ECHOES OF THE HEART
As Bella drifted off to sleep she was plagued with visions of unearthly creatures of such beauty that there was no way they could be real. They had the palest skin she had ever seen, beauty and grace beyond anything she had ever encountered in any ordinary human but the oddest thing about these beings was their remarkable eyes. They had the warmest golden eyes she had ever seen and she knew there was no way they could be human they were something else entirely. They smiled at her dazzling her with their sparkling skin as it glittered like a field of diamonds and she could hear her name echoing in the open field ‘Isabella join us and live forever.’ She drifted through her dream at a slow and leisurely pace until the perfect beings began to change right before her eyes into a face so terrifying she wanted to scream but no sound came from her throat. She saw their eyes change to a blood red and their faces were distorted into a menacing smile that terrified her beyond any earthly fear she had ever known, as if she were looking death in the eye. She began to run and her dream world turned to one of a nightmare as these creatures in the black cloaks chased her and she stumbled over her feet as they breathed her name and beckoned her to join them she heard her name whispered ‘Isabella join us and be eternal.’ Her feet kept running but it was as if she were on a treadmill constantly moving but not going anywhere. Then suddenly her dream shifted directions and she was dressed all in white at the end of an isle looking at all the faces around her in the soft candle light. She could see Alice, Rose and Angela making their way down the rose covered path and then her eyes met the loving gaze of Edward as he waited at the head of the isle. She looked at her dad and she smiled but when she tried to take the first step her feet moved as if she were walking through molasses she tried to move forward but her feet were still in the same place. She could see Edward watching her and willing her to move but she couldn’t reach him as the voices in her head whispered her name ‘Isabella this isn’t the life for you, join us and live forever.’ She could see the burning red eyes all around her as her family, friends and Edward were spinning further and further away. She reached for her dad’s hand but it was cold to her touch and it was no longer her dad standing beside her as the darkness consumed her and pulled her away.
Bella shot up in the darkness of her room and could feel the cold sweats and the fear gripping her heart. She drew in short choppy breaths as she tried to steady her runaway heart. She slowed her breathing deep breaths in and out until she was no longer gasping for air. She wasn’t sure why she had began to have this strange unearthly dream but as the wedding drew closer they were coming more frequently and they were always the same. She had no idea what they meant but they scared her for some reason as if she knew that there was some reason for them, that somehow that meant something more than just a dream caused by nerves. She wasn’t worried about the wedding if there was one thing she was sure of it was that she loved Edward and that she wanted to spend every day of her life with him. She just wasn’t sure what the underlying meaning of this bizarre dream was.
She sat up in her bed and reached for the light and wasn’t surprised to see Edward swaying silently in her rocking chair in the corner. He rose from his seat and crossed the room and straightened the rumbled sheets and bedcovers before lying on the bed beside her. He leaned against the headboard and gathered her to his chest and held her close to his heart. He had wiped the tears that had leaked from her eyes and whispered soft words of comfort and love. He knew she was worried by these dreams and he hadn’t told her that he had had them too and he wondered why now they were not only having nightmares about their upcoming nuptials but they were having the exact same nightmarishly real dream as if they had lived this in another life how odd was that? He pushed her damp hair away from her eyes and kissed her forehead. He loved Bella more than anything else and he would not let some nightmare keep them from sharing their life together and having the wedding of their dreams. Edward began to hum a lullaby that echoed from some deep chamber of his heart and watched as Bella’s eyes closed and once again sleep took over with calm steady breaths. He watched as she seemed to be in a peaceful slumber with no demons or whispers in the dark chasing her. He closed his eyes and thought of how beautiful Bella would be in her white gown and her lovely locks of hair trailing down her back. He breathed her in and felt all his tension fade away into the warm dark night. He and Bella would begin in a new chapter of their life together in two weeks and no matter what the reason for these crazy dreams they would be together as one for all the days of their life.
Thank you so much for readiing and I agree I love B & E together. I am so glad your looking forward to the story.
I'm enchanted to be reading this and to be amazed by your amazing writing skills Sarah. I am absolutely sure that if you ever want to write something and publish it, it would be just as famous or maybe even more than Stephenie Meyer's writing.
