Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
First of all, let me say that I'm so sorry for the awful cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 9, but it was two thirty in the morning and I'd been writing for hours, so please stop sending me angry reviews. Put down your pitchforks, and read Chapter 10 instead.
I don't think Bella had ever been more beautiful. If I said it didn't hurt, to see her looking so vulnerable, it would have been a lie. Even though I knew she was probably stronger than I was, she looked so small, sitting there, arms wrapped around herself as if she was trying to hold herself together.
It was painful to know that her heart had been broken by me and fixed by the Volturi, only to have them break it all over again. Maybe it would come full circle, and I would be the one to heal it wholly.
Sitting in the centre of our meadow, bathed in moonlight, she looked like an angel. She wore no makeup, her jeans were ripped and her hair was sitting in loose waves, cascading down her back. She looked absoloutely stunning.
At that thought, she offered me a small smile. I sat down beside her, making sure to leave a little distance between us. I didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.
"This brings back memories, huh."
I gave a small smile, appreciative at her effort, and nodded.
"It seems so long ago."
Her eyes sought mine, shining with emotion.
"I know. Its hard to believe it actually happened.. I try to remember and everything seems so.. unlit. Its like pressing my ear to a wall and trying to see through frosted glass all at the same time. I can just make out the picture, but its murky; it feels like theres gaps, missing pieces in what I remember.. It hurts most when I think of my mom. I can barely recall the sound of her laugh or the way she smelt of lavender. I miss her, you know."
I acted impulsively and took her hand, squeezing it slightly.
"Bella.. I know I'm not your favourite person right now. You must be pretty angry at me; at us all, really-"
I interrupted him. "No, Edward. No anger. No resentment. No real feelings, actually. Its like there's a big block of wood where my heart should be. I think its my mind's way of blocking it all out. I dont feel.. well, anything really."
"I miss you, Bella."
"I know, Edward. I miss you, too, but I don't think we could ever be together again. It just doesn't seem right, somehow. Like the connection between us has been lost."
"How can you say that?" My voice grew louder, and Bella stood up, edging away from me.
"Uh, gee, I don't know. Maybe it's because you made me depend on you for everything, and then you broke my heart? Maybe it's because you left me for dead? Maybe it's because I found happiness once again, only for you to suddenly appear and snatch it all away? If you had never come to Volterra, I would still be perfectly happy now.. I-"
"If I hadn't come to Volterra, you'd of still been living a lie!" I spat, vaulting to my feet and stepping towards her. "You'd have gone on, thinking they loved you, thinking you were special to them. They lied to you, Bella. They took your life away. Or maybe you forgot that, huh? You have a habit of only seeing the good in people, of only seeing the brighter side of your situations.. I'm not saying its a bad thing, but maybe it's time you woke up and saw the bigger picture for once!" I took another step forwards, so our chests were pushed together. I dropped my voice to a soft whisper. "Bella, they killed you. They killed you because they were scared. They're cowards."
"Stop it, okay? Just stop it! That's my family you're talking about! I love them, Edward. I felt like I belonged there."
"Wherever you belong, I belong. I know I haven't been there for you and I know that you've moved on.. But please, let me prove to you that I can be what you need me to be. I never stopped loving you, Bella, you need to understand that."
She cupped my face between her hands and looked deep into my eyes, a slight frown pulling at her lips.
"Edward, no." She spoke softly, almost a whisper against my lips. "It wouldn't be right. I couldn't do that to myself. You hurt me so bad.."
"Bella, I know. I'm sorry. I love you, and I'll do whatever I can to make it right again. Even if you do go back to him, I need to know that I tried everything to win you back. Just please, give me a chance." I wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her tightly into my body. She closed her eyes and sighed deeply, and I could almost see her brain working.
"I don't know.."
I lifted her up so her face was level with mine.
"Sweet, beautiful Bella. Let me love you again. Let me love you like only I can. Open your eyes, please. Look at me, Bella."
Her eyes opened cautiously, and gasped when she saw how close our faces were.
It was just a whisper. Just a whispered word. But I knew Bella, knew what it stood for, and gently pressed my lips to hers.
This kiss wasn't desperate.. It wasn't full of lust and it wasn't full of haste.
This kiss was to show Bella that I was here, and that I loved her. Only a couple of seconds passed before I pulled away, and found that she was staring up at me, her eyes filled with an emotion that I didn't comprehend, but she smiled. A small, understanding smile, before she pressed her lips to mine and drove her hands into my hair.
I kept my left hand on her back, fusing her body to mine, as I plunged my right hand into her hair and held her face to mine. She wrapped her legs around my waist and whimpered a little.
Our mouths grasped hungrily at the others; tongues dancing together as we pulled eachother impossibly closer. It was the kind of kiss I'd always dreamed of sharing with her, the way I'd always longed to hold her. And she didn't pull away straight away, like I'd expected her too. She didn't stop kissing me, just like I didn't stop kissing her. It was simply Bella and myself, free from restraint and able to let loose our passion for eachother.
I wish I could say that that was the end of it. That Bella and I stayed together in the meadow, just like that, for the rest of time. But we didn't. Bella pulled away, gasping for unneeded air, and dropped back to her feet. She stepped away from me and shook her head.
"I can't do this, Edward. I just can't. You have this power over me, and it terrifies me."
"Bella.." I whispered, stepping towards her.
"No! I have to go back. I have friends there. Family, even. Everybody makes mistakes."
"They killed you, Bella! Don't you see?! They took your life away!"
"If I recall correctly, Edward, you said my number was up the first time I met you, so don't twist this around on them."
"My beautiful Bella, please, listen to me!"
"I'm done listening to you, Edward. This is over. It's done. If you hadn't of left, then maybe we'd still be together. If you hadn't walked out of my life, then maybe we would be happy right now. But you ended this, Edward, I moved on, like you asked me too, and you're still not happy! I'm done with your little games. I am not a possesion for you to protect! I'm stronger than you are, Edward, whether you like it or not. I'm not a weak little human for you to play with any more!"
I was speechless, and seeing this, she turned to leave.
"Bella, please. Don't end it like this."
"This is how you ended it, Edward. Or did you forget?" She sneered at me. "I want you to suffer like I did. Suffer with your thoughts and feelings, like I did. Because of you. You ended this, not me. If you're looking for someone to blame, look in a mirror. I'm done."
Short chapter. I'm sorry once again. Edward & Bella are over! I'll be taking a little while to update this now, as I really want to get my other story, Hidden Things, off the ground. Have a read and drop me a review if you have the time, it'd mean a lot.
Thank you so much for sticking with me through all of this, you're all amazing.