The one thing that mattered most to me had been taken away, ripping my dead heart out along with it. But that didn’t kill me, as much as I might wish it would. The pain might have ended with death.
But I survived, survived to live a half life, a life of pain, agony, and longing for that which was no longer mine.
It was my own fault, however, that all of this had befallen me. My fault for taking that which I had no right to take. If I hadn’t, my angel might still be alive.
Soon, however, I would no longer be.
I closed my eyes and waited for death to take me.
I stood outside the school, waiting impatiently for the sound of Bella’s monstrous truck groaning and moaning as it drove along the road. I wanted to see her again. I didn’t care that I had only left her room a couple hours ago.
I was even more impatient than usual today. It was Bella’s birthday, a day she’d been dreading all summer, something I never understood. Didn’t most humans look forward to their birthday? Didn’t most want to become an adult?
I knew what she wanted most, but that was one thing that I would never give her.
She wanted immortality. She wanted to be a soulless, bloodthirsty demon. I couldn’t destroy someone so pure, so beautiful, so . . . good. It was wrong.
Finally, I heard her truck wheezing up along the road and, if my heart still beat, it would have been flying as fast as a jet. I barely noticed Alice standing next to me.
I waited for her to park and she immediately turned to look at me. She smiled, but then scowled when she saw the gift in Alice’s hands.
She climbed out of her truck and slammed the door angrily and stomped over to where we were standing.
“Happy birthday, Bella!” Alice trilled in excitement.
“Shh!” Bella hissed irritably, glancing around to see if anyone heard Alice. I suppressed a laugh at the slight look of panic in Bella’s eyes.
“Do you want to open your present now or later?” Alice asked, ignoring Bella’s statement.
“No presents,” Bella growled.
“Okay . . . later then. Did you like the scrapbook your mom sent you? And the camera from Charlie?”
Bella sighed, unhappy that Alice refused to drop the topic.
“Yeah, they’re great,” she said without much feeling.
“I think it’s a nice idea. You’re only a senior once. Might as well document the experience.”
“How many times have you been a senior?” Bella asked, raising her eyebrows.
Bella finally turned her attention to me. I reached out my hand and she took it happily, her black mood vanishing for a moment. I gently squeezed her fingers, and she looked into my eyes. Her heart raced, and I smiled. I loved that I was able to have that affect on her.
“So, as discussed, I am not allowed to wish you a happy birthday, is that correct?” I said while tracing her lips
with my fingertip. I was hoping to “dazzle” her so maybe she would allow me to actually spend money on her present, but
it didn’t work.
“Yes. That is correct,” she said, her eyes slightly blank. I sighed. Why wouldn’t she let me wish her happy
“Just checking,” I said, running my hand through my hair. “You might have changed your mind. Most people
seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts.”
Alice laughed happily.
“Of course you’ll enjoy it. Everybody is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way. What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Getting older,” Bella said shakily.
My smile faded.
Why was she so persistent? Why wouldn’t she just give up?
“Eighteen isn’t very old,” Alice said, trying to cheer Bella up. “Don’t women usually wait till they’re twenty-nine to get upset over birthdays?”
“It’s older than Edward,” she mumbled, sounding as if her heart would break. I sighed. Why did she always have to bring this up?
“ Technically,” Alice said, managing to keep her tone light, although she was inwardly chagrined that she had brought up the whole “getting older” thing. “Just by one little year, though.”
Bella’s eyes just became sadder by what Alice said. Bella didn’t want to get older. She wanted to live forever as a monster, a blood-drinking mythical creature that had no soul.
I wasn’t going to take away her soul, as tempting as it might be to have her be mine for eternity. I knew she would die, and the thought had me despairing. I couldn’t lose her in that way. I couldn’t.
But so help me, I wasn’t going to damn her for eternity either. I wasn’t going to take away her soul. If I destroyed something so good and pure . . . I wasn’t any better than the other vampires who did feed on humans.
“What time will you be at the house?” Alice asked, hoping against hope that Bella wouldn’t put up a fight.
“I didn’t know I had plans to be there,” Bella said coolly. She didn’t want to celebrate her birthday in any way,
but it seemed wrong to ignore the day she was born. Her birth was definitely something that deserved to be celebrated.
“Oh, be fair, Bella!” Alice whined. “You aren’t going to ruin all our fun like that, are you?”
“I thought my birthday was about what I want.”
“I’ll get her from Charlie’s right after school,” I said to Alice, waiting for the explosion from Bella. Surprisingly, it
didn’t come in the way I expected.
“I have to work,” she protested weakly.
“You don’t, actually,” Alice said, her thoughts a trifle smug. “I already spoke to Mrs. Newton about it. She’s trading your shifts. She said to tell you ‘Happy Birthday.’”
“I—I still can’t come over,” Bella said. I could almost see her mind working frantically to find an excuse to stay home tonight. “I, well, I haven’t watched Romeo and Juliet yet for English.”
“You have Romeo and Juliet memorized,” Alice accused.
“But Mr. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it—that’s how Shakespeare intended it to be presented.”
I rolled my eyes. We all knew that she had seen the movie hundreds of times.
“You’ve already seen the movie,” Alice said, a trace of anger in her eyes, but she kept her features controlled.
