Edward is forced to change Bella. WARNING! ECLIPSE SPOILERS!!!
Bella deals with the after effects of the change. AU but there are ECLIPSE SPOILERS incorporated.
3. The Bed
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2999 Review this Chapter
I looked to Edward and he watched me carefully, enjoying my delight in our surroundings. There was an edge of caution to his gaze but I knew it was only because he was worried I would go back to either being a catatonic zombie or run away to save Charlie. I felt a bit guilty about the grief I caused him but I knew I would attempt to return to Forks soon enough. Charlie meant too much to me to just ignore. I tried to reassure him with a smile but his eyes remained careful. I noticed with surprise that the red colouring had already started to fade and his once-garnet eyes were now an odd shade of coppery bronze and they gradually were shifting their way back to their usual topaz colour.
Smiling my favorite crooked smile, he reached towards me and I placed my own hand in his open palm. Closing his fingers around mine, he gently led me forward, through the hall, towards the large, dark wooden staircase at the end of the hall.
We walked in silence because no words were needed. As we walked further into the peaceful calm of the house, I felt my concerns fade away as my worries gave way to curiosity.
We walked down another hall, this one dark and the faint sound of Alice’s silvery laughter drifted up the stairs to us. We stopped at the final door at the end of the corridor. Edward let go of my hand to gesture at the ornate brass doorknob.
“After you,” he said as he nodded towards the door.
Anticipation filled me as I reached towards the door knob and lightly pushed the door open. The room was the same soft gold colour as the kitchen had been and a plush carpet, slightly darker than the walls, covered the center of the room. Soft, gauzy white lace curtains were draped across the windows, letting the light from the outside filter into the room. In the centre of the room stood an enormous bed covered in lush, light gold linens. I could feel my mouth open slightly as I stared at the massive bed before me. It had a black wrought iron frame that looked like roses and vines winding their way up the tall posts towards the ceiling, creating an intricate lattice overhead. I walked slowly towards the bed, almost absent-mindedly.
Reaching out to touch one of the roses, I gazed in wonder at how intricately detailed each rose was. My eyes followed the winding vines up to the ceiling and across to the other side.
“Do you like it?” Edward asked, breaking me from my thoughts as I marveled at the beauty of the structure before me. His face was calm and peaceful but his eyes held an eager excitement I’d never seen before that almost reminded me of a puppy. I quickly shook that thought from my mind. A puppy was too close to a wolf for comfort and it would be best to ignore those thoughts for now.
“I love it Edward, really it’s just that…” I paused as I searched for the words to explain my confusion. “It’s just that I don’t understand why you bought such a huge bed. We don’t even sleep!”
Edward looked at my shock with incredulity and then burst out laughing his deep, rich laugh. His laughter only caused me to grow frustrated and I frowned, still not understanding why he would buy such a fancy and obviously expensive bed. Then again, I couldn’t think of anything Edward owned that wasn’t expensive. Even this so-called ‘cottage’ was a testament to the wealth of the Cullen family.
“Bella,” Edward started, still chuckling, his eyes swirling joyfully like molten metal, “there are more to beds than just sleeping.”
I was very thankful then that vampires can’t blush. Still, I was obviously flustered as I struggled to find something to say. Eventually I just shut my mouth and frowned as Edward laughed harder still.
He looked at me then with eyes that burned right through me as they swirled and smouldered. I felt my lips part, awaiting a kiss from his smooth full lips but was forced to wait as he smiled at me, gazing up seductively through his thick black lashes. He shut the door softly behind us and then brushed the back of his hand against my cheek.
I gasped as his hand left a warm, tingling sensation where he touched me and I raised my own hand to his, pressing it tightly to my cheek.
“Interesting,” he murmured, clearly as surprised at the familiar warmth and electricity as I was. I wondered how two such cold, stone-like beings could somehow create a spark of warmth when our bodies held none. My thoughts quickly derailed as Edward’s soft touch ran from my cheek, down my neck to rest at my collar bone.
I leaned gently into his touch and reached a tentative hand to his chest, eager to touch him and create the tingling lines of warmth upon his own cold flesh.
