A/N: I recently was reading Midnight Walking's version of New Moon from Edward's point of view after Rosalie's phone call. Her Blood Sings. It's quite good. I recommend it. But she brought a point as to how badly Edward wanted to kiss Bella but knew he couldn't because she was gone forever, floating in heaven, a place forever barred to him. So Ria and I decided to make this short one shot. We would turn this into a full fledged story, but that would mean retying all of New Moon. You see, this one little change will change everything.
A/n 2.0: Unfortunately, Rio will not be returning to Fanfiction. He has asks me to take down all his stories, but has given me permission to post the ones I helped with on my page first.
Disclaimer: We do not own and of the Twilight Series. Italicized print is directly from New Moon.
"You can't, Bella. Where we're going… It's not the right place for you."
"Where you are is the right place for me."
"I'm no good for you, Bella."
"Don't be ridiculous." I wanted to sound angry, but it just sounded like I was begging. "You're the very best part of my life."
"My world is not for you," he grimly said.
"What happened with Jasper- that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!"
"You're right," he agreed. "It was exactly what was to be expected."
"You promised! In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay-"
"As long as that was best for you," he interrupted to correct me.
"No! This is about my soul, isn't it?" I shouted, furious, the words exploding out of me- somehow it still sounded like a plea. "Carlisle told me about that, and I don't care, Edward. I don't care! You can have my soul. I don't want it without you- it's yours already!"
He took a deep breath and stared, unseeingly, at the ground for a long moment. His mouth twisted the tiniest bit. When he finally looked up, his eyes were different, harder- like the liquid gold had frozen solid.
"Bella, I don't want you to come with me." He spoke the words slowly and precisely, his cold eyes on my face, watching as I absorbed what he was really saying.
There was a pause as I repeated the words in my head a few times, sifting through them for their real intent.
"You… don't… want me?" I tried out the words, confused by the way they sounded, placed in that order.
I stared, uncomprehending, into his eyes. He stared back without apology. His eyes were like topaz- hard and clear and very deep. I felt like I could see into them for miles and miles, yet nowhere in their bottomless depths could I see a contradiction to the words he'd spoken.
"Well, that changes things."
And it did. Drastically. For t was one thing for him to think he was too good for me, but a wholly another thing for him to realize I wasn't good enough for him. To know I wasn't good enough for him, finally. At least it made some sense. In all honestly, I had been waiting for this moment since the first time Edward held me. Deep within my heart where all of my darkest truths dwelled, this particularly ugly one roamed: the truth that Edward deserved so much better then anything I could give him.
"That changes this quite a bit." I whispered. I dropped my gaze from his face. I couldn't stand to see the indifference there any longer.
"Of course, I'll always love you… in a way. But what happened the other night made me realize that it's time for a change. Because I'm… tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella."
I nodded slowly. Of course I could understand where he was coming from. The numbness I had felt before was gradually melting away. He didn't want me. He didn't want me. Those words, that had struck me so odd before were now the only reality I knew. And the more I though it over, the pieces started to fit more securely. What had I been thinking, letting myself believe we could last forever? Just like every only flighty girl in love for the first time, I had foolishly assumed I would have him until the end of time; perhaps I was not as mature as Renee always said.
"I am not human. I've let this go on much too long, and I'm sorry for that."
"Please, don't apologize." It'll only make me feel worse. I wrung my fingers, trying in vain to stop them from quivering. "Don't feel sorry. It's not your fault, after all." I knew very well whose fault it was. It was as clear as my nose in my face. How could I blame Edward for being much too good for me? That would be beyond ridiculous. No, this was all my fault. Me, the foolish human who just didn't know when to let go. But I knew now. I knew what I had to do.
"Please, try to understand-"
"No, really, I do. I do understand." And I did. It was the last thing I wanted, but even I knew when it was futile to hold on. He was a bird I now held in my hands but who desperately yearned to escape. If I tried to make him stay, if I held on tightly, I would only hurt him further, only smash his wings. And crushing him by not letting him fly freely was the last thing I wanted to do. Edward's freedom – his happiness – meant so much more to me then my own.
