When Tyler's van skidded across the ice toward Bella, Edward's impromptu rescue left Bella seriously injured. Can he help her get better and resist the urge to kill her? If Bella does get better, what will she remember, and how will she react? AU set between the accident and the prom.
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. i.e. It's Stephenie's world; I just wanna play with her toys.
1. Prologue: The Accident
Rating 0/5 Word Count 860 Review this Chapter
"I'd never given much thought to how I would die... but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."
When the mechanical screaming grabbed my attention, I looked up to see Edward Cullen, my enigmatic lab partner, staring at me as he stood several parking spaces away. The intensity of his shocked expression registered in my mind at the same moment I identified that the source of the noise was Tyler Crowley's van. It was sliding across the school parking lot directly toward my truck and I was in the way. I was about to be crushed. I was going to die.
It occurred to me that I should close my eyes, but there wasn't time. And just as I thought the van would hit me, something knocked me to the ground. Hard. Too hard. The black ice under my head shattered. I struggled to focus, but I could only see the eminent danger that reached for me. I couldn't find the breath to scream or utter a swear word like the voice at my side contained. The voice at my side. Edward's voice.
Although my attention to the careening van did not diminish, I was suddenly more aware of his presence beside me than I had ever been aware of anything ever before. For a few seconds, nothing mattered except Edward.
Edward's pale hands appeared protectively in front of me, pushing the van. It lashed out at me again, but Edward blocked its path and dragged me away. Foiled, the van heaved and settled with a groan onto the pavement where my legs had been only a split second before. The cacophony of grinding metal and breaking glass was followed by silence and then by a strange buzzing. I searched for Edward's face.
"Bella, are you alright?" Words wrenched from his tight lips.
"I'm fine," I mumbled, unsure if the tingling in my body was due to some injury or the fact that the Edward was holding me. I recalled the strange charged feeling that the slight touch of his fingers had elicited in Biology and I attempted to sit.
"Be careful," Edward cautioned. "I think you hit your head pretty hard." His voice was thick with concern.
My head did hurt, but by all rights shouldn't I be mangled beyond feeling anything at all? "How did you get over here so fast?" I asked.
For an instant Edward looked relieved, but as he spoke, the relief fell from his features, giving way to a practiced innocence. "I was standing right next to you, Bella," he whispered as he released me.
I looked deep into Edward's amber eyes. I wanted to get lost there. I wanted to forget the sounds of the gathering crowd. I wanted to ignore their shouts and reclaim the space he had created between us. I wanted. I wanted....
I wanted to throw up.
Several things happened at once. First, the ache in my head began to grow as the blood pounding in my veins started beating at my closed head wound from the inside. Everything began to spin and I tasted this morning's cereal and orange juice on the back of my tongue. I closed my eyes.
"Bella?" Edward said returning to me. I tried to stand, but he placed a hand --- the same one that lifted the van away from us --- on my shoulder. "You shouldn't move," he admonished. Very gently, Edward put his icy hand over the rising knot on my head. "I'm so sorry, Bella. I never meant to hurt you."
I leaned back against him. What was he saying? "What are you talking about?" I asked him. I was starting to sweat. I opened my eyes again. He wasn't breathing. In fact, Edward looked like he was in more pain and closer to regurgitating than I was. "Are YOU hurt?"
Edward seemed unable or, perhaps, unwilling to anwer. For a long time, he said nothing.
"You were over there," I declared, wanting to hear him speak again. "You were by your car."
"Bella, I was standing right next to you, and pulled you out of the way. You hit your head," he insisted, although far less vigorously than before. "Please, Bella."
Maybe I didn't really want to argue. I only wanted to rest and stare into Edward's pleading eyes; I said nothing more, merely nodding when Edward related his version of events to everyone who asked. No one seemed to even consider the possibility that he also might have been injured, even his family.
When I began to vomit, I decided his lies didn't matter, because I knew with the greatest certainty that I was going to die. If from nothing else, I was going to die of embarrassment.
"Bella, don't go to sleep. Talk to me, Bella." I heard Edward's urgent voice from the somewhere nearby. So close. Too far. A curtain was dropping. I closed my eyes and slipped under.