I looked at him in shock.
I had just had the most wonderful night of my life so far. I'd spent it with my new husband making love to me; fulfilling my need for him to complete me. They were the most incredible feelings I'd ever experienced.
And there he was rigid with anger. He was horrified at the thought of what we'd done. His eyes scanned over my body once again at the course of bruises he'd left. Then he threw himself back down on the bed and covered his eyes in disgust.
I knew it was only because he was ashamed that he'd put them there, but I honestly didn't remember him being too rough with me, I only remember how tenderly and gentle he'd loved me. And I knew it was me being irrational.
I could feel the churn in my stomach gaining pace. I knew what that meant all too well. I got up and steadily walked to the bathroom. I couldn't look at him; he'd single handily made our wedding night sound like a horror show and I felt sick. I actually felt dirty. Once I'd made it to the littlest room in the house (though it seemed just as cavernous as some of the other rooms) I locked the door behind me. I stood against the door and listened for a minute as he groaned to himself in shame again. Covering my face with my hands, I started to sob, silently. The last thing I wanted was for him to come to see what the hell could be wrong with me now. I pushed myself away from the door and turned the dial on the shower to full power then began to run the water. I climbed in hoping that the water would relieve the tension filling me and wash away the hurt I was feeling. It didn't.
Instead, I found myself in a heap on the floor of the shower tray with the hot water slightly scalding my skin as it cascaded over me. I didn't care.
I let my thoughts drift away, as far away as I could take them while I sat there still sobbing internally. The gentle knock on the door brought my attention back to where I was and back to the too hot water crashing over my head. Ouch! It suddenly seemed so fierce. I quickly jumped up and shot the temperature dial to cool, feeling the relief instantly before shutting it off.
"Bella?" Are you ok? You've been in there a while sweetie." The concern in his voice was still there as it had been since I woke up black and blue. So I had a few bruises? It's not like he broke anything or worse killed me. Although right at this moment that thought wasn't too disturbing. I always bruise so easily anyway! Sweetie? I didn't feel sweet. Nothing about last night seemed sweet anymore.
"I'll be out in a minute!" I didn't realise the hostility that surrounded my response until it was too late.
What was wrong................?
All the feelings of insecurity I'd had resurfaced and I felt like they would pull me under.
It wasn't good. The anger and hurt I felt rising in my chest was threatening to crush the life out of me. So I would either die of my heart accidentally being broken for the second time; or from the rage I felt with the fact that I would never be able to remember my honeymoon without feeling this pain ever again, and 'ever' was going to be a really long time.
"Bella, can I come in? Please? He begged from the other side of the door now.
"I said I'd be out in a minute." I tried to sound less sharp. I fidgeted with the towel around my body and tried to drag the brush I'd left in the bathroom last night through my hair
"Why'd you lock the door?" He chuckled, honestly sounding confused as he rattled it, surprised that I had turned the key on him when I came in here. He didn't seem to expect me to be so shy after last night. Nor did he seem in anyway sorry for his out burst earlier or aware that he'd hurt me deeply with that same show of distaste. I was in no way trying to save my self the blush. I was trying to stop my self from maybe saying something I might regret.
He was still trying the handle when I yanked the door open from the other side.
I saw the smile start to form on his lips but cut past him towards the dresser; to the suitcase that still sat there open from our arrival here yesterday.
"O...Kay??" He turned on his heel and watched me as I dug around in it until I found something quick and easy to put on. I dropped the towel; proving it wasn't my embarrassment at having him see me naked that had me keep him out while I showered.
I heard the gasp from him first, then, I felt his cold hands on my back.
"What? Is my back scarred too???" I demanded. I walked a few feet away from him again as I struggled to sanely pull the white slip dress Alice had bought me for the trip, over my head.
"Your back looks burned!" I turned to see a tormented hurt look cross his eyes, I'd never pulled away from him like this but that still didn't stop me from retaliating.
"Don't worry about it. That's my own doing not yours!" I scoffed "I let the water run too hot."
"Bella?" His eyes wide with worry at my distance. "Please tell me what's wrong?" He begged.
"You don't know?" I questioned.
"If this is about last night then I'm sorry, I should never have let it happen. I just wish you'd told me that I was hurting you!" His head hung with shame again and it was about all I could take.