You are amazing and hugely skilled at this and believe me, there's thousand of people out there, (including myself) that would be forever grateful if they ever got to read your work, you are AMAZING.
P.D. I'm reading "It Had To Be You" it's taking me a little time but of what I have read I love it, I just thought you should know.
Gigi Cullen Rodriguez
THANK YOU Shelli I am so glad you liked it.
Thank you so much for reading.
Thanks to Kallie and C.O.O.L for the amazing banners.
ABOVE ALL ELSE
Bella untangled herself from Edward’s arms and got clumsily to her feet. She smiled as she felt Edward’s warm touch closing around her outstretched hand. She helped him to his feet and tried to pull him along with her to the door. He laughed at the determined look on her face.
“Bella where exactly is the fire?”
Bella rolled her eyes while the crease around his lips curved upward the ceiling as he failed miserable to conceal a smile. He knew exactly where she wanted to go but watching her so flustered was too much fun. He loved the way her face burned under his stare and how her feet seemed to forget how to move properly. He pulled her into his arms and looked into her dancing eyes.
“Look Edward I’m going to see the cottage and I certainly hope it’s not on fire.”
Edward gave in allowing her to pull him to the door. He ran his finger over the key that was nestled in his pocket. He knew the house would be beautifully decorated and have every amenity provided but all he wanted was a place to call their own all the rest was just icing on the cake so to speak.
Bella turned to watch his face in the afternoon sun that was desperately trying to peak through the overcast sky. She could see the playfulness in his green orbs and she suddenly felt the urge to run her fingers in the wisp of hair that had fallen in his eyes. She stood on the top step looking down at him as she ran her hand across his forehead so she could see his eyes more clearly. She saw it all in his eyes the light, child like teasing from days gone by, the mischievous grin tugging on his lips and above all else the love shining like a beacon in the night. She watched as his arms reached for her and without any thought necessary she jumped into his waiting embrace. She giggled as she teased her about patience and such things that at the moment had no importance what so ever. He finally set her on her feet and led her to the car. He closed the door as she settled in the passenger seat. He could see her through the windshield tapping her watch impatiently as he walked slowly to the driver’s side door and climbed in making himself comfortable. She let out exaggerated sighs as he checked the mirrors, fastened his seatbelt and finally started the car. He finally let out the laugh that had been climbing up the back of his throat and within seconds he heard Bella’s musical laugh blending with his as her hand settled over his on the seat.
“Sorry for being so impatient but I am so excited to see the cottage. Can you believe that in two weeks we will be married? How did that happen?”
Edward laughed at her questioning tone. “Well lets recap we met we pretended to despise each other, we then decided to play nice, you tried to make me jealous by dating our friend Jake, I crashed your date by taking Ang to the same movie, we became exclusive, I asked you to marry me and you said yes.”
Bella grinned at his synopsis. “I know that but sometimes I have these dreams and it’s like I’m seeing our life but it’s not the one I remember. It’s like some crazy movie but somehow it seems more real than the memories that are so ingrained in my mind.”
Bella could see Edward flex his fingers on the steering wheel and he looked a little tense as the light mood had evaporated. He glanced at Bella and then looked straight ahead out the window.
“I know what you mean Bella. I’ve been having these crazy dreams; only it’s not the past but the future. I know I should have told you weeks ago when you told me about yours but I didn’t want to worry you. My dream is never the same; it starts with wedding and you walking down the aisle but after that it’s always different. There are always a group of peculiar people sitting in the back of the room but they don’t seem like they could be real. They have the palest skin almost like marble, with these bright glowing red eyes and they have this inhuman beauty. As the scene plays out I can see that they are dressed in cloaks as if they are from a different time and place. There are always four one girl, one boy and two men. The girl seems to be the youngest but somehow I get the distinct impression she is in charge. I have no idea who they are but I feel as if I know them very well almost intimately and they scare the life out of me. I feel my blood run cold as this voice floats through my head as if he is calling me to some unknown place but for what I have no idea.”
Bella sat quietly by his side as he described her dream almost perfectly right down to the voice. The voice was soft, calming almost friendly but underneath the façade she could hear the evil. She could see the young, beautiful girl with the angelic face that smiled serenely before baring her teeth in a bone chilling smiling. She knew that this was no coincidence it was something bigger, something more.
