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The Dreams of the Boy In the Nighttime

Summary:
Bella Swan has had a tragic and abusive childhood; everyone knew it. But not everyone knew of the bronze-haired boy who visited her in her dreams. He was the only one who knew the true Bella. But Edward wasn't real, was he? Banner made by Anne Cullen :)


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 authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended. Twilighted Supervisory Beta: qjmom Twilighted Validation Beta: Twilightzoner


4. Just Keep Digging, I Can't Feel

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3616   Review this Chapter

When Bella had made the trip from Phoenix to Port Angeles two years ago, she hadn't wanted to leave the beautiful deserts where the sun beat down on her back from the ever-clear blue skies. She'd made several good friends in her kindergarten class at school, and she'd loved her teacher, Ms. Honey, who'd always smell of sunflowers and buttercups. But, no matter how much she pouted, cried or stamped her feet, the decision to send her to her father in Forks had not been altered.

She'd missed her friends in the years she'd spent away from them, she'd missed Ms. Honey, but most of all she'd missed Renee. She still missed her, but she knew that returning to Phoenix would do nothing to bring her back to Bella. She was with the angels now, or that's at least what Esme had said.

Esme, she sighed, Alice, even Emmett, though his boisterous behavior and his immense size scared her a little. Daddy, she thought, biting down on her lower lip. He wouldn't be there for her even if she could've stayed in Forks. It seemed ironic that after being so against leaving Phoenix several years back, she would be this opposed to returning to the place now.

Bella was sitting in the window seat of the front aisle of the plane. Her head was leant against the window, as the world flashed past her closed eyes. She was trying as hard as she could to sleep, but to no avail.

She had counted sheep and she'd even tried to listen to some of Esme's classical music on her newly acquired iPod, though she much preferred Emmett's music. His music was just noise and it drowned out every thought in her head, stopping her from being able to dwell on any of the things that had been happening to her over the course of the last couple of weeks.

But, it was no use. Every time she closed her eyes it was as if she was being fed a livewire, and she was suddenly filled with bounding energy. As soon as she opened her eyes again, she was overwhelmed with the fatigue that hung underneath her chocolate orbs in the form of purple bruises.

Bella was frustrated. She desperately wanted to see Edward again, as she hardly had since before the funeral. She wanted to lay down in the meadow with him, to vent a little, to weep into his chest as he stroked her hair and hear him speak words of comfort into her ear. But, many of the times that she had visited the meadow since then had been so brief that they'd barely been able to utter greetings to each other, let alone hold a conversation with any depth.

The Cullens had given her the iPod as a farewell gift. No matter how much she wished it was just from simple kindness, even taking into account her aversion to gifts, it served as a reminder that she was really moving away from the best family she'd known for the last three years. The unoffending object in her hand made her clench her jaw to stop herself from bursting into tears.

An announcement to prepare for landing was spoken over the intercom, and Bella sighed in defeat - it was clear she wasn't going to get the sleep she yearned for - pulling the iPod earphone from her ears. She caught the worried gaze of the woman beside her, who had been assigned to look after her during the intersection between airports and flights. Bella was ten now, but she still wasn't legally old enough to travel by herself.

The woman, Sally, Bella thought her name was, turned away, embarrassed at being caught looking. The truth was that she'd been looking over at Bella with that same worried gaze for most of the flight. It was clear to her that the girl was unwell. She looked back to Bella as the plane hit the runway, the fake smile plastered back onto her face. "I trust you'll be okay from here, Isabella?" she asked maternally.

Bella nodded. She wasn't totally sure if it was legal for the woman to leave her, but she was sick of Sally's false optimism.

Bella grabbed her carry-on and squeezed through the many people crowded in the aisle, all trying to get off the aircraft as soon as possible. As she walked through past the incoming security line, she thought of the family she was going to be living with. It was strange that she'd never heard of them, seeing as, according to Social Services, Carlisle Hale's late wife had been her mother's sister.

Her name had also been Isabella, and if she had, indeed, been named after this woman, it was even stranger that she'd never heard of the family. She wasn't blood related to Carlisle, but was a cousin to his two children - twins - whose names she could not remember. Somehow, Social Services had still been able to justify taking her away from those she loved by the fact that she was at least related to the twins.

