Author: verseseven PM
When Bella's mother dies she moves to live with her father in Forks. She is overwhelmed with grief. Who will comfort her? Twilight AURated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 15 - Words: 35,904 - Reviews: 338 - Favs: 187 - Follows: 95 - Updated: 09-05-11 - Published: 08-17-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7298529
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Thanks for joining me on this journey of Consolation! Special thanks to Simaril for her help this this chapter.
I'd also like to thank readers who have been with me from the beginning, supporting this story – favludo, danimcket, Sheeijan, jansalis, AbbeNormal, DutchGirl01, Lilypad10, IThinkINeededThat, Sonja Cullens, sandy4321, mountainlion718, Svtwilfan, and NurseJakki.
Edward stepped away from me to shut the curtains.
"Are you sick?" I asked, blood draining from my face. I lost Renee and Charlie…I couldn't lose Edward. Did he have a skin disease or cancer?
Seeing my concern, Edward quickly turned back and took my hands into his.
"No, I'm not sick. I'm immortal."
My mouth dropped open. "As in, you can't die?"
"Well, I can die, but it's very difficult."
The crazy thing was, I didn't think Edward was being crazy. I believed him.
I glanced towards the door. "Should we let your family inside?"
Edward shook his head. "They heard our conversation and decided to not intrude. Let's sit down."
We sat down on the bed. Edward was more nervous than I had ever seen him before; he would sigh, stare at the ground, then look at me. Repeat.
"Just tell me," I blurted out. He responded just as I finished speaking.
"I'm a vampire."
I raised an eyebrow. "Vampire?"
Edward nodded. "My entire family and I….we're vampires."
How was I supposed to process this? "Okay," I replied simply.
Edward began to tell me the story of his transformation, described what it meant to be a vampire, and how his family was different from others because they fed on animals instead of humans.
"But, I am dangerous. Very dangerous. When I saw you in Biology the first day of school, I wanted to kill you. Your blood sangto me."
We were sitting so close, but I wasn't scared. "Am I tempting you now?"
He shook his head. "Something changed when you were almost killed in the car accident. The reality that I almost lost you shook me to my core….and the bloodlust ceased. It's still tempting, but I don't think I could ever hurt you."
"But, it's a possibility," I stated, knowing it was true.
Edward frowned and nodded, looking sad.
"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" I asked. I didn't feel like the family had liedto me, but it kind of hurt that they didn't trust me enough to tell me.
"I was afraid you would reject us," he answered honestly.
I sighed, soaking in this revelation. The Cullens had been very good to me. While it was beyond belief they were supernatural, it sort of made sense. It explained all of the quirks I had noticed about them. And in all the time I had spent with the family, I never once felt unsafe. They were the most kind, loving people I knew. Especially Edward.
"What are you thinking?" he asked.
I pursued my lips. "I'm thinking…..it doesn't matter."
"What doesn't matter?" Edward looked hopeful.
"It doesn't matter to me that you're a vampire."
I shook my head. "No."
I wanted to say more, put my feelings for Edward into words, but the door opened and the Cullens streamed into the room.
"We couldn't wait," Alice exclaimed, rushing to hug me. "Bella, I'm so glad that you know."
I looked at Alice, then Jasper, Carlisle and Esme. "I'm sorry I made you go to so much trouble….but thanks for coming to find me."
"What happened with your truck, dear?" Esme asked.
I repeated an edited version of what I shared with Edward, of how I decided to scatter Renee's ashes and then wanted to do something symbolic for Charlie. I was afraid of their reaction, but they weren't judgmental and only assured me they were glad I was safe.
"Shall we go home?" Carlisle asked us all, but looked at me in particular.
Edward couldn't take his eyes off me and remained by my side as we left the lodge and got into their SUV. Instead of driving back to Phoenix, we drove to a small airport nearby. A private plane flew us back to Forks and by the early afternoon, we were home.
Something had shifted between me and Edward. The wall that separated us had been removed and I eagerly accepted his embrace as we waved goodbye to the family. I was anxious to be alone with him.
"Are you tired?" he asked.
I shook my head. "Not really."
