|Perchance to Dream aka Destiny's Children
Author: FantasyMother PM
The Cullens leave Forks after Edward encounters Bella, but he never forgets her. Meanwhile, Bella has vivid dreams about a man whose face she cannot see. Does destiny have something in store for them? AU, OOC. Co-written by Fantasy Mother and Lilliput.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 32 - Words: 100,616 - Reviews: 758 - Favs: 519 - Follows: 144 - Updated: 07-28-09 - Published: 06-14-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5137507
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. It is not being distributed for profit. Stephenie Meyer owns the copyright to the Twilight Saga. No copyright infringement is intended.
Reminder: This story is rated M and may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
10 months later
The air was still as I sat on the rock, watching the large flakes of snow softly drifting down around me. I held my hand out, noting how the snow didn't melt as it touched my skin. If I looked closely I could see the unique crystalline structure of each snowflake as it settled on my palm. Then a different glitter caught my eyes, and I glanced down at the antique diamond ring that graced my left hand. It had belonged to Edward's mother — one of the few keepsakes he still had. I felt honored to be wearing it, and wished she could know about us, and hoped that if she did, she would approve.
Movement caught my eye and I looked up to see Edward finishing off a deer, gazing at me with his mouth fixed to its throat, eyes smoldering with need and lust, primal and exhilarating, as I felt a surge of desire flash through my body. I was still getting used to this, the flood of emotions so powerful they could hardly be contained, my intellect fighting to keep control while my body responded as it had to, responded with a yearning to run to him now, crush him to me, take him as he takes me, right here in the snow. I closed my eyes for a moment, forcing myself to be in command of who I was, how I wanted to react. "I will not let it rule me," I chanted my practiced mantra, knowing with just a little more time Edward and I would be able to leave this forest and, with baby steps, walk once more in society.
But that kind of control had nothing to do with my desire for Edward. I tried to slow my breathing, and was so focused on my inner awareness I didn't realize Edward was standing in front of me until his luscious scent hit me, so much stronger than before I was changed. I opened my eyes and gazed into his, and in spite of feeding, his eyes were coal black, smoldering with lust. Overwhelmed, I could no longer control myself as I jumped into his arms, wrapping my legs around him as I sent us tumbling to the ground, into the snow, needing no body warmth to feel the heat threatening to burn us both.
Control be damned.
I crushed my lips to him, smooth and warm against mine. It was a difference I hadn't expected, and I loved it. No longer cold against me, Edward felt warm, lush, hot at times in a way I couldn't explain. His skin was just as smooth but it was softer under my fingers. It was a physical give and take that was both thrilling and insanely arousing.
I could not get enough of him.
Edward pulled back slowly, bringing us back to our feet, helping me control my urgent need by unbuttoning my shirt before I pulled too hard on it and destroyed it, and by slipping my jeans off without tearing them. I tried to follow his example, trembling with need all the while. I reached up and pulled his shirt over his head, and with shaking hands unbuttoned his jeans and lowered them to the ground. We both kicked our clothes out of the way, into the snow, far away from us. The wet snow wouldn't hurt them.
Edward turned his black eyes back to me as both of us returned to the moment, the raw lust, the passion that was like an electrical charge between us, drawing us back to the other without thought, without volition. Stepping up to him I reached my arms up and wound them around his neck, rubbing my naked body against his, feeling the uncontrollable rumbling in my chest harmonize with the purrs coming from his own. Softly rubbing against each other, feeling the fine hair on my body and the bronze hair on his rise with electricity, reaching out for the other as our movements became rougher, more frantic. Edward grabbed my hips, ground once against my pelvis and then threw us back onto the ground, into the snow, crushing my mouth to his, growling, frantic, as we rolled in the snow. Legs intertwined, bodies pressed together, hands soothing, feeling, touching, kneading while my lips ran down his neck, licking the muscles, tasting his scent, driving me upwards with unparalleled need as I wrapped my legs around his waist, pushed into him and whimpered.
"Now my love! Take me now!"