“Edward that sounds like my dream except I can never see anything but you at the end of the aisle and then I hear the voice. What do you think it means? “
He shrugged his shoulders almost in defeat. “Love, I have no idea. I read this book once where all these people had been brainwashed, their lives completely erased, and every memory gone to be replaced with false memories.”
Edward squeezed Bella’s hand as she shivered at his words. He pulled off the road on to the narrow lane that led to the cottage. Bella sat quietly beside him leaving him to wonder what was going through her mind. As he drove across the bridge that stretched over the ravine she finally spoke.
“Edward that is completely crazy but somehow it makes more sense than anything else.”
He laughed as he realized she was right. “I know but whatever happened in the past has nothing to do with today. Bella there is nothing that could make me not love you.”
Bella let out the breath she had been holding. “Of course your right it just seems strange how sometimes I have these brief flashes of my life but no memory of the time or place. I mean I have this memory of living in Arizona and taking ballet but I’ve never lived anywhere but Forks and I never took ballet. I mean really can you imagine me dancing?”
Bella noticed Edward stiffen at her words and she wondered what had upset him. She rubbed the back of his hand soothingly. “Edward what is it?”
He shook his thoughts away and smiled. “Nothing it’s just that I had the same thing happen to me a while back. It was at the engagement party when we were dancing I had this brief memory of us in a ballet studio and you were bleeding. I had the distinct feeling that I had somehow caused you pain.”
Bella raised her eyes to see Edward’s pain ridden face as if had were caught in an unending nightmare. She ran her hand up his arm to chase away his memory. “Edward it was nothing so stop blaming yourself for something that never happened.”
Edward pulled the car behind Emmett’s jeep and Esme’s SUV then he killed the engine. He turned to face Bella. “I would never hurt you Bella and I hope you know that I love you above all else.”
Bella smiled as she traced the outline of his face with her fingers. She wanted to rub the bad thoughts away and have only happy memories but somehow she knew that the bad memories were an important part of who they were.
“Edward I love you and I trust you with my life. I have no idea what all these crazy dreams and memories are but whatever it is we’ll deal with it together. I think we should just chalk it up to the wedding and our nerves going a little haywire. I feel better having talked about it with you and I hope you’ll tell me when something like this happens again. We’re in this together so no secrets.”
Edward could see the determined look on Bella’s face and he nodded in agreement. She was strong, loyal and the best thing in his life. He opened the door and walked to help her out of the car. He watched Bella’s face as she stepped out of the car and finally looked the beauty that surrounded her. The white stone drive was under a canopy of trees that led to the cottage. Bella gasped as she took in the romantic feel of the old English cottage with the steep gabled roof with lacey gingerbread bargeboards and an ornamental chimney accentuating the country charm of the house. The cottage was made of white wood a rather simple yet elegant look that appealed to Bella very much with a bay window on each side of the central front door. She walked in complete awe as all her childhood fairytales suddenly began to burst to life. As she walked through the entryway the house seemed to invite her to come in as each room flowed effortlessly into the next. She found her eyes going from the hardwood floors to the wooden walls to the vaulted wooden ceilings. She felt as if she had magically stepped into the pages of Snow White as she was surrounded with picturesque storybook charm she had always dreamed of. She found the house to be rustic with its humble interiors she could see the fireplace with a large mirror hanging over a mantle that was filled with candles of all shapes and sizes. The furniture was placed haphazardly around the room with a steamer trunk as a coffee table and vintage suitcases stacked at the end of the sofa as an end table. Bella noticed that in the corner of the room by the window Esme had hung a rustic lamp from the ceiling over a chaise lounge that Bella could already see herself enjoying with a good book.
“Edward, do you know how perfect this is?”
He smiled as he squeezed Bella’s hand as they walked to the dining room that seemed to flow easily from the first room. “I know it reflects you in all of the simple little touches. The interior was done with such detail as only Esme and Renee could achieve from knowing you so well. They have incorporated the bare essentials with a cozy feel that we will make into an inviting home, our home.”
