A/N: I guess this is kind of a sequel to Saving Bella, so I hope you guys enjoy it! LOOOOVE!! The only edits I have made was that I decided that I didn't like the swearing, and I added a few more diary entries.
Disclaimer: I do not own any portion of or ideas from Stephenie Meyer's books. I only wish I did.
I sat quietly in Bella's room, deathly still, as I always am whenever she is somewhere else in the house. I could hear the shower turning on and off as she washed, the shrill squeak of air escaping from the shampoo and conditioner bottles. The scent of strawberries that had made her even more lusciously tempting to me the first day I had met her wafted down the hallway on the clouds of steam that escaped from the bathroom. It was mouthwatering when mixed with the potent scent of the blood in her veins, even after all of the control I had gained by being around her. I was ashamed of the fact that I still lusted after her blood with such intensity, although I knew that it would never change until she changed, and that was something I was not willing to have happen.
Admittedly, I have toyed with the idea of changing Bella more than once. It would make life one hell of a lot easier for everyone. I have spent several nights since I came home with Alice and Bella, a little over a month ago, pondering what kind of life we could all have together. She deserves the forever that she wants, especially after she risked her life for me. It is what I want to give her. I want to give her eternal happiness and bliss.
However, every time I even think of bringing it up, she does something that only a human Bella can do, only a live Bella. She blushes. She stumbles. She cries. She sleeps. And then, after all of the arguing and convincing I had to do with myself to get to that point, my decision explodes into a cloud of smoke and dust. I love human Bella far too much to let her go yet, and I know that this love is something I will inevitably have to come to terms with if I want to make us both happy. I truly am the most selfish peron I know. Bella has said that it's endearing, and more often has she said that I'm not selfish. But, in this case, I have to say that I know better.
Bella suddenly dashed into the room, surprising me. It's a strange feeling, to be truly surprised. I hadn't realized how absorbed in my thoughts I had been; I had shut out the rest of the world completely, and that was not something a vampire did very often. I blinked twice, focusing my gaze on Bella. Her hair was pulled back into a wet ponytail, her body clothed in her favourite old sweats and a t-shirt. No matter what she wore, she was always stunning, always the most beautiful creature to ever walk the planet.
"I'm just going to run into town and grab a pizza. Lorenzo's doesn't deliver on Sundays. Do you want anything while I'm out? Pop? Juice? Booze? A pulsing jugular vein on some hottie?" I ignored her final question, rolling my eyes. I don't think I'll ever be able to make her fully understand or accept that she is the only girl I could see as beautiful in a non-familial way, let alone as a hottie.
"You couldn't buy booze if you wanted to. You're too young."
"I'm sure I could convince someone to buy it for me," she said, putting her hands on her hips. She frowned, her lower lip pushing out slightly. How adorable she could be.
"Mmmm, yes, I'm sure that any male around here would accept the solicitations of the police chief's underaged daughter in exchange for alcohol. Yes, that would go over well with Charlie." I paused, frowning. "And for the record, if anyone did accept such an invitation, I'd kill them." Bella laughed, and my heart soared. Her laugh was incredible, one of my favourite sounds she could make besides her voice and her heart. It was like a stringed orchestra, rich in tone and full of colour and life.
I stood up and moved to where she was standing. I pulled her into my arms and tucked her head under my chin. A bolt of pleasure rippled through my body, causing the hair on my arms and neck to stand on end. Her scent, taste, touch, sound, and looks were the most powerful aphrodisiac in my existence. She was my drug and antidote, the cause and the cure, all without trying. Her mere presence was intoxicating, sending me into a fog that could cripple the mind of anyone who was not a vampire. I could only thank the higher beings of the world for giving vampires a clear, wide open mind. It made focusing easier much of the time; there was no clutter in our minds when we thought about something.
My body shivered with delight as she spoke, my eyes fluttered for a moment. "I'm really happy that you're home, Edward," she whispered, pulling away from me and looking into my eyes. "I missed you more than you can ever understand..." A lump formed in my throat at the thought of the pain I had caused her. It had been exceedingly difficult for me to deal with the pain of losing her, and I did not want to think about how much she must have been hurting.
"Home is where you are," I whispered in return. It was now her turn to shiver, and although I knew that it was not in response to my temperature, I released her from my arms. "Now go get your pizza," I said with a smile. Her stomach grumbled in response. Bella rolled her eyes and turned on her heel to leave. "Be safe," I said softly.
Bella turned to face me, the corners of her mouth turned up. "Always."