"Want to go for a run?" he asked, with a mischievous smile.
"Um…I don't really run. I'm not athletic."
"I'll carry you."
"Do you trust me?"
Edward's eyes smoldered and it sent a shiver of delight down my spine.
"Yes," I replied, immediately.
Edward pulled me on to his back and I held on for dear life as he began to run. At first it was scary, I closed my eyes, but as he continued to run, I decided to be brave and open my eyes. After awhile, it became exhilarating. Edward was laughing and it made me happy to see himhappy. Until twilight, we spent time in the forest, running, climbing trees, talking and laughing.
"I want to take you on a date," Edward told me, as we walked hand in hand down a trail leading to my house.
"A date," I repeated.
"Yes….I want to court you."
I blushed. Courting was such an old fashioned term, but I definitely wasn't opposed to the sentiment.
"I'd like that," I replied shyly.
A smile spread across Edward's face.
Returning to my house, Edward insisted on cooking me dinner and then we curled up together on the sofa and spent the rest of the night talking. I fell asleep in his arms and when I woke up the next morning, I was in my bed. Edward sat in the rocking chair in the corner and I jumped up and threw myself into his lap.
"You stayed!" I exclaimed.
"It wasn't my first time," he confessed, with a smile.
"What do you mean?" I would never forget how he came through my window the night of Charlie's funeral, but he had never spent the night after that.
"I like to watch you sleep," Edward admitted, with a shrug.
Instead of feeling as though my privacy was invaded, I felt comforted knowing that he had been with me, even though I didn't realize it.
I blushed and when I looked up at Edward, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being truly loved.
For the rest of the summer, I spent every moment with Edward. We were either at my house or his and when I returned to volunteering at the library, he joined me. There were many dates, to Port Angeles, even Seattle, and we spent time with the family playing games or watching movies or just simply talking. I felt them relax more around me, show more of their "true" selves, and I did the same with them.
It was the happiest summer of my life.
I still missed my parents, but instead of isolating myself, I would talk to Edward about how I was feeling. Sometimes, I even talked to Jasper, who I was told had the gift of influencing emotions. He didn't try to manipulate mine, but he helped me understand them. I told Jasper he'd make a great therapist, and he laughed hysterically.
My senior year began and Edward charmed the school secretary into changing his schedule to be identical to mine. I was glad school wasn't an obstacle preventing me from spending time with Edward. My birthday was difficult. It was also the anniversary of Charlie's death. I stayed home from school that day, with Edward, of course, and he helped me through it.
At Christmas Emmett and Rosalie returned and I was happy to see them. It was another celebration with extravagant presents. The family bought me a car….a Mercedes…the kind which apparently had the ability to withstand military fire arms and was armored…government officials rode in this kind of vehicle. It was difficult for me to accept. It was sometimes hard to believe they cared about me so much and such a generous present threw it even more off balance. But, they were all very excited to give it to me and I didn't want to hurt their feelings.
With spending every moment with Edward and then driving a Mercedes, gossip at school began to emerge saying that Edward and I were living together. It was scandalous for a small town and small high school. And technically, we were living together, I guess. He spent the night with me every night, although occasionally I stayed over at the Cullens house with Alice if Edward was hunting.
But, we weren't sleeping together, which is what the gossip was implying. It bothered Edward because he felt the rumor was disrespecting my honor. As for me, I didn't really care….part of me actually wished it was true. Edward was driving me crazy. Every touch and kiss from him left me wanting more. However, he put careful boundaries on our physical relationship, out of fear that he would hurt me. Knowing that Edward was a vampire didn't really change that much about our relationship, except for these "boundaries." But, it didmake me aware of why Edward was so gentle and careful. He was terrified of hurting me.
At graduation, sitting in my cap and gown, I had an ah-ha moment. When the principal called Edward's name and he walked across the stage, as he took his diploma, he looked directly at me in the crowd and smiled. My heart skipped a beat and I blushed. Since I had opened my heart to Edward, he constantly dazzled me and made me feel completely undone. How did I get so lucky that he wanted to be with me? I watched him walk back to his seat and sit beside Alice, who had just received her diploma, and I realized this wasn't this first time either of them had graduated high school.
