I felt his cold lips pressed against the hollow of my neck, his breathing was a little uneven but not enough to make me worry. He kissed the spot on my neck softly before I felt his sharp teeth brush against my skin. I took a deep breath, I would be all right. He wouldn't let anything go wrong. He loved me. I knew he would rather die a thousand painful deaths before letting any harm befall me. I trusted Edward with my life, my soul, my heart. Suddenly I felt his sharp teeth pierce through the skin of my neck, and felt the trickle as his venom slowly entered the wound, felt as it coursed immediately through my veins like liquid fire. Edward pulled away as my body tensed beneath his with such extreme pain that I could not breathe. My body began to thrash around painfully on the bed with such force that Edward held me tightly to his body to keep me from injuring myself. I squeezed my eyes shut tightly.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered into my hair. His velvet voice broke a little over the last word. I knew he was in agony as he watched me fight the effects of his venom. I knew that he would be blaming himself for what I was going through, he would never forgive himself. I let a cry of pain escape through my lips as I felt the fire reach my chest. It would be my only cry he would hear from me. I couldn't let him hear how much agony I was in. It felt like my body was on fire and nothing, not even Edward's ice cold body could put it out. I felt a tear roll down my cheek and Edward's icy fingers wipe it away.
"Bella," his voice was drenched in pain. A pain that I could not ease, not right now. "I love you."
My body continued to jerk violently in his arms, and my tongue felt as if it was made of stone, but I had to tell him that this was not his fault. I had to assure him that I loved him and that I didn't blame him for anything, that in fact, I was glad that he had bitten me, glad that it was his venom that pulsed through my blood at this very moment. That no matter how painful it was, it would end happy for me. For us. We would be together after this. We would spend the rest of eternity in each others arms. What was it that I'd heard someone say? From the worst pain comes the greatest happiness. Something like that.
"Edward," I forced his name through my clenched teeth. It hurt to speak, but I had to tell him.
"Yes, love?" He held me tighter as my body gave yet another painful jerk.
"I love you." I felt him kiss my hair.
"I know you do." There was still pain in his voice. A pain I couldn't stand to hear. "I love you, too. I'm so sorry, Bella."
"S'not your fault. From the worst pain comes the greatest joy. I get you." I heard my voice crack twice as I tried to assure him that this would end well. I opened my eyes to see his beautiful face. I needed to see his face. I needed him to see in my eyes that everything would be all right. I looked into his beautiful face. His beautiful features were contorted in pain but it was his eyes betrayed him. Behind the beautiful butterscotch there was agony, sadness, fear, and hate. He was feeling my pain, feeling sadness for who and what I was leaving behind, fear for what I would become and what would happen to me, and hate for himself. He hated himself for what he had done to me, for what he believed he was doing to me. In Edward's mind, he was taking away my life, my soul, and leaving me with a cold and monstrous existance. He was making me a moster like him. He didn't believe that he was giving me the greatest gift he could give me. Immortality, an eternity with the man I loved more than life itself. Eternity with my husband. After this, we could be together the way we'd never been able to before. He would never be afraid of killing me with the twitch of his finger, never have to control his urges, his desires, when he kissed me. He would never have to hold his breath when he smelled the scent of my blood, for I would be like him. A vampire.
I thought about what I would become as I drifted into unconciousness in Edward's loving and protective arms.
There were only minutes left of Bella's human life and she was spending them with me on our bed. Bella had already said her goodbye's to her parents Renée and Charlie, she'd said her goodbyes to her friends, Angela and Jessica and Mike. Bella had said her goodbyes to everything and everyone she'd ever loved or held close to her heart. She'd said goodbye to her best friend Jacob before all of them, and I had watched her cry herself to sleep night after night, she had been incosolable. There was nothing I could have done to lessen the hurt she had felt when she had said goodbye to Jacob. He had comforted her when I had left her and she had fallen in love with him, though she vehemently denied that she loved him more than she did me. Jacob and his werewolf brothers had protected her when I had not, and they continued to protect her even when I came back. It had hurt her to say goodbye to all of them, but Jacob and her parents were the hardest, and I knew I was to blame. I could see the pain in her eyes though she tried to hide it from me. She didn't want me to see how much she would miss her mother and father, how she would miss her friends. I felt like a monster. I was taking her away from them. I was going to take her soul. I cringed a little at the thought of Bella, sweet and innocent, my lovely Bella, becoming a monster like me. If there had been any other way for Bella and me to be together without her becoming a vampire, I would have jumped at the opportunity. But there wasn't. There was no way we could be together without this. Bella refused to grow old without me at her side, aging with her. For I never would. I was a vampire. I would be 17 for the rest of eternity.
