This is Recklessness in Edward's POV; it's quite a bit longer and has some extra scenes in it that are not in Bella's POV. As always though, it's a lot more interesting.
6. Chapter 6: Forgiven
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Mere minutes later, I pulled up to my house, sped into the garage, and made my way into the house.
'EDWARD ANTHONY MASEN CULLEN!' Alice's voice screamed in my head, causing me to start and stagger back.
"Ow!" I grabbed my head, "WHAT?!"
She was suddenly beside me, smacking my arm, "Don't you 'what' me! How dare you have Bella over and not even tell me about it?!"
"In my defense, I didn't even know about it until after Bella and I already left school. And Emmett planned it; not me. He's the one who went behind your back." I said, defensively.
"You know how much I want to meet her. Why do I have to wait?"
"Emmett tricked me into doing it. And Bella's so stubborn. It was either do it or lose my sanity."
"Since when did you have sanity?" She teased.
I rolled my eyes and slugged her playfully. "Sorry, Alice. I'll introduce you as soon as I can. I want to be sure I know exactly how she feels about me first. I don't wanna force her into it. I'll know after tomorrow."
"Edward..." Alice placed a hand on my shoulder, "It doesn't take telepathy or even premonitions to know that Bella loves you."
"Does she?" I said, doubtfully, not getting my hopes up, "Alice, how could she love me?"
She shook her head, "Edward--"
"I don't wanna hear it, Alice," I said, firmly, "I don't want another lecture about how I've changed and it doesn't matter. It will always matter. Maybe not to you or Esme or Carlisle or maybe it won't even matter to Bella. But, it haunts me. Knowing what I did--it will always be a part of me.Nothing can make it go away. No matter how much I regret it, no matter how many people forgive me for such monstrous acts, nothing will change it. It doesn't just make it better. It doesn't matter how evil those people were, Alice, I. Took. Their. Lives. And it was not my choice to make. Doesn't anybody understand that?!"
"We understand it perfectly, Edward. But, nobody's perfect. We all come with our baggage."
"Exactly!" I said, firmly, "Bella deserves perfection. And I can't give that to her." Those words caused me such agonizing pain that I wanted nothing more than to shrivel up and die. "She doesn't understand," I whispered, "She can't understand."
"Well, maybe that doesn't matter to her. She loves you, Edward. I have seen how much she loves you and it is like looking in a mirror. It is the same love that Jasper and I share; that Emmett shares with Rose; that Carlisle shares with Esme. You will understand it soon enough. You just have to trust me."
I considered that. How could I possibly be the one for Bella? It didn't seem right. It wasn't right. Oh, how I so wanted it to be right! She was everything I had ever wanted. But, it couldn't be right. I wouldn't allow it to be right. Bella would not spend her life with a monster. What she refused to realize was that I was just that! A loathsome demon in the appearance of a god. She couldn't love me.
"Edward?" Alice interrupted my thoughts, "Don't...don't fight it. You deserve to be happy."
"No, I don't. I don't deserve happiness of any kind." I protested, as Carlisle's voice came into my head:
'Edward, may I see you for a moment, please?' I closed my eyes. Damn it. He had heard me. I sighed and mouthed, "Carlisle," to Alice before going inside the house.
Rosalie had locked herself in hers and Emmett's room and Emmett was pounding on the door repeatedly. "Aw, come on, Rose, let me in! She's really cool; you'd like her if you gave her a chance. Please?! Rose? She is not the horrible person you believe she is. Rose!"
Jasper and Esme were in the living room, simply spending quality time together, chuckling quietly.
I stalled as much as I could, but eventually had no choice. I knocked on the door to Carlisle's study.
"Please, come in, Edward," He called, through the door.
I obliged and said, "You wanted to see me?"
"Yes...please sit down."
I did so and he simply stared at me. 'You don't really believe that, do you?' He thought, looking saddened by my inevitable self-loathing.
"What else am I supposed to believe? Look...you...and Esme are the only parents I have ever truly known. And I love you both so much. You have accepted me and welcomed me back, despite all that I've done. I am so very grateful for that. But, it doesn't make sense. It never did. I mean...how could anyone love a killer and consider him their son? How can you be so understanding? You should hate me for what I did."
