What would have happened had the Volturi decided to grant Edward his wish and kill him? Would Bella have been able to get to him in time? Would the Volturi show mercy on them still? Bella races to save Edward's life, though one thing has changed...Edward will be killed.
10. Chapter 10: Last Good-byes
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When we reached Charlie’s house, we perched ourselves on a tree outside, remaining as still as possible, so as to not be detected and we looked in the window into the kitchen. Edward had to hold me still so that I wouldn’t fall as I looked in to see Charlie.
Renee and Phil had come and Phil was holding Renee in his arms as she sobbed hysterically onto him.
“Renee…” I mumbled almost incoherently, “She…she’s here?”
“She just arrived,” Edward whispered, looking at them, “Charlie called her right after Jacob left.”
“My baby, my baby…” she cried, repeatedly, making me stiffen up.
“Oh, God…” I mumbled weakly, covering my mouth with a trembling hand.
“Shh…” Edward placed a gentle hand over mine to quiet me, wrapping his other arm around my waist and holding me to his side. “We can’t be seen, love…” he whispered into my hair as he kissed it.
I looked again and saw Charlie, sitting against the wall with his knees pulled up to his chest and he was rocking back and forth as he held one of my shirts, clutching it to him, burying his face in it and sobbing relentlessly into it.
I buried my face in Edward’s chest, unable to endure anymore of their pain. He tightened his hold on me and leaned his head against mine. “I’m sorry, Bella; I am so sorry.”
I wanted to tell him to not blame himself, but I couldn’t find my voice. All I could to was sob tearless relentless sobs onto him as he held me against him, leaning me against one of the branches of the tree. My sobs were muffled by his shoulder--thankfully--considering if they weren’t, Charlie and Renee would, without a doubt, hear them.
I forced myself to look and see Renee now approaching Charlie, reaching her hand toward him. He shook his head, but took it, allowing her to help him up, and then he crushed her to him in a desperate hug.
“Oh, Charlie.” Renee sobbed into his ear, “I’m so sorry…God…how are we supposed to go on…without our baby? Our little girl…”
“Renee, please…” Charlie managed to choke out, “Don’t…I can’t…I can’t even think about that right now.”
“What do you mean?” She asked, pulling back to look at him, through teary eyes.
He shook his head, seemingly utterly ashamed, “She never knew…how much I love her…I never told her. I never told her. If I could go back…I would tell her every day just how much she meant to me.”
She placed a hand on his cheek, her thumb brushing the side of his mustache, and she forced a sad smile. “She knew, Charlie. She did; she knew. And, I have no doubt in my mind that she still knows.”
I didn’t know. Yeah, I knew he loved me in a “you’re-my-daughter-so-I-have-to” paternal kind of way, but I had no idea that my “death” would him this hard. That he loved me this much.
“Oh, my God.” I gasped, “Edward, I--”
“Shh, Bella, please…I know. He knows. Okay?…believe me, he knows.”
“Does he?” I challenged, “My whole life, Charlie and I have always been so distant with one another and I--”
“Bella, don’t do this.”
“Why not?” I demanded, “It’s what we’re all thinking anyway.”
He shook his head, “No, it’s not, honey. Believe me, I know what everyone in that room is thinking and not one person blames you for anything.”
“Well, they should.” I insisted.
“Bella, enough.” He reprimanded me, almost angrily, “I mean it.” I opened my mouth to retort when he put a finger to my lips to quiet me, “And, don’t say ’so do I’, because I know that you mean it, and it frustrates me to no end that you won’t just let it go and accept the fact that it is not…your…fault. Do you understand me?”
He was so firm, so assertive, that I saw no point in arguing further. I simply nodded and held my breath to keep from breathing so loudly. I was breathing so hard that it could have easily been mistaken for the wind itself. “I just--I feel so--guilty.”
“I know.” He nodded, truly understanding, “But, you wouldn’t allow me to take my mistakes out on myself, and I certainly will not allow you to do so.”
