What if Alice never saw Bella jump? Will Bella ever be able to let go of Edward?
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?
15. Chapter 15
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3571 Review this Chapter
Bella’s Point of View
The next few days dragged by with sluggish speed. I spent the entire weekend cooped up in Emily’s nice, but rather small house. The pack was still searching for Victoria who had led them up into the Canadian wilderness; of course the Cullen’s had to go with them. Edward had promised it would be easy; a quick fight and I would be home the next day. Well, I don’t know what his definition of ‘quick’ is, but three days passes a lot slower for humans.
Edward called Emily late on Sunday night and told her he was waiting for me at the treaty line. Before I knew it we were speeding down the winding road to my house. He didn’t say a word on the way home. He just starred at the road, something he hardly ever did.
“Hmmm?” He turned his chin toward me slightly as if trying to keep his focus on driving.
“I missed you.” I could hardly whisper the words as my heart fought against my mouth. He turned to me and looked my straight in the eyes; his face utterly blank for more than a few seconds.
“Of course, I missed you too, love.”
I suddenly felt alone. He was so blatantly hollow; each word more forced than the last. Jacob was gone, and now Edward was too. “Will you stay tonight?”
“If that’s what you would like, of course I will.” His lips brushed my forehead.
“Ok.” That was enough; as long as I knew I wouldn’t be alone.
Edward waited patiently as I checked my e-mail from René; my decrepit computer labored heavily as I finished up and finally shut it down. I would definitely need a new one before college. I felt his cool fingers run through my damp hair; his finger tips grazing my skin from ear to collar bone. I could feel the hair raise on my arms as a wave of goose bumps covered my body. His lips were at my ear then, slowly brushing over my cheek, then my eyes, and finally to my nose. “I really did miss you, love.” He whispered as his lips found mine. His words were sincere, but they were laced with pain. I couldn’t help but wonder what he was thinking as he kissed me. He kissed me softly, passionately as he leaned around me from behind. I could feel his arms snake around my waist as his lips moved to my neck, picking me up swiftly as he did.
He placed me on the bed softly and pulled my comforter over me before he settled in next to me. His fingers traced small patterns on my forehead and over my cheeks as we laid together in silence. “Edward?” I questioned.
“Yes, love?” His fingers ceased moving against my face.
“I just…I’m a little confused.” My mind was just now realizing that the pieces of the puzzle just weren’t adding up. “How did you know…about the pack?”
His fingers began moving again, slowly slipping down my cheek, over my nose and down to my chin. “Alice told me what you told her about Jacob and his...friends.” He answered simply enough and shrugged. But I was still left confused, and he soon continued on. “We had been trying for a long time to understand why Alice’s visions had become so patchy lately, and the night when Embry showed up at your house it was her on the phone. It was easy enough to piece together the rest once our suspicions were confirmed. A quick phone call to Sam later, and there you go- make shift, temporary treaty.”
“That’s why you had me stay with Emily?”
“Yes, we knew you’d be well taken care of with her, and even though we don’t relish the idea of you in the company of werewolves, we had to make due.”
I simply nodded as I tried to piece it all together in my brain. Edward continued tracing my features as we sat in silence. I couldn’t understand entirely, but I could tell something was wrong; something had changed in his eyes. He seemed tired; weary. “Edward, what’s wrong?” I asked quietly, not breaking my gaze from his eyes.
“Why do you think something is wrong, love?” He questioned softly, still caressing my face.
“I…well, you just seem…distant.” Not exactly how I would describe it, but it would due.
He drew in a long breath and let it out slowly. “I’m sorry, Bella. I have been somewhat distant haven’t I?” And of course his question was utterly and blatantly rhetorical.
I knew the conversation was over. Neither he nor I cared to divulge anymore than we already had. It was nearing the end now; I could feel it as I lay in silence next to him. Sadness and grief settled over me and for a moment I was brought back to that day in the woods when he left me. I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks anymore than I could stop time from passing. And pass it did.
