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If I should die...

Summary:
How would twilight be different if Bella had a disease and was dying before she came to Forks? Would it shake Edwards resolve to change her if he knew that they would only have a short time together.


Notes:


11. Chapter 11

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2598   Review this Chapter

Edward wrapped his arms around me hugging me as he laid his cheek on the top of my head. The gesture seemed extremely familiar when abruptly his arms released me so that I had to grip his shirt to keep from toppling backwards off his lap. He steadied me quickly as our eyes met; I could read the fear and apprehension there. He took a deep breath, calming himself as his lids fluttering down whispering, “I’m a vampire, Bella.”

My eyes widened in shock as the questions bombarded my mind. The questions bubbled to my lips but as I took in Edwards’s appearance I swallowed them back down. His arms hung limply at his sides while his head had dipped down so that I barely see his blank expression. He had turned to stone before me but I could still read the vulnerability there. Then I realized why the hug had been so familiar it was the hug that I had given to Charlie just yesterday. He was hugging me as if it was the last time that he would ever be able to touch me. He was afraid that I would leave him.

A smile formed on my lips as I contemplated the fact that Edward wanted me to stay. The new love for him that coursed through me grew stronger as I moved my hands towards his face. My hands shook uncontrollably and I wished they weren’t but I placed them on his face all the same. He leaned into my touch, his eyes opening slowly as I soothed, “I’m not afraid of you Edward.”

His eyes narrowed but he did not look away from me as he whispered, “You should be. I don’t understand why you’re not, Bella. Most humans shy away from us.”

“Why would I none of you have ever tried to….” My words caught in my throat painfully as my mind finally pieced things together. Everything I had ever read or known of vampires showed that they lived off the blood of humans. I focused my attention back to him blurting out almost hysterically, “Do you kill people?”

Understanding showed in his eyes while his hands fisted tightly, “I have but not in a very long time. My family and I are different in that aspect. We live off the blood of animals but it never really satisfies the hunger or I guess thirst would be a better word.”

I looked down at the floor, as I mauled his answer over in my mind, trying to understand why I was different. Then that first day flooded back to me, the dark look, the way he had gripped the table. I had completely misunderstood his reaction, he was not disgusted to be near me because of my disease, he was trying not to kill me.

In that moment I knew should be afraid but I wasn’t. Maybe it was the fact that I was dying or maybe it was the fact that I loved him, I wasn’t sure but either way I couldn’t force myself to run from him. I bite my lip as I looked back to him, my voice was hoarse as I whispered, “It’s harder for you to be around me than most isn’t it?”

“Yes,” he stated simply trying to read my reaction.

“Why?” I asked needing to understand everything. I knew that it would never change the way that I felt but I needed clarity. I had so many questions, so many things that I needed to understand but I needed to know why most of all.

“It’s very difficult to explain” He stated grimly looking away from me.

“Please try. I need to understand.”

He looked back at me then seeing the truth in my words. If I was to even consider his proposal then I needed to know everything. A hundred emotions crossed his face as I watched him, waiting for him to speak. Finally, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to stand another second of silence his velvety voice filled the air, “With our lifestyle, we encounter humans everyday and it is difficult to refrain but we can. But with you the call of your blood is a thousand times stronger…” he stopped taking in my bewildered expression. He breathed evenly as he tried a different tactic, “Bella being close to you is very similar to giving a recovering drug addict a vile of heroine.”

“So my blood is like a drug to you?” I asked trying to sort all the information out in my head.

“Yes, a very powerful drug.” He whispered smiling at me while his soft eyes stole my breath.

“Is this something that happens a lot?”

“It has happened twice to Emmett. And Jasper is so new to our way to life that every day is a struggle for him so he was not sure. But as far as the rest no.” he stated his face becoming very serious once more.

“And you?”

“Never before you?”He stated his face becoming an unreadable mask once more.

I thought about his answer as the questions, I had been keeping at bay, plagued me once again. I tried to sort through all the chaos in my mind to find the most vital. But Edward misunderstood my silence as he asked, “Are you afraid now?”

