5. ISLE ESME
What the hell was I thinking? I did this to her. How could I do this to her? My Bella. My sweet, soft, caring Bella. And I had hurt her, so much.
I looked up. I couldn't stand seeing the marks anymore. The marks she bore because of me, because of my selfishness. She slept easily that night and for a while, giving me plenty of time to thinking about my actions.
Why had I let her convince me of this? It was not a good idea. It was a horrid idea. I nearly lost control. I was so close to her throat. Her delicate skin was no barrier to my teeth.
That wasn't the worst part of it though. There were so many dark spots on her creamy skin. And I had put them there.
My whole body was tense, except my arm that I let lay loosely across her back.
Her heart sped slightly. She was awake.
I let my hand drag down her spine, barely touching her. How dare I even touch her?
She smiled and a slight laugh came from her lips.
"What's funny?" I couldn't look at her though. My voice sounded colder than it should have.
Then her stomach gurgled and she laughed again.
"You just can't escape being human for long." She laughed her at her own joke. But human, that is what she was. And I shouldn't have done what I did because she was human. I had been too selfish.
"Edward. What is it? What's wrong?" She asked.
"You have to ask?" Too hard. I need to lighten up. But did she not feel any pain? She was probably ignoring it, for me. Why was she so kind? She shouldn't be. I didn't deserve it.
She didn't say anything. How I have wished for years to hear this woman's mind.
"What are you thinking?" I whispered trying to soften my voice.
"You're upset." She sounded upset now too. "I don't understand. Did I…?"
"How badly are you hurt, Bella? The truth—don't try to downplay it." I demanded, but softly.
"Hurt?" She asked in surprise. Then she wiggled around some. "Why would you jump to that conclusion. I've never been better than I am now." She sounded a little irked.
"Stop that." I closed my eyes. She was always trying to cover for me. Always making excuses for me.
"Stop acting like I'm not a monster for having agreed to this."
"Edward! Don't ever say that."
"Look at yourself, Bella." I can't. "Then tell me I'm not a monster." I heard her gasp. She must have looked.
"Why am I covered in feathers?" Feathers. Of course she notices that first. I let out a low breath.
"I bit a pillow. Or two. That's not what I'm talking about." I pressed.
"You…bit a pillow? Why?"
"Look, Bella!" I growled and looked at her. I delicately pulled her arm out. "Look at that." I closed my eyes to regain my control. I wanted to fall apart. How had I let that happen to her?
She poked at her arm. I softly wrapped my fingers around her arms. A perfect match to the purple bruises.
"Oh." That's all she said. I felt sick.
"I'm…so sorry, Bella." I whispered. "I knew better than this. I should not have--" I wanted to vomit at the sight. "I am more sorry than I can tell you."
I laid back and put my arm over my eyes. I couldn't look at her anymore. I didn't deserve to. I didn't deserve her. I never did.
Her warm hand lightly touched my arm, but I couldn't move. I didn't want to hurt her ever again.
"Edward." Her soft voice asked. "Edward?" But I couldn't. I had hurt her. She should be so upset with me. She never was though. Bella was far too good for me. "I'm not sorry, Edward. I'm…I can't even tell you. I'm so happy. That doesn't cover it. Don't be angry." Her voice softened. "Don't. I'm really f—"
"Do not say the word fine. If you value my sanity, do not say that you are fine." I demanded. She was not fine. She had bruises all over her body and I had put them there. She was not fine.
"But I am." She said.
"Bella." It was supposed to be a warning, but it came out as moan. "Don't."
"No. You don't, Edward." She was angry? I moved my arm from my face. Why was she angry now?
"Don't ruin this. I. Am. Happy."
"I've already ruined this."
"Cut it out." Her eyes burned with anger. "Ugh! Why can't you just read my mind already? It's so inconvenient to be a mental mute!" She said exasperatedly. I thought she liked me not being able to hear her, despite how insane it made me. And now its inconvenient?
"That's a new one. You love that I can't read you mind."
"Not today." She responded quickly. She wanted me to? I wanted to, she knew how much I wanted to.
"Why?" She threw her hands in the hair and let them land on my chest warming more of my skin.
"Because all this angst would be completely unnecessary if you could see how I feel right now! Or five minutes ago, anyway. I was perfectly happy. Tottally and completely blessed out. Now—well, I'm sort of pissed, actually."
Good. "You should be angry at me."
"Well, I am. Does that make you feel better?" Her eyes bored into mine. I never want her angry at me. I took a deep breath.
