I'm really excited to get some feedback about the story, like creating a sequel perhaps? I feel really guilty for discontinuing two of my other stories (one was a sequel to Equinox), but I feel really strongly about an All Human story right now. I'm back in the place, and I'll tell you something, I haven't even touched this fanfic for a couple of months. I went back and read it and it sounded like my writing, well, from like a year ago. I am always growing I guess. Maybe you'll see a drastic difference in this Epilogue (I just wrote it today) which I tried to capture every emotion...but I decided to do it in all Bella POV. I don't like switching when there is only a couple thousand words in the doc.
Tell me what you like about the epilogue and at least 5 things you want out of a sequel. 5 THINGS!
Also, I think this will also be part of chapter one of the sequel....which reminds me of another name. WHAT WOULD A TITLE BE!?!
I Feel Your Shame
I could see him visibly gnawing on his bottom lip—though I was hesitant to tell him to stop. He had a pretty good reason to be either terribly nervous…or anxious—whatever he was feeling. The two feelings were usually on the same page for him, I'd learned. Little things like the way he pinched the bridge of his nose when he was annoyed, or when he ran his hand through his mess of a hair when he was embarrassed, assured me that I knew Edward better than myself. I smiled quietly.
He saw that.
"What are you smiling about?" he asked, confused, seeming the situation we, or he rather, were in wasn't exactly one to be smiling about.
"Sorry, my mind just went somewhere else." He raised his eyebrows in interest, prompting me to say more. "Well, er, that I know you better than anyone. Including myself." The words were comfortable, but the look on his face as I said them made the blood rush to my cheeks.
Edward's hands grabbed hold of mine, tracing circles on my palm with his index finger.
"Weirdly, it seems I feel the exact same about you, Bella," he said through his smile. I could still see the—yes—anxiety in his eyes, the loving façade breaking only after a moment.
"Edward, relax, okay? This is your family. They love you, and probably will appreciate the insight." I reached my hand up to his cheek—my fingers wrapping themselves around his jaw. I leaned up on the balls of my feet, kissing him lightly—quickly—on the lips.
"I know, I know," he chanted against my cheek. "I am just so…unsure of how they will take this. Will they be angry? Sorrowful?"
"I'm sure they will be. But not at you."
We had been standing in Edward's room for a long while, as I tried to settle his nerves. We were waiting for all the Cullen's to arrive—Carlisle, Esme, Alice, and Emmett. Edward's closest family. He had made a promise to me to tell his family about his past. His secret that only a handful of people knew about (which solemnly excluded his family).
I knew the feeling, feeling so much shame, not being able to talk to anyone. That was, until I met Edward. He was just as dysfunctional as I was, if not worse. Drugs, alcohol—you name it. But somehow, and thank heavens for this, I pulled him from the dark. He said I was his light—the sun. I disagree; I believe I was just the flashlight leading him out of the dark. It was then he found his sun, I being just a mere illumination in the shadows.
We'd heard the door open and close a few times, which signaled that Carlisle had come home from the hospital, Emmett coming back from his conditioning (go figure, he had full football scholarship), and Alice coming back from her job at the mall in Port Angles. Edward said that he only wanted to explain all of this thoroughly once. I sympathized with him—something so…painful…wasn't easy to share more than once.
"Are you ready?" I whispered to him, running my hand down his shoulder. He closed his eyes, exhaling a long breath as he nodded.
"I think I am." I half smiled, talking him by the hand and pulling him down the stairs—heading for the living room.
His pulse was pounding uncontrollably—even I could tell just by squeezing his hand comfortingly. As he sat down on the couch, I remained standing and I walked to the kitchen. Apparently the heart of the house—where Esme was always cooking, Alice cleaning, and Carlisle and Emmett eating. I leaned against the door frame and smiled as I saw them hovering around the island in the center of the kitchen.
"Hey Bella," Alice chimed, dancing to where I was standing to give me a hug. "When did you get here? I didn't hear you come in." I blushed, really for no real reason, and released her from my embrace.
"I've been here a couple of hours, with Edward," I told her nonchalantly.
