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The Edge

Summary:
What if Alice never saw Bella jump? Will Bella ever be able to let go of Edward? theedge22.jpg The Egde image by hatchick113


Notes:
Bella continues life in Forks with out Edward. Jacob has picked up the pieces, will she finally realize he is there for her? Will she ever be able to let go of Edward?


12. Chapter 12

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4374   Review this Chapter

School dragged by that week, each class more boring and useless than the last. Graduation was just a few short weeks away and I prayed that I would somehow be able to make it through the remainder of the year without losing my mind completely. That, which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. My feeble attempt to block out Jessica Stanley’s mindless babble was slowly crushed and soon my mind was filled with superficial things like malls, school dances and wild weekend parties. Thankfully, the 3:00 bell rang and I was free to enjoy my weekend with Edward.

I drove slowly, not bothering to push my decrepit truck to its limits. Since Edward’s return I had felt little motivation to hurry home to him every day after school, and it seemed that he felt little motivation to be there waiting for me when I arrived. It bothered me; more than it probably should, but I couldn’t rid myself of the nagging feeling that Edward had become overly complacent. He always seemed interested and pleased when we spent time together, but sometimes I would catch him staring at nothing in particular; his attention diverted for more than what would be considered a casual glance. I tried to push those thoughts aside; after all, it was probably just my imagination anyway.

Rain splattered loudly against my windshield waking me from my musings and I realized I was parked in front of my house. I pulled into the muddy drive and climbed quickly out of the cab to the safety of my little house. Stale air greeted me as I hung up my coat and shimmied out of my muddy boots; I really did need to air this place out, too bad it was always raining. I shrugged and padded upstairs to my room. I opened my door, expecting to see Edward lounging across my bed, but my bed was empty accept for a small shoe box. Ok… On top of the closed box laid a note, obviously written in Edward’s delicate scrawl.

Bella,

I am so sorry I couldn’t be here to greet you when you arrived home.

Jasper, Nicole and I have opted for a spur of the moment hunting trip this weekend; we

will be gone by the time you read this note, but I promise we will be back by Sunday night.

Alice will be over at 4:30 to pick you up for a girl’s weekend; she has already cleared this with

Charlie. I do hope you enjoy your weekend, Bella.

Enclosed are a few items I thought you might enjoy seeing again.

Love,

Edward

I placed the note carefully on the bed and slowly lifted the lid so the plain cardboard shoe box. Laid out before me was a CD, a handful of pictures, and two stiff rectangular pieces of paper. I clasped my hand to my mouth as memories began flooding back, filling my mind with flashbacks of both the good times and bad. I stood there in awe for a few moments, my feet rooted to the floor. I picked up each picture and studied it meticulously. Edward was completely unchanged; the perfect god like creature smiled warmly back at me. I picked up the silvery little disk and placed it into my CD player. The beautiful melody of my lullaby filled the room and filled my senses as I remembered the first time I heard it; Edward would hum me to sleep with intricate and flowing harmonies. I pushed the box aside and stretched out on my bed; I was caught up in the music, simply swept away in its humble rhythms. I sighed loudly as I realized I was in for a girly, shopping, fru fru, nail polish, facials, gossip, pampering weekend; I wanted nothing to do with it. But I knew how much Alice loved playing dress up and it had been so long since we had spent quality time together. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Alice shuffled me out the door and into the black Mercedes parked in my drive way. Rain pelted the windows as she flew down the winding road up to the white mansion.

“Bella, I can’t wait to spend some good, quality girl time with you!” She squealed. “What would you like to do first? I rented a bunch of movies we can watch tonight! I could give you a manicure and a pedicure and a facial and then I could do your hair or give you a makeover! This is just going to be so much fun! We can even go shopping tomorrow and work on that wardrobe of yours.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust. Ah, Alice. I had forgotten how vibrant and full of life she was; certainly more full of life than any living person I had ever met. I really did miss her; this weekend was going to be good for us.

