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I'd Know You Anywhere

Summary:
It's been 6 years since Edward left in New Moon. Bella and Jacob are still friends, but Bella has been thinking of Jacob as more. While looking at pictures from a night out, she notices someone in the backround from her past. **I'm not allowed to post my stories on here, anymore...due to the Lemons. Read my last chapter of this story.**


Notes:
I haven't really ever written a story that didn't have some sort of lemony goodness in the first couple chapters. They're coming...I promise! :) I hope you enjoy. Vampire Edward, of course.


9. Ashamed

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2034   Review this Chapter

BPOVI stared at the beautiful man beside me. He had a solemn look on his face as he pondered his next words. I had to know how he spent the last six years. Many nights, I layed awake wondering where he was. I pictured him in Europe, South America, Canada…outside my window. That last one was kept me sane. Ever since I met Edward, I kept my bedroom window open at night. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero temperatures…my window was always open for him. I always knew that I would wake up alone, but having the window open made me feel safe. I must be crazy.

“As you know, I’ve always regretted leaving you,” he was trailing his fingers along my arm and not making eye contact. “My families thoughts assaulted me and made me and added to my guilt. They always told me that they respected and understood my decision, but when they weren’t careful and let down their mental barriers I heard the truth. Carlisle and Esme were in sync with their thoughts. Both of them understood why I did what I did, but they worried that I would never be the same. I was always conflicted with my emotions when I was around you. I felt like a monster that was trying to steal you away from the world that we all wish we could have back. I was selfish. But, Bella, that year with you was the happiest of my life. That’s why Carlisle and Esme were so concerned. They were afraid that I would never find a love equal to what I had for you.” He looked up, for the first time, into my eyes. “Bella, they were right. I have never and will never love anyone else.”

I leaned up on my elbows and placed a understand kiss on his lips. “I love you, too, Edward.”

“Alice cursed me, screamed at me, tried to hurt me and snap me out of it. She has missed you almost as much as I have. ‘Almost’ being the operable word. Jasper felt guilty and was afraid to be anywhere near me. He feared that I blamed him…but, that’s not true. I blame myself for putting you in a situation like that. It wasn’t Jasper’s fault…he couldn’t control himself. I understand, all too well, how thirst can take over all your senses.”

“I don’t blame Jasper, either.” I rested my head in the grass.

“Emmett felt sorry for me. He wished that you would have been immortal when I met you only to make things easier for me. His teasing attitude masks how caring his nature truly is. He, too, feared that I would go back into my loathing state.” He ran his fingers through his hair and got a small smirk on his face.

“Rosalie…” He laughed. “Well, Rose thought it was smartest thing I’d ever done because it kept her safe. It kept the attention off of the family. She, honestly, could have cared less about my feelings. But,…that’s too be expected from her.

So, I left. I couldn’t take their pity and hatred. Bella, my entire family cares about you, too. Most of them thought of you as part of the family and it was my fault that you weren’t part of it anymore. I fled. At first, I just ran. I ran through all of Canada and Alaska. When I tired of that, I ran south. About two years after I left, I stopped in Forks. I sat outside your house for several days just looking at your bedroom window. I knew that you weren’t there and I yearned to crawl through your window and search for evidence of where you went…but, I didn’t. I convinced myself that you had moved on and it would only be harder for me to know if you were with somebody else. That was a terrifying thought. I wanted you to be happy, but the thought of another guy holding you was agonizing. That thought, alone, kept me running for another year. I kept in touch with Carlisle, but I didn’t talk to the rest of the family, much. I would stop by for a few months at a time, but as soon as their thoughts went back to the places they were in I left you…I’d leave, again. I thought about you every moment of every day. After I had exhausted my efforts to run across the entire planet, I had to come back. I had to see you…even if you were married and living happily ever after…I had to see you. The closer I got to Forks, the worse the images became of you. I’d spent so many years telling myself that you were happy, but when I knew I’d see you…I was afraid that you weren’t. I was afraid that you’d been hurt…I was afraid that I’d never be able to find you. It became my mission to find you as quickly as possible so, instead of tracking your scent, I went back to Charlie’s.”

“What? He never…” I felt the anger boiling inside of me. Charlie never told me that Edward came back looking for me.

“He didn’t know. When I slipped through your bedroom window I felt like I’d run into a brick wall. Your scent was everywhere. It made me want to smile and cry at the same time. It took me 4 hours to move from my spot just inside the window. I let your essence wash over me dilute the images that you weren’t okay. Your college transcripts were on your desk, but so was your diploma. That didn’t help me. It took another 2 hours for me to muster the courage to walk out of your bedroom. That’s when I saw your address and phone number on Charlie’s refrigerator. Immediately, I left for Seattle. The first night that your club opened, I just watched you. You seemed happy and I won’t tell you what vile things were going through my mind when that…when Jacob Black was touching you.”