Edward had a slightly different idea in mind. He clasped my hand as I reached out towards him and gently wound his fingers through mine. He led me deeper into the room until we were standing at the edge of the colossal bed. He removed his hand from mine, skilfully untangling our fingers as I nervously held fast to him. He let out of soft chuckle and a slight smile lit up his face. I marvelled at how calm he seemed by this turn of events while I stood motionless, frozen and childlike as everything unfolded around me.
Placing his hands on my waist, he gently lifted me up and placed me in a sitting position on the bed and took his place, sitting just to my left. His hand was on my cheek once more, gently stroking it, his thumb brushed lightly across my lip causing a shiver of pleasure to race up my spine.
“I love you Bella,” he whispered, barely audible, “I walked this earth for decades, always searching but never knowing what I was searching for. I don’t even think I realized that I was missing pieces of myself, and yet, somehow, they exist in you. You are the missing part of me. Without you I never truly saw light, the mask of darkness was too thick around me. Only you could free me from the mask and set me free to the light of this world. You are the light that I was searching for this whole time.”
He leaned forward and kissed my neck then, his full lips trailing across my skin.
“I love you too,” I murmured, too distracted by the feel of his lips to search my brain for something poetic to say in return. I didn’t even dare to try. These things always seemed to sound better out of his perfect lips, his odd, old fashioned way of speaking breathing fresh life into sentences that would sound rehearsed and ridiculous out of my own mouth.
He kissed me then, surprising me with the intensity of his kiss. It was like all the emotions he’d struggled to contain for fear of hurting me had burst through like a supernova. He pressed hungrily against me and I pushed myself further back onto the bed, laying back instinctively as his body began to push against my own.
My girlish fantasies of romance and everything I wanted to do to his perfect body flickered through my head now and I broke free of Edward’s kiss, gasping breathlessly as I back away from him.
He gasped too, similarly breathless and his eyes searched mine, full of questions.
“What’s wrong? Did I do something wrong?”
I pulled my knees up to my chin and clasped my arms tightly around my legs, immediately regretting my actions as hurt flashed across Edward’s face. He quickly recovered his poise and covered his disappointment with his perfected poker face.
“No, you didn’t do anything wrong…” I mumbled, looking down at my knees, the dark blue dress Alice had dressed me in while I changed draping lightly over my pale legs.
“Then what is it?” he asked and I could feel his concerned gaze burning me as I refused to look at him.
“I was just… hoping that when… uh, this time came… that…” I struggled to find the words that had tugged at the back of my consciousness as we had kissed. “That it would be, my last experience as… a human.”
Edward looked slightly crestfallen at my news, but being perfect and selfless as always he didn’t push me further and backed away from me, giving me space. Sometimes I thought I could hate him for being so perfect. It only seemed to make my own flaws seem that much more obvious.
“Well, we don’t have to if you don’t want to,” he replied and I could not sense a hint of regret or disappointment in his comforting words, “we do have eternity.”
With that he kissed me chastely on my forehead and wrapped a strong arm around my shoulders, pulling me towards his chest which I leaned upon gratefully.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that it really hit me that I won’t have any ‘human’ experiences anymore is all,” I explained, unable to really put into words what I’d been feeling.
“Do you regret that I changed you?” he asked suddenly, putting out his biggest fear point blank. His eyes were piercing as he stared at me, awaiting the truth.
“Of course not,” I replied, realizing for the first time that I truly meant it, “It wasn’t exactly the fairy tale ending to my life that I’d hoped for, but it allowed me to start the life I’d always dreamed of.”
“I wasn’t sure,” he mumbled, casting his eyes down to the rumpled golden comforter beneath us. “You seem so lost lately.”
“I was never lost Edward,” I replied, feeling more confident in myself than I’d imagined I could be, “I was just uncertain, surrounded by unfamiliar things I’d never dreamt possible. I was given the chance to choose my path long before that night. I could have chosen humanity or I could have chosen you, Edward, and I chose you before I even realized there was a choice. In my opinion, there never really was a choice. There was only you.”
He looked up into my eyes, startled by the conviction of my words and I knew that he would know each word to be true. His love for me radiated behind the topaz depths of his eyes, drawing me in deeper than ever before. I suddenly felt dizzy, overwhelmed by the emotions and feelings that threatened to overload my system.
