Hello everybody! I'm sure you were all waiting for the sequel to Before and After. Well, here is—finally! I hope you all enjoy it! Reviews are very much appreciated—they give me a motive to continue writing! Well, without further ado, here is chapter 1 of Felicità.
One more thing--I want to give a HUGE thank you to my two betas, mytypeofheroin and cullen num.1fan. Without their amazing editing skills, my story would pretty much suck.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, New Moon, or the soon-to-be-released Eclipse. These characters all belong to Stephenie Meyer—only the plot of this story is mine.
"I don't see why I can't come!
"Bella, there are so many things that could go wrong! You could be seen! How would that go over with everyone?"
"If you can go, why can't I?"
"Well, for one thing, it would be dangerous for you to be around so many people. You aren't under control of your senses yet! You were changed a little over a week ago. It would be very dangerous for you to be there."
"Edward, that's not fair! You could stay with me the whole time, and we could hide somewhere where no one would see us." I gave him puppy eyes. "Please..."
His face softened for a moment as he looked into my eyes, but then he glared at me, realizing what I was doing. "That won't work," he said sternly.
"Bella, no. That is my final answer. Why would you want to go to your own funeral anyway?"
"Well, for one thing, I want to see who all actually goes to it." I could almost see Lauren sitting in the church, looking at my coffin, and muttering nonsense things like "Oh, we'll all miss her so much! She was such a good friend to all of us!" I grinned. "And I want to see how everyone reacts to me being dead," I continued. "And I want to see my mother and Charlie one last time..." I trailed off as I thought about them.
"What's going on here?" Carlisle asked as he walked into Edward's room a moment later, followed by Emmett and Esme.
"Arguing about going to the funeral again," Emmett said, shaking his head.
"I just don't see why I can't go! Edward gets to go, and he's supposed to be dead too!" I said.
"Bella, we've discussed this," Carlisle said as he put a comforting hand on my shoulder. I sighed, shook his hand off, and sat down on the bed.
Edward and I had gotten a bed to put in his—well, our—room. Even though we didn't sleep, it was still nice to have for, uh, other things...
Esme sat down next to me and put her arm around me in a very motherly way. "Bella, I know you want to go. You have good reason to. But I just don't think it would be the best idea. It would be dangerous to be around so many people when you're so young. And there is always the chance that you could be seen."
I glared at her. "Edward's going," I said again.
Esme sighed and turned to look up at Carlisle. She stood up and took him aside. They made a point to talk very quietly so none of us could hear, even with our vampire hearing.
Emmett walked over to me. "Bella, why would you want to be at your funeral anyway? It would just make you even more depressed than you already are about this whole thing."
"I am not depressed about anything," I angrily snapped in reply. He rolled his eyes.
"Right. Ok. Sure."
I shook my head at Emmett, stood up, and slowly walked over to the glass window-wall. I reached out to touch the glass as I looked out it, and saw the small river that flows through the Cullens' yard. I wished I could just get away from this conversation—we've had it at least five times already this week—and go relax outside by the river. Or, better yet, go to the meadow with Edward and relax. I closed my eyes and imagined us, lying there, side by side. The warm sun beating down on us, and our skin sparkling and reflecting sunlight like thousands of tiny mirrors were on our skin. And we wouldn't have to hide—we could just sit there for hours on end, like we were the only two people in the world...
I was brought out of my wonderful, blissful daydream by Carlisle clearing his throat as he and Esme walked back over to us.
"We thought about it, and Esme and I agree that Bella is right," Carlisle said.
"I can go!?" I asked excitedly, interrupting him.
"Not exactly," he said. "Esme and I think that neither of you should be able to go." Edward and I began to protest. Carlisle put his hand up, and we were immediately silent. "Bella has made some good points. She can't go because she might be seen. Edward could also be seen. It would be just like the scene from Tom Sawyer if the other people at the funeral saw you." I giggled to myself as I remembered that part of Tom Sawyer, when Tom and Huck Finn were watching their own funeral from the ceiling in the church. Then I remembered how the others had reacted when Tom and Huck fell through the ceiling. I guess Carlisle had a point. Edward and I sighed in unison.
"Fine..." I muttered, speaking for both of us.
Emmett turned to Edward. "Hey, look on the bright side! This means that you and Bella have a couple hours alone, to do whatever you want..." he raised his eyebrows at Edward and I'm sure he thought some vulgar thing to him.
The next second, Emmett was on the ground, and Edward was on top of him. I ran over and pulled Edward off Emmett, and Carlisle and Esme restrained Emmett from fighting back at Edward.
"Hey, I know you were thinking it. I was just saying it..." he said, trying to sound innocent, as he shrugged.
"Since when do you know what Edward's thinking?" I asked Emmett.