Bella tugged her small suitcase behind her, as she made her way toward the baggage claim, where she would pick up her other suitcase. As she walked past the luggage carousal, she saw many people embracing, some kissing, at being reunited with their loved ones, but almost all of the people seemed to be greeting someone in a friendly, familiar way. Bella felt truly alone.

She lifted her eyes from these people to sift through the small crowd, searching earnestly for the name ‘Swan' displayed anywhere. She'd nearly given up looking by the time her eyes set on her name. ‘Isabella Swan' was written in a clear blue marker on a small whiteboard. The man holding it did not look at all familiar. Bella had thought maybe she'd seen photos somewhere, but had been unable to link a name to the face.

"Are you Isabella Swan?" the man asked as Bella walked up to him. She just nodded, admittedly scared of the large man and his abrasive posture. He led her out to a posh silver car and opened the door for her, and she slid into the back seat. The car had been running for several minutes by the time Bella found her voice.

"Are you Carlisle?" she asked timidly. The man made eye contact with her through the rear view mirror. He had almost black eyes that seemed as dark as coal.

"No, I'm James. I work for the Hales." He returned his attention back to the road and the remainder of the trip was spent in an uncomfortable silence.

The car drove toward a massive house, even larger than the Cullens, through a pair of black iron gates. The building was three stories high and built in a creamy yellow stone. They drove into a large garage which was a separate building to the main house. As soon as the engine had shut off, James was by Bella's door, opening it.

The air was dry, but familiar, and reminded Bella of her time before she came to Forks. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. With the memories of her young childhood, also came the memories of sweet and loving Renee, memories that made her heart clench. James led Bella to the front door and opened it for her, allowing her to step inside first.

The house was impossibly more luxurious on the inside. The walls were painted a blue so pale that it was almost white, and most of the furniture was made of a deep mahogany wood. Various pieces of modern art hung on the walls, contrasting perfectly with the otherwise old-fashioned, but stylish, furniture. Bella couldn't make out what was depicted in most of the paintings. They were mainly just splurges of bright colors that jumped right out from the canvas, each beautiful in their own way.

"Ahhh, Isabella, we meet at last!" a deep voice spoke from the staircase. Bella turned and saw probably one of the most handsome men she had ever seen walk down the stairs. His sleek blonde hair was swept across the top of his head and a navy short-sleeved button-down was fitted over his broad shoulders.

"Hi," Bella said feebly, looking down at her shoes bashfully.

"I see you've met James?" he asked her. Bella looked up for politeness and nodded her head before returning her eyes back to her shoes.

"Not much of a talker, I see?" he joked. "Well, we'll see what Rosalie and Jasper can do about that!" He called their names up the stairs and the sound of feet hitting wooden floorboards sounded through the house. Rosalie was gripping Jasper's forearm as they ran down the stairs. They were both laughing at some joke one or the other had just told.

Rosalie was probably one of the prettiest girls Bella had ever seen. She had long blond hair that reached bellow her waist, almost to her hips, cascading down her back in tousled curls and contrasting perfectly with her deep Arizona tan.

Jasper was similarly matched and, he too, had curly blond hair, but his curls were tighter and fell in front of his eyes whenever he moved his head. The whole family had the same searing blue eyes that made their beauty even more conspicuous. Even though the twins were the same age as Bella, their faces were nearly completely absent of childhood fat.

"Rose, Jasper, this is Isabella."

"Bella," she corrected softly.

"Excuse me?" Carlisle asked politely, taking a step closer to her so that he could hear her better.

"I like to be called Bella." Her voice was so quiet that it was almost a whisper, but the family seemed to hear it. Bella's hair had fallen around her face as she looked down, obscuring most of her features from view.

"Hi, Bella." Jasper came up to her and stuck his hand out in front of him in a way that Bella would be able to see from underneath the barrier her hair made.

