** Characters and Storyline belong to Stephenie Meyer
** Story Adaptation by Erica Bailey
Banner by Leesa
Special Thanks to amel (alias) who has tirelessly beta read my chapters and pushed me to do better.
And Gela Montoya who has edited chapters 1-5 and 8 thus far and found all my many errors.
And Marli who, I think, has agreed to pick up the editing from here on in
(Please don't blame either of them for the errors in the attached links as the editing has occured after the posts... when it's all done, I hope to have one complete document.)
Other than Chapter 1, the following are hyperlinks to the chapters.
Eclipse EPOV Ch 1.pdf Chapter 1: Main posting (below)
Ch. 1 Ultimatum - PART 1
“If it is becoming such a big problem, why don’t we go and do something about it.” Emmett exclaimed. Instead of sitting around here, complaining about it…
“It’s not our place.” Jasper countered. “We have no authority…”
“We’ll have to just keep an eye on it… Authority or not, we may be required to act to bring it under control” Carlisle reasoned. We don’t need Vulturi entanglements coming here.
We were staring that the most recent news report on the series of murders in Seattle. It was clearly the workings of a new born vampire – and no one was taking responsibility for it. I was very glad that Bella was on house arrest. At least she wasn’t down at La Push with those… dogs – which were dangerous enough… on top of a newborn vampire on the loose.
I wished we could do something. Seattle was too close – if a new born came here… with Bella’s fragrant blood… I shuddered at the thought. But Jasper was right, it wasn’t our place and we didn’t need to give the Vulturi another reason to be concerned with the size and strength of our family. Eventually they would act. We could only hope they didn’t decide to take a side trip.
“Edward, your acceptance to Alaska came in today.” Esme held out the envelope.
“Alaska? I thought we decided we were going to Dartmouth?” Rosalie glared at me. “What is there to do in Alaska?”
“I’m working on it, Rosalie.” I glared back. “Bella is under the impression we have to go somewhere she can afford.”
When did the human being start making decisions for the family? She sulked.
“She isn’t making decisions for anyone other then herself… I will make my own decision to follow her wherever we end up.”
You know that isn’t how it will work. If you guys go to Alaska, everyone else will want to go too.
“Then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.” I was frustrated with her selfishness. We have moved so many times on her account… she was used to getting her way. She and Emmett had gone off on their own many times. I didn’t see why this would have to be any different. Unless..
Unless I could change Bella’s mind. I was desperately hoping I could – that she would choose to be human. But she had made herself pretty clear on that.
I was antsy to get going. It had only been 30 minutes since I dropped her off at her house after school and then returned home to check on everyone else. I could have waited in the bushes until my court-appointed or rather Charlie-appointed visiting hours. But I knew Esme, especially, would want to see me drop in once in awhile. Between school, visiting hours and sneaking back in to stay with Bella overnight, I wasn’t home much as it was.
I felt a loving hand on my shoulder. You should go, Edward… It’s where your heart is.
“Thanks, mom” I smiled, “I know I’m not home a lot.”
You are more here now then you were before Bella, Esme replied.
I knew what she meant. Before Bella, my existence was nothing. A hopeless drudgery of empty days and nights. With Bella, I had life. She was my salvation, my hope. Speaking of which, I needed to see her. “Bye!” I kissed her on the cheek as I left.
It would have taken less time to run to her house, but I drove to keep up appearances with Charlie. I parked around the corner, as I was early, and ran around behind the house, knowing I be able to see her through the back window and listen to her and Charlie’s conversation, the first line of which gave me cause for concern.
“Well, it’s about Jacob” Charlie started. I cringed at the name. There was no way Bella would be having anything more to do with that werewolf…
“What about him?” I was pleased to hear the tension in her voice. But I wasn’t foolish enough to believe this wouldn’t come up later.
“Easy, Bells. I know you’re still upset that he told on you, but it was the right thing. He was being responsible.”
HA, I just about choked on that – the person who put her on the motorcycle to begin with…
“Responsible. Right. So, what about Jacob?”
“Don’t get mad at me, okay?”
“Well, it’s about Edward, too.”
Oh, what is this about? I searched his mind… Of course… I set my jaw as he explained and prepared my counter arguments. I respected Charlie. He only wanted the best for Bella. But what he wanted - it wasn’t going to happen.
“I let him in the house don’t I?”
