A/N: Here you are, another chapter. This is the chapter that has been slowing everything up. The first draft of it was...well, a little more extreme and a LOT more harrowing. I had some big questions to ask myself – such as where the fuck did that come from? Would people be turned off the story from it? Anyway I decided to tone it down a bit, but the sentiment is still there. Also I'm adding a new element to the story which I hadn't actually thought about until I re read and changed this chapter, which you see at the end of this chapter and I will elaborate in the next. Will be a bit weird but think I need to give Bella a little break – she's close to killing herself!
Anyway, tell me what you think, and berate me all you like if you think I wimped out on this chapter – to be honest I did. Must be good – I must be becoming a balanced person.
Disclaimer: Don't own Twilight. Have the books, but not the film (the film actually kinda wasn't good (sorry!)...although New Moon looks EPIC! So I won't judge just yet).
"I've brought you something to eat." Edward said. "Esme thought you'd probably want to eat up here, but if you don't then that's fine. Your company would be well received downstairs."
"No, it's fine I'll eat here." Bella said, miserably.
"Are you alright?" He asked as he placed the plate on the table and she crossed to it.
"I'm fine." She said, obviously not. "Sorry about just now. That was uncalled for."
"Was it something Jacob said? What did he say to you?"
"What Jacob and I talk about is nothing to do with you." She snapped. He nodded, a little surprised at the sudden attack. He took it stoically, noting that she was obviously unstable and needed careful handling.
"Okay." He backed off. "I'll be downstairs if you need anything."
"I bet your loving this, I bet you already know what Jacob and I spoke about and you've come up here to gloat."
"I assure you I know nothing. I simply came up to give you the food."
"Yeah, right. Don't expect me to believe that. It doesn't change anything." Her body language was cold and she was hunched away from him, sort of like he was hurting her with his presence again.
"I see that." He said. "I will leave you to eat in peace." There was something about her body language that told him to run for it, this wasn't a good time, he quelled the need to run over to her and hold her and turned for the door.
"Why go to so much trouble for me?" She said, stopping him in his tracks.
"What do you mean?" He turned to her to find her staring at him, fresh tears threatening to break across her cheeks. She took a deep breath and pressed her lips together for a second. "You know why." He longed to tell her that he loved her again, but that...strange way she was holding herself told him not to.
"But why is that the reason?" She asked, the question confused Edward for a second, and he said nothing. "Why do you still want me? Why does any of your family still care about me? The things I've done..." She turned away again, walking over to the windows. He noticed for the first time that the metal barriers had been lifted. She stared out of the window, her eyes blank, and her next words came out a whisper. "I'm a nothing, I don't deserve this."
"Bella, please, that's ridiculous."
"Is it?" She turned back around, looking at him again, her tears making her eyes glow and her skin radiant. Hers was a tragic beauty at the moment and he closed his eyes for a second to stop the waves of desire from making him irrational. In truth he was a little dizzy with his need for her, and disgusted with himself for those feelings when she was in such misery. "You should not want to come near me."
He laughed at those words, thinking of the impossibility of anything he could want more than to be near her and only the fear of hurting her could quell that desire.
"Bella, you know how ridiculous that is. You know why I'm doing this."
"Then say it." She walked up to him, almost threatening. "Go on, I dare you to say it."
"It's because I love you." The words came out a little more aggressively then he would have liked, but he had responded to the threat in her voice, confusion making him more susceptible to the environment.
"But why? I'm nothing, Edward! I'm less than nothing! I don't even deserve friends, let alone love! I fuck over everything and everyone just to get whatever I want, you should be disgusted by me, Edward. You should hate me!"
"Well I'm sorry but I don't." He said, anger burning in him, hot and fanned by his frustration. "I fucking love you so just give it a rest." He was shocked by his own speech, re evaluating himself, the way he was reacting to her, changing with her, for her. He didn't let it show on his face, but the aggression, the violent desire, the slight resentment was entirely new to him.
"The things I've done, Edward! The fucking things I've done! Allowed to happen to me! I'm not the innocent little girl you fell in love with!" She jumped onto the bed, standing on it and gripping the frame that held the posts together. "The amount of men I've slept with, Edward. The disgusting filth I've let inside me. Sometimes I've just done it for the kicks because I enjoyed it Edward. I've done such terrible things, Edward, I've destroyed myself, I've cut myself and rubbed drugs into my blood, I've been in hospital five times because of what I've done to myself and that doesn't even include rehab." She didn't break eye contact with him as she said all of this, but had slowly sank to her knees, kneeling on the bed in the most provocative pose, staring at him a mockingly playful smile on her face. "If you knew even a fraction of the things I'd done you'd run a mile. I don't deserve you."
Edward's voice was hoarse when it came out. The outburst had stunned him. "It doesn't matter."