A snarl left his lips as he pulled his hips back, positioned himself and then drove forward, holding me tight, sliding us across the snow and ice as momentum flung us across the slick ground. Holding, grasping, whimpering, purring and growling the two of us loved each other, loved each other fully, gave and took our strength as we gave and took our souls, two lonely people reunited into one.
* * *
I stood at the open door, staring. My memory of her was surprisingly clear, considering it was a human memory and I had only seen her from a distance. Short dark hair, beautiful features, and petite. But what I never before noticed was her energy — it rolled off her in waves as she bounced on the balls of her feet. With a huge grin Alice shot forward and threw her arms around me, startling me, forcing me to use every ounce of control I'd developed not to react defensively. Hesitating at first, I finally allowed myself to return her embrace, and then gently pushed her away.
Her smile never faltered as she shot past me, running to her brother, leaving me to greet the tall blonde man who had just walked into view.
My memory of him wasn't nearly as clear, but I knew he was one of those who sat at their table at the Forks high school. Behind him, keeping their distance, were the other two from that table — a statuesque blonde woman and a dark-haired man so large and muscled I had to focus hard to keep myself from moving into a defensive crouch.
Carlisle and Esme had already arrived. The gathering of Edward's family was now complete, and I was self-conscious, embarrassed, uncharacteristically fidgety and more than anything else, scared to death.
And that's when I felt it.
A wave of calm rolled over me, as if a drug had just kicked in, and I couldn't help but relax into it. Taking a deep breath, I looked up at the blonde man still standing in the doorway, watching his face spread into a grin as he stuck out his hand.
"Finally," he said as his smile grew bigger. "I'm Jasper, and it is a pleasure to meet the woman who changed my brother's life." I took his hand, expecting him to shake it but instead he gave it a gentle squeeze and let it drop. We both just stood there, staring at each other. His eyes were soft and compassionate, and I felt myself relax even more as I remembered what Edward told me about Jasper's "talent." Grateful he chose to help me, I returned his smile and moved to the side, inviting him into our home. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as I feared. Then I turned back to the door, to the next couple waiting to approach.
Rosalie was a ravishing beauty, no question about it. But I was taken aback by the coldness in her eyes, the barely perceptible nod of her head as she squeezed past me and walked inside to join the others. I looked up at Emmett, who rolled his eyes at her before fixing me with a broad grin surrounded by adorable dimples.
"I'm Emmett, ignore Rose, and welcome to the family!" he exclaimed as he reached over and pulled me into a crushing embrace. For the first time since I was changed I staggered, overwhelmed by the strength of this large man. As quickly as he embraced me he let me go and bounced inside to pull Edward into a brotherly hug and then return to his wife's side.
Carefully, I closed the door, turned around, and faced the family reunion playing out before me. If my heart had been capable it would have been pounding out of my chest. If I could blush I'd be beet red. Instead I just stood there, feeling like a deer caught in headlights as seven pairs of golden eyes, one pair at a time, turned towards the door to fix themselves on one object. Me.
Another wave of calm hit me as Edward broke away from his family and walked over to me, wrapping his arm around my waist and pulling me to his side. He stood with me, side by side, and with a breathtaking smile caught the eyes of every member of his family.
"Thank you all for coming today, and thank you all for being here to witness the happiest day of my life." He glanced over at Rosalie, and then looked away to the others. "And for those who haven't met her before today, this is Bella — my mate." His voice resonated with pride as he made the next announcement.
"And who has consented to become my wife today."
Six pairs of eyes were now smiling at me as Edward pulled me even tighter against him, dragging me into the center of the room towards his family. Slipping behind me, he wrapped his arms around my waist, comforting me as I leaned into his embrace. With Edward behind me, keeping me grounded, each family member, save one, walked over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek. And as each finished giving me this formal greeting they found a place to sit, couples sitting together with large smiles on their faces, all with the exception of Rosalie. She looked to the side — at anything or anyone other than Edward and me. Edward told me she had issues with my decision to change, and he also told me she had her own issues with what she was. I could appreciate her feelings, but there was nothing I could do about them. Maybe someday Rosalie and I would come to an understanding, but it would not be today. So rather than let her attitude destroy this wonderful day, I did the only thing I could. I ignored it.
