A/N- Alright… here's part two… as promised. Enjoy.
Also, I don't own Twilight… or any of the other parts of the series. Just in case you didn't know… lol.
Edward stretched out beside me, his face thoughtfully upturned towards the sky.
"I was a monster." The words were so simply said. As if he was telling me what his favorite toy had been when he was a child.
Several minutes passed. I waited for him to say more. I waited for him to give me a big confession about his few years as a murderous drifter. I waited for him to say something, but it seemed he was finished.
"Edward, you were not a monster." I ground out, flipping over so I could give him a fierce look. "You were saving innocents and keeping others from—from—"
"From living the rest of their lives." Edward's face was grave as he stared back at me.
"No. You kept them from being a menace to society. You kept them from destroying other people." I insisted.
"I was making a choice that I hadn't been given to make." Edward shook his head, "I was playing God, Bella. It's—horrible." His eyes closed against my scrutiny.
"That was three or four years out of a hundred," I scowled, "And I wasn't asking them about what you were like then. I can pretty much imagine what you were like. I do still remember our first meeting."
I winced as soon as I said it. I had promised myself that I would try to never bring that up, if it was within my power. But I had.
I suddenly found myself locked within Edward's steel embrace. His lips crashed down on mine, giving me little chance to even breathe. I was so surprised, my body responded when my mind didn't.
When Edward finally broke the kiss, I was gasping for air and trying to unknot my fingers from his hair. His cool cheek rested against mine, so I couldn't see his expression. I imagined torturous looks from the past and I felt guilt wash over me once again.
"I wish that I could wash that memory from your mind, sometimes," his voice had a sorrowful quality to it as he whispered in my ear, "And then sometimes, I find it's best that you remember. Maybe if it won't scare you away, it'll help you control yourself—once you…" He didn't finish his sentence. I understood. He meant once I was changed.
"I wish that I hadn't mentioned it at all." I sighed, resting my hands on his shoulders.
Silence hung over us, as we held each other.
"So, ready to go home?" Edward's voice was almost normal. I frowned.
"No." I pushed until he let me sit up, allowing a stubborn tone to enter my voice, "We can't just run away from stuff because it's painful or unpleasant to talk about. You still haven't told me your side of the story. I KNOW what you were like those few dark years. You've all but acted it out for me in detail. I want to know what you were like before me. Before you knew me. Esme, Alice and Rosalie were doing a pretty good job until you butted in."
"They were telling you what they could see and what they'd encountered. But I'm the only one who can tell you what I was thinking and feeling," Edward retorted.
"So, tell me." My tone softened as I looked into his indignant face. No matter that there was a petulant pout gracing his lips. He was still the most beautiful creature I'd ever laid eyes on. I don't know if I'll ever get over it.
Edward took a deep breath, as if he was readying himself for a huge argument, instead of a story telling, but then he began speaking, his melodic voice filling the air around us.
"The first few days after I'd changed are all but forgotten to me. I was consumed by the—the unconditional need to feed. I was later thankful that Carlisle had immediately moved me out into the country, away from most human contact. In the weeks and months after my change I was an absolute teenager. I stormed around, feeding only when Carlisle insisted. Or when I couldn't bear the hunger any longer.
"Two things kept me from storming out of the house and mauling an entire village. Carlisle reminded me constantly that my mother had wanted me to live on and I knew that my mother would not approve of any massacre that I might incur. The second thing was that I recognized Carlisle's loneliness. In his mind he delighted in my presence. For some reason, I couldn't make myself leave. That was before he made it such a diligent practice to school his thoughts around me."
Edward's mouth bowed up into a small smile, obviously taking pleasure in those first times with Carlisle. He might have been remembering a specific incident, with such a secretive grin.
"While Carlisle worked as the doctor in a local village, I was left to my own devices. That is when I discovered the piano that had been left by the last residents of our house. Music had been an interest to me when I was human. I had been sent to piano lessons for most of my boyhood, but I remember never being very good at it. Mostly because I didn't practice. But I had an infinite amount of time, and little to do since I had no companion but Carlisle. I began teaching myself how to play again and then realized how much my speed gave me an advantage. Most of my first year was spent diverting myself with that. Carlisle was glad to see me find something to pour my energy into.
"Then a few years later Carlisle and Esme got together. You know that story, since Esme told it to you tonight. I had been terrified when Carlisle brought her in. I was so used to it just being Carlisle and me that for the first day and a half I was so angry. I locked myself in my rooms, composing angry fugues so Carlisle would know just how unhappy I was about the intruder.
"He was such a cheater though. He used my mind reading abilities to his advantage and explained everything over and over again in his mind. How much better it would be for me since I would have another person with me while he was in his office. How hurt Esme had been. How she would have died. Just like me."