I took a deep breath and forced my head to tilt up and look him square in the face, no matter how painful I knew it would be. Those piercing eyes that would forever hold my fascination were distant, remote, as if he'd rather be anywhere but here. I knew that to be true. "I understand perfectly. You're right; you aren't human. I shouldn't expect you to have to act like one." My voice was perfectly matched. Even. Unattached. Perhaps there was an actress hidden deep within my after all.
I opened my mouth to speak again, but the words stuck in my throat; the words that would let him be rid of me
His emotionless face was still and expectant. Waiting.
He wanted to go. He needed to go. But Edward, being the Edward that I had fallen so pathetically in love with, would never leave me with twinges of hope. He would never let me wallow about with the false idea that he still cared for me, even a bit. He wanted to make sure I understood why he was leaving so I would not hang on to the past. Maybe Edward even wanted me to move on. So like him. Edward was definitely the type who would want me to forget about him, much like how he would forget about me.
Easier said then done.
I forced a tiny smile over my features, trying to focus an anything then the inevitable goodbye. Just to keep him talking for a little while more and put off our final farewell. "Everyone… They… they are all gone, right?"
He moved his head up and down in a nodding gesture. "I've already sent them all away. But I wanted to tell you good bye-"
Tears blurred my eyes at the word 'good bye' but I held my voice steady. What he had said was settling in slowly. Gone. They were all gone. And without so much as a farewell. Were they all tired of me, too? "Alice, too? I won't see her again?"
"No. I'm sorry."
I shook my head as I wiped the tears from my eyes hastily. They were blocking my vision of Edward. Since this was the last time I would ever see him, I didn't want to ruin the image by his perfect face being distorted in my memory. "No, no, I'm sorry. I should have realized you meant your whole family was going – I just thought…" I sighed, Alice's cheerful face appearing in my memory. I would miss her almost as much as her brother. "Never mind. I was stupid to not see that sooner."
Edward's face softened for a bit. For a second, he looked regretful. But, as suddenly as it happened, his eyes froze over again. Regret, what a beautiful word. He regrets hurting me. And I regret tying him down.
To lighten our parting, I asked as nonchalantly as possible, "Where will you be going? I'd imagine it would have to be somewhere vampire-friendly."
Edward tore his eyes from over my head to straight into my gaze. I flinched. "You know I can't tell you, Bella. And I must be going now. But… I must ask one more thing, if it is all right with you."
I shrugged my shoulders. "Why bother asking? You know I can't deny a request from you, Edward." I never could, even now with your illusion love for me gone. I folded my arms around my body, trying to hold myself together. I was steadily falling to pieces, despite my efforts to keep myself secure. I couldn't break down now. No, I had to hold myself together; I had to prove to Edward I could be strong. He would still leave me, I knew that, but I wanted him to see for his own eyes that I was not as fragile as he always claimed.
Altogether, I was proud of how well I was holding my feelings in check. I wanted to scream out at him to not leave me alone, to leap into his arms and cry like I always did; but that would be selfish. He deserved so much more then that. He deserved so much more then me.
I was a mess inside, however. A storm was brewing in me, threatening to break me, perhaps cause my legs to give out on my and collapse right to the floor. I fought the instinct to crumble valiantly, even as my heart had given up. But I held my head up high, staring back into those entrancing topaz orbs I had fallen for only months ago. Months? Had it only been months, really? I felt like I had loved him since always, like it was painted across my soul.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid," he ordered, no longer detached. "Do you understand what I am saying?"
I cocked my head to a side. "Not really. Are you actually telling me to be safe?" That was laughable. I felt a smirk coming on, the result of stress and heartache. "Granted, I did come running to Forks. That was my choice, which could have led to my death several times over. Death must be in love with me," I added in a whisper. Still, not even the danger and imminent threat of death could keep me away. Nothing could. Except Edward, of course. I would jump over the moon if Edward asked me to. And I would let him leave if he wanted to. And he did. He wanted to leave me.
