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Heart and Soul

Summary:
Edward is nearly broken when he loses a dear friend in an accident. When he meets Bella at Forks High, not only is his heart healed, but his soul as well. However, Bella has a secret that could make or break them. AU/AH Twilight meets Return to Me!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I once said ‘what’s the point of an AH Twilight story? Wouldn’t it be better to change the names and make it original?’ Then I read a few that were pretty good. Then, I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny…it had sharp, pointy teeth! So, if you’ve ever seen Return to Me, you may recognize certain key story lines :) Read on, and let me know what you think! Rest assured; this is Edward/Bella :)


4. Chapter 4

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1923   Review this Chapter

16 Months Later

“Mom, I want to go. I’ve never really been able to get to know Charlie. I’ve always been too sick. This is my last chance before I go to college. I know you miss traveling with Phil for his away games. You could even take a real honeymoon.” In reality, Bella didn’t want her mother to have to worry over her anymore.

“Bella, I just want to make sure you’re happy. And I’m going to miss you like crazy,” said Renee ruefully.

“I’ll be fine mom…actually, there’s something you can do for me,” Bella said. Hesitating, she reached into her carry on and pulled out a small blue envelope that was addressed to the organ donor liaison. Bella turned it over in her hands a few times before turning the envelope over to Renee.

“Oh, honey, I thought you mailed that weeks ago…” Renee said when she saw the address on the front of the rumpled envelope.

“I know I said I was going to, but I just couldn’t do it…I know it’s been a while now, but what if I just reopen their barely healing wounds giving them a thank you that they don’t want?” Bella asked.

“I think they would be glad to hear from you, besides, it’s anonymous, they will probably just be happy to know they gave someone else a chance at life. The liaison office will forward it, and they will never know who you are,” Renee said.

Flight 237 to Seattle is now boarding…please form a line at the gate, and we will allow you to board.

“That’s my flight, mom. I’ve got to go, I’ll call you as soon as I’m in Forks,” Bella reassured her mother.

“Ok, sweetie, one last hug! Have a good flight; don’t forget to take your meds!” Renee said.

“Mom, I’m the one that reminds you about my meds…I think I’ll be fine.”

“I can’t help it. Say hello to Charlie for me,” Renee said before giving Bella one last squeeze and allowing her to go get in line for her flight to Seattle. Bella looked back from her place in the crowd, boarding pass already in her hand, and waved at Renee with a smile. She didn’t want her mother to see her cry. Bella wanted Renee to really believe that she was happy to move to Forks, to live with her father. For the most part, she was. Bella was eager to start fresh and get away from all the people at school that handled her with kid gloves. She was no longer the fragile girl that everyone seemed to unable to forget. She could be strong in Forks, no one in that tiny town was aware of her previous heart problems since she hadn’t visited her father there since she was five. Charlie had come to visit her instead because she wasn’t well enough to travel. Bella would miss Renee terribly, as she was her best friend. She wasn’t looking forward to saying goodbye to wearing Capri pants and sandals in December either. Forks was cold, rainy, and according to Renee, downright dreary.

“Do you have your boarding pass, Miss?” asked the flight attendant at the gate, pulling Bella from her musings.

“Oh, um…here…” Bella handed her the boarding pass and smiled at the woman before stepping into the tunnel attached to the plane and moving on to the next stage in her life. Her life was never exciting, sometimes stressful and sad, but always very average. Bella wasn’t expecting anything else from living in Forks. Most likely, it would be a small blip on the radar of her life, almost unmentionable, before she really started life in college.

What could happen in Forks?’ thought Bella.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSH

“Bella? Bells!”

Bella turned around and saw Charlie hurrying over to her before she could lift her luggage off the conveyor belt in the tiny baggage claim area inside the Port Angeles airport.

“Let me do that! Should you be liftin’ stuff like that? How did you get through Sea-Tac Airport? You didn’t carry that by yourself did you?”

It was honestly the longest verbal address that Bella had ever heard Charlie utter outside a sports conversation. An order and three questions, all in the same breath. ‘He must really be nervous,’ thought Bella. She smiled, hoping to put Charlie at ease.

“Ch- Dad, I’m fine, honest. Dr. Wilcox said I would be fine for anything now, even PE,” Bella finished with a grimace. PE may be safe for her to participate in now, but that didn’t mean it was safe for everyone else attending the class. Grace and athletic ability did not belong in the same sentence as Bella Swan.

“I’ve got the cruiser out front…I got you a truck, though. Runs real good. It’s perfect for you…” Charlie trailed off suddenly less comfortable than before.

“A truck? Why is it perfect for me? I don’t have money for a lot of repairs, Dad,” Bella said, though she instantly thought, ‘He probably likes that there’s no back seat… as if a guy would be interested in me…they never were before…’

Charlie loaded her bags into the back of the police cruiser and opened the door for Bella before he went to his own side and sat down behind the wheel. Without a word, he started the car and was soon on the road to Forks. Bella was quiet for most of the hour drive; both she and Charlie were people of very few words.