“But not the nineteen-sixties version. Mr. Berty said it was the best,” Bella insisted.
It was too much for Alice.
“This can be easy, or this can be hard, Bella, but one way or the other—” she said furiously, glowering at Bella.
I cut her off before she could say anything that might offend Bella. I didn’t want Bella to be even more upset on her day.
“Relax, Alice. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can. It’s her birthday.”
Alice looked at me mutinously, pure disbelief and fury in her eyes.
“So there,” Bella said smugly.
“I’ll bring her over around seven,” I said, holding back laughter from the look on Bella’s face when she heard me
speak. “That should give you more time to set up.”
Alice’s thoughts were thanking me profusely, and I tried my best to tune it out. It got annoying very quickly.
“Sounds good!” Alice chimed. “See you tonight, Bella! It’ll be fun, you’ll see.” She grinned, kissed Bella’s
cheek, and danced away.
“Edward, please—” she began to say, her eyes pleading. I had to cut her off before she could persuade me to
let her get out of the party. If I did, Alice would kill me. I put one finger over her lips to quiet her.
“Let’s discuss it later. We’re going to be late for class.”
I barely paid attention to anything that day except for the beautiful ivory color of Bella’s skin, the way her
mahogany hair flowed down her back smoothly, the way the chocolate in her eyes always melted when she looked at
me . . . it was enough to keep me from going insane from the monotonous drone of the teachers. I already knew
everything they were talking about, anyway.
It seemed only moments later when I was walking Bella to her truck. But, instead, I opened the passenger
door for her. Alice had given me strict instructions to stay with her so she couldn’t try to run away to escape from the
party. I was more than happy to comply. Anything that involved me spending more time with Bella, I was happy with.
“It’s my birthday, don’t I get to drive?” she complained, pouting. I tried to ignore how beautiful she looked even when she was dripping wet from the rain.
“I’m pretending it’s not your birthday, just as you wished.”
“If it’s not my birthday, then I don’t have to go to your house tonight . . .”
“All right,” I said. I wanted to drive her, but her happiness came before what I wanted. I opened the driver’s door. “Happy birthday.”
“Shh,” she said, a trace of a smile on her face.
I climbed in on the passenger side and played with the radio while she drove home. Now was my chance to give her a hint as to what one of her presents was.
“Your radio has horrible reception,” I said, waiting for her reaction.
“You want a nice stereo? Drive your own car,” she snapped. I couldn’t help but smile. Her anger was so amusing, and I hardly ever got to see it, which I suppose was a good thing.
When she finally parked, I reached over to hold her face. I carefully controlled how tightly I was holding her, reminding myself what I could do if I wasn’t paying enough attention.
“You should be in a good mood, today of all days,” I murmured. Her eyes went blank, and she struggled to focus.
“And if I don’t want to be in a bad mood,” she asked unevenly.
“Too bad,” I said. I pressed my lips to hers and let myself revel in the sensation. Everything felt completely
right when I felt Bella’s mouth against mine.
I was reluctant to pull away, reluctant to bring myself out of the bubble of pure ecstasy that I was in. I couldn’t find the will to break the kiss until Bella’s arms wrapped tightly around my neck, holding her face to mine.
I couldn’t help but smile as I relinquished my hold on her face to unlock Bella’s arms from around my neck.
“Be good, please,” I breathed. I kissed her one more time, and then folded her arms across her stomach.
“Do you think I’ll ever get better at this?” she mumbled, mostly thinking out loud. “That my heart might
someday stop trying to jump out of my chest whenever you touch me?”
“I really hope not,” I said truthfully. I would miss being able to do that to her.
She rolled her eyes.
“Let’s go watch the Capulets and Montagues hack each other up, all right?”
“Your wish, my command.”
I lay down on the couch while Bella put in the movie, fast-forward through the previews and opening credits.
She went to sit on the edge of the sofa, but I wanted her closer. I wrapped my arms around her waist and held her against my chest. She snuggled into me happily as I took the blanket from the back of the couch and draped it over
her so she wouldn’t get cold.
“You know, I’ve never had much patience with Romeo,” I said offhandedly as the movie began.
“What’s wrong with Romeo?” Bella asked defensively.
“Well, first of all, he’s in love with this Rosaline—don’t you think it makes him seem a little fickle? And then, a few minutes after their wedding, he kills Juliet’s cousin. That’s not very brilliant. Mistake after mistake. Could he have destroyed his own happiness any more thoroughly?”
“Do you want me to watch this alone?” Bella sighed.
“No, I’ll mostly be watching you anyway. Will you cry?” I asked curiously.
“Probably,” she admitted sheepishly. “If I’m paying attention.”
“I won’t distract you, then.”
I kissed the top of her head, and could tell by the way her heart lurched that it was distracting her.
I whispered Romeo’s lines in her ear—he seemed to be her favorite of the characters—and gazed at her face
while she watched the film. I saw the smile on her face when Romeo and Juliet met, the tense expression when Romeo and Tybalt were fighting, and the tears in her eyes as Romeo and Paris fought.
Tears leaked out of her eyes when Juliet awoke in the tomb and found her husband dead.
“I’ll admit, I do envy him there.”
“She’s very pretty,” Bella said.
