A/N I guess I deserved the low number of reviews last chapter, I did make you guys wait so fucking long for it, oh well, not to worry.

Thank you to the few people that did reviews for me they cheered me up a little and made me rethink jacking in with the story (which I was close to doing).

The biggest thank you EVER goes out to my ffwifey and beta Breath of Twilight, who despite going through some annoying shit in her life, still found time to beta this for me. AND she's started to get me to do word challenges with her so I've been writing more than I was. Love you Kell's!

Lastly (well for now at least) I don't own twilight, SM does the lucky bitc....person. Grr, why couldn't I have had that damn dream instead of her...Then I would be rolling in cash and get to play with Rob on set...run my fingers through his hair and....Oh sorry, got lost in my happy place for a moment.

Chapter 19

Bella's POV

Our night in the tree house had been amazing and had left me feeling more content than I had in a long time. I wasn't sure if it was the fact we'd experienced new things together or the fact we hadn't used a condom, but something about that night, holed up in my tree house -that I was rapidly growing out of- made me feel complete.

But our remaining time had slipped away just as fast as it had when I was a child.

I lay in Edwards arms, on my bed, clinging on to him for dear life; dread and tears filling me to the brim, threatening to spill the second I would hear the sound of the car pulling up outside my house.

His warm body beside mine was the painful reminder of what I was about to lose for the second time in my short life.

He pulled me closer and rolled us more onto our sides, before burying his face into the crook of my neck. Part of me wanted us to be immersed in each other, enjoying the last moments of pure connection that we could share but a bigger part just wanted to be in his arms without disruption or movement. Just to be able to be still and loved whole heartedly.

He let out a long agonized sigh and lifted his head up to rest it on the heel of his hand. His eyes roamed over every inch of me, as mine took in every detail of him, his angular jaw, his deep, soulful emerald eyes. The thought that, within the hour, he would be gone and not here to hold me, shattered my final bit of strength and torrents of tears spilled from my eyes. He quickly pulled me to him again and growled in frustration at our situation.

Time refused to stand still for us, and I hated the seconds that ticked by.

Once I'd regained a semblance of composure, I pulled back to look at him again. I pulled myself up into a sitting position and tucked my legs around me; brushing a strand of hair back before meeting his tortured gaze.

As he propped himself up on his fore-arm I could see every ounce of love that he felt for me, every drop of heartache for having to leave me here.

"It's going to be okay, Bella. I'll make this work if it kills me." Edward's words were barely more than a whisper as he reached up to cup his hand to my cheek. "We've had to do this before, remember?"

"That was different," I pouted like the petulant child I once was, and lowered my eyes to the comforter covering my bed. It would be of no comfort to me now.

"Yes, it was..." He sighed again and lowered his hand from my face, only to claim my hand and give it a gentle squeeze."But it was also for a hell of a lot longer than this time is going to be. This separation isn't forever, Bella, we are." he reminded me.

I smiled despite my somber mood at our previous promise to each other. "My heart belongs to you, Edward, for as long as it continues to beat and even long after it stops it will only hold you within it." I looked at our joined hands and turned his palm over to trace the lines there.

"Edward, honey, your Father's here," my mother's voice called up the stairs, and I was immediately back to being thirteen, except this time we weren't sat in a tree house.

He looked at the door then back to me with trepidation.

"Bella..." he started, as he rose to his feet.

I was by his side and burying my tear stained face in his chest so fast that it took him a moment to respond. When he did, he wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace and pushed his face into my hair.

"Edward...We have a plane to catch Son," Carlisle added to my mother's previous call.

"Can't you just give me a minute?" He snapped towards the door, then screwed up his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.

"Go." I nodded towards the door as tears streamed down my face; my arms wrapped around me to keep me together.

His shoulders slumped in defeat as he took a step back towards me and wrapped me up in everything he had to give.

"Three weeks, Bella, three weeks." His voice cracked with his words as his body trembled next to mine.

"Go," I whispered back, fearing that if I tried to speak louder, the reverberations would shatter me into a million tiny pieces.

He brought his forehead to mine, taking my face into his hands.

"I love you." He nodded against me, sniffling back his pain.

Hearing him telling me that gave me the strength I needed to let him go, for now. I knew he would come back to me, we were indestructible.

"I love you too." I reached up on my tiptoes and kissed him with as much conviction as I could. Hopefully giving him the same strength he had given me.

I was the one that moved to the door first and opened it. He wrapped his arm around my shoulder and reluctantly steered me down the stairs. The entire way I kept my head tucked in against his chest.

My Mother was busy hugging Esme, and Carlisle was shaking Phil's hand as Jasper skulked around in the background. Phil and Edward's father had spent the last couple of days together, after my parents returned from their honeymoon, and found they had a lot in common.

Esme saw the devastation in my eyes and rushed over to hug me. She shared loving sentiments and wiped away the tears from my eyes. Her efforts were hindered by her son, who refused to let me out of his hold until it was absolutely necessary. His posture was stiff and his eyes fixed on the side of my face as she tried to maneuver around him to get to me. I hugged her back as best I could, but I, too, was reluctant to let go of Edward.

"You're welcome to come and stay any time, Bella." Carlisle took the place of his wife and kissed the top of my head before rejoining her by the door. My mom and Phil tried to share their goodbyes with Edward, but he refused to look away from me as tears glistened, waiting to fall from his eyes.

"Well it real was nice to finally meet you in person Bella." Jasper added meekly; his own hurt, at having to leave Alice, evident on his face.

"You too." I croaked out around my upset and gave him a one armed hug.

A quick succession of beeps from outside let everyone know that the cab sat waiting in the driveway. My mother hugged her friend again. I looked up into Edward's eyes and broke all over again.