Jake. Oh my God…I’ve been so wrapped up in Edward that I’d forgotten about Jake.He would have seen me leave with him that night. My wondered back to how I was feeling about Jacob before I knew that Edward had returned. I was noticing how attractive Jake was and how good he was to me and…shit!

“I realize that he didn’t abandon you like I did. But, I don’t really want to talk about him. Bella, the reason I came back that second night was because I couldn’t stay away any longer. My chest actually hurt when I saw you drive away with him. I decided not to follow you because I didn’t want to see what was going on between the two of you. Instead, I ran back to Forks, jumped through your bedroom window and spent the entire day wrapped up in your bed,” his smirk crept back to his face. “Sorry, if that creeps you out.”

“It doesn’t, but…Edward, there was nothing going on between me and Jake. Trust me, we’ve always just been friends. He drove me home because I had drank too much…that’s it.” Edward cupped my face with his right hand.

“You have always been free to do whatever you wanted with your life. I’ll never judge you on anything you did while I was away.

“Anyway, I had made the decision to talk to you. If you told me to leave…I would have…but,…it…it would have hurt.”

I got the feeling that he wasn’t telling me something. The way he was talking before…this conversation would have been a lot harder to handle. So far, the worst thing he did was break into Charlie’s house.

“Edward?” I grabbed his hand and rested our entwined fingers on my stomach.

“Yes?” His gaze was upon our hands.

“What aren’t you telling me? What did you do while you were running?” I never did look at his face. The tension is his hand was proof that he withheld information.

“Bella…it might be better if I didn’t…I don’t think either of us would benefit from you knowing.” I glanced up and saw the concern in his eyes.

“Tell me.” I had to know. It wasn’t a plea…it was a command. I would never learn to trust him again if I knew he was keeping things from me.

“I…,” he sighed. “When I left, I was so disgusted by what I was. This curse was the reason that I couldn’t be with you so…I decided to stop giving into my thirst. I stopped hunting…all together.”

“What? How…How is that possible?”

“Once I had gotten through that first week, I figured that I could do it. I could feel the burn in my throat, but my hatred for myself overpowered that thirst. Every time I felt the need to hunt, I’d see your beautiful face and bury that feeling. I wouldn’t let the vampire in me take over. It was foolish, I knew that, and eventually I had to give into the temptation. I repeated that process over and over. Hunting wasn’t fun for me, anymore, and when I would make the kill…I’d hate myself even more than the time before that. The reason I didn’t want to tell you was because of the last mistake I had made. After I had stopped by your house, the first time, I had waited nearly a month before I gave into my thirst. A vampire can’t go without blood…it makes us weak, but it still won’t kill us. I had lost all sense of myself and didn’t even recognize who I was. Bella…that was incredibly…incredibly stupid of me.” He paused and pulled his hand away from me. Edward fell back to stare at the sky with me and I could tell that whatever he was about to admit was going to be hard for both of us.

“It’s okay, Edward. I’ll never judge you on anything you did while I was away.” Hopefully, his own words hit home.

“Please, know that I’m ashamed of myself and never told anyone else what I did. They don’t need to know and I wish that I didn’t have to tell you,” he sighed, again. “Bella, I waited too long to hunt. When I ran through Ireland,…I gave in to my thirst, but…” he shook his hands through his hair and growled at himself. “I hadn’t killed an animal.”

There, he said it. He didn’t need to explain anything else…I didn’t want to know the details and I didn’t want him to have to relive it. He made a mistake and faltered…I could forgive him for that. I knew that he would be much harder on himself than anyone else would be. That’s Edward.

“I forgive you. Please, forgive yourself.” I leaned over and rested my head on his chest.

“I wish it was that easy…it’s just…,” his entire chest started shaking. When I turned my head to look at him I could tell that he was crying. No tears were falling down his cheeks, but the expression was there. I didn’t the only thing that I knew to do: I rolled us over so that his face was buried in the crook of my neck and wrapped my arms around him as tightly as I could.

“I’m sorry that happened to you…I’m sorry.” There was nothing else that I could say to make it better for him. I knew that if I kept saying, “It’s okay”, he would just keep denying that it was.

“I hate that I did that to somebody…I…I took their life away from them… the last time I did that to somebody was nearly 70 years ago. I could never forget how remorseful I am afterwards. I hate myself for this.” The shaking wasn’t stopping. His arms were wrapped tightly around me, but not too tight.

“I love you, Edward….I love you…”, every time I said it, my voice got quieter. “I love you…I love you…I love you…I love you…I love you…I love you…I love you…”

Where do we go from here?