This is the first Extra to first light. It is Edward's side of Bella's furor in Chapter 17 'Anger Management.' I wrote this along with first light - it was important for me to know how Edward knew to give Bella dry clothes!
Edward has his angst up, as usual.
Please review and let me know what you think! Thanks to shabbyapple, qjmom, and my e-sis psymom for beta's!
In Edward's voice...
Anger Management – Edward's side
Anger Management – Edward's side
After Bella and Alice left, I went to find Carlisle and Esme. Esme led us out into the forest around the house and showed us the mammoth tree that Alice had selected. It'll be a challenge getting this one in the house, Carlisle thought as we went to work. I tried to focus on the task, and not think about Bella shopping with Alice, alone. My mother sensed my worry, as usual.
"She'll be fine Edward; Alice won't let anything bad happen. You know that…" Esme tried to comfort me. I sighed.
"I know, but I still worry. She has come so far, so fast…" I took a deep breath as we started back toward the house.
"She really has, hasn't she?" I could feel Esme's love for my wife, and I couldn't help but share it. Esme opened the double doors that led into the back of the house. The wind gusted suddenly, blowing through the family room. I saw all the decorations shudder, and papers and books fly toward the front door.
"We'll clean that up, Esme." Carlisle chimed. He knew as well as I did that Esme was already thinking about which ornaments to use this year. We set the tree in its stand in the corner of the family room as Esme supervised.
"Lovely. Alice chose a nice one." She looked around the room briefly. "Do you think that Bella would mind the nineteen-forty's decorations, Edward?"
I thought for a moment. "I think she would like those. She enjoys old fashioned things." I smiled, thinking of her ancient truck. Esme left to dig out that set of ornaments and I went to help Carlisle clean up the flurry of books and paper.
As we stacked up the magazines, Carlisle's thoughts got louder. What is this? I didn't pay much attention until he began to read.
Aro seems to be the spokesman of the Volturi 'family'. Elegant and articulate, curiosity is his motivation in almost everything. He exudes an air of intelligence. I would guess that he has absorbed an enormous amount of information over time. Does he remember everything that everyone has ever revealed to him? He seems to respect Carlisle, though doesn't seem to hold much stock in Carlisle's chosen way of life.
He also seems somewhat similar to Carlisle in that he appears to favor, or at least consider, other options before violence. Unlike Carlisle though, I don't sense the abhorrence of violence in Aro, and he will use it without conscience. He is very comfortable with the power at his disposal, and it is easy to see why he would covet Edward and Alice. He seems to care for Jane like a pet – a pet attack dog. I wonder if he desires my family solely for their abilities, or if he fears them as well.
I can only imagine what it would be like if I were to try and absorb the multitude of his thoughts and memories…
"Carlisle what are you…" As I turned, I saw what was in his hands. "No…" I whispered.
Carlisle looked up from the book in his hands and saw the expression on my face. "Do you know what this is Edward?" As he flipped through the pages I heard Alice's car turn into the garage. Her thoughts were a buzz I ignored. Carlisle's thoughts filled my head as I saw through his eyes that Bella's entire book was about the Volturi. She had spent all this time worrying about them…
"Carlisle, please don't. That's Bella's notebook. She is very private about what she writes." Sadness filled me. Why didn't Bella tell me she was so worried? I listened now as the car doors closed. Alice's mind filled with an image of Bella I'd never wanted to see. She was enraged, terrifyingly angry, a true vampire. Carlisle still looked down at the book, and I stepped toward him to take it away.
"Maybe we should wait a bit before we go in." Alice's voice was urgent.
Edward, I can't stop her… she thought, warning me. I was now next to Carlisle. He closed the book lost in thought, not hearing the sounds that I did.
"Why?" Bella's voice was confused. I shuddered, thinking of what she'll do when she finds us.
"Bella, let's go…" Alice pleaded.
"How long has she been working on this?"Carlisle asked.He thumbed through the book one more time. I began to tense, wanting to tear the book out of his hands – but what would I do then? It was already too late. Alice's vision intruded again – Bella was now snarling, then running. I couldn't tell where she was running to, or away from, but I could easily guess.
"Since the camping trip. I had no idea. She's going to be very angry when she comes in."I could hear the fear in my own voice, and Carlisle looked into my eyes. He realized that Bella was outside. I'm sorry Edward. Let me explain it to her – it's my fault.