Yes, between 7 and 9:30 under your constant scrutiny, I thought… Though I knew it was only because he cared about her. I couldn’t be too angry at that.
“You do. For brief periods of time. Of course, you might let me out of the house for brief period now and then, too. I’ve been pretty good lately.”
“Well, that’s kind of where I was heading with this…”
“I’m confused, Dad. Are we talking about Jacob, or Edward, or me being grounded?”
“Sort of all three.”
“And how do they relate?”
“Okay.” I heard him sigh heavily; trying to find a way to say what he needed to, “So I’m thinking maybe you deserve a parole for good behavior. For a teenager, you’re amazingly non-whiney.”
“Seriously? I’m free?”
And here it came…
“Fantastic” I heard her groan.
“Bella, this is more of a request than a demand, okay? You’re free. But I’m hoping you’ll use that freedom… judiciously” And patch things up with Jacob…
Not going to happen, I sighed. As much as I respected Charlie’s care and concern for his daughter, it would be better directed at keeping Jacob away…
“What does that mean?”
“I know you’re satisfied to spend all of your time with Edward.” That louse who broke your heart… why you forgave him I’ll never understand…
“I spend time with Alice, too.”
“That’s true. But you have other friends besides the Cullens, Bella. Or you used to.”
There was a moment of silence and I saw that she was glaring at him, as he stared back. Finally be broke the stand off.
“When was the last time you spoke to Angela Weber?”
“Friday at lunch”
“Outside of school?”
“I haven’t seen anyone outside of school, Dad. Grounded, remember? And Angela has a boyfriend, too. She’s always with Ben. If I’m really free, maybe we could double.”
That wasn’t a bad idea. I liked Angela and Ben… Emmett and I had gotten them together… I recalled the day last year, when I had been looking for something Angela wanted, only to discover she was a very contented girl for a teenager… except that she was interested in Ben. And then to discover Ben was interested in her, but uncertain about overcoming the height difference. Humans can be so ridiculous sometimes…
“Okay. But then… You and Jake used to be joined at the hip, and now-”
I cringed as I remembered the reason why they were “joined at the hip”…
“Can you get to the point, Dad? What’s your condition – exactly?’
“I don’t think you should dump all your other friends for your boyfriend, Bella. It’s not nice, and I think your life would be better balanced if you kept some other people in it. What happened last September…”
I cringed again, remembering the look on her face. I suddenly noticed I was standing almost in the same spot I had when, less then a year ago, I said the most blasphemous, most foolish things I had said – when I told Bella I didn’t love her anymore. I recalled the look on her face when she heard my words and, even more ridiculously, believed me… I had broken her heart. No, I had broken her – and for what? For some foolish attempt to keep her safe? I had only pushed her into a more dangerous situation then she had been in when I was around…
I focused back on their conversation.
“Use your new freedom to see your other friends, too. Keep it balanced.”
I decided I would help her find ways to do that, without Jacob.
“Balance is good. Do I have specific time quotas to fill, though?”
“I don’t want to make this complicated. Just don’t forget your friends…” his words were general, but his mind was still focused on her committing to a reconciliation with Jacob.
“Jacob might be… difficult.” I breathed a sigh of relief. At least we were on the same page there.
“The Blacks are practically family, Bella. And Jacob has been a very, very good friend to you.”
“I know that.”
“Don’t you miss him at all?” I strained to hear her answer, worried that I already knew it.
“Yes, I do miss him. I miss him a lot.” My heart sank as her words and the listless tone, evidence of her connection to him…
“Then why is it difficult?”
I could give him a dozen reasons why, not the least of which was her safety – my primary concern.
“With Jacob there is a… conflict. A conflict about the friendship thing, I mean. Friendship doesn’t always seem to be enough for Jake.”
“Isn’t Edward up for a little healthy competition?”
Edward had decided he needs to get in there soon to rescue Bella from this conversation before you convince her to do something that is dangerous for her health. Only a small part of my brain pointed out that he might be right about the competition, doubting my true motivations…
I quickly ran to the car and drove it around the block to the house. I was a little early, but I supposed, with her new freedom, perhaps that would be allowable. As I drove up the block I heard that the conversation shifting…
“Good. Find that balance, Bella. And, oh, yeah, you’ve got some mail. It’s by the stove.”