The last Cullen to approach me was Alice. She danced over to kiss my cheek and then pulled me into another huge embrace. Then she grabbed both my hand and Edward's and pulled us to a corner of the living room. She pushed us down into a loveseat while she took a chair facing us. Jasper wandered over and stood behind the chair, his hand on her shoulder.
Now I knew what Edward was talking about when he referred to her as a "pushy little pixie."
Alice gave Carlisle and Esme a knowing look, and then turned back to the two of us.
"It's time," she declared, her voice high pitched yet overlaid with musical tones. I gave her a puzzled look, and then glanced at Edward who looked as confused as I was. Then I saw understanding light up his face as he glanced over at the couple who had functioned as both his adoptive parents and best friends all those long decades. He looked back to me, wrapped his arm around my shoulders and returned his eyes to Alice.
"I want to know it all Alice, we need to know. At the very least, we want to know all you know." He voice carried a hint of tension that startled me, laced with an undertone of apprehension. I started to feel uneasy, wondering what she planned to reveal to us. The feeling grew when I looked over at Alice and noticed Jasper gently squeezed her shoulder, nodded at me and gave her some kind of signal.
"Bella, I'm sure that by now Edward has told you I am capable of seeing future events." I nodded, and she continued. "I also hope he told you it's not foolproof, it's subjective based on the decisions of the parties I see. If you change your mind, the future shifts, not unlike catching a moving target."
I nodded my head again, understanding what she was trying to explain. "Go on," I encouraged her.
She took a deep breath and lowered her eyes to her lap. Jasper gave her shoulder another gentle squeeze, and she glanced up at him gratefully before she returned her eyes to her lap. I took a moment to look around the room, and saw everyone's eyes riveted on her. All except Rosalie of course, who took great pains to appear bored.
"It was more than 7 years ago," Alice peeked nervously at Edward, and then dropped her eyes. "I had a vision of a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl, but no context in which to place her — just her face and a sense her future would intertwine with ours." Alice looked at me. "Bella, it was about a week before you moved to Forks."
I felt . . . odd. Violated was a word that came to mind, but I knew that wasn't fair. I suddenly realized how others might feel, exposed to Edward's ability to read their minds, and thanked whatever quirk made me immune.
"When I saw you in the cafeteria in Forks I recognized you, but I still didn't know how you might be a part of our lives, so I just stayed quiet. When Edward ran out of the school in the middle of the day I didn't know why he did it. It wasn't until that night that he told us he'd met his singer and needed to leave Forks immediately." Alice reached to her shoulder and covered Jasper's hand with her own. "That's when I had the second vision."
I could feel tension starting to roll off Edward. Leaning over and kissing his cheek softly, I whispered, "Let her explain, okay? She's your sister, and from everything you've told me, she would never do anything to hurt you." I snuggled into his arm, and felt him drop a kiss on the top of my head. He was still tense, but more in control of himself.
Alice looked at both of us, pain evident in her eyes. "It wasn't really a vision Edward, it was like nothing I've seen before. What I saw was a presence so powerful I couldn't see it clearly but, in my vision, it was looking at me." Edward started with this news, but I wasn't as clear as to why it was so unusual. "For the first time, I wasn't the observer," Alice explained. "Instead, I was the target of a message. It . . . it pulsed at me, and it told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was to stay out of its affairs."
"Its affairs?" Edward asked, his brow furrowed as he tried to puzzle out the meaning of those two words. I looked up and around the room. All eyes were trained on Alice — and this time, even Rosalie looked interested.
"I didn't know what that meant, Edward. All I knew was I'd never experienced anything like it before, had no idea what this thing was, and you had already left Forks." Alice gave a dainty shrug. "Staying quiet seemed like a good idea at the time."
As soon as Alice said the word "thing" I felt as if she'd hit upon a mental trigger as human memories started to cascade into my new mind. The thing at the gorge, the thing in my bedroom with Edward, the thing in Edward's bedroom the day he changed me. Startled, I looked over at Edward.