I didn’t want to disturb him, but I wanted to be closer to him; I wanted to feel connected to him again, because I knew if I didn’t take my chance now, it would be lost forever. I pulled gently at the comforter that separated us until the length of my body pressed up against his. His fingers smoothed through my tangled hair; his gentle touch making the tears stream faster and hotter down my pale cheeks.
Soon, I found my knees placed on either side of his hips. He looked at me, his eyes wider than usual. I could only imagine what he saw on my face; hooded eyes, lips slightly parted and pain, most of all, pain. He reached over and deftly flicked off my tiny reading lamp and soon we were consumed by darkness. I knew he could see, but for me the darkness added a measure of urgency; as if he would disappear if I didn’t cling to him tightly enough.
I tried to concentrate. Nighttime wasn’t a good time to attempt to say goodbye; if I wasn’t careful I would end up messing everything up. I knew what I wanted now, and I knew what I had to do to get it. Something about the ebony backdrop outside my window always made me think a little less and act a little more. Maybe it was because time seemed to stop at night. The sky changed much more subtly at night than the day when you could see the Sun crawl from East to West; that subtlety projected the appearance that the night was everlasting and indestructible, immortal in a way. At night there was only blackness to surround you. I was ready to let go of the night; I wanted the day, the sun, my sun. I was always more inclined to be reckless at night; I knew my heart would punish me for it later, but right now I thanked God for the moonless night outside my window; the darkness finally allowing me to relinquish my inhibitions and just love Edward. Love him and let him go.
I had no idea how long I had been staring at him, silently taking note of the situation in my mind, but I couldn’t keep myself from him anymore. I placed my hands on either side of his face and he shifted slightly under me. “Close your eyes,” I was sure that I spoke too softly for even him to hear, but a second later his eyelids fluttered shut. With that I allowed myself to slowly stroke his cheeks with my thumbs, tracing the angle of his nose and brushing my finger tips along his jaw until my fingers reached his lips. His breathing hitched as I slowly brushed my finger along the line of his perfect mouth. I bit down on my bottom lip as I suddenly felt the need to feel his lips on mine once more.
Slowly, being careful not to get over excited I brought my lips to his. I hovered for just a moment allowing him to feel my close proximity and waited for his lips to part. They did so willingly, and then I slowly, almost painfully slowly, took his top lip between mine, kissing him lightly. I kissed to the corners of his mouth and then back again until I removed my mouth and kissed his eyelids lightly. His fingers pressed into the flesh on my hips as my lips made their way down over his cheek and began exploring the length of his jaw. I slowly made my way down to his neck were I allowed myself to worship the skin there. It was smooth and cold and hard beneath my lips as I sucked and licked lightly along his neck; his head tilting slightly to allow me access.
My lips found his once more and I lightly took his bottom lip between my own, kissing it lightly and then taking it between my teeth. He groaned in response and I couldn’t help but whisper his name against his lips. “Edward…” It was pained and lustful and perfect. I knew he couldn’t wait much longer and neither could I. I pressed my lips firmly to his and fisted my hands into the hair at the nape of his neck and prepared myself for the passion that was about to ignite between us.
Our kisses were frantic and passionate; intensity I’d never before experienced with Edward. Every touch, every graze burned like fire through my body as I tore wildly at his silky bronze hair. His lips worked magic against mine as we expressed what couldn’t be said with words. Although I had never told him the details of my relationship with Jacob, I think Edward could feel that Jacob still held my heart. He knew Jacob was where I belonged, and as much as he hated himself for it, I think he was thankful that he’d left me; allowed me to find my one and only. I thanked him for that.