Bella knew that Edward was right and she couldn’t wait to start this new adventure in their lives together. She turned to Edward and rose up on her tip-toes and kissed his cheek before taking in the details of the dining room. She could see Esme’s handiwork highlight the strip of wall about the row of windows with a length of fencing that matched the garden fence that she could see through the windows. The round wooden table was sitting under a chandelier hanging in the middle of the high vaulted ceiling on top of a rectangular rug. The porcelain water pitcher in the center of the table overflowed with handpicked flowers in soft hues of yellow and white. The hutch along the back wall was rustic and seemed to fit the room perfectly; Bella could see the kitchen antiques of pewter dishware salt-glazed jugs and wood butter molds that filled the cabinet.
“Edward how will we ever be able to thank them for all of this?”
Bella said this in a voice of reverence as she took in all the personal touches and details. She could feel her eyes filling with tears at all the time and love that Esme and her mother had put into this. She could see the splash of colorful flowers and was sure that Alice and Rose had helped too. She had never felt more loved than she did now with Edward by her side and her family and friends supporting them in every way humanly possible.
Edward covered her hand in his as he stood by her side as he marveled at the vaulted ceiling with the authentic crystal chandelier that he felt he had seen somewhere before. “Bella if we’re happy that will be thanks enough. I can see the love in every detail and this is something they wanted to do for us.”
Bella nodded her head as she walked into the kitchen with the breakfast nook in the corner just as she had imagined it. She could see the stairs that led to the upstairs bedrooms in the back corner. She walked to the small room to the right of the stairs and was speechless as she took in the room filled with books from top to bottom. She ran her finger over each limited edition hardcover book everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to Romeo and Juliet. Bella could already see herself sitting by the fireplace on the back wall reading until the wee, small hours of the morning.
“Edward this is so perfect and we haven’t even been upstairs yet.”
Edward laughed as they slowly exited the room to find themselves once again in the entryway. Bella noticed the half bath that they had missed at first. It was done in ivory and soft blues with a touch of yellow thrown into the mix.
Bella was about to head upstairs to check out the bedrooms when she heard a chime ringing throughout the house. She looked to the door and could see the top of Alice’s head bobbing up and down in one of the bay windows. Edward counted to five and then suddenly the door burst open and the entire family poured in. Bella laughed as Alice took her hand as she skipped around on her tiptoes.
“So Bella what do you think? Do you love it? I told mom you’d love it but she was afraid that it might not be what you want. I think it’s perfectly you but you know…” Bella placed one slender finger on Alice’s lips to silence her.
“Alice we love it.”
Alice clapped her hands excitedly in front of her before pulling Bella into a hug. “Oh good, I knew you would but if you don’t like something we can always change it.”
Edward laughed at Alice’s chattering and noticed that the rest of the family was now filtering into the house. “Alice honestly we love it and believer me Bella would kill you if you tried to change one little thing.”
Alice’s smile widened. “I’m so glad you both approve.”
Bella untangled herself from Alice’s bear hug and turned to face the family. Carlisle & Esme, Rose & Em, Charlie & Renee and Jazz all stood in the entryway beaming with joy. She reached for Edward’s hand as Alice skipped to Jasper’s side. Bella swiped at the tears that had escaped her eyes at the sight of her family.
“You guys have no idea how much this means to us and it is beyond perfect. I honestly don’t have the words to adequately describe how I feel right now. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. We truly love it.”
The ladies encircled Bella pulling her away from Edward and took her toward the kitchen. Edward watched her go as the guys pounded him on the back and headed to the living room. Edward watched as they made themselves comfortable sitting lazily around the room and he felt as if he had finally found where he belonged. This cottage might have stared as Bella’s dream but somehow he knew this place was always meant to be their dream.
Bella let the girls drag her up the stairs to the bedrooms. She was anxious to see the master bedroom that would be where she and Edward would start their new life together as husband and wife. Alice walked behind her with her hands over her eyes. Bella giggled as she tripped over her own two feet she stopped walking as Alice told her she was at the door.