I watched as she pulled out of the driveway. It was quiet in the house while I was waiting for Bella to return. Bored, I hopped off of her bed and walked over to her bookshelf. I noticed that several of the books were pushed forward about a quarter of an inch, and so I removed them to take a look at what was behind them. A black book the size of Carlisle's agenda was standing on its side on the back of the shelf. I reached in and pulled it out, maneuvering it so that it wouldn't knock any of the other books off the shelf. The cover was silky, the edges slightly tattered. The book couldn't be too old, and I'd never seen it in any bookstore before. Curious, I brought it back over to the bed with me.
I took a seat on the bed, getting comfortable. Opening it, I noticed that there were water stains on the first page. Barely legible at the bottom of the page were two words: Bella Swan. I closed the book, suddenly guilty. I had stumbled across Bella's diary. I couldn't read her diary; it would be invading her privacy. Still, a small part of me wanted desperately to find out what was in it. The diary had to have been bought after I had left, considering I had taken everything that had anything to do with me and put it under her floorboards when I had left. I sighed, shifting slightly. I desperately wanted to understand what she had been feeling when I left, what had gone through her mind. I closed my eyes and opened the book to the first page. I had to know.
It's been two months, eighteen days and three hours since he disappeared. Since he told me he didn't love me. It kills me to think about him. I feel as though there is a hole in my chest, as though someone has torn me wide open. And no matter how still I try to keep, the wound he has created will not heal. Every breath pulls at the ragged edges, scorching me with the pain that hides there.
I can't live without him, that much is clear to me now. It's like I can't breathe, can't think, can't do anything without him invading my mind. I can't live without him. I can't.
It never made sense for him to love me. Never. I don't know how or why I fooled myself into thinking he could. I could never be good enough for him, never beautiful enough, never smart enough. I could never be enough.
I begin to wonder: is death painful? Is it terrible no matter what path is chosen? Is there peace after it? Anything is better than this. Anything.
I stopped, another lump of emotion rising in my throat. Barely two pages had been turned, and already I felt as though I had read enough. I had caused her so much pain that she had wanted to kill herself. She had pondered death at least once in my absence, even though she had denied before. My heart dropped, and I suddenly felt violently ill. I hated myself for causing her such pain, such misery. How could she have ever forgiven me for it? I opened the cover of the book, running my fingers over the tear stains. How many of these pages had been soaked by her tears as she wrote in the book. I read several more entries at random, all describing her pain. Thankfully, no more entries mentioned death.
I miss him. I miss him so much that it hurts. It physically hurts to think about him, to do anything without him. I don't feel safe without him around; I feel vulnerable and all too easy to pick off. I'm afraid to live without him, but afraid to die. I'm afraid...
I've been hanging out with Jacob a lot. He's good to me. I can smile around him; I haven't smiled in ages. It felt so good to laugh. It doesn't hurt as bad today, although I know that now that I've given any thought to him, I'll spend the evening trying to hold myself together, to keep the pieces from falling apart.
I hear him. I swear to God I hear him. When I do something stupid or dangerous. I hear him. I hear his beautiful, perfect voice in my head. I don't care if I have to wreck my bike over and over; it's better than nothing.
Alice is here! She's really here! I fell asleep on her last night, and for the first time in a long time, I didn't dream. I know for sure that he still exists. He's out there, and whether or not he loves me, he still exists. That's all I need right now. To know he exists. Otherwise, I can't exist.
I flipped through the book, stopping on the last entry. It was addressed to me. I decided to read this one aloud, drawn to it.
"Dear Edward," I said, stopping to clear my voice when it cracked. "It kills me to even write your name, and although I know I have just cost myself three months of work to shut you out of my mind by writing this, I need to do this. I need to tell you how I feel. I hate-"
"I hate the way you ever said anything at all to me," Bella interrupted softly. I slammed the book shut, my eyes widening. I was in shock that I hadn't been paying more attention. I mentally kicked myself over and over for getting so caught up in the diary and my emotions. I stood up, striding over to the doorway where she stood. Her face was straight, not a trace of emotion anywhere. I reached out and took her small hands in mine. They were cold, and it was unnerving.
"Bella, I'm so sorry. I was looking for something to read and I accidentally found it and I know I shouldn't have and I'm sorry, so sorry for everything, and-" She cut me off again, pulling her hands from mine.
"Edward, just shut up, please. I never thought you'd read that, and now that you have, I need to say it. I've read it at least million times since I wrote it; I have memorized every single line, because it was everything I felt about you and still do." Bella strode over to the bed purposefully and picked up the diary. Placing it back on the shelf, she turned around to face me again. I was shocked by the look of determination on her face.
