This is La Tua Cantante in Edward's POV--as was promised. A lot of your unanswered questions from BPOV will be answered in this story. So I hope you enjoy and please rate and comment. I love hearing from you guys!
20. Chapter 20: First Night
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I struggled to remain calm as we played games all night. I forced myself to forget about Bella's secrecy and tried to be a good sport through it all night. If she wanted to tell me, she would when she was ready. I couldn't push her for it--then, she'd just hide it even more.
Bella seemed to have a blast, having Jasper with us. Jasper had a great time, too. Neither had laughed so hard before. Jasper was ecstatic to be able to be around her and his affection for her grew by the second and she became more and more like a little sister to him.
At one point, Jasper got Bella laughing so hard that all we could do was stare at her, amused.
'It wasn't that funny.' Jasper thought, confused, 'Was it that funny?'
Hardly. I couldn't even remember what he had said, but Bella simply thought it was hysterical.
'God, he's gonna kill her.' Alice thought, struggling not to laugh just because Bella was.
"No more caffeine for you," I said, with an amused smirk.
It took her awhile to settle down and then we finished the game we were playing.
Then, I played the piano, playing Name-that-tune with Alice and Jasper.
Most of the songs were from composers Bella had never even heard of before. Some were more modern--like My Confession and Awake by Josh Groban and River flows in you by Yiruma.
I played many songs from famous composers, such as: Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Wagner, Stravinsky, Mahler, and of course Debussy.
From Johannes Brahms, I played Vierernste Gesinge (The Four Serious Songs), Ein deutches Requiem ( A German Requiem), Paganini Variations, the Waltzes, Libe slieder Waltzes, Wiegenlied, and Brahms' Lullaby--which he had written to celebrate the birth of his friend, Bertha Faber's son.
From Richard Strauss, I played Rosenkavalier, Salome, Zueignung, Cacilie, Morgen, Allerseelen, Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan, Parergonzun Symphony Domestica, Burleske, Panathenanezug, Schlagobers (Whipped Cream), and Festive Prelude.
From Richard Wagner, Die Feen (The Fairies), Das Liebesverbot (The Ban on Love)--which was based on Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare--Rienzi, Der Fliegende Hollander, Tannhauser, Die Walkure, Das Rheingold, and Siegfried.
From Igor Stravinsky, I played Auguries of Spring, Pulcinella, The Fairy's Kiss, Le Sacre du Printemps, The Firebird, and Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale)--which Jasper guessed right away, considering it had always been his favorite piece.
From Gustav Mahler, I played from his symphonies: Titan, Blumine, Resurrection, Tragic, Song of the Night, Symphony of a Thousand, Das lie von der erde, Das klagende lied, Drie Lieder, Lieder and Gesinge, Lieder eines Fahrenden Gessellen, Lieder aus des knaba wunderhorn, Ruckert Lieder, and Kindertoten Lieder.
And, of course the first song I played from Claude Debussy was Claire de Lune--the only song that Bella knew right off the bat--and I also played Yves vous n'etes qu'un vilain, Mazurka, Beau Soir, Quand j'ai ouy le tambourin, La plus que lente, Le petit Negre, Dieu qu'il la fait bon regarder, Syrinx, and Quand j'ai ouy le tabourin sonner.
It wasn't until Bella rested her head against my shoulder wearily, and I saw that the time was 12:57 that I realized how long I had played.
While Jasper and Alice loved it, enjoying the music--kowning some of it, but not most of it, Bella was clearly not quite suited for another all-nighter.
I guess my century alone had taught me a lot more about music than even I had realized. I had gotten so caught up in it all; it never occurred to me that Bella would get tired after a while.
I finished off playing Bella's lullaby, playing the entire song instead of just bits and pieces like I had the others.
When I finished, I bowed my head solemnly, letting it resonate throughout the room unti it came to a stop before raising my head again.
I smiled slightly and turned around, pulling her onto my lap, wrapping my arms around her waist and raising my head boastfully. She was so beautiful that I couldn't help but feel a little prideful.
I kissed her softly on the lips and rested my forehead against hers, before saying, softly, "We should probably get you home; it's almost one."
"Mm." She protested, making me smile.
"I'll stay with you...I promise. And, Jasper will come with us, won't you?" I asked, looking to him.
'I'll stay as long as you need.' Jasper nodded, "Absolutely."
