And once again, I broke my promise to you guys.
Another late chapter /: All of the forces in the universe just seem determined to prevent me from writing.
Would it make you guys feel any better if I told you that you would be getting another chapter tomorrow? And another one by Saturday? (:
Well, here's chapter fourteen. All Bella's POV. Enjoy!
Like an electrical current running through my veins, jolting every cell in my body awake, shocking and burning but more pleasurable than you could ever imagine. The type of electricity I could only feel when I was around him.
A beautiful melody ringing in my ears, washing away the pain. Not a melody, a voice, a perfect, rhythmic, unforgettable voice waking me up and putting me to sleep all at once. The type of voice that could belong to only one person. His voice.
Causing me to shake and shiver from such close proximity to the cold, marble bodies belonging to only one type of creature in this world. But though any of their kind could chill me this way, only one of them could make me feel so absolutely on fire when so completely and utterly cold. His body, his fiery, scorching cold.
My head was pounding and my ankle throbbed and burned, but I could focus on nothing other than the possibility that I was with him. I tried to force my eyes to open, to focus on the man that I knew was near me, that must be near me, that I could feel near me. Wherever I was, it was very bright, and it took my eyes a few moments to adjust to the lighting. But when they did, I knew that everything I had endured had been worth it.
Edward stood above me, staring at me with a look of pure shock and wonder that I knew must be reflected in my own eyes, as well. I was unable to suppress a gasp as his utter perfection clouded my mind. His perfect lips, nose, skin, and eyes, all too much, way too much. My eyes began to water and my lips trembled as I reached out a shaky hand to touch him, to make sure he was real, and that this was not all some terrible, beautiful dream. But when I placed my fingers gently on his cheek, he did not disappear, he did not vanish into thin air. Edward closed his eyes at the feel of my warm touch on his too cold skin.
"Bella," he whispered, in a pained and raspy voice, yet still more beautiful than any song, more melodic than any chorus of angels. At that moment, he seemed more weak and drained than I had ever seen him. Vulnerable.
My eyes began to water and I gasped audibly upon hearing him speak my name. At the sound, Edward took a deep breath and abruptly opened his eyes as he pulled away from me, reaching for a white towel lying on the seat next to him. I took a look at my surroundings and realized that we were in the backseat of a small car. Edward helped me sit up and brought the towel to the back of my head where I was bleeding. I winced as he placed pressure on the wound, but fought to keep my eyes open. My injuries didn't matter. Those wounds would heal quickly, but others—other wounds would leave permanent scars. I refused to waste a single, precious moment when he was near me. Who knew how long I would go without seeing his face the next time he left me? The thought alone was making me struggle to catch my breath, and I decided it would be best to focus on the present moment. I turned to Edward, who was deliberately avoiding my eyes, and mustered the courage to speak to him.
"W-What happened?" I asked, in a voice that surely could not have been my own. Lifeless. He didn't respond, and after a moment I decided to try again. My voice was low and pleading, begging for answers, an explanation, anything. "I t-thought I had failed, that I was too late to save you... I was so close, Edward. So close. I could see you, standing there ready to step out into the sun and give away your life…" My voice began to tremble and I fought with all I had to keep it steady. "What happened? What about the Volturi? What made you stop?"
My speech was low and slurred, but I knew he could understand me perfectly fine. Edward sighed slowly and brought the towel down from my head. He ignored my questions and moved his hands lower towards my foot, where he began removing my shoe so that he could examine my ankle. The pain shot up my leg instantly, and I made a slight hissing noise as I bit back a scream. Edward cringed at my reaction.
"I'm so sorry, Bella. This, everything… it's my fault, all of it," he whispered so quietly that it was nearly inaudible. I couldn't take it, I couldn't handle his guilt and remorse. As much as I thought that I wanted an apology, that I wanted him to pay and suffer and regret it all, everything, I knew now that I was wrong. His pain cut me just as deeply as my own. I didn't want revenge or payback… I just wanted to forget.
"Edward, please," I begged him, trying unsuccessfully to stop the tears from spilling down my cheeks. Again, Edward sighed, but this time he looked me fully in the eyes before speaking.