Edward's face had transformed in the time he began recalling his past. Gone was the hard tumultuous expression. It had been replaced by a face reliving memories that seemed fond to him. I don't know what had possessed him to start at the beginning, but I was learning so much, so quickly, that I wanted him to continue. I had to remember to keep myself focused on his words and not get caught up in his expressions, because I would miss entire parts of the story if I didn't pay attention.
"I was so young then. So young. I imagine that I had been doted upon by my parents and then I'd had Carlisle's full attention for so long that I had known nothing else. After Esme joined the family, I truly began to grow out of my teenagedom. She encouraged me to read books and to write. Once Rosalie was strong enough to go out into crowds of humans, Esme urged us both to enroll in school. She wanted us to learn as much as we could. I found that I was interested in all sorts of subjects. I frequently participated in music programs when I attended college the first time."
"Wait," I interjected when he paused. His faraway look disappeared as he gazed at me, fixing an intent look upon his face, "You're telling me about your life. I know the storyline of your life. I want to know what you were LIKE. How was that first year with Esme? Were there times that you felt like she was an intruder? And Rosalie—what did you think when you finally realized that Carlisle had the idea to think you would be a good match? How was your first experience at college? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Were you the weird one who sat in the back of the classroom hoping not to be noticed? Or were you always participative? What about--"
"Bella!" Edward interrupted, smiling crookedly at me, "I get it. I get lost in the history sometimes. I will backtrack. Esme was—well she was graceful about her change. That made everything a lot easier. Right off she wanted to know everything about us. Of course, that's how she fell in love with Carlisle. But with me, she was always supportive and that drew me to her. I couldn't be angry for much longer because she was so caring and interested in our lives.
"She also got us both caught up in decorating the house," he scrunched his nose in disdain, "Our house had been pretty bare, and then she started asking Carlisle for bolts of fabric and a sewing machine. She found her distraction in making curtains and reupholstering the furniture. Somehow she got both of us interested in it—in making it a home. She really blossomed under that."
He paused in though and then grimaced, "I was… very unhappy about Rose. She was so vain. She stood hours upon hours in the beginning staring at her reflection. Other than helping her with her revenge, I didn't want anything to do with her. I actually ignored her presence for a few weeks. And it was then that I figured out Carlisle had first wanted Rosalie for me. That only made it worse. Esme let me throw my tantrum for a while and then she started giving me lectures about the importance of family and sticking together. If we were all going to feed from animals, we were going to need to support each other. Soon, Rosalie and I found a common ground when I unearthed this old Model T Ford that had been crashed on our property. We started learning how to restore it—she was actually better at it than me—and yes, it took me a long time to actually admit that."
"I wasn't going to say anything," I tried to feign innocence, "So, what about college?"
"We're going to be here all night." Edward sighed.
"I have all the time in the world." I leaned back luxuriously and smiled at him.
"Of course you do," he gave me sardonic smile, but continued, "In college I was in between being participative and non-communicative. I think it depended upon my mood and the subject of the course. In most science and history classes I participated, asking question upon question. Trying to understand cold fusion and the Punic wars. My professors either loved me or hated me because of all the questions I asked. The music professors were always delighted with me because of my piano abilities.
"Then I got accepted in the medical school. Much of my time was spent learning new practices and honing my abilities for Carlisle. That was when Rosalie attended with me and second year, we made it a game. Whoever could bring Carlisle the most up to date practices would get the most satisfaction." Edward laughed at the memory and then sobered quickly.
"It was only when Jasper, Alice and Emmett came on the scene that I began to become reclusive. I will admit I was a little hurt. Even though Rosalie had only been a sister to me, I was upset to lose a companion when she brought Emmett home. I wasn't nearly as childish as I had been about Carlisle's adding Esme to the family, but I was a little withdrawn during the time." He paused, gauging me with a speculative eye.
"Are you not tired of this yet?"
"No," I shook my head, "I don't know if I could ever get tired of it. You're giving me the reader's digest version of a very intriguing part of your life. I'm just soaking it all in."
"You're like a sponge. And I doubt that you'll forget any of this," his wry smile made me laugh.
"You've just—never wanted to talk about before." I sighed.
"That's because before you, my existence was just a string of events. It wasn't a life." He shrugged and launched back into his description, "Since Jasper and Alice joined the group I've spent much of my time focusing on my studies. It was in the sixties and the seventies that I learned most of the languages I know. We spent a lot of time out of the country then. It was kind of crazy here in the states during that era anyways. Carlisle became my constant companion because he was eager to use the languages he'd known for so long with someone else.