"I hate the way you ever said anything at all to me," she repeated, her voice even and strong. "I hate the way you ignored me, and I hate the way you were so friggin' perfect all the time. It's obvious to me why I could never be good enough for you, because everything in your life is so perfect and flawless. Why would you ever want someone as plain and as damaged as myself? I hate the way that I know you cared, and the way you'd always oblige to almost everything I asked." Her eyes were starting to cloud over with the beginnings of a flood of tears. Her lower lip trembled violently, and her fists were clenched. Still, she continued on.
"I hate the way that you could make me smile, and I hate you even more for being able to make me cry, even when you're not around. I hate the way that everything about you is beautiful, that every breath and movement made me want you so badly that it hurt. I hate the way you always had to play the grown-up in our relationship, and the way that you always protected me from everything. I hate that you were always so goddamn responsible, but tried to make me happy anyway." The tears had finally broken free of their gates, and were cascading down her cheeks. Bella glided over to me, one of her fists pounding against my chest. I swallowed hard against the lump in my throat.
"I hate the way you made me happy. I hate the way that you thought I'd be better off without you. Because I can't ever live without you. I can exist, but I can't live. And that pisses me off. Because I promised myself no one would ever bring me to my knees like that. And you made me break my promise." Her hand made contact with my cheek with an astounding amount of force for Bella. She didn't even flinch as she wound up for another. She hit me again, the sound resonating through the house. Her hands landed on my chest, and she shoved me hard. Normally, she wouldn't have gained an inch, but I felt so caught up in my emotions that I stumbled backward. I had not felt this human in nearly one hundred years.
"But do you know what I hate the very most, Edward? Do you know what I really, really hate?" Although I knew that the question was rhetorical, I still shook my head helplessly. Bella was now sobbing violently, her body shaking and shuddering. "I hate that no matter how hard I try, I can't hate you. Believe me, I've tried to hate you, all of you. But no matter how hard I try, I can't. Because I love you too much. Because I love everything about you. Every breath, every movement, every smile, everything. I hate all those things about you because they hurt me. Because they remind me of you. Because they are everything I love about you. The only thing I really hate about you is that you thought I'd be better off without you. Because there is no such thing as better off without you." Bella stopped, and I knew that her diary entry had ended. She fell toward me, suddenly, and my arms flew out to catch her. We sunk to the floor as my legs gave out from beneath me.
"I tried, Edward, I swear I tried. But I couldn't. It started getting better at first, with Jacob, but I was still empty. I couldn't do it." I hushed her as I ran my shaky hands over her hair, burying my face in her hair.
"Shhhhh, shhh, Bella. It's alright now." I repeated the words over and over, a mantra. Bella shook with the force of her sobs in my arms for the better part of an hour, her tears soaking my shirt.
"I love you," she finally managed to choke out between gasps for air. "I love you. I do, I do. I can't live without you. I tried, but I couldn't. Nothing was the same. It was all wrong. I wanted to hate you so badly, but I couldn't. I couldn't." I closed my eyes as I lowered my head, kissing her hair. She turned to look at me, her eyes bright with her tears. One of her hands reached up to touch my face, tracing the outlines.
"I dreamed about you coming back, about trying to find you. But every time I did, I realized that there was nothing to find. I can't count the times I woke up screaming..." Her voice faded into a whisper. A small smile came onto her lips. "But then, when Alice visited me, and then told me you were in trouble after her vision, I had no hesitation about going to try to save you. I guess I'm the selfish one," she said. "I would have preferred to see you for one more moment, to be in your arms one more time and die than to have lived the rest of my life as I was."
I laughed weakly, shaking my head. "You're not selfish. You're crazy, that's all."
"Maybe I am."
I smiled, reaching down to wipe the tears away from her face. My lips brushed against hers. "I love you," I whispered, kissing her softly. I pulled back slowly, her eyes fluttering open. "You know I'll never leave you again, don't you? Not in a million years. Not for anything. It hurt me too much. It hurt you too much." I stopped, sighing. "It'll be difficult sometimes, you know that, right?" She nodded in agreement. "But I promise I'll try to make it work. No matter what I have to do, where I have to go, I'll do it. Because I would do anything for you."
Bella grinned, her eyes closing as she wiped a stray tear from her cheek. "We have to be the most messed up couple ever. The masochistic lion and lamb." Her eyes met mine, and she touched my lips with her fingers. "But I wouldn't have it any other way."