"Your blood… It was your blood, Bella, always your blood," he remarked, so lightly and in such a nonchalant manner that we might as well have been talking about the weather. But I could see it all clearly reflected in Edward's eyes, the insincerity of his detached attitude, the true fear and remorse that lay behind his words. "I could have smelled it from miles away… When you fell and cut your head, the full force of your scent nearly knocked me off my feet… It had been so long, I had gone so long without that scent… It was entirely overwhelming, Bella. I knew it instantly. You were there, you were with me, hurt, but not dead. You were alive."
There was such a sense of incredulity and astonishment in his tone as he looked up and down my body reverently, ascertaining that I was truly alive and well. But I wasn't well. I was hurt and confused, overwhelmed and broken, trying to keep the pieces of my life together when just one look at Edward's flawless face was threatening to shatter me into a million pieces, heart and soul.
"Bella… we have to get to the airport as soon as Alice arrives…The Volturi… it would be best if we left Volterra as soon as possible." I nodded weakly, too exhausted to question what had happened with the Volturi. It didn't matter, none of it. Edward was safe. He was with me. We would make it back to Forks, alive and well and together. The past few months were nothing but a blur. I couldn't focus on the pain, on the heartbreak, on the hurt. Not when he was by my side. Too good to believe. How long before he broke my heart again? How long before he crushed it, the rest of it, what was left of it? How long before he would be nothing but a distant memory?
I hadn't noticed I was crying again, and I refused to let him see how weak I truly was. I would show him, prove to him that I was strong, that I didn't always have to be the damsel in distress, the victim. I closed my eyes and willed the tears to go away, the fear and dread to disappear so that I could enjoy these few, precious moments with him. But the more I tried and tried, wished and prayed that I could just be strong for once in my life, for him, the more I failed. I could soon feel Edward's cold hands on my cheeks and his breath surrounding me. His face was mere inches from mine when I opened my eyes again, and his proximity startled me. Edward reached his hands towards my eyes to wipe away my tears, and when he spoke it was in an intense and pleading voice.
"Please don't cry, Bella…. I can't, I just can't bear to see you in so much pain, to know that I was the cause of it all… I need to explain it to you, I need to make you understand. The truth, you need to know the truth, Bella." Edward brought his face even closer to mine, so that his lips were mere millimeters from my own. "You will never comprehend just how much I regret these past few months, how much I wish tha—"
Alice had chosen that moment to show up and open the front door of the car. Edward closed his eyes and sighed, slowly backing away from me as Alice sat down and turned to face me, smiling as wide as ever.
"Bella! You're conscious! How are you feeling?"
"I'm… fine," I replied, trying to force a smile. Truthfully, I was anything but fine.
"We're late for our flight, Alice," Edward said abruptly after checking his watch. Alice rolled her eyes at him, but started up the car and began the drive towards the airport. I could do nothing but sit in silence and stare at Edward as he scooted farther away from me. The distance scared me, and I moved towards him so that I could rest my head on his shoulder. He simply sighed and wrapped his arm around me before he began humming my lullaby. It had been too long. The beautiful melody still had an inexplicable power over me, and I closed my eyes as I heard it, losing myself to the memories it inevitably brought to mind. Memories of pain, memories of happiness. Memories of loss and memories of hope. But none of it mattered. I was safe. I was with Edward, losing myself in his embrace. This moment, this one, perfect moment, was what I had been waiting for since the day he had left me. This was exactly what I wanted, all of my dreams come true. But I couldn't shake that one nagging thought, the one that lingered in the back of my mind and wouldn't allow me to simply revel in the beauty of the moment.
Was it, really? Was this my dream come true? Was this where I really, truly belonged?
So? How was it? (:
I must admit, I struggled with writing Edward's character in this chapter. I was considering doing something in his POV, but I'm not sure I'll be able to pull it off.
Anyways, please leave a review! Thanks to everyone that reads my story, especially my reviewers and those that have added me to their Favorites or Story Alert.
Agh, you guys are just the best3