"Yeah this is about last night Edward! Or more to the point, this morning! I didn't tell you that you were hurting me because you weren't...." I started
"I have eyes Bella! I can see what I did to you!" I could barely look into his ancient eyes so full of remorse and that made it all worse. He really would take what we did back if he could have a do over.
"Edward Cullen you're impossible! Did I not promise you that I would tell you if you hurt me? Or did I saying that not mean anything? Why can't you get the fact that I'm not hurt? Not from you making love to me anyway! Last night was the most incredible night of my life because I had something I could give you of me, that no money in the world could buy, we were on the same level for once; an even balance." My eyes started to melt as I felt the tears stinging and threatening to ruin my rant.
He moved towards me again, this time gripping my hips to his and I knew I'd have a hard time walking away to calm down now. He wouldn't let me go.
"What do you mean? Not from making love to you anyway?
"I was the happiest I've ever been last night. All I could think about was you and how much I love you. How amazing we are together in everything. Then I wake up to find you not even able to look at me, shouting about how you'd hurt me and I'd not stopped you....."
He started to open his mouth to speak but the look I gave him silenced him again.
"I'd not stopped you..." I continued. "Then to have to actually listen to you repeatedly wish you could take it all back and never have touched me...." I was a goner as far as the tears were concerned now. "What we did, what we shared has been destroyed in a matter of seconds. I'm never going to get this morning back again. I'm never going to have that one perfect morning following my wedding night; to look at you and know you felt the same way about it all, because you've made it perfectly clear that you don't."
He stood silently looking at me. Realising the new hurt he'd lavished upon me unintentionally.
I looked to the floor; I knew I'd fall to pieces if I looked at him again. He wrapped his arms tightly but gingerly around me in a hug that normally I would have welcomed.
But this time I just wanted to be away from him. For the first time since we'd met, I wanted to be alone.
"Bella, I didn't mean it that way, I just...you were covered...I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to seem like last night wasn't incredible for me too, It was! Last night was the best night of my life and you'd never looked more beautiful to me than you did in that moment." He stroked his hand across my back.
"Edward, can you just..." I grabbed at his wrists to indicate I wanted him to let go and he did so immediately. "I need to get some fresh air...Alone" I added as he made a move to suggest he was coming with me. "Alone." I repeated. I felt bad for causing him pain like this too but I couldn't sway my feelings right now.
As I started towards the door I heard his phone ring, He didn't answer it straight away, like he didn't realise it was his making any noise. Then on the fifth ring he finally answered it.
"WHAT DID YOU DO???" Alice yelled down the phone at me.
"Now's not the best time Alice" I whimpered.
"You're telling me!" Why did you have to be such a guy? Did you not even think about how what you said would upset her?" She continued to pound at me.
"How do you know what...I mean... if you knew this was going to happen, why didn't you warn me?" I growled.
"I'm sorry; your stupid mind reading thing doesn't work over this long a distances! I couldn't get through on your cell either. Edward, you've really done some damage!" Her voice dropped off.
"What am I going to do Alice?" I sank onto the couch rubbing my head with my free hand before running it through my hair; a sure sign of my nervousness. I hadn't realised I'd moved from the bedroom unconsciously going to try and follow Bella before finding my self sat down.
"Just let her have her time out, let her be the one to come back. Then, you better grovel and beg and plead as if you're ass depended on it!" With that the aggravated pixie hung up the phone.
Crap! What the hell was I supposed to do now? I stood up and began pacing back and forth across the room. My behaviour from this morning finally, truly sinking in. What an ass!!! Oh God, Bella? I couldn't even begin to think how much I'd hurt her, again!
I had to figure out a way to make this better; not that I wouldn't blame her for never talking to me again; I'd deserve nothing less. What would I do if I were trying to make things up with her at home? My initial thought was to buy her something. Yes, I'd buy as many roses as I could find and fill her room with them, then crawl on my knees and beg until she caved. But this was Bella, and Bella was not materialistic in the slightest; so that wouldn't work. Plus where would I find THAT many roses out here in the middle of nowhere? Honesty was my only shot.
But could I really just wait here and let it simmer? What would that do? It could make it easier to get through, or it could turn even worse if she thought I wasn't bothered enough to go looking for her. But then Alice had said to leave it and she had gone out of her way to call. And Bella had requested I give her some alone time.