"No. I don't think anything could make me fell better now." Not now that I had hurt her.
"That. That right there is why I'm angry. You are killing my buzz, Edward." She responded sharply. Did she not understand? I rolled my eyes. She never did.
She took a deep breath and when she spoke again she was calmer.
"We knew this was going to be tricky." Where was she going with this? "I thought that was assumed. And then—well, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And this is really nothing." She ran her fingers along her arm. Nothing? Did she not see how many bruises were on her body? "I think for a first time, not knowing what to expect, we did amazing. With a little practice—"
"Assumed? Did you expect this, Bella? Were you anticipating that I would hurt you?" How could she think I would ever hurt her? It hurt me just as much. "Were you thinking it would be worse? Do you consider the experiment a success because you can walk away from it? No broken bones—that equals a victory?" I took a deep breath. I had been to harsh with her.
"I didn't know what to expect—but I definitely did not expect how…how…just wonderful and perfect it was. I mean, I don't know how it was for you, but it was like that for me." Her face had dropped during her speech. Silly girl. She always worries about the wrong things. I lifted her chin so, so gently with my finger. Only a finger could touch her.
"Is that what you're worried about? That I didn't enjoy myself?" Of course I enjoyed myself, Bella. That is why you are hurt, I enjoyed myself a little too much.
Her eyes didn't look at me.
"I know its not the same. You're not human. I just was trying to explain that, for a human, well, I can't imagine that life gets any better than that."
I had great satisfaction from her statement, she had enjoyed herself as well. I squashed my feelings. Nothing was worth hurting my Bella. And now she thought I hadn't enjoyed myself. She finally looked at me.
"It seems that I have more to apologize for. I didn't dream that you would construe the way I feel about what I did to you to mean that last night wasn't…well, the best night of my existence. But I don't want to think of it that way, not when you were…"
"Really?" A small smile formed on her face. "The best ever?" I gently placed my hands on the side of her heart-shaped face.
"I spoke to Carlisle after you and I made our bargain, hoping he could help me. Of course he warned me that this would be very dangerous for you. He had faith in me, though—faith I didn't deserve."
She wanted to protest but I silenced her with my fingers on her warm lips. A slight shiver went through my body from the heat. "I also asked him what I should expect. I didn't know what it would be for me…" I smirked at my next statement. "What with my being a vampire. Carlisle told me it was a very powerful thing, like nothing else. He told me physical love was something I should not treat lightly. With our rarely changing temperaments, strong emotions can alter us in permanent ways. But he said I did not need to worry about that part—you had already altered me so completely." She had changed so much about me. Everything. My family had noticed right away the changes she made in me. I had to smile at this statement.
"I spoke to my brothers, too. They told me it was a very great pleasure. Second only to drinking human blood. But I've tasted your blood, and there could be no blood more potent that that…" No, no blood was more satisfying the taste I had had for a few seconds. "I don't think they were wrong, really. Just that it was different for us. Something more." I looked away.
"It was more. It was everything." Her voice was soft, compelling, soothing.
"That doesn't change the fact that it was wrong. Even if it were possible that you really did feel that way."
"What does that mean?" She asked sharply. "Do you think I'm making this up? Why?" She demanded.
"To ease my guilt. I can't ignore the evidence, Bella. Or your history of trying to let me off the hook when I make mistakes." She was too good, she was always trying to make me feel better. Then she grabbed my chin.
"You listen to me, Edward Cullen." The way she said my name, even when angry, was an amazing sensation. "I am not pretending anything for your sake, okay? I didn't even know there was a reason to make you feel better until you started being all miserable. I've never been so happy in all my life—I wasn't this happy when you decided that you loved me more than you wanted to kill me, or the first morning I woke up and you were waiting for me…" She seemed to pause before her next sentence, as if contemplating if it was the right thing to say. "Not when I heard your voice in the ballet studio." I cringed at the memory. "Or when you said 'I do' and I realized that, somehow, I get to keep you forever. Those are the happiest memories I have, and this is better than any of it. So just deal with it." Her voice was sharp again.
Her forehead had creased through her little speech. I softly pressed my finger against it trying to smooth it out. I never wanted to upset her.
"I'm making you unhappy now. I don't want to do that."
"Then don't you be unhappy. That's the only thing that's wrong here." She responded quickly.
But there was so much wrong. Everything about Bella and I was wrong really. She was the best thing in the world and I was just too selfish to share her with the rest of the world.