She thought I envied Romeo his wife? As if any woman could hope to draw my eyes away from the one who was in my arms.
“I don’t envy him the girl—” I said, disgusted. “Just the ease of the suicide. You humans have it so easy! All you have to do is throw down one tiny vial of plant extracts . . .”
My voice was teasing, but Bella’s eyes widened in horror.
“What?” she gasped.
“It’s something I had to think about once, and I knew from Carlisle’s experience it wouldn’t be simple. I’m not
even sure how many ways Carlisle tried to kill himself in the beginning . . . after he realized what he’d become . . .” I
realized my tone had grown serious, and tried hard to make it light. I didn’t want to alarm her. “And he’s clearly still in
She twisted around, her eyes suspicious.
“What are you talking about?” she asked. “What do you mean, this is something you had to think about once?”
“Last spring, when you were . . . nearly killed . . .” I felt my heart shattering at the thought of my Bella . . .
gone. It had been so close. If our plane had arrived a few moments later, if we hadn’t set out right away, Bella would have died. “Of course I was trying to focus on finding you alive, but part of my mind was making contingency plans. Like I said, it’s not as easy for me as it is for a human.”
She shook her head as she tried to understand what I meant.
“Well, I wasn’t going to live without you.” Wasn’t that obvious? I would never be able to survive in a world where Bella didn’t exist. “But I wasn’t sure how to do it—I knew Emmett and Jasper would never help . . . so I was thinking that maybe I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi.”
Bella’s eyes were still wide, but with fury.
“What is a Volturi?”
“The Volturi are a family. A very old, powerful family of our kind. They are the closest thing our world has to a royal family, I suppose. Carlisle lived with them briefly in his early years, in Italy, before he settled in America—do you
remember the story?”
“Of course I remember,” she said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world that she would remember her first trip to my house.
“Anyway,” I continued. “You don’t irritate the Volturi. Not unless you want to die—or whatever it is we do.”
Bella’s eyes were so horrified and afraid that it hurt me just to look at her expression. She placed each of her warm hands on my face and held it tightly.
“You must never, never, never think of anything like that again!” she said distraughtly. “No matter what might ever happen to me, you are not allowed to hurt yourself!”
“I’ll never put you in danger again,” I promised, “So it’s a moot point.
“Put me in danger! I thought we’d established that all the bad luck was my fault?” Her eyes were furious again, but I knew underneath the anger, there was pain and fear. “How dare you even think like that?”
“What would you do, if the situation were reversed?”
“That’s not the same thing,” she hedged.
How would it not be the same thing? I laughed at her obstinacy.
“What if something did happen to you?” Bella demanded, paling at the mere thought. “Would you want me to
go off myself?”
She would kill herself if something happened to me? Why? I was a vampire, for Pete’s sake! A blood-drinking monster! Why would she be willing to kill herself if something happened to me?
“I guess I see your point . . . a little. But what would I do without you?”
“Whatever you were doing before I came along and complicated your existence.”
As if I would ever be able to do that.
“You make it sound so easy,” I sighed.
“It should be,” she argued. “I’m not really that interesting.”
Not that interesting? If she wasn’t interesting, why were most of the boys at Forks High School infatuated with her? If she wasn’t interesting, why was I in love with her? Of course she was interesting; she was so much more . . . .
I wanted so badly to tell her, but I knew that it would only make the argument continue, which probably
wouldn’t have the best consequences.
“Moot point,” I said. Then I heard Charlie driving home in the police cruiser. I couldn’t hear his mind clearly, but I knew he would be furious if he found Bella lying on top of me. As much as I didn’t want to, I sat up and shifted Bella over to the side so we weren’t touching.
“Charlie?” she guessed.
I smiled knowingly. A few moments later, Charlie pulled into the driveway. Bella reached out and held my hand tightly in hers.
“Hey, kids,” Charlie said, grinning as he came in with a pizza box. “I thought you’d like a break from cooking and washing dishes for your birthday. Hungry?”
“Sure. Thanks, Dad.”
I politely declined the pizza Charlie offered me. I wasn’t willing to choke down the disgusting human food if I
didn’t have to.
“Do you mind if I borrow Bella for the evening?” I asked.
Bella looked at him, obviously hoping he would say she had to stay home.
Her hopes were in vain.
“That’s fine—the Mariners are playing the Sox tonight. So I won’t be any kind of company . . . . Here.”
He tossed the camera to Bella, and I didn’t need to be able to see the future like Alice to know that Bella wouldn’t be able to catch it. Sure enough, it bounced out of her fingers and fell to the floor. I reached down and caught it
before it could shatter onto the floor.
“Nice save,” Charlie commented. “If they’re doing something fun at the Cullen’s tonight, Bella, you should take some pictures. You know how your mother gets—she’ll be wanting to see the pictures faster than you can take them.”
“Good idea, Charlie,” I said as I handed Bella her camera.
She turned on the camera and peered at me through the lens. She clicked the picture.
“That’s good,” Charlie said. “Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn’t been over in a while.”
“It’s been three days, Dad,” Bella said, amusement and exasperation in her voice. “I’ll tell her.”
“Okay. You kids have fun tonight.”
I smiled triumphantly and, taking Bella’s hand, led her to her truck. I opened the passenger door for her and, to
my relief, she didn’t object.