I worried about what I had missed. What had Bella agreed to during the brief seconds I had been gone to get the car. I searched his mind to see to his satisfaction that he believed Bella would make an attempt with Jacob. I should have arrived earlier…
“Er, thanks… That was quick. I guess I missed the deadline on that one, too.”
I heard Charlie chuckle. It was her acceptance. He had already opened it.
“It’s open” she accused.
“I was curious.”
“I’m shocked, Sheriff. That’s a federal crime.”
I parked the car and got out, walking up the driveway – frustrated I had to walk at a human pace.
“Oh, just read it.” there was a pause and he couldn’t wait, “Congratulations. Your first acceptance.” He said proudly.
“We should talk about tuition. I’ve got some money saved up.”
“Hey, hey, none of that. I’m not touching your retirement, Dad. I’ve got my college fund.”
“Some of these places are pretty pricey, Bells. I want to help. You don’t have to go all the way to Alaska just because it’s cheaper.” Maybe you could go somewhere nearby – come home on the weekends…
“I’ve got it covered. Besides, there’s lots of financial aid out there. It’s easy to get loans.”
Of course, I would be glad to pay for her college education any time. It would have been a pleasure to do so… but she wouldn’t have any of it. She was stubborn and it added to what she thought of as the inequity between us.
“Nothing. I was just… Just wondering what… Edward’s plans are for next year?”
That was my cue… I quickly took the last two steps a little too quickly and knocked on the door.
“Coming!” I heard a mixture of excitement and relief. I was just as excited to see her. Being away from her was physically painful. I missed her every moment.
“Go away… and this time stay away” Charlie mumbled… I understood his aversion. I had broken his little girl’s heart. He couldn’t understand the conflict I felt about that, the pain it caused me to do it, and the reasons behind it. He only knew the affect, and for that I would regret what I had done for the rest of my existence… And that is why I was patient with Charlie and his open hostility, because I understood – and I hoped that through patience he might come to forgive me.
The door flew open and there she was, my Bella. The physical pain I felt at parting was relieved as I drew in a deep breathe of the scent that burned my throat. That scent that, at one time drove me to almost destroy her, now held me at bay. It confirmed for me that she was alive...
I saw her eyes reacquaint with my face as mine did hers – starting with her beautiful brown eyes, deep pools into her soul, her beautiful and good soul. The thing I loved most about her – the thing she wanted me to take from her, though she didn’t believe that. I drew back to her soft brown hair, the way it flowed down to her shoulder, resting there momentarily before continuing down her back. Her lips – pink and plump – the bottom one partially hidden behind the teeth that were unconsciously biting it. Those lips that I wanted to taste, right now, but Charlie would be over to check on us momentarily as I heard his impatient thoughts at our delay in the entranceway.
She reached for my hand and I joyfully met it with my own – the warmth of it, radiating through my arm to my core.
“Hey” she said with forced casualness, and then her smile lit up her face.
I couldn’t help it – I lifted my hand, the one that was clasped in hers, to feel the warmth of the faint blush in her cheek. “How was your afternoon?”
“For me, as well.” I said, pulling her wrist to my nose. I closed my eyes to fully appreciate her as I inhaled at one of the points where her scent was the strongest. Venom flowed to my mouth, but I felt no temptation. Only pleasure and relief at her being with me… alive.
Charlie had had enough of our delay. I heard him rise from his chair and stomp is way over to the door. What does he think he’s doing – right here in my house. If I catch him with his hands on her I’ll… I quickly dropped her arm and opened my eyes, to greet him as innocently as I could.
“Good evening, Charlie.” I said in my most respectful tone.
He grunted his response. I didn’t catch you this time, kid, but if I see you lay one hand on her, I’ll find an excuse to use my gun on you… He took to glaring at me, arms crossed. I realized I needed to move us into a more acceptable location.
“I brought another set of applications.” I told her – part two of my attempts to win Charlie over as I knew he wanted her to go to college as much as I did. I was desperate for it, hoping she would hold off on her decision to have me or Carlisle take her life long enough to realize it wasn’t something she really wanted to do.
She groaned. She was tiring of the endless applications I was throwing at her. I knew I was being a bit of tyrant, but I wanted her to live her life – to make the most of it, not to settle for me. And there were several places where a carefully placed donation would help overlook small details like missed deadlines. I smiled, knowing she would hate knowing that part of the plan. “There are still a few open deadlines. And a few places willing to make exceptions.”
