Edward's POV


My intentions were never to hurt Bella. On the contrary, it was in executing the plan that I had formulate that I aimed to protect Bella from the monsters that lurked in her very backyard. It was my hope that if I left Forks, and Bella, behind then the dark creatures would follow me leaving her be. After all, it was my family that these creatures felt the most threat from, not Bella. Bella, was merely a human, a nuisance in their plans to take down the Cullen family, as if we were trying to be a threat to them. In actuality all my family and myself wanted was to live.

Watching Bella's emotions crumble around me was the hardest thing I had ever experienced in my eternal existence. She looked so small in the woods as I spewed forth lie after lie in an attempt to make a clean break easier for her, and selfishly, easier for myself. Since her disastrous birthday I had made up my mind that having me as a boyfriend was, in no way, the healthiest thing for Bella. She deserved a man that she could trust not to crush her if they longed to be intimate, she deserved someone who's brother didn't attempt to eat her when she got a paper cut. I had been distant with Bella since the incident, and I knew she noticed, she appeared hurt almost every time I had seen her and it pained me to know that it had been my actions to put her in such a place. Hopefully, I thought, one day, she would realize that I had been right all along, that the apparent appeal of immortality was outweighed heavily by the extreme sacrifice and possible consequences that came with living forever. It was with the hope I held for Bella to be able to move on from me that I had come to the decision to leave Forks, to hunt Victoria on my own, to have my revenge, and to assure Bella's safety from Victoria and from myself.

Now, however, as I stood in front of Bella, her form trembling as she attempted to bite back tears, sobs, and expletives, I was rethinking my decision. I was being selfish, I knew that she would be better off without me but that didn't stop me from longing to bring her into my embrace. I wanted to pull her flush against me and inhale deep, I want to silence her fears and kiss away her doubts but I couldn't, I had to make myself believe, and in turn make her believe, that this was for the best,

"Stop Edward. Stop saying this!" She said. It broke my heart every time she spoke. My mind screamed at me to make her believe while my heart screamed at me to forget the plan. The angel and the devil, my mind and my heart, at constant opposite,

"Bella it's the truth. We're leaving. You are NOT to come with us, do you understand me?" I bit out. I was going to have to be harsh with my words,

"You don't want me to come with you?" Her voice squeaked. The pain was evident all over her face, her body language screamed that she was severely shocked and hurt. I cursed myself for causing all of it, if I had simply been able to ignore her in school in the first place she may have started dating Mike Newton or Eric, anyone but me, a nice human boy who would…take things too quickly with her in their stupid hormonal driven attempt to be the first ones to score big with the new girl, you know this Edward, they're nothing but pigs. Stupid boys, my heart screamed this truth at me but my mind was doing it's best to over power me,

"…No. I don't." I said through clenched teeth. Her eyes widened and the tears finally spilled over rolling in copious amounts down her cheeks and dripping like rainfall off of her quivering chin. The sadness was immediately replaced with a look of anger and Bella did something I hadn't expected she shoved me, Good, I thought, let me have it, punch me, kick me, anything to make you angry enough at me that you'll forget me in a week. Come on Bella, make yourself believe I'm the monster, I'm the bad guy.

"Fine! Go! You know what?! Just leave! I'll call Alice, she'll tell me, she'll let me know!" She cried. She sobbed as she tried harder to punch me, but she might as well have been punching a brick wall, I knew her hands must have hurt and I grabbed her wrists abruptly to stop her from doing anymore damage. An internal rage erupted in me, a rage directed at myself and myself alone for doing this, for loving a girl who I knew would never be able to survive in my world, I was angry at myself but my mind screamed at me to let it out, to let her go, to make her hate me. My heart was losing an uphill battle as I clenched my jaw as tightly as I could,

"Cut it out Bella. You're going to hurt yourself." I ground out through clenched teeth,

"What do you care?!" She screamed. I winced, that hurt. I cared, I cared more than she would know,

"Bella Alice isn't coming back okay?! They've all left! Every last one of them have left!" Liar! You horrid, selfish liar! my heart screamed. "They've left and they don't want you to come with me! This isn't a world for you! Now be a good girl and stay here with Charlie, and Jessica, and Mike, and be a high schooler and go to prom and forget about me! GOT IT?!" I felt like I had been punched in the gut at my own words. She sobbed loudly, It's for the best my mind tried to reassure me, she choked on tears that kept flowing, tears that I had caused,