His hands roamed my body as our mouths intertwined; his fingers ghosted up the hem of my shirt and across my stomach as they slid up my bare back. I shivered with pleasure under his gentle touch. He pressed me closer to him and I could feel his passion pressed firmly to my thigh; it only fueled my desire for him. I found myself on my back then; his body hovering over mine, gentle but tantalizing pressure. I scratched at his marble back and edged my hips closer to his as he pressed rough kisses into my neck. He finally reached the hem of my tank top where his lips stopped. His tongue flicked gently under the soft cotton, testing me. It was all I could do to stay quiet while his fingers slowly pulled at the thin fabric, exposing the milky skin beneath. He planted soft kisses along the edge of my all too generic cotton bra, stopping just short of the tight bundle of nerves I was sure he could see through the thin fabric. My body quivered at his touch and I felt myself nearing the edge of sanity. If he continued I was sure to fall over the edge.
Slowly, his fingers replaced the delicate fabric, and he scooped me up in his arms. “I love you, Bella. I respect you. And I thank you for everything you have given me.” He placed a chaste kiss on my swollen lips, and I felt a fresh wave of tears spring to my already burning eyes. “E-Edward, don’t…please…” He lay down, and I draped my leg between his; my arm out stretched over his stomach, clutching his side desperately. Tears flooded my eyes and pooled the gray cotton shirt that clung to his flawless body below. Soon I could feel his chest rising and falling unevenly as his body rocked with tearless sobs.
Edward’s Point of View
The drive home was the easy part. As soon as I was within earshot I could hear Alice mentally screaming at me as she projected visions of the Alaskan tundra into my mind. She always overreacted.
“Alice, not right now; I need to speak with Carlisle.” Her tiny features screwed up into a blazing scowl as she ripped into me with a rather colorful barrage of obscenities. “Just calm down, Alice; go keep Nicole company while I talk with Carlisle.” Wasting no time, I raced up to Carlisle’s study where I could hear him pacing back and forth.
“Come in, Edward,” he answered before my first had a chance to connect with the mahogany door. “Please, explain to me why your sister has been throwing a tantrum for the past two hours?” His eyebrows raised in curiosity.
“Bella has changed her mind. I think it would be best if we left Forks.” There was no reason to beat around the bush; Carlisle was a straightforward man, and he would understand the need for blatancy. I hoped.
He cocked his head to the side and stopped mid stride. “Edward, Son, I’m so sorry.” His face gave way to sorrow as he realized I had finally reached my own personal Hell. “Are you sure she’s certain in her decision?”
“Yes.” I could hardly mutter the words as I felt my silent heart grow colder.
Carlisle stepped around the opulent desk and placed a hand on either of my shoulders. “If you want to leave, then we’ll leave. But, Edward, aren’t you concerned about Victoria? I know she hasn’t returned to Forks in some time, but what’s to say she won’t come back after Bella? The girl needs protection.”
“I’ve already worked that out with Sam. They’ll post a…pack member, at her house every night starting the moment we leave. He swore to me they wouldn’t let anything happen to her. I have to believe that is true.” My voice cracked as I felt my heart grow impossibly colder.
“When should we leave?” He questioned, concern filling his golden eyes.
The door swung open, crashing against the wooden bookshelf behind it with a sharp crack. “Like hell we are! You’ve taken me away from Bella enough, Edward! I didn’t get to say goodbye the first time, and now you’re expecting me to do the same thing all over again? I won’t do it!” Her fierce eyes locked with mine as she replayed images of the last time we left in her mind.
“I’m sorry, Alice, but this was her decision, not mine. She doesn’t need me here; doesn’t want…” I trailed off, unable to say the words I knew were true.
Her small hands were around my face then; willing me to look her in the eyes. “Edward, brother, I love you, and I want the best for you, but I’m not leaving. I can’t.” Pain seeped through her delicate features as she held my face in her hands.
“Alice, you must. If you don’t leave with us you’ll draw unwanted attention to yourself. The town believes you are Esme’s and my adopted child; people would wonder why you were still around when the rest of your family had moved on.” Carlisle reasoned. “I don’t want to leave either, but it’s what’s best. We have been her much too long. The doctors at the hospital were starting to get suspicious before we left the first time. Alice, I’m not ordering you to stay with us, I’m merely asking you to leave Forks. But it is my hope that you and Jasper would come with us to Alaska too; you belong with us.”