"Oh, right, I'm sorry. That's your talent. So, what was in Edward's mind just now?" Emmett replied with a sly smile. "Was he imagining undressing you? Or maybe he was doing something more..."
Without really knowing I was doing it, I released Edward. We both lunged for Emmett, and the next second he was lying on the ground as Edward and I both tried to inflict as much pain on him as we could without seriously injuring him. Carlisle grabbed Edward, Esme grabbed me, and Alice and Rosalie, hearing the noise, ran upstairs and were able to hold Emmett back. Edward and I both struggled to get out of Carlisle and Esme's arms, but it was impossible.
We might as well stop struggling, I though to Edward.
Fine. But we will get back at him, he thought back.
Oh, definitely, I thought with a grin as I began to think of different ways to make Emmett suffer. We both stopped struggling, and Carlisle and Esme released us, followed by and Alice and Rosalie releasing Emmett. We all glared at each other, and then, with an over-dramatic huff, Emmett left the room, followed by Alice, who was giggling, Rosalie, who was rolling her eyes at us, Esme, who had a look on her face that said "teenagers these days…", and Carlisle, who had wrapped an arm around Esme.
So, just curious, what were you thinking about? I asked Edward as they all left.
He looked at me, eyebrows raised. Wouldn't you like to know... he thought. I slapped him gently on the arm. Suddenly, he yelled down the hall.
"Ew! Emmett!" he said as he rubbed his temples with his fingers.
"Sorry!" Emmett yelled back. "Just thinking about being able to be alone..." he trailed off.
I did not want to see that, Edward thought to me.
Emmett thinking about Rosalie again? I asked. Edward nodded, still rubbing his temples. Then he began to hit the side of his head.
"Emmett!" he yelled again.
"I can't help it!" Emmett yelled.
"Think about something else, please!" Edward yelled. Emmett didn't answer. A moment later, Edward got an incredibly angry look on his face.
"EMMETT!" he yelled. His voice sounded incredibly angry too. A low growl escaped from him, and he tried to run out of the room. I held him back.
"Edward? What is he thinking about now?" I asked. Another growl escaped Edward's lips, and he began to struggle even more.
"EMMETT!" he yelled again, even louder than before. Suddenly I got a picture in my mind. I don't think Edward meant to think it to me, but sometimes we would lose control of our powers. I realized, with a gasp, that this was what Emmett had started thinking about after Edward said to "think about something else."
I saw a picture of me, completely naked.
"EMMETT!" Edward and I yelled at the same time. Kill him for me, I thought to Edward as I let him go. He ran out of the room and a moment later, I heard snarling coming from Rosalie and Emmett's room.
"I told you to think of something else!" I heard Edward yell.
"I did think of something else!" Emmett protested, also yelling.
"I didn't mean for you to think about my fiancée!" Edward yelled back. I heard a crashing noise, and more snarling. I couldn't help but grin. I fell back onto the bed, laughing.
I turned my head so I was looking at the pictures sitting on my bedside table. The first was of my mother and I, taken by Phil right before I left for my first day of 10th grade. My mother had been trying to curl my hair so I would look nice for my first day of school, but I was firmly resisting. In the picture, I was pushing her away with my right hand, and she had the curling iron in her right hand. But as I pushed her away, she stumbled, and the curling iron had pressed against my forehead. The picture captured the moment when the curling iron made contact with my head, and I started screaming in pain. My expression was hilarious. I laughed as I remembered, but then stopped as I realized I would never be able to have fun times like this with her again.
I scooted so I was lying on my side of the bed, with my head on my pillow. I got under the blankets, and wrapped my arms around another pillow. I looked at the other pictures I had on the table next to my bed. One was a picture of Charlie and I, and the other was of Jacob and I (Edward had sighed in disapproval as I put this picture next to my bed, but he let me leave it there, for which I was grateful.) I reached over and ran my fingers over the pictures.
"I miss you guys," I whispered to the pictures. "I never even got to say goodbye..." I moved my hand away and wrapped my arms around the pillow again. "I love you..." I whispered to the pictures. A moment later, I felt someone lay down beside me on the bed.
Did you take care of Emmett? I asked. He sighed.
No. Alice, Rosalie, and Jasper came in and broke up our fight. I tried to give him a smile, but I couldn't. I was thinking about my mother, Charlie, and Jacob.
Are you ok? Edward asked. I slowly shook my head. Edward snuggled closer to me, and wrapped his arms around me. He pulled me closer to him, and I closed my eyes as I tried to relax.
I miss them, I thought.
I know, Bella. Everything will be ok, he replied, knowing who I was thinking about immediately. He wrapped his arms tighter around me, and kissed my hair.
