R e g r e t

I don't think I've ever cried so much.

I've never been one to cry. It always used to seem so pointless, purposeless. Yet, in this case, so appropriate. They'd come to me, first. I don't know why, but that too seemed appropriate. Things had changed in the past few weeks. I could barely vocalize the reason why it upset me so much, but Edward quickly realized that it was one of those human things, and I ceased my ramblings.

With all of these thoughts swirling around in my head, I hadn't even realized he was holding me.

His grip was strong, reassuring, but filled with the most comforting of touches. One of his ands had found its way to my head, and was stroking my hair. Tears threatened to escape, heat building at the back of my throat. I ignored it.

Silence ensued.

Since my sobs had stopped, I took to observing my surroundings, all the while, my head resting on Edward's shoulder. I'd never noticed how perfectly our bodies fit together. My room was very bare, in a stark contrast to the organized chaos it had previously been. The few things I hadn't already packed were strewn about on my desk, next to the computer. My photo album was amongst them, along with my camera. I'd wait til the very last minute to pack those two. I'd yet to take more pictures, and I was sure Alice would take about a million at the wedding. As for the weeks in between, there would be ample time to record all of Forks, and all of the memories that would fill in between. I could't help but sadden. Something very persistent ebbed at the back of my head-- all of these memories would be without Jacob Black.

My vision once again became unbearably blurry.

I burrowed my head into Edward's shoulder, stifling the slight whimper that rose from my throat before it all started over again, like so many times this evening.

Out of all my confusion, it hadn't even occurred to me that Charlie might have heard my hysterics, or still might hear them. I struggled to form words.

"What time is it?" I asked, my voice gravelly and hoarse.

"Charlie left a while ago."

My eyes searched the window. Behind the faded lace curtains, there was no glow of a cloudy day. I went to prod further into my observation, but Edward beat me to it.

"Charlie's used to you saying my name in your sleep," he began, a hint of a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. His face went blank, however, when he continued. "It's an entirely different matter when you're saying his." My eyebrows rose, and lowered, in a rush of emotions. Both shock and sadness, confusion and a desire to see him again. It was no surprise that I didn't need to ask whose name I'd been saying. "I miss him," I replied, suddenly. I could feel Edward's arm tighten, if only a bit, but I was only half there. I appeared attentive, but most of me was wondering. The words simply slipped out of a my mouth. "It was my fault. I- I... I shouldn't have sent him the invitation..." I managed to stop myself.

"No, Bella," he replied, softly. He pulled away from me, though his hands remained at my shoulders. "He needs time on his own. He needs to think. What he did is not because of you, but, rather, for himself. Time away from you may have been the hardest thing I've ever done, but it may be the right thing for him." I could see the sincerity in his eyes, and hear it in his voice, but my mind begged me to differ.

Emmet and Jasper had attempted to track him, to no avail. Sam and the others hadn't heard from him, which meant he hadn't changed back into wolf form... or couldn't. I swallowed hard, and my mouth had suddenly become dry. He could be lying somewhere, alone, hurt, somehow, at my cause. It was improbable, but guilt was tugging at the corners of my brain and I suddenly couldn't think of anything else besides the fact that I might be the unintentional mastermind behind Jacob's demise.

I couldn't help but think the worst.

"You should sleep," Edward advised, concern clearly audible in his voice.

Reluctantly, I lay down, my hands batting at my swollen eyes. I wanted to cry like it would help Jacob. I wanted to gaze into Edward's eyes and be convinced that everything was okay. But, somehow, I drifted off into a light sleep, envisioning only one face in my dreams.

A/N: Expect longer chapters. Oh, and, if you've read it? Review it, s'il vous plait. Disclaimer is as normal. All characters, so far, belong to Stephenie Meyer. Hint hint? I think not.