"I've seen it," I whispered. "So has Edward." Edward turned to face me, looking as shocked as I was, and then we both turned back to Alice, sitting there, eyes still downcast.
"Yeah, well . . . I'm not surprised." She gave a small shudder, and then continued.
"After we left Forks I'd still have occasional visions of Bella, but at first it was the same, an image and nothing else. That started to change after the first couple of years. I'd see the two of you . . . er . . . together, but it made no sense." Alice gave us an apologetic look. "It seemed as if I was seeing into the short term- future, but I knew you weren't nearby, and I believed Edward's . . . desires . . . didn't include sexuality." I felt Edward stiffen next to me, and my heart went out to him. My poor love was at least as embarrassed as I was, if not more so.
"Anyway . . ." she let out a puff of air, "this went on for years, always bits and pieces of the two of you, and it made no sense at all. You weren't here, Edward wasn't with you, but it didn't stop. I mentioned it to Carlisle and Esme, who agreed I should keep it to myself. The only other person I told was Jasper," she looked up at her husband, "because he had been feeling explosively conflicting emotions from Edward for years. With the message I had received, I thought it would be a good idea if he kept quiet too."
Edward took a deep breath and lowered his head, and I reached over and rubbed his back, trying to soothe him. I knew how painful that period had been for him — maybe more for him than for me. I thought he was simply a product of my imagination, whereas he knew I was real.
Edward raised his head, gave me a quick kiss and then looked at his sister's bowed head. "What did you see on the day you collapsed at Binghamton high school?"
She still refused to look at him. "As we were getting into the car that day I was hit with a vision of you and Bella and . . . Bella was one of us, then she wasn't, then . . ." Alice glanced at me before continuing, "then she was dead, and then she wasn't. It was rapid fire, scene after scene, completely disorienting, and then it suddenly stopped."
"That was the first day I saw her," Edward whispered. "That was the first time I saw Bella since Forks."
"Yes," Alice spoke quietly. "I've learned since . . . but that's not all I saw." She took a deep breath.
"The vision stopped because that . . . thing was there again, and it seemed like more than a simple request this time. It was demanding, emphatic, almost like the two of you belonged to it . . . that's not the right word. More like its charges, or its children." Alice shuddered and Jasper now had both hands on her shoulders, massaging gently, trying to ease the memories of her pain.
"Edward, I'm sorry. It's like nothing I've ever seen before, or felt before. I didn't know what it was capable of doing, and so my only choice was to do what it asked — stay out of its affairs. Again, I told Carlisle and Esme and, of course, Jasper, but I didn't tell them what I saw before it interrupted my vision. I just passed along the warning to stay as far away as possible from whatever was going on with you." She raised her head, eyes pleading for Edward to forgive her. "I had no choice . . . please believe that. Its warning was just so powerful, so authoritative, that it stunned me. I was on the ground before I knew what happened."
I couldn't just sit and watch Alice suffer any longer. I ran over and I dropped to my knees in front of her, throwing my arms around her and pulling her into a real embrace. From everything Edward told me Alice always used her gift to help protect the family. The pain of being forced to remain quiet, and for so long, must have been devastating. Alice grabbed me with surprising strength, and I could feel her remorse in her embrace.
I slowly pulled away and looked back over at Edward. He was staring at the two of us, wide- eyed but calm. Holding out his hand for me, he gestured for me to return. I sat down next to him and moved back into his warm embrace. Glancing around the room, I noticed Emmett looked stunned. Rosalie had returned to bored.
Edward stared into space, rubbing his chin, and then leaned forward. "There have also been some other . . . anomalies." I nodded my head emphatically, encouraging him to continue.
"For years, Bella and I were connected through her dreams, and through my own . . . fantasies about her." Edward shifted uncomfortably, but I knew it was the time for the truth, all of it. "It wasn't until Bella was diagnosed with her illness that we put two and two together, and learned that my fantasies about her were infiltrating her dreams." He stopped for a moment, trying to formulate his thoughts.
"But it was a two way street, because Bella was able to connect to me through her dreams while I was hunting."
