Author's Note: CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BREAKING DAWN!
I had some difficulty writing this story. After all, having to write just what Edward was feeling when his beloved Bella was becoming...ug, poor Edward! Anyway, I hope I got this right. I used Breaking Dawn as my map, while also including what I always imagined as happening. I really hope you guys like this one. Please review and rate, it means so much to me to see this feedback, positive or negative!
"What's that?" Jacob asked, panic heavy in his voice as I smacked his hand away from Bella's chest.
"My venom," I responded quickly, not paying him much attention. Using just the right amount of strength, I plunged the needle directly into Bella's beautiful, sputtering heart. Her torso jerked upwards in response, as though an electric current had shocked her helpless body. Those pools of deep cocoa fell back in her head unconsciously, her mouth open as if she were screaming. But no sound emerged from her plush, bloody lips.
I briefly experienced a tsunami of emotion– emotions I had never experienced before. But this was not the time to deal with those feelings. I pushed them back in, feeling an odd numbing sensation consume me as I refocused.
"Keep it moving," I commanded mechanically at Jacob as his hands pumped her heart faster.
I bowed my head over her frail, violently-trembling body and, trying not to think too hard about what I was about to do, sunk my teeth into the translucent skin at her neck. And both of her wrists. At each of her ankles. Venom pooled in my mouth and overflowed into her body, poisoning her veins for the rest of eternity. Her blood dripped down my chin, but I ignored it, and sealed her wounds with a quick brush of my tongue. Again, I reminded myself why I was doing this. It was immortality of certain death for my dearly beloved. There was no other way.
Working over a corpse. Because that's all that was left of the girl we both loved. This broken, bled-out, mangled corpse. We couldn't put Bella together again. I knew it was too late. I knew she was dead.
Upon hearing Jacob's thoughts, I wanted to scream out in agony, deny his words, and then tear him limb from limb until he was unrecognizable. I wanted him to die a terrible death. I felt a strong anger rising in my chest – finally a familiar emotion mixed in with the unknown ones.
"Go then," I barked at Jacob Black, who was now rendered useless in my eyes. I heard the crunch of his knuckles as I knocked his hands away from Bella's bare, blood-covered chest once more. I replaced his surely-broken hands with mine and began pumping her heart harder and faster than Jacob ever could hope to.
"She's not dead. She's going to be fine," I yelled at myself, for saying it aloud made the words sound truthful. She would not die. She could not die. At that moment, that was all I thought: She's not dead. She's going to be fine. She's not dead. She's going to be fine.
And then there was nothing else I could do, but let the venom spread through her body. I lifted my bloodied hands from her chest, and dropped them uselessly to my sides. My eyes were glued to Bella's face, saturated in her own blood. I could hardly process the image, as I was still stunned. I decided it best to sit in the chair besides Bella's borrowed hospital bed, and only then did it register that Jacob had left the room. I rose and bolted the door shut behind him. Although this would stop no one from entering, I hoped they would get the point. I needed to be alone with my love at this most significant time.
I resumed my seated position, but this time, took Bella's hand in my own. Already, it felt harder and cooler, although it surely felt like every fiber of her being was on fire to Bella. The room seemed to be filled with her final heartbeats, and I listened miserably and waited for its tempo to grow even more erratic. An uncontrollable sob broke and tore itself from my chest as the emotions I had previously pushed back rose once more, spilling to the surface. I buried my head against her arm, dipping my hair into a puddle of blood in the process, and squeezed my eyes shut. Behind my lids, Bella's angelic face smiled at me, an expression of encouragement and forgiveness.
"My Bella, my beautiful Bella, I am so sorry." I whispered as I watched Bella's chest slowly rise and fall with each shaky and uncertain breath.
As I watched Bella, I began to put my emotions into words. I felt the expected; horror, terror, regret, sadness, agony, self-loathing, anger, fear. But somewhere deep inside myself was the most bizarre feeling of all. Happiness – I felt happy. Not enough to conquer even a portion of the intensely negative emotions, but just enough to be detected. I was happy: happy because Bella might live, even if she wasn't human. Happy because Bella and I would finally get to be together forever – if she survived. I would be with Bella until the world came to an end – if she survived. Even I couldn't comprehend the concept of eternity, although I welcomed it feverishly if Bella was a part of it. But only if she survived.
It was this small beam of happiness, of hope, of sunlight, in my own personal darkness that kept my alive while Bella teetered on the edge of humanity.
The next day was the longest in all my years, and the most painful. Bella's body was entirely still, and after I sponged the blood from her skin, she was a startling shade of white. Her heart was beating completely sporadically, no longer in a set rhythm. I would miss that. And her warmth, of course. The way her mesmerizing blood collected under her cheeks in embarrassment. The shade of her bottomless eyes. But to me, it was worth it. She would still be Bella and our relationship could reach its full potential at last. She would understand just how capable I was of loving her, how much I could love her.