I just shook my head sadly as I heard her stomping toward the door. How can I explain this? What if this is the thing that drives her from me… I heard Alice as I prepared to face my wife.
"Please try not to break anything, Bella. Remember, they love you," Alice said with a sigh.
I slowly opened the door. Alice looked at me and grimaced. Bella stood next to her trembling with rage – the image I'd just seen in Alice's mind. My heart ripped in two. "Bella," I said, waiting for the fury.
"Edward," she managed through her teeth. I'd seen her seriously angry only once as a human, but never like this. Her face was livid as she shoved her fists into the pockets of her jeans. I looked into her eyes and could see the betrayal that accompanied the anger. A low growl escaped her lips. It sent a shiver down my spine.
It'll be okay, Edward, really. Alice's thoughts flew by as she rushed between us toward her room. I caught a picture of Bella and me together in a dark, snowy meadow in her vision of the future, but it was no comfort. I focused everything on my fuming wife.
I tried to relax, to not infuriate her further. "Bella, please forgive me and Carlisle. It truly was an accident." I waited for some reaction, but there was none.
I was tensing up again. "We were bringing the tree in and the wind blew through the house. All the magazines and books were blown on to the floor. Carlisle and I cleaned them up." Still no response… How I wanted to know what she was thinking – to know how much she hated me at this moment. I was sure my penny wouldn't work now…
I tried again. "Bella, please. Carlisle picked up your book, not knowing what it was. He glanced at the page and it caught his attention. Then he showed it to me." I felt the shame of what I'd seen through Carlisle's thoughts. She finally reacted, crossing her arms, seething. I couldn't look her in the eye as I confessed.
"I recognized what it was. I should have taken it from him and put it away, but I didn't. I'm so sorry Bella." I saw her eyes blazing and desperately hoped that they would soften, if only for a moment. I wanted to hold her, beg for her forgiveness, but she began to shake even more. Touching her was out of the question.
"How could you…" she spat, then turned away from me. My heart broke as I realized she was hiding everything from me now, her words, her thoughts, her face… Piece by piece she was leaving me. The terror of losing her now reared up inside me again. I could picture her screaming and running away, something that at one point I had wanted. Not now though, not ever again. In my memory I faintly heard her promise not to hide from me, but how could I expect her to keep it? I hadn't kept my promise… again…
"Bella, please come inside." I begged her, knowing it wouldn't be enough. I cringed at the thought of never seeing her eyes again.
"What is this? Fear?" Her voice cut me like a knife as she spun to face me. "You don't really think that I would try to hurt you, do you?!" I heard the windows rattle at her shrill tone. One last look at her lovely face…
"No, Bella, I know that." I could barely speak due to the lump in my throat. How I wish she would stay, even if it was just to punish me… "Please …don't leave… Please." As I continued to beg her, her eyes widened, realizing my true fear. My chest became empty at the sight, my heart, lungs, it all disappeared, leaving with her. I wouldn't follow her when she turned to go…
"How dare you think that I would run from you. Where would I go – South America? I made you a promise… If you know what that means." I felt my mouth open at the words as my brain struggled to understand, frozen in shock. Before I could start to comprehend what was happening, Bella shocked me again – she ran into the house.
As I watched, still stunned, Bella appeared in front of Carlisle with her hand out. I still couldn't breathe, I was so dumbfounded by this turn. She didn't leave… I finally managed a short breath as the chasm in my chest began to close, no longer empty.
"I'm very sorry, Bella. It was my fault." Carlisle's words were soft. His thoughts echoed his words.
She was shaking so hard he had to work to put the book in her hand. Bella then snarled viciously at him – Carlisle flinched and another shiver went down my spine. The notebook flew toward the fire, and then she disappeared. The sound of the bedroom door slamming woke me from my trance.
No! Carlisle's thoughts yelled.
I turned back to him just in time to see him reach into the fire and pluck out her book. Only one corner had started to burn, and he quickly extinguished it with his hand.
Now my anger was starting to rise. "What are you doing? She threw that into the fire – let it burn." I strode toward him. I would give her whatever she wanted, and she wanted that book gone.
Edward, wait. Carlisle held up his hand. I stopped knowing that I couldn't attack my father. You know that Bella did not think when she threw this in; she was just reacting with her anger. When she calms down, she will probably regret that action.
