Sometimes love just can't be denied - no matter how untimely it hits us. Sparks fly between Edward and Bella the very first time they meet; problem is that Bella is already committed to another. See how the two of them deal with their unspoken attraction and how a tragedy could bring them closer together or push them further apart.
This story is being worked on by both myself and AnahyR whose ideas are the basis for all chapters. We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your opinions through your comments. AnahyR will also be doing this story in Spanish so for those of you who are Spanish speaking you will also have access to this at some stage. I will put the link here once it is done.
Previous stories of mine you might be interested in:
The Heart is a Bloom: Is fame worth it? A different take on the characters of Twilight and how they met. Edward is a famous musician who has a past demon that is about to catch up with him. Unfortunately it is just as he has met the woman of his dreams.
No Choice: Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive.
Thanks to Sasha for this gorgeous banner - We can't thank you enough.
And thanks to Manda for this one too!! Love it.
Michelle, it was incredible and I am so glad Edward professed his love but Bella can't let him walk away like that. No matter what is happening at the wedding she cannot let Edward go after what he just said... She must explain and do it quickly.... I will be anxiously waiting for you to write more.
Have a good trip! Love this story................
wow Michelle :)
I loved it completely...
Also... the words you chose, they were fantastic and... I think that Bella is madly inlove with Edward and this time she is willing to say that to him. Well, have fun with camping :)
Can't wait to read more :)
that stuff was great omg!!!! i hope they get back together!!!!!!!! and yay birthday coming in a week!
Okay my friends. I am back from campoing and have a horrible case of the flu. Regardless I have written this part of the next chapter to keep you going. This was meant to be the last chapter but I have split it in two. It was all going to be in one chapter but it would have gone on forever and you would have been waiting a lot longer for the rest of it. I hope that you enjoy the characters in this chapter who needed to have their say.
Apologies that I have not replied to any of your comments yet - I concentrated on getting the chapter done first.
Love ya all.
BPOV – At the heart of it.
Edward Cullen told me that he loved me!
And it was such an impassioned and emotional proclamation that my heart felt like it had stopped and the air had been pushed out of my lungs so that I was completely and utterly at a loss on how to function………….
……. yet the moment passed and I flailed about within my own mind trying to find some way of responding to him that would show him that I felt strongly for him too. When he finally looked at me his face was etched with so much pain and regret and it hit me that it was me that had put that there; that I had caused him nothing but hurt in all the time we had known each other. How could I have done that to him?
“Oh. my……Edward. I…..you really do and I………..I…………want so badly to tell you……….” Nothing was coming out as I wanted. I seemed paralyzed in my attempt to reach out to him and tell him he was not alone in this.
“It’s okay Bella. I’ve known all along that what I felt was not something you would ever feel. I had accepted it and hoped that with time something would change but now I know. For you Peter will always come first…..and I know you care…….just not enough. I don’t want to be second best Bella. I know it’s selfish but I want all of you, not just the bits that Peter left behind.”
His words hit me like a battering ram as I began to understand that Edward’s perceptions of how I felt were so skewed. He believed that the reason I couldn’t admit to my feelings was because of not loving him to the same extent as I had Peter. Nothing could be further from the truth and it was that fact, along with the guilt, that made it so difficult for me to let go and give in to the plethora of emotions I held for Edward.
The way I felt for Edward, far outweighed anything I had ever felt before and that was my undoing. My mind didn’t want to accept that even though my heart already had.
“Edward you don’t understand……Peter has nothing……”
We were interrupted of course; when were we not? Edward’s attention was no longer on me and he wasn’t taking in what I was trying to tell him. Alice and Camille came through the door like twin winds of a hurricane and Edward moved back from the close proximity we had been in only seconds before. I could feel the shock on my face as I took in Alice and Camille’s’ excited demeanours. The two of them began speaking and I registered that they were talking about Rosalie and Emmett leaving and the need for Edward and I to be back inside with them. My mind screamed against their bad timing and I reached up to touch my slightly tingling lips. His kiss had burned me with its passion and depth of longing. He had held back from me but I had felt it anyway. He was going to walk away from me before he knew that I understood what he was trying to tell me with that intimacy.
Please Edward….don’t leave me. Let me explain.