I felt so happy, but at the same time, so sad. I lost my mother and father. I lost one of my best friends. I had to start over and have an almost completely new life. But I have two wonderful sisters, and two wonderful brothers. I have two adopted parents that love me. I'm sitting here, in the arms of the love of my life, and we get to live together for the rest of eternity.
But I still couldn't help but be upset. If Edward had changed me after graduation as planned, then I could have done all the things that I wanted to do before I "died." But because of Victoria, I was changed into a vampire three weeks earlier than I thought I was going to. Because of this, Edward and I weren't able to have our perfect wedding. I wasn't able to graduate. I wasn't even able to say my final goodbyes to Charlie and Renée. And it was all Victoria's fault.
What's wrong now? Edward asked.
What? How did he know that something was wrong?
You just became more tense. What's wrong?
I half smiled. Edward could read me so well, even with not being able to hear my thoughts. I was just thinking about Victoria. I could feel him tighten his grip on me, protectively.
Don't worry, Bella. There is no way she can do anything else to you. She's gone. For good. He kissed my hair again. I smiled and gently nodded my head
After the whole me-becoming-a-vampire thing had settled down, Edward had told me about how his family had killed Victoria, and how they all survived. He was surprised to know that I didn't remember Victoria bringing him, Alice, Emmett, and Jasper into the room where I was hiding. I told him that I didn't remember anything after the conversation Victoria and I had about vampires' souls not being lost. It wasn't until a while after I woke up from my transformation that I even remembered that Edward and his siblings were supposedly dead, and that Victoria had been attacking us. Emmett laughed for twenty minutes straight when I randomly started screaming "Wait! What about Victoria!? Oh my god Edward she's going to kill us! Where is she!? She killed you! Oh my god, Edward, you're dead! This means I'm dead! We're all dead together!"
I was incredibly confused when Edward calmed me down and told me that we weren't dead. He explained that Victoria and the other vampires with her had told me that the Cullens were dying to scare and upset me—another way for Victoria to torture me. I was in such a daze when I realized that Victoria was actually dead and gone, that when Emmett, Jasper, and Alice were telling me how they survived, I hardly heard any of it. I didn't really care how they survived—as long as they were alive and well, and Victoria was gone, I was happy.
Edward grabbed my hand and brought it up to his lips. He gently kissed the back of it, and then wrapped his arms tighter around me. There is no reason to be afraid of Victoria, he thought to me once more.
I'm not afraid of her, Edward. I...I was just thinking about what she did. Because of her, I'll never see my mom or dad again. I'll never see all my other friends. I have to completely start my life over. I'll never get to see Jaco—
I stopped. I knew Edward wouldn't want to hear about Jacob. I was right, because the moment I began to think his name, Edward sighed and loosened his grip on me a little.
Edward, I just...I mean...
Bella, it's ok. I know you miss your friend. I...I guess I'm just...I don't know.
I turned my head so I was looking at Edward. I gave him a light kiss, and then turned back around so I was looking at the pictures again.
I think I understand what you mean, I thought. As much as he denied it, I could tell he was a bit jealous of Jake. Of all the good times we had together, and how much I talked about him. It made it worse that Jake was there for me when Edward wasn't, and I knew that, because of this, Edward was even more jealous of him.
So often, I wished I could see Jacob one last time. In a week, we would be moving, and I would probably never see him again. He was my best friend for so long—the only person there for me when Edward left. Without him, who knows what I would've been like in those eight months. I wondered, did I ever tell him how grateful I was for him? I know Edward thanked him for being there for me, but did I ever express my gratitude to him? I realized that I didn't. And that made me want to talk to him even more.
I was about to ask Edward if I could call Jacob, but I knew that he would say no. I couldn't blame him. If I did call him, our cover would be blown. Jake would tell everybody we were still alive, and there would be a whole bunch of questions. No, I couldn't call him. I couldn't talk to him.
I was never going to see him again. And I wished, even thought I knew that it would ruin everything, that I could see him once more. I thought for a moment, that it would be an okay price to pay—having my entire future messed up so I could talk to my friend one more time. I laughed to myself as I thought this. How selfish could I be? Would I really mess up my and my family's future, only so I could talk to my friend once more?
But as my thoughts drifted away from Jacob, I realized that, yes, I would.
We laid there in silence for a while, and Edward tightened his grip around me again. My thoughts wandered from my ex-best friend to my fiancée. Edward and I were planning on having our wedding in a few weeks. We had found a place up in Alaska, where we were going to live temporarily, where we could wed. Carlisle was still going to be the minister, and we were still not going to have a large wedding. Just the Cullen family would be present.
Edward continued to kiss my hair, and then started to kiss my shoulder, and I felt him sit up a little as he kissed my cheek. I turned my body so I was lying on my other side, facing him, and he kissed my lips. What brought all this on? I asked, a bit surprised by all this kissing. He sighed, and shrugged.