"Hours? With Edward?" Emmett gaffed, covering his mouth to keep from food splattering across the counter.
I crossed my arms around my chest and blushed deeply, my eyes dashing—looking for something to throw my boyfriend's stupid, perverted brother.
Suddenly, I saw I metal pan, in perfect reach….
"Emmett!" Esme scolded, smacking him upside the head as she frowned. Carlisle sat wordless, muffling his own laugh.
"It's alright," I mumbled, "Edward wants to speak to you guys. All of you," my tone sounded very serious, though I was sure that the blush still hadn't faded from my cheeks. I went ahead and walked back to the living room to take my place next to Edward. He hadn't budged from the place he was when he sat down. Only did he move when I sat down just centimeters away—and pulled me almost into his lap. I tucked my face into the crook of his neck, perfectly at peace.
One by one, the Cullens toted into the room, sitting down on the couch across from the loveseat where Edward and I sat. They all looked confused—focused on Edward's mindless daze. He swallowed audibly, patting my knee as he cleared his throat.
"So you are probably wondering what you are doing here…." He spoke low, his perfect velvet voice almost cracking.
They nodded silently, and Alice piped up.
"Please Edward, your sweating like you just ran ten miles, get on with it!"
He chuckled lightly, indeed whipping the beads of sweat from his forehead with the end of his sleeve. He looked to me and I nodded to encourage him.
"I know that…who I used to be…is pretty fresh in your minds. Even though to me, that seems like a completely different life. My dark age." His eyes flashed to me, smiling crookedly. Once again, I could read his eyes, I was his sun. My cheeks burned a little. "I never told you why. For the longest time, I never told anyone. I felt so much shame—anger at myself. You could never really appreciate that that though. All that I ever really revealed to all of you was my anger at the world. My need to comfort myself.
"I don't know exactly where to begin…." I gave him my full attention, looking directly into his eyes—which were elsewhere—seeing they were glazed with tears.
"How about the beginning. When you started being…not you…six years ago," Esme suggested quietly. Then she, along with all the others, fell silent.
"Well…do you guys remember James?" he asked innocently, trying to unclench his jaw. I squeezed his hand, causing him to relax. He took another deep breath and waited for an answer.
"Your cousin? That died?" Carlisle inquired quietly, his forehead creasing in thought. Then his eyebrows rose, and his voice went up about ten notches. "Did that damn junkie get you hooked on that crack, Edward?" I saw everyone being tense. I knew from what Edward told me, he easily jumped to conclusions. In a way, you could say, it was that mans fault Edward got hooked.
"No, Dad, listen please. He didn't give me anything. I don't think he was even on drugs when he was…living with us." Carlisle relaxed, still focused on what he was saying. Alice and Emmett were speechless as they watched Edward. Esme looked terribly heartbroken. "He…was drawn to me. Nobody else—just me. I felt like I had a brother, sorry Em, but you were mean to me back then." Emmett shrugged.
"Sorry Bro," he murmured.
"That's really not the point though. He treated me like I was special. I always felt like the middle child even though Alice and I are the same age. I have no hard feelings—but you were Mom's little dress up princess, and Emmett, you were the athlete. You were Dad's pride—still are."
"We are proud of you…now," Esme chimed, Carlisle nodding in agreement.
"I know that at this moment. But imagine being twelve, wedged between elementary school and junior high, trying to get past all the pressures…not exactly getting the full attention I desired. James gave me the time of day. I thought that he cared about me—since he ignored Alice and Emmett. I felt special. But…it was different, and I didn't see that until later. He was obsessed with me and very, very controlling.
"And it wasn't just emotionally…it was…um…sexually," I could see a few tears run down his cheek, "he did things to me. And he said that if I screamed, he'd kill me. But, I knew it wasn't right. I wasn't stupid. So I screamed for help, and he…nearly did kill me."
For a while they all stared in shock. Edward had buried his face in his hands, stifling his choking sobs. I wrapped my arms around him, not being able to find the right words to say.
"When did he…almost kill you? Wouldn't we remember that?" Alice muttered quietly, breaking the silence. Edward looked up—his eyes bloodshot.