I then started a different train of thought, as if all this wasn't enough to send me out of my mind! It was Bella out there alone. Bella, who could find the only twig in a dessert, to trip over and break something, even with such a soft landing. Bella, who could drown in a puddle! No. I'd trust Alice and give her some time. She wouldn't be gone long.......probably.
I had no idea how long I walked around the island for, but it felt like a good few hours since I left Edward and the confines of our 'love nest'. My head was full of all kinds of rubbish. When I finally started to take in my surroundings, I found myself heading towards the sound of running water. I stepped through a small gap between a few tightly packed palms and came to an abrupt stop. There in front of me was the most beautiful little lagoon; edged with smooth rocks and ferns. A small but powerful cascade of water rolled over the top of a small cliff like wall, made of the same type of rock that edged this little oasis. The water was Crystal clear and looked so inviting. I sat on a nearby stone and dangled my feet in, swaying them from side to side, thankful for the much needed break from the heat.
I let my thoughts wonder as I sat there losing all sense of time again. I was so angry with Edward for acting the way he had. I was distraught at how he could be so cold and heartless, even taking into account the fact that his heart didn't beat anymore. I hated that I was spending the first full day of our honeymoon away from him, but hated the fact that I was the one that wanted to be away from him more.
Then again, I was over reacting a little. I knew this could have potentially gone a lot worse. I knew that it was only fear of something he didn't know how to control that made him act this way and I knew that he loved me more than anything or anyone else.
But I still couldn't shake that feeling of hurt away.
Bella must really be pissed with me. It had been five hours since she left and I wasn't sure if I could handle this agonising wait any longer. I'd give it another hour then go looking for her. Knowing Bella, she could be unconscious somewhere being pecked to death by some native birds.
Ok so I'd give it thirty minutes instead... Ok maybe ten..... What the hell; I couldn't stand it any longer and I made my way out of the house. I'd only gone a few hundred feet towards the trail when she stumbled out in front of me, cussing her feet. She'd managed to graze her leg and was rubbing it with her hand. I reached out and lifted her over to me.
"Are you ok?" I asked bending to examine her injury.
"Yeah I'm fine." She shrugged and walked back towards the path that lead towards the front door; leaving me on my knee where she had been stood.
"Bella, please can we talk?" I quickly caught her up.
"I think we need to." She looked down to her leg again before opening the door and making her way over to the counter in the kitchen. She sat down pulling an apple from the fruit bowl and rolled it around in her hands.
She didn't look up at me for a while as I sat on a stool opposite her. I looked at my hands as I twisted them around each other.
We sat in silence for what seemed like a decade.
"Talk!" she quietly demanded.
Ok so me first then I thought to myself nervously. I didn't have a clue how to start. I'd spent the last century alone in the biblical sense, so how I was suddenly supposed to be able to grovel? To my new wife no less!But I had to do something to try to make things better. I couldn't risk losing her again.
"I..." I looked up to find her looking at me now. She looked like she was searching my eyes for something and I really wish I could read her mind right now. At least then I'd have some indication for where to go with this. "Bella, I'm sorry. I never meant for you to feel like I didn't want last night to happen. And I DON'T wish I could take it back!" I was trying so hard for her to really listen to me because I really did mean that. "I just meant by taking last night back, that I could do it over and just be more careful; that I wouldn't have to see your body covered with marks that prove what I really am, and remind me of what I'm capable of..." It was my turn to lower my eyes now.
All the shame I'd felt this morning coming back; as it had when I'd noticed all the bruises starting to appear on her pale skin. Watching them darken by the passing hours of night. Only seeing their true extent as the sun began to climb in the sky and fill the room with brilliant light. I knew what I was. This seemed to leave Bella perplexed. Me cringing at what I was capable of; yet she seemed unconcerned by it all and I'd hurt her with my reaction to her nonchalant attitude. I'd admit that it angered me a bit. "I've never loved anyone before you Bella. You changed my world from something dark into one filled with sunshine...metaphorically speaking. I'm not used to feeling this way; of showing my emotions to someone. I flipped and I'm so, so sorry. I know there's nothing I can say to make that seem real to you at the minute but..."
"I'm sorry." Bella's eyes were filled with as much remorse as my own now.
