Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

Life After You

Summary:
A/H (ONE-SHOT)Bella & Edward have been together for almost 2 years. One night in a heated argument he leaves. On a path to self destruction Edwards begins to hear her voice. What does he discover when her voice compels him to returns 5 months later?


Notes:


1. Life After You

Rating 5/5   Word Count 11102   Review this Chapter

ONE-SHOT: Life after You

EPOV

Bella’s standing before me with her hands placed firmly on her hips. Her eyes are narrowed and her body’s tense. Taking a step towards me she fumed “Edward I can’t believe we are even having this conversation!”

“Bella I’m telling you Jacob has a thing for you. A co-worker just doesn’t call you up in the middle of a Saturday afternoon unless they have a motive. You know this isn’t the first time this has happened. He calls repeatedly for no apparent reason.”

“There’s nothing to talk about.” She snapped. “I hate repeating myself Edward. He’s just a friend, nothing more! It’s not my fault he has nothing else to do. He’s never insinuated that he’s wanted anything other than friendship. He knows we are together.”

“Is that what he told you when I saw him buying you lunch yesterday afternoon at Nixon’s Deli?!”

Her eyes went wide and she released an audible gasp. “Yea that’s right I saw you. I called your office and Angela said you went down to the deli. Rushing right down I walked pass the window and guess what I saw? In OUR deli!”

“Edward, I swear I didn’t go there to meet him. He was just there and offered to buy my lunch. He works on a completely separate floor. How am I supposed to know when he goes going to lunch?” She exhaled down her nose and shifted her weight. Her back shot straight up and she glared at me. “Do you really think that I arranged to have lunch with him?”

“I don’t know what to think Bella? You tell me. Every time I turn around he’s calling. When we go to company functions he follows you around like a lost puppy. And now I see you having lunch together at our deli of all places. What am I suppose to think?”

Bella shakes her head and waves her hands around as her voice hisses out. “You have no faith in me at all do you Edward?”

My voice cracks in anger as it escalates. “Don’t be ridicules. I have faith in you Bella. I just don’t trust him!” Grabbing my hair I attempt to calm the rage surging through my body. “You don’t see the way he looks at you. The way he maneuvers himself just to be near you. You have no idea how HIS eyes follow you every time your in a room!”

“Now you’ve completely lost your mind.” She retorts. “Why are you being so paranoid?”

“You know we’ve been over this a thousand times over the past six months. I’m sick and tired of arguing over the same thing. I feel like I don’t even know you anymore.”

I can feel my nails digging into my skin as I clench my fist. I can’t do this anymore. This makes the fourth weekend I’ve tried to propose and he’s managed to but into my plans.

If he’s what she wants then she can have him. I refuse to spend every weekend fighting and yelling over Jacob. She always defends him and never sees things from my point of view.

Sweating and panting I begin to lose control of my breathing. My lungs protest as I try to inhale. Knots and sharp pains penetrate my stomach muscles. Before I realize what’s happening I lose control over my filter between my mind and my mouth.

Yanking harshly on my hair I clamp my eyes shut in despair. My mouth opens slightly forcing the words that will change my life. “Bella I can’t do this with you anymore. Apparently we aren’t meant to be after all. You are always defending him and I just can’t take it anymore. We’re done.”

Before I can even take another breath I sprint away from her slamming the door behind me. I don’t even remember the look on her face. Do I even care? At this point I just don’t know. Why can’t she understand? Why can’t she at least attempt to see what I see? Jerking my car door open I seethe at myself as the engine roars to life. While holding my breath I slap into first gear and peel out on to the highway.

Only one thought remains…Edward don’t look back!

Edward this is obviously what she wants. If she wanted you she would understand. She needs somebody who can be there for her not someone who travels all the time. She needs to be held every night and kissed every morning. You are gone at least every 15 days out of the month. You have family commitments.

It’s not like I work for the money. My grandfather Edward Sr. founder of Cullen Enterprises left our family enough money to last anyone three lifetimes. However his only request was that we keep the business in the family. My father Carlisle runs the company and Emmett, Alice and I attract businesses and pitch marketing bids. It’s my job to travel world wide presenting Cullen Enterprises marketing ideas to other companies.

Upon reaching my apartment I glace at my phone. Shit! Four missed calls all from Bella. No way a clean break will be best for her. She’ll move on and have a better life. A normal life.

Stumbling into the shower I adjust the water. Hot water pounds into my tense muscles. However, the relaxation I usually get from a hot shower is no where to be found. No matter what my muscles remain tense and rigid.

My body shakes and I can’t tell the difference in the water and the tears rolling over my face. Quickly my chest begins to heave. Get it together Cullen, this is what’s best.

After punching the shower wall several times I grab a towel and dry off. Standing in front of my steamed up mirror I forcefully wipe the accumulated moisture away. “You can do this. You have to let her go. She deserves to be happy.”

I watch as my eyes glaze over as I glare at my self. Turning my back I leave the man I once was behind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5 MONTHS LATER~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loud voices swarm all around me but I hear nothing. People surround me yet I feel completely alone. The strong odor of cigarette smoke and liquor clouds over me however I can’t bring myself to care.

Roaring and grumbling my stomach demands nourishment. I sit here on this hard uncomfortable stool unmoving simply unconcerned. The bar tender pours me another round as I rub my palm over the harsh evidence of my lack of personal grooming.

Somewhere in the distance I hear the booming voice of my brother. “Edward, my man! What are you doing here?”

“Leave me alone Emmett.” I fume slamming the shot glass down on the bar.

“Man you’ve got to snap out of this haze. Mom and Dad are worried. Everyone’s been looking for you.” He chuckles loudly as his large hand smacks my shoulder. “But, they don’t know you like I do. See, I knew where your sorry ass would be.”

“Did you tell them where I am?”

“No.” His grim smile falters and he motions for the bar tender to pour him a round. “I understand what you’re going through. When Rose and I broke up I felt as if my life had been ripped away from me. Thank God it only lasted a couple weeks.”

I sat completely still staring into my glass. The bar tender just left the bottle and nodded his head in understanding.

