Chapter 1-Lessons Learned
I traced the cold marble stone with a light and wandering finger, marveling, as I always did, at just how much like my own skin it was. Almost lazily, I traced the intricate letters, carved with careful effort on Edward’s part. He had done it for me, a lasting memorial, to one I had loved more than my life. The image of the cold body underneath the warm earth upon which I sat was more than I felt I could withstand. I could not feel the grass on this beautiful day, kneeling as I was on the damp soil. I did not know if anything would ever feel warm to me again. If the tears could have come, would have come, only then, could I really have let go and begun to accept all that had transpired in the past week.
For a vampire, time makes plenty of allowances, speeding up and flashing forward, yet it seemed that every detail of the past week was indelibly and excruciatingly etched in my mind. For the first time in a decade, time had slowed and moved at a pace that instead of wishing away, I wanted to hang onto with everything that I possessed. Edward had explained to me that there are very few things that alter a vampire. At the time of the change, all of the personality traits are set in stone, only changing when fate intercedes and sometimes at great cost to the vampire themselves. Edward falling in love with me had forever changed him as had the love of Carlisle and Esme, Alice and Jasper, and of course Rosalie and Emmet.
I had yet to experience a life altering event as I had already been in love with Edward and even my Nessie before I was reborn. But I now knew, that something so powerful had happened and it had caused my perfect life to veer dangerously off course, taking me with it, unwillingly, along for the ride, never to be the same again.
My mind flashed back as my fingers continued to trace the hard stone. So much turmoil, so much hatred, and so much confusion, at least on my part. Of course I was thankful to be alone, to dwell and rethink all that had happened to our family in the past weeks.
The memories were sharp and clear, just like a serrated knife, prodding my brain, poking it, digging and unearthing what I had shut away. I yearned for those dim human memories, struggled to hold on and recover some of what I had been. Shutting my eyes was useless but I found myself looking away as the sun cleared the clouds and covered me in its warming rays. I could not stand to look at my faceted skin, beautiful and cold, shining in the beams, warming my outside, but never piercing the ice that was my heart. For the first time in the ten years of my vampire existence, I loathed what I had become. Hated it, railed against it, and rejected it. I had not hunted in days and the weakness was no doubt a contributing factor to my scattered frame of mind.
From far away, I heard a throat clear, very quietly and almost tentative. Since I knew all of my family’s scents instantly, I knew, without turning around, that even though he had not taken a step toward me, Edward was letting me know that he was there.
Instinctively, I cast my mind out in his direction and let the feelings and hurt, the anger, the self-loathing free to find his mind and help him understand. I had been unable to this point to even think about these feelings myself, carefully shutting them into my “deal with later” drawer and letting everyone think that my biggest problem was just grief.
Now as I let the images and feelings swirl around his head, I let him feel my self-loathing and my temporary rejection of everything “vampire”.
He was of course at my side before I could get the first thoughts away from my mind, but instead of scooping me up to comfort me, he stayed standing, thoughtful and pensive as I covered him with my anguish.
We had made a pact a decade ago, after nearly losing each other to the Volturi, that we would never keep anything, feelings or otherwise, from each other. Since I had developed my skills of “showing” him all that was in my mind, it became habit and I never kept anything, even the darkest and most forbidden longings from him.
His expression was not the one of horror that I had imagined as I let my thoughts flow free. Every now and again he would seem to move toward me as if to comfort me, but then seemed to understand that for the first time in our relationship, I needed space and time to work through all of this.
The images became violent as I saw the horror of the murder over and over again, powerless to stop it and yet, knowing that I could not let it go without vengeance. This particular memory seemed to trigger something in him and it was only then that he knelt beside me and touched his perfect hand to my hardened face. I had only to look into his eyes and know that in spite of the feelings I was having now, the difficulties with my decisions, I had not made a mistake when I chose to spend the rest of my existence with this man, my angel, my only saving grace in this moment of everything lost.
I concluded my thoughts and drew back into myself as I tried to smile for him, the very reason that I was breathing today. His breath stole over me and in a single movement; he began to cover me with the kisses that always drove everything else from my mind. The need for him, became urgent and I felt myself pushing him down in to the grass, hoping he would lose himself in me right here, and help me forget, even for a moment.
“Bella love, I wish I could make you see how very much I need you right now.” he whispered, gathering me into his arms and moving us as one to a small grove of trees, where the cool and dark suited me perfectly.
“Edward” I cried as he began to touch me like the gentlest of raindrops on overheated skin. The torture was exquisite and I forgot all else, as the raindrops became a thunderstorm, bearing down on me, covering me everywhere, with his tongue and fingers in perfect unison. No matter how many thousands of times we came together, it never ceased to feel like the first time for both of us and the hunger seemed to consume us, never letting up.
I needed this like the grass around me needed rain and the birds above me needed to sing with the joy of their spring. I needed him and when we were joined as one, I realized that I could never trade my immortality if it meant living without this.
All too soon, we were both spent, but not out of breathe as he still covered me with his perfect body. I managed a half-hearted giggle as I glanced up and saw my shirt and a sock hanging in an overhead branch. Not so nearby, Edward’s jeans and sweater were flung halfway across the field and my shoes, were no where to be seen. As if on cue, my other sock dropped from overhead somewhere and landed right in Edward’s outstretched hand. I could hear him chuckling and for that moment, as he intended, I felt as if I was ready to begin another day and perhaps smile a time or two, if only for my families’ benefit.
Fully dressed in less than a second, we lay side-be side just looking into the others’ eyes in silence for a few moments. We had not made love, since the life-changing tragedy of a week ago and I knew that Edward was wondering what had changed today. I tried to collect my thoughts and then gently tracing his angelic face, I began to speak, although the voice did not sound like me at all.
“I am sorry for that visual attack. I could not really hold it in anymore and I knew that you were suffering as much as I was, so I needed you to know……” my voice trailed off as I sat up, wrapping my knees to my chest, something I had not done since my human days.
I could feel the lazy circles, rubbing my back and I closed my eyes, willing the bad thoughts to stay away, even for a few more moments.
I could also feel the pain, echoing mine that emanated off of Edward, giving voice to the complete intertwining of my being and his. We were just two half’s of a whole and had been for many years now. He also knew when to distract me and exactley how to do it. My self-hatred and anger was so hard for him to bear. Luckily he knew the one thing that would ensure my interest, if even for a few precious moments.
“Zafrina and Senna sent word that Renesmee is having a wonderful time in Peru and trekking at Iguaçu Falls, enjoying the coast in Argentina….” Edward started brightly.
Renesmee, her name hit me like a ton of bricks, like holding her for the first time so many years ago. None of her magic had worn off, only gotten stronger as she grew, first very quickly and then more slowly, her beauty strengthening and her heart expanding to include all of those she came in contact with. At the actual age of 10, she looked and acted 16 or 17, every protective father and imprinted werewolves’ nightmare. Her beauty was unmatched, although she seemed completely oblivious, preferring to be a tomboy, running with Jacob and the pack, climbing trees and wrestling mountain lions, writing in her journals which I made Edward promise not to “read”, and surprisingly enough, befriending Leah, and spending much of her free time, when she was not with Jacob, sitting in “our” meadow and talking to Leah about who knew what.
Wanna read more? Should I keep going? Is it any good? Anybody interested?