A/N- Hello all… I didn't mean to take a short detour from my final story in the WOE series, but I was inspired to write this because it recently happened to me—sort of. I'll explain once you've read it.

I don't own the Twilight series… although I wish I did… but I try my best.

I could hear the shower as I bounded up the side of the house. Bella was usually out of the shower and waiting for me in bed by the time Charlie was asleep. It was odd.

All coherent thoughts stopped when I smelled the thick accent of her blood on the air. I growled, wondering what had happened. Before my lucid mind could take over, I silently padded towards the bathroom door and knocked.

"Just a minute, Dad. I'm almost done." She said this in a normal voice, but in the quiet house with the acoustics of the bathroom, it sounded thunderous.

"Shh," I cracked the door open slightly and was assailed with the tantalizing smell of Bella's fresh wound, "It's me. What have you done to yourself?" The entire time I was stamping down the monster. Fighting the impetuous notion that I find whatever cut Bella had and drink from it.

"Go away," she whispered, "I can handle myself." She sounded unstable.

"Bella, if you could handle yourself, you would not be standing in the shower bleeding," I listened to make sure Charlie was securely asleep, thankful that the commotion didn't wake him.

"Just go sit on my bed. I'll be there in a minute." I heard the scowl in her voice. I hesitated, her scent wafting around me. It was so easy to forget that I had just fed. But the more humane side—the side that warned me of the severity of any such actions-- won out in the end. I closed the door and obeyed, wondering what exactly had caused her cut.

I suppose she could have cut her hand with a knife while she was doing the dishes or she could have cut her knee on the corner of the coffee table. Both images made the monster within me roar.

I tried to focus on other things. But what else was there to focus on? Bella's scent was magnified times a thousand when she cut herself. It was insanity. And yet I would be more crazed if she were gone. With this in mind, I got a full handle on myself. I could stop breathing if I needed to.

When she finally stepped into her bedroom, she made a wide arc around me and sat in the rocker in the corner. She was unsteady on her feet.

"Bella, where did you cut yourself?" I asked, impatiently, trying to pinpoint the exact location. She looked like she might pass out.

She frowned at me and lifted her right foot so she could examine her ankle. This was maddening. Why was she still bleeding anyways? If it was on her ankle or heel it could only be a surface cut.

"I cut myself shaving," she muttered, unhappily, "The razor caught my heel because I wasn't paying attention." She was using a tissue as a compress, but I could tell she was feeling faint.

"Your heel? What in the world?" I moved to examine it closer, very much in control of myself. My medical training was beginning to kick in. She flinched away, though, turning the rocker away. Protecting me and her.

"Stop. I can do this myself," She sighed, "It just takes a while. I haven't cut my heel like this in a long time." She leaned her head against the rocker's back, trying to take deep breaths. Her aversion to blood was ironic when she chose to spend most of her time with me—the vampire. It was the ultimate example of an oxymoron.

"It doesn't hurt?" I asked casually, trying to maneuver my way around so I could see it.

"It stings a bit." She admitted, "But it's mostly just annoying. Especially annoying since you're here."

"I'm alright." I said honestly, "I can handle it." I had managed to gently skirt around the chair until I was eye level with the hurt limb.

"Edward, come on. I don't want to make this harder for you than it has to be." She tried to push away from me again, but I caught the chair in an iron grip.

"Just be still so I can look at it." I caught her foot in my hand and turned it gently to examine the cut.

Cuts actually. Three short, jagged cuts that ran up the back of her heel. I imagined for a moment how she got them and the thought mingled with the scent, driving me just shy of the point of no return.

I stopped breathing so that my mind could focus. She really needed to prop it up over her heart. That would slow the blood flow so the cuts could scab over.

Before I could give myself time to think I scooped her up and laid her carefully on the bed.

"Stay." I ordered, "And keep your heel off the bed." She grimaced, but complied as I took three thick volumes from her desk. I didn't even look at the titles—probably her complete anthology of Jane Austen's works and that wretched Wuthering Heights—but placed them under the offended heel.

"Edward, those are my books—" she protested, but I had ran to the linen closet and back before she could comprehend my absence.

"Just don't squirm," I smiled at her, placing a washcloth over her precious books before they could be soiled. I pulled the rocker close to the head of the bed and rocked slowly, watching her adorable, scowling face.

"You didn't have to. I can take care of myself." She finally muttered.

"Bella," I tried to suppress a laugh at her grouchy tone, "I never tire of taking care of you." I reached over to play with a tendril of her hair, "I only tire of having to fight you in order to do so."

She snickered at that, but then sobered.