“You know Eddie man. It’s been five months. I’m having a hard time understanding why you’re putting yourself through this. You’re missing meetings and clients are complaining about your attitude. Dad understands to a point but he also has a business to run. Your little outburst in the board meeting this morning was uncalled for.”

He paused briefly and released a heavy breath. “Mom misses you. She said she hasn’t seen you since you and Bella came over for dinner over five months ago.”

My ego plummets lower at the reminder of abandoning my family. This wasn’t their fault. Nonetheless, I knew they all would try to talk me into making things right with her. I can’t even bring myself to think her name. They all loved her and she had become such a big part of our family. Quietly, I sat still unmoving while Emmett continued his little rant.

“She’s been trying to reach you. I really think you should give her a call.”

My head snapped up and my heart beat quickened. “You’ve talked to her?”

“I went to pick up Rose for lunch yesterday. When I pulled into the parking garage I saw her and Jacob.”

Not giving him a chance to finish I reached over and fisted his shirt. With a growl erupting from my chest I hiss. “This is not something I want to hear!”

He grasps my wrist and twists it away. His narrowed cruel eyes glare at me. With my arm still in his grasp he squeezes. His voice lowers and takes on a deadly tone. “So help me Edward you WILL listen to what I have to say. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. It’s your choice.”

I reply through clenched teeth. “Whatever man! Just let go!”

Violently he shoves my hand onto the bar. His voice returns to its annoyingly cheerful state. “Now where was I. Oh yes, I spotted BELLA and Jacob in the parking garage. I got outta my jeep because she looked upset. You know how she can’t hide anything. I could tell she had been crying. As I approached he had a hold of her arm. She was trying to walk away from him. She cried out, ‘Jake I’ve told you a thousand times I’m not going. Now let me go.’”

Closing my eyes my heart sinks desperately. There’s nothing but red raging clouds behind my darkened eyelids. Tensing immediately my muscles await my permission to pounce.

“I heard him yelling at her ‘Bella he left you. He said he didn’t want you anymore. Why are you putting yourself through this?’ He grew silent as he saw me walking up behind her. I glared at him and told him it would be wise to let her go. He released her. I informed him if I ever heard of him laying a hand on her again I would make sure to remove it for him.”

Shame and discomfort began to brew within me. She was in that situation because of me. I had failed her. Once upon a time I had promised to always be there for her, to protect her, never let her get into harms way. Now, look what I’ve done. I practically threw her to the wolves.

“Edward as soon as he walked away she threw herself into my arms balling like a baby. She looked about as good as you do. Rose helped me get her into the car. We drove her home and put her to bed. I’m telling you; please I’m begging you to go talk to her.”

“Emmett I can’t.”

Abruptly he stands up knocking the stool over in the process. He towers over me as venom coats his voice. “Why can’t you get your head out of your ass? Admit you made a mistake. You can’t live without her and you know it. You think she’s better off without you. Go see for yourself you little chicken shit. I know what you’re searching for. You’re seeking something to fill that massive whole in your chest. Well, I’ve got news for you little brother. You won’t find it at the bottom of that glass!”

Placing both hands on the bar he shakes his head in disgust. “By the way change clothes. I’m sick of seeing your stinky ass in that outfit!”

With that being said he turned and swiftly stormed out the door. Dropping my heavy head I feel defeat roll over my body. I picked up one more shot slammed it back grab my beer and walk to the men’s room. Pulling my hand out of my pocket I stare at the tiny white pills in my palm.

I reach over and latch the lock on the door of this nasty excuse of a bathroom. Here I stand with pills in my right hand and a beer in my left. Breathing gently I sigh. “Bella, Life’s not worth living if I have to live it with out you.” Slowly I raise my shaky hand and part my lips ready to give up. “Edward” Her voice rings in my ears. Bella?

Skipping a beat my heart registers her voice. Jerking my head upright I look around. The fog that clouded my mind begins to evaporate and I sharply inhale. Vastly noticing my intentions I sling the medication into the toilet, flushing it immediately.

I rush over to the sink and splash cold water on my face. I detect another whisper in the distance. I glanced into the mirror above the sink. Looking directly into my own eyes I verbally ask myself, ‘Who are you?’ I didn’t even recognize the man staring back at me.

Shaking my head I try to clear my thoughts. I lean over and wipe my face on a rough brown paper towel. As I lift my head my eyes widen staring into the reflection before me. Bella beautiful as ever is standing just over my right shoulder.

She holds my gaze with her eyes and softy whispers. “Edward, I need you.”

Instantly I spin on my heels reaching for her but she’s gone. However, I can still hear her voice echoing in my mind. I flinch slightly as the lights flicker and thunder cracks in the distance.

Panic set in as I grab my phone fearfully dialing her number. Damn…the answering machine. Deeply breathing I leave a message. “Bella…It’s me. Uh..Hum… I’d like to talk to you if it’s ok. Please call me.”

Loud and clear her voice continues to vibrate over and over in my mind. I just can’t shake this feeling that something’s wrong. Seating myself back at the bar I dial her cell. “Hello?”

“Bella, Oh thank God. Are you okay? Where are you?”

“What?” She yawns. “Yea I’m okay. I’m just sleeping. Nothing important”

“Bella you don’t sound ok. Are you sure everything’s fine?”

“Edward what’s this about?” She sounds exhausted.

“Um, I know it’s kinda late but can I come over?”

“Hum, I don’t know. I have to work in the morning.” She stammers. ”It’s after eleven.”

“Please it won’t take long. I promise. I’m only fifteen minutes away.”

“Hold on Edward some one’s at the door.” She pauses and I hear muffled sounds coming from the other side of the phone. Not giving it a second thought, while keeping the phone to my ear, I bolt out to my car and speed down the street.

Water covers the road as lightening flashing into the night sky. Frustrated and distressed my entire being flexes with worry. Racing around the bend I remind myself she’s less than a mile away. My tires slide over the pockets of water in the roadway. Protesting loudly my breaks screech attempting to stop the vehicle. I grip the steering wheel with white knuckles trying to correct the spin.

