Title: Purest of Pain; Prologue
Characters/Pairings: All Characters, Canon Pairings
Spoilers: None; AH/AU
Summary: Irrevocable change wrought from tragedy brings these two families together while their own personal demons threaten to tear them apart. Can they overcome the consequences of their actions or will the repercussions and guilt consume them?
Disclaimer: Much to my disappointment, I do not own Twilight or any of its characters. However, I do very much enjoy borrowing them for my own twisted storylines.
A/N: I've sat on this chapter for months, debating with myself whether or not I should post it. To say that I'm perfectly okay with posting it now would be a joke, because I'm not. However, as there isn't much else that I can do to it, short of completely rewriting it, it seemed rather pointless to just let it sit on my hard drive and collect digital dust.
That all being said, I'm now off to go bite my nails and/or incessantly tap my foot because I'm entirely too neurotic to just patiently wait to see how it is received.
Special thanks to my betas, vi0lentserenity - without her, I would've given up on this particular storyline ages ago - and magan bagan and to friends, and fellow authors, ahizelm, nothingtolose15 and RAEcouter for their input, suggestions and encouragement.
WARNING: This story contains references to cutting/suicidal tendencies, slight alcoholism, adult language and rape along with a litany of psychological issues and is rated as it is for a reason. If you have an issue with any of these things, please refrain from reading.
"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things that we don't want to know but have to learn and people that we can't live without but have to let go. ~ Author Unknown
Her words haunted me as I drove down the desolate highway. I'd wanted nothing more than to help her heal, and she'd sent me away. The ache in my chest steadily grew as I put more force on the gas pedal with a desperate need to find an outlet for the pain that was tearing through my body. Regardless, I couldn't block the memory of the look on her face, the agony in her eyes and the finality in her voice.
"I don't need you to fix me, Edward. I don't need anyone. Please, just get the hell away from me. Go home!"
Everything in me, from my head right down to my soul, was begging me to turn around and go back to her. To beg her, if need be, to let me in. I felt incomplete without her near me, even in the most platonic of ways. I needed her like I needed air to breathe or water to sate my thirst. I loved her with every ounce of my being and I couldn't resolve myself to sitting idly and letting her destroy herself. If I did, I'd be no better than the monster that had caused her so much pain and pushed her to take these desperate and extremely selfish measures.
"You would never understand. No one would. Just let it go."
Let it go? Just let it go? As if I ever could. She had no idea of the hold she had on me. She had no idea that there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for her. Which is why when she told me to leave, I left. Against my will and against my better judgment, all because it was what she wanted.
But what about what I want, dammit!?
I could feel the tears coming on the further away from Phoenix I drove. The tearing in my chest was palpable as my sobs racked my entire body. I wouldn't be able to drive much longer in this state. As it were, I could barely see a foot in front of my face, let alone beyond the windshield into the darkness that permeated the surrounding deserts.
Subconsciously, my foot inched down onto the brakes as I turned the steering wheel to the side of the road. I couldn't run from her. I wouldn't run from her. She could fight it all she wanted, but I was entirely too selfish to let her have this. If it were anything else, I'd give it without question as long as it made her happy. But even now, as I sat here in my car on the side of a deserted highway, I realized that she didn't really mean what she said.
This epiphany pushed me into a new course of action. A course of action that found me racing back towards Phoenix so quickly that not even a speed gun could register my velocity. She needed me whether she was ready to admit it or not, and I fully intended on being to her whatever she would allow me to be; friend, confidant, or more. It was entirely up to her.
It took me less than an hour to get back to her house. Less than an hour to prepare myself for what I was about to walk into. Less than an hour for me to realize that she needed more help than I could possibly give her alone.
Seeing her still, lifeless form laid out before me on her bedroom floor nearly destroyed me. The blood that had spilled from her arms was dripping and pooling around her. I couldn't move and I couldn't think. The guilt that surged through me was tangible. I'd left her to her own devices without putting up a fight and this is what she'd done.
I almost didn't notice her eyes opening fractionally as I stood there as if in a trance.
It was barely a whisper but it was enough to spur a reaction from me. Relief flooded my body as I knelt beside her to take stock of what she'd done. The jagged cuts that ran from wrist to elbow repeatedly were enough to make my stomach turn. Her body felt limp in my arms and I knew that if I didn't act fast, I'd lose her for good.
I quickly grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed 911. I tried my best to mask the sheer panic I was feeling as I talked to the call operator, but my voice was strained, breathing sporadic and my stomach's contents were currently revolting against its restraints and threatening to make an unnecessary reappearance.
Waiting for the ambulance to arrive was the worst, and longest, five minutes of my life. I sat back on my heels, holding her in my arms while rocking back and forth and willing myself not to cry. I had to stay strong for her, or at least make an attempt to stay strong. I could break once I knew she was safe.
"I love you. I love you. I love you." I repeated over and over again hoping – praying – that she could hear me and know without a doubt that I meant it; silently pleading that she would understand that I was here for the long haul, come hell or high water.
The sound of blaring sirens, doors slamming and a cacophony of noise pulled me back to the present as I heard the EMT's barreling into the house and rushing up the stairs. I watched, emotionally detached, as they pulled my beautiful Bella out of my arms and began to work on her. My mind barely registered the fact that I was covered in blood – her blood – as I hovered over them, watching.
I knew the questions would be coming soon; I couldn't deal with them right now. There were calls that needed to be made before I allowed myself to crack. There were people that I needed to talk to before I could even begin to explain to an outsider what had happened; inform them that this wasn't an isolated incident. I had promised her that I'd keep this secret to myself; she'd made me swear on everything that I held dear before she allowed her doubts to be put to rest.
I was going to betray that trust that had taken so long for me to earn, but I couldn't find it in me to care. She'd broken promises too – promises much worse than the one I was about to break; a promise that almost took her away from me forever.
A/N: Can I stop biting my nails now? *phew* Anyway, please share your thoughts on this via reviews. I have the next couple chapters written so, if received well; I'll be posting them as soon as possible.
The next chapter will be going back to the beginning of this story where everything began and will be in Jasper's POV.