“Does she?” Charlie challenged Renee, bringing my attention back to them. “If she really knew what she meant to me--to us--she never would’ve jumped off that damn…cliff. And for what? Some…worthless…pathetic moron who broke her heart? He’s not worth her life. I swear to God, if I see that damn Cullen boy again, I’m going to kill him with my bare hands--I’m gonna--”
Guilt gone. Now all I felt was anger as I made to lunge towards the house. “Why, the little--” Edward restrained me as I struglled against him, “No, let me go! Who the hell is he to threaten you? How dare he blame you for this?”
“No, Bella. You can’t. He’s only looking out for you.”
“Looking out for what; I’m dead.” I reminded him, angrily, still struggling against him.
He clenched his teeth and slammed me against the branch, making it crack slightly, “Don’t say that.” He said, angrily, “Don’t even think it, do you understand me?”
“Well, I am,” I said, in an obvious-tone, “To them…I am.” And, to me. I could think whatever the hell I wanted; he would never know anyway--he only knows what I think whenever I choose to tell him what I’m thinking.
“Yes, and I would like to keep it that way. I hate…thinking of you like that. I can’t--it’s too hard--it hurts more than I can bear, Bella.”
I flinched at the thought of causing him pain and hung my head. “I’m sorry. I just don’t like people trying to hurt you. You understand…”
He nodded and kissed my head again. “He couldn’t hurt me even if he tried, Bella, you know that. Besides, he’s never going to see me again so we have nothing…to worry about. It’s over. It is.”
I looked into the window again to see Renee struggling to calm Charlie down, who had gone off on a rant about how Edward was a good-for-nothing creature and how he would slowly torture him to death if he ever decided to come back here again.
I had to clench my teeth and force myself to ignore his angry threats and curses as I listened, so as to not react to them. He was edging on both hysteria and delirium, his hands waving frantically and gesturing exactly what he would do to Edward, as he paced angrily around the kitchen, igoring Renee’s attempts to calm him down.
I clung to Edward’s arm to ensure that I wouldn’t try to attack Charlie or something for his seething hatred of Edward. “Edward…if he were threatening me in there…would you just sit back and allow it? Or would you fight for me?”
“It doesn’t matter,” he said, tonelessly.
“And, why is that?” I demanded, looking to him.
“Because Charlie would never threaten you. So, we needn’t worry about such things. It will never happen. Never.”
“Answer…the question…Edward.” I said, not letting him off the hook. I knew he would never allow anyone to talk that way about me; why should allow Charlie to threaten him like that.
“Yes…” he said, after a long while, “I would allow it.”
“You would not.” I accused.
“Yes, I would,” he contradicted. “Bella, I love you…and hurting him would hurt you, whether or not you want to accept that. And, I could never hurt you again.”
“Oh, please, you have never been able to handle anything jeopardizing me; I merely trip and you go all off like I meant to do it or something.”
He smiled slightly, “Yes, well, hopefully, those days are behind you. And, trust me, Bella, almost a century of self-control--I learned to resist your blood; I forced myself to leave you; there is nothing…I cannot do.”
“Don’t get too cocky,” I said, with a slight smile.
“Not cocky; confident.” He corrected, wrapping an arm around me and pressing me into him. “With you, love, anything is possible. The word impossible simply can’t exist in our vernacular because we have each other.”
“Mm…” I nodded and nestled into him, “So…will they be okay?”
“Eventually.” He said, looking towards the house now, “It’ll take awhile…you have no idea how much they really love you. Charlie, especially. He cares for you a lot more than he ever let on. He almost loves you as much as I do; almost.”
“Almost.” I repeated, with a smile.
“Well, yeah, no one could know the love I feel for you. It’s so great that it almost seems impossible…as if it’s too great to even be allowed to exist.”
I didn’t answer as I looked back to Charlie and Renee. What was I supposed to say to that? I …had ruined the lives of everyone I have ever loved…in one way or another. Everyone except…my own. While I get the happily ever after, where do they go from here?
“Edward?…” I asked, waiting for his response before continuing on.
