I can feel their emotions; distinct and fresh and passionate. Even if I didn't have my abilities, I would have sensed their love. Her eyes light up each time she sees him, or feels him, or hears his voice, and her heart beats so loudly that I'm sure humans could hear it as clearly as we do. And she smiles so softly at him, when she thinks he is not watching.
But he is always watching. His eyes follow her everywhere, body orbiting around hers as though she was his sun. His smile too is soft, and every time he touches her, it is with such care and attention that his love for her is emphasised with every gesture.
There are other emotions too, more difficult to decipher if one is without my skills. Her fear when he leaves her, an emotion undistinguishable in her happy smiling face as she waves goodbye from the doorstep. Edward turns to me for explanation, but I cannot bear to tell him. She feels lost without him, and longs for him to return, and guilt for being so dependant. And the same emotions emanate from him as we run to our hunting-ground. Guilt consumes him. And he longs as much as ever.
When I first came to live with Carlisle's family, I was surprised at the feelings that came from Edward.
Outwardly, he was fairly cheerful, friendly, helpful, calm and composed. Inside, all I could feel was despair, loneliness and longing. I soon came to equate that sense of longing with Edward. It was never absent, even when he was momentarily happy or even angry.
He always longed for something unknown.
At first I could not comprehend his emotions. I even, once, about a month after we arrived at the Cullens' unannounced, asked Esme what was wrong with him. I thought perhaps something had happened before our arrival; they had left another place, a girl, maybe... anything to explain his longing.
But Esme just smiled sadly and wistfully. "That's Edward," she explained. "He knows all of our problems, but would never bother us with his."
The more I got to know him, the more I began to understand his longing. It was a collection of factors; he longed to be loved, and to love; he longed for absolution; he longed for an end to the tedium of his life as he lived it; he longed to please Carlisle and his family; he longed to be truly happy in his life as it was... He longed for so much that I think he was, and is, even now, barely aware of it. Longing had become so much a part of him that it was barely an emotion any more.
I, too, soon became desensitised. In fact, after the first year with the Cullens, I never actively noticed that sense of longing again until it was suddenly, miraculously lifted. Not completely, I'll admit, but it had lessened to a point where other, stronger emotions were taking control of Edward.
He had found hope, joy and love. He had found Bella.
At first, there was such a conflict of emotions inside him. Despair battled against the newly-acquired hope, reminding him of all the obstacles in their relationship; his thirst for her blood and her mortality. Joy was almost overcome by guilt, which told him he would hurt her, damage her, cause her harm. And yet those positive emotions could not be completely destroyed. They had blossomed inside him, and they made themselves heard.
And then he decided to leave her. And it was all my fault.
Not only because I had attacked her, letting my weakness get the better of me. Failing where the others succeeded. Not only that, but the guilt I felt because of my weakness only fed Edward's own guilt. And thus I caused my adoptive brother six months of the worst pain he's ever felt.
And worse still, I was the first to abandon him; the first to flee from his company. The grief and guilt he wallowed in almost swallowed me whole, and I could do nothing but run from him. I was the first to leave him when he needed us most.
But now, I see them; Bella sitting at the table, barely listening as Alice describes the choice of flowers for the wedding, and Edward lounging on the couch, going through a play list Alice has 'recommended' for the reception; and I feel their feelings course through me, showing how far they are from the task in hand, as though the frequent glances at each other across the room weren't enough.
I stand, reach for Alice's free hand, ignoring her complaints which are silenced by a sudden vision of the future and pull her softly up the stairs to our room. They may struggle to keep their emotions in check, but I am in no mood to hold back from mine.