PLEASE READ! I have most of Bella's floor routine made up and partially recorded so if someone knows how to make a polyvo re I can put it up. Okay so I have some bad news. I am NOT dropping this story, however I leave for orientation in a few days, and then I am off for my first semester of college in London, England. Therefore I do not know when I will get another update up. I will try to have one written before I leave, but unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day. So to make it up to you when I get to writing again I am also going to add another outtake to this story that is made by you the readers. I am going to do an interview of 'Bella' and you guys get to send in the questions for her. You can ask anything from gymnastics questions to personal ones. Whoever asks the question I like best will get a surprise so include questions in your reviews. I really hope you enjoy this chapter it was hard to get it right and I felt you guys deserved the best for this.

Meg : R AND R please!

I woke up the next morning to a strong dose of reality. It was like waking up from an amazing night with a killer hangover, or so I assume since I have never experienced one. My fairytale of an evening didn't end with a happily ever after and a kiss, but with unanswered questions instead.

There was no denying that we both needed each other and we were done pretending otherwise, but there was too much history to just ignore.

Last night was just too perfect to ruin with questions, but we had to get through them soon, before they ruined what we had managed to salvage.

I jumped out of bed to get dressed quickly. I needed answers and I needed them now. I threw on white leggings, a jean skirt and a pale blue baby doll t-shirt. I chucked my USA team jacket along with the rest of my stuff into my bag. Glancing at the dead asleep Kaity, I wrote a note so she wouldn't worry.

I slid my sneakers on at the door and then opened it slipping quietly into the hallway. I hadn't taken a step before I banged right into someone. I looked up to see who that person was and saw... Edward?

"Speak of the devil," I muttered.

"Excuse me?" he questioned, not hearing what I said. Before I could answer he chuckled.

At my inquisitive glance he elaborated, "We match." I looked over and saw his light jeans and light blue t-shirt. I laughed as well, but it quickly died out. I tried to break the awkward silence.

"Good morning," I said with a shy smile.

"Good morning to you too Bella," he told me politely. "I bet you are wondering why I am here. Well I figured we had some things to work out and if you don't mind I thought we would make a day of it?"

"Sure… wait I can't I have training."

"All taken care of. I hope you don't mind but my dad helped me convince Bela that you needed a break."

"Aro?" I asked slyly. There was no way he thought to clear that with him.

"Aro thinks this is a great idea. We are going to get a look around and I believe he thinks it might tempt us to stay."

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise."

I opened my mouth to speak, but closed it when I couldn't think of any other questions.

He smiled slightly at me, and gestured with his arm. "Shall we?"

For once in my life I didn't think, I just followed.

I followed him to a small train station where we were just in time to catch the 8:08 train. I caught sight of where we were heading on the ticket.

"Venice?" I questioned.

"Yes, I figured we could talk on the hour or so train ride and then we could have some fun."

We grew silent and I knew that the time I had dreaded and anticipated in equal measures had come.



We began to speak at the same time.

I stayed quiet allowing him to start first.

"I have been the most unmitigated ass. There is so much I wish I could tell you. I wish there was just a way to explain so you would understand why I did what I did. If you would let me I would tell you I was sorry until I was blue in the face, but I know you won't let me and I know that it doesn't change anything. I can be sorry as I want, and trust me I am beyond apologetic, but it doesn't change the fact that I left you. I do want you to understand that I honestly did think I was protecting you. It was the deepest blasphemy when I said I didn't love you and I was moving on. The truth is that I was so afraid that us being together would hurt you. I loved you; I still love you, so much that I can't bear the thought of anything happening to you, especially if it was because of me. So I told you I was moving on in hope that you would be able to do just that. But I was so miserable. No one could stand to be around me and I preferred it that way. I didn't deserve anyone's company." Edward ran his hands through his hair in the habit I had always found endearing.

"I was so misguided in my attempt to protect you that I didn't realize that I was who was hurting you. And not just you, I felt like I was slowly dying inside, and I hurt so many others like Alice and my mom too. The worst part is that I have no one to blame for all the pain but myself. I allowed my very erroneous inner martyr take control without pausing to take stock of the cost."

He paused to take a breath.

"There is no excuse for I did, the only explanation that I can even offer is that love is not just blind, it is bloody stupid and I am a prime example. I don't know whether it is even possible for you to forgive me, and honestly I can't blame you if you don't, but I am begging you to at least try. I know it is way more than I deserve, but I love you and I need you. So Isabella Swan, please tell a poor sucker if he has a shot in hell for a second chance?"

His eyes pleaded with me.

I took a deep breath and collected my thoughts. I had so much I needed to say but I didn't know how to start.