I drove through town at a sluggish pace, trying a few times to unsuccessfully speed the old truck up. It moaned
loudly every time I tried to push it over fifty.
“Take it easy,” Bella warned.
“You know what you would love?” I said, without much hope. “A nice little Audi coupe. Very quiet, lots of
power . . .”
“There’s nothing wrong with my truck. And, speaking of expensive nonessentials,” she said, her voice taking
on a bit of her tiger-kitten anger, “If you know what’s good for you, you didn’t spend any money on birthday presents.”
“Not a dime,” I said smugly. I had gotten her a present, but, as she wished, I hadn’t spent money on it. I knew she thought that if I hadn’t spent money, I hadn’t gotten her a gift, but I wasn’t going to miss out on celebrating her birthday. Besides, if everyone else in my family was going to give her a gift, then I was, too.
“Good,” she said happily.
“Can you do me a favor?”
“That depends on what it is,” she said cautiously.
“Bella, the last real birthday any of us had was Emmett in 1935. Cut us a little slack, and don’t be too difficult tonight. They’re all very excited.”
“Fine, I’ll behave,” she said pouting.
“I probably should warn you . . .”
“When I say they’re all excited . . . I do mean all of them.”
“Everyone?” she gasped. “I thought Emmett and Rosalie were in Africa.”
“Emmett wanted to be here.”
“But . . . Rosalie?”
“I know, Bella. Don’t worry, she’ll be on her best behavior,” I said reassuringly.
I could tell it didn’t really help. I saw in her expression that she was thinking about Rosalie’s cold behavior
toward her. I needed to change the subject.
“So, if you won’t let me get you the Audi, isn’t there anything else you’d like for your birthday?”
“You know what I want,” she whispered.
Ugh, why did she always bring this up? This night was supposed to be happy!
“Not tonight, Bella. Please,” I begged.
“Well, maybe Alice will give me what I want,” she threatened.
I growled, and I could see it frightened her.
“This isn’t going to be your last birthday, Bella,” I promised.
“That’s not fair!” she cried. I clenched my teeth to control the retort.
I felt my anger start to melt away as I saw Bella’s horrified expression when she saw all of the decorations
Alice put up. The Japanese lanterns lit her face in a soft glow.
I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down as I remembered our argument.
“This is a party,” I reminded her. “Try to be a good sport.”
“Sure,” she muttered sarcastically.
I opened her doors and held out my hand.
“I have a question.”
I waited suspiciously.
“If I develop this film,” she began, looking at the camera in her hands. “will you show up in the picture?”
I laughed and pulled her out of the car.
Everyone was waiting in the living room. As soon as they saw Bella, everyone’s face lit up and they all
said “Happy Birthday, Bella!” in unison. Bella turned pink and stared at her feet. Her heartbeat sped up in her distress. I
wrapped my arm around her waist and kissed the top of her head.
Carlisle and Esme came up to greet Bella. Esme carefully hugged Bella and kissed her forehead
affectionately. Carlisle wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
“Sorry about this, Bella,” he stage-whispered. “We couldn’t rein Alice in.”
“You haven’t changed at all,” Emmett said from behind Carlisle and Esme. “I expected a perceptible difference,
but here you are, red-faced just like always.”
“Thanks a lot, Emmett,” she said, her face turning a deeper shade of red.
“I have to step out for a second”—he paused and winked at Alice very conspicuously—“Don’t do anything funny while I’m gone.”
“I’ll try,” Bella said sarcastically.
Rosalie watched as Emmett left and looked anywhere but at Bella. Alice released Jasper’s hand and danced forward. Jasper smiled at Bella, but stayed where he was, to my relief. He wasn’t as accustomed to this life as we were, and it was still dangerous to have Bella too close to him.
“Time to open presents,” Alice sang. She grabbed Bella’s elbow and dragged her over to the table that had the presents on it.
“Alice, I know I told you I didn’t want anything—” Bella began.
“But I didn’t listen,” Alice said, cutting her off rudely. “Open it.”
Bella tore off the paper and stared at the box in confusion. She apparently couldn’t tell what it was. She opened it, and looked even more bemused as she looked down into an empty box.
“Um . . . thanks,” she said, confusion still evident in her voice.
Rosalie actually smiled at Bella and Jasper laughed.
“It’s a stereo for your truck,” he clarified. “Emmett’s installing it right now so that you can’t return it.”
“Thanks, Jasper, Rosalie,” Bella said, a grin on her face now that she understood. “Thanks, Emmett!” she called more loudly, although she didn’t need to. He would have heard her even if she whispered. He laughed loudly, and she giggled in response.
“Open mine and Edward’s next!” Alice said, looking as if she was going to burst from excitement.
“You promised,” Bella said furiously as she glowered at me.
Emmett came in right then, saving me from Bella’s wrath.
“Just in time!” he exclaimed. He stood behind Jasper who had walked closer to watch Bella’s reaction.
“I didn’t spend a dime,” I reassured her as I moved a strand of hair from her face. Her heartbeat sped.
“Give it to me,” she sighed.
She stuck her finger under the paper while rolling her eyes at me. I tensed when I smelled something
incredibly sweet . . .