After having my nails painted to a deep, glossy red, my face thoroughly exfoliated, my eye brows plucked and waxed, and my hair hot oil treated Alice finally relinquished her duties and curled up next to me on the couch for some ‘girl talk’. She ran her nimble fingers through my hair as I informed her on every detail of my life while she was gone. I couldn’t understand how something that seemed so boring to me could possibly be so interesting to her. I did my best to gloss over the worst parts, down playing them to spare her, but I think she saw right through me. On the other hand, I went into great detail retelling my adventures with Jacob; from the dirt bikes to the movies, hiking to cliff diving. I didn’t leave out one single detail; all the while she wore a smirk, an almost evil grin of sorts. Then came the awkward part; telling her Jacob and I had more than friendly feelings for each other. It was an interesting situation to say the least; Alice was my best girl friend, but she was also my boyfriend’s, if that’s what he was, sister. Fortunately enough for me she found it quite acceptable that I had found somebody else, “Edward was an idiot to leave in the first place, it would have taught him a great lesson if you would have turned him down.” She smiled.”Don’t get me wrong, I want Edward to be happy. But he should really lean to accept the life he has been dealt. And don’t worry, I won’t tell him any of this. Your secrets are safe with me.”

I told her about Harry’s funeral and the bonfire afterwards; I did my best to be modest with the details, but she insisted that I tell her everything about the kiss Jake and I exchanged. She ogled at the mental picture I created of Jake and I’s private moment together and nearly screamed when I told her about finding the note from Edward, even though she already knew that part of the story. And then I got to the hard part; saying good bye to Jacob. My eyes were wet with tears as I recounted, in great detail, our last moments together. She looked at me with sadness; she truly sympathized with me.

“Bella, are you sure you made the right choice?”Her eyes pleaded with me. “You love him.” She held my hand tightly in her cool grasp. I just stared at her; had she really asked me that?

“I love Edward.” I simply replied.

“Forget that, Bella. He wants what’s best for you. He wants you to be happy.” She was serious.

“I love Edward.” I repeated more sternly.

“Fine, Bella. Have it your way.” She dropped the subject. She went back to smoothing my hair; braiding and unbraiding small sections at a time. It was quiet now and I let my mind wander in the silence. I wondered what Edward was doing right now; where he was.

“Alice, where did he go?”

“Hmmm? Oh, they went up to Canada to hunt; I guess they were having a Grizzly problem or something.” She twisted a lock of my hair around her fingers absentmindedly.

“No, where did Edward go…when he left me.” Her brow furrowed at the bluntness of my question; she didn’t speak for a few moments.

“Edward separated from us. He has never been specific as to where exactly he went, but we know he tried tracking for a while.”

“Tracking?” My voice shot up in pitch. “Tracking who?”

“Calm down, Bella. He didn’t tell us much about it, but I had visions of him in South America. He was tracking Victoria.” The blood ran cold in my veins at the mention of the red headed vampire. “I suppose he lost track of her, because he eventually made his way up to Alaska. He ended up staying with a coven there; they are like us, they stick to the ‘vegetarian’ diet.”

“I think I remember…Laurent stayed with them too didn’t he?”

“Yes, in fact he and Edward were there together for a short time. From what he has told me, Edward quite enjoyed himself there. He found a purpose in Alaska; he became a brother to Kate, Irina, and Tanya.” She dropped my hair; her body shifting away slightly, her eyes unfocused.

“Kate, Irina, and Tanya?”

“The Denali coven members. We’ve known them for quite some time. I believe Carlisle knew them back before their mother, eh, creator, but she was really more like their mother, was killed. Anyway, Edward said they welcomed him with open arms, and the five of them lived quite peacefully together. Laurent had made great progress in his new life and diet. He and Irina had become quite close, that is until Victoria began contacting him. That’s when things began to go downhill.

