There's something burning behind his eyes.
He's smiling, but something's there, something big. I can tell, I always can, and this worries me. Is he going to leave me again? Has he decided that I'm not good enough? "Wh-what's wrong, Edward?" I stammer, hoping the fear does not reach my eyes.
He lifts his hand up and strokes my cheek with his thumb.
"I need to talk to you." He attempts my favorite smile, but it's forced and I know it. So I 'smile' back.
"I just want to know something," he says, his voice like velvet.
"What?" I whisper. "Anything."
His eyes are hesitant. "I want to know exactly how you felt when I left."
Blood rushes up to my pale face, heating up more where his icy touch is. But his hand does not leave my face. "Oh," I choke out. Oh crap.
"It's alright if you don't want to tell me," he purrs, and I know I'm going to be unintentionally seduced if I don't just give in right now. "I'd just really appreciate it."
I sigh. "Um…. O-okay."
He sits down on the couch, and I follow him, my footsteps lighter than they should be, my head higher than normal.
"W-well," I begin quietly, but I know this sounds clear to him, "w-when you left, I was… I was… I was sad." I felt bad; sad didn't even begin to describe it.
"You felt sad? Is that all?" he whispers, "is that all?" His topaz eyes are begging for more, but his expression is calm.
"That depends," I say, trying to sound nonchalant, "how… detailed… do you want me to go?"
He shudders, and I wish I wouldn't have said anything. Wish he wouldn't have brought this up. "I want to hear everything," he whispers.
We stare at each other for a minute, or maybe an hour, I couldn't tell the difference. He's like a statue, and I feel like a child under his gaze, sitting here fidgeting and twitching because I want to get out of this conversation, even if it kills me.
I decide to start from the moment he left.
"I can't really describe how I felt when you left," I say in a small voice. "But I will try.
"When you told me you didn't love me anymore, I did believe you. I didn't understand how you went from telling me you loved me, to telling me you were leaving me, all in such a short time." He nods, but I can see the pain in his eyes. The only thing telling me to go on his cold hand squeezing my own. "But believe you, I did."
"You left me lying on the ground and I felt… I was numb. I felt like I didn't even exist anymore. I felt like the farther you were away from me, the farther my soul went from my body. My will to live basically disappeared.
"I had to pretend I was completely fine though. I had to pretend for Charlie. I knew I had to. So I talked to him when he asked me stuff. And I smiled at him and said goodbye to him when I left the house. I actually thought I had him fooled until I heard him talking to Alice about me." I offer a sheepish grin and he offers a weak one back.
"Before that, I was just dead. I threw out my music and I couldn't watch TV. The day I realized that I couldn't remember the exact smell of your skin, I really realized it was over. I knew you were never going to come back for me. It almost killed me to put on the act for as long as I did.
"Jacob really helped me though. When I was around him, I felt alive. I actually felt like there was a reason I existed. He w- is my best friend and nothing can change that. I probably would've killed myself if he wasn't there.
"But I still wonder if I was actually using him for the thrill. Maybe I just did those dangerous things to hear your voice – I apologize for that, by the way – because there was no way in my right mind that I was going to get over you. Ever."
Edward's head bows a bit. "There's nothing that special about me, you know. People lose their loves all the time. The only difference between the people today and me is the actual term 'people' and our appetites. And proper manners, if I must say." His attempt to brighten the mood works a little. I smile.
"People lose loves all the time, yes, but this was different. This was a different kind of love. This is the truest of true loves, Edward. I love you more than words can describe. Distance and lack of the actual relationship was not going to change that, not then, not ever."
Edward shifts his position and scoots over a little, towards me. His face becomes soft.
"That's how I felt when I left you." He presses his forehead against mine. "Being… what I am, I can remember every little second of that time that we were apart. It was horrifying, even just to think of. I always thought us vampires couldn't get hurt. But that only applies to physical pain. Being away from you was worse than anything I've ever endured."
Edward's soft eyes are filled with pain, and it makes me want to cry. I lean forward just a bit more, kissing his nose.
"But you came back," I whisper.
Edward smiles. "Yes, Bella, I came back. Because you are the most important thing to me now. You are the most important thing to me ever."
Author's Notes: Oh my god, it's finally finished. I am so sorry everyone. I started school right after writing the first chapter, and everything went INSANE, then it calmed down so I wrote some, but then it got crazy again, and then I got sick. But the important thing is that I'm done now! I love you guys!