The night sky lights up with flashes of electricity. Before there’s any more time to react I feel the colossal impact. Tire screech and a crunching metal rings in my ears. My body slams against the steering wheel and the shattering glass slice my face and arms. Everything goes completely still and there’s nothing but darkness as my heavy eye lids close.

“Edward.” Somewhere in the distance I hear Bella screaming for me. She’s here looking for me. She needs me. I have to find her.

The pouring rain thuds loudly pounding like a drum in my head. Slowly I open my eyes. Every inch of my body throbs in pain. Pulling myself upright I notice broken glass scattered through out the car. “Edward. I need you.” Bella’s voice rings through my head. Quickly as possible I push the door open and the car rocks sideways.

Sleepily I stagger into the storm knowing I need to find her. Light flashes before me and reveals what was once my precious Volvo. I’m in a small embankment off the right side of the highway. The passenger side of my car is wrapped around a massive oak tree.

Blinking and squinting as the rain heavily pours over my face I search for her. Rumbling loudly something cracks through the darkness. Lightening flashes and sparks fly as it strikes the large tree. Before I realize what’s happening part of the tree tumbles violently clearing everything in its path. Piercing loudly the metal gives way as it lands on top of my car forcing the roof to collapse.

My lungs protest as I gasp for air. My throat burns as I inhale the frigid damp night air. The chilly wind feels wintry against my completely drenched body. Disorientation attempts to creep over me as I realize if I hadn’t gotten out when I did. No questions ask…I would be dead.

“EDWARD.” Bella I was trying to get to Bella. Oh, God please let her be alright. My eyes are drooping with exhaustion. Blood covers my palms as I run my hands through my hair. I’m bleeding. Great…Just Great. I don’t havetime for this. I have to get to Bella. Please I just need to tell her how much I love her. I can’t let her go on thinking she’s not wanted.

Oh, no if I’d been in my car she’d spend the rest of her life believing I didn’t love her. I have to get to her no matter what. I will crawl if I have to. Come hell or high water I will see her tonight!

She’s less than a mile away. Bella I’m coming. Water splashes over my legs as my feet pound swiftly into the pavement. My car is left completely forgotten. She’s less than a mile away. It’s raining so hard I can barely make out the sign for her subdivision.

Vigorously my heart palpitates as I push my legs to go faster. Throbbing pain surges through my head with every step I take. Everything around me begins to blur as her driveway comes into view.

The dim glare of her porch light is a welcomed sight. She always left it on for me when she knew I’d be coming over late. Dragging myself up the stairs my body crumples. Leaning on her door frame, needing support, I ring her door bell. My head bobs to my chest as fatigue threatens to devour me.

After a few moments of silence she jerks the wooden door open. Her voice is wrapped in irritation it echoes in my ears. “Edward do you realize it’s after one in the morning?”

Before she says anything else exhaustion completely consumes me. All the strength and energy disappears. Collapsing to my knees defeated before her I drop my head and close my tear filled eyes.

My voice trembles in misery as I whisper. “Bella. My cars somewhere back there on the side of the road wrapped around a tree. I'm out here alone just trying to get to you. I need to tell you I was wrong but you already know that. Believe me I won't stop at nothing to see you tonight. So I just started running. I know I’m late I have no idea what time it is.”

Tears begin to stream down my cheeks stinging the cuts from the glass on my face. Breathing deeply I remain frozen in place. I don’t even have the energy to lift my head to look at her. You don’t deserve to look at her.

My body heaves as I shake attempting to continue. “All this time alone I’ve done nothing but think of you. All that I'm after is a life full of laughter as long as I'm laughing with you. I'm thinking that all that matters is love even after the life we've been through.”

Sobbing heavily my voice shudders as I cry out. “Bella, I know there's no life after you! Last time we talked, the night that I walked, burns like an iron in the back of my mind. I must've been high to say you and I weren't meant to be and just wasting my time. Oh, why did I ever doubt you? You know I would die here without you.”


She takes a breath to speak but I keep on confessing not allowing her to interrupt.

“I have to get this all out. It’s now or never. After what I just went through never isn’t an option. I need you to know how I really feel. You and I, no matter who’s right or wrong, there's no one else for me. It's hard to believe that a man with sight could be so blind. Thinking' 'bout all the better times, must've been outta my mind. So I ran here to say without you God knows what I'd do. What I almost did.”

“You Bella it was you who saved me tonight. Your voice. I heard you call out to me.” Shivering and shaking uncontrollably I sobbed at her feet. “I’m so sorry please forgive me. I can’t live without you.” Covering my face with my hands I can’t seem to control my emotions.

“Edward.” Her soft voice graces my ears but I can’t bring myself to look up. “Edward.” Still mourning in self loathing I pull at my hair.

Soft arms embrace me as warm air breaths into my ear. Bella leans over and whispers, “Edward please stand up and come inside it’s freezing out here.”

Unable to move my body wordlessly convulses. She places her lips right over my ear and softly mumbles. “Edward please I can’t pull on you.”

Finally allowing myself to calm I draw in a deep breath, pick up my head and remove my hands. She gasps loudly at the sight of all the blood covering my palms. “Huh…Edward you’re bleeding!”

Exhaling heavily I peek up at her detecting comfort and solace in her dark chocolate eyes. “Bella I really could care less about that right now as long as you’re ok.” Shamelessly I raise my head. Her face is inches away from mine.

She smiles while tears trickle over her cheeks. Sadness fills her eyes as she sighs. “Your wet, cold, and bleeding please come inside.”

Gradually she stands. Her deep warm eyes never leave mine. Behold she’s like a goddess before me. The light from the entryway surrounds her. Dark mahogany curls tumble over her shoulders. She reaches out for me with her right hand as her left settles naturally on her stomach.

My eyes widen and I sharply inhale. My breath catches in my throat. Time and everything around me stops. The entire universe freezes at this very moment. Unable to move I gaze upon her slightly form fitting dark blue satin nightgown that shapes the outline of her tiny swollen belly.

My heart breaks even more as I struggle for air. Making an attempt to get my attention she shakes her hand. I glance from her new shape to her hand and from her hand back to her tummy.