“Is there…anyway I could…maybe…I don’t know, maybe I could, like, use my blocking power to kind of…block me from their minds? Or something? Just to kind of…give them peace in knowing that I am in a better place. A sense of comfort.”
“I’m not sure,” he admitted, “It sounds more like a job for Jasper’s ability.”
“Well, I mean, if I could find a way to channel my power through them and, not necessarily erase from their memories, but rather…make them focus on the happy side of this. Not their loss, but rather my gain. I know they would’ve wanted that for me.”
I looked at him pleadingly, hoping he wouldn’t try to argue with me again. He opened his mouth to retort, making a face as he did so, but when he saw my face, he thought better of it and sighed, “I suppose you could try.”
“Okay.” I said, uncertainly, not even sure where to begin. I shifted myself uncomfortably and tried to remember how I accessed my power before. “Um…I don’t…really…oh, God.”
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“Well, I’m not really sure how it…works. My power. With Jake, it all happened just so fast; I don’t know what triggered it. What am I supposed to do?”
“Well, with Jacob, you were angry, right?”
I nodded. “More so than anything.” Duh. Jake was only trying to attack him; what else would I be?
“As a vampire, some abilities tend to be ruled by your emotions. Like Jasper’s. Maybe yours works the same way.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, maybe if you can find some inner peace within you, you can channel it through yourself and to them. It could work, I suppose. Try it.”
I couldn’t get calm now. With everything that was going on, that was quite impossible. “Damn, where’s Jasper when I need him?” I said, nervously. “God, what if I hurt them?”
“You won’t.” He said, certainly.
“How do you know that?” I protested.
“Here, close your eyes,” he instructed. I hesitated, but he nodded, “Go on.” He urged.
I obliged and his lips were now at my ear, his hand on the side of my neck as he whispered, “Listen to my voice; let that calm you.” That wasn’t a problem. “Now, remember how it feels to be completely calm…at peace…let the serenity flow through you. Listen to your instincts, Bella, what are they telling you to do?”
I tried to open my eyes, but his fingers were now hovering above my eyelids to keep them closed, “No, no…keep your eyes closed. Don’t open them yet. Really listen.”
For a long moment, there was simply the sound of the wind picking up, blowing through the trees and my hair, whipping around my face and I felt my hair being tangled in Edward’s fingers as he untangled it and lightly ran it through his fingers. That made my eyes jerk open and I saw Edward’s face had moved to mere inches from mine as he played with my hair. His eyes locked with mine and I lost my breath, as usual.
“Hi?” I choked out, in surprise.
He smirked at my reaction, and said, “Are you ready?”
I nodded slightly, “I think so.”
“Give it a try.” He said, moving back. Damn it. Come back. He moved aside so that I could see Charlie and Renee, who were holding each other and crying over their loss. Edward was right…it was harder to let them go than I thought it would be.
I closed my eyes and imagined what I wanted…my ability…blocking me from their minds. I could feel the energy and strength of my power building within me, stirring up a liberating and peaceful sensation that I never imagined existed. I could feel the energy pass from me and into them practically. It was remarkable; empowering.
It wasn’t until Edward said, “I think it worked,” that I opened my eyes. It did seem to work. They still looked sad, but they looked a little stronger--like maybe they could endure it easier.
“I know it’s hard,” Renee said, releasing Charlie, “…but, we can get through this together.” Together. I liked the idea of Charlie and Renee working together. It didn’t change anything, I knew that, but it helped ease my guilt and pain to know that together they would get through this as they should.
“It worked.” I said, shocked, “Oh, my…God…I can’t believe it worked.”
“I can.” Edward said, staring at me. He wrapped his arms around me and said, “I knew you could do it. Now, they can move on.” I nodded solemnly and he suddenly stiffened up. “Oh, no. We have to go.”
“We’re leaving. Come on.” He leapt from the tree, landing gracefully, soundlessly, in the grass.
He reached up and helped me down and I looked to the house. “Good-bye, Mom and Dad. I love you.”
Edward kissed my temple and then we began running again, deeper into the depths of the forest.
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