“Shoot,” Bella mumbled as the paper sliced her. She pulled her hand out and looked at her finger. A single drop of blood was oozing from the cut. Everyone’s reaction was instant. Jasper’s thoughts changed as he lost control.
“No!” I roared and I pushed Bella back across the table desperately. It collapsed and she landed on the floor in the midst of the glass.
Jasper slammed into my side, snarling. He tried to shove past me, snapping his teeth mere inches away from my face.
Emmett came up from behind and grabbed Jasper, holding him back. Bella looked up at Jasper with wide eyes, filled with fear. She shrank back before looking at her arm in confusion. It was then that I saw the blood.
She had landed in the glass, and her arm was cut from her wrist to her elbow. The scent of the blood called to me, torturing me.
No! I screamed at myself. No!
I held my breath, but I could still taste the scent on my tongue, and it was driving me mad. I couldn’t resist much longer, and I knew everyone else was reacting in exactly the same way.
Bella was in horrible danger.
Please comment! And, also, I can't update people. I can never remember who wants to be updated, so you'll just have to check back in. I have several other stories I'm focusing on, and while I have it in EPOV from when he leaves her to the epilogue, I don't have the beginning. I'm also very busy during this time of year with school projects and finals, and other stuff, so bear with me, okay? Check out my other stories, please! Go to my page to look!
I'm sorry everyone,I know it's taking forever for the next chapter, but after I get to the part where Edward leaves Bella, I've already got it written (I didn't originally have the preface, or beginning chapters). I've been really busy with school and other stories lately, but I PROMISE I will try to add more somewhat soon. Hopefully next week, because we have Terra Nova tests (they're like exams, but we don't study for them. They basically tell us and our teachers what we need to improve on) and the teachers aren't allowed to give us homework that week. So I'll have a lot more time to write.
The scent of Bella’s blood continued to attack me, taunt me, try to trick me. I felt the urge to lunge and fought against it. I wasn’t going to kill my Bella. I wouldn’t. I couldn’t. I barely noticed as Carlisle spoke calmly, but his thoughts were anxious.
“Emmett, Rose, get Jasper outside.”
Emmett nodded solemnly, and started to pull Jasper outside.
“Come on, Jasper,” he said. Jasper fought against him, snapping his teeth at Emmett. Any second now, he might bite
Emmett and Emmett would be so surprised he might release Jasper. A snarl ripped from my throat as I crouched defensively over Bella, holding my breath to resist her blood.
Rosalie—not at all concerned about Bella—helped Emmett push him outside. Esme held open the door, one hand pressed over her nose and mouth in an effort to resist. Her face was ashamed as she walked outside.
“I’m so sorry Bella!” she called, unable to meet Bella’s eyes.
Carlisle walked up to me calmly.
“Let me by, Edward,” he said gently. He reassured me in his thoughts that he was just going to stitch up her wound. I nodded slowly and relaxed. Carlisle walked past me briskly and knelt beside Bella, his fingers gently holding her arm,
“Here, Carlisle,” Alice said, her face calm and unworried, though in her mind, she was fighting against herself to control her thirst. She handed Carlisle a towel.
“Too much glass in the wound,” he said, shaking his head and rejecting the towel. He looked around and ripped a long strip from the tablecloth. His fingers twisted it expertly just above her elbow to create a makeshift tourniquet.
I could see Bella’s face paling from the blood. I remembered when she fainted during blood typing last year, and she hadn’t even drawn her own blood. How awful this must be for her! I felt a surge of guilt sweep through me, and I knew then that I had to do something to protect her from my world. It was too dangerous for her.
“Bella,” Carlisle said quietly, adopting the tone he used for very ill patients. “Do you want me to drive you to the hospital, or would you like me to take care of it here?”
Even half-faint, Bella’s answer was immediate and certain.
“Here, please,” she whispered.
“I’ll get your bag,” Alice volunteered, glad for a chance of fresh air so she could try to support her best friend.
“Let’s take her to the kitchen table,” Carlisle said, turning to me. He could have easily carried Bella, but he knew I would prefer to carry her there myself.
I took her in my arms easily, Carlisle standing by on the side, slowly stemming the flow of blood from her arm.
“How are you doing, Bella?” Carlisle asked.
“I’m fine,” she said, her voice steady, but her face still pale.
I felt another pang of guilt attach itself to me. I had brought this upon her. I should never have come back. If I hadn’t, she wouldn’t have been attacked by James, or put at risk by my own family.
Alice was waiting in the kitchen, Carlisle’s bag already sitting on the table. I carefully set Bella down in a chair. Carlisle pulled up another chair, and instantly began to work on Bella’s arm.
I stood by her side, fighting against myself, wanting to be here for her, to help her while Carlisle stitched her up, but not wanting to put her at risk with my thirst.
“Just go, Edward,” Bella said gently.
“I can handle it,” I said stubbornly, but it was getting worse, harder and harder to resist.
“You don’t need to be a hero,” Bella said. “Carlisle can fix me up without your help. Go get some fresh air.”
Carlisle put antiseptic on Bella’s arm, and she winced.
“I’ll stay,” I decided.
“Why are you so masochistic?” she muttered darkly.