Carlisle placed his hand over mine. "Edward, look at me."
I forced my eyes to meet his as he said, "Edward, we love you more than you can comprehend. Nothing you do could ever change that. you are our son. You cannot change the past; only learn from it. And, we can't hold that against you. I mean, look at Jasper and Emmett. Rosalie, Alice, they've all had their weak moments."
"Yeah, but that's different. They didn't know any better."
Carlisle nodded, "That might be true. But, we don't hate them for their slip-ups. Edward, I know how hard it is. This is a life that nobody should be forced to bear. I will never forgive myself for inflicting such an existence upon you. Not only the nonstop need for blood, but limiting you to animals-only. I know how cruel it is. Not a day goes by that I haven't regretted my decision for one reason or another. But, I will not let it stop me from being happy. I am so deeply sorry, but the greatest gift I have ever been given is having you as a son. Do you really think I'd let a few mistakes ruin that?"
Carlisle was so amazing. How could he view me in such a flawless manner? It was that very misperception of me that made me feel even worse.
"No." Carlisle interjected, firmly, "You're good. Do you hear me? You are good. Edward, you know how much I love human life and value it. I would never condone murder by any means, but I can't blame you for the mistakes I practically destined you for by changing you. I expected too much of you too soon. Besides, you only took the lives of the truly evil. Between you and me, that was quite amazing that you could limit yourself to that. All the others have taken the life of at least one innocent, have they not? You haven't."
I flinched slightly, before saying, "Bella," in a small voice.
"Is a prime example of your strength. You resisted her blood when it called again and again. Do you know what kind of strength that took?"
"I just pictured you," I said, humbly.
"And, I'm quite honored that I could help. But, that means nothing. Edward, if you really wanted to, I could've been standing right beside you and it wouldn't have made the slightest difference. I had nothing to with it. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for." He said, souding almost proud of me, when he should be disgusted. "I am so proud of you, son."
I shook my head, "You don't get it. My strength, my resistance...all of it was because of you. Because of the strength of my guilt for hurting you."
"I get it, Edward, but I don't buy it. You have done something that no vampire in the history of the world has ever had the power to do. You have resisted the temptation of you la tua cantante. Do you know how powerful that is? I'm not even sure I could do that."
Hah, yeah right! "You can resist everything!"
"Ah, yes, everything except temptation." He joked. We both laughed and he continued on, "You see, Edward, blood has never affected me the way it does other vampires. I never allowed it to. I never wanted it, so it came down to me only drinking it because I absolutely had to and I only did what was completely necessary. My desire for blood has never been strong. It would be like...a human in the Sahara desert for days without food or water. When they finally get the choice between water and a soft drink, they want the water. Sure, the soft drink is a nice luxury, but the water was what truly quenched their thirst. It served the exact same purpose, only to be better for both cases. Without that forced resistance, I would have been weak. I would've been like everyone else. That doesn't make me anything special...just...determined. You literally were offered the world...only to give it up for he universe."
I smiled slightly, "No...she is so much better than the universe."
"I see that," Carlisle smiled warmly, "She is a beautiful person. Inside and out. She really does love you, Edward. You have to know that."
"I do," I said, irritably, "I just...wish she didn't. She doesn't understand what she's doing."
"Oh, she understands, Edward. She knows exactly what she's getting herself into. She doesn't care. She's in love with you."
I shook my head, in disgust, "How could she give up her life, her soul, everything to be with me?"
"Wouldn't you?" Carlisle challenged. In a heartbeat...metaphorically speaking.
"Yes....I suppose I would."
He smiled slightly, "Bella knows who you are, Edward. She knows who you were. It doesn't matter to her. Can't you just accept that and be happy? You have waited so long for her. Don't deny yourself love, son. You need her." 'And she needs you,' he added, mentally, 'Go for it.'
I considered it. Maybe it was time I gave in. I couldn't keep doing this. I stood up, "I'll let you know how it goes."
Carlisle smiled and rose as well. "Good." He approached me and hugged me. "I love you, my son."
"I love you, too, Dad," I said, feeling calmer than I had in a long time.
"Go on," he said, releasing me with a smile.
I smiled in return and took off, not even stopping to say good-bye to everyone else, ignoring Alice's protests, screaming endlessly--annoyingly--in my head.
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