"Why?" Bella asked.
She clearly still didn't comprehend how hard it would be for her to deal with this. Sure, it was easy now--she had no reminders. But, I couldn't help but fear that once she saw her house again, even I could have no power to help her.
"Trust me; we'll...need him." I said, standing up and setting her to her feet.
'Can I say good-bye to Alice?' Jasper thought, already hating having to leave her, 'I know she can't come; Charlie's already going to be mad, but I just--'
"Meet you at the car," I broke him off,as I led Bella out to the car, giving them their privacy.
We waited in the car for Jasper and when he finally came out and got in the car, we sped off, both dreading this, knowing how hard it was going to be...on all of us.
Once we got to Bella's house, I immediately came to her side and wrapped an arm around her waist to lead her inside.
'You think she's ready for this?' Jasper thought, just as terrified to do this as I was.
I shrugged slightly. I hated having to put her to the test now. The last thing she needed was more pain and I didn't want to put her through any more of this.
Jasper followed, keeping his distance. He was growing stronger, his immunity to her blood increasing, but he was still in a lot of pain because of it.
We got inside and I turned the light on. I forced myself to look at Bella, the pain in her eyes, tearing me apart all over again.
Jasper actually flinched from the strength of her pain, which was weakening even him.
Bella staggered slightly and stifled a sob of pain and fear. "No..." she sobbed, grabbing onto me for dear life.
Oh, God, it killed me to see her like this. Was this what she was hiding from me? The strength of her pain? I just couldn't understand why she would do that.
"Bella, it's okay, love;" I assured her, struggling to convince even myself, "I'm right here. I'm right here."
I held her closer, hoping this would be enough to convince her to put her trust in me and know that I was there for her, especially now.
She tightened her arms around my neck, buried her face in my chest, staggered again, and sobbed relentlessly.
I would never be strong enough to deal with her pain. Even the smallest of her pain had the capability of completely destroying me.
I struggled to pick her up, weakened by the pain I inevitably felt for her and carried her over to the couch, lying down on it, with her in my arms.
I tightened my arms around her and kissed her head, whispering, "Bella, I'm sorry...I'm so sorry."
She trembled in my arms, unable to respond.
Jasper backed into a corner and slumped down to the floor to diminish his pain, feeling every ounce of pain that Bella and I were feeling right now.
But, I couldn't worry about him right now. He had been through hell and come out unscathed--Bella never had that option. She needed me a lot more.
I began stroking her hair and rubbing her back as soothingly as I could.
Instead of being angry at Jacob, though, I suppressed my hatred for him and focused everything on Bella. She was the only thing that mattered right now. She couldn't feel anymore pain--I wouldn't allow it.
How much more could she possibly handle? How was she handling it? I couldn't even handle it and I was supposedly stronger than her. I put on a brave face so that she wouldn't suffer because of my pain, because it was never my pain that mattered; it was hers. Her pain was the only pain I could never live with.
God...it was so hard to concentrate; I just wanted it all to go away. I wanted to live my life with her without any more complications. Hadn't we been through enough? If someone wanted to hurt me, fine--go ahead. But, not Bella. Never Bella. I would never accept that. Ever!
"Edward..." Bella sobbed my name repeatedly.
My voice was strained as I used all my strength to shush her and wipe away her tears. "Please don't cry, love...I can't...I can't bear to see you in such agony."
The problem was it was no longer her agony that was destroying me; it was that combined with my utter self-loathing and longing to just die. "Jasper, please..." I pleaded.
He had been too consumed by his own pain that he couldn't concentrate enough to help us. Up until now, it was literally impossible for him to find the strength necessary to stop any of our pain. Once he regained his composure, struggling to do so, strong waves of calm over came us all, filling the room, and surging through us, calming us gradually.
Bella evntually settled down to mere silent tears, struggling to breathe, as tears streamed down her cheeks, soaking my shirt.
Bella clenched her fist around my t-shirt and clung to it desperately like a security blanket as she kissed my neck once.
She buried her face in my neck, kissed it again, and stifled another sob, before silently crying herself to sleep, as I whispered, "I love you," into her hair.
I began humming her lullaby, but was in so much pain that I couldn't even finish it, breaking off in the middle of it. Jasper picked it up where I left off and softly finished it for me.
'It's wrong for it to go unfinished,' he thought, as I held Bella even closer to me, exhaling shakily.
