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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


11. Questions

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2223   Review this Chapter

(Previously):

EPOV

"Edward...do you think I’m upset with you for saving my life?" she asked incredulously.

"Well...yes," I answered truthfully. "Aren’t you?"

"Of course I’m not upset. I would do anything to always be with you. You were right - it is what I wanted. Yes, we would have eventually married and you would have changed me anyway. I agree, the circumstances were...undesirable," her face contorted with pain again, "but I have always wanted to be able to be with you for eternity, and now I will be. Thank you for saving me."

Chapter 11: Questions

EPOV

Relief flooded through me. At least this was one thing we could be happy about - we would always be together. I pulled her to me, gently kissing the top of her head. "You’re welcome, Bella. Nothing on this earth could have stopped me."

We sat together like that for a few minutes, then she pulled back a bit; she seemed to be struggling with something. I waited again, not wanting to push her.

Finally, she whispered so softly that even I could barely hear her. "Why didn’t Alice see me - why didn’t she see what was going to happen?" Bella asked as she stared at her hands in her lap.

This question did not surprise me...I had been waiting for it. Cautiously, I began to explain to her what we had found out about how Victoria had managed to find a way to get around Alice’s visions.

"So she would continuously change her mind to make it seem like she hadn’t made a decision?" Bella asked.

"Yes...it’s confusing, but think of it like this: Let’s say that you wanted to get me a birthday present, but you did not want Alice to see it, so it would still be a surprise. So you would find a few things that you would be considering, but not allow yourself to absolutely pick one until right before you gave it to me...does that make sense?" I asked her.

"Kind of..." Bella paused - she seemed to thinking about something. "Actually, I remember Victoria and Riley arguing about this after he had bitten me. She said something about how it had been hard enough for her to make it seem like she kept changing her mind. They hadn’t planned on me coming home while they were there...she was so mad at Riley. She said she’d been creating an army of newborns to kill me," she added slowly.

"What? An army of newborns? Are you serious?" Rage tore through me, and I jumped off the bed, infuriated, ready to break something. I looked around the room for my target.

"Edward?" Bella sounded scared, upset. The mere sound stopped me instantly. She needed me right now - I had to get better control of my emotions. As I ran my hands through my hair, I took a deep breath, and turned back to face her.

"Forgive me Bella, I’m just feeling a little...overprotective of you," I said with a trace of my crooked smile I knew she loved so. Understanding crossed her features, and she reached for me. I went back to the bed and sat by her side again. "We will take care of her, Bella. You don’t need to worry about that."

"I know we will, as I have every intention of doing most of the work," she replied with a look of certainty. It was best to not argue with her for now...she had enough to deal with.

"Anything else on your mind?" I prompted gently, wanting to make sure she asked everything she needed to.

She wanted to know what had happened to her mother’s body, and Phil’s as well, so I explained to her where Emmett and Jasper really were. Carlisle had spoken to them, and they had not found either of the bodies. I apologized to her for the fact that she wouldn’t have a place to properly mourn them, like Charlie. Bella just leaned against me, silent for a while. Eventually, she took a deep breath, and pulled back again, looking up into my eyes.

"Edward?" she hesitated. When she looked up at me with such sadness in her eyes, my heart ached. "Does the rest of the family resent me? Obviously, this whole situation was a bit of an exposure risk. I’m wondering if they hate me for almost ruining everything for them. I will go somewhere else if they don’t want me here..." Her expression clearly displayed the loss she felt at the thought of that; surely she was thinking to herself that she didn’t have anywhere else to go.

As if on cue, Carlisle and Esme were suddenly standing at the edge of my room.

BPOV

Where else would I actually go? I had no idea, but I didn’t want to be a burden, or a source of tension for these people that I loved so much. I looked up, sensing something.

Oh crap. I should have known by now they would have heard me. If I could have blushed, I would have turned a ridiculous shade of scarlet.

Edward glanced up at his parents, and then back at me. "Would you be comfortable if we all went back down to the living room so we can talk?" Edward asked me.

"Ok..." I answered shyly.

After we were downstairs, Edward led me to the couch. Carlisle was the first to speak. "Bella, please do not think for a second that any of what you just said could be true. I’m sorry - we weren’t eavesdropping, but it’s difficult to not hear most things in this house. When we heard you express this particular concern, we had to step in. You will always be welcome here, Bella, as you are part of our family. You were a part of us even when you were still human. We are not concerned about a risk of exposure, as I can assure you, we handled things meticulously." A wave of sadness crossed his face. "We are used to this type of thing by now."

Esme slowly approached me, her face full of concern. "Bella, are you alright? Please, believe everything that Carlisle said - nothing could be more true. You are like a daughter to me - you have been for some time now," she said, smiling softly. "I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain, Bella. I know that you feel as if you’ve been torn apart," she whispered.

This made me start sobbing all over again. I really couldn’t get used to this whole crying without tears thing; it was the oddest feeling. These people were so good to me, what did I ever do to deserve such love?

Esme leaned over, pulling me up into an embrace. I wrapped my arms tightly around her, and thanked her and Carlisle both.

"Of course, Bella, anything you need, anytime. All you have to do is ask," Esme replied softly.

