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A new nightmare terrifies Bella above all the others.

Her Worst Nightmare

by silly bella

My family thought I had gone a bit insane. They never understood why I enjoyed watching Bella sleep. When there was a specific threat, they understood me guarding her. My family understands protection. Emmett said he could even understand my fascination if Bella slept in the nude. The rest of them, well, I'd become the butt of too many jokes about being easily entertained because I spent most of my nights in her room.

I finally stopped trying to explain it. I couldn't, really. I don't hear her thoughts, so it wasn't like I could see her dreams. Sometimes she said my name, and other times she whispered "I love you," in her sleep. Her breath, her heartbeat; I found them soothing. Within these four walls I felt more at peace with my existence than I have in over ninety years. Holding her in my arms might be the only heaven I would ever know, an undeserved bliss. Although she continued to make every attempt to convince me that I haven't truly lost my soul.

Lately, I've had more reason to spend the night than ever before. Victoria was still out there, and Bella had nightmares almost every night. I wasn't sure which ones troubled me the most, the dreams of Victoria finding her… or maybe that bloody Volturi banquet – where she saw the true monster that lies in every one of us. But I did know which dream frightened Bella the most. Me leaving. Her greatest fear, and therefore, her worst nightmare.

At least she still loved me, even if occasionally she had trouble believing I wouldn't leave her again. Ironic, isn't it? She was terrified that I would leave, yet she trusted me to control my thirst, my instinct to suck the life right out of her body while she slept in my arms. She never seemed to manage to fear the things that were really dangerous.

Each night she curled up next to me, and I woke her when the nightmares came. Perhaps it was my penance. At least part of it. I certainly deserved worse for the way I hurt her; the way I left her in danger and all alone.

I never tired of watching her sleep, but I wished I could stop the nightmares. She struggled so when they came. Her body tensed, and she called out for me. "Edward. No. NO!" Like now.

I wrapped her in my arms and whispered, "I'm here, Bella. I'm right here."

But this time was different. As she woke, her fingers flashed over my face, touching me as if to make sure I was real. She hasn't done anything like that since the night we came back from Volterra. What have I done to make her think I'd leave again?She bit her lip then gasped for air.

"You're safe." She said the words quietly, obviously relieved.

What on earth was she dreaming that she worried about my safety? Hasn't she figured out that I am nearly indestructible?

"Edward, it was the worst nightmare ever," she sighed as the tears spilled. Even knowing that I was here and real didn't comfort her entirely.

"What is it, Bella?" I held her and listened, hoping for some clue I could use to comfort her.

A horrified gasp revealed how upset she was. "I was too late."

I didn't understand. "Too late for what?" I asked as I stroked her hair to calm her. What could possibly terrify her so?

"Too late for you," she whispered. "I was too late, and you stepped into the sun. They killed you, Edward, and I couldn't do anything but watch." She burrowed her head into my chest. "It's worse than you leaving, Edward. When you left you came back. But this was forever. You were gone for forever." Her whole body shook in rhythm with her sobs. "I saw them kill you, and I knew you were never coming back. It wasn't possible for you to come back from that. It's worse than anything I ever dreamed."

At least, this once, she knew the dream was only a dream. She knew that I was here, beside her, if not exactly alive. But her dream terrified her, anyway. Somehow, I still managed to be her worst nightmare.