Wow, everybody I SERIOUSLY never expected to get this many reviews for this story! Thank you all so much for making that possible! (And especially taking your precious and valuable time to actually care to review!) And, without further ado, your long-awaited Chapter 4!!!
Disclaimer: No Twilight. No Nickleback, their beautiful song Far Away, or any of their other awesome songs.
In all of his years of living – and death, Edward Cullen has never been a coward.
Everybody who personally knows him even knows that. Alice and Jasper are simply amazed by him whenever he goes off with just a scowl to the scariest horror movies, while Emmett just smirks and tries to make him crack. Rosalie just has her doubts, keeping her thoughts to herself in a dark corner.
He was a marble statue, immobile to fear in the world.
Nor has he ever been heartbroken. Not once, living or dead. Human or vampire.
But yet, here he was, running away from his beloved Bella after just seeing her for the first time in years.
Oh yes, he had a reason. The reason of being betrayed.
Edward fled to the café's bathroom, which was probably the only place he could think of at the moment.
Too many thoughts were rushing through his head at once, and there wasn't even a place anywhere in New York for him to run inside and cry tearless sobs to.
Edward rushed to the sink, resting his elbows against the used plaster.
He rubbed his temples, trying to calm himself. He could feel the anger beginning to rise and flare, sizzle to the very thought of Bella and the blonde man. The sadness he was feeling earlier was beginning to evaporate, the jealousy and fury caging him like a reckless pit bull.
Oh….she can keep her boy toy! See if I care!
He laughed to himself. The laugh sounded rather eerie and weak, resonating no meaning as its echoes vibrated across the blue tiled walls.
He tried to block the painful images of Bella kissing the man, but of course, none of it worked.
He constantly couldn't stop thinking how she was sitting on his lap, breathing his scent in, as he smelled hers. The way that his hands were touching her back, while her thin ones were touching his face, gently.
The same way that we once kissed.
Edward peered into the mirror, realizing his eyes were coal black.
The grip he was holding onto the rim of the sink seemed to have slipped, as he felt himself surprisingly stumble a bit. But he caught himself just in time.
He inhaled sharply, feeling as if the very room he was standing in was spinning out of control. Constant images of Bella and this mystery man were swirling past him, torturing his mind and soul. The room was whirling with colors, as he felt as if he was losing control of his body.
But while trying to reach out to rest his hands against the wall, Edward smashed his fist through the blue tiles of the restroom.
He blinked at first, not believing what he had just did.
But there was the thorough proof of it all, the dust filling the air, the fist-sized hole beside the mirror next to him, aggravating his nerves.
Edward had completely lost control, and he knew he needed to grab a hold of it as soon as possible. He drew in shallow breaths, drowning out the sounds of other people's thoughts outside in the café.
He opened the faucet, splashing freezing cold water against his equally cold skin. He felt his nerves calm down a bit, but his frozen heart was still tearing inside of him. Edward took a deep breath, checking himself in the mirror once more.
His eyes were now the casual muddy brown, as they always have been for the past years, with an eerie shadowing of black clouding most of it. His anger was clearly still displaying its proof, nearly just as much as he was feeling.
Edward checked every one of the stalls, peering down under to thankfully realize that nobody was in the restroom except for himself.
He had a heavy feeling that the hole on the wall would take a lot to explain.
He quickly left the restroom, wanting nothing else but to leave and forget everything that had happened that excruciating day.
This whole entire trip was a mistake. All of it. There is nothing for me to heal or fix. Bella is truly happy with someone else, and I should support that.
But I know I never can….
But without even realizing it, he accidentally knocked into a woman in the process.
Edward bent down on his knees, picking up the shopping bags the woman dropped.
"I'm sorry," he apologized. He handed them to her, mentally berating himself for being so opaque. He looked up, his eyes widening when they glimpsed exactly who the woman was.
"Bella……" Edward breathed.
The woman stared at him, eyes huge like saucers.
Yes, she was Bella.
"Edward…." Bella whispered. Her voice was shaky and weak, sounding like that owned by a frightened little girl.
The French Vanilla latte she was holding and sipping from was immediately dropped, but not even Edward rushed down to catch it. The latte sputtered everywhere, spattering on both of their shoes and around the nearby walls.