"I just don't understand how you control yourself." It was a murmur and I wonder if she truly didn't want me to hear the quiet musing, but it was easily answered.

"Because my life depends on yours. It's suicide to allow myself any of—those types of ideas."

Bella gasped and I felt gratified. I had finally caused her to emit some sort of reaction.

We were still for some time, just staring at each other. I tried very hard to turn my hypnosis away from her, giving her a very rare open look at my face. But I failed. I could see it in her eyes that she was under my unfortunate spell. And she wasn't breathing.

"Bella," I chastised her, looking away out the window. I heard her gasping for breath and couldn't stop the chuckle that rose from my chest.

"It's not fair that I'm so easily entranced," Bella scowled turning her eyes towards the window.

"I tried to turn it away. But I'm not practiced in keeping a human from being hypnotized by me." I shrugged, "Well, maybe practiced is too strong a word. I'm still not used to it."

"How does my heel look?" she asked after a moment. I allowed myself to breathe in as I kept my steady gaze on her. Her heady scent filled my lungs, but the air was no longer tainted with the live blood that had been spilling out of those three cuts.

"Healed." I smiled at the pun that I had not even meant to make.

"You think you're so smart." She rolled her eyes at me, "If you were really smart, you wouldn't keep so much space between us."

"Let's bandage you up before I let you try to seduce me." I moved swiftly, collecting a Bandaid and a tube of triple antibiotic ointment from the bathroom. She jumped a little when I reappeared suddenly beside her bed.

"No need for these anymore," I snatched the books from under her foot and threw them back on the desk.

"Don't manhandle my books," she pouted.

"They're just books, Bella. If I had destroyed them, I could have easily gotten you new ones." I reminded her, "As long as I'm not manhandling you."

I still had to concentrate—had to constantly remind myself of her human frailty. Even then. It was so difficult not to rip the bandage to shreds as I unwrapped it. As I gingerly lifted her wounded heel, I had to pay special attention not to shatter her entire ankle,

After she was fixed up, I sat marveling at her—at Bella and her perfection. She was all I would ever want. Ever. And if I had to focus on my own strength every day of my existence to make sure I never harmed her, I would.

"Edward," Bella's voice snapped me from my thoughts, "What are you thinking?" Her voice was so concerned I wondered just what she'd seen on my face.

"How special you are to me." I answered easily, "How important you are." I stood and walked across the room at a human's pace, throwing away the Bandaid papers and the blood soaked washcloth.

"It was something more than that, though, I think." Bella sat up, pulling herself into a cross legged position.

"I guess it's just that everyday I have to remember to be careful with you. To keep from breaking you myself. It's good to assess my control every now and then," I admitted, placing the rocker back in the corner. "Losing some of that control makes me dwell on it, I suppose."

"I told you I could handle it," she insisted, reaching out for my hands. I gladly placed them in her warm grip, and sank onto the bed. "But you're bent on being a superhero."

"That's just the way it was in my time. The men took care of the women. Can I not do that?" I tried to feign hurt. It didn't work.

"Not when it deals with blood." She smiled sadly at me, "I don't want to cause any more trouble than I can."

"You're no trouble," I pulled her into my lap, stroking her hair and allowing myself the pleasure of her intoxicating scent, magnified ten times over by her recent shower.

"Which is why your eyes were pitch black when I came in?" she raised an eyebrow at me.

"They're gold now, right?" I asked, gazing at her thoughtfully.

"Yes. Very gold." She nodded and yawned soundly.

"Well, that's all that matters." I smiled, "Now, time for bed, you little waif. You're up past your bedtime and it's a school day tomorrow."

In one smooth motion, I slipped her into the covers and settled myself beside her on top of them.

"You are way too easy to get along with," she frowned in a childlike scowl, "Do you have any flaws?"

"Besides the obvious," I barked a laugh.

"Oh… yeah. I forgot about that." She giggled sleepily. It was the most beautiful sound in the world.

"Three little cuts was all it took," I reminded her.

"Thank you for that," she placed her warm hand on my cheek and leaned to kiss me. It was a chaste, sleepy kiss, but it was enough to send my emotions to the skies and back. And then she was asleep.

I hadn't even had to hum her lullaby.

A/N- So, I cut my heel in the shower the other day and typical me, I wondered if Bella had never done that. She is far more accident prone than I am… heh. And one of my guy friends was actually there to fix me up and scold me for not paying attention to what I was doing. So I imagined it as all this was going on. I realize it's completely random… and in Edward's POV. But somehow it just worked.

Reviews are appreciated… and enjoyable.