She bends with her knees forcing me to look into her eyes. Her warm soft palm flutters across my cheek as she whispers, “its ok Edward.” A surge of warmth rolls over my skin breaking my trance. I blink rapidly and gaze into her eyes.

Tears begin to build even though I can see she’s trying to them at bay. Closing her eyes Bella drops her hand and stands. Hesitantly I persuade my body to muster some energy as I stand up. Reaching out she takes my hand. Barely able to breathe I glance down at her tummy. My mouth opens but nothing comes out. She leads me inside and locks the door as it closes behind me.

Without question Bella flips the light off and silently leads me up the stairs. She guides me into her bathroom and motions to the chair in front of the counter. Cautiously she runs her hands through my hair and removes pieces of glass as she works.

Heat waves roll off her body as I sit inches away from her. My hand twitches wanting to reach out and caress her small bump. Quietly she fingers through my hair. The only noises are our breathing and plink, plink, plink of the glass landing on the counter top.

Deeply inhaling I draw her in. She steps back and smiles down at me. Walking over to the cabinet she retrieves the first aid box and places it next to the sink. Dabbing and blotting she persists on cleaning my wounds.

Wincing painfully I hiss at the stinging and burning pain. “shuuuush”, she mummers. Running water over a wash cloth she bends down and yieldingly wipes the blood from my face.

I allow my eyes to study her face. Her soft berries and cream skin is paler than usual. Dark circles cast shadows under her tired and weary eyes. I take note that her eyes don’t sparkle and shine like they did before. It’s as if they’ve lost there luster. Her once plump and supple lips seem harsh and heavy causing a natural frown.

Emmett’s words resurface rocking my very core. ‘She looks just as bad as you do.’ I have done this to her. It’s my fault she looks this way. There’s nothing but a hollow shell left of the woman I love. Failing profusely I try to hold back the fresh tears falling from my eyes.

She picks up the medical tape, pulls a strip off, and places it over a gaping gash above my eyebrow. Her fingers softly linger below my right eye as she wipes away the tears and I flinch. I can feel it starting to swell.

Silence remains betweens as she casually removes my socks and shoes. Then she walks over to turn the shower on. Shifting to face me she inclines to help me to my feet. Her eyes lock on mine as I steady myself to stand upright. My entire body aches and cries out in pain.

Her warm fingers drift along the edge of my shirt. Wanting to ask so many questions I tilt my head slightly, close my eyes, and breathe out “Bella.” Her finger presses firmly against my lips abruptly silencing me.

She tugs gently and without protest I allow her to remove my shirt. Her eyes hold an intensity I’ve never seen before. Her movements are firm, unhurried and full of assurance.

Moving tenderly with purpose she releases my buttons and my pants drop carelessly to the floor. The thin fabric of my boxers follows almost instantly. She opens a drawer, grabs a hair tie, links her fingers with mine and leads me towards the shower.

Suddenly she stops and turns to face me. Tears fall from her eyes and they begin to fill in mine. She takes her hair, pulls it high on top of her head, and secures it into a messy bun. Crossing her arms over her chest, a lump forms in my throat as she lifts the satin fabric over her head. It lands quietly on the floor with my clothes.

Edward she needs to lead. I’m not going to speak until she does. If this is what she needs right now then this is what I will give her. From now on she will have anything she wants. Realization washes over me as she ushers me into the warm water. Never will I ever want to experience life without her by my side.

Lathering body wash into her hands she gently rubs her hands over my shoulders. As she caresses my chest I concentrate on breathing evenly. It takes everything I have to focus as her fingers roam over my ribcage.

A tingling sensation was building under her fingertips as she grazed the indentions of my stomach muscles. She must feel it too because her heart begins to race and her breathing becomes uneven.

I close my eyes, as she tilts my head back into to the downpour, her hands slick my hair away from my face. Warm and sweet her breath flows over my neck as she cautiously washes my hair.

We’ve taken countless showers before so my body naturally responds to her movements automatically. However this isn’t about sex. It goes much deeper than that. This overwhelming sensation can only be defined as complete intimacy. This kind of emotional connection, wordless communication, and sensual contact goes beyond sexual stimulation.

She leans closer trailing her fingers down the back of my neck and rubs them patiently over my tightened back muscles. All the tension, anger, and stress begin to fade under her touch. Her face presses into my chest and my heart skips rapidly.

I’m fighting against the urge to pull her closer. Tears continue to stream down my face as I bask in her closeness. My body jerks trying to fight back sobs. Lowering my head I calm myself by breathing into her hair.

Bella leans back and gazes up at me. Her fingers brush away my fallen tears. Stepping aside she allows the water to wash the soap off my skin.

Taking the body wash she pours it into my palms. Using both our hands she lathers the soap into bubbles. With her back facing me she encourages me by placing my hands onto her shoulders. Her breathing slows as I permit my hands to rub small circles over the back of her neck.

Internally I groan at the sensation of touching her creamy smooth skin. Skimming my fingertips down her neck and over her back I memorize every dip and curve of her skin. Working slowly I lather her arms. Halting abruptly my eyes zoom in on a purplish blue bruise in the shape of a hand on her right bicep.

Freezing beneath my fingers she softly sighs. “Edward It’s okay. Emmett took care of it.”

I break down once more. Barely able to breath I weep. “He shouldn’t have to take care of it. Bella I’m so sorry. I should’ve been there for you.”

She wraps my soapy hands under her arms and secures her back against my chest. Her head falls back against my shoulder. Tenderly she guides my hands, placing them fingers splayed over her stomach. Softly exhaling she sighs. “Edwards WE are ok.”

Rotating her in my arms I gently pull her into a soft embrace. I lift my hand and cup her cheek. Her fingertips caress and soothe the skin between my brows. My eyes flutter closed as she tenderly explores my face.

Gratitude flows into every fiber of my being. Everything I have yields and surrenders under her touch. Overwhelmed with emotions I open my eyes. Tears filled with sadness, grief, and agony begins to fall just before she closes her eyes. Small pieces of my heart breaks with each tear that flows over her perfect cheek.