Jasper kept me calm and as peaceful as I could be. I don't know what I would have done without him. I wouldn't have made it through the night, that much I knew.
Jasper's thoughts revloved around Alice--he was going crazy without her. It took all he had to concentrate on keeping me calm, and his tension and pain inevitably came though. He couldn't help it. He couldn't even control his own pain right now, he didn't have chance to erase mine.
After awhile, he thought, miserably, 'Was this what it was like for you? The pain, I mean.'
"Mm-hm." I whispered, "It was exactly like that."
'How did you get through this? You did this for over a century and then again when you left her. I can't--I can't stand it.'
It was hard. Having Bella now, I was so happy, so complete that I couldn't even remember the pain of being alone, yet alone how I dealt with it.
"I don't remember," I whispered, "It was--it seems so long ago. Sometimes, it seems like it wasn't real. Like it was all just a nightmare that seemed real. Others, like now, my greatest fear...is that...it is just a dream. That all of it..." I shook my head, in misery, "The family, Bella, everything...I fear that I'm going to wake up in that hospital bed back in 1918 and still be dying. I don't like immortality, but...I can't imagine not knowing Bella. I can't imagine that I could dream up someone so...perfect. Nobody's dreams has that kind of power."
As I said that, I tightened my hold on her and kissed her head, causing her to nestle further into me and moan in pain, deliriously, "Edward--" she mumbled weakly, stirring uncomfortably in my arms, cringing and kicking, trying to diminish whatever pain she was feeling.
"Edward--it hurts. Please...help me. Make it go away," she pleaded.
I wanted to. Oh, nhow I wished I cold eee what she was seeing right now, feel what she was feeling. I wished I could be there for her, even in her dreams.
'She do that a lot?' Jasper thought, amused.
"Every night," I whispered, "Apparently, she never gets tired of seeing me."
'Of course she doesn't!' He thought, shocked by the idea of it, 'I am going crazy without Alice right now and it hasn't even been two hours yet. I can't imagine waiting for hours at a time while she slept with nothing to do. I would miss her too much.'
"It's worth it," I assured him, never taking my eyes off of Bella., " I would wait forever if I had to. I just--love being with her. I love seeing her, holding her--that is enough. Do I miss her; absolutely. I hate that I can't talk to her, but...it's time well spent. The first night I did it...it was...unbelievable. I felt so...complete. It was the best time spent in the entire century of my life. Those few hours...made me more complete, more whole than any amount of lifetimes could ever do."
Even in the dark, I could see his smirk.
"Did I just totally relinquish my Y-chromosome?" I asked, softly.
'Not at all.' He thought, 'On the contrary, you have just discovered what it means to be a man. To find the one person you love and cannot live without. Edward, every fear you have...is legitimate. Sometimes, I too fear it was all just some beautiful dream, but you have to remember...a man who fears nothing, loves nothing. And...a man who loves nothing knows no joy. You are not a man unless you find something you cannot live without. Something you would sacrifice yourself for. Once that is done...you have it all.'
Yes, I did. I had more than I thought I could have ever hoped for.
'You're a stronger man than I am.' Jasper thought, assuringly, 'I never could have held up so long without Alice.'
"You're a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for, Jasper." I assured him, "A lot stronger. And, I couldn't have done it had it not been for you. Your constant reassurance that I would find my everything too. I didn't believe you at the time...I didn't think I deserved it. But, the truth is...you were right. And, it was having you as a brother that helped me through."
Jasper smiled, 'It was nothing. Of all people, you deserve happiness. you have been through every level of hell in existence only to fight your way back every time. That takes a strength that I could never know.'
I considered that. How did he figure that? I wasn't alone; not really. I had my family...that was the source of my strength. But, I didn't argue. I simply returned his smile and then we spent the rest of the night in silence.
Jasper kept radiating waves of calm to ensure that I would be okay. It was eventually so strong that it seemed to have affected Bella in her sleep.
She loosened up in my arms, relaxing more, and tightened her hold on me. "Edward--" she mumbled, "I love you."
'Aw!' Jasper thought, 'How cute! Even in her sleep.'
I breathed a chuckle and then watched Bella sleep the rest of the night in silence.
When Bella woke up, she raised her head from my neck--where it had been all night--and she looked up at me. Her cheeks were still tear-stained and she was trembling slightly.