I smiled up at him shaking my head as I whispered truthfully, “Overwhelmed yes but afraid no.”

He smiled crookedly back at me as he stated, “Given all that I have told you, you have every right to feel overwhelmed.”

“It’s not that really. It just that I have so many questions that I don’t really know what I should ask first.” I explained while his chest shook me with the laughter that he was trying to contain.

“My best suggestion would be to start at the top and work your way down. I will answer anything you want to know.” he whispered trying to make his voice sound as even as possible.

“This is going to sound really stupid I am sure but you don’t have fangs.” I whispered as the tight dramatic bubble around us popped and his musical laughter swirled around the room.

The hours passed while Edward quietly answered every question that my mind could think of. I found out more information about what he was in those short hours than I thought my brain could contain. I knew the reason why they lived as they did and though I didn’t think it would have been possible, I loved him more for it. I learned all about his background, that Carlisle had been the ones to change most of his family, that Alice and Jasper had come along later. As he spoke of his family, the more appealing becoming one of them seemed. I already loved each of them for the compassion that they had shown me but I wanted so much more.

By the time the drugs had fully worn off and I was feeling more than a little tired and sore, did two thoughts cross my mine. The first was I had no idea how long I had been there. While the second was of Charlie.

I looked around trying to gauge the hour asking, “What time is it?”

“It’s 1 in the morning.” He whispered reading my frantic face as he wrapped his arms tightly around me adding, “Alice called Charlie while you were sleeping to tell him that she picked you up to stay the night with her.”

“Oh, well that was very nice of her.” I stated settling comfortably back into his stone embrace.

“She figured with the day that you had that you wouldn’t want to worry your father too.” He whispered smiling at me before he placed his head on top of mine.

“She’s very thorough isn’t she?” I whispered enjoying the feel of him so much I never wanted to leave the comfort of his stone arms.

“Usually.” He laughed as I closed my eyes wishing this moment with him would never end but my stomach gurgled painfully drawing my attention. I sighed as I realized that I had not eaten at all that day and anything that may have been in my stomach wouldn’t have been there anyway. As I thought of that my face flushed bright red at the way that they had found me early that day.

I wanted to apologize but Edward cut me off stating, “You’re hungry.”

“No not really,” I lied not wanting to inconvenience any of them further since I was positive that they wouldn’t keep any food in the house.

“Alice got food earlier because she knew you would need it and I really think that you should eat something with what happened earlier today.” He stated lifting his head off mine, turning my body so that he could see my face only to smile teasingly before adding, “Plus I think if you get any thinner then you will disappear before my eyes.”

My face blushed even brighter as I glared up at him angrily. In the last few months, I had not been able to eat much that so my normally 115 pounds frame was now teetering on 90 pounds. All my bones jutted out strangely from my body but I had been hoping that it didn’t show too much. Evidentially I had been wrong.

“Really,” I muttered angrily pushing to stand up but Edward was quicker. In one fluid motion, he cradled me while I threw my arms around his neck before walking out the door.

“Besides, Carlisle really wants to check on you. Alice has been by Carlisle’s room no less than 100 times waiting for us to finish and Esme is dying to meet you.” He said carrying me down the stairs at an unnatural speed to stop in front of the rest of his family.

“It’s about time.” Alice squealed running to me.

Edward ignored her as he continued walking, at a more normal rate, towards what could only be their living room. Alice sighed behind him before he gently set me on a very plush leather sofa. Alice glared at him before coming to sit beside me. My embarrassment reach new peaks as the rest of the family gathered around me. However, a soothing calm surrounded me causing me to seek out Jasper.

“Thanks,” I muttered having learned about his gift earlier.

“Don’t mention it.” He smiled standing a little back from his family as they all seemed to talk at once.

I laughed feeling empowered by the calm. Everyone looked to me there musical laughter erupting in sync with mine. A small motherly looking woman with soft brunette hair came to stand next to Carlisle. A beautiful knowing smile curved her lips as Carlisle began to speak, “Bella this is my wife, Esme.” Esme held her hand out to me hesitantly as I smiled back at her.

