The Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.

Chapter 11

Bella-

My heart wasn't in my chest; it was floating out in space, torn into tiny pieces. That was the only explanation for how I was feeling. I was in Edward's arms racing home, exactly like I had wanted, but it felt wrong, something was missing.

James' face kept replaying in my head over and over. At the last second, before Edward ended his long life, he looked up at me and I could read everything he wanted to say to me in his eyes. They were so sad, but relief shone through like a light in the dark.

He said he was sorry for everything he had ever done, to me and everyone else. He was sorry he had spent his existence trying to be the evil creature he thought he was made to be, and he was happy it was over. All in one look, he had smiled at me weakly, and then he was gone.

I had been screaming at Edward to stop, I wanted to explain to him what had happened. He had appeared out of nowhere, a beautiful monster, hell bent on revenge. The rage that radiated out of him made him almost unrecognizable. I wanted to run to him, to throw my arms around him and beg him to stop, but I was too scared to get close. It was the only time in our relationship that I had ever been scared of Edward.

He took James' body into the store and burned it down. Now James was part of everything else I thought; the air in my lungs, and the stars in the sky. I tried to explain to Edward after everything was over, but he was too worried about me to pay attention to what I was really saying. Now we were almost to Edward's house, I wasn't ready for reality. How was I going to explain my absence to everyone?

The sorrow that wrapped around me made it difficult to feel the happiness I had expected for my reunion with Edward. He was still the same Edward, but I wasn't the same Bella. I never would be again. I burrowed my face deeper into his hard chest, trying to block out the world around me. I wished things could be different. It seemed like I could do was wish anymore.

Every light in the house was on, making it look like a huge bonfire in the middle of all the trees. When we came through the front door instantly everyone came to meet us. I couldn't bring myself to talk. I just watched everyone watching us. Their eyes wide with relief that we were both back ok, only Alice's eyes were narrowed with grief.

Edward took me upstairs to a spare room for Carlisle to examine me. When he set me gently on the bed, my mind thought of James doing the same exact thing only hours earlier. It was amazing how these two men could do the same thing, but it could seem so different.

He watched me silently, concern wrinkling his forehead. Carlisle came in after us and sat on the edge of the bed. Dread spread through my stomach like ice. I didn't want to talk about what had happened, not to anyone.

"Bella, would it be alright with you if I evaluated your injuries?" Carlisle was trying to portray professionalism along with the comfort of being someone I already knew well. It was hard for me to think of him as a Doctor and not just Edward's father figure.

I wanted to say it was ok, but I couldn't talk, the neurons in my brain were misfiring and the words wouldn't make it to my mouth. All I could do was look at Edward, the worry in his eyes growing every second.

"Ok Bella, I am going to take a look then. If you want me to stop at any moment just say so." Carlisle's cool hands pushed the hair out of my eyes as he shown a small light into them, moving back and forth quickly.

Edward helped me sit up as Carlisle pulled the grey sweatshirt off. He examined my wrists and arms; the bruises were still an angry red and purple mix.

"Where does it hurt the most?" Edward asked softly, but I just continued to stare off in the distance. How could I explain that my heart was where all the real pain was? He turned to Carlisle, panic in his voice.

"What's wrong with her?" Edward had been to medical school, but he didn't trust himself with me, he never had.

"I think she is shock Edward, but physically she seems alright. She will need an internal exam though." They exchanged cryptic looks.

"There's no reason to put her through that twice. The Doctor's at the hospital can do it." I was so numb at this point that it really didn't matter to me; actually I didn't want it done. But that was neither here nor there I thought. I still had this problem with my mouth not working.

"What are we going to tell everyone?" Edward sounded tired for the first time since I had met him.

"Everyone thinks you're still gone, they are now considering the possibility of abduction. They think whoever got Bella got you too." Edward was nodding his head.

"It won't be suspicious if I show up with her." I was having trouble following their conversation. Since Edward could read Carlisle' thoughts they weren't saying everything out loud. I was tired of listening; I let my eyes close, barely noticing when Edward lifted me off of the bed again.

He was whispering to everyone in hushed tones, I could only pick up a few words here and there. But I heard Alice's musical voice clearly.

"It's going to be ok." I didn't open my eyes to look at her, but I was sure she was talking to me.

We were back outside, the cold air sending goose bumps up my exposed arms. I could hear the wind through the leaves, the water running somewhere near by. We passed everything at lightening speed.

I really should have been more concerned about what my part in all this would be, but I couldn't stop thinking about James. I cried silent tears for him; the wind dried them to my cheeks.

Somewhere behind us the sun was rising. The light behind the clouds were changing, everything went from black to grey. We were walking at a human speed now, I had the feeling Edward was prolonging the time we had together. I knew that once we got back to real life it would be awhile before we could go back to the way things were, if we ever could at all.

He stopped just a few feet short of the clearing that was my front yard. The afternoon that Edward had left me there seemed millions of years away. He kissed my forehead, then my cheeks, and finally my lips. They fit against mine perfectly.

"It's all going to be ok now."

With that he stepped out onto the grass in front of my house. I looked behind us, one last time at the dark forest where this had all started. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but I thought I could see a flash of gold behind us, the same color that James' hair had been. It was gone a second later; it couldn't have been I thought. Could it?

Well this is the end to this story, I have some ideas for a sequel, but I haven't decided on it yet. Thank you so, so much for the reviews!! They make me happier than egg salad. =) Don't askā€¦ Let me know if you liked the ending!!

The sequel is up now; it's called 'A Second Chance' if anyone is interested.