Time was passing for me, but it wasn't for Edward. I would turn nineteen in the fall, but he would always be seventeen. I was going to become old, but Edward would be forever young.
When it was time for me to walk across the stage, I tried to smile, but my thoughts bothered me. When I glanced at Edward and Alice, as I passed by, they obviously noticed that something was wrong, more than just embarrassment from the attention of being on stage.
After the benediction, my classmates were excited and several came to hug me and revel in our achievement. I hadn't grown particularly close to anyone, but I still associated with Jessica, Angela, Mike and Eric. We posed for pictures and they exclaimed in various ways how happy they were to be finished with high school. I began to wonder where Edward was, until I noticed he and his family waiting for me at the back of the auditorium. I said my goodbye to my friends, then went to join the Cullens.
"Your parents would have been very proud of you, Bella," Carlisle greeted, with a hug. "I know that we are." Esme hugged me as well.
"Thanks," I replied, looking at the family's smiling faces. "This is what, your eight graduation?"
Emmett laughed. "More like eighteenth..."
Everyone found this amusing, but me. It made me uncomfortable, but I tried to smile.
"Would you like to go out to dinner to celebrate?" Edward asked.
I shook my head. "No, we can just go back to your house."
Edward put his arm around me and led us to his car in the parking lot. As soon as we were in the car, he looked at me.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
At first I thought of denying I was feeling weird, but undoubtedly Jasper had noticed my emotions and either avertently or inadvertently told Edward.
When I didn't respond immediately, Edward tried to guess.
"You miss your parents."
It was true. I didmiss them. Of course, I thought of them as I graduated, wondering what they would have said, if Renee would have cried, if Charlie would have been proud.
"Yes, but…" it was awkward to admit. I paused and then went for it.
"I'm growing old and you're not."
Edward's face remained even. "Yes," he agreed.
"That bothers me," I admitted.
"I won't ever leave you, Bella," he reached out to hold my hand. "I'll stay with you always."
I sighed. "Will you stay with me when I'm 60 and everyone thinks you're my grandson?"
"I don't care what people think."
I turned to face Edward directly. Knowing his greatest fear, I felt that I was being unkind, but it had to be said.
"I'm going to dieone day….and you're not. You'll get to live without me, but I'll have to die and be separated from you." I pulled my hands away from his and felt like pouting. "It's not fair."
Edward closed his eyes and breathed deeply, scrunching his nose as if he had a headache.
"When you die," he began speaking slowly. "I will soon follow."
I slapped him on the arm. "What does that mean?"
He opened his eyes and seemed amused that I hit him.
"It means that I'm not going to live without you, either. I'll go to the Volturi and ask for death. They've granted it to others who have asked."
I glared at him. "No, no, no, no. You're not allowed do that Edward!"
"I can't live in a world where you don't exist" he replied, simply.
"Then, change me," I blurted out.
Edward's eyes widened. He did not expect me to say this.
"You want to become a vampire?"
"I want to be with you forever," I replied, lowering my voice, as well as my eyes.
Edward lifted up my chin, to stare deeply into my eyes.
"You don't know what you're asking," he sighed.
I frowned and shifted my body to look out the window.
Noticing my bad mood, Edward started the car. "Let's continue this conversation at home."
The ride was silent and when we arrived at the Cullen's house, I stormed inside, not bothering to say hello to anyone. As I pounded the stairs to the third floor where Edward's bedroom was located, I could hear Emmett greet Edward.
"What did you do, Edward?" he asked, laughing hysterically.
"We just had our first argument," Edward replied.
Emmett laughed some more. "About what?"
It was silent, then, and no more laughing. They were probably talking too quietly for me to hear.
Edward joined me in his room, moments later, carrying a tray of food.
"Would you like dinner?"
"I'm not hungry."
He didn't try to argue with me, but put the tray on his desk and joined me in sitting on the small sofa in his room.
Edward sighed. "In the process of becoming a vampire, you spend three days being tortured by fire. Words cannot express how brutal the pain….and I love you too much to ever allow you to experience it."
