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Reflections In A Glass House

Edward has time to reflect with Bella....


1. Chapter 1

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Reflections In A Glass House

I would give anything to be human again, leave immortality behind. It was hard for me to understand why any human would wish to trade his or her precious mortality to be one of us. My family thirsted for it far more than for blood, to be persons who ate what the living and breathing did, relishing delicious foods of every description...working hard to get tired and be able to fall asleep...to dream...the way my fragile Bella did.

My love took so many things, what possessors of living flesh and flowing blood term pedestrian, for granted.

All those nights I spent watching her, coveting her rapid eye movements, knowing she was fast asleep, in all likelihood dreaming of me. She lay by my side, in this room provided to her while she's here, in safety, before the upcoming battle involving the 'wolves and us, versus the viral newborns broke out. I feasted on her humanity, my breathing accelerating. I contemplated all the ways we could enjoy our lives together as a human husband and wife. Then, one fine day, she'd tell me that we were going to be parents, and my heart would stop. I never shared my fruitless daydreams with Rose. She and I disagreed on many things concerning my eternal love and her misguided choice, but there was one, concrete thing we did agree on.

Having little ones, and their having little ones, to carry on after we were gone, outweighed every and all so-called advantage of this ilk of immortality, this bane! The sacrifice was far too high. How could I make Bella understand--accept--that? I loved her with all that I was, and yet, it still wasn't enough. She was as stubborn as I was dead set on her *not* becoming a leech.

As you can see, I've always held a very low, antagonistic opinion of ourselves....

Since Bella came into my 'life,' she has made a difference, in her own charming, naïve way, of seeing how we live through her altruistic eyes, despite her assurances that she knows me through and through. As though I were Robin Hood's successor.

Like the second time I saved her...in Port Angeles when she'd gone there with Jessica and Angela for a little girlfriend bonding, and to visit a bookstore, and had nearly gotten raped! I had streaked up out of nowhere, seemingly, with an unseen hand on the trigger, all set to rip her attackers' bodies apart. What I'd done, snatching her from the jaws of violation, had made me the 'goodest' of guys in her estimation. What she actually has never understood is what would have resulted if I had given into my vile predilection. I had told her to say anything to distract me, because if I had driven back to confront those vermin in the likeness of men, Bella would have seen my true, raw instincts in total control. The beast would have disgusted and terrorized the lamb.

I had wanted to decimate them and after doing so, Bella would have witnessed me glutting myself on their torrents of fetid blood. If she had seen me so violently inflamed, she wouldn't be resting beside me now. Instead, she would have done the sensible thing, chosen the sagacious course....

"Edward, I've given it a lot of thought. This isn't easy for me to say; it breaks my hear. But, I think it'll be better if we don't see each other any more. You're too much animal for me to handle."

I smiled, hearing Bella's pious-sounding voice in my head, making her rational excuse.

"Yes, my love, I heartily agree. It is wiser my getting out of your love altogether. There's no telling when I'll snap, making you my sanguinary reservoir. 'Adieu, mon petit amour de l'homme.'"

But, my headstrong adherent, 'my little human love,' would never say such blasphemy, in her view. On pain of death, she was loyal to me and what I am, which she pined for becoming herself.

It was a tedious, circuitous conundrum. I didn't want her to become one of us; her mortality was sublime, cherishable--perdurable, in a poetic way--to me, and she wanted to become as we were to be with me forever. Graduation was drawing ever nearer for Bella, from high school and from the mortal coil, as she saw it.

Life--the real life--not this debased existence my family leads, no matter how prettily sweet Alice strove to 'dress it up,' so to speak, with her 'fashionista' leanings, was meant to be lived. As long as I had any say so in Bella's future, and I believed I had plenty, since I wouldn't turn her unless she married me first, she would live it as human for as long as she could. Carlisle would not go against my wishes, even if Bella begged.

Graciously, I beamed down upon her sleeping form, and chuckled a little, deep within my throat, which marginally burned. I hadn't actually made time to hunt earlier today and I was paying the price for my negligence. I paid, I alone. I posed no threat to my sweetheart. Unlike those initial days when being around her tested my mettle to the limit, I had gained even better command of my incurable thirst.

I was so lost in thought, I didn't realize that Bella had awakened and was staring at me intently.

"Go back to sleep, dearest," I encouraged, fluffing up the blanket that was acting as a buffer against my gelid body.

"I feel so guilty," she murmured into the giving fabric, so unlike my rigid form.

"Whatever for?" I asked, sounding stiffly put-off.

"Because you never get to rest," she pointed out, making no sense at all.

"I don't need to," I responded without a trace of mockery in my tone.

"I know...but still."

Gently, I kissed her milky-smooth forehead and again pliantly entreated, "Close your eyes, Bella, there are big days ahead of us, my love."

As she obeyed, she whispered, "Say it again...."

Smiling, I considered that if I could read her mind, she would never have to make me guess. "Say what?"

"'My love.'"

Eager to comply, I repeated the endearment. "Guess what I named your lullaby?"

Sleepily, with a yawn, she replied, "No clue...."

"It is entitled, 'My love.'"

"I love it," Bella purred, and my smile held until the sun's first rays pervaded our romantic haven which was reminiscent of Esme's sentimentality.

I loved my family and my Bella most of all!