She looked up and into his comforting, empathic eyes. She shook his hand and the gesture felt warm and welcoming, well at least in comparison to the cold vibes she could feel emanating from the person to Jasper's right. She looked up at Rosalie, expecting her to come and greet her also, since they all seemed to be very respectful and polite. But, no, she did not come to her and only gave her a curt nod and a stare that was filled with so much venom that Bella felt like stepping back, though she didn't; she didn't want to seem rude.

"Children, can you show Bella to her room, please?" Carlisle asked, oblivious to Rosalie's hostility.

"Sure," Jasper answered quickly, before Rosalie could utter some harsh retort.

Bella reached behind her to where her bag had been carried in by James and grabbed it with both hands, lugging it up the tall staircase as she followed Jasper up the steps. She could feel a set of eyes staring into the back of her head, and she had a pretty good idea to whom they belonged. Jasper led her along a hallway which was similarly decorated to the room she had first entered.

At the end of the passage was a large window that looked out on a beautiful view of the city, enhanced by the house being perched atop a hill. The late afternoon sun was streaming through the glass and brightening the hallways considerably.

"This is you," Jasper said as he turned the knob to a heavy door made in the same wood as the floor. The door had intricate patterns covering it bottom to top, and it reminded Bella of some sort of puzzle. Her breath caught as she walked into the room which was now hers. It was so big!

She stopped in the doorway as her eyes drifted over the enormous blue-colored room. In the center, there was a large queen sized bed with small quaint blue flowers adorning the bedspread. On a door, which must've led to the closet, hung a long full-sized mirror that reflected back the room in front of her. There was another window similar to the one in the hallway opposite the foot of the bed. Instead of the view of the city, you could see the driveway and garage where she'd just arrived.

Jasper was oblivious to her apparent awe, and he walked through the room in a breeze. He crossed to where there was another door, and as he opened it, Bella could see the edge of a bathtub. That room was also bigger than any bathroom she'd been in before, and she almost lost all of what Jasper had said until she inwardly slapped herself, managing to clue in enough to catch on to the end of what he was saying.

He smiled as he finished, and dimples that Bella hadn't noticed before appeared on his cheeks. "Of course, in this weather, a cold shower can be a pleasantry," he added, but to what, Bella wasn't sure.

"Are we done showing the new kid ‘round, Jaz?" Rosalie asked mockingly from behind Bella. When she turned around, Bella could see a sneer set clearly on her face.

"Urr... sure... you'll be okay, right, Bella?" He looked into Bella's eyes as if he was trying to read her, or communicate something important, she couldn't tell which. Anyways, his gaze was intense.

"Yeah, I'll be fine," Bella said. After hearing her words, Rosalie held out an arm in front of her in the direction of the door, indicating for Jasper to lead the way out. He shot Bella an apologetic look before he obliged. As Rosalie was about to leave the room, she turned her head back around to stare Bella straight in the eye.

"Nobody wants you here, Bella. You're just some sob story Carlisle feels like he has to take in. Everybody in this house knows it, that's why Jaz is acting so sorry for you. Nobody wants you anywhere, Bella."

With that she left the room, closing the door behind her on her way back, and leaving Bella standing frozen in the doorway to her bathroom. As she heard Rosalie's footsteps echo away down the hallway, Bella walked over to the bed, laid down across it still fully dressed, and gripped the comforter in between her hands. She breathed in the smell of the bed and couldn't help but notice how unfamiliar it was and how much she longed for a scent that was familiar in a place that she knew.

Tears pricked her eyes, and though she tried to blink them away, they still continued to fall and soak into the pillow. Nobody disturbed her that night, not even to bring her food or ask her to dinner, and she was glad. She didn't want to face them knowing what she did now, that they didn't want her, only taking her in because they pitied her.

That night, Bella Swan cried herself to the first proper sleep she'd had in two weeks. She welcomed the rest and part of her was happy for the final comfort to be found in unconsciousness. That small part was greatly overshadowed by the all-consuming part that filled her with sorrow - sorrow for her father, sorrow for leaving her beloved makeshift family, sorrow for being so undesirable in the first place that fate itself didn't even wish for her company , and finally sorrow for going so long without the comforting satisfaction of Edward's company.

At least the last of her troubles would soon be put right, and as she lost consciousness, the image of his face pushed away all of her other worries.