I laughed as the eyes rolled back in her head. She knew me too well and the lengths I would go to for her.
“Shall we?” I pulled her toward the kitchen, so we could sit and talk, and so Charlie could relax and go back to watching whatever sporting event was on TV, an act that would pull his attention away and allow us to really talk.
She cleared the table while I placed the applications in front of her – the one for Dartmouth on top… Hopefully she wouldn’t notice the name and complete the application as she had done so many others before. I could picture her at Dartmouth – she would enjoy it there. It wasn’t as cloudy or cool as Forks. That would please her. I would have to spend more time in doors, but that would be tolerable as long as she was with me. I could really see her enjoying herself there. I hoped that she would find a reason to stay alive.
It was then that I noticed her set aside one of the books she had read too many times – it was battered and torn in places, the binding so broken it lay open without any effort. Wuthering Heights… hmmm – I had seen her read it time and time again, I just didn’t understand why. I was about to ask her, when Charlie interrupted.
“Speaking of college applications, Edward, Bella and I were just talking about next year. Have you decided where you’re going to school?” Hopefully far, far away from here and from Bella…
I force myself to be cheerful, despite his hostility, “Not yet. I’ve received a few acceptance letters, but I’m still weighing my options.” I said, non-committally.
He wasn’t satisfied with that. “Where have you been accepted?”
“Syracuse… Harvard… Dartmouth…” I rattled off a few of the letters I had received, hoping this might give him some reason to accept my presence in his daughter’s life “and I just got accepted to the University of Alaska Southeast today.” I winked at Bella, knowing she had also received hers.
“Harvard? Dartmouth?” Charlie mumbled… okay, so the kid’s got a future, I’ll give him that. “Well that’s pretty… that’s something.” So there is no way he’d end up at Alaska then… his outlook brightened. “Yeah, but the University of Alaska…you wouldn’t really consider that when you could go Ivy League. I mean, your father would want you to…”
“Carlisle’s always fine with whatever I choose to do.” I said calmly, trying hard not let the tone that said he should do the same creep into my voice.
“Hmph.” Even without the tone, he didn’t miss the implication.
“Guess what, Edward?” Bella asked in a bright, overly cheerful voice. She was a poor actor.
“What Bella” I replied, playing along.
She pointed to the thick envelope on the counter that I already knew was her acceptance, “I just got my acceptance to the University of Alaska.”
“Congratulations!” I grinned, “What a coincidence.”
The thought of the two of us at college in Alaska, over a thousand miles away, was something he definitely wasn’t excited about, but the game was about to start. “Fine” he muttered, “I’m going to go watch the game, Bella. Nine-thirty.”
“Er, Dad? Remember the very recent discussion about my freedom…?”
He sighed. “Right. Okay, ten-thirty. You still have a curfew on school nights.”
“Bella’s no longer grounded?” I asked with a perfected innocent, excited tone.
“Conditionally,” so long as she makes up with Jacob… “What’s it to you?”
“It’s just good to know… Alice has been itching for a shopping partner, and I’m sure Bella would love to see some city lights.” I smiled at Bella, knowing Charlie couldn’t object to an outing with Alice. I imagined a weekend “shopping trip” that would land her at my house for an entire weekend, away from Charlie’s glare.
“No!” his face flushed purple, and I was surprised by his objection.
“Dad! What’s the problem?” Bella objected to his objection.
“I don’t want you going to Seattle right now.” He said through clenched teeth.
“I told you about that story in the paper – there’s some kind of gang on a killing spree in Seattle and I want you to steer clear, okay?”
“Dad, there’s a better chance that I’ll get struck by lightening than that the one day I’m in Seattle-”
Not knowing her… with her scent and her luck, the newborn would find her within an hour of being in the city.
“No, that’s fine, Charlie. I didn’t mean Seattle.” I searched around for the newspaper, spying it on the other chair around the table. I quickly snatched it up, “I was thinking of Portland, actually. I wouldn’t have Bella in Seattle, either. Of course not.”
I quickly read through the article on the front page. There had been more killings. It was getting worse. I would have to stay close, just in case it decided to move out of Seattle, though logically that made no sense – with such a large supply of blood where it was.
“Fine” Charlie shrugged and stalked off toward the living room. The game was about to start.