“Victoria’s letters became more and more frequent and Irina became more and more upset. Finally one day she just snapped and threw him out. The separation was definitely harder on Irina than it was on Laurent, after all Irina loved him much more than he ever loved her. They didn’t hear from him again after that, but they heard of his little hunting sprees in neighboring towns. Fortunately he was smart enough to move on before the police caught on to his little charade, but Edward and the girls knew they were in danger of being exposed.” She turned to me now, her eyes hard and serious, her little body ridged.

“Edward decided to find him and confront him; give him the choice to leave or die basically. He didn’t have to travel long before he caught on to Laurent’s trail. No sooner had he arrived in the small of Wasilla then he began hearing the fear in the thoughts of the residents. He passed by a small coffee shop and bought a news paper. There, plastered against the front page were seven names and photographs; Laurent’s latest victims. He glanced over the faces, sickened by the total loss of life, but one face caught his eye. A pretty brunette, with brown eyes, a small nose and beautiful dimples.” My breathing hitched in my chest as I realize who she was describing.

“He scoured the town and surrounding area for any sign of him. He searched for nearly three days and finally found him 300 miles to the north in the thick Alaskan forest. Laurent was camped out; the stench of bodies weighed heavy in the air as Edward approached him. ‘Laurent, you must leave. You are in danger of exposure; we all are. You know what will happen if the Volturi gets involved. You’ll break Irina’s heart all over again.’”She mimicked her brother’s voice perfectly; I could almost feel the tension as I wait for Laurent’s response.

“‘And where would you have me go, Edward? Surely you wouldn’t expect me to leave when I can so easily hunt here; the people are completely unaware.’ Edward threw the newspaper at him.

‘They seem to be catching on down in Wasilla.’ Then he heard a voice; he had to stop to be sure he was hearing it in his mind. Wasilla…Wasilla…Have…to…get…back… The quiet voice replayed in him mind as he realized what Laurent had been planning. ‘Where is she!?’ He stormed up to Laurent and knocked him 20 feet back, sending him into a tree with a sharp crack. ‘You must leave, Laurent; before I force you to.’ Laurent begrudgingly agreed, but not without warning Edward first.

‘You’re going to wish you had kept a better eye on me.’ He sneered as he took off toward the coast.” I shivered as my mind put two and two together. He must have been talking about coming back to Forks; coming after me.

“I guess Edward was a bit too preoccupied to really think about Laurent’s warning, although I’m sure it didn’t hold much water anyway. Come to think of it, none of us has heard anything from him since.” She cocked her head to the side, her eyes becoming unfocused. I had certainly heard from him. I bit my tongue and let Alice finish her story; I would just have to set her straight later. “Anyway, Edward directed his attention to finding the girl. He didn’t have to look far either. She was huddled under a pine tree not 15 feet from where he and Laurent had been standing. She was not tied up or bound in anyway; Edward figured Laurent didn’t need to tie her up, he could just run after her, or go find another victim if he needed. Not to mention Laurent had the only food and water within 300 miles; Edward was pretty sure the girl was also well aware of that.

“The poor girl was nearly hypothermic when Edward reached her. Her body was obviously broken and battered; she was so deeply lost in herself that she hardly noticed Edward picking her up. He ran, with the girl cradled to his chest, as fast as he could back to the Denali coven. He called Carlisle as soon as he arrived; the girl’s condition was rapidly deteriorating. Fortunately Carlisle, along with Esme, Rosalie, Emmitt, Jasper, and I arrived within hours of receiving Edward’s frantic call. Carlisle was able to bring a small medical supply, and he worked on mending the girl’s decimated body.

“‘Edward, I’m trying my best, but I don’t know if she will pull through. Her body has been so badly beaten I’m not sure she will ever be able to recover.’ He did his best to comfort Edward, but the outlook was grim. ‘It’s like her entire body is broken. Both of her legs have been crushed, along with her arms; her shoulders have been dislocated for so many days I am unable to push them back into place. But it’s not just her body, Edward. Her mind has been completely massacred as well. Laurent is sicker than I ever thought possible.’ It was hard for Carlisle to say what happened to her exactly. ‘Edward, I think he tried to have his way with her; and I think he succeeded, but he tore her apart in the process. The inside of her body is ravaged; he cracked three of her vertebrae in the process.’ To Carlisle this poor girl’s life had been ruined; he felt she would have been better off if Laurent had just killed her instead of torturing her beyond repair.