Feeling like a failure I cringe hating myself for the pain I see before me. “Bella.” I choke out in a broken sob. “I’m so sorry.”

Her dark tawny eyes snap open once again filling with tears. She nods her head in despair. Our arms embrace each other, and our tears have almost run dry as the now lukewarm water flows over our bodies. Exhaling a sigh of relief I reach over and shut off the water.

Taking a shallow stuttering breath I lean over and look directly into her eyes. “Bella. I love you.” I stutter in a firm sluggish manner. “I have always loved you and I will always love you. Please believe that!”

With care I lean down and hover just above her lips. This has to be her decision.

Surprisingly she catches me off guard pressing her sweet lips against mine.

Her tongue sweeps across my bottom lip. Eagerly she parts her lips and kisses me thoroughly as she whimpers. “Edward. I need you.”

Holding my breath I yield drawing back to stare at her. “That’s exactly what you said.” Confusion sweeps over her features. I shake my head and reply, “Never mind.”

I should’ve known I’d never get away with that. Bella always seems to know when to let it be and when to ask questions. She insists. “No. No more never mind. Tell me. Edward if this is ever going to work.” She gestures between us. “You can’t hide from me. Don’t lock away anything that I need to see. Like it or not that’s how it has to be.”

She steps out of the shower, towels off, and slips on the robe I got her last year for Christmas. I take the towel she offers me and dry myself off. Noting my robe still in its place I smirk, pull in on, and tie it around my waist. She smiles lazily, takes my hand, and walks into her bedroom.

Carefully she nudges me to sit on her bed. I sink into the mattress thankful just to be with her. “I’ll be right back okay?” I nodded my head and ask to use her phone.

She tosses it onto the bed and I flip it open. After scrolling through her contacts I select Emmett’s name and send him a brief text.

Em: Thanks for all your advice. I know it’s late but I need you to come get the Volvo. It’s wrapped around a tree about a half mile b4 u get to Bella’s. -E

WHAT are you ok? Who’s E? – Em

Em: You dumb asshatted dork. This is Edward. I’m @ Bella’s. I wrecked my car on the way over here. -E

Oh, my bad! Sorry dude. Are you okay? WTH were you doing driving? When I left you were in NO condition to drive.

Em: I’ll explain later. Just know I’m ok & I’m with Bella. No police reports (only my car involved) I will take care of everything later. Just bring your wrecker. Oh you’ll need Jasper & a chainsaw. -E

Ok asswipe! U owe me. Why would I need J. & chainsaw? YOU UPSET HER & I’LL KICK UR ASS! –Em

Em: Tree fell on top of my car after I crashed. Dually noted and don’t worry NOT gonna happen. Tell Dad I won’t be in 2morro. Thanks IOU -E

An outline of Bella’s form strolls into the room handing me two tablets and a glass of water. I swallow them and down the entire glass. She’s quick to inquire, “Em on his way to get your car?” After shaking my head she places her palm against my cheek. “Edward please talk to me. What happened?”

I leaned into her touch. Wanting to smile but I couldn’t help feeling this was too good to be true. She’s going to reject me at any moment. Prepare your self for rejection!

All of a sudden she removes her palm and the bed slightly jostles. My eyes snap wide open as panic floods my nerves. She’s gone! Breathing heavily I search the room. Frantically I call out into the darkness. “BELLA!”

Relief washes over me as her soothing palm graces my shoulders. A sharp breath leaves my lungs as she peacefully reclines my head into her lap.

Calmly she fingers my hair as she hovers above my head. “Please tell me what happened. I don’t understand why you won’t talk to me.”

I slowly explain to her about why I left. Not leaving out the fact I turned my back on my family and isolated myself. Everyday after work I made my way to the nearest bar and drowned myself until I could barely remember my name let alone be able to think about hers.

Then I detailed the argument that took place in the board meeting over my refusal to go to China. I spoke of my attitude and the hatred I have towards my job. Here and now I told her about a decision I just made.

“I’m going to call my father first thing in the morning and resign.”

“Edward you can’t quit.”

“Bella if you only knew how I felt tonight. What I almost did.”

Exhaling sharply a sob escapes my chest. “All because I know you deserve to have someone with you everyday. You should have someone with you always not a part time boyfriend. My job won’t allow me to do that. I refuse to continue doing something that’s going to separate me from you.”

“I was so distraught I went to my doctor for migraines. He gave me a prescription for antidepressants. I never took them because I thought it would just go away. When Em found me tonight and told me about Jacob grabbing you.”

Clenching my teeth I forced myself to remain calm. “When he left the only thing I could think about was the fact that I had failed you.” I swallowed hard as anxiety creeps over me.

Harshly rubbing my neck I lay perfectly still wishing I didn’t have to tell her about what I had almost attempted. Whispering gently I grabbed her hand. “Bella. I got up grabbed my beer, went into the bathroom, opened my bottle, and poured a handful of pills.”

Her body shutters and she throws her hand over her face trying to muffle her cry.

Abruptly I shift up eye level with her. She pushes her back in to the headboard and begins to protest, “NO.NO.NO.”

I cradle her face quickly between my palms. I rest my thumbs gently over her temples and force her to look at me. She refuses.

“Bella.” Lowering my voice becomes more demanding. “Bella. Love, Open your eyes.” I lower my right thumb and delicately stroke her cheek.

“Bella. I heard you…I saw you.” She sniffled as her eyes shot wide open in confusion. “Bella. I decided then and there that life wasn’t worth living if I had to live it without you. I opened my mouth and just before I put the pills to my lips…I heard your voice.”

I shuffled up wanting to be as closer to her. While looking at her lovingly my right hand reaches up and removes her hair tie. Her long dark silky curls tumble down framing her face.

Allowing my fingers to run through her tresses I breathe steadily. Her face is inches away from my own. My eyes seek understanding as they lock on her gaze.

Briefly inhaling a shaky breath I whisper gravely as tears begin to pool in my eyes. “I heard your voice in my head. You said ‘Edward. I need you.’ As soon as my body registered your voice it snapped back to reality. I immediately flushed the pills and washed my face.”

