Preface.

Edward's POV

Her body was on fire.

Sweat poured profusely from every inch of her as she contorted and writhed on the bed screaming in pain. She had been convulsing like this for four days now. The first three days had progressed as normally as possible. She was in pain, yes, but she handled it well. After the third day, at around the point in her change where her heart would have stopped beating altogether, it maintained a steady and painfully fast beat. She began screaming about her head aching and her brain bleeding.

No one knew what to do.

Not even Carlisle had any idea what was happening to my precious Bella. Jasper had actually been driven out of the household. His connection to emotion had sent him almost mad with agony as Bella had tossed and turned. He was getting the pain second-hand, a lower dose of it, and he swore that he had never felt anything even half as painful. Not even his own change.

All I could think as I helped Esme hold down Bella's thrashing, screaming body was… What have I done?

Carlisle sat with me every hour, ignoring Bella's screams and my own sobs as best as he could as he poured over book after book and webpage after webpage to no avail. Not in the human world or the vampire world could we find any explanation to what was wrong with Bella.

We worked in shifts, holding down her arms and legs so that she couldn't hurt herself. I likely looked like a mad man to my family, burying my face in her sweat drenched hair and wiping away every tear that fell from her eyes until they were long dried and unable to fall any more.

6 days had passed.

The agony of watching her in that much pain was devastating enough, I couldn't imagine what it was like for her, although I had gotten a brief glimpse from Jasper's mind.

6 terrifying days until finally, she was still.

Nothing in the world could have prepared me for what I felt. I clutched her limp body to my own, sobbing, begging for her to come back to me. There was no telling how long it would be until she would snap out of it and open her blood-red eyes. For some people it took only minutes, though Esme had taken a full 16 hours to come back. This case was different. Not only was I worrying about how long it would take, I was worrying about if at all she would come back. What if the extra three days had changed it all? What if she was really gone, now?

I rocked back and forth, stroking her damp hair as I sobbed over her lifeless, cold body.

The ten minutes that she was out cold were the longest of my existence. I thought that no pain and confliction in the world could have topped the agony that my emotions were going through…

…until she woke up.