###

"Bella?" Edward's voice echoed back at him as it reverberated across the meadow. His eyes were raking through the pastures from his position atop the hill, and the wind was ripping ruthlessly through his unbuttoned shirt and khaki pants. He continued to probe the meadow, as if Bella was going to just suddenly appear from behind a tree and yell, "gotcha!" like she did when she was younger.

When he realized that she wasn't hiding from him and was truly gone for another night, he allowed himself to fall backward onto the bouncing grasses - knowing full well that the fall would call him no pain in this place - and let out a defeated sigh. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the warmth of the golden sun shining upon him. The heat bore down on his eyelids, his cheekbones, his lips... already he was relaxed.

In any other circumstance, entertaining himself in this beautiful place would be no problem. The things he could do here were limitless. It was only in comparison to his best friend's company that he suddenly seemed bored of the meadow.

Next he concentrated on the feeling of the cold wind blowing over him, sending his hair into even more of an unruly mess atop his head, and causing a fleeting chill to pass through his body. As he took in a deep breath through his nose, he could smell all the wild flowers that had bloomed over the meadow throughout the springtime and the smell of the wind as it skimmed across the waters and rushed through the leaves of the trees surrounding the lake.

"Edward," a voice whispered softly, close to his ear. It was so unexpected that it made his whole body jump, and he sat straight up in the grass. He looked around to find the perpetrator that disturbed his peace. Once he'd found her, he worked to make his eyes narrowed slits watching the girl who sat near him.

Bella could see that she had surprised Edward, and she took a little pride in it as it was not an easy thing to do. Edward seemed to have the most acute sense of both hearing and sight that she had ever seen. She could also see the humor behind his narrowed eyes, and the excitement at seeing her again.

"Sorry, if you want me to go..." she said, leading off on her words and making as if to stand up and walk away. But, before she could even stand, Edward grabbed her wrist and pulled her against his chest, holding her head in place under his chin and rubbing small circles with his thumb into the side of her shoulder.

Bella was happy with the simple comfort she hadn't felt for over a week, and neither wished to break the silence. But, after several minutes - it could have been hours - they both drew slightly away from one another to look into each other's eyes.

"You're still hurting, Bella." Edward said disapprovingly, but Bella could hear the slight hurt in his own voice, as if by seeing her pain it made him hurt too. He raised his arm to trace the shadows under Bella's eyes with his thumb. She pulled her face down to try and conceal them from him, but he grasped her chin and pulled it up at an angle that gave his eyes a perfect path into hers.

"What's wrong?" he asked, a glint of worry in his own.

"It's nothing..." Bella dismissed.

"Nothing's nothing, Bella." He looked again into her eyes, this time in a way that made it seem like he was trying to probe the information out of her.

"By ‘nothing' I meant nothing new," she said, avoiding his searching gaze.

He could tell that there was something she wasn't telling him. "Anything else?" he asked.

"It's just moving in with a new family on top of everything else, you know?" Edward nodded, though he couldn't possibly be wholly empathic, but tried to sympathize with her as best he could.

"The Hales, right?" He wasn't totally sure of their names. Since Bella had found out that she'd be moving back to Phoenix, they'd only had one short conversation together.

"Carlisle seems like a great man, and Jasper is very hospitable and friendly," she said, hoping that he wouldn't remember that she'd mentioned one more family member in their past conversation.

"And his sister?" He could see right through her.

"Rosalie is... less hospitable," she mumbled in a voice so low that she hoped he wouldn't be able to hear it.

"It's going to be okay, Bella," he said, not asking for her to elaborate. He knew that if she wanted to talk about this Rosalie character, she would have. He rocked them both to-and-fro, each listening to the regulated breathing of the other.

Their eyes closed until all they could sense was the touch of each other's warm embrace, the many sweet smells that hung in the air, and the sounds of the wind as it blew through the trees and merged with the sound of the swans gliding over the lake. Bella succumbed to sleep only a moment before Edward, allowing him to briefly absorb the pain she was feeling from this new period in her life, before he, too, lost awareness and Bella's pain along with it.