This was it.

He gulped down the lump in his throat and crumpled his brow as he searched my eyes for something.

There was an awkward silence around us; no one quite knew where to look to give us a little privacy.

"We'll just be..." My mom gestured outside.

I nodded weakly but kept me eyes locked with Edwards.

When they were gone, a fresh torrent of tears slid down over my cheeks. His hand cupped my face while his thumb brushed them away. Our lips met for one final kiss before his departure but they didn't seem to want to part. We moved in unison, around a deluge of salty tears, each one reminding us of what we felt for each other.

Esme's head reappeared around the door.

"Edward, we really do have to go, baby."

One solitary, gut-wrenching sob rose in his chest as we pulled apart. He brushed my falling hair back off of my face and placed the sweetest kiss on the tip of my nose.

"Three weeks."

I nodded and clung to that very fact as I stood by the door and watched him get in the cab and drive off into the evening. When the car turned the corner and finally fell out of sight, I crumbed. My knees gave out from under me and floods of tears fell down my face. I knew three weeks wasn't a long time, but, right in that moment, it felt like a lifetime. My mother rushed to my side and cradled me to her, like a child, as I cried. After a moment I shakily rose to my feet and turned back towards the house. I declined the offer of dinner and chose, instead, to go to bed early. In truth, I didn't want to have to try and be polite right now, I wanted to lay on my bed and cry myself to sleep.

When I walked into my room, Edward's scent hit me and made me sway where I stood. I flopped down on my bed as a barrage of images, from the last two weeks, assaulted me. I lost all sense of time as my eyes flowed freely at his absence. I was surprised to find that my comforter was, in fact, comforting after all. His smell permeated the fabric intensely and enveloped me as I sat with it wrapped around me. I pulled it up under my chin and rubbed the fabric against my cheek.

I could do this.

It wasn't like it was going to be another four years before I would see him. I would see him tomorrow night. Even though it would only be on web cam, it would at least be something. With that thought fresh in my head, I jumped up, kept the blanket wrapped around me and made my way over to my desk.

My laptop hummed to life as I turned on its power and waited for it to boot up. Once it was up and running, I logged on to MSN, opened up my web cam connection and sat watching for him to come on line. Rational thoughts couldn't be formed, even though deep down I knew I would be in for a long wait, but wait I would.

Edwards POV

I had been right.

Saying goodbye this time around was harder than before. This time it meant something completely different; this time I knew what I felt for her, had known the comfort of her kisses, her arms, her love, her bed. Three weeks was a long time when your every thought was so focused on one thing, one person. As I'd climbed into the cab, I couldn't hold back the pain from constricting in my chest. As we drove out of sight I became panicked. I wanted to tell the cab driver to stop and let me out so I could go running back to her and never leave her side again, but I knew I had to go. I would be back with her in a few weeks, but then we'd have to say goodbye again and the thought cut right into my heart. But this was what we'd chosen, and we would make it work out. Soon we'd be going to college, and then we could be together all the time, well, unless she decided she didn't want me.

I shook the thought away and rested my head against the glass window of the cab; watching as the world went by at forty miles per hour. I lost myself in my own thoughts of Bella, ignoring anyone that tried to get my attention. Jasper was just as quiet, obviously understanding my feelings having had to leave Alice.

As soon as we boarded the plane and were seated, I stuffed my ear buds in and closed my eyes to the world around me. Mom and dad had the two seats infront of me and Jasper and I knew they would leave us be for a while.

I immersed myself in memories of Bella; the feeling of her hands on me, the softness of her willing lips, the way she'd snuggled up to me in bed, the way my body fit so perfectly against hers. Never in my life had I felt so close to someone, so connected. But being with Bella was effortless -like breathing. Like our souls were intertwined.

I started to imagine what her face would be like when she saw me at Dartmouth. I wondered if I would be able to keep it from her over the next few months. I wasn't lying to her, just looking for ways to surprise her.

I must have dozed off at some point. When I regained some kind of awareness to the things around me, my mom was gently shaking my shoulder.

"We're here, baby." She ruffled my hair, and I managed a little shudder of annoyance.

"He'll be fine," She chuckled over to my father, who was pulling out his hand luggage from the overhead compartment with an amused gleam in his eye.


By the time we made it home it was lunch time, and I was beyond exhausted, but had no other intentions other than loading up my laptop and seeing my girl...hopefully.

It seemed to take forever to boot up and even longer to log me into MSN, but her name was there with an invitation to start the web cam. I couldn't help but smile when the box grew and the image appeared.

There she was.

She was slumped over her desk, fast asleep with her comforter pulled around her. I didn't have the heart to wake her and chose, instead, to watch her sleep. After a while, my own eyes began to close of their own free will, and I was unable to stop them.

When I finally roused and looked up at the screen, there she sat, smiling back at me. She'd lost the blanket from around her and had showered, her wet hair was falling down over her shoulders as she ran a brush through it.

I looked at the time on the screen and began typing before my brain even kicked into gear.

Why didn't you wake me?

You looked so peaceful :0)

I didn't want to disturb you.

I wouldn't have minded.


We spent hours talking to each other on line. In fact, we spent the rest of the day, some hours spent having to watch her cry through a screen, others watching her laugh as we recounted our time together, and I wanted nothing more than to follow her blush with my lips as it crept up from under her shirt.

Eventually I could feel myself succumbing to the sleep I so desperately needed and we signed off.

I fell into bed with tears in my eyes and love in my heart for my best friend and the love of my life.

A/N Well that's that out of the way.

Review if you could and restore my faith in this fic. I need restoring :0(