Her cool grasp was what I had come to expect, shaking her hand I whispered, “It’s very nice to meet you.”

“I am so very glad to finally meet you too, Bella.” She stated looking knowingly at Edward before adding, “You’re all my children seem to talk about.”

The cushion beside me started to vibrate slightly, drawing my attention. Alice bounced next to me in glee as Esme turned away saying, “I should get you something to eat.”

“That’s really not necessary,” I stated trying to push myself off of the couch but Alice pinned me down.

“It’s not a problem at all dear. You must be famished. You have been up there for hours.” She stated a motherly kindness showing in her eyes before walking towards what I could only assume was the kitchen.

I slumped back into the couch feeling like a burden while Alice patted my arm soothing stating, “Don’t worry, Bella. Esme’s really excited to finally get to use the kitchen.”

I stuck my tongue out at her broodingly earning a round of tinkling laughter from her. Looking away, I focused on Carlisle as he knelt down in front of me. His face took on a professional look as he pointed to my wrist asking, “May I.”

I held my casted wrist out to him letting him inspect it. He turned it over and over in his palm finally satisfied with his inspection as he dropped it, looking up at me.

“So how are you feeling?” he asked his concern showing in his words.

I smiled trying to reassure him before I answered, “I am feeling much better. Thank you.”

I could read the doubt on his face when he murmured quietly, “How is the pain?”

“Controllable.” I whispered feeling embarrassment breaking through my calm, coloring my cheeks as five pairs of topaz eyes took in every word.

Edward sat down next to me softly grabbing my hand, his eyes showing his concern. Carlisle nodded his head at me, standing up but his face revealed that he was not completely satisfied with my answer. He looked back at me mentioning, “I am having your test results faxed to me as soon as they are complete so I am hoping to know soon if there is any change.”

“Was there something wrong with the ones done at the hospital?” I inquired unable to curb my curiosity as my heart picked up rhythm.

“No, not expressly but one of your results was rather surprising but I won’t know conclusively until I receive the new test results,” he answered evasively.

I let go of Edward, reaching forward to grab Carlisle’s hand before he could turn away.

“What do you think?” I asked as he looked back at me his expression was unreadable so I added, “I trust your judgment Carlisle. I need to know what you think.”

He smiled sadly at me his mask vanishing, revealing his remorse dropping my hand as he leaned toward me whispering, “I think that the cancer is spreading much more rapidly than first estimated. Your episode today fairly confirmed that fact. I won’t be sure until I get your results but with your rapid deterioration, my best guess would be that you will need hospitalization within a few weeks. The morphine I gave you this afternoon barely touched the pain before you passed out. I still can’t quite understand how you are able to survive without taking pain medication daily.”

I looked up at him questioningly not surprised that I was still considerably calm as he explained, “I questioned Alice.”

“Oh,” I whispered in a faint voice before continuing, “It bothers Charlie if he sees me take it. It used to bother Renee so I only take it when it’s utterly necessary. I guess you could say I have grown accustomed to the pain.”

Edward stiffened beside me gaining my attention. I opened my mouth to comfort him but Esme walked into the room carrying a tray of food. I thanked her profusely until Alice demanded my attention talking so fast I could barely catch her words. I ate as much as I possibly could but Esme looked concerned as she took my plate of barely eaten food. I leaned back into the couch letting Alice’s voice wash over me as I closed my eyes. I distinctly heard the words sister and shopping but I was too far gone to protest.

I woke as someone gently lifted me off the couch only to place me on the same soft bed as before. I opened my eyes to watch Edward walk away from me just as all the emotions that were not present in Jasper’s company pressed down on me. The need to not be alone crushed me as I pleaded, “Please don’t leave.”

Affected by my tone Edward was laying next to me in a flash, caressing my hair softly as he whispered, “I’m not going anywhere. Sleep now my Bella.”

Then he began to hum that soothing lullaby as I drifted off to sleep.