"You have nothing to be sorry for love!" My eyes narrowed at her in disbelief. She was honestly going to sit there and take my appalling behaviour on her own shoulders. "Why would you even feel like you should apologise to me? After I was the one that behaved so disgracefully? I should be on my knees right now begging you to listen to me. It's called grovelling for a reason sweetie. And I should be grovelling my ass off to you right now for ruining one of those 'human' experiences that I keep banging on about you having."
"Edward..." She stood up and walked around the counter to stand next to me. I apprehensively wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her close to me. "It's ok. I know that you didn't mean to hurt me. And I guess I can understand why you freaked out at this" She glanced down at her battle scars before meeting my gaze again. "I can't pretend it didn't hurt hearing you talk like you did. It was like; I had to get over a lot of fears about myself to be so open with you last night. Letting go of most of my boundaries and trusting you solely with that part of me...You could have slapped my face and it wouldn't have hurt so much." Her eyes were truly pained. "Edward... I felt bad, dirty..." she breathed in an almost inaudible whisper and I felt my stomach turning over.
Oh God! I did that to her, I made her feel like that! Now I knew why Alice had been so aggressive on the phone, and why Bella hadn't wanted me near her earlier. I wouldn't blame her for never wanting to touch me again. Yet here she was, in my arms. Her warm soft body held tightly against mine. Although I could tell she was holding back a little.
"Bella, tell me what I can do or say that can make things right again?" I buried my forehead in her shoulder and felt her run her arms across my back. Then she brought one hand under my chin to lift my eyes to hers. She gently leant down and kissed the tip of my nose.
"I am sorry Bel..." She cut me off with the sweetest kiss that I couldn't resist. My hands found their way to her hair. I cupped the back of her neck and pulled her face to mine. My lips pressed against hers. They were so warm and inviting and I had to stop myself forgetting the situation at hand. Reminding my mind that I was a jerk and this wasn't about me, it was about Bella, and making her feel better; hopefully.
I couldn't fight the urge to kiss him when he looked at me with those amber eyes. I'd had enough time alone to think about everything and take into account Edward wasn't the normal modern man. Sure he had a good persona but he'd been frozen in his Victorian tendencies; back in a time when men didn't do the sensitive thing. Though he did try his hardest and this was just as alien to him as it was to me. His words had won me over and I caved right into his arms. Besides, I couldn't stand the thought of having to see that much torture in his eyes any longer. He kissed me at my pace; though it felt like he could have quite easily deepened it if I hinted that that's what I wanted. I was content at my own speed. I might have forgiven him but it didn't mean all the hurt had gone away yet. I wasn't sure if it ever would go away completely. Something's you just can't forget.
He held me close to him for a long while before my stomach growled at him in disapproval; keeping me from hunting on its behalf. Edward chuckled softly and stood up. He walked over to the fridge while keeping a tight hold on me. He seemed a little bit braver with me now we'd talked; like I might not break down on him as easily as I had this morning when he'd tried to pull me close to him. I wasn't going anywhere. Not now. I felt safe and warm in his embrace again. He moved my body to face the open cooler as he stood pressed against my back. If I didn't know better, I'd have sworn he was ...Nah! His head rested on my shoulder as he looked at what my choices were. I couldn't help but close my eyes to the thought that shouldn't be in my head after last night, before realising that it didn't matter what was in my head; the rest of my body acted independently where Edward was
concerned. My mind started thinking of a different kind of hunger as I became more aware of our closeness. No! Stop it I scolded myself. This shouldn't even be a consideration right now. As if to agree, my stomach let its impatience known again.
"What would you like?" He smiled.
"Nothing that's in the fridge" I mouthed to myself. Forgetting that it still wouldn't have been audible to just my ears, of course Edward would have heard it but he behaved like a gentleman for the first time today and made no reference to my remark, thought the smile on his face grew till it touched his eyes.
When my eyes finally opened the following morning my smile was reluctant, but it soon blossomed into a full blown Cheshire cat grin. It mirrored the one sat on my husbands face. I was spread across the bed, tangled up in the sheets with Edward tangled up around me. His head was resting on my abdomen and his eyes were liquid as they gazed lovingly up to mine.
"This should have been our yesterday morning!" I purred.