There was no arguing with Carlisle and Alice knew it. She dropped my face and sent me a mental image of her ripping my head off as she stalked from the room. That nearly made me crack a smile; then I remembered the reason for her anger and I plummeted back to the reality I was now facing. “I…I’m sorry, Carlisle. I didn’t want to cause problems, but she has made up her mind. We need a new start.”
“Edward, you are my Son, I will stand behind you until the end.” He wrapped me in a strong embrace and released me quickly. “There’s much to be done. I suggest we get to work. I think you should explain things to Nicole. I have a feeling she’s just a bit confused.”
She was standing by the glass wall overlooking the river when I found her. Her delicate arms were folded across her chest; deep brown waves fell to the middle of her back. Her lips were turned down at the corners and she had a worried look in her eyes. Those eyes, those beautiful eyes; almost all the red was gone by now, replaced by deep bronze irises. She must have sensed my stair because she turned slowly, her hand outstretched toward me. I placed my hands in hers and felt a wave of peace come over me; Nichol’s ‘gift’ as it was.
She really was a great mystery to us all. Since her transformation she had had little trouble adopting our ‘vegetarian’ ways, and it seemed that she had a much lower desire for human blood than the rest of us. We had seen her manifesting her gift in many different ways; one day she could project thoughts onto someone, the next she could manipulate feelings as Jasper could. The most intriguing thing about her, however, was that I couldn’t always hear her thoughts. It was intermittent, and the thoughts I would hear never seemed to be private. It almost seemed like she was allowing me to hear certain thoughts, and keeping others safely hidden away.
What’s going on, Edward? Confusion tinted her thoughts. I searched my mind looking for the right words, going over several explanations in the process.
“We’re leaving.” That was the best I could come up with.
How could I explain this to her? ‘Because, Nicole, Bella has changed her mind. She’s just doomed me to an eternity of living my own personal Hell. Oh, you think that’s pathetic? It gets worse. The saddest part it that I would rather face my own damnation than have her be unhappy. It’s her choice; and I value that over my own wellbeing. What else would you have me do?’ Too bad I couldn’t actually tell her that, though.
“What?” I pulled away quickly, and stared at her. “What did you just say?” Maybe I had only imagined that she had just thought an answer to my question.
I said, nothing. If you love her then respect her. Let her go. Her face was serious as her eyes bored into mine.
Nicole, can you hear me?
Yes. The right side of her lips tipped up into a small smile; pain filling her eyes.
I couldn’t take my eyes from hers. Suddenly everything seemed to change; there was just us. So many questions screamed out at me, but none could hold my attention. All I wanted to do was feel her hand in mine. I toke one tentative step forward, but she beat me to the punch. Her fingers glided between my own; her delicate skin skimming over my own sending a rush of adrenaline through my body. With eyes still locked, I gently brought my free hand up to her face. It was smoother than I thought it would be; almost…warm. Her eyes fluttered shut at my touch and she leaned further into my hand.
I was frozen in place. My mind marveled at the feel of her fingers around mine and her cheek beneath my hand. I would have stayed like that, frozen in time, forever if it hadn’t been for her quiet interjection. “Edward,” her lips quietly formed my name. “We should get to work.” When she opened her eyes the sadness was replaced with resolve. It caught me off guard and for a moment I couldn’t construct a viable thought.
“Uh…yeah, you’re right.”
She slowly unlaced her fingers from mine and slid out from beneath my hand before turning toward the stairs which she quickly ascended to her room. I could hear her gathering what few belongings she’d collected, placing them in a box and quickly folding the flaps in on each other. I searched for her thoughts, but I could not hear her; she was closed to me. I had no idea what she was thinking, and I had no way of knowing if I had crossed the line. I stood there, dumbfounded in front of the glass wall for a long moment. I was out of line, and I had to make things right. I finally snapped out of my stupor and began toward the stairs.
You did nothing wrong, Edward. Please, stop worrying and start packing.
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