Homework, Chapter One: Edward
Edward had spent years in high school doing essays just like the one being proposed on the board today: List 5 things you want to do before you die, and explain why they are important to you. Just a year ago, he would have written it automatically, even if not exactly truthfully, as he had done many times before. "I want to go to Paris, I want to see the Great Wall of China..." Those assignments had to be kept 'professional,' rather than personal. Writing, "I want to know if I have a soul and if so, am I permanently damned because of all of the people that I've eaten..." would not be wise, even if it was truthful. But now, with Bella in his life, he found himself looking at this assignment in a completely new way.
That night, as he watched Bella sleep, he gave himself over to his imagination, fully indulging in thoughts about what he needed to cram in during these last few weeks of Bella's mortality. What would he miss the most? What should she not miss out on? Eventually, his (honest and unedited) essays came together.
What I want to do with Bella before she dies
Before Bella dies, I want to spend as much time as possible committing the scent of her to my memory. I suspect that though she is likely to retain her own, special smell, her scent will change. It is what first drew me to her, for better or worse, and though every breath of it used to be a struggle, now it is my favorite, most cherished scent. There never will be anything like it in this world once I take it from her.
Second, I want to watch her fall down as much as possible. Again, like the painfully alluring scent of her blood, I suspect that her endearing clumsiness will abate after she is changed. With Bella, it is more than simply seeing her fall (something which endlessly amuses Emmett), it is the whole process that I love. The sudden, startled realization that she is about to fall as it registers on her face, the wildness of her eyes as she prepares to make contact with the ground, then being able to catch her delicate, human body just before she gets hurt. Then watching the blush creep across her cheeks which reflects embarrassment at her clumsiness, shyness at being caught in my arms, and pleasure at our proximity. I will miss all of that tremendously.
Blushing Bella. Ah, the pooling of warm, sweet blood across her pale cheeks. At the start, it was simply a temptation, like flashing a gourmet meal in front of a starving man. But after knowing her, I am aware that her blushes have so many varied meanings, from embarrassment and shyness to pleasure, rage, or passion. I honestly cannot imagine her without it, and hope against hope that somehow she will retain her ability to blush after her death. A fool's hope.
I want to bask in her warmth before she becomes cold like I am. I want to feel her blood warmed hands on my cheeks and in my hair, to feel her warm body pressed against mine, to run my lips along the veins in her neck and arms. Then, as I take her life, to drink just a bit of her sweet, sweet blood and revel in what I've kept myself from for so long...
At that point, Edward stopped because he simply couldn't bring himself to think, once again, about what he would be taking from her when he took her life. He was selfish. He had become reconciled to that. There was no going back now, and guilt would only make things worse. Perhaps a list of things he, they, could finally do after she died would be comforting...
5 Things I Want To Do Before I Die (The assumption being that both Bella and I are already dead, but still 'alive')
1. Make love to Bella. No explanation needed. When he could finally hold her, kiss her, love her like he needed and wanted to with no boundaries, no restraint... Best not to think about it too much now...
2. Teach Bella to run. In his opinion, Bella was already the most beautiful woman in the world, but he knew that once she had changed, she would be flawless and powerful and the combination of her grace, beauty and strength would be a combination so powerful that he would be utterly undone. He relished the thought.
3. Travel. He knew her well enough now to guess that her reluctance to accept gifts would follow her into her death. But she could never turn down travel, and if he refused to do anything but travel as first class as possible, he knew that her desire to see and experience the world would win out over her reluctance to spend money.
4. Read. Other than freeing one to hours of other activities, being able to forgo sleep was very conducive to reading. He loved that she was a bookworm, too, and looked forward to simple days and nights together where they could read, listen to music, love each other and just be.
5. Make love to Bella. No explanation needed.
Altogether a very satisfactory list, for himself at least. A more mundane and predictable list was needed for his assignment. With that thought, Edward slipped out of the rocking chair and into bed with Bella to hold her warm, delicate, scented body until she awoke.
End Part One
A/N: Part two will be Bella's thoughts and part three Jacob's.