Neither of them noticed, but was gazing at each other in disbelief.
Not a word was spoken for a moment, as both of them silently eyed each other. There was never a split second in time when Edward would curse fate for not allowing him to read Bella's mind, especially now.
He took notice that Bella was taking sudden interest in her green and brown striped open-toed heels, and was nervously rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet.
Edward slowly reached out his finger tips, tenderly lifting her chin so her eyes could meet his. But as soon as he did however, he immediately retracted his hand as released a gasp of shock.
Bella's skin was warm.
No, that can't be possible! She's a vampire, just like….me.
It's the same reaction that a normal human would feel if you leave your hand on the stove a little too much longer than intended to.
Edward gave a frustrated and confused gaze towards her.
How can this day get anymore confusing…..and inferior?
Bella's eyes still didn't meet his, but just looked at an abstract painting behind him instead.
"Why….don't we sit down?" she inaudibly motioned towards a cushy booth nearby them, her tone of voice rather having an anxious edge.
Edward nodded towards her, politely motioning for her to take her seat first before him.
As soon as they both sat down however, Bella wasn't anymore calmer. She twiddled her fingers, shifting her gaze from the ceiling to the walls, then back again.
He was patient, waiting for her to choose her time to properly speak to him.
She was even more beautiful up close, Edward observed.
Her features still framed the original "human" Bella that she once was, but an even more radiant vampire beauty shadowed her features. Bella had always been so petite, but her figure now was just astonishing enough for men to stop and stare, and girls watch in envy. Her dark hair was silky straight with maximum volume, and held a bit of natural waves deepened upon them. Her ivory skin he was so used to back then had become paler, if that could even be possible. Dark shadows underlined her eyes, showing the truth of her vampirism and immortality, but she was just as beautiful as any frozen angel walked upon the Earth.
Bella sighed, finally meeting his gaze.
Her eyes were still a beautiful shimmering brown, the rims unbelievably tinted silver. He was astonished when her eyes met his, and he perceived that she blushed.
Yes, she actually BLUSHED at him, while she was supposed to be a non-living, cold hearted vampire!
"I guess I have a lot of explaining to do, huh?" Bella nervously laughed.
All Edward could do was stare at her, clearly shell-shocked.
She paused, taking a rather long moment to clear her throat.
"Edward….I'm a half human, half vampire. I just found out about two weeks….after you changed me," she whispered.
Bella said this in such a low tone he had to lean in to hear her.
Edward momentarily felt the room spin, just like in the restroom. Only this time, he had a throbbing headache to add to that.
"No….that can't be possible….it just can't…"
"But it is, Edward."
He gave her a tear-jerking gaze, his eyes sober. "I missed you, Bella. And so does everybody else in Forks."
He knew he was changing the subject rather quickly, but he was voicing what he literally was feeling at the moment. His heart was broken – if other than dead – but he couldn't stop the words spilling out of him at any time.
She gave him a sad look. "I know."
Edward suddenly felt his anger rise.
"But if you DID know, Bella, then why in the world did you leave everybody? Charlie? Alice?" he snapped.
There was silence between the two of them, and not a word was spoken.
"And me, Bella. What about me?" he longingly stared at her, his eyes framing the pain and anguish his broken heart was feeling.
When she looked at him, her eyes mirrored the feelings he was feeling, and Edward nearly resented himself for hurting her so deeply. Except her eyes was shining more of regret than any other mixed feelings he was seeing.
"I just had to Edward….I just had to." she softly answered.
"And what DO you have here that could possibly be more use of value than in Forks?" he sneered.
"I just had to!" Bella hissed.
Edward scoffed. "I doubt that," he muttered.
"Will you just listen to me!" she screamed.
He immediately looked up, shocked at her impulsive outburst. Bella's face was red, as she was breathing in rapidly. Bella was glaring at him, looking as if she wanted to burn him with a giant microscope under the radiant sun – while he was the puny little defenseless ant.
Once more, there was an awkward silence that followed, except this time there was an actual look of hatred crossing Bella's beautiful features.
He reached out to take her hand in his, but she abruptly placed hers in her own lap, refusing to touch him.
"I'm sorry," he sincerely apologized, trying to hide the shame inscribed upon his face.