I felt Bella slide her warm hand into my cold one before she sat up to look at me.
"Edward," she said in her soft melodic voice. How I loved her. She was my angel, the only light in my world of darkness.
"Are you ready?" I asked quietly. I did not want to do this, but I had promised her. I had sworn to her that if she agreed to marry me, I would change her myself.
Bella nodded. It was all she could do. I pulled her warm, fragile body to mine and held her in my arms. This would be her last human memory and I wanted her to feel how much I loved her. It was all I could give her. I kissed her soft lips gently. I cradled her in my arms and she rested her head on my arm, exposing her beautiful ivory neck. I bent my head to her neck, smelling the wonderful aroma of her blood. It was the most amazing smell I had ever encountered. She was la tua cantante to me. She was my singer. I could feel the venom in my mouth, there was so much of it. I would choke on it if I didn't do this soon. I could feel my breath come in unevenly and I hoped that Bella would not be afraid. I could not harm her. I kissed the hollow of her neck before I bared my teeth. My teeth grazed the spot on her neck where my venom would soon enter her bloodstream, and heard her take a deep breath. That was my cue, and I sank my teeth into her soft skin. I could taste her blood though I tried to block it out. It was the sweetest I had ever tasted. I knew I couldn't allow myself to taste too much of it. I felt my venom drip from my teeth into the wound in Bella's neck, hoping that that would be enough to change her. I quickly removed my teeth from her neck, I couldn't stand it anymore.
I knew the moment that my venom entered her bloodstream. Bella's arms and legs began to flail around and her breathing stopped. I took a deep breath and held her tightly. I waited for her to scream, to curse my name and tell me she didn't love me anymore, that I was a monster. But she didn't.
"I'm so sorry." I whispered into her hair, my voice breaking over the last word. I truly was.
I remembered the pain I had felt when Carlisle had changed me many years ago. It had been excruciating. I had thought I would die. In fact, I had welcomed the idea of death, for anything would have been better than the agony I felt in those three days that the venom coursed through my veins and slowed my heart till it finally stopped beating. I hoped that somehow this was less torturous for Bella though I knew it was not. A cry of distress escaped Bella's beautiful lips and if my heart hadn't stopped beating years ago, I knew that the sound of Bella's anguish would have torn it apart.
"Bella," I whispered and I could hear the suffering in my own voice. "I love you."
I could tell that Bella was concentrating very hard on something but I did not know what. What could she be focusing on so intently while she was in the most intense pain one could not even begin to fathom, was beyond me. I wished I could read her mind at that moment, to know what she was thinking, what she was feeling.
"Edward," she forced my name through her clenched teeth.
"Yes, love?" I held her closer as her delicate body gave a coercive jerk.
"I love you." I kissed her hair. I did not know how she knew I needed to hear that, but she did and I was grateful to hear it.
"I know you do." Though I felt gratitude towards her for her words, I could not erase the ache of guilt and pain that coated my words. "I love you, too. I'm so sorry, Bella."
"S'not your fault. From the worst pain comes the greatest joy. I get you." Her voice broke twice, and she opened her eyes to look at me. I didn't try to rearrange the emotion on my face. How could she believe that? I was a monster! She should have run away from me the moment she met me! I only put her in danger, I only caused her pain. But she wanted me, and she still loved me even through the pain.
I watched as she slowly drifted off into unconciousness knowing that she would not feel the pain while she was sleeping. I was thankful that the mind blocked the pain once she was asleep, I didn't think I could take it any longer if I had to watch her suffer any more. While she slept, her body temperature heated up and sweat dampened her forehead and the roots of her auburn hair, and her body shook. For hours I held her to my chest running my hands through her hair waiting for her to awaken and scream out in pain as I had done during my change, but she didn't. I had always known she was stronger than she looked but I had never been so sure of that as I was now. The hours flew by, each hour more painful than the last though they began to mesh together till I no longer knew how long she had been unconcious. I laid my head on her left shoulder and listened to her heartbeat. The pounding her heart made was my favorite sound, the rhythmic beat was music to my ears, and had inspired many songs that I had written on my piano. The sound of her heartbeat was slower than it had been in the meadow the first time I listened to it, but it was still beating, and I took comfort in that fact, though I knew it would soon stop. I closed my eyes and listened.