"I forgive you Edward. I forgive you for everything and I know that you were truly thinking with your heart and not your head. But at this point I think it is past all of that. You are right; all of your apologies and my forgiveness are not going to fix everything that happened. And you are not the only one who was wrong. I allowed myself to give up, and when you tried to explain I shut you down. I too was stupid enough to think that you would be better off if I let you go. I convinced myself you were feeling guilty and that is why you approached me. So I thought it would be better if I was friendly towards you and no more. I had thought that if I pretended that what we had was inconsequential, wasn't something that didn't eclipse everything else, that I could get over you and maybe one day we could coexist without it being a knife in my heart. But I was wrong."

I looked down at my down at my hands. "When I was with you, you made me so strong. You took all of my doubts away, and you made me feel like I could do anything, that I was on top of the world. And when you left me…"

Edward opened his mouth to interrupt me, but I held up my hand to hold him off.

"I thought that I had lost that strength but now I know that I always had that strength inside me and you just brought it out. "

As I continued talking I grew more confident. I met his eyes as I began to speak more fervently.

"Without you I don't want a thousand gold medals, a hundred championship titles. I don't want to be on top of the world, because the top of the world is lonely when you don't have someone to share it with, and I can't think of anyone else I would rather share it with. I don't care what it takes or what I have to give up because I am tired of staying away from you Edward. I'm yours forever, and no one and nothing can change that. I just don't know exactly where this leaves us."

A single tear escaped his eyes and joined mine.

"I don't know where this leaves us either, but I know that I will do everything in my power to keep us together. Just tell me what I need to do." Edward leaned closer to me, resting a hand on either side of my legs.

The emotion shining through his eyes was reflected in mine.

For an endless amount of time we just gazed into each other's eyes and the silence was one filled with emotion.

It was like we were two magnets being pulled toward each other. Eyes still locked we were close enough that I could feel his cool breath blowing across my face.

When we were so close our lips were almost touching, I began to panic. Pulling back quickly, I almost caused Edward to fall off of his seat.

"I'm sorry," I cried. "I'm so so sorry. I can't… I just…" I broke down sobbing.

"Shh… sweetheart, it's okay," Edward soothed me. He enfolded me in his arms and began rubbing my back comfortingly.

"No, it's not okay," I managed once I was calm.

"It is I will wait until you are ready. It will be fine," he assured.

I looked once again into his captivating eyes and saw pure certainty there.

"Aren't you scared?" I whispered.

"Bella," he answered. "Didn't you once tell me that fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment?"

When I said nothing he sighed before continuing, "Yes I am scared. I am so scared that I can barely think straight. But it doesn't matter because I love you too much. Our love is so powerful that it can destroy us, it almost did. We are such a part of each other that we can hurt ourselves far worse than anything or anyone else can. It's worth the risk though because what we have is too much to give up for a little bit of fear, I know that now. My way didn't work out before so we are going to do this your way."

"We'll take it slow?" I asked.

"As slow as you need," he promised.

We sat for a few minutes in silence before he slid close to me and put his arm around my shoulders.

"Is this okay?"

"Perfect," I said, snuggling into his embrace.

The rest of the day was as close to perfect as it could be.

I even broke my diet a little and ate a plate of spaghetti because as Edward said, "We're in Italy; you have to eat some pasta."

We were the penultimate tourists. We even took a romantic

Gondola ride as the sun was setting.

At the end of the day we parted in the lobby with a very non-platonic hug.

My room was empty when I reached it. I collapsed on my bed and pulled a set of pictures out of my bag. Neither of us had remembered our cameras so we had purchased one of the disposable instant Polaroid cameras.

My absolute favorite was one that had been taken without our knowledge. We had given the gondolier the camera to take a few pictures of us on our ride. He had gotten some great ones of us snuggling and smiling in the gondola, but he had captured a moment that was so candid and real. The gondolier had missed his calling. He should have been a photographer.

When the ride was over Edward had jumped out and extended his hand for me.

The moment captured was just perfect. My hand was delicately place over his, my face was angled up and his was angled down so our eyes met. The background was fiery in the setting sun, reducing our forms to haloed shadows.

It was beautiful and a perfect representation of our relationship. We were like a phoenix rising from the ashes; stronger and brighter.

I heard a light knock on my door. Getting up I was surprised to find Edward there.

Before I could say anything he enfolded me in a hug that robbed me of my breath.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I just wanted to make sure this was real. I just wanted to reassure myself that I could hold you in my arms."He released me, looking down almost as if he was afraid of my reaction.

Acting purely on instinct, I stretched up on my toes to lace my fingers through his hair. I pulled his face towards mine and kissed him with as much emotion as I could.

He started to pull back, but I didn't give him the chance to. I just tightened my grip with one hand while pulling his hand around my waist with the other.

With a groan he gave in and began to kiss me back in earnest.

I felt emotion welling up inside me, and I knew I was right where I belonged.