Bella didn't say anything. She just stared at him, her eyes glassy and holding no meaning.
He watched her, already noticing the apprehension in the air.
"So…how is your life here…in New York?" he weakly asked, obviously trying to make her speak.
She glared at him.
"Fine," she alleged.
He raised his eyebrows. "Really? After not seeing me for two whole years, without a trace, and that's all you have to say?" Edward mocked her.
"It's just fine!" Bella hissed.
Edward closed his eyes, rubbing his temples.
Obviously, the reunion he was planning on wasn't exactly going along as he wanted it to.
The total opposite, really…
"Listen, Bella," he sighed. "Why don't we just start all over again?"
"Why should I?" Bella huffed.
Edward groaned. "Please?"
But she ignored him, pouting out her lips as she twirled a strand of her hair, distracting herself. Edward was mesmerized for a moment as he watched her.
She's so beautiful when she pouts like that….
He shook his head, sighing. He himself knew he was dazzled with every movement Bella made, and he wondered if she noticed his eyes lingering on her longer than intended to.
I guess I know how Bella felt towards me back then….
Edward looked up, startled. He was immersing himself too much into his own thoughts, he noted.
Bella tucked the strand of hair behind her ear, this time directly staring into his topaz eyes.
"Let's start over," she sighed.
Edward grinned, extending out his hand for her to shake.
Bella looked startled, confusion obscuring into her silver-brown eyes. But she soon caught on after seeing the eager look shading upon Edward's handsome face. She took his hand, shaking it gently.
"Hello there, my name is Edward Cullen. And what name describes that gorgeous face of yours?" Edward drawled, twisting his voice into an alluring tone that could make any girl fall over.
Bella giggled, her lips weaving into a smile.
"My, such a gentleman!" she mockingly fanned herself with her hand.
Edward cracked a crooked smile, trying to hold in his laughter.
"My name is Isabella Swan, but I prefer to be called Bella." She batted her eyelashes to prove her point, twisting her voice rather gracefully into a fluent British accent.
The two of them burst out laughing, obviously not being able to stifle back their laughter.
A waiter passing by gave them an odd look, muttering to himself to stay away from sappy lovebirds.
"On a more serious note Bella, how are things really going on here in New York?" Edward asked, after they calmed themselves.
Bella nonchalantly shrugged, straightening out her wrinkled blouse.
"Alright, I can say so."
Edward eyed her.
There was something she simply wasn't telling him….he could just see it in her eyes. The way she would try to avoid looking straight into his.
She was always like that, he remembered. She was never a good liar.
Bella started to trace the intricate designs etched into the booth's wooden table with her thin index finger, her heel tapping to an imaginary beat. She started to hum to herself, the rhythm matching her foot-tapping. It seemed to take awhile until she was done distracting herself to say something to him.
"How is everybody…in Forks?" Bella slowly asked, as if choosing her words carefully. Her eyes were instantly pained as she said this.
Edward sighed. "Everybody is…doing rather well. Alice is a wedding planner. You know how much she loves weddings," he chuckled. He even heard Bella liberate a soft giggle.
"Oh, Alice. Typical Alice…"
"Emmett's a therapist. Very shocking, I know."
Bella's eyes sparkled, as if igniting a flame that has long ago been extinguished. "Oh Emmett…nearly an older brother of my very own…." she whispered.
"Jasper and Rosalie are lawyers."
The smile on Bella's face was immediately smeared off, the sparkle in her eyes immediately vanishing from view. The sound of Rosalie's name was enough for her to quiet down and sulk.
Edward worriedly gazed at her. Her eyes were encompassing a wistful stare, as if reflecting past emotions and memories she had never really thought of in awhile. He truthfully didn't know if she wanted him to continue, but when she leisurely nodded towards him, he did.
"Mike is married to Jessica, pretty obviously, but it annoys me to no end whenever he asks me if I possibly have any idea where you are," he stated this with bitter irritation. "He still likes you."
Bella wrinkled her nose, as if smelling something foul wafting into the air. She muttered something unintelligible under her breath, shaking her head. He smiled at this.
"Carlisle and Esme are the same as always. Charlie is the same, as well." He said this quietly, hoping that she didn't hear who he mentioned last.