I nodded in agreement and added, "I was actually inside Edward's mind during the hunt, in my dreams, and it started the day I moved to Forks, before I even saw him at the school. And from what Edward's told me, he was able to feel my presence, but didn't know what it was." I looked around the room, and almost laughed when I saw 6 pairs of shocked eyes — Rosalie no longer looked bored.
Edward continued, "And what was most puzzling of all . . ." Edward's his voice got low, as if he was almost afraid to say it. "What was most puzzling was how we were able to establish this kind of connection when I can't do something as simple as read Bella's mind."
The room was filled with stunned silence.
I filled the lull in the conversation by continuing our explanation. "For a long time, I thought something was wrong with me. In fact, when I got my AVM diagnosis, I thought my condition was the reason I had been able to connect with Edward in my dreams. And I also wondered if it was related to him not being able to hear my mind, because my brain was so different than everyone else's."
Carlisle, who had been listening calmly to what we were saying, leaned forward in his seat and interjected, "The brain is by far the most mysterious organ in the human body. We know so little about it compared to other organs. Your theory doesn't sound altogether implausible, Bella."
Edward glanced over at me, and I nodded for him to tell them more.
"Bella's condition was certainly rare and it made her brain unique, but I don't think her AVM can explain everything that happened between us — or maybe any of it," he said.
Carlisle looked intrigued as Edward said, "Some physical objects were being transferred during our fantasies and dreams. A button from my shirt, a scarf . . ." Edward chose to omit what I had revealed to him about the blood and the impressions on my bed, or our scents being transferred to the other. I looked at him, and thanked him with my eyes.
Each person seemed lost in his or her own thoughts as the truth of what went on those six years was revealed. Then, one by one, I watched each person turn around until everyone was staring at Carlisle, the patriarch — the one among them who had lived this existence the longest, and who seemed completely lost in thought. Slowly, he gathered himself together and looked from Alice, to Edward, and then finally to me.
"The three of you have seen the powerful force, am I correct?" I was about to answer Carlisle's question when I heard a gasp from Edward. Turning to face him, his eyes were wide, his mouth was open. He turned to me with a huge smile.
"It did it." Edward said emphatically.
I looked at him, not understanding what he was referring to.
"Bella, remember the time it came to me and forced me to feel how upset you were?" The others looked puzzled but he ignored them. "It channeled your emotional state directly to me. It didn't just tell me you were upset, I was experiencing it with you."
He grabbed my shoulders, his eyes intense as he gazed at me, a look of wonder on his face. "I think it was responsible for the entire connection, from the very beginning. Every aspect of it, everything that's made no sense to us — all of it created and maybe even manipulated by it. My fantasies, your dreams within them, the transfer of physical objects . . ." he trailed off, returning to his thoughts.
"But why?" I whispered to him. "Not that I'm complaining, but why us?"
"Destiny." It was Carlisle's voice, surprising us all, a small grin on his face.
"It makes sense." He turned to face us, leaned forward and clasped his hands in front of him. "Whatever it was established a paranormal connection between the two of you, and it warned Alice — the only one who might have seen what was happening — to stay out of it. From everything Edward just said it looks as if you both were nudged in this direction for years." He smiled at us. "And I'm willing to conjecture there were even more incidents than you have revealed."
I dipped my head, somewhat embarrassed, but Edward drew me to him and placed a soft kiss on my temple. He looked back to his father.
"Carlisle, what do you think might have happened had Alice ignored the warnings, or if either Bella or I didn't proceed in the direction it set forth?"
Carlisle looked thoughtful for a moment. "I'm not sure you or Bella really had a chance of falling off this path. From what you've told me, any time things didn't go the way they were supposed to, it stepped in and personally corrected it — even revealing itself to you when necessary.
"If Alice had ignored its warning?" He shook his head. "I don't know what the consequences may have been, and I'd rather not think about it."
As I listened to Edward's theories, and Carlisle's conjectures, I knew I was hearing the truth. It was a key slipped into a lock, a final puzzle piece snapped into place. It felt so right it was almost a physical reaction to their words. I grabbed Edward's hand, and turned to his father.
