My first attempt at a Jacobella fic. Hope you like it!
This is what it comes down to.
Bella says "I do" to the marriage but keeps quiet about the transformation.
In a not-so distant time ago, Edward would have been smug about this, and would have said "I told you so, Isabella", because he had been convincing her to the point of exasparation to rethink her mortal life.
In a not-so distant time ago, Bella was too stubborn to listen to Edward, 100 percent ready to forsake the only mortal life she was blessed with, in the name of love.
Now, Edward can no longer be smug about her decision. Because he knows that he was not the one who swayed her.
There was a certain dog he had to thank. Or hate.
The Cullen boy tries to remember how life was before he left her that fateful day, chest ripped out, and forlorn. And he remembers it vividly because they were the best moments of his life.
The days now, after reuniting with Bella, are happy as well, but there is always a tinge of something in the air, something that is not right. It is a faint scent of a wolf, and he did not need to read Bella's mind to know that she smelled it as well, and remembered him.
There is no turning back the time, only the solace that over the long course of time that immortality bestows, he could forgive himself and forget the dull ache that persists inside him every time he looks at the few split seconds he sees his love's equally dull eyes.
She convinces him that this is not the case.
That she loves him and only him. That this fact never changed, and will never change. She says that Jacob is her best friend, that's all. She says this with her vivacious eyes and her china doll innocence.
She is not lying to him on purpose.
She is trying to convince herself the same thing.
She imbibes it like she is drinking a large gauntlet of whiskey, a bitter fire going down her throat and embracing her heart. When the gauntlet is empty, she tries to smile. But the smile is forced.
She isn't very good at lying.
The years draw like this.
Bella turns 23, and her first flush of youth has left her. She looks at Edward and cringes sometimes. He is so beautiful, a god entrapped in a 17-year old statue. Topaz eyes. Pale, chiseled skin.
She is 18 all over again. Insecurities abound. She was never good enough for him. Now she feels that the tip in one side of the balance has grown even heavier than the other.
He loves her regardless. He coos to her, reminds her that her blood is just as raw, and young and sweet as it used to be. That she is just as sweet and beautiful and absolutely right for him. And he kisses her fingers, and her engagement ring gleams the same light in his topaz eyes. The image of him and the ring and the gesture... everything is supposed to make her feel perfect, but she just realizes again that her world is not a fairytale masterpiece. She just feels so out of place.
She still dreams and wakes up with tears in her eyes. Edward has stopped trying to comfort her because he knows she is pained to see him so sad and helpless like that. Her guilt has not subsided over the years. Her longing, neither.
Sometimes she dreams that she is in the exact line that separates Forks and La Push, Edward on one side inches away, Jacob just as far from her, but on the other side. Neither allowed to go near her for the sake of an old treaty.
These are the good dreams. Because in some way, she has them both, even if it was only a meager display.
Then she dreams that she is just a step nearer to one side than the other. Sometimes she is holding pale hands - a reminder of picturesque winters and perfect snow flakes. At other times, she is looking directly at the warm eyes of a man, feeling the sun and a passionate fire dancing inside them.
These are the nightmares. She chooses one, and the other dies inside her. She chooses one, and she is no longer whole.
But after 2 years of engagement, perhaps it is time to let those nightmares come to life.
It is not an easy decision, and the years have not lent more wisdom to her. She is just as lost as she was in that lonely forest years ago, when Edward left her. And it was coincidence that someone else found her. Coincidence or destiny...?
It is a Monday when Bella is much more resolved about deciding than any other. Monday is the day she doesn't have classes at Forks Community College, so she starts up her trusty pickup and drives. She hasn't changed her pickup because there are just some things in the past you want to cling on to dearly.
she's at Charlie's, and it's one of the perks for not choosing immortality. Under the bright sunlight, she can walk like any human, knock on her father's door and hug him like any daughter would. It's become a normal routine for her to cook a huge casserole dish for her father at the start of each week, so he doesn't have to starve or poison himself or get sick and tired of cold pizza during the remaining days of the week.
But this Monday isn't very normal at all.
She immediately senses someone else inside the house. The faint scent she used to embrace on her bedroom has grown manifold.
It doesn't take long till a man in a wheelchair comes out, along with a big man - tan skin, long black hair tied carelessly into a pony tail, lazy grin. He's grown again and in their own crazy method of age calculation, they were probably still the same age.
He is surprised to see her, and not surprised at the same time.
He is not surprised because his soul is irrevocably intertwined with hers that he can always feel her. He is surprised because she is not supposed to be there. Because she is supposed to be in "Alaska" with her now husband, Edward Cullen.
But she looks almost the same as he remembers her, except for the length of her hair. She looks just as beautiful and his heart is beating madly again.
They look at each other and everything else blurs in the background. The sound of the TV sportscaster has died, and the conversation between two grown men talking like two boys, along with it.
There is only him and her - a reminder of those many days in La Push.
He tries to think of something poetic to say... but his vocabulary fails him. Words were always the bloodsucker's talent. Not his.
Instead, he does what he does best.
"Aren't you supposed to be allergic to the sun by now?" He spits out the words like they were venom... No. Much viler than that. He remembers how he felt when he heard about their engagement 2 years ago. He cuts off all communication with her, too afraid to know when the turning begins. He doesn't hear her screaming, her bloodthirsting anguish, as he had expected, but he figures he'd severed the lines completely and that she'd made a clean cut as well.
She doesn't respond. She expects the bitterness, but she is no longer used to it. With Edward, it was always sweet, calm, poignant... "perfect".
Eyebrows shoot up. He needs an answer. His heart is telling him... no... yelling the answer, but he could not trust it. The feeling of unrequited love always brings about illusions, after all.
He knows he is treading on thin ice here, and her indignant eyes verify that.
Something else is there, however. A small spark. I believe they call it realization.
Her mouth turns upward.
"We have a lot to talk about, Jacob Black."
And they talk the whole night at the front porch, and it still isn't enough for Jake to believe his good fortune.
An hour after midnight, she leaves with an engagement ring on her pocket. She dreads it, but she knows that the nightmares are finally going to end tonight.
When the door opens to the Cullen Residence, Edward is there gazing at her contemplatively, while she fumbles with her words and her legs wobble uncontrollably and her eyes become a dark pool of tears.
It doesn't take a mind reader for him to realize what is going on.
She's done what he had wanted her to do since she was 17.
She's chosen life.
And it brings a smile to his face, even though inside him, his world is crumbling down.
Inside her, he lives just as vigorously as he used to.