All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.

Time seemed to stand still as the minutes passed in silence. I could see how much pain he was in. I ached to take his pain away, but I didn't know how. Slowly I started to move from my position across from him. I slide with measured movements to sit directly beside him. Taking great care I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, almost mimicking his current position beside me. I felt so helpless, and useless. Was there nothing I could do? I was afraid to reach out to him again; selfishly fearing the rejection that I was sure would swiftly follow.

I rested my head on my knees turning my head to the side to better look out the large wall sized window in Edward's room. The sun was setting. It was later than I originally thought. Charlie would be home soon. I needed to call him and let him know I was okay, and to not expect me for dinner. I sighed to myself, not wanting to get up and leave Edward when I knew he needed me, but realizing that I had to be responsible.

There was a soft knock on the door just then. I glanced over at Edward, but he had not moved. It was as if he never heard anything.

"Yes?" I answered quietly.

Slowly the door opened and Alice stepped into the room. She said nothing; she simply beaconed with her hand for me to follow her. I glanced once more at Edward before I sighed and got up. I walked over to her confused at what she could possibly need that was more important than me being with Edward right now.

Once we were in the hall she stopped and smiled at me. "It's all taken care of Bella."

I shook my head slightly back and forth blinking my eyes a few times in confusion.

"Alice what do you mean?"

"I talked to Charlie. We're having a sleep over." She chirped obviously pleased with herself.

"Thanks." I breathed in appreciation. I gave her one quick smile as I turned to go back to Edward.

"He's going to be ok you know."

I froze at her words as relief washed over me.

"Carlisle worked on Mike himself. He will be up and around, and back to his old self in no time." She added darkly.

I simply nodded my head in thanks, wanting to get back to Edward. I opened the door without hesitation. I didn't have to search for him this time. My eyes deftly focused on him in the corner. He looked like a statue the way he held so still. He was so beautiful it took my breath away.

I quickly made my way to his side and sat down next to him. I timidly reached out with my hand and rested it on his back. He flinched slightly, but I pretended not to notice as I began to rub soothing circles with my hand along his upper back.

As more time passed I could feel him slowly relaxing under my touch. I raised my other hand to his head and began to comb my fingers lovingly through his hair. I slowly moved my other arm to wrap around him, holding him as close to me as I could.

"He's going to be ok you know." I whispered.

He sighed softly as if in defeat. It was the first sound he had made in hours.

"Why are you still here?" His voice was strained, but not as detached as before.

"I told you I wasn't going to leave. You need me now whether you realize it or not." I added stubbornly.

He snorted in obvious disgust. He response hurt me more than it should have. I pulled away from him and stared at him quietly for a short moment.

"If you really want me to leave I will." I explained in a soft voice. "You don't have to tell me anything. We can just sit here. I don't want to make things harder for you. Tell me what you really want and need and I will do it." I said earnestly.

He took a deep breath and slowly let it out raising his head from his knees to rest it against the wall in back of him. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. I reached my hand out to him and began to stroke his arm comfortingly.

He shook his head slowly back and forth. "Do you even realize what I have done?" He said in a voice so low I almost couldn't hear it.

"Yes."

He breathed out sharply in disgust, "And yet here you sit." he spat out angrily.

He turned his head towards me to look at me. His eyes were so dark, and sad. There was anger deep within, and it scared me. I gasped softly at his expression before I could stop myself. I knew he had heard me, and I quickly looked down.

"I told you I'm not going anywhere. Not unless you really want me to leave." I whispered.

I looked up at him when it became obvious he was not going to respond. He was still staring at me, but his eyes were softer now. I reached up with one of my hands and placed it to the side of his face. He slowly closed his eyes and relaxed into my touch.

In a movement too fast for me to see he grabbed me and placed me in his lap burying his face in the crook of my neck. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled myself closer to him.

"Please stay." He finally uttered in a low horse voice. He buried his head in my hair taking in my scent, and I held him close rubbing his back in an attempt to soothe him.

We held each other for a long while as Edward slowly began to relax. I didn't say much of anything. Every now and then I would tell him that I loved him, and he would squeeze me tighter in response.

"Edward" I began hesitantly. "If you want to talk about it you can. I will listen. Don't worry about scaring me. I'm here for you. I love you more than anything no matter what happened." I muttered reassuringly.

He took a deep breath and raised his head to look me in the eyes. He searched my face for a long time. I wasn't sure what he was looking for, but he must have found something that gave him the courage he needed.

"I lost control Bella." He admitted. His voice was thick with shame and repulsion.

"It's ok Edward." I said trying to reassure him.

