Chapter Eleven Dignity in Death
There's no earthly way of knowing
what was in your heart when it stopped going.
The whole world shook,
the storm was blowing through you.
Waiting for God to stop this
and up to your neck in darkness.
Advertising Spaceby Robbie Williams
There was no thought. There was only the overwhelming need to save her. I felt it as much as Alice did. She went for the gun. Chief Swan's finger was right at the trigger, sending a shot straight into the chest of Mike Newton.
They started slipping from the edge of the cliff. I started to run, but even I wasn't fast enough. They were already falling. Less than a fraction of a second later and I was diving after them.
The weight of the current crashed against my body sending waves of pain throughout. Determined, I swam downward, my eyes searching for some sign of life. It was then I caught a glimpse of a light reflecting beneath me. Her diamond. I don't think my body had ever moved faster than at that second. I had her in my arms, struggling to bring her to the surface.
I carried her to the beach. Alice and Abe had already pulled Mike out and were trying to preform CPR. Alice was doing chest compressions as Abe was giving Mike breaths. I laid her next to Mike. She wasn't breathing. Mike coughed up a gallon of water from his lungs as he regained his ability to breathe. I started compressions on Bella. Abe came over to give her a breath. Relief washed over me as I saw the water spewing from her mouth. I rolled her over to her side as I heard the sound of her breathing.
"She's back." I sighed as I rolled her over on her back. Her eyelids fluttered up to me sent my hand to her cheek, my lips lightly to hers.
I looked over to see the blood still flowing from Mike's chest. I could hardly smell it with all the salt he was drenched in. Abe's face was still full of hope as he put his hand on Alice's shoulder. She nodded and took Mike's wrist in her mouth. She sunk her teeth in deep and began to drink.
"What are you doing?" Was she insane? We would get him to a hospital. He'd be fine.
"This is the only way. Neither of them is going to last much longer." Abe nodded down to Bella.
My mind screamed no. I looked at her face, so sweet, so pure. Her brilliant brown eyes pouring with tears. She squeezed them tightly as pain struck her body.
"You have to do it now, Edward. She hasn't got much time." Abe was trying to edge me closer to the decision I never intended to make.
Alice took Mike's wrist from her mouth. The venom was already working, his wounds were slowly healing. I looked to Alice. She spoke before I could clearly hear her thought.
"If you don't do it, I will." She demanded.
"You knew this would happen, didn't you?"
"I knew one of them wouldn't make it if I didn't come."
"Do it now, Edward!" Abe's voice was commanding. His figure was suddenly surrounded with glowing crystals of golden light. "Now, Edward!"
I turned my head back down to Bella. She had her arm above her, offering me her wrist. "Please." Her voice was so soft and frail.
I could not deny her. My lips met her wrist. My teeth broke through the flesh and her sweet blood filled my mouth. The venom flowed freely while I exchanged it for her blood. I'm not sure how long I drank before I felt Alice's hand on my shoulder. I took her wrist from my lips. I swung her arm around my shoulder and scooped her up in my arms.
Alice carried Mike as we tried to make our way up to the top of the cliff. Charlie was lying in a heap on the ground as we made it back to his cruiser. He lifted his head at the sound of our approached. His face was bathed in the light emanating from Abe. A look of shock and awe enveloped him as we approached.
"Are they...?" Charlie choked as his words caught in his throat.
Abe lifted Charlie up as Alice and I placed Bella and Mike in the cruiser.
"We need to get them some place safe." Abe brought Charlie over to the cruiser. "I'll drive."
We all got into the cruiser. I wrapped Bella's lifeless body in my arms as Abe started the engine.
"Where are we going?" Charlie asked, his voice shaking as violently as his body.
There was only one place safe enough. "Home."
Edward sat in the den of his family home. His chest was heavy, longing to have her in his arms again. His eyes were drawn to the television as he saw a familiar female reporter on the screen.
