This is Edward's side of the bedroom reunion scene in eclipse (Chapter 8: Temper, pages 185-195). My story is divided into 4 parts, and they are all written, but the rest are in the polishing stages. I'll post them over the coming weeks. That way you can savor Edward for a little longer... :-)
Part 1 takes place on page 185. Bella is asleep in Edward's bed after escaping Alice's captivity and going to see Jacob. Jacob just told her that he'd rather see her dead than see her become a vampire. Edward arrives home from a two day hunting trip...
Many thanks to psymom and MarcyJ for very thorough and extremely helpful betas - they're amazing!
As usual, all the regular disclaimers apply: Stephenie Meyer owns all things twilight; no money is being made from this work; and absolutely no copyright infringement is intended. The dialog from eclipse here is copied only for clarity. Thanks to Stephenie for creating such wonderful characters!
One other note: I am a member of team Switzerland - I do not dislike Jacob, so don't be upset with me. Edward, on the other hand, has his own opinions...
In Edward's words...
The door closed quietly behind me as I entered my darkened bedroom. I was holding my breath – still afraid that Bella wouldn't be here. The sound of her heartbeat had greeted me as we pulled up to the house, so it was ludicrous that I should still be so fearful. And yet it wasn't until my eyes fell on her lovely outline, huddled stubbornly on the couch, that I could relax. She was safe.
Slowly I took a breath, letting her scent fill me. My throat flared at her sweet enticement, but with hardly a thought I pushed the feeling aside. My thirst for her blood was overshadowed by other longings now, which forced me to exert a new, unfamiliar control over myself.
She filled my senses as I heard her breathing and heartbeat calmly serenading each other. I moved closer. Her face was so peaceful, angelic. I knelt down on the floor beside her, feeling the gentle breeze of her respiration. My hand reached out to her automatically, but I pulled it back. It had been a long two days in the wilderness, and the outdoors still clung to me like a thick second skin.
I probably smell like that dog to her. My teeth came together with a snap at the thought, and I froze. She didn't wake at the sound; she didn't even move, thankfully. I tried to relax, but the idea that I could smell like that disgusting thing… it turned my stomach, and I clenched my fist. I looked at my sleeping Bella again and took a deep breath. Alice had shown me how mad Bella was when she came back today – something the mongrel had said or done upset her. Good, I hope she hates him. Then I remembered that she probably felt the same anger toward me, and that she would surely forgive us both.
I stood—knowing it was a false hope that she would give up on her friend, but smiling at the thought anyway—then turned to the closet to collect a set of clean clothes. With one last look at her lovely, sleeping face, I headed into the bathroom, closing the door behind me.
A nightlight left near the sink for Bella's benefit provided more than enough illumination as I set my clothes down on the counter. Slowly I turned on the shower, listening carefully to ensure I didn't wake Bella. The pace of her breathing never wavered as I peeled off my clothes and quietly stepped into the glass enclosed stall. The pitch of the water changed as it poured over me, and I listened again to see if the new sound interrupted her sleep. What if it did wake her? Would she come to see what the noise was?
My mind was filled with the image of Bella opening the door and finding me showering in complete undress. I had been standing under the stream of water with my back to the door, but now I turned around to face it, envisioning her standing there in the dim light. My lack of embarrassment surprised me – as did the emotion that filled me – the want. I wanted her to see me. All of me. I imagined her reaction: the blush, the realization, the lust…
Would she turn away? No, she had never shied away from the sight of me. My vision of Bella would smile as she stood before me, separated from me by this thin sheet of glass. She would stare at my shimmering skin, and I imagined the wonder that would fill her eyes – and the love. Her hands would reach out as she stepped toward me…
Stop it! Stop indulging in your fantasies, I scolded myself and turned around again, tilting my face up into the water. I tried to wash away these selfish thoughts, without success. My hands returned to fists as I fought for a different kind of control.
I could kill her – I would kill her, I told myself, finally pushing the carnal lust from my mind. Controlling this hunger was becoming more and more difficult, and unlike my thirst for her blood, the longing I felt for her touch was stronger when I was away from her. Even now, with Bella just a few feet away, my body ached for her. Shaking my head, I reached for the soap and quickly lathered up.
In the background of my mind I could hear other reunions going on in the house, nearly undoing me again. Thankfully, I heard Jasper and Alice heading out into the woods. Privacy was something they valued as well—as privacy alone brought Jasper respite from the constant control he had to exert over his emotions. He suffered as much with his talent as I did with mine.
I grabbed the shampoo as I tried to push the thoughts of the rest of my family away, but I still heard… Jealousy now reared up inside me. Emmett and Rosalie devoured each other; Carlisle and Esme softly became one. They knew no limits in their physical relationships. Someday I'll know that feeling, too, the voice inside me said. I sighed as the image of Bella with eyes that matched mine appeared again. There seemed to be no avoiding this future, and as I rinsed my hair I knew that I wanted it as much as Bella did.