Esme, Renee and Rose stood behind her as she waited for Alice to move her hands from her eyes. She slowly saw light filtering in as she took in the enchanting oasis before her. She saw the huge bed in the center of the wall to her right as it sat beautifully on the hardwood floor. They had create the illusion of a romantic canopy bed by suspending a mosquito net above the upper half of the bed and gathering it behind the headboard accenting it with beads that matched the pillows and rug. The bed faced a fireplace with a lovely accent rug of rich burgundies, forest green and gold that added a touch of color to the hardwood floors. The comforter was a basic ivory with throw pillows that matched the accent rug. Bella turned around in circles trying to take all the details in from the beautiful candles to the hope chest that sat at the end of the bed and finally her eyes rested on her old rocking chair in the corner. She smiled as she looked at her mom who was standing with her arms open.
“Mom how did you know?”
Renee hugged Bella close to her heart. “Honey that rocking chair has been in our family for generations. Your grandmother rocked me as her mother rocked her in this very chair and now it’s your turn. And don’t think I don’t know of Edward’s late night vigils in this chair.”
Bella laughed. “You mean you knew he snuck in the window?”
Renee pushed Bella back to look in her sparkling brown eyes. “Of course I knew and I think it was very sweet.”
Bella shook her head. “Did you tell Dad?”
Renee grinned, “Of course not I don’t think he would have understood but I love you both and I trust you. You and Edward have always been a perfect fit and I know he would never hurt you. I used to sneak in and lay a quilt on him to keep him from getting cold.”
Bella hugged her mom again and wondered how she had gotten so lucky. She couldn’t help but wonder what might go wrong because when things were this perfect something bad was always just around the corner.
“Thank you mom you’re the best.”
Renee smiled into the top of Bella’s head. “Bella you will always be the greatest thing I have ever done and I am so proud of you. I know you will have a wonderful life with Edward.”
Bella knew that too but she wondered how her mom knew that. “How do you know that?”
“Easy I can see it in the way he looks at you, the way he catches just before you start to fall, the way he seems to glow when you walk into the room but mostly it’s the way he puts you first as if your happiness is what makes him happy. I know he will love you above all else.”
Bella could feel her throat choking with unshed tears at her mother’s soft spoken words as she remembered Edward saying the exact same thing earlier. “Mom how does he look at me?”
Bella could see the tears in her mother’s eyes. “He looks at you the way your dad looks at me and as if you’re the only girl in the world even in a room full of people your all he sees.”
Renee pulled Bella close as her tears began to fall mixing with her own. She found it hard to believe that her baby was getting married but she couldn’t be happier. She patted Bella’s back as she smiled at the secret she was waiting to share after the wedding.
The girls talked and laughed as they made their way back to the guys. Bella found Edward sitting on the window seat overlooking the landscaping Esme had done with a fountain in the center of their own exotic garden. Bella could see garden parties and holidays in the sunroom.
“Edward have I told you I love you today?”
Edward nuzzled the top of her head as his warm breath grazed her skin. “Yes love, but I don’t mind hearing it again.”
Bella looked up into his smoldering green eyes and she almost forgot they had a houseful of family. She raised her eyes in a suggestive manner as she spoke in a low voice only he could hear. “I love you Edward Anthony Masen Cullen and it’s a good thing we have company.”
Edward laughed. “A very good thing or we might be tempted to pretend we’re already married.”
Bella watched as Edward lowered his lips to hers and gently kissed her lips that fit perfectly with his. She seemed to melt into him as if they were one and the same with no beginning and no end. She knew they had an audience but she couldn’t seem to break away from him. He finally eased away and drew a ragged breath and forced his heart to slow to a steady beat. Bella knew her face should be burning with embarrassment but somehow it wasn’t. She looked up to see her family mingling and talking as if they hadn’t even noticed the two of them.
Bella climbed out of Edward’s lap and offered him a hand. “Come on Mr. Cullen lets go checkout the garden.”
Edward fell into step behind her as Em, Rose, Jazz and Alice followed them outside. Esme waited until the kids had all left the room before motioning for Renee to follow her to the kitchen. Esme watched the kids through the window, laughing and running around the backyard before turning to Renee.
“So have you told Charlie yet?”
Renee looked over her shoulder. “Yes he knows but I haven’t told Bella yet. I want to wait until after the wedding.”
Esme leaned against the counter as she looked at Renee’s glowing face. “Well I know what you mean how do you think the kids will react when we tell them?”