I struggled against the pain it caused me as I said, "Hey," pushing her hair back from her face.
Waves of calm engulfed us, erasing every fear and pain we felt.
Eventually, Bella nestled into me and sighed, contentedly. I allowed myself to revel in the beauty and serenity of this moment.
I waited for her to completely settle down before kissing her head, and saying, "You okay?"
She nodded, "Yeah...fine...I just...didn't expect it to hit me that hard. I didn't expect it to hurt so much."
No one could blame her for feeling such pain. No one did. Did she not realize how much I understood?
When I fed on humans, I saw a lot of women taken advantage of as Bella had been, and though I wasn't the same person I am now, I did still feel compassion for them. No one deserved to be put through such a horrible trauma. I felt remorse for them, knowing the terrible acts they had been forced to deal with. None of them hit me as hard as Bella, but it did still hurt me to think of such monstrous acts.
At the time, I had felt justified in what I was doing, but I never condoned taking advantage of someone like that. As pathetic as those values seemed, considering I took life after life, it was all I had to hold onto once upon a time. A vampire with a conscience--qualified as unheard of.
When it came down to it, those values were meaningless, but now...with Bella, I would make them count for something.
I tilted her head up to look at me and said, "You have every right to be hurting, bella. I won't kill Jacob, not today, but I will never forgive him for what he did to you. I might have to be civil to him, but that does not mean I have to like him."
"No, you don't," she said, "You don't have to be civil to him; he doesn't deserve it. Stupid. Dog!" She muttered bitterly.
"Bella," I reprimanded, "Just because I have the reputation of a monster doesn't mean I wanna uphold it. I might be an animal, but I don't want to be. And, I can control my instincts and remain as human as possible. I will do just that. For you, for Carlisle, and as much as it pains me to say this, for the dog!" I scoffed and hugged her closer, wanting nothing more than to avenge her and kill Jacob..
"You're not a monster," she said, softly, "If anyone is the monster here, it's him."
I shook my head, in disbelief. Jacob definitely wasn't innocent--he was the furthest thing from it. He would definitely qualify as a monster, but that was not to say that I wasn't a monster too. I might not have been as bad as he was, but that didn't change anything. I was a monster. It was just hard to accept Jacob as a monster.
"I just...I never thought him capable of this. Of hurting you like this. He's a brat by nature; I get that, but to resort to such a terrible act..." I broke myself off and sighed, sadly. I had no idea what to do. Over a century and nothing could have prepared me for this. How do you help when you can't empathize with them? "I'm sorry. I'm...so sorry. I should've been there for you. I should've been there to help you."
"You did." She took my face in her hands, "You've always been there for me."
Not always. I wasn't there when she needed me the most--I always showed up when it was too late and the damage had already been done.
"Yeah...and it always seems to be a second too late."
"But, you're there. Edward, of all that I've been through, I always knew that I could count on you. You've always protected me, no matter what. You can't help that you can't be with me every second of everyday and I don't expect you to."
Was that supposed to be comforting? Did she not know me but at all? I forced a slight smile, "Would be nice, though, wouldn't it?" She had already been through enough; she didn't need me to make things even worse with my stubbornness.
"No...it'd be perfect." My smile widened and she sighed softly, "Thank you...for everything."
What; was she just used to saying that? How the hell could she be thanking me now? I had done nothing to deserve a thank you. I haven't done anything at all--how did that help her?
I struggled to not get angry with her as I kissed her forehead and tightened my hold on her. "So...I take it you guys fixed everything?"
I had almost forgotten about Jasper's presence as he had been concentrated on creating a calm atmosphere, until he thought: 'Yeah, Carlisle and I helped out a bit, but we were too busy with Bella, it was mostly everyone else. Emmett had way too much fun with it.'
I nodded, both to Jasper in acknowledgement and to Bella in response, "Emmett, Esme, Rosalie, and Alice mostly. Emmett had way too much fun with it."
'Rose was freakin' pissed.' That's shocking! 'She was such a brat about it.' What else was new?
The only reason she was even semi-civil to Bella now was because she had almost gotten us killed in Italy. She still couldn't stand her. I don't care what Emmett thought, Rosalie would always be the same conceited brat she was as a human. Nothing would ever change that. She didn't give a damn about Bella or anyone else--I had grown used to it. I expected nothing short of bitter hostility from her.