But she did.
"But he's been so…pained, Bella. He never had any idea where you were. And when everybody gave up hope in Forks in finding you, even Renee, he refused. It took him awhile to understand that you were never going to come back. Charlie has been fighting ever since, trying to keep himself strong, and hoping his daughter will someday come back to him."
Bella buried her face into her hands, and Edward just didn't have the heart to stop her. Her shoulders shook as she gently cried. Edward's frigid hands were shaking so badly on wanting to comfort her, but he stopped himself.
"And me, Bella? What about me?" He asked this very softly.
In truth, he never expected her to answer him.
But Bella lifted her head out of her hands, her puffy eyes riming with tears that weren't spilling out. She stared at him, surprised.
She heard him, and he knew.
It took awhile for him to speak something, trying to choose his words more cautiously than usual. He didn't want to make her cry once again. He couldn't bear to hurt her, he just couldn't. It would be like hurting a part of himself.
"Bella, you have no idea how many emotions I have been feeling…for so long…bottled up inside me till I couldn't take it anymore. I've been a nursing assistant at a Children's clinic, and each dreary day that passes by, another piece of me crumbles away."
He stared at her. She was crying by now, something he didn't want her to do. "You are my whole, Bella. And without you, I am nothing."
That was all it took for her to break out into loud sobs.
Nearby couples sitting in booths were giving him perplexed looks, while that same waiter that passed by earlier was rushing away, muttering something else about 'crazy hormonal teenage lovebirds.'
Edward instantly slid next her, enclosing her into a warm hug. Bella bawled into his shirt, as he could feel her tears soak his shirt rather rapidly. He allowed her, drifting away into another world. The emotions that were rushing through him were unlike anything that he had ever felt before. Except two years ago, the time when he was still holding his Bella. Loving her the way she deserved, and being incredulously loved back from such a beautiful creature.
As he inhaled, he sniffed her wonderful scent more and more. He whiffed it greedily, wanting nothing more than to remember her scent after not being able to smell it for so long, except for his memories and aching remembrances.
He felt her slender hands grip onto his shirt, as if making sure he was actually there.
"Don't worry," he murmured, "I'm here. I always will be, Bella"
And another feeling rushed through him, the best feeling in the world he never knew he could feel ever again.
Bella's sobbing was soon reduced, and resolved to simple sniffing.
Edward was affectionately rubbing her back, whispering soothing words into her ear. She sniffled in response, sheepishly apologizing.
He smiled. "No problem."
"Thank you so much, Edward." Bella whispered.
They smiled at each other, both of their eyes shining.
And that was when Edward noticed it. There was a diamond ring on Bella's ring finger. His topaz eyes widened, blinking as if trying to make sure what he was seeing wasn't a hallucination. But it was no delirium.
An engagement ring…..
Then all of the pieces clicked together, as if shaping into a complex puzzle.
Bella noticed his tenseness, and touched his arm. "Edward, are you alright?" she worriedly asked. But he didn't reply.
Instead, he gently pushed her away from him, breaking their embrace. Bella looked hurt, as he kept his gaze downward. Edward abruptly stood up, and Bella stared at him, bewildered.
"Where are you going?" she questioned, panicking.
But he simply shook his head.
"I'm sorry Bella," he whispered. "I hope you will be happy with him."
It took awhile for Bella to realize what Edward was telling her, and her eyes became poignant. She immediately stood up as well, reaching for his arm. But he tenderly pushed her back onto the booth cushion, holding back the tears that were never going to pour out of his golden eyes.
"Edward…" Bella breathed.
She reached out her fingertips to touch his face, but he turned it away. He looked down, swallowing.
"It was nice seeing you again, Bella," he whispered.
He gave her one last longing look, trying to remember all of her youthful features. His eyes traveled to the tips of her toes, all the way up to her silver-brown eyes and gorgeous dark hair.
Then he left.
Edward vaguely heard her scream, "Please, come back!"
But he ignored it.
He was spinning into a dark tunnel, not being able to find a way out. Each and every minute that passed plunged Edward deeper into the never-ending void of pain and heartbreak, tearing away his mind and soul. It was as if his life had been cruelly twisted into a dramatic soap opera, having a live audience watching his every move. And at this moment, they would probably have been laughing at his incredible misfortune that ensued upon him.