“Now are you going to kiss me or not you silly vampire?” I questioned, pushing through the haze I felt in his presence now. I was sure now. I wanted this, wanted him. I longed for his body against mine more now than I’d have ever believed possible.
I leaned forward, parting my lips, expecting him to fill the gap and kiss me like he had before, but I felt nothing beneath my own lips. Startled, I opened my eyes to see what was wrong. He was sitting in the same position, completely unmoved, staring at me with a fierce determination mixed with his passion.
“What!?” I gasped, not expecting this sudden turn of events.
“Marry me. There’s nothing stopping us now.” His words sparked with the fire of his determination and his eyes were more piercing than ever, daring me to deny his offer. “I refuse to let this go further until you promise me your hand.”
I could only stare at him in open-mouthed shock causing him to continue his quest for my hand.
“Bella, this is the only sin I’ve yet to commit. I doubt that one sin left untouched is solid grounds for saving my soul, but please, don’t deny me this one hope. I’m not even asking for a ceremony before we… continue this. I just want the promise of your hand, of our futures being forever intertwined. Please, give me this one thing.”
“What? No ring?” I joked, unable to say anything else and desperately wracking my brain, trying to find some sort of fault in his logic. I didn’t even know why I was so hesitant. He was right. There wasn’t anything tying me to my human world anymore. I felt slightly uneasy and my stomach twisted with butterflies as I realized that I was ready. I, Bella Swan, wanted to marry Edward Cullen. Marriage. Renee would be utterly horrified. I would have felt sad at the memory of the mother I would never be able to see again if I had not been equally horrified as Edward pulled something small from his back pocket.
“I was planning to ask you,” he admitted, no hint of embarrassment in his voice or his face, “the night that you… I was always planning to ask then.”
He held out the ring toward me and I could see the slender gold band that laced intricately around a sparkling oval diamond, surrounded by slanting rows of glittering golden stones. It was beautiful and I’d never before seen anything like it.
“It was my mother’s,” he explained softly, watching my expression as I studied it.
I fought back a groan as he lowered himself on one knee before me. He had been so selfless and patient all this time, I would not deny him this simple pleasure. Still, I couldn’t help from looking towards the ceiling with a pained expression, cringing slightly as he rested on his knee.
“Bella, you got what you wanted, now please, please let me have this one thing,” he mumbled, eyeing me warily.
I sighed but sat politely, surprised to find myself excited about what was happening but trying desperately to hide it.
“Isabella Swan?” He looked up at me through his impossibly long lashes, his golden eyes soft but, somehow, still scorching. “I promise to love you forever — every single day of forever. Will you marry me?”
“Yes.” I couldn’t resist my urge to smile and I whispered the only word I felt capable of.
Edward slipped the beautiful, antique ring on to my finger and it fit perfectly, much to my surprise. It was almost as it had been made for me. I looked at Edward’s mother’s ring – my ring – and realized that it would remain forever on that finger, for all eternity. Edward was mine and I his for eternity.
Edward was positively beaming and it was absolutely breathtaking to see him now – so beautiful it almost hurt. I could understand now, why people would weep when they saw paintings of the great artists before them.
Edward looked up from the ring and I was caught off-guard by the intensity of the passion smouldering in his eyes. He crawled onto the bed, on top of me now, leaning forward to kiss me with a passion and desire surpassing any kiss he’d given me before. I kissed back eagerly, crushing my body against his, revelling in the friction our motions made.
We truly became one that night, tangled in the sheets of the large golden bed. Afterwards we lay breathless in each other’s arms and he reached out to brush stray strands of hair from my face.
“Wow,” I mumbled, still trying to catch my breath – slightly amazed that I could become so breathless when I technically didn’t need to breathe.
He smiled at me and brushed his thumb against my cheek.
“I don’t care if there is or isn’t an afterlife for us, Bella,” he said softly, his eyes scorching, the strange bronze colour swirling slowly and seductively, “You are all the heaven I need here on earth. There must be angels in the tangles of your hair, chasing the demons away, leaving us here, pure and true.”
I snuggled up against him, entwining our bodies together, pressing myself as close to him as possible.
I had been given a choice between humanity and Edward and I had chosen Edward long before I knew a choice would even have to be made. I smiled into his chest as I nuzzled against him, feeling him kiss my hair, holding me back just as tight.
I could spend eternity with him, just like this.