His quick touch of comfort was not nearly enough and if it wasn’t for the presence of the girls I would have forced him to stay and listen to me there and then.
“It’s okay Bella. I understand. We’ll talk tomorrow. We’re okay. We can still be friends I promise.”
I went to clutch at his hand to keep him with me and force him to hear what I was going to say but he was gone before I had the chance to make contact. “I don’t think you do. I l………….” I might as well have not said anything as the door closed between us and the words died on my lips.
“What are you saying?” Alice asked giving me a considering look. She stared at the closed door that had hidden Edward from our view and then turned back to me. “Did we just interrupt something important?”
I sighed heavily and merely shook my head in the negative. Camille had already started to drag us inside, all excited about the prospect of catching the bouquet and Alice gave me an apologetic look as if she knew I needed to talk to someone. I pinned a smile on my face and went over to help Rosalie with her last minute preparations for leaving. I looked across the room and saw Edward and Emmett in a hearty embrace of mateship. Of course this was the last time the two of them would see one another for a while given Rosalie and Emmett were heading off on their honeymoon tonight and Edward would be leaving for Paris in a couple of days time. The two best friends were taking the opportunity to say their goodbyes and there was no way I was going to interrupt that now. Edward and I would get our chance to talk and I would make it clear that he was wrong in what he believed.
I just needed to get my own courage working as well.
The night wound down and soon Rosalie and Emmett were giving their final goodbyes and entering the car that would take them to the airport for their late night flight to the Caribbean. We all waved and cheered as they left and until they were no longer in sight. Alice and Camille were admiring the bouquet that Alice had actually managed to beat Camille to while Jasper stood by them laughing at the superstition that they were both so willing to fight for. I looked around to find Edward but he was nowhere to be seen. Jake leaned down and whispered in my ear and I felt the blush come forth without wanting to acknowledge it at all.
“He just took a phone call and headed that way sis. When are you going to get yourself together and make sure he understands how you feel?”
I glared at my little brother and he simply smirked back. I made the quick choice to move in the direction that Jacob had indicated but every step I took was somehow interrupted by well wishers and people who wanted to ask how my night had been and tell me how beautiful all of us had been, etc, etc. By the time I reached the other side of the room Edward had completely vanished and even when I stepped outside I could not find him anywhere. Half an hour of patrolling the rooms and balcony areas of the reception area, along with finding my phone so that I could try and call him without any answer, I finally gave up and accepted that tonight was not our night for fixing things up. Tomorrow was going to have to be it for us. Jasper and Alice found me and let me know that they were heading home and after saying my own goodbyes to my family and friends I left with them. Neither of them had any clue about what had happened to Edward but assured me that if he said he was going to talk to me tomorrow he would no doubt hold to that promise. Thankfully neither of them asked me why I was so concerned about having a conversation with Edward but Jasper did give me quite a few meaningful looks that I had to believe demonstrated his lack of understanding about me not doing it already. I couldn’t explain it at all; circumstances and my own fears had resulted in a terrible lack of communication between Edward and I tonight.
Sleep did not come readily that night and when I finally succumbed to it my dreams were filled with swirling images of Edward and Peter both pulling at me in different directions and my own whimpering as I tried to do the right thing by both of them. By the time I woke up I was in a frightful state of confusion and desperately needed someone to talk to. I tiptoed out of my room hoping that somehow Alice might have managed to drag herself out of bed early so that I could talk to her, but I was greeted with complete silence in the apartment so that I knew Alice and Jasper were still firmly entrenched in their own bed. I could not bring myself to disturb their slumber. I had to think of another way of getting my head straightened out. With a growing sense of urgency I quickly went back to my room and changed into jeans and a long sleeved tee shirt, grabbed my keys and my bouquet from the wedding and silently exited my apartment.
I knew exactly what I needed to do.
The quietness and stillness of a beautiful, early morning seemed to calm me a little as I made my way through the well kept yard towards the one tombstone that I needed to see. Reaching the place where we had laid Peter to rest all those months ago, I bent down and placed the bouquet of flowers in the small vase we had chosen to sit by his grave. I reached forward and lovingly ran my fingers across Peter’s name engraved into the stone.
