Chapter 21

Kim stared at the eighteen year old girl standing before her. Dressed in jeans and a grey wool sweater was Eden, stunningly beautiful even in the plainest attire.

Her skin, almost entirely white from hardly ever going outdoors, seemed to give her an almost angelic glow. Her hair, a series of brunette strands curling in little spirals, reached a few inches past her shoulder, adding to her mysterious appearance. But her most striking features were her eyes, two abnormally large orbs of black light that could switch from innocent to cold hearted just as a light switch could.

The tall teenager tapped her foot against the shadowy floor, growing impatient. No one could blame for her that, though. She was going further than ten feet away from the mansion for the first time in her life. More importantly was where she was going.

Having to live a life of secrecy with her parents, Eden was always isolated from other children. To pass the long days of childhood, she would occupy herself with reading the numerous amounts of books in the old mansion library and playing various musical instruments such as the piano and violin. She eventually became so intelligent and skilled in the fields of music and literature that she was able to go to virtually any college she desired. She had chosen Juilliard, conviently located in New York, which was a "special" city for her parents".

A knock came at the door. Kim began carrying her thin body toward it, but was stopped by Eden.

"I'll get it," she said in almost a complete whisper.

She opened it to find a rather tall, bearded man standing under the dark violet sky.

"Thank you so much!" Kim said as she embraced the man.

"Eden, this is-" Kim stopped suddenly to let out a loud cough that echoed in the grand mansion, scaring the ravens who stayed perched at the roof.

"Are you alright?" Edward, who was standing nearby, asked as Kim rose her head up.

"Yes, I'm fine. Pardon me. This, Eden, is Mr. Price, an old friend who'll be taking you to New York."

"Pleasure to meet you, sir." Eden said in her usual mousey voice.

He led her to the dark blue car parked in front, and Eden slowly walked toward the odd machinery. She seldom ever saw cars and therefore needed help with getting inside and opening the trunk. She gave her parents one last look before entering the car, being separated from them for the first time since the first time she met them so many years ago.

She gently raised a pale hand and waved to her parents. Kim, noticing Edward looking a little clueless, wrapped her arm around his and lifted it in the air, moving it from side to side. Together, they watched their daughter drive off into the distance, a bittersweet feeling in their hearts.

Once the car was out of sight, they decided to head back in.

"I going to miss her so very-"

Kim entered, once again, a torrent of violent coughing.

Edward looked at her with concerned eyes as she leaned against him.

"I'm honestly fine. But…could you help me get upstairs?"

With a quick nod, he placed her against his shoulder and led her to the attic.

The coughing never ceased. Soon, the entire mansion was filled with the sounds of sickness, spiraling in every direction imaginable.

Edward placed Kim on the straw bed near the newspaper wall clippings.

He felt a current of worry overcome him when he laid her down. Her skin, though usually pale, looked truly as if the blood had flown out of it. Her eyes had a mix of sadness and drowsiness in them as they looked back at his.

"You're sick, Kim."

"I'm fine! It's just a little cough!"

"That's what you said last week, when I said we should try getting you to a doctor."

"How? But that's beyond the question, I don't need a doctor, I'm perfectly-"

Another cough escaped her throat.

Edward decided it was best not to argue. He didn't know why, but he had the feeling that he should spend his time being happy with Kim, not getting into fights.

Still, he had been worrying about her for the past two weeks, since she hadn't stopped coughing since. Perhaps it was the dust of the house since they never really cleaned it too often, to try and create the effect of no one living in it so intruders would be misguided. Or it could have been the fact that Eden was leaving to pursue her life without them…it sure made him feel a little ill inside. But maybe it was a mix of both.

His eyes wandered around the aging attic, every millimeter of it sparking some sort of memory he thought long gone otherwise. The attic, once he had met Eden, had become a family room, a place of total expression and love-despite its appearance.

Step by step, he had watched the quick process of Eden growing up…becoming significantly smarter and more skilled in the arts within each day. And, like the snipping of a cord with scissors-she was gone in a flash.

Edward felt Kim pull closer, her nails digging into his armor of leather…as if she was afraid of something.

"I can't believe it, Edward."

"What?"

"The ocean. I can finally see it from here. I couldn't before. Look-up straight ahead."

There it was, indeed. With the appearance of some abstract mirage was the endless body of sapphire water…as if it had somehow lifted itself up and moved closer to the mansion.

"It's more beautiful than I could ever have imagined it to be from up here."

She paused, pulling herself even closer, the buckles of Edward's suit leaving little red marks on the skin underneath her clothes.

She suddenly turned her attention to the giant ice sculpture of an angel sitting on the far left corner of the room. The masterpiece was made for Eden's special day, only now it began to melt, making little rivulets that gently grazed Kim's arm.

She scooped a tiny bit of the melted water in her palm, watching the jewel-like liquid smoothly pour through her fingers and back onto the floor.

"Do you think the angels are coming for me?"

Edward's eyes grew twice their normal size. He did not need an explanation to what she was insinuating.

"Please don't talk like that."

"I mean it, though. Today just feels so…different…and I don't think it's only because of Eden."

Edward had nothing to retort to that. He himself felt it being a rather strange day.

"Please hold me…one last time…"

Edward looked down at her. What did she mean by that? He was holding her!

"Please don't…let me go…"

She entwined her fingers with his shears, without hesitation or fear of accidentally cutting herself as she did before.

It was an odd feeling for Edward. Though his temporary human hands were long gone, he could have sworn he actually physically felt her fingers curled in his.

Kim dropped her head suddenly, her breathing getting deeper.

"Please know that…I always have…and always will…love you."

Her heartbeat, which he could hear clearly a moment ago due to their closeness, now gradually became slower and quieter. Funny thing was, he almost felt his heart do the same.

He next felt his eyes close ever so slowly, and though he wasn't directly facing Kim, he knew hers were as well. He at last felt the breathing cease to exit, and his eyes blanket him into a vast darkness…but not without the feeling of Kim by his side.

The world had finally disappeared for them both, and they entered a black doorway, hand in hand, with nothing but each other.

They didn't wake up.

Don't kill me for the depressing ending, please!

Well, that's it. I know, I can't believe it, either! But the fanfic is finished!

Feel free to express any final thought on the piece. In fact, please do, it'll really make my day.

Thanks again to all my wonderful reviewers. I couldn't have reached this point without you.