But then there were the feelings of apprehension. My long years of loneliness and self-consciousness crept back into my thoughts as I wondered if she would still love me in the same way, or if she wouldn't feel as she once had now that she saw how utterly unspectacular I was. But somewhere very deep inside my chest, I knew this wasn't a possibility. We loved each other as much as anyone ever had, and more.
Throughout my quiet, yet raging mental journey, I spoke to Bella. I knew that in her current state, she could hear nothing I said, but this didn't stop me from trying. I told her it would be all right, that I was here and tried to put into words just how much I loved her – an impossible task. I never left her side.
Except to unbolt the door. I had previously wanted to spend these most life-changing of moments with just Bella – no one else. But now, I realized the importance of my family being there. Because my family was Bella's family, and I hoped desperately that in some corner of her subconscious, she could feel our presence and gather the necessary strength from it.
I stood now, with Carlisle standing at my side. His fingertips were pressed gently to the inside of Bella's wrist.
"Still no change?" I asked doubtfully.
I leaned in closer, my face just inches from Bella's, "There's no scent of the morphine left."
"Bella, can you hear me?" I asked with hope this time, "Bella? Bella, love? Can you open your eyes? Can you squeeze my hand?" I gathered her fingers in my hand and listened to how weak my own voice sounded.
"Maybe…Carlisle, maybe I was too late." I whispered miserably, my voice shattering. It was unbearable to watch Bella suffer, yet I couldn't bear for my eyes to leave her for a second.
"Listen to her heart, Edward. It's stronger than even Emmett's was. I've never heard anything so vital. She'll be perfect," Carlisle spoke in a soothing tone, obviously trying to calm me. His words did nothing to change the situation, and my fear and sadness didn't waver.
"And her-her spine?" I questioned, recalling the sickening crack of Bella's spine snapping as our baby girl entered the world.
"Her injuries weren't so much worse than Esme's. The venom will heal her as it did Esme."
The ghost of my past emerged in full force then, "But she's so still. I must have done something wrong."
"Or something right, Edward. Son, you did everything I could have and more. I'm not sure I would have had the persistence, the faith it took to save her. Stop berating yourself. Bella is going to be fine."
Deep inside myself, I knew she would be fine – maybe not for many years, but she would eventually be fine. Hopefully, much better than fine. But as I watched Bella's humanity slip away and her transformation progress, I remembered my own final hours as a human. I knew just what she was going through. Imagining Bella enduring what I had…there were no words to describe that pain I felt for causing this for her.
"She must be in agony," I spoke softly to Carlisle, although my eyes remained on Bella's face. If I were capable of shedding tears, I would have been in this moment.
"We don't know that. She had so much morphine in her system. We don't know the effect that will have on her experience."
I touched my fingertips lightly to the skin on the inside of her elbow and whispered, "Bella, I love you. Bella, I'm sorry."
"How much longer?" I asked anxiously, my hand tightening convulsively around Bella's hand.
"It won't be long now," Alice said softly, "See how clear she's becoming? I can see her so much better." She sighed in exasperation and I watched her mind as she recalled the frustration and migraines it has caused her when she was blind, as far as Bella was concerned anyway.
"Still feeling a little bitter?" I raised in eyebrow in her direction.
"Yes, thanks so much for bringing it up. You would be mortified, too, if you realized that were handcuffed by your own nature. I see vampires best, because I am one; I see humans okay, because I was one. But I can't see these odd half-breeds at all because they're nothing I've experienced. Bah!" Alice grumbled and complained, but I could tell she was satisfied with her logic. I really did not care.
"Focus, Alice," I scolded, my mind only concerned about Bella.
"Right. Bella's almost too easy to see now." Alice said, She is almost one of us. Ah, Bella, she added silently. I sighed, agreeing with Alice and knowing Bella's torture would be ending shortly.
"She's really going to be fine," I half-smiled at the thought, eager now.
"Of course she is!"
"You weren't so sanguine two days ago," I challenged quietly.
"I couldn't see right two days ago. But now that she's free of all the blind sports, it's a piece of cake."
"Could you concentrate for me?" I pleaded urgently, "On the clock – give me an estimate."
Alice rolled her eyes at me and sighed once more, "So impatient. Fine. Give me a sec-." Within moments, her visions had conjured up a clock and pushed the image to the forefront of her thoughts. I watched it carefully, and nodded with contentment.
"Thank you, Alice," Gratitude filled my tone. I watched Bella's face, hoping I could tell her that it was almost done. The burning, the unbearable fire, was almost extinguished.
"She's going to be dazzling," Alice said, already imagining Bella's reaction when she first came across a mirror.
I hissed under my breath in response, "She always has been." And I meant what I said. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, the single reason I existed.
Bella's heartbeat consumed my entire world, and now it seemed to overtake Carlisle and Alice's, too. We hovered over her, listening intently as her exhausted heart thumped so quickly it was difficult to distinguish individual beats. I could hardly tolerate listening to her humanity ending, but at the same time, I wanted to be there for every second. No one spoke or even so much as took a breath as we listened.
And then here eyes opened.
My world was whole once more.