A/N: This story is a product of me wondering what would have happened if only Bella had found what Edward had left her.

Your 'saving grace' is your redeeming quality. I thought it was appropriate. The quote is because it was such a good 'grace' quote (and I love the song.)

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Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.


'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev'd;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ'd!

-- John Newton, Olney Hymns (Amazing Grace)


Saving Grace

CHAPTER 1

I ran his words through my head every second of every day. Even with the pain, I could not bear to part with his angelic voice, his lovely face. I couldn't let go.

What had I done wrong? When I wasn't thinking of the words that effectively ended my life, I was reviewing the previous weeks, searching for an answer I knew I would never find. What had happened? Jasper, yes, but that could not be the reason. I did not delude myself—I wasn't a genius, but I figured I was fairly intelligent. My encounter with James was a hundred times worse than what I had experienced with Jasper—and Jasper liked me, even; he was not hell-bent on my death. James, however, was a different story. James had wanted me dead. He was unconcerned for my well-being. I was not a fool—Edward, for all his words about my safety, had not, in the end, convinced me.

But he was gone. In my moment of fear and vulnerability, he had spun an elaborate web of lies that had confused me long enough for him to leave me. Long enough for him to reason to himself and to me that I was better off without him. Even that he didn't love me.

Edward Cullen was, admittedly, a very talented liar. But he needed to hone his skills in relation to lying to the woman he loved.

I had not been fooled. At least, not afterward, in the silence of my thoughts.

I knew, in a corner of my heart, that Edward loved me. I was sure of it.

That's where I hit a dead end. Yes, Edward loved me. Yes, he lied. Yes, he thought it was for my own good. Yes, I loved him back. No, I had no idea where they'd gone. I didn't have an address; I didn't even have their phone numbers anymore. My Edward had indeed been thorough. The numbers had been erased not only from my cell, but the land line, and also Charlie's phone. As I loved him, I also cursed his cleverness. Or perhaps his overconfidence in me. It had been almost a month before I thought of the phones.

Just as he had said, it was if they had never existed. Except for my memories. And I didn't even trust them.

If only I could talk to Alice. I knew she'd help me. She had been reasonable, unlike Edward. She had known that I was better with him, than without. But Edward, my dear Edward, had made sure the final good-bye was devoid of his more sensible siblings. Of course, he wouldn't want Alice there. I would have seen through the lies if Alice had been there; her face alone could have steered me straight. But he couldn't risk me seeing his lies. He wanted me to believe him, although I couldn't understand why. What did it matter that when he left I believed he loved me or not? Did he think that it would be easier for me if I thought he regretted the time spent with me? If that was the reason, he was denser than I'd previously thought.

But I'd always thought of Edward as perfect. He wasn't stupid, he wasn't cruel—everything I had associated with Edward did not add up to what had transpired in the forest that day a month ago. It was as if he had been possessed; even then he had seemed surreal—or at least, more surreal than normal, for to me, he had constantly seemed like something made of dreams.

Maybe that's where I had gone wrong. I thought of Edward as perfect, but despite the fact that he wasn't human, he was far from perfect, as he'd told me so long ago. He truly might have thought that he was doing me a favor, leaving—when in reality, it was the worst thing he could have done. In over a hundred years, he had never experienced something like this, so I could forgive him. If I'd been in his place, would I have done the same? Would I have given up love for my love's life? Could I do that now?

But I wasn't strong. Not like Edward. He was strong, not only in body but in mind as well. He could withstand mental torture. The overpowering smell of my blood attested to that fact.

And he loved me. I had to repeat that phrase many times a day. Many, many, many times. If I could hold on to that, if I could find the courage to still trust that fact, I would live. Edward loved me. He did.

Repeat it, Bella. Edward loved me. Edward loved me. Edward loved me.

It was true. It was the only thing I had left of him. His love.

I just wished that he'd left me something tangible. Something that I could rely on. Like his CD. God, why did Edward take that too? Why couldn't he leave something? Did he want me to suffer?

No. Back away from that thought. It would lead to other, not so kind ones.

And I could never think anything bad about Edward. Even after that night in the forest.

But once again, I had nothing else. I had no way to contact or find my one-time future family. Nothing. Edward must have threatened them. Alice would have wanted to give me something. But a month had passed. I would have received something by now.

Gently, I stroked the cover of Sense and Sensibility. I remembered when, before I was aware of the true nature of the Cullens, I had been frustrated to find that the main character's name was Edward, just when I needed to forget about him. Now, though, I took solace in the novel, relishing the look of Edward's name in print. It made him real.

It was something I desperately needed, yet seriously lacked.

My own reality. My life back.

I needed Edward.


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