She no longer belonged to him, but to another man. And she was to become married.
His mind had finally crashed down into reality; the hopes of seeing his Bella after so long and wanting to love and hold her in his arms were immediately shattered.
It was never to be, not now, or ever.
He tried to adjust to that thought, trying to accept it, but fully knowing he would never be able to. Each gloomy day that would pass in his dreary life would mean nothing to him, for he would distinguish that Bella was with her new husband in their new home, living the life she fully deserved.
Edward clearly remembered telling Bella she warranted living a normal human life with anyone other than a "monster", such as himself. But being the selfish vampire he was, his words were meaningless now, and he wanted nothing more than to be the one who was engaged to Bella, not anyone else. He would trade anything in his half-dead life to alternate places with that lucky bastard, anything.
As he looked around at the bustling streets of New York, realization dawned on him.
He had nowhere to go.
Edward, in particular, felt weary to fly back to Forks after what he had so sullenly experienced – all jam packed – into one day.
He wanted to rent an apartment...a dinky motel room…anything to get him out of there…
He suddenly felt a warm hand rest upon his shoulder, and he refused to turn around. Edward fully knew well who was touching him, and he simply didn't want to talk to her. The hand still rested on his shoulder, lying still and repudiating to back down.
"Edward," Bella whispered, "you…can stay with me, if you'd like to."
Edward looked towards the sky, his back still turned to her.
He was silent, not saying anything as the honking of passing cars and curses from nearby people were heard.
"Please?" she silently begged.
Edward finally turned around, his murky brown eyes set aflame. Bella dropped her hand in fear of him, and she backed away. The fierceness in his eyes was evident, as his jaw was set, and his beautiful face was twisted into a scowl.
"You have him, so why should I stay?" he snapped.
Bella looked hurt, defeat shadowing her expression. He smugly watched as she walked a few steps away from him to keep a safe distance. She stepped to the side of the street, hauling a cab.
Fear started to bite the inside of his gut, as he watched her getting ready to step into the taxi.
Before he even realized it, he reached out to grab her shoulder. He whirled her around, forcing her to face him instead of her back. Bella was shocked, as he was to himself.
"Bella, I'm sorry!" Edward apologized, in a rush of words that sounded blended together.
Bella's gaze shifted from him to the taxi and back again. She thought to herself for a moment, and then sighed. She waited for his answer, as he contemplated what to say next.
"…..and I would love to stay." He picked his words with care this time, his sentence laced with pure sincerity.
Much to his shock, she nodded in acceptance. Guilt fogged his mind when she forgave him, as well as regret to the harsh words he had spoken to her.
He opened the taxi door for her, being the kind "gentleman" he was. Bella slid onto the worn-out leathery seat, as Edward sat next to her.
As the taxi started to drive off to the address Bella whispered to the driver, Edward dug in his pocket, and found the white rose he was hoping to give to Bella.
The white rose's petals were no longer a satiny texture, but were wrinkled around the edges. The white color had faded to a brownish-gray, its green leaves crumpled from being stuffed into his pocket without any oxygen to breathe.
Edward gently tapped Bella on the shoulder, handing her the faded white rose. Worry settled into the pit of his stomach, which was churning as violently as the waves of the crashing Atlantic Ocean. But she sniffed the rose, a sweet smile spreading across her face.
She took his hand in hers, and he thought he felt a bit faint.
"Thank you," she softly murmured.
Bella snuggled up closer to him the rest of the ride, and he could have sworn he had seen the driver eye them from the rearview mirror, grinning like an idiot. But he didn't care, for Bella's scent was dazing him so much he was seeing stars. He even had a feeling that if he checked in a mirror at this moment, his eyes would be the warm golden color it once was.
But what truly made Edward happy the rest of the day, was when he looked down, he and Bella's hands were still entwined with each others.
Aw….. I gave y'all somewhat of a happy ending, didn't I? Satisfied enough? I hope so, for this chapter took me FOREVER TO WRITE!! Stay tuned for Chapter 4!! (PLZ REVIEW THE FASTER I WILL BE ABLE TO UPDATE)
Love, rei ann