Bella ran into Victoria when Edward left her, and fifty years later she is back in Forks with her family. They've formed a band; Tourniquet. An ironic name, to be sure, seeing as they're all vampires...
7. Can't Believe Him Again
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I winced at the end of the new song, feeling Bella’s pain multiply further than it had ever been. As soon as the last chord died away, I put my bass down and raced after Bella. She needed me now more than anything.
I felt like the worst person in all of history, vampire history included. I had no idea I had hurt Bella this way…I cringed as I caught what Jasper had sensed her feeling. I didn’t mean to hurt her…I can’t believe I hurt her. I stood when the little vampire, Michelle, raced out and after Bella, but Jasper and Emmett pulled me back down as Andre glared.
“So now you know exactly how badly you hurt her,” he snapped. “That was written today. I've never seen her worse than this, and I’ve been with her since just after she was changed. I hope you're proud of yourself,” he said bitterly. Emma grabbed his arm, shaking her head.
“No, Dre,” she whispered. “Calm down. You heard what Michelle said earlier. He's hurting just as much.” I could tell she hadn’t meant for anyone else to hear that bit and looked away.
“I can’t believe what a fool I was,” I whispered, more to myself than them. “I shouldn’t ever have even thought about leaving her…” I felt Jasper wince beside me and tried to control my emotions. It was hurting him too. “Sorry, Jazz. Esme, Carlisle, I'll call you when I know when I'm going. I don’t want to inflict myself on you all any more,” I added, standing and heading for the door. Alice put herself in front of me, glaring.
“Oh, no you don’t, Edward!” she snapped. “I've lost you, and her, once before. I'm not going to let it happen again!”
“Same here,” Rosalie added, joining Alice. I knew Emmett and Jasper would help them contain me if they had to. I could hear it in their thoughts.
“You already left her once for her own good and look where that got you both! You are sticking around this time, even if I have to tie myself to you to keep a track of you!” Alice hissed, glaring at me. I gave in with a sigh. They wouldn’t let me go, I could see that much.
“Please, Rose, Alice. She obviously doesn’t want to be around me. So just let me go,” I whispered. I would go back to hunting for Victoria… Alice shook her head.
“It's a hopeless search, Edward. Victoria is dead,” she told me. “She has been for years, but you wouldn’t listen to me.”
“Of course she's dead,” Bella said from behind them, sounding calm again. “I was the one who killed her. That's how I found Dre.”
I was sobbing on my couch, curled into a tight ball, when Michelle found me and hugged me. I could feel my pain ebbing, and was immensely grateful. I opened my eyes and hugged her back.
“Thanks, Michelle,” I whispered. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” She smiled sadly.
“Neither do I, the rate you've been going these last couple of days,” she commented dryly. “Come on, let's get back downstairs.” I nodded and followed her downstairs in time to hear Alice tell Edward Victoria was dead.
“Of course she's dead,” I said calmly. “I was the one who killed her. That's how I found Dre.” Andre smiled at me, but I could tell he was worried. I nodded slightly once to reassure him. I would be fine now. I slipped past Alice, Rosalie and Edward into the room, crossing to stand by my family.
“Sorry about that,” I murmured. “Emotion gets to me.” Michelle coughed to cover laughter as Emma rolled her eyes.
“Understatement of the decade,” Emma muttered. I smiled shakily, then collapsed into my normal chair with a sigh.
“I'm not normally so depressed, I swear,” I assured them, then glared at Lee when he snorted.
“You should see the music she listens to,” he told Esme and Carlisle. “Seriously, she has no relatively happy songs on her iPod.” I glared.
“Thanks for that, Lee. Do you want me to tell them what music is on your iPod?” I asked sweetly, although the beginning of my sentence was loaded with sarcasm. If he could, he would have blushed.
“You wouldn’t,” he said in mock horror. I nodded.
“She would, Lee,” Emma told him. “She's brutal like that.”
“If she's not hanging you by your ankles from the second-story window for a week,” Andre added with a grimace. Alice giggled.
“You actually did that, Bella?” she asked. I nodded. “What did you do, Andre?”
“Just added her to an internet dating site,” he said casually, and I glared. “And kinda set her up for a few dates,” he added sheepishly. I growled at him. “Okay, a lot of dates.”