“Edward, you may as well go find Jasper before he gets too far,” Carlisle said, intervening. I felt a scowl settle on my face. “I’m sure he’s upset with himself, and I doubt he’ll listen to anyone but you right now.”
“Yes,” Bella agreed. “Go find Jasper.”
“You might as well do something useful,” Alice chirped.
I scowled more fiercely, but ran outside, listening for Jasper’s thoughts. He was deep in the forest, and I
followed his scent. Emmett and Rose were sitting next to him. Emmett—being the most immature vampire ever—was
trying to make a joke out of Bella’s near death experience.
“Hey, Jazz,” he said. “No wonder Edward can’t keep his hands off her! Did you smell her?”
I felt a wave of anger and irritation pass over me, and knew Jasper wasn’t amused.
“Jasper,” I said quietly. Rosalie knew I wanted to speak to him alone, and she dragged Emmett away. “I don’t blame you at all.”
“You should,” he said, his eyes agonized. “I almost killed the girl you love. Edward, if I had killed Bella, do you think I could have lived with knowing that I had ended the life of my wife’s best friend, and the one person who’s changed my brother forever? You haven’t seen the changes we’ve seen in you, Edward. You’re happier all the time. You laugh more often, and it’s genuine now. You eyes have some light in them. Do you think I would have been able to bear being the end of all that?”
“But you weren’t,” I insisted. “You didn’t hurt her.”
“I almost did,” he whispered, anguished. I read his thoughts, and saw what he believed would have happened if I hadn’t seen the change in his mind. I winced at the thought of Bella’s limp, lifeless, cold body.
“See, Edward?” Jasper continued sadly. “I was almost the cause of that. I wouldn’t blame Bella if she never spoke to me again.”
“Bella’s not like that,” I insisted. “She would never hold a grudge against you. She understands how difficult it is.”
“I know. She would try to be nice to me, and it would only make it worse. I would prefer having her angry, rather than her compassion. I want her to hate me for what I almost did! I deserve it!” He was nearly shouting.
“Jasper,” I said. “You don’t want Alice to see you like this, and she’s headed this way. Calm down.”
Jasper took a deep breath, and tried to calm himself. He managed to compose his expression by the time Alice arrived.
“Carlisle is almost done,” she informed me. “Jazz . . .”
I left then, leaving them alone to speak. I raced back toward the house, and heard the tail end of the conversation going on inside.
“I wasn’t sorry, though,” I heard Carlisle say. “I’ve never been sorry that I saved Edward.” He must have told Bella about when I was changed. “I suppose I should take you home now.”
I was through the door then.
“I’ll do it,” I said. I controlled by expression, but the anguish was still there. I knew I had to confront myself soon to figure out what to do. I couldn’t let Bella stay half in my world, half in the human world. It wasn’t right.
“Carlisle can take me,” Bella said.
“I’m fine,” I said, no emotion in my voice. “You’ll need to change anyway. You’d give Charlie a heart attack the way you look. I’ll have Alice get you something.”
I walked out the door, deciding to go get Alice, onto find that she was already there.
“I know what shirt to get her,” she said. “Don’t worry, I’ve already seen that Charlie won’t be able to tell the difference. Oh, and Edward, if you seriously do what I’m getting flickers of you doing, I will kill you. I’m serious.”
With that, she danced toward the door, and I followed. Alice saw Bella and ran up to her.
“C’mon,” she said. “I’ll get you something less macabre to wear.”
She led Bella upstairs into Esme’s room and found the shirt that she knew would work. Bella changed into it, and I tried not to listen to their conversation, but I couldn’t help but hear.
“Alice?” Bella whispered.
“Yes?” Alice answered, her voice also quiet, though I could hear every word easily.
“How bad is it?” Bella asked nervously.
“I’m not sure yet,” Alice said tensely.
“How’s Jasper?” Concern was in Bella’s voice.
“He’s very unhappy with himself,” Alice sighed. “It’s all so much more of a challenge for him, and he hates
“It’s not his fault,” Bella said earnestly. No. It was mine. “You’ll tell him I’m not mad at him, not at all, won’t
“Of course,” Alice promised, and led Bella downstairs. I waited by the front door and opened it for her.
“Take your things!” Alice trilled, scooping up Bella’s two presents and shoving them into her arm that wasn’t
injured. “You can thank me later, when you’ve opened them.”
Carlisle and Esme said goodnight to Bella, sneaking glances at me several times, but they never fooled me. Bella’s eyes were anxious when she looked at my stony expression, but it was all I could manage through the guilt.
Bella walked quickly out of the house. I opened the passenger side for her, and she climbed in silently. I walked around to the front at a human pace and climbed into the driver’s seat, starting the engine. I drove down the long driveway, the silence both peaceful, and agonizing.
“Say something,” Bella begged.
“What do you want me to say?” I asked coldly.
Bella flinched, but spoke. “Tell me you forgive me.”
“Forgive you? For what?” I demanded.
“If I’d been more careful, nothing would have happened.”
Why did she always find a way to blame herself?
“Bella, you gave yourself a paper cut—that hardly deserves the death penalty.”
“It’s still my fault,” she insisted sadly.