"You're right. The past is past and I can't do anything to change it." No matter how much I want to. "There's no sense in letting my mood sour this time for you. I'll do whatever I can to make you happy now." My sole purpose was to make Bella happy.
"Whatever makes me happy?" I heard the tone in her voice, but her stomach gurgled at the same time overriding where I believe her thoughts were going.
"You're hungry." I got out of the bed quickly.
"So, why exactly did you decide to ruin Esme's pillows?" Bella asked moving more around.
"I don't know if I decided to do anything last night. We're just lucky it was the pillows and not you." I responded without looking at her. I remembered the exact moment my teeth and sunk into…the pillows and not her neck. She hadn't noticed how closely my teeth had been to her veins, how much pressure there had been on her delicate skin. I shook my head removing the memory.
When I opened my eyes, Bella was off the bed. I took in a deep breath and turned around. It was an even better view of the pain I inflicted on her.
"Do I look that hideous?" She forced a light tone through her voice.
Yes, Bella, I wanted to say, your husband did that to you. I heard her walk, to the bathroom I guessed. Then she groaned.
"Bella?" I asked. Maybe now she would be upset, now that she had seen the damage I did to her body.
"I'll never get this all out of my hair!" She started plucking feathers from her hair.
"You would be worried about your hair," I muttered. I shook my head slightly but walked to her and started pulling the feathers out quicker.
"How did you keep from laughing at this?" She asked exasperatedly. She really didn't understand the situation, but she never did. Maybe I should go back to the mental institution idea. "I look ridiculous." She sighed. "This isn't going to work, it's all dried in. I'm going to have to wash it out." She turned around and embraced me warmly. "Do you want to help me?" She was such a seductress, but all it took was one look at the handprints on her arms to know the answer.
"I'd better find some food for you." I pulled her arms gently from around me, missing the warmth already. But I didn't deserve that warmth. I ran downstairs and her heart thudded irregularly.
I knew every meal Bella ever ate but I didn't know what to make her now. I turned on the television to a food show. Something yellow, with green, orange and brown inside. Disgusting. I almost gagged. But an omelet would be very healthy and nutritious for Bella. I watched a little longer trying to figure out how to make it. I never really cooked when I was human.
Then I went to the kitchen and pulled out proper ingredients remembering what Bella liked and what she didn't. I made an omelet but it looked nearly black, too long on the burner. The second one fell to pieces when I pulled it out the pan and the third one was looking pretty good when Bella was walking down the stairs.
I heard her stomach growl as I slid the omelet onto a plate.
"Here." I smiled and set the plate on the table. She sat down quickly and ate faster then I'd ever seen. "I'm not feeding you often enough."
"I was asleep. This is really good, by the way. Impressive for someone who doesn't eat." She smiled and it made me feel better. At least now that she was clothed I couldn't see as many marks. But the ones on her arms were still present in her little tank top.
"Food Network." I smiled again and she reciprocated. If I focused on her smile I could almost ignore the rest of her body. Almost.
"Where did the eggs come from?"
"I asked the cleaning crew to stock the kitchen. A first, for this place. I'll have to ask them to deal with the feathers…" How would I tell the female? She already suspected enough, she practically knew we were vampires.
"Thank you." Bella brought me back from my thoughts. She leaned slowly across the table and gently placed her lips on mine. I wanted to pull away. I didn't deserve this. I shouldn't be allowed such softness on me. But I couldn't hurt her anymore than I already had.
I pulled away and her jaw clenched.
"You aren't going to touch me again while we're here, are you?" It did not come out as a question.
Did she think I didn't want to? Of course I did. But I couldn't. I had hurt her. And it hurt me even more. But I could touch her. I reached toward her face and gently brushed my fingers on her cheek. Her eyes closed slowly and she leaned her cheek into my hand.
"You know that's not what I meant." Her voice was softer. I let my hand fall to the table.
"I know. And you're right. I will not make love with you until you've been changed. I will never hurt you again." I vowed. Her face sunk, even though she knew my answer before it even came out.
She looked down at the plate and pushed a few remnants around with her fork. I had hurt her again.
Thank you all so much for your patience! I hope this was worth it. :) I enjoyed it. It might be about another week until the next one. But if you guys like I can post at least partial chapters like this one so you don't have to wait as long. Let me know. :)
I hope you all have seen the new Twilight trailer and that you all know they are working on making New Moon into a movie too!! :) Excitement!