone. “What do you want, Alice?”

“Oh, nothing,” she said. Her voice was offhand, yet mischievous. I began to feel nervous.

“Right, I’m coming home,” I said.

“Okay, Edward. See you then.”

It took me a long while to figure that one out.

Alice Cullen

Edward is standing in a room. The room is totally organized, and there is a bed in the center.

A girl is sleeping soundly in the bed, and he is just watching her.

It’s Bella Swan, of course.

I smirked. “You will never believe where Edward is right now.”

Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper sat around the coffee table, all of them staring intently at a game board in the middle. Ironically enough, it was the Game of Life – Rosalie’s favorite game. She twisted the dial – frowning at the clicking noise – and then her face lit up. “Oh my god! Emmett! Look, Emmett, we just had a girl!”

“What?!” said Emmett, panicked. “I’m not ready! I’m still a child and now I have to be a father?!”

“Don’t worry,” said Rosalie, soothingly. “We’ll ask Carlisle and Esme. Oh, this is going to be so much fun! We can set up a nursery, buy really cute baby clothes—oh, we can take turns feeding her! What should we name her? How about—“

“Guys!” I barked. In my case, it was more like a yip, but it would pass. “Can we get back to the future, here?”

Jasper just rolled his eyes.

“You will never believe where Edward is right now. He’s at… a place…” I said. “Guess where.”

“Mike Newton’s house?” suggested Emmett, his voice shrewd. His eyes widened. “Oh my god, don’t tell me Eddiekins is gay. That would explain why he’s not interested in Tanya like the rest of the world—“

He couldn’t continue, because then Rosalie turned on him, her face livid. “Rest of the world?”

“Not me,” Emmett stammered. Rosalie turned the other way, crossing her arms.

No, he is not gay,” said Jasper. “I would have… uh, felt it. And Emmett, honestly, what is it with you and gay people?”

Emmett’s eyes widened for a second time, before he turned to me. “Alice! Jasper is gay!” He put his arms in front of him in a defensive posture. “Stay away from me,” he warned.

“Oh, shut up,” I said. When Jasper said nothing, I turned to him. “You’re not gay, are you?!”

His response was that he pulled me close and pushed his lips on mine, more exuberant than usual. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him closer. He tightened his hold on my waist. When we finally pulled away – my arms still around Jasper’s neck – Emmett and Rosalie both were staring at us, transfixed, their eyes wide as if they were engrossed in a soap opera.

“What?” I said defensively.

Emmett cleared his throat. “That was, uh, awkward.”

I rolled my eyes. “As if we never have to see you and Rose sucking each other’s faces off every day.”

Edward, in Bella’s room…

“Right, back to the vision, three guesses where Edward is!” I sang. I felt giddy, if that was possible. Emmett was the only one voicing, Jasper playing his turn and Rosalie watching him.

“Mike Newton’s.”

“No.”

“That chick from La Bella Italia.”

I laughed. So close. “No. Close.”

Rosalie turned on Emmett again. “Chick? Chick?

Emmett always tried to find a way out of his situations. “You know! Uh, baby chickens!”

Baby?

“Guys,” I said exasperatedly. “He’s. In. Bella. Swan’s. Room.”

Rosalie sniffed, turning back to her game.

I was about to say something, but another vision flashed.

It was Bella Swan—Cullen?—looking up to Edward.

There wasn’t anything too unusual, considering the fact that, after all, they were future soul mates.

But there was something different about her. It’s hard to tell, but her skin looked a shade paler, her hair looked a bit longer, and she stood differently, with confidence and grace.

Edward leaned down and whispered something in her ear. Interrupting the vision, I smiled. They looked so right together.

She smiled, laughing gently. The sound was amplified – it sounded shockingly like wind chimes.

There’s something different about her. What?

The vision closed in on them, enlarging their faces. Oh my god, Bella Swan. Cullen. Her eyes were golden.

I snapped out of the vision, my brow creasing. “Weird,” I murmured. "But… possible?" My voice was soft.

“What?” said Jasper. I looked up to him.

“Nothing, don’t worry. Anyways,” I said. “I’m going to call Edward!” I trilled. “You have no idea how stupid he looks in a tree.” I flipped out my phone, dialing his number. Rosalie looked up, more interested.

“What, Alice?” His voice sounded the usual irritated on the other end, but it had an edge to it. I giggled and pressed the speaker button.