“Your fault?” I said angrily, frustrated with the way she always blame herself, and frustrated with myself for even putting her in that situation. “If you’d cut yourself at Mike Newton’s house, with Jessica there and Angela and your other normal friends, the worst that could possibly have happened would have been what? Maybe they couldn’t find you a bandage? If you’d tripped and knocked over a pile of glass plates on your own—without someone throwing you into them—even then, what’s the worst? You’d get blood on the seats when they drove you to the emergency room? Mike Newton could have held your hand while they stitched you up—and he wouldn’t be fighting the urge to kill you the whole time he was there. Don’t try to take any of this on yourself, Bella. It will only make me more disgusted with myself.”
I was disgusted with everything I did. Whenever I was with Bella, I was putting her in danger. Everything I did put her in danger. When would it stop?
“How the hell did Mike Newton end up in this conversation?” Bella fumed.
“Mike Newton ended up in this conversation because Mike Newton would be a hell of a lot healthier for you to be with.”
“I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton,” she said earnestly. “I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.”
“Don’t be melodramatic, please.”
“Well, then, don’t you be ridiculous,” she retorted.
The silence stretched through the car again, and lasted until I pulled up to her house. I turned off the engine, but my hands clamped around the steering wheel.
“Will you stay tonight?” she asked hesitantly.
“I should go home.”
“For my birthday,” she pleaded.
“You can’t have it both ways—either you want people to ignore your birthday or you don’t. One of the other.”
“Okay. I’ve decided that I don’t want you to ignore my birthday. I’ll see you upstairs.”
She jumped out of the car and reached for her presents. I frowned.
“You don’t have to take those,” I said, not wanting her to be upset because she had gifts she didn’t want.
“I want them,” she said instantly, and I felt a smile start to creep up on my face before I beat it back.
“No, you don’t. Carlisle and Esme spent money on you.”
“I’ll live.” She picked up the presents and shut the car door. I was by her side in a second.
“Let me carry them, at least,” I said. “I’ll be in your room.”
“Thanks,” she said, smiling with relief.
“Happy birthday,” I said as I leaned down to kiss her. Bella stretched up on her toes in an attempt to elongate
the kiss. I smiled, and ran around the side of her house, leaping easily through her window and into her room. I sat on her bed and held her presents in my lap, moving them back and forth with my hands.
I didn’t listen to their conversation. I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts.
What was I going to do? I couldn’t stay with Bella, knowing with even more certainty that she was in danger even from my family. I wasn’t going to let Bella live in danger, and that was exactly what my family was. Danger. We all should have been dead, but through some twisted fate, we were all here today, as soulless, bloodsucking monsters.
I wouldn’t let Bella become one of us. I wasn’t going to steal away her soul, take away her purity, her innocence. I wasn’t going to spoil her. I loved her. It was the least I could do to protect her. But how?
There was only one solution. I had to leave.
She deserved a true life, not a life where she was always in danger. She deserved a human she could have children with, grow old with. She deserved a normal life, not a life where she was always in danger.
But how to convince her to let me leave? I knew she wouldn’t let me go easily, and it wouldn’t take much persuading by her to convince me to stay. No, I had to convince her in some other way.
At that moment, Bella entered the room at that moment, interrupting my thoughts. Her thin cotton pants and tank top pajamas on her body. Her hair was damp, and her skin was flushed from the heat of the shower.
“Hi,” I said sadly.
She walked over to me and pushed the presents out of my hands. She climbed into my lap, snuggling into me.
“Hi. Can I open my presents now?” she asked sweetly.
“Where did the enthusiasm come from?” I mumbled
“You made me curious.”
She picked up Carlisle and Esme’s gift, but I snatched it from her hands.
“Allow me,” I said, and I tore the paper off of it, handing her back the box.
“Are you sure I can handle lifting the lid?” she mumbled sarcastically, but I ignored her.
She looked in confusion at the papers for a moment, then a smile lit up her face in understanding.
“We’re going to Jacksonville?” she asked, excitement in her voice.
“That’s the idea.”
“I can’t believe it! Renée is going to flip! You don’t mind though, do you? It’s sunny, you’ll have to stay inside
“I think I can handle it.” I frowned. “If I’d had any idea that you could respond to a gift this appropriately, I would
have made you open it in front of Carlisle and Esme. I thought you’d complain.”
“Well, of course it’s too much. But I get to take you with me!”
“Now I wish I’d spent money on your present,” I said, laughing. “I didn’t realize you were capable of being reasonable.”
She moved the tickets to the side and reached for my gift. I took it away and ripped off the paper again, handing it back to her. She looked in confusion at the CD.
“What is it?”
I put the CD in her CD player, and pressed play. Bella waited silently, but when the first song began, tears began to fill her eyes.
“Does your arm hurt?” I asked worriedly.
“No, it’s not my arm. It’s beautiful, Edward. You couldn’t have given me anything I would love more. I can’t believe it.” She fell silent, listening to the music.
I had put some of my compositions on that CD. The first one was her lullaby.
“I didn’t think you would let me get a piano so I could play here,” I explained.
“You’re right,” she confirmed.
“How does your arm feel?”
“Just fine,” she lied. I saw her wince slightly.
“I’ll get you some Tylenol.”
“I don’t need anything,” she protested weakly, but I was already walking to the door.
“Charlie!” she hissed.