“Then I reached over and dried my face. When I glanced into the mirror I saw you in the reflection behind me. You were calling to me. I turned around reaching but you were gone.”

Stroking her hair I looked over her features gauging her reaction. Her face was laced with surprise and apprehension.

Hesitantly I leaned my forehead against hers. “Your voice wouldn’t leave me. It repeated itself over and over in my mind.”

“That’s why you called?” She whispered.

I leaned back just enough to look into her eyes and nodded my head.

“Yes, that’s why I called. I had to KNOW that you were SAFE. They only way to be certain was to check on you myself. When you answered the phone and said someone was at the door. I knew something wasn’t right. I heard muffled voices and I didn’t even hesitate. I jumped into my car and raced right over here.”

A brief moment of comfortable silence settles between us. Within a few minutes of processing she asks, “what happened to you on the way here?’

“On the way here I remember my car skidding. Before I could blink I was slammed over the steering wheel and glass was falling all around me. I woke up in pain and I was really confused.”

She begins to weep uncontrollably. Protectively I wrap my arms around her and pull her into the safety of my embrace. Rocking slowly we sway back and forth as I continue soothing her.

“Bella, I heard you scream for me and I knew I had to get to you. I staggered groggily out of the car as fast as I could. I was looking all around for you. Seconds after I got out of the car lightening struck the tree. A large branch fell on to the top of my car causing the roof to collapse.”

She stops all movement. “Oh Edward you could’ve been killed!” She whispers. I pull her back slightly just enough to see her face. Stroking her arms gently with my fingertips I simply reply, “I know, but I wasn’t…YOU. BELLA. IT. WAS. YOU. WHO. SAVED.ME.”

My eyes follow her hand that trails down to rub her stomach. I place my palm on top of hers. “I know that I probably don’t have the right to ask but…” I pause briefly and gather my thoughts. “Will you tell me?”

Bella removes her hand and places it on top of mine. “I got really sick the morning after you left. I just assumed it was stress, nerves, or just my body’s way of dealing.” I just sit and stare at her. “About a week later I still couldn’t keep anything on my stomach. Rose convinced me to got see Dr. Mills. She ran a few tests.” She lowers her head and whispers so low I can barely hear. “Turns out I’m about five months pregnant.”

I gently lift her chin with my finger so I can look into her eyes. Smirking I chuckle loudly. I lean closer to her raising my eyebrow in question. “The benefit banquet?”

The smile that graces her face takes my breath away. She nods her head yes and giggles literally glowing just like she did that night. Bella was so breathtakingly beautiful I couldn’t keep my hands to myself. We barely made it through dinner before I swept her away from the table.

Looking at her face right here right now I know exactly what I need to do. I take both of her hands in mine. “Are you okay? Is the baby okay?” The baby…joy fills my heart and my soul leaps as I begin to grasp the fact that I’m going to be a father. Bella is carrying my child. Apart of me is growing inside of her!

“Bella have you moved any of my things?”

“No. Everything you have here is exactly the way you left it. I couldn’t bring myself to box or move anything. I started to place your clothes in a box at one point but it was just too real. It made things feel too permanent.”

Her warm hand touches my face. “I always thought if you really wanted them you would come back and get them yourself. I wasn’t about to remove you from my life.”

Slowly I place my feet on the cold wooden floor, walk around to my side of the bed. I don’t have to see her face I can feel her eyes following me. With my back facing Bella I sit onto the edge of the mattress. Opening my nightstand I reach in and pick up the blue bag I placed there over nine months ago. I stroll back over and sit as close to her as possible.

“Bella I need you to understand something. About nine months ago I made a very important decision. With my family’s permission I took this blue bag out of our safety deposit box.”

Butterflies begin racing inside the pit of my stomach. My nerves stand on end as the hair rises on the back of my neck. “Bella, do you remember several months ago I left for a three day trip to Seattle?”

She simply nods her head. “Yes.”

“Well, actually the business part of my trip only took two days. After my meeting I left Seattle and drove over and spent the night with your father. We got up the next day and he took me fishing.”

Laughing out loud I continued to nervously. “Yea. I really suck at fishing. Charlie practically laughed me. He’s never gonna let me live that down. We were docking the boat and heading home before lunch.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you went to go see Charlie?” she asks.

“Bella I was waiting for the perfect time to tell you. Month after month, four of them to be exact, I spent planning for the right timing. Every time I made plans Jacob always found a way to interfere. It’s like he knew what I was wanted to tell you and was purposely trying to sabotage it.”

A rush of emotions ran through me. “After what I’ve been through tonight I have come to the conclusion that the only perfect moments are the one’s we create now, not tomorrow, not next week. Tomorrow may never come.”

Standing up I pull the black box out of the little bag. I place the bag on the bed beside her and kneeled before her on both knees. “I don’t know if you can ever forgive me but I pray to God that you can because honestly I don’t know how to live without you. Bella I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. I promise to love, cherish, and protect you and our child each and every single day of forever. Will you marry me?”

Lightening flashes and I can see a single tear falling from her eye. Seconds pass, maybe minutes or hours for all I know. Patiently I wait for her answer. Nothing. Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe I pushed her too hard. My knees begin to complain as I swallow my heart and begin to accept the fact that maybe she can’t forgive me.

“Yes.” A vague faint whisper calls out in the darkness.

She leans over grabs the collar of my robe. She’s inches away from my ear as she whispers again. “Yes, Edward I will marry you.”

That’s all I needed to hear. Within seconds I’m on the bed pulling her carefully into my lap. “Oh, Bella. You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear those words.” I reach over and take her left hand. “Please accept this ring as a reminder which highlights the significant depth of the love I have for you. This is the ring my grandfather gave to my grandmother. Now I would like to give it to you.”

I open the small black box and pull out the oval shaped diamond ring. “I know it’s kind of old and if you want something more modern.” Before I can even offer her more options her lips are pressed fiercely to mine.

She mutters against my lips. “Edward, it’s perfect.” With that being said I keep my lips sealed to hers and slip the thin platinum band onto the third finger of her tiny hand; where it shall stay permanently as long as we both shall live.

Lifting her hand she admires it as lightening streaks outside the bedroom window. “It’s beautiful.” She hums.

