Still in Maine, EPOV.
Out of the darkness the voices are calling
Riding the wings of a song
The Fury is screaming and Heaven is falling
I feel it coming on strong
Rain pelted my face. The cold droplets soaked me in moments. I didn't care. The darkness of the rainy day and the impending night enveloped me, offering me a comfort in the dark that nothing else could. The wind whipped the treetops furiously, every so often seizing the pine needles and sending them through the air. The scent of the rain was heavy—suffocating.
The lightning strikes, cracking the night
It feels like never before
Thunder and sparks in the Heart of the Dark
I hear a Rising Force
Lightning struck a tree close by. The tree burst into flames, lighting up the immediate area only for a moment, until it was snuffed out by the rain. The air had an electric tang to it. The rain had been continuing for days now. I could almost swear I was back in Forks.
Searching my soul now I find something else I take my life in my hands From the gates of Heaven to the altars of Hell The Power is at my command
I slunk down against a tree. I gazed blankly at the lightning webbing across the sky, and barely registered the thunder. Bella was coming back…and she hated me. The most important being in all of my existence, and she hated me.
I saved her life!
Did you ever consider that she might not want saving?
Why wouldn't she want saving? Now she gets to watch her daughter grow up.
And grow old. And die.
No, I growled internally. I won't let her. I'll—I'll—
Do what? Condemn her to this awful existence? An innocent?
You think Bella is going to want to see her daughter die?
I think Bella is going to want her daughter to lead a normal, human life.
She isn't human. She's werewolf.
Do you think that you could even change her, then? She would be her own worst—natural—enemy. That would be even more of a hell than the thirst. Did you think of that?
Shut up. I shook my head, trying to dislodge the logical part of my thinking. The one that insisted that Bella would still hate me. The more optimistic side of me hopefully suggested she might still love me, deep down. I quickly squashed that thought. Where the agony of being away from her might not kill me, hope—especially if that hope turned out to not be true—certainly would. I turned my face up to the rain, and let it wash away all thoughts of anything from my mind.
Alice pulled the car up to the house, after an excruciatingly long driveway. I fairly leaped out of the car. I stretched, working out the kinks from my muscles. I ran my fingers through my hair, which was tangled so much that it resembled not so much hair as rope.
"Mommy!" Suddenly I was assaulted by my shrieking daughter.
"Hey baby," I crooned as I knelt and stroked her hair. "I missed you."
"Missed you too," she mumbled into my chest.
"Hey everybody!" A booming laugh resounded across the clearing that was the yard, and through the surrounding forest.
"Emmett! How've you been?" I shouted back. When I saw him, he had caught Alice and Tanya up in a giant bear hug.
"Honestly? It's been pretty boring for the past eighteen years without you around, Bells," he laughed. He swept me and Anna up in a joint crushing hug.
"Emmett, watch the kid!" I choked out.
"Oops. Sorry kiddo."
"'s okay," she grumbled.
"What? You wanna hug too?"
"Yeah!" instantly she disappeared into Emmett's huge embrace.
"Don't crush her," I warned. "I kind of like my daughter in her whole form."
"No problem. Come on. Let's go say hi to Rose," he said. The last part was aimed at Anna.
"Bella!" I glanced up at the steps, only to see Esme and Carlisle standing there.
"Hey!" I called. I glided up to hug them.
"It's been too long, Bella," Esme murmured.
"Way too long," I laughed.
After many greetings, I was finally left alone. Tanya and her clan had retreated into their respective rooms, while Esme, Carlisle, Alice, and Jasper had settled in the kitchen to catch up. Anna was probably off interrogating Tanya, Rose, or Emmett about something. The only person who hadn't greeted me was the only one I really wanted to see.
I searched the house (literally from top to bottom) and still couldn't find him. Reluctantly, as night fell, I retired to the living room, under the assurance of Alice and Esme that Edward would be back. Not soon enough, but soon.
Of course, a storm was raging again, after a brief lull. The television was knocked out, and the computer was strictly off-limits during storms. Needless to say, but for Anna, most of us were pretty bored.
Shades of night fall upon my eyes In my dreams your face is all I see
Lonely world fades away
Misty night, shadows start to rise
Lonely world fades away
In my dreams your face is all I see
Goddess I missed him—them—both. I was restless. The storm, the constant-seeming rain, reminded me strongly of Forks. I couldn't sleep—obviously. While no one was watching, I rose quietly from the couch and walked outside.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Bella glance around, rise, and leave.
"Pay up, Emmett. She left before a day was up," I grinned. Emmett swore under his breath, and dug out his wallet.