"Really?" She was off the bed in a second, pressing herself to him. "Come on then, Edward, take me, fucking take me. I know you want me; I've gotten pretty good at knowing when men want to fuck me. You think that all those other men don't matter, that you can kiss a mouth that has been places you don't even want to think about, that you can touch breasts that have been bared and displayed for the pleasure of some of the more disgusting men in America, that you can love a girl that allowed herself to be used as trash just to pay the rent. Let's face it, Edward, I'm just nothing, just another fucking slut that belongs in the gutters." Her tears were in full swing, and he wanted nothing more than to take her into his arms and kiss all those tears away. She was so close but her mind was miles away, she had gone temporarily mad and he'd pushed her to it, once again being at fault for her pain. Didn't she realise that she was the victim? Didn't she realised he knew that she'd had no choice? Didn't she know the blame was placed squarely on his shoulders?
"It wasn't your fault Bella, you had no choice." He told her firmly. "I will always love you, no matter what." She started laughing, but it was a half laugh half sob.
"Come on then, Edward, save me. Take me right now. Fuck me like you did before I went on tour. Save my soul and take me away from my misery." She went to take off her dress but he stopped her, pushing her back onto the bed. She jumped up again and pressed herself to him, running her hand over his crotch, sending another wave of desire through him. He grabbed her shoulders and pushed her back onto the bed, trying to ignore the frantic madness in her eyes.
"I'll come back when you're feeling better." He told her, practically running for the door.
"That's right! Fuck off! You don't fucking love me! No one does! You should have let James kill me when you had the chance and be rid of me once and for all!" Her crazed shouting followed him as he ran down the stairs and out into the clearing. "At least Rob was there for me when you fucked off with your fucking distractions! He's a monster but he's better for me than you are!"
I'll kill her myself. Rosalie was next to him in a second.
"No you won't." Edward told her.
"Give me one reason why not." Rosalie growled.
"Because you know the effect that cruel men's actions have on vulnerable desperate women." He said simply, and saw Rosalie's thoughts stall at this. He knew she hadn't been thinking of Bella as a victim in all of this before, but now she was reassessing her opinion of the girl, comparing her situation to the situation that Rosalie had faced with her ex-fiancé and his friends. "That's why."
Bella sobbed violently, soaking the pillow with her tears as she cried her heart out. It was late and the food that Edward had brought up lay untouched as Bella cried. It was all too much for her now. She'd fucked up everything in her whole life and pissed it all away. Charlie still hadn't been round to see her, and she knew he was still remembering the fight they'd had all those years ago. Not even her own father wanted to see her.
Jacob had really pissed her off earlier. He'd just been talking about how weird it was with the Cullens back and everything, and asking her if she was alright. He seemed uncomfortable with her being around Edward again, and she asked him why and he said that she should find a human guy and settle down once this had all been finished with. He told her that still being in love with a vampire wasn't healthy, it wasn't a good way to go. She'd gotten angry then, and for no reason she'd started crying. Well, there was a reason and she knew it now. She wasn't more than dirt on the bottom of someone's shoe. She was an embarrassment and pretty soon everyone was going to realise it again, and she'd be, once again, alone.
It didn't matter, any of it. The fame, the fans, the hair, the clothes it had all been her running from the truth: and the truth was that she just wasn't good enough. She'd wanted to be someone else.
"Bella..." Alice opened the door, with a mug in her hand.
"Just go away." Bella sniffed. "Just leave me alone, I don't want anyone to even look at me right now."
"I brought you a hot chocolate." Alice said, unperturbed, coming into the room and setting the mug on the bedside and sitting in the chair next to the bed.
"Please, just let me be alone for a while." Bella whispered. She looked up at Alice with messy hair and smudged make up, and then returned her face to the pillow and squeezed her eyes shut.
"He loves you." Alice told her.
"He shouldn't." Bella moved so she was facing away from Alice. "None of you should, I'm the worst thing alive."
"That's hardly true." Alice said. "You're not the worst thing alive, Bella, far from it."
"I will never be able to even look at him again after what I did to him today, why should I expect him to even want to be in the same room as me?" This brought a new wave of sobbing. "Why should he have to settle for a ruined product when there are so many other people out there that deserve him far more than me? Girls who haven't fucked up as entirely as I have."
"Because he's Edward and you're Bella and that's just the way it is." Alice told her firmly. "I can't really express to you the depths of this but you have to understand, when we, vampires I mean, when we fall in love, it's forever, there's no going back. He will love you until the end of time no matter what."
Bella remembered Victoria and how she'd gone after her when James had died, fruitless attempts that resulted in her death at Jacob's teeth. She wouldn't let it go, she was in a desperate frenzy to kill Bella, like it would help with the pain of losing the sole reason of her existence. Like it would make a difference to the endless eternity she would have faced alone. Looking back on it, Bella wondered whether it would have been better to let Victoria have her. But it would have been crueller than what happened. This way it was Bella who suffered whilst she was at peace.