Drawing her closer I tilt her sideways. Softly I brush my nose along her chin and down the glorious column of her throat. I inhale every inch of her I can. “It’s not nearly as beautiful as you, love.” I murmur against her collarbone.

She tugs at the knot of my robe and pushes it open. Chills run over my arms as her hands rub up my chest and over my shoulders removing the fabric. A moan erupts from my chest as her soft lips kiss along my jaw line and lingers just behind my ear lobe. She’s the only woman who has ever known my weak spot.

“Bella.” I shutter not wanting her to stop. I caress her stomach. As much as I want to continue the safety of our child must come first. I force myself to voice my concern. “We can’t Love. What about the baby?”

"Dr. Mills said I should resume all normal activities including sex…" Bella sighed, or maybe groaned as her hands began to explore my body. “She also said that my libido may increase due to the change in my hormones.”

I needed to take a minute to think things through. It wasn't like I didn't want her because I was pretty sure she could feel how much I wanted her. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t do anything to put her or the baby’s health at risk. Their health has to be our number one priority.

"I'm sorry for leaving you … I don't know what I was thinking," I explained, placing my hands on either side of her face so she'd look at me.

"It's okay," Bella whispered as her face started to look sad all over again. I know that I had caused that pain in her eyes. I had walked away from her. I will do everything within my power to make sure I never see that look in her eyes again.

I leaned forward and kissed her gently on the mouth, still holding her incredibly beautiful face in my hands. "It's not, baby… I should have never left you like that. I promise to spend every day of forever making sure you never doubt me, Bella."

She blushes instantly and diverts her eyes away from me.

“What is it Bella? What’s wrong?” I groaned.

“Do you not want me Edward? My body’s changing and I can understand…”

Silencing her instantly I kiss her hard and standing up cradling her bridal style. Turning around quickly, I bend over and lay Bella down on the bed as I lay sideways beside her. She lets out a drawn out moan. I whispered in Bella’s ear how much I wanted her and needed her as she wrapped her arms around me, holding me close while kissing my neck. I sat up, leaning back to release her robe.

The lights were off and the only light we have is from the flashes of the lightning bolts outside. The only the sounds are our out of control breathing, rapid winds, and the rain pouring on the roof.

Taking my time I didn’t want to rush anything. I wanted to make love to her like the first time all over again. My lips explore her shoulders as I remove her robe freeing her arms. I lean back once again marveling at her beauty. “You are so beautiful.” Slowly and ever so carefully I lower my head and place lingering kisses over her belly.

“Seeing you like this” Kiss. Kiss. Kiss. “Knowing that you are carrying apart of me inside you.” Kiss. Kiss. Kiss. “Has got to be the sexiest thing I have ever seen.” Kiss. Kiss. Kiss.

I kiss my way along her rib cage and capture one of her pink nipples between my lips causing Bella to moan. My hand reaches over to gently caress the other as she arches pressing farther against me. Oh, I have missed the way her body reacts to my touch.

Moving my mouth I kiss up to her collar bone and along her neck whispering into her ear. “I promise my love, you will never have to question my desire for you ever.” I nip along her ear as I murmur. “You are the most beautiful person I’ve ever met. Please understand and know this: I will always and forever WANT you. ONLY. YOU.”

My hand begins to trail down her body. It skims over every line, every dip, and every curve. What I wouldn’t give right now to have a light on so I could see her face as I touch her. One of her small hands grips my bicep as I placed my hand over her, slightly teasing her entrance. Bella squeezes my arm tighter, pushing, and urging me to continue. I dip in one finger and discover that she’s completely wet. My finger lightly strokes the most sensitive part on her body as Bella moans and runs her fingers through my hair.

I continued to run my nose gently up and down her neck, closing my eyes and reveling in the sensation. I was touching her and she was real, not some dream. This was really her skin pressed against mine. She shivered as my breath tickled her flesh, and I blew across it gently, just to feel her tremble again. I was torturing myself by doing this, but this was the closest I’d been to her in months.

“Edward…Please I need you.” She purrs in my ear.

Lightening flashes brightly as I hover over her and our eyes lock onto one another. She pulls my lips to hers; kissing me with more passion than I’ve ever felt before. Her tongue darts out dancing with mine as I position myself between her legs. My arms feel weak almost wobbly as I try my best to lock them into place. Pain begins to rear its ugly head as my muscles remind me of what they’ve went through tonight.

“Edward. Lay. Down” She whispers as my arms shake attempting to keep my weight off her belly. Not wanting to protest I willingly comply.

I place my hands under her ass and begin to roll. She grips my shoulders and pushes my back into the mattress as her body rolls with mine. Bella places one knee on each side of me so she’s straddling my stomach. She pulls her hair to the side allowing me to look upon face. Squeezing her outer thighs I moan loudly.

She leans forward and captures my lips in another feverish kiss. Oh, for the love of allthings holy she tastes so good. My mind spins out of control as she lifts herself off my stomach. My tip brushes against her and she groans at the contact. Ever so slowly she grinds over me as her wetness slides up and down my length. We catch each others groans as our lips lock once again.

Bella places her hands on either side of my face and grips the pillow. She inclines towards me pressing her chest completely flush to mine attempting to make as much contact as possible. Her forehead touches mine as her hair falls forward. It splays out around us forming a curtain between us and the rest of the world. My fingers travel up her hips and trail slowly over her back. Her smooth skin shivers under my touch.

My hands roll over her shoulders and shape themselves around her face. Breathing heavily Bella bows her back, rotates her hips forward and in one swift movement I’m fully sheathed inside her. I loose all sense of logic. I pin my hips to the bed forcing them not to thrust forward. “Oh!” We both moan loudly and she freezes.

Forcing her to look at me I gently stroke her cheek. “Bella, Love. Are you okay?”

“Yea. It’s just been a while give me a moment” she breaths out. “Take all the time you need baby. It’s been a while for me too, five months to be exact.” I feel her lips curve up into a smile as she traces her nose along my jaw.