Now I was on the edge of hysteria as Edward's cold eyes continued to penetrate my being. "Or do perhaps mean not to try to follow you?" My body was shaking now, going into near convolutions. "In that case, I swear. I won't make you stay by my side anymore. I won't stop you from leaving." I stepped closer. Edward watched me with weary eyes. "So… in return, can I have one favor?" I asked, barely forcing out enough air to make a sound. Still, I knew he would hear me.
He remained quiet. He must have thought I'd ask something outrageous, such as for him to bite me. The idea was laughable now. I didn't want to live forever. I didn't want to be ten times stronger. I didn't even want to be inhumanly beautiful. I only wanted him. Edward was foolish to think I'd ever want anything else. Nothing else mattered. Nothing at all.
"Just… just hold still." I took a few more steps, stopping only when an inch separated our bodies. "Hold still. Just like you did that one day." The day when my love was cemented in my heart for the breathtaking creature before me. I would cherish that day until I breathed my last breathe.
Sadness flowed within me as I looked upon the object of my affections. Prefect spilled from all his features. How could I have been so stupid to think he would want me forever? He didn't even want me for the remainder of my human life. I wasn't good enough for him. He was right, as usual. The truth wasn't a nice thing, but it was blindingly accurate as I stared upon the perfection that was Edward Cullen.
But that wasn't all. Sure, I couldn't compare to him because he was too beautiful for me. That was a given. There was more to it then just looks, however. 'More behind the face', like I had once told Jessica. His personality, so selfless and brave. Kind and strong. Admirable and intelligent. I could never match up to the type of person he was. Edward deserved an equal, not some useless girl who tortured him with her blood and he was constantly saving from danger.
I ran my fingers up his arm as I inched closer still, the hair on my neck standing on end as the icy feeling spread through me. No longer was the feel of his skin frightening or alien. It was more normal to me then anything, so commonplace, I was uncomfortable with the warm touch of humans. And oh, I longed to throw myself at him, but I had to control that urge. I just wanted to touch him one last time. I remember how he felt.
How he smelled, that intoxicating fragrance of his.
Perhaps… how he tasted.
"I can promise you this, Bella." I kept my eyes focused into his as he spoke. "I won't return. I won't plague you anymore. You can go on with your life as if I never had been here. It will be as if I never existed."
But I didn't want to hear that! I wanted him to exist in my life. Even if I was long ago absent in his.
I stood up on the tips on my toes. Eyes of endless butterscotch held mine. He should at least be able to grant me this one wish. It may have been gauche of me, but I needed this. This would be my last meeting with him. And I wouldn't be able to know he truly existed if I didn't have this feeling to hold and cherish for the rest of my life. He was too perfect, and I might have thought I dreamed him up otherwise. He might be okay with moving on and forgetting me, but I would never be able to forgive myself if I let this wondrous man slip from my heart. I wanted to remember my first love, no matter how much I knew it would hurt me down the road. So I plucked up the dregs of my courage and bounded forward.
Our lips collided.
Edward's eyes widened, his cool façade disappearing into nothingness, as I caught him unaware. Whatever he had expected, this clearly wasn't it. He remained still, unfeeling, in shock almost. But I didn't care to notice. I wanted this to be burned in my thoughts forever.
He tasted so sweet. Like ice, but sugary. Frozen candy was the closest comparison I could think of. And still it lacked luster. But it was bliss, trust me on that. For the hundredth time, I counted myself so lucky to have had Edward as my first and only kiss; anything otherwise would have paled in comparison all too pitifully. My soft lips radiated heat against his while cool air rushed down my lungs. I had memorized months ago how our mouths felt like this. They seemed to fit together so wonderfully. I had always thought so.
But, all good things –great things, amazing things – must come to an end.