"When we came back into the country, I was intent upon going to medical school again. It really is harder to go back to college after a while. It's tough going to high school over and over again like we've done in the past twenty or so years, but those years in medical school were difficult. I can't say why. I guess it was largely because I'd been doing other types of study and a lot of the information was standard practice that I'd learned already.
"Once I got into the second year all the new procedures started to become more prominent. I had more new things to report to Carlisle. I packed in as many of the extra seminars as I possibly could. I was a model student. And when it came time for me to do my rotation, I was strong enough to actually do it, instead of having Carlisle do all my paperwork. I loved it. I could understand why Carlisle loved the ER so much. It was so fast paced and as long as I didn't breathe half the time, I felt like I was doing a great good. I almost went ahead into residency, but we'd decided to move again."
Edward propped his head on his hand and looked down at me, "I think that's the closest I've ever been to actually being anything but passive before I met you. I was always intent on being good at whatever I was doing at the time, but this was different. I felt like I was paying off debts when I was helping save humans' lives. It was exhilarating.
"Since then, I feel like I've just kind of been… existing again. I read a lot of current books and of course, since the invention of CDs and MP3s, I've been building my music collection to its latest size. It's taken me some time to find some of my favorite artists. I've had records for the most part. I know you can't remember this, but up until about fifteen years ago, they weren't all that obsolete." Edward smiled teasingly.
"No, Grandpa Edward, I don't think I even remember what a record is. You're so old." I made a ridiculous face at him.
"Respect your elders," he tried to sound authoritative, but just ended up smiling crookedly.
"Have I ever?" I asked.
"You do more than you think." Edward laughed, "So is there anything else? Other deep dark secrets about me that you want to hear?"
"Is it true that you threw Alice half a mile when you first met her?" I asked, laughingly.
"Yes," Edward nodded, seriously, "I was very suspicious of her and Jasper. We didn't know them, and yet, here they were, one of them having visions of us in her mind. You can never be too careful."
"But you knew they were vampires?" I asked.
"Of course. It's kind of hard to miss the ridiculously white pallor and the eyes." He shook his head.
"I think you've talked much more tonight that I ever thought was possible," I placed my hand gently on his cheek, "You never talk like this... So freely. Casually even."
"You're very easy to talk to," he grinned, making my heart flip.
"What about you? Were there times that it was more difficult for you to be around humans, than others? And your mind reading. You didn't talk a lot about that either."
"Well, as far as I can tell, the time I least wanted to drink anyone's blood was in the sixties and seventies. When we were here in America, the general population was buying into all the diet changes and they were beginning to smell all wrong. The ridiculous amounts of heroin in their blood stream didn't help either. Other than that, only just recently it's been difficult to be around one human."
I rolled my eyes at his insinuation.
"As for the mind reading… it's always been a challenge that I've used to my advantage. Sometimes I've never wanted to know what people are thinking. Other times, I'm grateful for the gift. Unfortunately, I seem to have come to rely a little too much on it." His grimace made me smile.
"Can I help that you don't have access to my mind?" I laughed, "It's just as well. I would be no mystery to you, if you could read my mind, then where would we be?"
"Right here," Edward demonstrated the full meaning of his statement by sliding his arms around me again.
"You think so?" I sighed, "The first thoughts I had when you were around were pretty… unoriginal."
"Your scent still had me crazed though." Edward breathed in then, probably inhaling my personal perfume, "I would have been intrigued even if I'd known what you were thinking."
"I doubt that seriously." I giggled.
"Every human is captivated by us, Bella." He reminded me, standing up in one lithe motion, "It might have been unoriginal, but though I tire of hearing it, I would have taken it as a compliment from you. Now, are you done with this interrogation? I think that getting you home at a decent hour will win me points with Charlie."
"I don't think you could win points with Charlie," I shook my head and took his offered hand, "When you came with me to tell him about our engagement, he almost tried to bodily remove you from the house."
"He almost did. He pictured it several times and how vindicated he would feel, slamming the door shut on me." Edward linked his arm around my waist as we walked slowly back towards the house, "But then he thought better of it when he looked at you. He saw how happy you were and he even held his tongue for the most part."
"Well, at any rate, he'll be here to… walk me down the aisle," I grimaced. A bright smile lit Edward's face when I looked up at him.
"You'll be the most beautiful bride ever." He promised.
"Says you." I elbowed him in the ribs, but just came back with a dinged elbow.
"Bella, quit trying to break yourself," He warned, "That won't keep us from getting married."
And for some reason, I fell just a little more in love with Edward that night.
A/N- Alright… tell me what you think. I had to get REALLY creative with this part…