We both flinched when we heard another door slam. I listened carefully and could hear music – loud, metal, screaming music – and the shower. I took a breath, realizing that she was keeping her promise. Her faithfulness to me should have brought me relief, but instead it only amplified how worthless I felt.
I won't look in it again Edward, I promise, and if she wants to burn it after she's calmed down, she will. But she's put so much into this, I'm sure that she will want it back.
"I doubt it. She regrets nothing once she's made a decision." My voice faded out and I looked down. I tried not to imagine my life without her loving me. She wouldn't leave, that was clear, but how could she still love me?
Edward, she'll calm down and it will be alright. I'll make sure she understands that this was all my fault. Carlisle continued to try and take responsibility again for Bella's anger, but it didn't help. My mind tried to understand how Bella could still be here…
Another possibility occurred to me then, even more horrible. She could tell me to leave. I gasped as I remembered when I was alone, without her or my family. How I'd tried to end my tortured existence – and nearly succeeded. She'd remembered, too, when she mentioned South America… and she'd remembered the pain I'd caused her; that I keep causing.
Then reality set in. No, Bella would never ask me to leave my family – it would hurt them too much. She still loved them. She would stay and it would be worse than punishment – why had I thought that it would be better? We would be together forever, just as she'd promised. I would spend eternity with a woman whom I loved but who hated me. I'd finally managed to find the elusive hell on earth.
"She still loves you Edward, this doesn't change that." Carlisle tried to comfort me, somehow sensing my thoughts.
"Doesn't it? This isn't the first promise I've broken. And I questioned her faith in me. How can she trust me now? Why should she?" Anger and pain mixed together in my voice. I tried to swallow the lump that was still in my throat.
"Give her a little more credit than that, Edward." Alice's voice was defiant as she joined us. "Bella has never held a grudge. I thought you knew her better than I did. Quit overreacting!"
I glared at Alice as her words sank in. Was I overreacting? Bella was so angry, how could she simply forgive me? She couldn't, there had to be consequences. The ache in my chest returned.
The helpless feeling took over again and I sat on the couch and covered my eyes with my hand. She won't leave, but she won't be happy, either. I felt the penny dangling in my shirt, another knife in my heart. I couldn't think anymore, the pain made it impossible. "What do I do now?" I finally whispered, defeated.
"You go get her a set of dry clothes and wait for her to forgive you." Alice's voice softened. "Then you stop worrying that Bella could ever not love you. I don't need to see the future to know that she always will. If nothing else, she is too stubborn to stop loving you. You need to accept that you and she are two halves of the same being – soul mates she would say."
I looked up in Alice's eyes, wanting to believe her. She loved Bella almost as much as I did, and there was truth in her words. I heard another loud song start on the CD. My throat was still constricted, though. I started to argue, but Alice stopped me. She looked into the future again, and I saw Bella smiling, her hair wet, reaching up to kiss me. I took a deep breath. Could it be true?
"Here's something else for you." Alice held out a single red rose and smiled. "Trust me…"
I slowly took the flower from her, remembering the first night Bella was my wife and closed my eyes. Would it ever be like that again?
"Go, she's almost done." Alice prodded me. I looked at Carlisle. You know she is right… This is nothing compared to what you two have already been through.
I tried to tell myself that they were right, that it would all be okay, that I was overreacting. They both had been married a lot longer than I had, after all. I stood and headed to our room.
Slowly I reached for the door and opened it. There had been no sound after Bella had slammed this door, so I wasn't totally surprised that the room was in pristine order. Had it been me, there wouldn't have been anything larger than a dime left here. Her control was impressive.
Alice had said that Bella needed clothes, so I carefully picked out a set for her. I didn't choose my favorite blue, though, still afraid of inflaming her anger. The music changed to another song – there were only a few more left on the CD. I stood at the bathroom door, trying to make my hand open it.
What would I say? She could see the door from the shower – would she even acknowledge my presence? Would there be more snarling? Do it, Edward… Alice's thoughts yelled at me. Dammit – why was I cursed with this 'gift'?
I quietly opened the door, and slipped in before any steam could escape. I hazarded a glance toward the shower, and was taken aback by the sight. Bella was standing, fully clothed, in the stream of water. I could see her eyes were closed as she slowly rolled her shoulders, relaxing them. I marveled at her for only a moment, then set down her clothes next to the CD player. I kissed the rose and laid it on top.