With a sigh, I pulled back. The blurred veil of tears returned, but overflowed with such a force I couldn't hold it back. Yet, I was happy. He got his freedom, and I got a kiss to remember him by.
This time the smile on my face wasn't forced. "Thank you for that, Edward." Oh how his name sent a thrill through me. "Now I have something to remember you by. You see, I don't want to forget you. Ever. I want this feeling to remain, even if you won't. I've never loved anyone before, so why would I want those memories to go away?" I chuckled as I held his cheek in my hand. The cool was so refreshing. "You can be so ridiculous, silly Edward." I teased. But I sobered up immediately.
The moment had come. I couldn't put it off any longer.
The moment of good-bye.
I was almost waiting for it to happen like it did in old movies. The sun to illuminate us as he turned away to leave forever. A whispered farewell. Me to perhaps chase after him, screaming his name. I guess I was a die-hard romantic.
But this was no movie. There was no happy ending to be had here.
Instead, I pulled my hand from his cheek. My fingers tingled from the lost touch. They pined for the forgotten chill o f his skin, just once more. But I folded my fingers together. The last time I ever stroke his skin…
The moment held painfully. I waited for him to speak. To make to leave. To move. Something. Edward was still a statue. A flawless godlike statue. I couldn't help but to just stare at him in all his perfection. I wanted to look at him with my unworthy eyes for all eternity.
No. No. No!
I needed him to leave now. He had to or else I would actually try to follow. Did he not know how hard it was to see him and know he didn't want me? I still wanted him. God knows I did. I would have to brain damaged not to. And every minute - every second - he stood there, I wanted him to stand by me. I wanted him to keep me beside. I wanted him!
It didn't matter if he didn't love me, for I would always love him. He could hate me and that wouldn't change! I didn't care. Just to be by his side would be enough. As long as I could be graced by the chance to unload my incessant love upon him, what did it matter if it was unrequited? Nothing! It was unimportant!
I shook my head, letting the river stream down my face freely. I didn't want to hold it back anymore. I was going to hurt either way.
But he didn't have to.
So I turned on my heel and ran. I took off, not daring to look back. For I knew without thinking that once I saw him, I wouldn't be able to stop from following. One glance was all it took to hold someone forever. I knew from experience. I had been through it once!
What had happened to me wanting his freedom? Didn't I care at all about Edward? Didn't I want him to be happy? He deserved at least that much. He deserved better then me, and we both knew that. So why was I so desperate to hold him down? Why was I so goddamn selfish!
I had such good intentions of setting him free. But they had gone up in smoke. Now, I was fighting with myself over what was best and what was best for me.
I had to release him. I had to leave him. I had to!
At the edge of the forest, my house just barely in view, I got caught. My arm was being gripped fiercely, unyieldingly. Stupid tree branhc! I yanked my body forward, begging for release.
"Do you want to be freed of me so badly?"
I froze as his grip on me tightened as he tugged me back lightly, pulling me into his defined chest. The intoxicating fragrance rolled off him in waves, shrouding me in it. I shut my eyes firmly. I couldn't chance that one look. I couldn't do that to Edward.
"Let me go." I whispered. "You need me to be gone. You need to forget about me. You need… so much more then can be expected of me. I'm only human."
His arms wrapped around my torso. "Since when as this been about me and my needs? Have you even thought about your needs for a second?"
"Of course I have. I think of my needs constantly." I held onto his forearms, my thumb stroking the unblemished, marble-like skin. "But my needs only consist of you. You and your happiness. So, for your sake, let me go, Edward." I bit my lower lip and focused only on the blackness inside my eyelids.
Unexpectedly, Edward lowered his head into the dip where my collarbone met my neck. My eyes shot open. I took in a gulp of air as our bare flesh touched. This contact shouldn't be anymore. Nevertheless, I relished it so frantically. I needed it more then the oxygen in my lungs.