“He's lucky I didn’t tear him to pieces,” I snarled. “Hanging him from the window was mild compared to what I had in mind.” Alice laughed again, and I grinned wryly. I was again ignoring Edward, but every moment he was there was just tearing me further apart. And it would hurt more when he left.
It was past nine o’clock before anyone even checked the time. Michelle and Lee were writing their own music and editing their parts in ‘Cuts’ to make it sound better. Emma had already adjusted her beats, and I knew Andre would edit his when he wanted to or as he went while we were practising. I found myself sitting on the floor leaning back against Emma’s legs as she stroked my hair lightly. Then I realised my family had no idea what Edward, Alice and Jasper could do.
“Em, you know how you have your extra ability,” I began, and she raised an eyebrow.
“Well, yeah,” she said. “It's saved both our behinds more times than I can be bothered to count.” I smiled.
“Twenty five times in the last three years," I informed her. "I'm currently shielding your minds because of Edward’s ability,” I told her. “He can read minds…”
“Except Bella’s,” he interjected quietly from the floor beside Esme’s feet. I glanced at him and then looked away quickly.
“Even when I was human he couldn’t read my mind,” I explained to my family. “Alice can see the future, and Jasper can sense and change emotions. Michelle can sense pain and remove it,” I told the Cullens. “Andre can erase a human’s memory, and a vampire’s if need be. Emma can stop time, but it doesn’t effect her or other vampires.”
“And what can you do?” Rosalie asked from her seat on Emmett’s lap. I smiled slightly.
“I can create physical or mental shields. I am currently shielding Lee, Michelle, Andre and Emma’s minds, and Edward got a taste of one of my physical shields earlier. That was a weak one, too,” I said icily. It was the only way I could address him and not start crying. Emmett whistled softly, and I winced at an oddly discordant chord Lee played on his keyboard.
“What was that?” Andre exclaimed. “Since when do you press a wrong key?” Lee scowled.
“For your information, I was trying to figure out different chording from the ones Bella wrote here.” Edward stood and crossed to his side.
“May I take a look?” he asked politely. Lee glanced at me, and I shrugged. Reluctantly, Lee moved aside from his precious keyboard and let Edward take a look at the music. His fingers flowed over the keys, and raced through my composition at twice the intended pace. He reached the part Lee had been experimenting with, and paused momentarily, replaying the few bars before where the music was now blank. A small frown creased his forehead, before he replayed the bars again and then inserted a slightly discordant chord which then moved on into the next key easily. Lee was now looking at him appreciatively.
“That's a well-written part,” Edward murmured. “It's very good.” I looked away.
“Thanks,” I muttered, and Lee took over his keyboard again to play through the edited part. I had to admit, it sounded better now. I wasn’t really much of a songwriter. As Lee continued to play and adjust some notes, a new tune came into my head and I found myself humming it. Then I caught myself as I remembered what song it was and what it was called. I froze for a moment, cursing myself. How did that song get into my head?
“Bells?” Andre asked. “What's wrong?”
“Nothing,” I muttered. Liar. “I just remembered something else I wrote…it's upstairs. I'll be back when I've had another look through it,” I murmured, and then stood gracefully to race up the stairs into my room. I had written something else…just…where was it?
‘Edward,’ Jasper thought, catching my attention. I glanced at him as I re-settled myself at Esme’s feet, letting him know I’d heard him. ‘She still loves you, brother. She's cautious, and she's scared. She doesn’t want to get hurt again. But Bella still loves you.’ I shook my head slightly, but then wished I hadn’t when Emma glanced at me. She kissed Andre’s cheek, then stood and hauled me to my feet.
“I want to talk to you,” she said calmly, and I followed her out of the house into the back garden.
When she stopped walking, she turned and put her hands on her hips. I waited for her to speak.
“Edward, Bella still loves you,” she whispered. “She's only in pain because of how she feels. It hurts her because she thinks you don’t love her. But…I think you do. I think you never stopped loving her. I think you're telling the truth.” I was shocked by her sudden change of heart. She seemed to realise and smiled slightly. “Edward, I see how you look at her. She's never even glanced at another man, human or vampire, the way I see her looking at you when she thinks no one’s watching. If you love her the way you say you do, then listen to me and do exactly as I tell you.” I nodded, eager to do anything I could to win Bella back.
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