Renee heard the ‘we’ and she looked at Esme’s laughing eyes. “Esme are you?”
Esme nodded her head as Renee crossed the room and hugged her close. “Oh my we’re going to have babies!! This is going to be so much fun.”
Esme laughed. “I am so excited and Carlisle is over the moon.”
Renee grinned. “I know Charlie is hoping for a boy but I know he’ll love a girl just the same.”
Esme nodded. “I know what you mean. Carlisle and I just want a healthy baby we’ll love a boy or a girl.”
“We’ll have to go shopping and just think how much fun it will be to decorate the nursery.”
Before Esme could say a word she heard a gasp from the door leading from the sunroom. “Nursery what would Bella and Edward need with a nursery?”
Renee and Esme looked up to see Alice standing in the doorway with a look of disbelief on her pixie like face. “Bella can’t be pregnant she has to go to school and they aren’t even married yet for goodness sakes.”
Esme crossed the room and put a motherly arm around Alice’s slight frame. “Alice we’re just thinking of all the good things we have to look forward to someday. I don’t think Bella and Edward are planning on having kids for a while so relax.”
Alice looked from Renee to Esme doubtfully not believing them. “Really if that were the case why would you already be talking about going shopping? You don’t shop now for a baby that may or may not ever be.”
Esme rubbed Alice’s arms and tried to reassure her that everything was fine. “Alice honey we are just so excited we may be jumping a head a little bit. Please believe me that Bella is not having a baby.”
“A baby why would Alice think I’m having a baby?”
Esme looked over to see all of the kids standing in the kitchen with narrowed, questioning eyes. Renee looked at Esme and shrugged as if to say now what. Esme was floundering for the right words to say when she heard Carlisle’s voice cutting through the tension in the room.
“Okay everyone let’s go into the living room and we’ll sort this all out.”
Carlisle and Charlie stood by the door as the kids silently filed out of the room. Once they were out of hearing range Carlisle spoke. “I think we should go ahead and tell them the truth.”
Charlie nodded his head. “I agree I have been dying to tell someone.”
Esme looked at Renee. “What do you think Renee?’
“I suppose we don’t have much of a choice now that we’ve raised their curiosity. You know our kids are like a dog after a bone they won’t stop until they know the truth.”
Everyone laughed at the too true statement. Carlisle nodded his head in agreement. “Ok then who wants to tell them?”
Renee and Esme looked at each other. “We’ll do it together.”
Esme and Renee followed the men to the front room and stood by the window facing the kids. Esme began to talk. “So you all are wondering what’s going on and why the talk about a baby.”
They all nodded never taking their eyes off of Esme and Renee. Renee began to speak. “Well the truth is its babies.”
The two friends looked at each other as they said. “We’re having a baby.”
Every mouth dropped as the words hit them full force. Bella looked at Renee and Charlie as Edward, Em, Jazz, Alice and Rose looked at Esme and Carlisle. Then everyone began talking at once and moving toward Esme and Renee.
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
The sound of a shrill whistle cut through the chaotic voices and all eyes flew to Charlie. “Ok listen everyone calm down and we’ll tell you everything.”
The room remained silent as everyone waited for someone else to begin. Esme finally spoke.
“I just found out I was pregnant today but I didn’t want to ruin Bella’s day with my news. This is a special time for you and Edward it’s supposed to be all about you two.”
Bella looked at Renee. “Mom how long have you and dad known?”
“I found out a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to wait until after the wedding to tell you.”
Bella walked to Renee and Esme and hugged them both. “I wish you had told us. This is an important part of all our lives.” She touched both their stomachs. “I have a little brother or sister in there and we all want to be a part of this.”
Esme and Renee hugged Bella as the rest of the family swarmed around them. Everyone began to toss around names and dates for the births. Esme looked at her kids and knew that if this baby was half as loving, kind and caring as her other kids he or she would be just fine.
Thank you so much for reading! Bella and Edward are very perceptive so they know something is up with the dreams and brief flashes of unfamiliar memories. More coming soon.
Aw babies!!!!!!! So cute! Can I name one? Please!
I love it as usual Sarah!
I am so glad you liked it. Well send me some names and we'll decide together. I haven't even thought about names yet!!