I slipped out before she could see me. She had started rolling her head around, eyes still closed, working on relaxing her neck as I crept back out.
The door closed silently behind me, and I heard the last song on the CD start. My mind raced with the image of her calmly releasing the anger and tension. How did I deserve her?
I sat on the bed with my hands in my lap. Alice's words came back to me, soul mates. Part of me embraced this idea, felt the connection between us. Bella had always believed that I still had a soul, but after so long, could I accept that? The other part of me was still filled with doubt. How many more times would I hurt her, break my promises to her? She deserved so much better.
I was still punishing myself when the door slowly opened. I looked up at Bella, her beauty befitting her name, outshining the rose in her hand. She took a step toward me and I stood, my still heart aching with the pain I'd put her through.
"I'm so sorry, Bella." The words stumbled through my clogged throat. "Can you ever forgive me?" Her face was so peaceful, like an angel. I looked away, preparing for the worst, trying to not hope.
Then she was around me, comforting me. "You know that I already have." My silent heart exploded, and I pulled her close. As I buried my face in her wet hair, the dampness on my cheeks reminded me of what tears felt like. I couldn't speak, her love was endless.
"I'm sorry that I got so angry at you Edward. I guess I'm a prone to overreacting, too." Now she was apologizing to me. My shame filled me completely now.
I could barely whisper. "I'm so ashamed that I thought you might leave me. I do know what your promise means. I will never question it again." Soul mates… Forever… It was starting to make sense now.
"I didn't mean to scare you. And for what I said…that was cruel. I lost control. I'm sorry I hurt you like that." Bella's voice was so sad. I held her tight, trying to chase the sadness away. "Can you forgive me?" she whispered.
What was she saying? We separated far enough so I could see in her eyes. They were warm and apologetic – I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"Can I forgive you? Bella you are absurd." The pain was finally starting to disappear. "You did nothing for me to forgive. You're more than entitled to be angry at me – for so many things." …all the times I'd hurt her, especially when I'd left her… "I don't deserve you. I love you so much."
"I love you too." I could feel her words in my heart as she slid her fingers through my hair. "And thank you for the clothes and the flower." I owed Alice for that… and so much more. She was so lucky – she always knew Jasper was for her – her soul mate. Now I knew in my heart, and maybe in my soul that Bella was for me, always.
We just stood there, complete in each other. She didn't say anything else; she just held me, warming me with her love. Part of me still wondered if the anger was completely gone, so I released her just enough to kiss her and look into her beautiful eyes – tangerine colored today.
"Are you sure you're not angry any more? It's okay if you are…" As I spoke I could see that her eyes were clear, hiding nothing.
"Yes, I'm sure. You know me. I can't stay angry at anyone very long, especially you." She smiled and it took my breath away.
The corners of Bella's mouth then turned down. "I'm actually mad at myself for burning my notes…"
I smiled back. Carlisle was right – I should have known. "Close your eyes."
I could see suspicion in her face, but she released me and gently closed her eyes. Again her beauty stunned me as she waited patiently. I darted out the door to the family room. My head swiveled around quickly, looking for the book. "Here" was all Carlisle said, as he held it out to me, complete with a ribbon wrapped around it. I looked at him with as much gratitude as I could muster. I loved my father so much. I love you too, son, he thought. In a flash I was standing before my wife again.
"Open them." I smiled at her as I held out the book. For a moment the pain returned – her face flashed an angry look as she realized what was in my hands. Just as fast the look disappeared though, and was replaced by relief, then gratitude.
Her eyes were warm when she looked up, and I could remember the tears that would have been shining in them when she was human. "Thank you. I'm glad you saved it." She batted at an absent tear.
The anger was now gone, and we reached for each other, kissing until the world disappeared around us. Even though breathing was not a necessity for either of us, we were both panting when we separated. I was whole again. Even my humor returned…
"You need to thank Carlisle for your book, he picked it out of the fire… but I don't think that kissing him like that is really appropriate." I tried to grimace, and her laugh filled my heart with joy. I reached for her, feeling a familiar electricity as I gently rubbed her neck.
"I'll try and think of a more appropriate way to thank Carlisle," she joked. I smirked as she set the book down on the end table. She turned and pulled my ear down to her lips. I melted at the sound of her seductive lilt.
"…But not until I'm done thanking you," and she pulled me toward the bed…