With a silent laugh I turned the temperature of the water down as cold as it would go. A cold shower… something else that I could not experience, I smirked. The water did turn cold, but I perceived temperature the way humans perceived colors. It was as if the water had turned from red to blue. I could imagine the comment Emmett would append to that color choice. One more chuckle and I slowly turned off the flow.
I grabbed a towel as I stepped out and began to dry off. To keep my mind off of the physical aspects of Bella's attraction I tried to focus on the memories of the hunting trip. Finding my favorite prey did not provide the satisfaction I had hoped it would. The mountain lions were plentiful and angry, making for as much of a challenge as ever, but I was too preoccupied with getting home to truly enjoy the hunt. Then, when we returned to the car this evening the messages were there… three of them.
The first was from Bella, and I winced at the anger in her words. Her captivity was for her own good, I'd told myself, to protect her. I hadn't worried too much about the message – 'dazzling' her out of her furor was a challenge I was looking forward to, and a smile crossed my lips as I reached for my clothes.
Then there was the second message. Even now I trembled with fear and anger at the memory, nearly crushing the button on my jeans as I fasten it. "She's gone with the dog – I couldn't stop her. I'm so sorry Edward," Alice had said softly. For a human, Bella had an uncanny talent for eluding my family's enhanced abilities. I took a long slow breath and pushed that memory away as I picked up my clean shirt.
The third message was what kept me from completely losing my mind. "She's back and she's just fine, Edward. I think she's even mad at the dog. You don't need to worry." Alice's voice was relieved now, and I had managed to calm down before Carlisle or my brothers had worried. Only Jasper had sensed my momentary panic, but he didn't say anything. He'd just nodded when he felt the relief of the third message fill me.
Now I was home, and she was just feet away. A fast comb through my damp hair, and I was on my way through the door to my sleeping beauty…
Bella had shifted slightly, rolling over on the couch while I'd been cleaning up. I approached her slowly, wondering at how beautiful she looked from the back. Her tangled hair spilled over the edge of the couch, nearly touching the floor, leaving her smooth neck and shoulder exposed. The bulky comforter camouflaged her body, but the thought of her warmth encapsulated in such a small package was still alluring.
Again I knelt next to her, gently running one finger through her chestnut locks. I leaned in and inhaled deeply. There was not even a hint of the dog on her, thankfully. I rocked back on my heels as the image of him touching her, even innocently, burned my mind with hatred. I knew he loved her, and I wanted to kill him for it – slowly, painfully. Whether as a dog or a boy, I wanted to tear him limb from limb and hear his screams as his wretched smelling blood poured out, littering the ground around his broken carcass…
My hand came up to my face now, trying to hide these emotions from my sleeping love. There was no way I would act on such vicious thoughts – not as long as Bella cared for him. I had already inflicted nearly the same torture on her when I'd left, and this was fitting penance for what I'd put her through. The fact that she wanted to be with him was the perfect punishment; even I could see the irony as the agony of regret coursed through me.
Her words came back to me now – was this hatred just the natural animosity between mortal enemies, or was it more – was it jealousy? My mind answered first – of course it was the natural order. He was a threat to my existence and to Bella's safety, and nothing was more important to me than her. Then my heart answered with a shout – SHE IS MINE, will be MINE, for as long as I live… and I gasped. The strength of the jealousy took me by surprise.
My fingers massaged the bridge of my nose as I tried to sort out these feelings and decide what to do. Bella had been very clear that she only felt friendship for …Jacob. His name burned my mind with jealousy again, and I fought to control myself. How could this pup, this child, have such an effect on me? I was over a century old; his childish affections for her were nothing compared to the depth of my love, and Bella knew that. And yet she craved his companionship; she put herself at risk to get it. The dirty red motorbike in the garage was a testament to how reckless she could be.
She swore she was safe with him. Did I trust her more than I hated him? She'd spent so much time with him, before… Grief struck me again, remembering our time apart. I sighed quietly. This was my fault – all of it. I'd given him the opportunity to win her; literally pushing her into his company by stupidly thinking I could just erase myself from her life. There was nothing I could do about the past, though, only the future. What was I going to do about Jacob Black?
My mind continued to chew on the dilemma as I stood and looked at the bed, stripped of its covering. I couldn't help but snicker at Bella, now; she was so stubborn, refusing to gracefully accept yet another of my gifts – even if it meant an uncomfortable night on a couch. She would be angry when she woke – hmmm, what would be the fastest way to gain her forgiveness?
Smiling to myself, I very carefully cradled Bella in my arms. Her warmth permeated my skin, and her closeness filled me with euphoria. Again I inhaled, feeling the pull of her blood but embracing it. She IS mine…
A/N: So what do you think? I love your reviews!