I let go and leaned back into the couch. Edward reached over and took my hand in his.

Edward glanced at me, then glanced over at Carlisle; they had the look of silent communication, and I wondered what Carlisle had said to Edward.

"Bella, Carlisle heard a bit of our conversation earlier, and he would like to ask you some questions...do you feel up to it?" Edward asked me gently.

"Um, sure," I replied, unsure of what he wanted to talk about.

Carlisle walked over to a chair that was facing the couch, and sat down. Esme stayed close to me, and sat on the couch on my other side.

Carlisle seemed to be thinking. Finally he started to speak. "Bella, I heard you say that before Edward bit you, the venom from Riley was causing the fire sensation we are all familiar with, is that correct?" I nodded in response. "What did you say happened when Edward bit you?" he continued.

I went on to explain again about the cool sensation that had rushed through my system after his teeth broke my skin, completely putting the fire out. Carlisle reached his hand up and rubbed his forehead. "And there was no more pain at all after that?" He seemed perplexed. I had personally been glad there hadn’t been any more pain.

"No, I just felt cool...like I was floating in water. It was a very comforting feeling," I finished.

Everyone was silent for a few minutes.

"Is something wrong?" I asked, their silence beginning to worry me.

"No, at least I don’t think so, Bella. I’ve just never, in all my years, heard of anything like this. For that matter, I’ve never seen anything like this..." Carlisle trailed off, glancing at me, the last part barely a whisper. I still heard him though.

I looked at Edward. "What does he mean? What’s wrong with the way I look?" Paranoia began to mount; it would be my luck that instead of beauty being enhanced after conversion, my freakishness would be amplified instead. Edward could see my panic growing.

"It’s nothing Bella, you’re more beautiful than ever, love. It’s just...your eyes. Esme, could you pass me that mirror from the table? Thank you." He held the small, decorative mirror out to me, and I reluctantly took it. Were they so horrified by my red eyes that it was disgusting to them? I couldn’t help it - it would take time for them to turn to the topaz they were accustomed to.

As I looked into the mirror, shock registered across my face. My eyes weren’t red. They were the perfect shade of gold...the same gold I’d seen Edward’s eyes turn immediately after returning from hunting. I continued to study myself in the mirror, deciding that I liked what I saw - it was still me, but a bit more glorified. I looked up at Edward.

"How are my eyes this color? I thought they would be crimson," I wondered.

Edward thought before he answered. "We really don’t know Bella, it’s as much of a shock to us, along with what happened to you during the change."

Carlisle spoke next. "Bella, I don’t have an answer for you. I’ll need to think on this for a while."

He glanced at Edward again, and Edward very discreetly nodded back. I was beginning to remember how irritating that could be.

"One more thing, Bella. There was some news this morning, and I feel you should know about it," Carlisle began. He explained to me that the police had found the ‘evidence’ left behind at Charlie’s house, and although we were both presumed dead, they were leaving the investigations open for further review, and we were both listed as ‘missing.’ I was guessing that the Forks police department wasn’t quite ready to admit to the loss of their favorite Chief. Aside from that, this meant that nobody was planning any type of memorial service yet. He also explained that the Florida police had confirmed Renee and Phil's deaths; he didn't explain the details, and at this point I didn't think I wanted to hear them. There would be a small memorial service for my mother and Phil in Florida, and he apologized that we wouldn’t be able to attend...for obvious reasons. I leaned against Edward, burying my face in his chest.

Just then I heard something outside...footsteps, on the front porch. I looked up slowly.

The door opened, and Emmett and Jasper walked in, and caught sight of us. They didn’t seem surprised to see me awake, so I assumed someone had been in contact with them. I was too distraught to question them about my mother’s house, so I didn’t say anything. Emmett looked at Edward, clearly asking him something. Edward shook his head back and forth once. Jasper was the first to approach me; he seemed anxious about something.

"Bella, I’m so happy to see you’re awake. Welcome back. He reached forward and gently embraced me, which completely amazed me - Jasper always kept his distance from me. Then I remembered that my blood was no longer causing him discomfort.

"Thank you, Jasper," I said quietly.

He smiled slightly, then turned and flew up the stairs, probably looking for Alice. I would wait a while before I asked for her; I wanted to give them their time together - obviously he missed her after being away. After everything these people had done for me, the least I could do was be patient.

Emmett was still standing by the front door. He looked like he was battling with some kind of emotion...this was very different than the goofy Emmett I was used to. He glanced back at Edward, then seemed to snap out of it. He flew over to the couch, slowing as he reached me. He leaned over and gently picked me up off the couch, pulling me into one of his giant bear hugs. "Glad to see you up and around, sis," Emmett said sincerely - I was again struck by the contrast to his usual joking self. When he called me his sister, I started sobbing again. I clung to him, and he just held me tighter. "You’ll be alright, Bella. We’ll catch that bitch," he murmured in my ear. As I began to calm, he gently set me back on the couch next to Edward, who looked touched by the emotional exchange that had transpired between Emmett and I.

"I’m going to go check on Rose, I’ll talk to you later," Emmett seemed to be speaking directly to Edward. I wondered why. Maybe I was just looking too far into things.