"But I love you." She sobbed, still shocked at what I had said, tell her, tell her the truth, tell her you love her with all of your heart, tell her that it was a stupid idea, kiss her, hold her, protect her. This isn't protection you idiot. My heart was trying it's damnedest to win over my mind but I wasn't listening to it any longer, You know you have to do it my mind instructed,

"I don't love you." I whispered in a hoarse, unbelieving tone. Please don't believe it Bella, please, please don't believe darling. I love you, I love you so much please don't believe me. But of course, she did, I saw the exact moment her heart broke, I witnessed the life and love drain out of her beautiful face, the wonder, adoration, and excitement that she always looked at me with was gone. Her eyes were flat as the tears still fell. In an instant her attitude did a 180 as her disbelief changed to anger,

"Fine." She whispered and I wanted to crumble right along with her, I wanted to sob, I wanted to scream but I wouldn't my mind had one this round. "If you don't love me the fine, leave me, leave and enjoy yourself Edward…I'll stay here in Forks for the rest of my life!" She yelled. Good, yell at me, call me a jerk, call me dirt, damn me to the darkest pit of hell, "You know what?! I hope vampires do have a soul because then maybe you'll go to hell! You jerk!" She shouted at me. I visibly winced at her words and knew that, if I could have, I would have been sobbing too, "I'll always love you Edward Cullen! Human memories fade? I DOUBT IT! Have fun, leave me here, damn to a normal human life. Go!" She screamed,

"If that's what you want." I said softly,

"Screw you." She bit out. I turned to leave,

"Go!" She shouted again. And go I did, not as quickly as I could have gone for my heart was still screaming at me, trying to get an upper hand on my mind,

You fool! You arrogant, idiotic fool! What do you know about relationships? No more than she does, it doesn't matter if you are seventeen or ninety you are as new to love as she is. This bullshit about protecting her by leaving her alone to fend for herself is ridiculous. My heart was scolding me, beating me senseless emotionally. I stopped in my tracks and let a sob escape me, how manly of me. I couldn't help it, a void was quickly growing inside me and I could feel it ripping at my insides like the flames of hell.

You're protecting her I thought, another sob rocked me, "It's for the best, it's all for the best, she'll forget. She's so angry with me right now that she'll forget. It's for the best." I tried to reassure myself,

You're making the biggest mistake of your existence, "Shut up!" I growled. I didn't want my heart or my mind to control me any longer, You know I'm right, you know you want to run back to her and admit you were wrong, you know you can't live without her, you know she filled a void as soon as she walked into school that day. You know you are powerless over what you truly feel, stop trying to be the fucking hero and just be in love, damn the consequences. Nothing in life that is actually worth something is ever easy to obtain, it's taken you ninety years to find someone that has truly made her happy, whether or not blood flows through her, whether or not your enemies seem to long to use her against you doesn't matter in the least. What matters is that you love her and she loves you, it's simple, but it's what it comes down to.

"Screw, all of this." I ground out as my heart won over my mind. I couldn't leave Bella, I had to be selfish, I couldn't honestly think that ripping her heart out in front of her was a good idea. I turned on my heels and sped back toward the trees intent on catching up with her.

"Bella!" I shouted as I reached where we had stood. I couldn't see her, I couldn't sense her, "Bella I'm sorry! Please, I…we need to talk. Bella?!" I shouted again. Still, nothing. I'd be ignoring me too if I were her, all those mean, nasty things I had said rushed back to me, "Bella come on!" I jogged a bit down the path she would have taken to get back to Charlie's, that's when the smell hit me.

The strong odor of bleach burned my nose as I inhaled deep. I started to become frantic, Bella didn't smell like bleach. I took in a deeper breath, no sign of Bella, no trace of the sweet strawberry scent I longed for and, still, no hint of any other creature, they must have used all the bleach they could have found to mask the smell, I was becoming frantic,

"BELLA!!" I roared and I began to run towards Charlie's house. The wind rushed passed me as I ran, fear washing over me in violent waves,

"BELLA!" I yelled again as I threw open the front door. No sound, no response, but the odor that hit me here was strong, interesting, and foul. I rushed about every room calling her name, no luck. I wrenched open her bedroom door in hopes of finding her there. The smell I encountered there broke my heart, it was Bella's scent mixed with the scent of enemies and there, on her bed was a piece of paper with a short message intended for me,

If you don't want her…we sure do.

Catch her if you can.