“They finally did it Pete. Rosalie and Emmett got married yesterday and they couldn’t be happier.” I paused for a moment and then changed that thought. “ …..except of course if you had been there to celebrate with them. I think any one of us would have done anything possible if that could have been the case.”
I sat down in front of the gravestone and sighed deeply, not sure how to continue. Visiting Peter’s grave had been an important ritual for me over the past months but I had never endeavoured to talk to him as I was about to.
“The flowers were from my bouquet Peter. I thought that somehow if you had them here with you, you would feel like you were a part of it all. Rosalie looked absolutely beautiful and Emmett……well he was gorgeous too and his vows…….Peter, you should have heard him…….he loves her so much and the whole day was perfect for them…..it really was.”
A few minutes passed in near silence and all I could hear were the birds chirping in the nearby trees and the distant noise of traffic. The peace was soothing but it didn’t completely take away from the inner turmoil I was experiencing at being here right now, needing to talk to Peter in a way I wasn’t sure anyone else would understand. With the small amount of courage I had in me I brought my head up and began to talk.
“I don’t know what to do, Peter. Edward told me that he loved me last night.” I choked on the words a little. “The thing is Peter, I couldn’t say it back to him even though he deserves more than that. I care about him……….in fact I have quite strong feelings for him but I can’t get away from the fact that I am betraying you for feeling that way. When you died I did not think I could ever feel happy again; it seemed so impossible. You were my best friend, you accepted everything there was to know about me; the good and the bad. You were so much fun to be around and you supported me in everything I chose to do. You were the perfect partner Peter and the idea that anyone else could ever come even remotely close to you was way beyond my comprehension.”
Tears escaped my eyes as I tried to let Peter know how much he meant to me. “But now you’re gone and I have to keep living my life. I try to be happy because I know that is what you wanted for me but it is so incredibly hard. I smile because people expect it, I function because it is the only way to move on from losing you, I’ve tried to make everyone around me happy by showing them that I will be okay but the truth is………”
“…….I’m so lost and confused. The one person who does make me truly happy is a man I had no right to fall for in the first place and even with him I can’t let go completely because there is always the constant guilt. I’m not sure what to do. He is leaving in a couple of days and this is my last chance to make a decision one way or another.”
My head dropped onto my raised knees and my hair surrounded me in a kind of cocoon that only made my confusion and grief seem even more pronounced. With the knowledge that I had no right to be uttering my next words, I did it anyway.
“Tell me what to do Peter. Give me some kind of sign that loving him doesn’t have to be about betraying you; that you won’t hate me for it; that I can give him what he needs but won’t ask for because he is too selfless. Help me please.”
My voice had become almost inaudible as I sent him my final plea and all that followed was more silence. I berated myself internally as I stared uncomprehendingly at Peter’s grave. What on earth was I thinking to come to my dead fiance’s grave to get some sort of permission to love another man? I was clearly losing my capabilities to make sensible decisions and I felt like I had just laid another low blow on the man who would always hold a special place in my heart. I stumbled slightly as I made my way to my feet and brushed the debris from the seat of my jeans.
“I’m sorry Peter. I shouldn’t have asked.” I placed a soft kiss on my fingertips and leant down one last time to move it against his engraved name. “You know I loved you and that will never change. Be at peace.”
With sluggish movements I turned, only to freeze completely as I took in the silent person who stood behind me looking at me with such sorrowful eyes. Darting furtive glances between myself and Peter’s grave the eyes changed and I saw determination overtake the sorrow. I flinched, not knowing what this meant for me.
“You asked for a sign Bella? It seems that you and I need to talk.”
Numbness. All I felt was numbness.
It was one thing for me to have poured out my heart and soul for Peter at his grave side but another thing completely to have burdened the person sitting across from me now with my emotional outburst and needy pleas. I wrapped my hands around the hot chocolate in front of me in the hopes that it would alleviate some of the numbness and force me to face what I had just done. I reluctantly lifted my head and spoke with a whole lot of trepidation.
“I am so sorry. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad I feel right now.”
Clear blue eyes met my own and it surprised me to see that I had startled her. She gave me a half smile and took a sip of her own drink. We were sitting in the cemetery café that she had dragged me to silently and she had been preoccupied with looking out the window, rather than seeing me, ever since. I couldn’t blame her. She was probably pretty much disgusted with me right now.