"Is she going to get lost?" Esme asked worriedly.
"Nah. She's got a better sense of direction—Emmett, don't even think about shorting me."
"Damn. I was hoping you wouldn't see that," he said as he handed over the bills, grinning.
"I didn't. I just know you."
I still slumped against the old tree. A brief lull in the storm had 'woken' me, but as soon as the rain started up again, I fell back into a sort of trance.
Through the night you share your love with me
Visions of you
All the love I never knew
Funny, actually. The only time I could truly love Bella—the only time she seemed to return my affection—was in the night. When she wasn't even here.
The wind shifted direction, and with the breeze came a scent—achingly familiar, yet somehow totally alien. And with the scent came an empty space where any other being with that scent—vampire scent—would be. There was only one person in the world that was that unique.
"Bella?" I whispered. At once I bit my tongue, but the word was out there—irretrievable. Traitor hopes!
"Edward." There was no hesitation in this beautiful voice. No anger, no hate. No feeling.
I clambered to my feet—most uncharacteristically. I turned, only to see the most beautiful creature alive. Or, rather, not. Yes, she still looked about eighteen. That was odd. But my mind pushed all thoughts away that condemned Bella in any way. Her eyes glowed through the darkness—a smudged amber color, through the rain.
Here we are on the crossroads of forever
Silent star lights the way
The moon glinted through the thinning cover of the clouds. She motioned at me with her finger—just a slight twitch. I might have misread it. After a moment, though, without my moving, she grew agitated.
"Come on, Edward. I won't bite—not you, at least." Her eyes glinted with wry humor. I stepped warily toward her.
"Are you going to hit me again?"
"Goddess, no. I would hate to ruin the lovely forest!" she exclaimed playfully.
"And not your walls?" I teased.
"No." She shook her head. "Walls are dead wood. Trees are alive. They can be hurt."
Walk with me on the winds on time
Love's mystery is for us to find
We walked down the path, beaten down by hours of hard running. I noticed that Bella didn't trip once, despite the copious amount of undergrowth.
"You've changed," I mused.
"Oh, really? Might it be the fact that I'm a bit taller? Prettier? More durable?" she asked, a flippant tone to her voice.
"No. You haven't tripped yet."
"Oh. Yeah. I almost miss that."
"Being so clumsy you're almost disabled?"
"Yeah. Do you think, if I fell, you would still catch me?" she asked. Did I detect a hint of wistfulness in her voice? Or were my hopes just letting my subconscious inject feelings that weren't there?
"I think I would still—"
Of course, she was not paying attention to where she walked, and in an apparently rare moment of the old Bella, tripped. I caught her, of course.
"—catch you." I set her back on her feet. She looked at me, and I could see what she had meant about dazzling people.
"I had hoped you would," she sighed. Did that mean what I thought it did? She took my hand.
"I never stopped loving you, you know," she whispered. "I—I missed you."
"Your distractions weren't enough?"
"There were no distractions. I made them up."
"So—can we be the way we were?" Her tone was hopeful, and a little bit frightened.
"Not exactly the way we were. After all, we have a daughter to raise," I whispered.
"Together?" I could barely hear her voice.
"Yes!" Alice hissed.
"What?" their voices were loud, and insistent.
"They're back! Yes!"
Carlisle sighed in relief. "Finally. Now Edward can stop being so gloomy all the time."
"And Bella. She was always moping around. She practically memorized the Star Wars movies." Alice grinned.
"Which reminds me," Jasper laughed, "I've got to return those to her."
"Sweet! We can play baseball again!" Emmett boomed.
"We can all be a family. Finally," Esme grinned.
Edward and Bella didn't come back that night. They stayed in the forest through the night. The stars shone brightly through the wispy clouds, illuminating the woods, and the two. They were made for each other, and they were together again.
Until the day, until the day I find you Go on dreaming ...
I won't rest, I won't let go
Somehow, some way, I know I'll be beside you
To warm my heart and fill my soul
Go on dreaming ...
A/N: Whew! Okay, people! Cut, print, Tony! I mean, curtain! It's over. Sob. I can't believe it. I actually finished it. Only the second ever story to get finished. Ow. My fingers hurt. Too much typy-ing! Okay, guys. I gotta go. My brain won't work. To all my loyal fans who have been with me from the first, and the new guys, I thank you. I hope you have vamptastic whatevers. Au revior! I'll be Bach! And you can be Beethoven! Okay, inside joke. You know the way Arnold Swartza-what's-his-name says 'I'll be back'? He's all like, "I'll be Bach," so we've got the joke running that whenever someone says it like that, someone else will say, "And I'll be Beethoven!"