"I'm not able to describe the insurmountable shame I felt, after being…tainted….He had stabbed me in the gut. I had to cover it up. I flung myself down a steep hill in the woods where it happened. I was numb throughout the fall—though I vividly remember being pierced repeatedly by twigs and sticks sticking up off the ground. The stab wound was just the biggest wound—the only one that left a scar."
He lifted up his shirt—just like he had when he told me the awful story—and showed the two-inch-long scar along the plain of his muscular abs. He ran his finger across the mark, shuttering as he did. It was a permanent reminder—and I knew that. I felt a shiver as I glanced quickly down to the scar on my wrist. Of course my scar was different. It was what I had done to myself over the pain—not the pain.
"Edward, why didn't you ever tell us? Anyone?" Esme was crying, wiping the tears from her rosy cheeks with the end of her sweater. "We wouldn't have done anything to you. We would have done something to that…."
"Bastard," Emmett disguised his mutter as a cough sarcastically. I nodded in agreement. Then Carlisle spoke.
"This explains a lot. But son, we love you. We could have helped you, and then this would have never happened."
"I know that Dad, and I regret every second of my life spent trying to run away from my problems than facing them. But you see…I thought it was my fault. I believed that I must have been some kind of freak to let him do that, even though he threatened me. I felt weak. Miniscule. Emasculate." He sighed. "I didn't want anyone to know."
I knew I could relate to the feeling.
"I'm sorry; I wish I could have seen the signs. I misunderstood rebellion…for pain. I misread my own failures as a cry for help," Carlisle whispered.
"I should have known, Edward. I knew that your behavior was so different. I just didn't see…that James…when you were so happy when he died. It didn't make sense…." Esme withdrew a deep breath, standing up and coming over to Edward. "I'm here for you, baby, now I understand." She took him in her arms, and at first Edward didn't reciprocate, but then he began to embrace her. I saw her smile, tears still running down her cheeks.
"Come on, Eddy, give your brother a hug," Emmett sighed when Esme let go of him. That was the first time I'd ever seen Emmett be so serious. I was actually impressed.
Alice wordlessly wrapped both of her arms around her brothers. She pecked them both on the cheeks, letting go and smiling. Nearly a mirror of Esme, tears rolled down her cheeks.
"I have to thank you Alice. You were the one person who kept me from wasting myself completely away," Edward said lovingly to his sister.
"I'm not completely the reason," Alice murmured, flashing a smile to me. I blushed, as the entire family came over and hugged me. First Emmett, taking me in a huge bear hug, and the putting a big kiss on the top of my head.
"Your like the little sister I never had Bells," he laughed. "Thanks for bringing back my only brother.
"Hey! I'm the little sister you do have!" Alice objected, hitting him with a small punch in his shoulder. "But thank you Bella. I feel the same way; you are like my sister—my best friend. I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're in debt to you for everything you've done for Edward."
"She does speak for all of us, doesn't she?" Carlisle laughed, hugging me as well. "The Cullen spokesperson. Thank you."
"I really didn't do much…."
Esme wrapped her arms around me, squeezing me tightly, "Love and compassion is all some people really need. Thank you, Bella."
I was tearing up by the time Edward had snaked his hand around my waist and whispered in my ear, "I love you." It was his soft words that sent me over the edge, pouring tears into his tee-shirt.
"Sorry about ruining another shirt," I muttered in my nasal crying voice.
"As long as the tears are yours, and are tears of happiness, I'm all good," he chuckled. He took his index finger and tilted my chin up to look at him. The perfect beauty of his smile lit me up inside. And, as he pressed his lips to mine, I became composed of pure fire—the flame of him burning me to the core.
"I love you," I murmured against his lips. He smiled, pressing my face against his even more passionately.
After that day, I knew that my life was everything with him in it. Everything worth living with him present.
I would live as long as I knew he loved me, and that would never change.
Remember...5 things you want from a sequel...and then a title perhaps?
Thank you for standing with me as I have written this story. It means so much to me that people take the time to read my crappy work. I love you all (in a non-weird way) and wish a great and happy life for y'all!!