I remained silent and he continued. "And then there is the bloodlust…it dominates every other thought and desire…for many years. Learning control is difficult. It didn't come easy for any of us…and then we have to fight the monster within us every day for eternity."
I still refused to look at him.
"We're frozen in time, never changing, always the same. You'll watch the people that you love around you die, but you continue to live."
I glared at him, shocked. "The people I love have already died...you're the only one left...and you can't die."
Edward was crestfallen, realizing his mistake. "I'm sorry...that was inconsiderate of me."
I turned to face him. "When you say you don't want to change me, do you know what I hear? I hear that you don't want to be with me."
"I never said I didn't want to change you," he replied, suddenly vulnerable. I was surprised and my anger floated away.
Edward was troubled. "Of course, I want to be with you for eternity, but it would be the most selfish thing I could ever do. I love you and that means putting your needs before mine. If you become a vampire, I would be damning your soul. How could I do that to you when you mean so much to me?"
I inched forward and wrapped my arms around Edward.
"My soul is yours," I assured him. "You wouldn't be damning it."
He caressed my cheek. "You're alive and warm…you want to be dead and cold like me?
I titled my head and kissed his lips. "I want to bewith you…."
Recognition flashed in Edward's eyes as he realized my double meaning.
"I want to be with you, too," he admitted. "But, we've talked about it...it's too dangerous."
I kissed him again. "If I was like you, it wouldn't be a problem."
Edward sighed and kissed me back. He wasn't agreeing with my request, but I felt that I had provided a strong case in my favor.
We stayed in Forks for several weeks after graduation. Thanks to Edward's encouragement, months prior I had applied to several colleges, accepted to many and decided to attend Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York. The family would be leaving Forks and moving with me. I didn't want them to uproot their lives, but Edward explained that they had to do this every few years, so that people wouldn't get suspicious of them not aging.
The days before and after the anniversary of Renee's death, the family hovered. I think they were afraid I would have another spontaneous freak out, but I felt stable. Being surrounded by such a loving family as the Cullens definitely made a difference in my life. I didn't feel alone and with their support, I was able to deal with the grief.
Alice and Edward helped me pack for college. I wasn't going to sell Charlie's house, although I didn't know how often I would visit. Billy and Jacob offered to take care of it for me and I was thankful to them.
Now that I understood the true nature of the Cullens, I understood Billy's anomosity. Jacob, who was once friendly, became distant. I didn't believe anything I could say would change their minds about the Cullens, so I refused to argue with them about my decision to align myself with the family. Whenever I saw Billy, I felt the conflict within him, realizing I was an adult and could make my own choices, but not agreeing with them. Out of respect for Charlie's friendship with them, I was committed to remaining in touch with the Blacks, for as long as I could. I was still hoping Edward change me, and then I knew everything would change for me. I would have to say goodbye to Jacob and Billy forever.
As the fall approached and my freshman year of college beckoned, Edward told me he wanted me to visit Denali in Alaska. I knew it was one of his favorite places, a refuge of sorts, and I heard about the sisters who were like cousins to the family, so I was looking forward to spending time there.
The Cullens owned a house in the wilderness, so remote that Edward had to carry me and run there for almost half an hour before we reached it. When we arrived, Edward set me on my feet, and took my hand. Slowly, we walked through the woods. In the distance, I could see a large log cabin. The family had left a few days before us and I expected they were already at the house, waiting for us.
Something was off with Edward. He smiled serenely, but seemed anxious. He kept glancing at me. I smiled back, shyly, wondering what he was thinking. Finally, we came to a stop, just before we reached the house, and Edward turned and pulled me into his arms.
"What are you thinking?" he asked, searching my eyes for clues.
"I'm thinking..." and considered his question. "I'm happy."
He took a deep breath. He was nervous.
"Bella, I love you. Would you spend eternity with me?"
Edward was always romantic, but his words seemed odd and out of place.
"Of course, I will," I smiled warily. "I love you…."
As I finished speaking, Edward's lips kissed my neck and I felt his teeth pierce my skin. It was painful, but I knew exactly what he was doing and I smiled.
Edward was changing me.