After Charlie left I let my head fall back against the pillow, my eyes drifting closed.
I must have dozed off, because I felt a bit groggy when soft voices brought me back around sometime later. I opened my eyes lazily, expecting it to be hospital staff. The boy in my room turned to look at me, and when his golden eyes locked onto mine my whole body revved to attention.
"You're awake…" He said with an edge of pleasant surprise. There was something equally familiar and unfamiliar about him.
My heart quickened at the sound of his voice and I knew this had to be him.
"Edward." I said, not able to contain the grin that spread over my face as I spoke his name out loud. Although I was confident that this was him, there was a feeling of hesitation in the recesses of my mind.
I had imagined hundreds of different scenarios as we made our way down the halls to Bella's room. Not one of them prepared me for the reality of the situation.
Bella was sound asleep when we entered her room. Carlisle took the opportunity to fill me in on everything more completely. He was just finishing up telling me details about the tests they had run on her, which they were still waiting on results from, when Bella stirred. Carlisle and I both picked up on her waking at the same moment, and turned to meet her drowsy eyes.
"You're awake!" I said happily.
She looked confused at first but then I could see the spark of recognition in her eyes, and I was relieved. I hadn't admitted it, not even to myself, but I had been scared. I was scared that she wouldn't remember who I was, that she wouldn't react the same way to what I was, a second time around. But seeing her eyes light up when she looked at me…
"Edward" she said and grinned brightly.
It was a knife through the heart. Not only did she call out his name…but the way she said it, the way she smiled, the light it put in her eyes to think of…him. The vile monster of a creature that had done this to her…
I felt Carlisle clasp my shoulder and shake me slightly. "Yes…Edward. Wonderful, Bella! We were a bit worried you may not remember him, what with the slight injury to your short term memory and all." He said enthusiastically.
My face was stony as I turned to stare at Carlisle. What did he think he was doing?
The look he gave me needed no words. Play along now, and ask questions later.
I clenched my jaw tightly. I didn't know if I could stand here and bare something of this nature. I didn't know if I could go along being lovingly called his name by the girl that I…I…loved.
I felt sick.
"It's very good news you remember his name Bella, but…" Carlisle said and hesitated momentarily, "…do you remember anything else about Edward here?" he continued with exaggerated pep and patted my shoulder.
I didn't want to look at Bella and see how she glowed at her memories of the monster, but I couldn't help myself. Like a month drawn to a flame, my eyes slowly rose to meet hers. I was relieved to find that she obviously couldn't remember a thing about who my brother was, simply his name.
She shook her head uncertainly and looked to Carlisle, "N…no, I don't" she said quietly. She met my eyes again; "Sorry…" she said apologetically, looking worried that I would be offended.
Carlisle smiled, "Don't be sorry, this is not your fault. I prepared him for the possibility that your memory may be foggy" he said and crossed the room to Bella's bedside. "I'm Dr. Cullen, and this is…Edward…my son" he said and gestured for me to join him. I begrudgingly walked over to where he stood.
I would have given anything to avoid having Bella believe that Edward and I were one and the same, to never have her call me his name again. This was an absolute nightmare.
"Nice to meet you Dr. Cullen…" I said and returned the doctor's smile. He was one of those doctors that made you feel extremely comfortable in his presence. "Edward," I said and turned my smile to him. His expression was a careful mask; his eyes however, were cold daggers that sent chills all the way down to my toes. Uncomfortable, I wished I could sink into the bed and disappear.
"I'm going to go see if any more results have come back as well as take a more thorough look into your chart and medical history. Besides…I'm sure you two would like some alone time. I'll come back and update you as soon as I can." He said and reached over to pat my arm. "You are going to be just fine. Please let me know if you should need anything during your stay here."
I smiled gratefully, "Thank you so much Dr. Cullen".
Even though I was no longer looking at Edward I could still feel his dark gaze focused on me intensely. I was sure that he, like I, would have much rather he left with his father, but neither of us spoke out against Dr. Cullen's incorrect assumption that we wanted to be alone.
Dr. Cullen acknowledged my gratitude with a nod, and exited the room.
As soon as Edward and I were alone the tension swelled. I avoided looking at him, choosing instead to focus my attention on my hands that were clasped tightly in my lap.
The beautiful boy standing beside my bed was causing mixed emotions within me. I was trying to sort out what to say, or do, when he spoke suddenly, forcefully, causing me to jump.
I didn't look up right away. I hated that I couldn't remember anything about him, or why he was so hostile towards me. I hated seeing him look at me with such hate, and wanted to avoid it for as long as possible.
