Edward pinched his nose in frustration at the contents of Bella's dream. Did she even love him at all, or was immortality the only thing she was after? Even after reading her thoughts in Twilight, he felt doubt. She did seem to love him, but loving him didn't seem to be enough for her. Immortality and her age seemed to hold more importance to her than his thoughts and beliefs. Shaking off his misgivings, he continued reading.
Edward cringed as he read about the disastrous conclusion of Bella's 18th birthday party. It didn't make any sense. How could one tiny paper cut result in Jasper's loss of control? In the previous book, Jasper had spent hours in close company with Bella as he drove her to Phoenix. Jasper also attended high school every day, where paper cuts, scraped knees, bloody noses, and other injuries were a regular occurrence. He never had an easy time handling it, but he had not suffered a lapse in control for years, especially not for something as simple and small as a paper cut.
He paused reading to contemplate the situation for a moment. He'd never really thought about how Jasper's gift worked before, but now he wondered if it worked like his in regards to bloodlust, at least. He knew from experience that when he heard thoughts of thirst in the minds of any of his family members, his own thirst was doubled. Could it be the same for Jasper? If that was the case, it would definitely explain Jasper's loss of control.
According to what he'd read so far, Bella smelled nearly irresistible to Edward. When she cut her finger right next to him, his book-self was still able to control his own thirst, but if feeling thirst in other vampires affected Jasper, then the unexpected flare of it, including, no doubt, the thirsts of the rest of the family, would have been too much and overwhelmed him. Edward would have to discuss this theory with his brother. Maybe there was something they could do to make life easier for Jasper in the future.
The conversation between Carlisle and Bella gave him pause. Was it wrong of him to keep denying Bella? He shared his book-self's worries for Bella's soul, but if she made an informed choice to become a vampire, knowing all the risks… She was right, in that sense it wasn't really his choice, but it still seemed so wrong to him. He especially couldn't change Bella unless he was positive of her feelings. If even he, who was privy to Bella's thoughts, had doubts over what was most important to her—him or becoming a vampire—he could not fault his book-self for hesitating.
Moving on, he read his book-self's reaction to Jasper's attack on Bella. He was furious at himself for how his book-self handled the situation, although, knowing himself, he wasn't really surprised when he thought it over. It was obvious to him, and he believed Bella noticed too, that his book-self was lying to her when he said that he didn't want her anymore. Unfortunately, Bella's self-esteem was so low that she apparently found it easier to believe the lie than to try and fight for him to stay. He would have to work on that.
Surprised at that last thought, he realized that an ever-growing part of him was contemplating staying and getting to know Bella, that is if she truly was his mate. He hoped with the knowledge gained from these books that the problems which occurred within could be avoided. Even with his doubts of her bond to him, he wanted to know her in his reality so badly, but was it truly the right thing to do? He still wasn't sure and hoped the rest of the books would help guide him to the correct answer.
He tried to imagine everything from his book-self's point of view, without knowing Bella's thoughts, relying solely upon her words and behavior. It was easy to see that, through her lack of action and easy acceptance of his words in the woods, coupled with her complete focus on the aging process and becoming a vampire to halt that process, his book-self likely assumed that Bella was restricted to the limited range of human emotions, and not just that, but the ephemeral teenage human emotions he commonly witnessed every day. He knew that some humans were capable of powerful long-lasting emotions, but they were rare, especially in this decade.
That didn't forgive his painful lies, but he understood his book-self's motives. He didn't believe he ever would have gone through with leaving Bella behind if he believed that she felt the bond between mates just as powerfully as he did. While she said that she loved him and she was affectionate, her outward behavior still wasn't indicative of the stronger bond between vampire mates. She acted like the typical teenager, keeping her intense emotions hidden within her silent mind. It was yet another trait she apparently inherited from her father.
Reading just the names of the months following his departure was at first confusing, but then Edward realized what it meant. Bella had almost completely shut down, only functioning through her life in the most basic way. He hated himself for doing that to her, even if he had not done so in this reality. It suggested, though, that despite her earlier behavior, she was serious about her love for him. She really was bonded to him as if she were already a vampire.
When he saw the next chapter, "Waking Up," he felt a glimmer of hope. However, that hope was quickly dashed as he read the beginning of Bella's self-destructive, dangerous behavior in an effort to "hear" his voice speaking to her. He was half-tempted to move on to the next book and hope for an improvement there, but worried he'd miss something important for his—their—new future.
His emotions were in turmoil as he read further. He felt a mixture of fear, relief, and jealousy as Bella took her newly acquired motorcycles to Jacob Black for repair: fear for her safety if or when he got the motorcycles working again, relief that she seemed happier and more herself when in his company, jealousy that she was developing such a good friendship with another man. Knowing that none of it had happened yet, or would if he could help it, didn't stop him from becoming completely invested in the story and everything that was happening.
Pushing his emotions back, he read on and added another emotion to the list when the bike lessons with Jacob began: anger. He felt intense anger—almost rage—toward Jacob for his irresponsibility. Many of Bella's injuries could have easily been avoided by just using the proper safety gear. Of course, Bella wasn't blameless either. She should have known better, but she wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind at that time, so it was easy to forgive her carelessness. Jacob didn't have that excuse. He tried to remind himself that Jacob was only sixteen, but it didn't help. Jacob was old enough to know better and nothing had happened to impair his judgment like with Bella.
Moving on, Edward was able to add even more jealousy and fear to his emotions. His jealousy increased exponentially at the movie theater. Their simple friendship before had been hard enough to deal with, but it was much worse to read after Jacob made his growing romantic feelings for Bella plain to her.
To compound the situation, the wolves were back, adding to his ever-growing fear for Bella's safety. He'd had his suspicions about their return when he read about Sam's "gang." Carlisle should be informed about this development. Sam was no doubt already a wolf, and possibly some of the others, too.
The icing on the cake was when Bella trekked to the meadow, ran into a thirsty Laurent there and learned of Victoria's plans. How could he have been so stupid as to leave Bella unprotected with Victoria and Laurent not eliminated as potential threats? He was so thankful the wolves were back when they showed up just in time and hunted Laurent, saving Bella from becoming his latest victim, that he sighed in relief and closed his eyes for a moment, leaning his head back.
Edward, what's going on up there? Jasper called out silently in his mind, jarring Edward out of the story he'd been immersed in and back into reality.
"Sorry, Jasper. This book I'm reading is just really engrossing," Edward deflected. "Don't mind me."
All of those emotions coming from you are about a book?
"Yeah…" Edward trailed off as he considered. His emotions were already out of control and he was only halfway through the second book. He decided it would probably be best to read the rest in total privacy, so he gathered all the books, including Twilight, and retreated to his Volvo.
You don't have to leave, Edward. I'm just curious about what could be causing so many intense emotions in you.
"No, it's okay. I still have quite a bit more to read, so I'll just come back later."
Jasper gave him a silent acknowledgement before he drove off toward the meadow.