"Carlisle, what do you think it is and, again . . . why us?"
"Bella, I honestly don't know what it is, except it's powerful beyond our understanding, and seemed quite intent to get the both of you to this time and place." He stopped a moment, and then continued."
"Why the two of you? It could have been something as simple as offering you both this extraordinary happiness. It also could be something as simple as, this was the only way it could keep you, Bella, from dying from your AVM."
He frowned. "Maybe it was repairing a universal breach. I honestly don't know, nor do I know if it's finished with you."
"Destiny." Edward repeated the word Carlisle had said earlier. "What if Destiny was a more than a concept? What if it was a conscious entity?" He pulled me closer to him, as if he was trying to protect me from something we both knew was impossible to fight.
The room fell silent once again, each of us caught in our own thoughts, all knowing we could speculate all night yet still not find any concrete answers.
I looked out the window at the setting sun, realizing how long we'd been talking, and how late it was. As if she could read my mind, Alice stood up and bounced over to me, holding her hand out.
"Enough philosophical talk, it's time to get this show on the road." I looked up at her, and then over to Edward — who in spite of all the drama of the afternoon managed to give me one of his breathtaking smiles. He leaned into to me, whispering in my ear while giving my earlobe a lick with his tongue.
"Go with her, my Bella, soon to be my wife."
I gave Edward a quick kiss on the lips and stood. I grabbed Alice's hand, snatched Esme as I walked by, and led the two of them to our bedroom to help me get dressed.
It was an understated dress of white, eyelet lace — sleeveless with a dropped bodice, flowing gracefully to the floor. It wasn't formal. It was instead elegant in its simplicity. It spoke of sunshine in a meadow full of wildflowers. It was a dress I could run in, in that meadow. It was a dress I'd lay in, flowers around me, lover at my side, and watch the clouds move by. It was a dress I'd go barefoot in, and indeed, I planned to get married with no shoes on my feet.
The dress was a gift from Esme. The bouquet of wild orchids held in my trembling hands came from Alice, who had hidden it away until this moment. I stood just outside the living room entryway, knowing only a couple of steps would take me to the man who would, this day, become my husband as well as my mate.
Taking a deep breath I took those steps, into the room where Edward waited for me. Carlisle stood with him, officiating. I knew the other family members were there, witnessing. But I couldn't see anything or anyone else. Just Edward. My lover for seven years in dreams and real life.
He'd dressed as I'd asked, wearing a loose, white linen shirt and ivory pleated pants. Like me, his feet were bare. As I walked towards him I was stunned by the beauty of his face, of his body — but more than anything, by the beauty of his soul shining through the love in his eyes.
Our bond as mates had needed no declaration — it simply was. Edward and I were two pieces of the same soul and no words ever uttered could suffice to encapsulate everything that meant. Today we would give our vows in front of friends and family, and our bond as husband and wife would be added to the threads that tied us to each other.
"Love," he whispered, holding his hand out for me as I walked to his side. Grabbing his hand and turning it over, I kissed his palm. He cupped my cheek, and bent down for a gentle kiss.
There was nothing for Carlisle to say, for nothing needed be said. I turned to Edward and, taking the ring I was clutching, took his hand from my cheek and slipped the ring onto his finger.
"My husband . . ." I whispered.
"My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have for both are infinite." *
I kissed the ring, and then reached up and kissed his lips. Smiling, Edward dug deep into his pocket, and pulling out a wedding band that matched my engagement ring, gently took my left hand and slipped it on, nestling it next to the diamonds and filigreed gold. He kissed my rings, and then turned his beautiful eyes to me. Taking a deep breath he reached out and stroked my cheek.
"My wife . . ." he sighed.
"Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom." **
*Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
** Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare
Yeah, that's it, and I do hope you enjoyed it My thanks to all of you for your wonderful and astonishing support for this first attempt. And most of all, a big thank you to my co-author, Lilliput.
Lilliput and I will be branching out individually for now, so if you want to keep up with the continuing adventures of whatever we write, put us, individually, on author alert.
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Again, thanks to all of you. Your response has made all of the hard work worth every drop of sweat.