My eyes roll back as her right hand raises up and fingers through my hair. I moan loudly as she grips my hair and pulls tightly. “Oh, God. Baby, I missed you.” I growled into her cheek, before moving back to her mouth. I pull from her lips and lick up her neck nibbling and tasting her sweet skin smiling against her as she whimpers into my ear.

“Bella,” I moan as her teeth graze my ear lobe. “Oh. I Love you so much.”

“I love you too.” She replied as she slowly begins to rock against me. My head lolls back, I feel myself begin to throb harder as her walls clench tightly around me. “You’re so tight! Holy Shit, Baby you feel good.” I moan as my teeth clamp together.

“Edward,” She whispered as her tongue sneaks out and slides across her lips.

“Yes Bella”, I choke out moving my hands along her sides, my thumbs grace the sides of her breast.

“Edward…I..” She roars as her hips begin to pick up speed thrusting against me. Leaning up I capture one of her hardened nipples between my lips groaning every time she pulls on my hair. Oh My God, I’m not gonna last much longer.

“Edward…I….Ugh...Oh, God.” she grunts as her thighs clench around me at the same time as she begins tremble and I know she’s close. She’s grabbing and griping at my hair. Her fingers become aggressive, her thrust faster, and she tilts her open lips down towards my ears. “UGH, help me…Edward…please!”

Not knowing where my stamina came from I wrap my arms around Bella, lift both of us up and place her back onto the bed. “Bella baby…It’s like I can’t get close enough to you.” I growl as I pull my hips back and drive into her.

“Oh…My…God…Edward!” She screams in pleasure as I angle her hips upward and continue thrusting. “So. Good…Bella…Oh!” I push into her with every word that grunts out of my mouth.

I need her closer. I force my knees to support my weight. Reaching around her my open palms grab between her shoulder blades and pull her up to me. Her legs curve around my waist as she anchors her body to mine. This new position allows me to plunge even deeper as her lips smash into mine, shoving her tongue into my mouth as I drive into her again and again.

Our breathing becomes erratic and our movements frantic. We’ve been away from each other too long. I feel my orgasm begin to teeter as I force it back wanting her to cum first. My arms tighten around her and I hold her against my chest. She kisses along my neck as I bite down on her shoulder.

“Yes. AGAIN!” She screams in my ear clawing her nails into my back.

I bite her again, feeling her walls clench around me so tightly. Her hands grab into my hair and yank my head back and I cry out in pleasure. Oh! Shit! She knows how I love that! “Ugh…Edward…Edward…I…Love…You.” She moans out. She throws her head back in ecstasy. Her entire body locks down as her muscles begins to quake violently and she explodes around me.

“Oh! Yes…Bella…God…Your Beautiful!” I thrust into her once more completely letting go and cum so hard my body forms an unbreakable barrier around her and my knees shake uncontrollably. I grip her shoulders trying to ride out the wave of my orgasm as long as possible, but the power of it combined with the trauma I experienced earlier leaves me gasping and lightheaded. The room begins to spin as I lower a Bella’s shaking body back onto the bed.

My body slumps against hers as we both breathe rapidly. Bella lightly rubs my back with her fingertips while kissing along my jaw. I close my eyes and continue to bask in the sensation of her body wrapped around mine. Trying to catch my breath I whisper, “Incredible.”

She simply nods her head still breathing too hard to speak. I lift my face and the sight before me forces all the breath out of my lungs. Bella’s intoxicating smile glows. Her face is flushed a beautiful rose color that as her hair fans out around her like a halo. She’s so damn beautiful I feel my chest clench.

Finding my voice I look into her eyes and whisper. “You are so beautiful…absolutely breathtaking!”

“You’re not so bad yourself handsome.” She replies. She arches her eyebrow and concern washes over her face. “Edward, are you okay? You’re shaking.”

My body quakes everything spins and goes black. Somewhere in the distance I hear Bella cry out. “Edward....Edward…Look at me!”

I feel something cool brush against my face. “Bella.” I mutter. “Edward, Can you hear me?” Her voice is muffled almost like she’s talking through a wall. Moaning in pain I attempt to lift my head. Dropping it back down I feel her hands sweep across my forehead. My eyes flutter open and there she is. My head rest in her lap and my body’s wrapped in a warm blanket.

“Hey, You scared me there for a second.” She smirks. “When was the last time you ate?”

Taken by the vision before me I simply reply. “I honestly don’t know.”

“Well that simply won’t suffice sir. I’m gonna go make you a sandwich and I want you to lay here and rest.” She states with authority. Right now I’d do anything she ask because there’s no way I’m gonna give her reason to argue.

She moves my head and starts to get up. Wanting to stop her before she gets off the bed I grab her elbow. “Wait just a moment. Please.”

Her feet hits the floor and she turns face me with her eyebrow raised in question. Rolling over onto my side my arms encircle her waist. Gently I pull her tummy close to the edge of the bed. My nose skims along her soft warm skin as I place butterfly kisses all around her tiny belly.

Hovering slightly over her skin I whisper to our unborn child. “Hey there little one this is your daddy. I know I’ve not been here but I promise I will never leave either of you ever again. I can’t wait to meet you. Be good to your mommy now because she needs her rest.”

I part my lips and place several open mouth kisses on her tummy and along her waist. Bella giggles out loud and it’s music to my ears. There’s not a sound in this world that I love more than to hear Bella giggle. I smile against her warm skin.

Running her fingers through my hair she leans over and gives me a chaste kiss, pulls her robe on and makes her way to the kitchen. I lay back and close my eyes and breathe into her pillow. It smells like her strawberry shampoo.

After I finish my five am meal, Bella crawls under the covers and places her back against my chest. “I love you.” She whispers into the darkness. “As I love you.” I reply. The storm outside calms and all that’s left is the drizzle of the rain against the glass window. A peace settles all around us.

Here I lay with the woman of my dreams in my arms. The most beautiful woman in the world is not only going to marry me but she’s also carrying my child. My fingers lazily trail over her stomach. Bella’s breathing becomes steady and even. I press my nose into her hair and inhale deeply. A smile adorns my face as I close my eyes drifting into a peaceful sleep instantly because I know that I’m home.