"No it's not." He snapped. "I put someone in the hospital because I couldn't control my temper. Nothing about that is ok."

"He's going to be fine. Carlisle treated Mike himself." I explained.

He looked away from me out the window and sighed heavily.

"We were in gym." He began his voice sounding far off, "It was like most other days I suppose. That's when I heard him." His voice had turned deadly. His hands were clenched into tight fists, his jaw tight with tension. He closed his eyes trying to return himself to a state of calm. He took a deep breath and continued, "I warned him to stay away from you and to never speak of your name again, and then I walked away. But then…" He trailed off dropping his head into his hands in one swift movement.

"It's ok. Take your time. You don't even have to tell me if you don't want to." I muttered softly as I gently stroked his hair. I was terribly curious. I couldn't imagine what Mike could have done to enlist this type of reaction in Edward. He was always so in control. I was angry with Mike. Not for what he had said about me, but for how it had affected Edward.

He sighed, "Alice came to see me. She wanted to warn me about…" He looked quickly at me his eyes wary, and let his head fall back down. "It was just too much. I couldn't let…It was so…If he had…"

He was shaking his head slowly back and forth, and I could feel his entire body tense around me as he searched for words.

"Go on." I gently urged as the minutes passed by.

He exhaled slowly, "I cornered him in the locker room when no one was there. He had no idea what hit him. I was too fast. Once I smelled the…blood…I came to my senses and was disgusted with myself. I knew I had to get out of there. I was too ashamed to talk to anyone, especially you." His voice sounded far away again as he relayed the rest of his tale. "I came home and all but locked myself in my room. I blocked everyone out wanting nothing more than silence. Then you came…" He chuckled once without humor. "You refused to leave…" He mumbled shaking his head.

He looked up at me searching my face. "I'm so sorry Bella. I'd ask your forgiveness but I don't deserve it. How can you stand to be near me after what I have done?" His eyes were sad and pleaded with me.

"Shhh. Edward there is nothing to forgive. I don't know what Mike did, or what he was thinking, but I don't blame you. I blame him."

"What?"

I chose to ignore his question for one of my own. "Edward what was he planning? What was it that made you lose control?"

He swiftly turned his head away from me, and his voice turned dark and menacing as he answered. "I'd really rather not say. The things he was planning were not unlike what those men in Port Angeles were planning when I rescued you from that alley."

I shivered involuntarily at his words as I remembered that night, and what Edward had prevented from happening.

"Thank you." I whispered with gratitude.

"What are you thanking me for?" He questioned harshly as he turned his head to look at me.

"For protecting me, and loving me enough to keep me safe."

"That's no excuse." He muttered pursing his lips.

"Maybe not, but Mike is going to be ok. From the sounds of it he deserved it." I added sternly.

"Bella…" Edward began, but I quickly put my hand over his mouth to silence him.

"No. Edward you need to stop beating yourself up over this. He doesn't know it was you, so there is no danger of exposure. You were just protecting me. He's going to be fine." I added to reassure him.

"But how can I trust myself around you? If I can lose control like that…so easily…" He gently placed one hand to my face and stroked my cheek. "If I were to hurt you I don't know what I would do."

I scoffed at him. "First off all it does not sound like you lost control over nothing. Second you would never hurt me. Thirdly I trust you enough for both of us. I love you Edward. I trust you completely, with my entire life. I know you, better than you know yourself even. Trust me when I say I am in no danger from you." I said earnestly.

He chuckled, "Like you are any judge of what is or is not dangerous."

I glared at him annoyed by his comment.

"What did I ever do to deserve you?" He asked his tone lighter, though his eyes were still sad.

"That's what I was going to ask you." I replied simply smiling up at him.

He smiled slightly and sighed, "So what now?" He mused more to himself than to me.

"I'm not sure." I answered honestly. He slowly bent his head down to brush his lips ever so softly against mine. Then pulled away all too soon.

"Bed time for the human. I'll take you home. I'm sure Charlie is out of his mind with worry."

"No he's not. Alice took care of everything. I'm having a sleep over." I explained slyly.

He looked at me with unfathomably eyes as he digested what I said. He smiled at me and gently lifted me in his arms. He walked slowly to his couch and lay down with me nested beside him. "If I had known I would have gotten you a bed." He whispered into my ear. "Sleep now my love. It's very late. Dream happy dreams." With that he kissed me once more on the lips and began to hum my lullaby.

I was scared to sleep knowing he was going to be awake all night with only his thoughts to torture him, but it had been a very long day. It was very late, and the emotional stress had taken its toll on me. I drifted off to sleep quickly clutching myself as close to Edward as I could, hoping for happy dreams knowing I would only have nightmares.