“What for?” She shook her head and continued. “For coming to my son’s grave for answers that you can’t allow yourself to acknowledge? I don’t think you need to apologise to me Bella. It actually warms my heart to know that you still think enough of him to need him and want his advice. I find myself doing it sometimes too I must admit. Peter had the amazing capacity to think things through properly and point you in the right direction. I miss not having him here to still do that and on occasion I’ve brought my concerns here, exactly the way you just did. No Bella. There is absolutely no reason to apologise.”
Her warm hand engulfed mine and I squeezed back in understanding and also in appreciation for her lack of judgment. I still had no idea what to say though. It must have been hard for her to hear what I had said about Edward and my confusion about what to do.
“How much did you hear?” I asked tentatively.
Another sigh from her but she did not relinquish her hold on my hand. The blush that was now rising to my face was due to the worst possible embarrassment that I had ever felt. I wasn’t sure I was going to forgive myself for this one.
“Enough to know that you don’t know what to do about the feelings you have for Edward and enough to know that you care about my son a great deal. The thing is this Bella…….Peter is inadvertently holding you back from finding happiness……real unbridled happiness that very few of us get to experience and I can guarantee that that would be the very last thing he would ever want to do to you.”
Eyes brimming with tears I searched Grace’s face for any sign that she was angry about this but there was nothing except love and understanding.
“I know but…..but this is…….I can’t ……… it’s too soon……I think I’m in…………” I couldn’t continue with that sentence. It was all kinds of wrong to say it in her presence.
“In love with Edward?” Grace questioned in a soft voice. “I know you are Bella. It is nothing to be ashamed of. He loves you too. It is very apparent to those of us who care about you both.”
My mouth gaped open with the need to deny what she was saying but it was a useless gesture because she was telling the truth. I loved Edward and he had admitted to loving me and if what Grace was saying bore only honesty, both our families were more than aware of it and were waiting for some kind of resolution on the matter.
“I can’t lose both of them Grace; Peter and Edward. It would be too much. Edward has no idea how I feel about him because I’ve been petrified of what it means to admit it to myself, let alone him. If I don’t tell him he will go to Paris thinking that I don’t care and I will lose him forever. If I do tell him I am basically giving up on what I had with Peter and I am not ready to let go of him completely or be that shallow girl who flits from one relationship into another. It’s not me Grace and yet here I am contemplating doing exactly that and it will be Edward who gets hurt in the end when I can’t deal with what I’ve done and I just can not do that to him. I am continuously hurting him. I have no idea what is the right thing to do and I am so, so tired of living like this; judging myself constantly and always coming out as the bad person in my own mind.”
Grace moved quickly to my side and threw her arms around me in consolation and I allowed her warmth and calm to trickle through to me as I sobbed against her shoulder.
“You poor girl, Bella. This has been so hard on you and something that is so pure and good as loving someone special should not have this level of difficulty behind it. You are not a bad person Bella. You are an amazing, strong woman who considers everyone else around you before you look after yourself. You have been lucky enough to love twice and you need to take that luck and make it into a lifetime of happiness.”
Incredulity raced through my mind. “How can you be so calm about this Grace? I am sitting here telling you that I am in love with someone else who is not your son and you are telling me to go with that. I don’t understand. I hate myself for it; surely you feel hurt by this too?”
“Oh Bella. I know Peter is my son and I love him with every piece of my heart and soul but sweetheart, he is gone and as much as that pains me to say, it is the simple truth. You however are still here and I have always considered you as the daughter I never had and I want you…….no….. I need you to be happy. That’s all I’ve got left. I’ve witnessed the connection between you and Edward. I’ve noticed the way he looks at you when he doesn’t realize others are watching. His adoration and need to protect you are always there for anyone who is willing to really look. His love for you is no simple infatuation; it is so much more than that. When I see the way you try so hard not to be drawn to him the way you naturally would be if circumstances were different, it literally breaks my heart. True love is not something to be ignored or squandered Bella. If God or fate has decided to put him in your path at this moment in time it is with good reason and I am not willing to second guess it.”