“He won’t catch me,” I whispered as I left. Ha. As if Charlie would ever be able to catch me. I flitted silently into
her bathroom, grabbed the pills, and a glass of water. I was back into her room before the door had swung shut.
Bella didn’t argue when I gave her the medicine, confirming my suspicion that her arm really was hurting her.
“It’s late,” I whispered, lifting her up and tucking her into bed. I lay down next to her on top of the blanket. She leaned her head against my shoulder and sighed in content.
“Thanks again,” she murmured.
The song shifted to Esme’s favorite.
“What are you thinking about?” Bella whispered. I hesitated, but decided to tell her the truth.
“I was thinking about right and wrong, actually.”
She shivered, but I could tell she wasn’t cold.
“Remember how I decided that I wanted you to not ignore my birthday?” she said quickly. She was trying to
“Yes,” I said warily.
“Well, I was thinking, since it’s still my birthday, that I’d like you to kiss me again.”
“You’re greedy tonight.”
“Yes, I am—but please, don’t do anything you don’t want to do.”
When it came to her, there were something things I didn’t want to do. But the biggest one was necessary. I
was leaving her.
“Heaven forbid that I should do anything that I don’t want to do,” I said as I lifted my mouth to hers.
I kissed her gently, as usual, but then something clicked in my brain. This was the last time I would feel her
lips against mine. I would have to try to detach myself from her, otherwise I would never be able to leave. That conclusion
had me pressing my lips into hers with more force, my fingers braiding themselves into her hair, securing our faces together. Her fingers twisted into my hair, too, and she pressed herself against me, crossing the lines I had set, but it didn’t matter. This was our last kiss.
I ripped myself away from her, laying back on the pillow, trying to control my gasping.
“Sorry,” I said breathlessly. “That was out of line.”
“I don’t mind.”
“Try to sleep, Bella,” I said, frowning.
“No, I want you to kiss me again.”
“You’re overestimating my self-control.”
“Which is tempting you more, my blood or my body?” she demanded.
“It’s a tie,” I said before I could stop myself. I grinned slightly, but sobered quickly. “Now, why don’t you stop
pushing your luck and go to sleep?”
“Fine,” she said, curling up against my chest. Her breathing deepened as she fell asleep, and I contemplated
what I would have to do.
I would have to tell my family. I knew they would support me, even if they didn’t like my decision. Alice would make a scene, but Carlisle and Jasper would talk sense into her.
Everyone would protest, tell me I was making a mistake, but Carlisle had offered to move when Bella’s scent had first been a problem. He didn’t hesitate to offer it. Now was when we truly needed to move. We needed to protect Bella from vampires.
I kissed Bella’s forehead and jumped out her window, running to my house. Alice met me at the door.
“ARE YOU CRAZY?” she screamed, already knowing my plan. “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS WILL HURT HER?”
“It’s the only thing we can do,” I told her coldly.
“No, it’s not!” she yelled. Jasper was by her side suddenly, trying to calm his wife down. I walked into the dining room and saw everyone sitting at the table.
“I suppose Alice probably told you what my plan is, but just in case, I’ll say it again. We need to leave Forks.”
“Why, Edward?” Esme protested.
“We need to protect Bella. She’s not safe in our world. I’m not safe for her.” I looked down, pain ripping through me. Jasper felt it and winced.
“Edward, she loves you. This will break her heart,” Esme said, compassion for Bella in her voice.
“She’s a human. She’ll move on.”
“But you won’t,” Alice pointed out.
“That’s my problem. I love her too much to let her stay in our world. She could have been killed today!” I
shuddered at the thought, and heard Jasper’s thoughts, full of guilt. “Jasper, this isn’t your fault. It would have come
“Yeah, right, Edward. If I hadn’t lost control, would you even have thought about leaving?”
“Ever since I met her, I knew I’d have to leave, but I wasn’t strong enough. I have to be now. I don’t have a choice. We need to leave.”
“Stop being so selfish, Edward!” Rosalie snapped. “Have you thought about us? Have you thought beyond the human?”
“Rosalie,” Carlisle intervened. “Edward has moved on without complaint before. We owe him this.”
Rosalie glowered at me, but fell silent.
“We’ll pack our things,” Carlisle said.
“I’ll stay,” I said. “I’ll need to tell Bella.”
“And I need to say goodbye!” Alice added, her eyes sad.
“No,” I protested vehemently. “It’s better for Bella if it’s a clean break. If you say goodbye, it’ll make it harder for
her. The only way I know of to get her to let go is to tell her I don’t love her. I can’t do it if you’re there.”
“Edward! She’s my best friend! I need to say goodbye!”
“Alice,” Jasper said quietly. “Listen to Edward. Do you know how much more pain it would cause Bella? It’s better this way.”
Alice looked anguished, but gave in. Everyone began to pack up their things, as Carlisle had already called
Tanya and her coven to ask if we could stay with them for a while.
I sat in my room, my head in my hands. I felt my heart ripping apart, pain coursing through me. I would have to hurt my Bella, but it was to protect her. I couldn’t back out now.
It was the beginning of the end, and it had never hurt so much.
this is awsome please keep me updated and maybe when u have time u could read my story
breaking dawn gone wrong
its about jacob a nessie durring breaking dawn and every that can go wrong does.
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