“Edward took the news hard; he didn’t say one word to anyone for more than a few days, all the while the girl was in a drug induced comma; life support basically. It was hard to see him like that, but it seemed a lot worse for me. I had visions of every single idea that passed through his mind, some of them were rather outrageous; many of them included him hunting down and tearing Laurent apart, shredding him into millions of little pieces. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Edward came to me. He asked me to look for you in my visions.” Her hand brushed my cheek gently as a warm smiled spread across her face. I brought my hand up and placed it over hers; the tears welling up in my eyes.

“I began searching for you immediately. The first vision I got was of you and a boy, he had long dark hair and the most gorgeous copper skin, sitting in some type of garage. You were drinking soda; he was trying to fix something, a motorcycle I think. Anyway, you seemed happy, and so did he!” She said with a laugh, dropping her hand from my face but holding fast to my fingers. “The way he would look at you…I know you were sitting right there, but I wish you could have seen, I mean really seen how he looked at you. You just seemed to light up every time he would smile or laugh; it really brought a whole new light to your eyes.” She squeezed my hand as the tears returned. “The next thing I saw was you and the same boy in a movie, Mike Newton was there too, but I wrote it off as a coincidence. Soon, though, you two were sitting on a bench talking, and then you future changed. You were older, and so was the boy; you were sitting on a porch, kids were playing in the front yard, I just assumed they were the product of you and the man sitting next to you. He held your hand tightly as you sat together on an old porch swing. You couldn’t take your eyes off each other; it was amazing how connected you seemed.” She was staring past me now, her eyes once again unfocused. “So, I told Edward what I had seen. He seemed satisfied; a little troubled but satisfied.

“He went to Carlisle right away, his mind already made up. ‘Could we not try changing her? It wouldn’t be impossible. Vampire venom has healed much worse. Once she was changed we could give her the choice.’ Carlisle was unsure of the idea, but he hated to see human life wasted; after all, how different a situation was this than when he had changed Edward, Esme, Rose, or Emmitt? Soon, though, Carlisle agreed with Edward.

“They decided to keep the girl in the induced comma in hopes that she would feel less pain through the transformation. It was late that night when Carlisle pumped her body full of venom, intravenously of course. Edward stayed near during the process; he hardly left her room. He would sit in the corner, head in his hands as her body pulled and buckled under the restraints we had used to secure her to the bed. His eyes seemed to burn with the fire that exploded through her body. By the third day the changes were visible. Her arms and legs had straightened out; her skin had turned a milky white, the bruises a distant memory. It’s funny though; she had been so deeply lost in her mind that we still didn’t know her name.” Alice mused more to herself than me. Her fingers were tracing small circles on the back of my hand. “Her transformation took longer than usual, probably due to all the damage that had been inflicted upon her body, but she never screamed; the pain was excruciating, but she never cried out.

“Then one day she became still. Edward said he could hear her thoughts; she was scared, she just wanted to understand. We freed her from the restraints and hoped for the best. She laid on the best for a while, just her eyes open; Edward said she was watching, waiting; he also said she kept repeating the name Nicole. She finally sat up and started talking and we were all blown away. She was so calm, not to mention beautiful! Rose wasn’t exactly happy about that part.”She smiled to herself. “The girl spoke softly, she was painfully shy, but she warmed up to us quickly; I guess she felt like she had a family again. We explained to her what she had become, and what her options were. Nicole agreed to live by our rules, and said she would take some time to decide if she wanted this life after all. She was very reluctant to talk about her human life, however; the only person who knows about what actually happened to her is Edward.