“Grace I want to believe what you’re saying is true but it doesn’t relieve the guilt. Loving two men at once seems like a betrayal to me; to both of them.”
She nodded carefully to let me know she was hearing what I was saying but her contemplative expression told me that she was thinking beyond my words for some kind of answer that would negate my fears.
“Love comes in so many different forms Bella. The way you loved Peter is oh so different to the way you are capable of loving Edward. Loving Edward is not going to mean that you stop loving Peter or forget about his part in your life. I would like to think that I know you well enough to believe that you would never let that happen. The love between you and Peter was kind of like a building block for your future; the one that he can no longer be a part of but one where you are capable of loving someone with all your heart because you were taught by the best. Peter was good to you; he loved, respected, admired and supported you and he didn’t leave behind a woman who couldn’t love because she was mistreated or emotionally harmed by her partner. That is something I am incredibly proud of being able to say about my son. He left behind a woman who has the capacity to love in an epic way if only she would give herself permission to do so. Peter is not the one stopping you from giving your love to Edward. You are the only one who can make that choice. Does that make any sense to you?” I nodded half heartedly as I wiped the tears from my face.
“ I hope it does Bella because if you choose to be with Edward; another good man who deserves happiness and therefore you, then you are demonstrating just how good your relationship was with my son, not abandoning it as you seem to think you are doing. Go with what is in your heart Bella; not what you think others are expecting from you. Edward is perfect for you; I can see it, your friends and family know it and Esme and Carlisle have already mentioned to me that they think you would be good for him too. Stop fighting it. Give yourself the chance to live happily with a man who could quite possibly be your soul mate. You earned that right when you made my son’s life so fulfilling when he was still with us.”
The two of us clutched at one another as our emotions got the best of us and we thought of all that had been said between us this morning. Even though my tears conveyed sadness and a small bit of hysteria, I could honestly say that for the first time in many, many months I felt a clear purpose take root in my mind and I was feeling the heaviness of unsurety lifting from my shoulders, giving me a better outlook in general. Grace smiled at me through her own tears as if she understood that her words had helped me in so many ways and I gave her another squeeze of appreciation before I fell back into my seat and drained the last of my now cold chocolate drink. Grace returned to her own seat and we lightened the mood up by talking about yesterdays wedding and Grace and Rick’s plans to take a well needed holiday to the wilderness in Canada. I gave her every ounce of my attention even though I was now keen to find Edward and let him know that his feelings were returned and apologise for keeping him waiting so long. Grace had given me so much this morning and I knew she needed this time of casual interaction to offset the emotional aspects of giving me her advice so I was more than willing to give her my time. It wasn’t until her phone buzzed with a text that we began to realize just how long we had been in each other’s company.
“That will be Rick wondering where I have got to. I kind of left him in a hurry this morning because I suddenly had the need to talk to Peter and let him know how the wedding went. You got to him before me, of course, so he is up to date on how it all panned out.” Her gentle smile belied her sadness and feelings of loss. “He would have been so happy for them Bella.”
“ Do you know what? I was saying to Edward last night that I believed Peter was looking down on all of us and that it would have made him happy to see Rosalie and Emmett finally do what we had all known would eventually happen. I honestly believe that now. I think Peter will always play a part in the important moments of our lives. He is watching us and that is more than okay. It seems he gave me a sign after all.”
Grace smiled lovingly and gripped both of my hands in her own.
“I hope that it was enough Bella. I truly do because without love in our lives we might as well just give up and that is not what I want to see happen for you. Edward will look after you, I just know it and you can offer him the same back. Be good to one another and love him freely. Life is too short for anything less.”
Grace stood up and I followed her lead. “Now after that last little bit of advice I think I will go and see my son.” She pulled me into a motherly embrace and gave me one last smile. “Go and do the right thing Bella. Make him see that he is the one for you. I love you. I know you will be fine.”
“Thank you Grace, for everything. I promise to make both you and Peter proud and live life fully. You’ve helped me accept that it is possible for me. ” I stated humbly and with one last hug we parted to set off on our own paths; Grace to pay her respects to the man who meant the world to both of us and me to convince a different man that he was my world and that I could no longer live without him.
What happened after that was anyone’s guess………
………but at least he would know!