"Then I feel sorry for him, having to love this." She said sulkily. "I bet if he knew how I'd turn out he'd have never come near me."
Alice stroked Bella's hair.
"None of us think that. Not even for a moment. Especially not Edward. I've never seen him so upset. He spent an hour a while ago sitting at your door and listening to you cry, desperate to make it stop and not sure how." She smoothed down the messy hair and straightened it out a bit, and the cool sensation calmed Bella a bit. "He loves you and you're going to have to face him sometime."
"Fine, but just – not tonight." Bella said, yawning.
"Get some rest, Bella." Alice told her. "Trust me, everything will be fine."
Dawn broke over that horrible night, and Edward watched it miserably. He didn't want to be there, but he couldn't leave. His presence was hurting Bella, he realised that now, that's why she'd been so harsh to him, because she thought she wasn't good enough for him. The thought wanted him to run up there and shake her, scream at her or something, but instead he sighed angrily, and quietly watched the sun rise. At least she'd stopped crying now, Alice had gone to calm her, and Jasper was calm again as well. Jasper had spent the night in the corner of the living room, sitting on the floor as still as a stone. He'd blocked Edward's probing and Edward knew it was because Bella's pain was too much to bear. Edward had flipped between guilt for having caused such pain not only to Bella but to Jasper too, and anger and jealousy about how Jasper could connect to Bella so intimately with his power when his own power did not work on her. At some point in the night, Carlisle had taken Jasper hunting, and as Jasper bolted for the door Edward found that his anger at his brother had been horribly unjustified and a fresh wave of guilt flashed through him.
Alice crouched down next to him where he sat slouched in the corner of the room, too drained to even move.
"She'll be okay. She's been through a lot. I think we're starting to get through to her though. This had to happen for her to be able to trust us again. To open up to you."
"She thinks she's not good enough for me." Edward said it out loud, unable to keep a slightly hysterical tone from his voice. "She thinks that this is all her fault."
"Edward...you just need to give her some space." Alice said, and involuntarily glanced over at Rosalie. Immediately suspicious, Edward turned to look at his other sister, who was on the window seat, staring out at the sunrise, she looked pensive, but her mind was blocked to him at the moment. He didn't pry, he knew that he'd given her food for thought, that she was starting to understand Bella, probably better than the rest of them.
"Come on, Edward. Let's hunt. Jasper and Carlisle will be back soon. Bella will soon feel better, and you will need the strength to be there when she needs you."
Bella stared at herself in the mirror. She'd showered three times, she'd gotten all dressed up and put her make up on, and then thrown a fit and washed it all off, choosing the sweats she'd woken up in when she'd arrived here. The only person she'd seen today was Esme, who had brought her meals, expressing sympathy through her eyes but not lingering long enough to express it in words. Bella was glad. Esme seemed the least threatening somehow. She looked gaunt, and that was a pretty good work for how she felt as well. Gaunt...ghostly...hollow...almost invisible. Her body ached for cigarettes and her mind ached for release. She needed a hit, a pick me up...something. More than ever. She was at ground zero and she was having to do it dry.
There was a tapping on the door. She ignored it, there was a more incessant knocking, which increased in volume as Bella stalked to the door and ripped it open.
Rosalie was standing there, looking annoyed. She glared at Bella and then sighed.
"How long does it take to answer a door?" She was muttering. "I knew humans were slow and everything but Christ."
"What do you want Rosalie?" Bella snapped.
Rosalie stared at her, hesitating, then scowled and rolled her eyes. "To talk."
"I don't want to talk to you."
"Look, I know this is hard for you...going through all this with my stupid brother just downstairs hearing everything...I...look," She scrunched her face up in irritation. "I want to help you. Be your friend. I brought a peace offering." She held out the items she was holding, and Bella stared at them, wondering whether she was finally going crazy, or whether Rosalie was actually the answer to her prayers. After every they'd been through...it was Rosalie who came through for her?
Rosalie was holding cigarettes. Two fucking packs. And a bottle of vodka. Bella twisted her head to the floor and saw that there was a bag containing more alcohol...and possibly more cigarettes.
"It's all strictly legal tender." Rosalie said quickly. They both knew what Edward would have done if Rosalie had brought drugs into the house. "Look...I know this is lame but I guess, I'm offering a girly night? Only if you want to and everything."
All Bella could do was stare.
A/N: Okay...tell me what you think? It seemed obvious somehow – Rosalie would be the only one to understand her, right? I think I might actually make some jokes in the next chapter...bit of lighthearted fun? Not silly enough to ruin the story...good? Bad? Should Bella tell her to fuck off? Should she let Rosalie in? Opinions?