When it became blatant that I was avoiding looking at him, I brought my eyes to his. Instead of the hatred I'd been preparing for, his eyes were softer, but still guarded. I hadn't planned on saying anything, but I was overcome with bravery…or possibly insanity…and blurted, "What did I do to make you hate me so much?"
I was furious Carlisle had forced me into this situation…the bigger problem though, was Bella could sense my hostility. I was making her uncomfortable, and she had absolutely done nothing wrong. This was all my fault, it was my brother after all that had been the cause of all of this, and I was the one that had brought him here.
All it took was to look at Bella, eyes down cast, biting her lip nervously, and my previous anger melted away.
"Bella" I said trying to get her attention, but her name came out with more force than I had meant it to, and I startled her. She jumped.
She hesitated for a moment, continuing to look down at her hands, eyes narrowed in thought; When she finally brought her eyes up to meet mine, I could see the confusion behind them. "What did I do to make you hate me so much?" she questioned softly.
"What?" I breathed not understanding where she would get…oh…she mistook my anger, my fury over the situation, as hatred towards her. Damn. "No." I shook my head vehemently. "I do not hate you. I could never hate you."
"If you don't hate me, what then? How do I even know you? Are we friends…something else? Why this…this…" She paused, searching for the right words, "…tension between us? I think I deserve to know what's going on."
I stared at her; it was my turn to search for the right words. I hadn't been prepared for any of this when I walked into this room. I took a deep breath, "My family and I moved to town not too long ago, we met at school. We, uh, well…we were starting to…" I had started off good, but now I was at a loss again.
I stared at Edward waiting for him to continue but he looked like he didn't know what to say. I thought I knew where he was heading, but that was impossible. We couldn't possibly be…be…together. No way. He was beautiful, and I…I was average at best.
Taking a deep breath he finally continued, "We were…you know…starting to date."
He had been looking at the ceiling as he talked but as soon as he finished, his eyes darted back to my face. I could tell he was waiting for my reaction. Even though it had seemed that was where he was heading with it, I was still shocked and didn't do well at hiding my surprise.
I laughed and shook my head, "You are messing with me right? Is this some kind of joke?"
Edward looked surprised, "What do you mean?"
"You and I were dating?" I questioned with a tone of doubt, still not believing it possible.
"Yes." He answered simply.
He seemed truthful enough, and I was confused and frustrated. I had absolutely no memory of Edward, except for a vague feeling of familiarity, and then of course the dream I had of my mother telling me I needed to save him. We were supposedly dating, and yet ever since he had been in my room I had gotten so many mixed messages from him.
I looked down at the bed, "You never answered my other question. What was with the way you were acting earlier? Like you were angry…like you wanted to be anywhere but here? Did I do something before my accident to make you upset?" Besides being totally unworthy of you, I added silently.
Edward sighed deeply, and catching me completely off guard he leaned down and placed his hand under my chin and gently lifted my head until our faces were inches apart. He looked into my eyes and shook his head, "No Bella, you did not do anything wrong. The way I was behaving earlier, it was not your fault. However…" he paused, his brow furrowed in thought, "there are a lot of problems caused, as well as potential problems yet to come, from your memory loss. There are some very important things that you used to know, things you are not ready to process again at the moment. I know this all sounds very vague, but I need you to trust me. I promise that if your memory doesn't come back on its own, I will explain everything in detail once you are out of the hospital."
"I…I don't understand." I whined, frustrated by this whole situation. "I don't understand any of this. I have no idea who you are right now, and you won't tell me why you are acting so strange. I just want to remember."
I just wanted her to remember too. Most importantly I wanted her to remember who I was…and who I wasn't.
An idea popped into my head and it wasn't half bad. One of the last things I had done with Bella was kiss her...maybe...
Hopeful, I ran with the thought, and pressed my lips eagerly to hers. She gasped in surprise, but didn't pull away.
After a moment she wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me closer. Her smell, her warmth, the blood pounding in her veins, it overwhelmed my senses and the kiss became hungrier. A low growl escaped past my lips and startled, Bella pulled back. Our eyes locked and she gasped.
"Your eyes…" I whispered, because I was too shocked and caught off guard to speak at a normal volume.
He immediately turned away and in the blink of an eye was headed toward the door. "I have to go."
"Wait" I called, but it was too late. He was gone.
As the door clicked shut a wave of heat flushed through me. His eyes…the way they had went from a beautiful gold color to black…it wasn't just strange or weird, it meant something important. I could feel the weight of that importance pressing on me, but why? What did it mean?
A/N: Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!