“So we stayed in Denali; Carlisle was able to resign from his position at the hospital and we were able to spend some much needed time together. Kate and Irina seemed to like Nicole well enough. Edward was careful to never allude to the fact that Laurent had nearly killed Nicole; he wanted to spare Irina’s feelings. Tanya, on the other hand, seemed jealous of the girl. As you may or may not know, Tanya has taken a liking to Edward over the years; Nicole was basically unwanted competition in her eyes.” I nodded my head mechanically; this was all a bit much to take in at once. “Edward seemed happy again; I was glad to see him and Nicole fit so well together. But after awhile he became distant; I could see his future changing drastically, everyday it was something different.

“About two weeks ago he told us he needed to leave to, eh, check on something; turns out that something was a someone.” She smiled and jabbed me lightly in the ribs. “Of course, I knew exactly what he was doing but I didn’t tell anyone; I figured they would all know soon enough. Anyway, a few days later he contacted us and explained the situation. We packed up, although we hadn’t brought much, said good bye to Irina, Kate and Tanya and headed down to Forks. We got here a few days ago.” A huge smile broke out across her face as she launched herself into my arms. I couldn’t help but smile as I was filled with the enthusiasm emanating from her small body.

“Wow. That’s…quite a lot of information.” My eyes were wide as I tried to process everything I had just heard. I was starting to feel guilty for thinking Nicole was just a no good killer; and for being jealous of her. She had been through a lot. I hoped I would never have to endure the torture she had been put through.

“I’m sorry, Bella. I should have broken it up a bit. Let you talk some.” She studied my face.

“Well, there was one thing I wanted to tell you,” I rubbed my eyes and yawned once before starting in on my story; I guess it was bedtime for the human. “Laurent. I know why none of you have heard anything from him since Edward chased him off.” Her eyes were confused as I stifled another yawn. “I was hiking alone in the forest a few months back, I was trying to find…um, this place I had been to once before,” I lied quickly, trying to cover up my pathetic excuse to hear Edward’s sweet voice. “Anyway, I broke through the trees into this clearing and he happened to be on the other edge of the trees, about 10 or 15 yards away. I talked to him for a while…that’s when I noticed the red eyes.” Alice sucked in a lungful of air; she knew where this was going.

“He told me he was doing Victoria a favor…by helping her to look for me. He said you all had moved on and left me behind; he said he was going to kill me, but he’d do it quickly so I wouldn’t feel the pain. Edw- um, so I lied to buy myself some time. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, these giant wolves showed up. It was very…odd. They chased him off; Alice, they killed him.” My mind wandered back to that day and my heart wrenched in my chest as Jacob’s wolf form stared back at me.

“Bella, how can you be sure? Vampires can’t just be killed; we have to be burned. I know animals can do some pretty amazing things sometimes, but without the help of opposable thumbs…I mean, I really don’t think there was anyway…they…could…”Her eyes were glazed over; I could only guess she was searching her visions for anything like this that had happened to me, or Laurent for that matter.

“I’m positive, Alice. I…it’s just…” I debated telling her about the Quileute wolves; it wasn’t exactly my secret to tell, but it was the only way to explain Laurent’s death. “The wolves aren’t your average, run of the mill animals.” She looked at me, confusion plastered all over her face. “These wolves were huge, as tall as horses! And I knew them; Alice, they’re shape shifters. They boy with the long, dark hair, Jake, he’s one of them. They’re all members of the Quileute tribe; they’re kind of predestined for this life. It’s their job to protect the tribe from…vampires specifically.” I stopped; Alice was clearly shocked. “They’re built to destroy immortality. That’s why they’re here.”

“I…wow. That’s…wow.” She scratched her head slowly. “Ok, I think that’s quite enough story telling for one night. I better get you some sleep or Edward will be furious with me.” She scooped me up and, with brilliant speed, was up the stairs in no time. “Would you rather stay in my room or Edward’s room tonight?” Edward’s couch was rather small; I decided I’d take my chances with Alice’s room.

“Your room…?” She laughed at my indecision.

“My room it is.” She squeezed me lightly; I was asleep before my head hit the pillow of the queen sized, plush, bed with the deep purple, satin comforter.