"Thanks." Bella said, interrupting my thoughts, "Saves me a lot of explaining to Charlie."
"Some; not all." I reminded her.
"Some's better than none. What is the story anyway?" She asked, looking up at me.
"The truth," I said, regretfully. Oh, God...Charlie was going to try to kill me. Just what he needed: one more reason to hate me. "It's the only way to explain everything rationally. Besides, I'm not leaving you here alone; not for a second. So, we have to have an explanation so he won't try to kill me." Literally a possibilty these days. He had thought about it more than once. Although, the concept was quite laughable. "Thank God we have Jasper here; he can help keep Charlie under control."
She looked as if she forgotten about him too as she looked over at him and smiled, "Hey."
"Hey, Bella," he said. 'What am I, invisible?'
Now he knew how I felt for the first 104 years of my life. If invisible could even describe me...I was more this nonexistent creature that lived somehow on blood. Explain that to me, please. How did I live so long without Bella? Now, I couldn't last one day without her. Imagining those years before her was excruciating.
"How are you?" Jasper asked and she honestly considered it, before saying, "Good...thanks."
Jasper nodded and Bella sighed, wearily, "Gah, I have a headache! I hate crying like that."
"I know," I said, softly, sympathizing with her, "Here; I'll get you some Ibuprofen." I sat up slowly, setting her down, and said, "Can I get you anything else? Some breakfast or some water or something?"
She shrugged, "Just some water'll be fine. I'm not hungry right now."
I caressed her face, kissed her forehead, and smiled before going into the kitchen.
Jasper was concentrating on easing her pain with what he could do, feeling her pain and wanting desperately to get rid of it.
I got her some filtered water, knowing where everything was easily, and then took it back in to her, as Jasper thought: 'Aw, how sweet! Beautiful!'
Bella was resting her head agaiuinst the cushion of the couch and her eyes were closed. I placed my hand on her forehead and lightly trailed it down her cheek to caress it lightly.
She held her hand over mine and opened her eyes to see me hovering over her, studying her, struggling to see through her facade to see what she was really feeling; what she was hiding from me. She looked like she was struggling against her true feelings.
"Poor baby," I said, stroking her cheek.
She smiled slightly and I handed me the Ibuprofen and a glass of water. She took the medicine and then drained the water in one gulp.
I sat down and pulled her into my arms so that she was lying in between my legs with her head lolling against my chest.
I kissed her forehead three times before lightly massaging her head with my fingertips to relieve some of her tension.
I wished I could trade powers with Jasper, just for a second, just to know what she was feeling right now. To know the pain and anguish she was feeling.
'Edward, she's not as bad as you'd think...she's a lot stronger than you give her credit for.' Jasper thought.
Didn't he know that I knew that? I never doubted her strength; I just hated the idea of her being in pain.
"Bella, are you sure you're okay?" I asked, uncertainly, still needing further assurance.
"As good as I can be." She said, truthfully, which surprised me, considering she usually tried to hide her ture feelings from me. "Once this headache goes away, things will be easier to deal with."
I knew it! She was hiding her feelings from me--she was merely trying to change the subject. "I just...wish I could stay at your house. It's like a safe haven for me. I love your house. Sometimes, it feels even more like home than this place does."
That I totally understood! Anywhere with her was my home. She was my home.
I leaned the side of my head against hers and nodded, "I know how you feel."
I kissed her neck softly three times before tightening my arms around her and simply holding her, hoping to diminish her pain and ease her endless suffering.
- Chapter 1: Nothing
- Chapter 2: Risks
- Chapter 3: Life and Death
- Chapter 4: Carpe Diem
- Chapter 5: Proposal
- Chapter 6: Breakfast
- Chapter 7: Grizzly Bear
- Chapter 8: Mountain Lions
- Chapter 9: Control
- Chapter 10: Misery
- Chapter 11: Realizations
- Chapter 12: Courage
- Chapter 13: Intimacies
- Chapter 14: Alone
- Chapter 15: Sex Dream
- Chapter 16: Discussions
- Chapter 17: Third Time's a Charm
- Chapter 18: Celebration
- Chapter 19: Triumph
- Chapter 20: First Night
- Chapter 21: The Civil War
- Chapter 22: Absurdities
- Chapter 23: Dealings
- Chapter 24: Unrepentance
- Chapter 25: Comfort
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- 29 Oct 08
- 09 Jan 09