"It was three months ago today that Dr. Isabella Swan was taken hostage by her patient, now identified as Abraham North. Three days later, her father, Forks police chief, Charles Swan, and Veteran's Administration special projects director, Michael Newton, caught up with them at the cliffs just outside of Forks. After a confrontation, Newton, North, and Dr. Swan all fell from the cliffs. The search for their bodies continued until last week when Chief Swan reluctantly called off the search. Today, a memorial service was held in the memory of Dr. Swan and Mr. Newton in Forks. They were friends and fellow graduates of Forks High School that remained close over the years. Dr. Swan came to work at the VA on Newton's recommendation. Family and friends were on hand to pay their last respects to these two amazing human beings. Dr. Swan's fiancée, Jacob Black, was noticeably devastated. He had been with the search everyday and was said to be extremely distraught by Chief Swan's decision according to his father, William Black. Chief Swan had been quiet, only focusing on the search, until today."
The picture turned to Charlie at the memorial service. "I can only hope with my whole heart that my daughter is happy where ever she may be existing. Though we are not laying her body to rest today, we can remember her life and the amazing beauty she brought to each life she touched."
The picture went back to the reporter walking through the Forks Memorial Park. "The loss of Mr. Newton and Dr. Swan was felt throughout the community as hundreds gathered at Forks Memorial Park for a ceremony honoring their lives. A scholarship has been set up in Dr. Swan's name at Dartmouth College were she earned her degrees. Mr. Newton's family has established a scholarship with the University of Washington, his alma mater. Donations can be made through either website. This tragic story has come to an end, but it is this reporter's hope that because of these two incredible people, the people of Forks will live grateful for the chance to have known them. This is Susan Thomas for CNN, reporting live from Forks Memorial Park."
Edward clicked off the television and set down the remote. He could hear Alice heading down the hall calling to him.
"Edward, we're home!"
He heard the other two pairs of footsteps rushing up the stairs as they all came to his doorway.
"You missed it, Edward. I got a hold of a huge buck. It was like he was just waiting there for me." Mike seemed to be pretty proud of himself as he dusted from his shirt before getting settled on the couch.
"I let him have it." Bella whispered in Edward's ear as he took her in his arms. "I knew I wasn't that hungry."
"That's my girl, still unselfish as ever." Edward brushed his palm across Bella's windswept hair, pulling a few leaves and twigs from it's grasp. "You must have had a good time. You're filthy."
"Just one more reason to get cleaned up. Wanna join me?"
"I think that's my que. Irina's bringing her sister down today." Mike stood and ran his fingers through his hair to detect any hint of grime. "I think I need a bit of sprucing up." He headed to the door.
"I'll go with you next time. Okay, Mike?" Edward smiled as Mike made it out into the hall.
"I'll keep you to it." Mike called as he ran up another flight of stairs.
"I think I'll go make sure Esme's got everything ready for their arrival." Alice turned to go, but stopped and turned back around to Bella. "I've only got a couple more dresses for you to try on, Bella. It shouldn't take long."
"I've already tried on about fifty. Can't this wait?" Fifty-two to be exact, but only I was counting.
"No. We only have three more days. You have to make a decision soon. Come find me when you two are done. No less than two hours, alright?"
"Fine. You know I could never refuse you, Alice."
"Of course not." With that Alice was out the door, closing it behind her.
Edward had his hands at Bella's waist while hers lazily circled his neck.
"Now, where were we?"
"I recall you saying something about needing to get cleaned up. I know there's a a bottle of that white cherry blossom shower gel in there."
"You remembered." She laid a kiss on his lips, her hands moving to tangle through his hair.
"It's really for me. I love the way it makes you smell then tangles in out sheets for days afterwards."
"Only because we seem to make it directly to the bed after every time we shower together."
"That's the plan." Edward grinned his signature crooked grin before she enveloped him another kiss.
"Let's get started then. I'd hate to keep Alice waiting and I have a feeling this is going to take awhile." Bella ran to the bathroom door. "Last one out of their clothes has to give a full body message." Edward walked slowly knowing how much he loved to feel all of Bella beneath his fingertips.
Abe put his hand on my shoulder bringing me, back from the visions of the new additions to the Cullen family tree.
"Glad to see that everything is coming together for them. The storm seems to be over for now."
I turned my gaze to his. "My friend, it's only just begun."