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Back in Her Arms

Summary:
This is another missing scene from New Moon told from Edward's perspective. It's when Edward brings Bella home after their trip to Italy. He faces Charlie and spends the night with Bella for the first time since he left.


Notes:


1. Chapter 1

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 1518   Review this Chapter

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.

Bella fell asleep as soon as I had pried her fingers loose from my shirt. I took just a moment to steal one loving gaze at her, knowing that Charlie was waiting downstairs.

“Rest easy, love,” I whispered in her ear. “I’ll be back soon.”

I walked at a human pace through the hallway and down the stairs, bracing myself for the wrath I knew I deserved.

Charlie was still furious, but slightly more composed.

“I have a few things I’d like to say to you before you go,” he eyed me accusatorially.

I just nodded once, best to keep silent.

“I don’t know what you’ve been up to these last six months, but Bella’s been a wreck. While you were off gallivanting into goodness knows where, my daughter’s heart was breaking over you.”

I grimaced at his words; sure that was putting it lightly.

“She was just starting to get better, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let you ruin any progress she’s made,” Charlie continued.

I was silent for another moment and then spoke carefully.

“You have every reason not to trust me, but I would never do anything to intentionally harm Bella,” I said, meaning it sincerely. For if I had known from the beginning how deeply this separation would affect Bella, I never would have left.

“Well, intentionally or not, you did hurt her, and this wasn’t the first time, either. I want you to stay away from her.”

At this, I was startled. Charlie had no idea how right he was, but that wouldn’t keep me away from Bella. At this point, I don’t think anything could.

“With all due respect, Chief Swan,” I said calmly. “I think we should leave that decision up to her.”

Charlie glared at me now as if I’d yanked his chain.

“I can’t make Bella stay away from you, but I sure as hell can keep you away from her. You are never to walk through this door again, do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir,” I feigned defeat. I wouldn’t use the door to get back in.

“Good, now leave before I decide to charge you with something. Lord knows what you did to Bella was criminal.”

I walked resignedly out of the still open door and felt Charlie slam it behind me.

I knew his anger was completely justified, but it still hurt to know that Bella’s father despised me for the moment.

-----

I disappeared swiftly into the backyard and hid in my favorite tree, watching and listening for anything suspicious. After all, nobody had been here to watch over her these last months. I had missed my role as her nightly guardian.

The neighborhood seemed to be fairly tranquil, and from the tone of his mind, Charlie was much more at ease now that Bella was safely home. I listened as he made his way up the stairs and opened the door to her bedroom. He waited for a few minutes, just watching her.

“Goodnight, Sweetheart,” he whispered.

It was only fear for her well-being that made Charlie wary of me, and rightly so considering. I wished there was some way I could show him how very much it means to me, too. I suppose time would be the only way to prove it.

More importantly, I needed to make sure that Bella knew how deeply I cared. There would be no point in gaining Charlie’s trust if she didn’t trust me herself.

Charlie eventually made his way to his own bed and settled in for the night. Now I was clear to watch over her more closely.

I jumped from the tree, landing lithe as a cat on the ground. I did a quick survey of the backyard, and then climbed up her bedroom window. It slid uneasily probably from lack of use. I smiled to myself, time to bring the oil.

I landed silently on her bedroom floor. She was sound asleep, breathing a little heavier than I remembered. She must be sleeping very deeply.

As always, the room was heavy with her scent, but this time, it didn’t assail my senses, as it would have in the past. The belief that I’d lost her had essentially purged my body of that primal desire for her blood.

Gradually, I moved to her sleeping form, kneeling next to her and just absorbed her face. I had been gone for so long, I looked for any changes I might have missed.

She looked peaceful and yet…distracted somehow. Like there was something lingering in her subconscious. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but her mind didn’t seem to be completely at ease.

Perhaps she was dreaming. I could only imagine what might be replaying in her mind. Bella had had enough horror to last two lifetimes. She should only dream good dreams from now on.

It was ludicrous to think that she could ever be completely safe, whether I was close by or not. Laurent, Victoria, those volatile, adolescent werewolves; there seemed to be no end to the danger she attracted.

A shiver ran through me when I thought about what I had left her to face alone. I would always want to watch over her, whether she wanted me around or not.

I ran the back of my fingers gently over her cheek, delighting in how warm it felt.

She smiled slightly at my touch. “Edward…”

In that moment, I remembered how it feels to be whole. It was like the first night she had uttered my name in her sleep. The feeling that coursed through me then was like being awakened from a hundred-year sleep. This time, it felt like I was breaking the surface of a deep ocean before very nearly drowning.

What a fool I had been to think that I could spend the rest of my limitless existence without her.

Looking at her now, so calm and peaceful, I’m amazed that I’d been able to stay away for as long as I did.

And how brave she was to go with Alice to Volterra. She must have known it would be dangerous, but she was willing to take the risk. Nobody has ever been so self-sacrificing for me.

Before, I didn’t want to believe that Bella had genuine feelings for me because I was afraid of what loving me would do to her. But now, in light of such a selfless act, I couldn’t deny that her feelings were real and true.

Bella is the very essence of my being; I could only truly live when I was with her. It had always been true, but now I was able to admit it. Life without Bella had been like a human trying to live without a heart. Impossible.

As a vampire, I don’t need my dead heart to live. It’s frozen just like the rest of me that was once human. But when I was away from Bella, it was like that useless organ was missing from me. I felt empty and hollow without it. Bella had resurrected the human in me, and when we were apart, it broke my heart just as surely as it broke hers.

But now that I was back, it was like my heart had been returned to me. Like something so vital to my existence had been restored. I only hoped that my return would be enough to heal Bella’s broken heart. I didn’t even want to think about the pain our separation must have caused her. If it were even a fraction as painful as it was for me, her fragile human body would have surely perished. No wonder she jumped off a cliff…

Bella is my heart…I’d like to think that I’m hers. I could hear her heart now, strong and steady. It was the most beautiful sound in the world, one that I would recognize anywhere. It was the sound that meant she was alive.

Earlier today, I’d thought that beautiful sound had been extinguished forever. Now I wanted to be closer to it. Gently, I rested my head on her chest, and felt its vibrant rhythm against my cheek. I could stay like this forever.

“I love you so much, Bella,” I whispered softly. “I want never to be separated from you again. And if I have to spend the rest of my existence proving it to you, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

I had waited nearly a hundred years for her, and I would gladly wait another hundred. I was back in her arms where I belonged. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to remain there always.