They were very nearly to Forks when Bella saw it. It was a simple marker on the side of the road, just on the other side of a concrete overpass. The marker’s white color contrasted sharply with the green surrounding it. There were silk flowers and some unlit candles around it, but they looked a little weather beaten, as though someone had held a vigil there a few months previous. Inexplicably, Bella was choked up, and on the verge of tears. Her heart felt like it was racing faster than ever before, and then it was gone as quickly as they passed the small monument.

Charlie noticed where her attention was drawn and said, “Yeah. Gotta be careful on the road here, this overpass can get real icy. Couple people died ‘bout a year ago. I don’t want you driving this road if it snows, and you let me get some chains on the truck tires before you go to school if it snows.”

Bella looked at Charlie, shocked again by the length of his speech. Charlie had to be really serious if he was willing to put more than three words together about something. The rest of their drive was quiet. Charlie pulled up in front of his little two-story house next to the rusty Chevy that took up a good portion of the front drive.

“Is that my truck?” Bella asked, surprised at the character that the rusty old Chevy exuded. “I love it, it’s a lot better than I imagined,” she admitted sheepishly. Charlie merely nodded with a grunt and helped Bella get her bags inside.

“I think I’ll just get upstairs and go to bed, Dad. It’s been a long day, and I think I should get some sleep before tomorrow.

“Ok, night Bells,” Charlie said as he turned on his TV and sat down in his recliner.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward sat at his piano, running his hands over the keys before he began playing softly. He didn’t play very often anymore. Esme tried to encourage him every week, but when he did play, the only notes that flowed from his hands were dark and troubled. He would eventually hear his mother or Alice crying, whether for him or because of the music he never bothered to ask. He would just close the piano and retreat to his room and his stereo until the next time Esme asked him to play something.

Edward had not gone back to school with his siblings after the accident; he couldn’t handle the mental noise that he heard all the time now until just a few months ago. He convinced Esme to home-school him for the entirety of his sophomore year to allow him to adjust to his new found gift. However, both Carlisle and Esme had insisted that he enroll at Forks High School for his junior and senior years. Esme had helped Edward advance through the course work rapidly, putting him ahead of the curriculum at Forks High School, but Carlisle and Esme had asked Edward to enroll with those his age, rather than allow him to enroll in college and use it to further distance himself from those around him. Edward was making an effort for his parent’s sake. He never caused any trouble; regardless of how bored he was. Edward just didn’t have it in him to be destructive to others. He was best at being internally destructive.

Edward’s development of what Emmett had called ‘freaking ESP’ was still unexplained. Edward had begged Carlisle to keep it a secret, and his father had complied. Both Carlisle and Esme were worried that their son would become the equivalent of a lab rat if ever his gift became common knowledge. Carlisle theorized that Edward’s out-of-body experience while in the operating room must have triggered something that was previously repressed. He had always been able to guess what those around him were thinking; now he didn’t have to guess at all. Emmett had called it the x-men factor, and had even started calling him ‘Professor Edward’ and offering to get him a wheelchair. It was Edward’s one-way telepathy that made his rapid progress through school possible, since Esme didn’t have to struggle to explain anything. Edward just understood what she meant immediately. It didn’t come without a price though. Edward thought he would go completely insane until Carlisle had taught him a few meditation techniques designed to focus the mind. Once he had practiced enough, he found that he could push the bulk of what he heard into the background.

However dark his thoughts had been previously, this morning when he sat at the piano, his mind was on Tanya’s life, rather than her death and what might have been. He felt closer to her today than he had since she had died. For the past year he had felt like she was thousands of miles away, but now he felt like she was right there with him again. Edward was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t realize that Esme had come into the room.

It’s so nice to hear you play something light and happy,’ she thought. ‘What’s on your mind, Edward, my son?’ Edward nearly smiled, but only the corner of his mouth turned up. Esme only called him ‘Edward, my son’ when she was trying to soften him up.

“I was thinking of Tanya,” he replied. “I’m not sure why, but I have felt very close to her today, and the feeling just keeps getting stronger.”

“It’s been a long time since you played that song,” Esme said, using her voice for the first time. Edward had to consciously think about what it was he was actually playing. He realized that he had been playing Clair De Lune without breaking down. Edward did allow a brief smile.

“I hadn’t even realized,” Edward said. Abruptly he switched songs, his fingers finding the right keys to Esme’s Favorite, though he hadn’t played the song he composed for his mother in more than a year.

Thank you, Edward. I think you’re finally healing,’ Esme thought. Edward’s fingers stumbled momentarily as he heard what she had thought.

“Healing doesn’t mean forgetting, Edward,” Esme murmured softly before she patted his shoulder and left him to his thoughts at the piano.