Disclaimer: The awesomeness that is the "Twilight" saga does not belong to me. I own all three of the books so far – but not the actual rights to the series. Stephenie Meyer owns "Twilight" and all characters therein. I am writing this fic for pleasure, not profit.

Title: Beauty and the Beast

Author: fyd818

POV: Edward, first person

Rating: K

Warnings: A kiss, mentions slight violence (but nothing gory)

Spoilers: "Twilight" "New Moon" and "Eclipse," possible spoilers for "Breaking Dawn"

Author's Note: I did something today that I promised myself I would never do. NEVER. I wrote a "Twilight" fic. I promised myself I'd never do it because I am in awe of the perfection that Stephenie Meyers has created, but alas, the plot bunnies struck and I had to write. And then, because I didn't want to keep the thing on my computer itself, I put it in my journal. This is told from Edward's first person POV. This is also my firs "Twilight" fic, so please be gentle. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

"Beauty and the Beast"

fyd818


Sometimes, in the dark of night where I belong, I wonder why I'm doing this to her. I'm a vampire, a creature of the night. My very existence puts her in peril every moment of every day. Endlessly. Yet Bella Swan stubbornly refuses to let me go. She clings to me and my vampire family, and the danger we bring to her.

I left her once -- the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But I don't think it will be the hardest thing I will ever have to do: Bella wants to be like me. She wants to be strong, she says. Beautiful.

Doesn't she see she's perfect the way she is? She's so soft. Warm. She's everything I'm not, and I love her for that. She's my singer -- perhaps that makes her as dangerous to me as I am to her. But I've learned now how to control the beast within me, the one that wants to sink my teeth into her neck. I shy away from that hated part of myself -- I've learned to control it.

Bella seems certain I'd never be able to hurt her. I'm not so sure. She wants me to turn her into a vampire -- the one thing I don't want to do. My insistence that she marry me first seems to have bought me some time -- but not enough. Never enough. I know eventually something will end her life -- selfishly, I want that end to come naturally. Death by natural causes, not a living death like mine. My family has come to terms with their own vampire lives in their own ways -- except for Rosalie, but she's doing better -- and I know I'm going to have to learn to deal with Bella's want to be like me.

Bella stirs and mumbles -- more sleep-talking -- but eventually she settles again. I scowl darkly: were those the words "La Push" I heard?

Another thing that annoys me: Bella's penchant to find the most dangerous creatures in existence. Vampires first -- me and my family -- and now the werewolves of La Push. Jacob and his pack.

Jacob. I hated him -- but civility had come to me at a hard price, and I forced myself to treat him nicely. I'd never hurt Bella intentionally by being anything less than civil to her friend. Though I am crazily overprotective of her -- as Alice has reminded me on many occasions -- I know she's her own person and I have to respect that. But it doesn't make it any easier to let her go.

I've hurt her before. Jacob showed me how much once -- and perhaps that's why I'm so calm about her visiting La Push so often. Or maybe it's the fact that Bella is happy to be there, and I can't stand to see her anything but happy.

Dawn is beginning to break on the horizon: I'll have to wake Bella and leave to change for school soon. But I linger and pull her closer, reluctant to let her go. I've finally found my life in this existence of death -- and I find myself refusing over and over again to let go. I'm selfish -- I admitted that to her, once , in the meadow where she first truly saw me for what I am. But. . .

"Edward."

I push away my morbid thoughts, knowing there would be another night to muse over them. "Good morning, Bella." I lean down and very carefully kiss her lips. She holds still properly, and I admire her for that. Despite my outward facade of calm, it's not easy for me to hold myself back, either.

"Morning, Edward." She sits up, dark hair tangled and pajamas rumpled. This would be yet something else to miss if she gave up her humanity -- my endearing sleep-tousled Bella. She stretches and yawns, and I lean in to steal a whiff of her fragrance.

A smile stretches her lips, and I kiss her again just because I can. "I'll be by soon to pick you up."

Bella reaches out and clings to me. "Stay a minute, please," she begs. "Hold me?"

I wrap my arms around her and wonder briefly what is bothering her. Another thing that fascinates and annoys me about her: I can't read her thoughts. But she likes it that way, and I'm content to let it be. I stopped trying a long time ago, simply for the fact that she likes things the way they are. It's the least I can do -- she's sacrificed a lot to be with me, and I've sacrificed nothing.

Bella leans her warm head against my neck and sighs. "Don't go, Edward. Don't let me go."

I know she's not talking about now -- though I think she hopes that's what I'll take it as. "I won't," I promise. But I know my promise will one day come with a price I'm not sure I'm willing to pay.

But for now. . .

I'm content to be the beast to Bella's beauty.

-The End-