Is it wrong for me to want to kiss my fiancée? he asked. Is that such a crime, Mrs. Isabella Marie Cullen? I giggled.
I suppose not, I thought as I leaned in to kiss him again. I pulled away quickly, and he pouted. I loved being able to tease him like this!
I wasn't finished kissing you, he thought, quoting something I had said to him last year when I was in the hospital. And then he did that incredibly unfair smoldering eyes thing, and I struggled to keep conscious. He leaned in closer to me, and I could feel his breath on my face. I breathed in his scent, and he reached up and put his hand on my cheek.
"Bella..." he murmured, so quiet I could barely hear him, even with my new vampire hearing. His lips gently touched mine, and I stopped breathing all together, like I often did when we kissed. He pulled me closer to him, and I wrapped my arms around him. I opened my mouth slightly, and he paused. I could tell that he was still thinking about our old boundaries, like he did whenever we had kissed in the past week. Normally he would stop kissing me, because he wasn't used to our new, non-existent boundaries. But today something changed. After he paused, he didn't break away, instead he sank even deeper into the kiss. He opened his mouth too, and I felt his tongue slide into my mouth. I pulled away, surprised by the turn our kiss had taken. I sat up, and he did too. He looked at me, shocked, almost appalled, at what he had done.
"Bella...I'm sorry..." he whispered. "I thought..." but I didn't let him finish. I quickly closed the gap between our lips and kissed him, and not just a gentle kiss like before. I opened my mouth again, and he did the same. His tongue entered my mouth again, and brushed along my lower lip. He wrapped his arms around me, and I put my hands on his cheeks. I ran my fingers through his hair, and could feel every inch of my body against his. "Bella..." he whispered in the seconds when our lips were apart. His hands ran up and down my torso over my shirt, and I was surprised—as I always was—that his hands were not cold like I was so used to. He tore his lips away from mine and kissed down my neck. I pulled him back down on the bed, so he was lying on top of me. He continued to kiss my neck, and I ran my fingers through his hair. I pulled his face back up towards mine, and kissed his lips again. Our kiss continued to get more urgent, and increasingly passionate I was so caught up in the kiss that I acted on pure selfish impulse. I wrapped my legs around Edward's, and began to rock back and forth against him. He kissed me with more passion, and I was so glad that our boundaries were now almost completely gone. We rolled over so I was on top of him, and reached for the buttons on his shirt. I had them all unbuttoned and was about to take off his shirt, when Alice burst into our room. Edward and I looked up and saw her, with a look of pure horror on her pixie-like face. She turned around and stomped back out of the room, and closed the door behind her. Edward and I looked at each other, our eyes both wide, and then heard her let out a little, quiet scream.
We un-tangled our legs and arms, and sat up quickly. He buttoned his shirt back up, and I adjusted mine. We walked towards Edward's door, and we both reached for the door handle at the same time. Our hands touched, and our eyes met. I looked away sheepishly, sure that I would be bright red if I were human, and Edward chuckled at my immaturity. He opened the door, and I saw Alice sitting on the ground, with her back up against the wall, massaging her temples like Edward had been earlier. She looked up at us, and Edward and I both looked at her apologetically.
"Um..." I began, and then stopped. Alice was glaring at us. "Sorry..." I muttered, and she stood up. I looked at the floor and made an effort to avoid her eyes. I didn't want to see the death glare she must have been shooting at us.
"I REALLY didn't want to see that!" she yelled.
"Alice, it was sort of your fault," Edward protested. Alice turned to glare at him, and we both realized that he had said the wrong thing.
"I don't care if it was my fault!" Alice yelled again. "I was coming upstairs to ask my new sister if she wanted to go shopping, and I see you two with your legs wrapped around each other and your arms all over the place. And Edward's shirt almost off!" She gave us both the death glare I had been avoiding. A moment later, I felt a wave of calm pass over me as Jasper walked up behind us. He looked questioningly at all of us, and sighed.
"I don't even want to know..." he muttered. He sent us another wave of calm, obviously noticing the extreme anger and frustration that we were still feeling.
"Ok, Alice, well you wanted to know if Bella wanted to go shopping. But how could you go anywhere when she's supposed to be dead? And what about humans—she was only changed a week ago." Edward said.
"Well, I was planning on going to Seattle, but I kinda forgot about the humans and..."
Alice stopped speaking suddenly as a blank look came onto her face, and looked as if she was staring off into space. She crumpled and began to fall to the ground, but Jasper caught her. After a moment, she shook her head and looked up at Jasper.
"Alice?" I asked.
"Forget about shopping. We have a new problem on our hands. We have visitors," she said as she stood up.
"Alice, what did you see?" Edward asked anxiously. She turned to look at us, and I saw the pure horror on her pixie-like face.