“Hey, Edward!” I paused. “Where are you?”

I had a vision of a leaf floating into Edward’s hair as he talked into a phone. “Er… still, um, walking. Home.”

Emmett snorted.

“Oh, really?”

Yes, Alice.” His voice was defensive.

“Hm… don’t you think it’s a little odd that you’ve been walking for a little over three hours?” I said, infusing my tone with doubt. The others laughed in front of me.

“Why are you calling me, Alice?”

“What?” I said. My voice was innocent. “Can’t a caring, loving sister talk to her wonderful, sweet, lovely brother once in a while?”

Edward sighed exasperatedly into the phone. “What do you want, Alice?”

“Oh, nothing,” she said. My voice was offhand, yet mischievous. If only he knew…

“Right, I’m coming home,” said Edward, after a pause. I smiled.

“Okay, Edward. See you then.”

I disconnected the phone and looked up to the others. There was a pause, and then we all burst out laughing hysterically.

Bella Swan

That was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen. It was the same dream from the Biology class.

I walked over to the stranger, tapping him on the place where the bubble of light had disappeared into. The glaring light bulbs from overhead shone in his bronze hair. He turned, and even in my dream, I stifled a gasp.

Edward Cullen,” I breathed. He smiled his crooked smile, and I could feel myself blushing. What next? I bit my lip in anticipation.

He reached his arm out, his fingers just mere inches from my cheek. He smiled again.

Abruptly, his face started morphing, bubbling. He shrank down, his hair elongating into a brown crop slightly streaked with grey. His—her hand collided with my face, sending my sprawling on the ceramic tiles—no, the wooden floor. Renee turned to me, her face livid. A single drop of blood oozed from my cheek.

Wrong thing. It only aggravated her.

You idiot!” she screamed. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you blew it! You idiot!”

No! I’m sorry… sorry!”

Sorry isn’t good enough, you wrench. You good-for-nothing, useless—“

“—pathetic excuse for a person. It isn’t over… it never was.” Daniel looked down at me, his eyes laughing.

No…I’m sorry! Daniel… no…”

I wrenched out of the dream, my eyes wide and my breath coming in short shallow gasps. I thought I had left them behind! But no – they came again, and again! Why? Why?

I wrapped my arms around my torso tightly, feeling that if I didn’t, my heart, my lungs would fall out – no need to breathe or to love, but I needed them! I wrapped my arms around my knees, but winced, looking down. A bruise there.

I was, truly, worthless. The world hated me. I was a burden on mankind.

Still, I grew distracted for a second. The image of Edward Cullen from my dream… he was the last person on Earth that I could go to. The last. His perfect features – perfect nose, perfect mouth, perfect eyes, perfect hair – were for another perfect human. Tanya.

I shook my head tightly, not wanting to think about anything. God, why couldn’t I just die peacefully in my sleep? No more pain, feelings, no more love…

A sob ripped out of me, sounding guttural. I hugged my knees so tightly that I couldn’t feel my feet. I rocked my body gently, just immersed in my own thoughts screaming at me.

I got up and walked over to the window ledge, pressing my face against the cool glass. I traced patterns on the frosted glass, not really caring, when I heard a noise.

I looked outside. It was the tree, shaking in the wind, probably.

For some inexplicable reason, I had the feeling that I was being watched.

After maybe an hour, I got up, wiping the tears. I fished around for my shoes and sweatpants, getting ready for a run. After all, nothing had changed.

--

“Morning, Bells,” said Charlie. He picked up his coffee cup and drank it, reading the paper.

I yawned. “Morning, Ch—Dad.”

He looked up from his newspaper, his eyes lingering on the dark purple rings under my eyes. “You look tired,” he commented.

“I, uh, couldn’t sleep.”

“Hm.” He turned back to his paper while I unenthusiastically poked at my cereal.

“Um, Dad?” I started.

“Yeah?”

“Is it okay if I bring over a… friend, after school?”

Charlie looked up. “Who?”

“Edward Cullen,” I said reluctantly. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to tell him.

He studied the light blush on my cheek, his eyebrow raised. I rolled my eyes. “We’re working on a project together.”

“Boys sure do move fast these days,” he muttered under his breath.

I took that as a yes, hefting on my shoulder bag. “Bye, Dad,” I called over my shoulder.

I climbed into the truck, trying to ignore the way my stomach flipped and the blush returned.