"And I was so sure I could handle this," He muttered against my neck, breathing in deeply. "I thought I would be strong enough to leave you if the time came. I promised you I would, no matter what it took. But I'm weak. I couldn't make myself leave you." He uttered a delicate curse. "I was so sure I could convince you that I didn't want you and then leave with my family, never to burden you again."
"What are you saying?"
I felt his lips edge up my neck. It was all I could do now to pay attention to his word and not melt. "I couldn't stand the thought of letting you run away. I knew I could leave you without a problem. I had accounted for everything. The lies that needed to be said to make you forget about me. Ways to derail you if you brought up my promise to stay with you. But I didn't expect you to run from me." His grip tightened around me. "It was… agonizing. I couldn't handle the thought of you leaving me. So I followed. How hypocritical." His tone sounded ashamed.
"How did you honestly think about how I would fare when you left me? I would have run after you, too. Did you believe I would just give up? You didn't, after all." But we were on two different levels. He followed out of guilt; I wanted to follow out of unreciprocated love.
"But I knew I could catch you."
"It wouldn't have mattered to me. I would have followed anyway," I murmured. "Love is irrevocable and irrational, Edward. While my brain might have known I wouldn't be able to convince you to not leave me, my heart was dead set on chasing you to the ends of the earth."
"Then why did you run from me?"
"You needed me to. You weren't strong enough to leave, but you needed to. So I had to do it. For your sake."
"Preposterous. The very idea of a human trying to be strong for a vampire."
"I didn't see it as a human trying to have the strength to do something a vampire couldn't. I saw it as a woman who loved a man more then her own life making herself leave him since he didn't return it."
Edward's voice had a rough edge to it now. "Do you remember nothing I have told you?"
"I remember every word you've ever said to me." I snapped back. "Including the ones that cancelled out everything else." Suddenly, my legs were lifted out from under me; Edward picked me up to cradle me against his chest. I inhaled suddenly from shock, taking in his deviously sweet scent. My brain swarmed with it, dazing me.
"Do you doubt my love so easily, Isabella? Do I truly come off that fickle?"
I huddled into his chest, trying to block out his words. "No, not fickle. Your words… Edward, I'm not so foolish as to deny the truth to your words. It… it never made sense for you to love me." I choked out through a fresh batch of tears.
He turned the full force of his eyes upon me. To my delight, they were the liquid-like topaz I adored again. Like they had melted into a richer color. I fell into those eyes all over again. That was it. I had lost the will to let him move on. I needed him too damn much. I didn't care how egotistical it was; I wasn't willing to let him go. I wasn't strong enough to let him go. I didn't just want him. I needed him. I couldn't go on without him. Without a doubt, it would kill me.
"Do you really believe that?" I nodded fiercely. "My dear Bella, how can you be so blind? To not see your self in all your brilliance is distressing." He traced my lips with a slender finger. Involuntarily, they parted at his touch. "I couldn't stand what I was doing to you. It wasn't fair. Thanks to me, you were being dragged into a world of danger. Every bad thing that has happened to you has been my fault. Do you realize how that has tortured me? And you don't have to be in constant danger. You aren't safe with me. So I wanted you to live in peace. I was prepared to do anything to accomplish that. Even willing to tare myself from your presence if necessary." His eyes reflected his disappointment. "And I couldn't even do that. You should be so angry with me. I'm so selfish…"
"No wonder we're perfect for each other." I kissed the tip of his nose. Elation was filling me like a balloon. "I'm just as guilty as you are. I wanted you to be happy. So I ran. Self-sacrificing me, leaving you who will hold my heart till the end of the world. You can see how that ended. Even now that I know I should leave, I can't. I don't have the resolve to do so. I…" I cried into his chest. "I need you too much. So I'm a horrible person by being okay with chaining you to m side. Don't you see how horrid I am?"
But he just chuckled. "We are indeed perfect for each other. For as much as I want you to forget me… I want you to hold me in your heart. You should try to move on. You should have a normal life. You should send me away. A normal person would after all the things I've put you through…"
"Since when have I ever been normal?" And I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling myself onto his lips for another kiss.