"Edward, need I remind you that you're my husband now?" Bella asked me.
"Of course not, love." Not this discussion again. I groaned.
"Good. Now, if I remember correctly, graduating and marrying you were my side of the deal. Now that my side is done, I think it's only fair that we discuss your side. Of course, you've already fulfilled part of it." She winked at me before continuing. "So, Edward, pick a date – within the next month. There is NO WAY I'm getting any closer to twenty before you change me."
"Bella…" I sighed. "The transformation isn't something to be taken so lightly. You act like it's no big deal. Like you wouldn't be throwing your life away."
Bella moved from her spot on top of the kitchen counter and walked towards me. I opened my arms and pulled her into my lap. She nestled her head at the base of my neck, resting on my shoulder.
"Edward, I know it's a big deal. And I'm ready or it. I'm ready to spend forever with you. I love you."
"I love you, too" I murmured into her hair. "But I still can't bring myself to do it. Not yet. "She frowned as I looked down at her. "Just…give me a bit. I promise I'll do it before your birthday."
She sighed and nodded.
It wasn't that I wasn't ready – I was fully happy knowing that Bella would be mine forever. My problem with her transformation was the pain that it would cause her. The pain she'll feel for the three days of her transformation. The pain she'll feel when it finally hits her that she won't see her family or friends – the people she loved – ever again. The difficulty she'll have as a newborn – fighting against her instinct to kill any human she sees. I didn't want to be the cause of all this. I've tried so hard to protect her from anything that would hurt her. For me to be the one to cause that amount of pain would be unbearable. I would truly be a monster.
Even so, I can't pretend that I don't have my own selfish reason for not changing her. Her transformation will make her even more beautiful than she is. But she wouldn't be the same Bella she is right now. Her warm chocolate eyes won't be there anymore – replaced by red, and soon after, gold. The warmth that I feel whenever she touches me will be gone. Her body will be as cold as mine. Worst of all, her heart will stop beating. The constant drum of her heartbeat will cease to exist. I won't be able to hear the acceleration of it when she gets excited about something. I'll miss hearing it skip a beat whenever I touch her.
"What are you thinking about?" she whispered, pulling me out of my thoughts.
"You." I murmured, kissing the top of her head. She snuggled a bit closer to me and yawned. "You should go to sleep. It's late." I looked down at her – she was already sleeping. I smiled and carried her upstairs to our room.
I woke up with Edward next to me, his eyes closed and breathing deeply, though I know he wasn't sleeping. I smiled and shifted a bit so that I was closer to him. His eyes opened and he smiled down at me.
"Good morning." he said, giving me a quick kiss.
"Morning." I sighed.
Reluctantly, I got up and made my way to the bathroom to get ready. I made my way down to the kitchen twenty minutes later. Esme and I had recently stocked the usually empty prop kitchen with food for me. Edward sat in a chair, flipping through the paper. He looked up at me with an amused yet slightly apologetic look in his eyes and a smile on his face. I smiled as I realized that he had probably considered making breakfast for me but decided against it. I assumed Alice had a vision of the kitchen on fire.
I had planned on making eggs for myself, but when I opened the fridge, I saw that there weren't any left.
"Do you want me to go and get some eggs for breakfast?" Edward asked, standing behind me now.
"No, it's fine. I'll go buy some while you're all gone – it'll give me something to do."
The Cullens were going hunting this weekend. With Victoria and the newborn army out of the way, they had decided that it would be safe enough to leave me at the house for a day, though Edward and insisted on staying relatively close to the house. And no doubt Alice would be keeping a close eye on my future.
I finally settled on a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Edward and I spend the day going through his music collection, enjoying each other's company before Edward left to hunt. They weren't leaving until the evening. Emmett was hoping to find some grizzlies asleep so that he could wake them up and have some fun.
All too soon, five o'clock came and everyone prepared to leave.
"Are you sure you'll be okay by yourself? I could stay home with you, if you want." Edward said as he held me in his arms.
"Of course I want you here. But I'll be fine, Edward. Don't worry. Besides," I touched the dark circles under his black eyes, "You're thirsty, I can tell."
"No buts." I smiled up at him, trying to convince him. "You're keeping the rest waiting."
"I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you, too."
"We'll be back tomorrow afternoon." Edward said before leaning down to kiss me.
With that, he joined the rest of his family and they went running into the forest, gone in the blink of an eye.
I sighed and climbed into Edward's Volvo. Much to Edward's delight, my truck had finally gone to the big garage in the sky. Of course, Alice had seen it coming and told Edward. He already had a new car waiting for me in the garage, but I preferred his Volvo for the time being. The sun was beginning to set, so I decided I better hurry before it got too dark.
I walked slowly around the grocery store, trying to remember everything I needed to buy, wishing that I had made a list before I left.
It was about fifteen minutes later that I finally walked out of the store. The chilly air caught me by surprise as I made my way back to the car. It had gotten much darker while I was in the store. I flicked the headlights on and made my way out of the parking lot. The radio wasn't on, but I was humming along to the song stuck in my head. As I rounded the corner, it was suddenly very bright and the lights temporarily blinded me.
I barely had time to register the headlights coming towards me before everything went black