|Love Amongst the Ruins
Author: theladyingrey42 PM
Bella begins a new job at a university library, only to be haunted by dreams of earthquakes and the presence of a mysterious and tortured Edward. Can they rescue each other from their pasts, and maybe find love in the process? AU/AH, BxE.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 42 - Words: 335,214 - Reviews: 4,693 - Favs: 2,673 - Follows: 1,498 - Updated: 08-20-10 - Published: 07-15-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5219763
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, Edward or Bella. I just like to shake them up a bit from time to time.
It had all started out so well.
We had just begun to slip into a comfortable silence, and I swear to god looking up over those sexy fucking librarian glasses I had just about convinced myself I'd seen Bella making eyes at me. I wanted to take that pouty little lip of hers and fucking rip it from between her teeth with my mouth and pull her closer and run my hands along her …
And then suddenly all the flirting little glances were gone. And the panic in her eyes was real.
I didn't notice the first tremor except in her shaking hands. But I felt the second.
I was up in an instant, racing for the door before the vase on my desk could dance off the edge and shatter on the floor. We were sitting in my office, right next to a window for christsakes and I knew Bella had only lived in California for a short while but even she had to know that in an earthquake that wasn't good. But she didn't move. Or rather, she didn't go anywhere. Because she was sure as hell fucking moving. Literally. She was shaking even harder than the Earth below.
"C'mon, Bella," I yelled at her, bracing myself in the doorway against the sickening lurches of the ground below. I glanced into the hallway but it was empty. Why the fuck did we have to be here after hours for this kind of shit?
I didn't have long to ponder that before my eyes were drawn back to the interior of the office by the high whine of breaths coming too fast and too flurried and too rasping. Bella was a fucking ball on the little couch, her knees at her shoulders and her hands in her hair and her eyes wide open and not blinking and confused.
I swore under my breath and took three long strides away from the safety of the doorframe to her side. I shook her shoulder, growling, "Bella!" Her wide eyes snapped up to mine but there was no Bella there. Just fear and trembling and a child who didn't know what to do and all I wanted was to protect her and keep her safe.
My arms were wrapped around her shaking frame before I even realized I had decided to fucking do it. I felt the a burst of sheer adrenaline, punched through by a moment of fear. This was exactly what I wasn't supposed to do and exactly what I had to.
Lifting her up into my arms, I tucked her tiny head between my shoulder and my neck, and it seemed like she hardly weighed anything at all. I arched my back to shift her body to one side and took a step forward. And then my knees nearly buckled from the pain. Somehow I staggered us both to the doorframe, pushing her down and sitting her on the ground before I collapsed and did the same. I groaned as my head fell into my hands and there was blood in my mouth from where I had bit my tongue. I leaned my aching, screaming back against the side of the door and pushed one hand to where the pain intersected with muscle and gristle and spine. Trying to lift Bella was the stupidest fucking thing I had done in a long long time, and I could hear Carlisle in my head reminding me not to do that kind of shit and rambling about reinjury and unnecessary strain and blah blah blah.
But I knew I would do it again in a fucking second.
Because the instant we both sat panting on the ground I heard the tinkling of shaking glass from the direction of the window and watched as three small panes exploded and blew in. I saw jagged shards impale themselves within the leather of the couch and turned too quickly to see Bella's face.
I'd scarcely even noticed that the shaking in the ground had stopped. Because the trembling in the girl had not. It shook our feet, all tangled up together where I'd thrown us. And it shook me deep, someplace I didn't even know how to touch.
We sat there a long few seconds, me paralyzed by the screaming stabbing in my lumbar and her by whatever the fuck was going on in her mind and pushing her into that creepy fetal position thing. Finally I swallowed and pushed myself again against the pain. Because whatever was happening inside my body was nowhere near as bad as watching whatever was happening in her.
I dragged myself with my arms to the opposite side of the doorframe, agony ripping through me with every lurch and motion until I pulled myself up to sitting. She had tucked her face into her knees and she was still sobbing, her breath coming in jagged pants and whining mewls, her arms tight across her legs, just kind of locking her in. I crossed my legs and started reaching, ignoring every nerve that told me not to before I pulled the huddled ball of brown and blue and pale into my chest with another choking sob.
It was the first time I'd held her. Really held her. And I'm not going to pretend to be some fucking mystic here or anything, or try to tell you that she cured my pain. Because she didn't. But it almost felt like she did. Because for just a moment her head against my chest and our gentle rocking clouded out everything. Fucking everything.
So what could I do? I pulled her tighter and started cooing, rocking her back and forth against the shaking in her shoulders. And we stayed like that, her shaking and me just fucking whispering her name.
There was a part of me that wanted her to snap out of it. And there was another part - a darker part - that never wanted it to end.
A/N: The prologue is only meant to be a taste so it's a lot shorter than the rest of the chapters I have written so far. Hope it whets your appetite. If so, leave me a review and let me know. And if not ... well, I'd love a review about that, too. :) Thanks!