Recap: Sorry guys, I know it's been a while! Last chapter, when bedtime finally comes during Bella's sleepover at Alice's, she looks out her window and sees Edward standing outside, looking in deep thought. She goes out and convinces him to come inside with her, where he begins leading her to his room in the attic. Along the way they begin to argue, and Bella finally voices her frustrations in their relationship due to Edward's secrecy, eventually leading to Edward confessing his decision to leave, a choice that he's been debating about ever since their relationship began. He claims he's not good for her but won't tell her why, stating that he doesn't wish to burden her with the knowledge. Confused but desolate and resigned, Bella decides to just take advantage of their time together, and they hold each other through the night. The next day when Bella takes her leave, they share an emotional last farewell kiss and then they part, presumably forever. During the next week at school, Alice too avoids Bella and Bella drifts through the time in a haze. On Friday, Professor Hale-McCarty is introduced, Bella's beautiful but strict psychology teacher. When school ends, Bella starts driving to Forks under the guise of visiting her father, but finds herself back on the cliff's edge under similar climate conditions as the last time. She jumps again, and begins to drown again, and is saved again. Her rescuer is Edward, who tows her safely to the shore.

Dry your eye, soul mate dry your eye…
'Cause soul mates never die.
Hush, it's okay, dry your eye.

Sleeping With Ghosts by Placebo

I was damned by the light coming out of her eyes
She spoke with a voice that disrupted the sky
She said walk over into bitter shade
I will wrap you in my arms and you'll know you've been saved.

Let Me Sign by Robert Pattinson

Blinding darkness surrounds me
and I am reaching for you only
this hopelessness that drowns
all that I believe
will be the one thing that I need
for you only.

For You Only by Trading Yesterday

"Damn it Bella!" Edward choked out, between rage and sorrow and fear. "How many times are you going to do this?"

"Edward…" I murmured, my voice hoarse. I squinted up at him through the falling rain, like a misty halo around his face. He was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. "How…?"

I didn't get to finish before his mouth crashed down on mine, moving ferociously, desperately. "Dammit, dammit Bella," he choked between kisses. "You can't die, you can't. I can't let you, not then, not ever, certainly not now. You're too important. You're…" But he was too stricken to continue, and so instead his mouth ravished mine, eventually turning to more of a caress that never lost the desperation. Neither did I.

I fought against my dazed exhaustion, my weak arms lifting to allow my hands access to his hair, burying them in there. I could feel everything all at once. His velvet lips crushed to my own, his nose pressed to my cheek, his hands on me, his body pushed against mine, our clothes soaked enough to thin the barriers they were.

It felt like it couldn't be real, for so many reasons, but I still couldn't resist a moan. "Edward…" I whispered again. And just like that it was as if the spell had been broken.

The whirlwind died out as Edward slowed his frenzied kisses and pulled away, lifting himself off me. His expression was bewildered, like he couldn't believe he'd gotten so carried away, but dark as he remembered where we were, and the circumstances surrounding it.

"Come on," he said roughly, jumping to his feet and reaching out a hand for me.

My head spun as I was pulled to my feet. All of my energy felt completely depleted, and I fell groggily against Edward, my knees threatening to buckle under me. Sighing, Edward lifted me up into his arms and began what I assumed was the walk back to my vehicle. Somehow, I was beyond thinking that Edward's form of transportation was an automobile.

I was planning on finally getting my answers now, but my exhaustion won out. I kept nodding off against his chest as he walked along, unable to keep my eyes open. Sooner than I expected - though I wasn't exactly the most coherent judge - I heard my truck's old, rusty door being opened and I was being placed in the passenger seat. The truck roared to life, a deep rumbling underneath me. A few seconds later, the hot air was put on full blast, a fact I was incredibly grateful for. I hadn't realized it before the heat hit me, but I still damp and freezing.

I leaned against Edward's shoulder as he began to drive, steadfastly keeping my eyes shut. "I'm sorry Edward," I murmured. "I was stupid."

There were a few long moments of silence in which I thought he wasn't going to answer. Finally, I felt his arm curl around my waist. "Yes you were," he murmured, his head leaning briefly on mine. "And so was I. Get some rest kitten."

Resisting a smile, I gave in to his suggestion and promptly fell fast asleep.

When I woke up, I noticed several things at once. First, I was in a twin-sized bed like the one in my dorm, but I wasn't in my dorm. I was in Edward's bed, in his attic, and furthermore, I was sleeping in his arms, his chest rising and falling evenly beneath my head. But our breathing was all I could hear.

Sitting up slowly, I didn't look at his face as I placed my hand firmly over his heart. The only pulse there was my own. Our eyes met then. He wasn't asleep, of course.

Shadows fell across him, darkening his emerald eyes. He watched me, his face an array of expression - calculating, weary, and perhaps a little bit ashamed; but mostly, they were accepting.

As were mine.

I spoke first.

"Why didn't you take me to my dorm?"

He raised an eyebrow. "I didn't want to risk running by an outside observer. I didn't want to raise any…alarm."

My brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"

He sighed. "It would have been a shocking sight to someone else."

"And so the riddles begin. Again. Edward, don't you think it's time to be straight with me?"

"Yes…you're right." He ran a hand through his wild hair. "There's no way around it anymore." He sighed again. "It appears I really can't stay away from you."

We went back to staring at each other, each one waiting to see what the other would say, would ask, would begin with.

I guess I was the one who was going to have to breach the topic.

"What are you?" I asked bluntly.

He chuckled a little, humorlessly. "Well, I'm glad you've gotten at least that far." He took a deep breath, holding it for a moment, before letting it out exasperatedly, his head falling back. "I don't even know how to say this."

"Just say it how I would. Straight forward, to the point, no beating around the bush. I can handle it. I already know you're something."

"Small comforts," he murmured. "Fine then. I guess you could say I'm….some kind of ghost."

"A ghost," I repeated to myself. I was shocked on some level, I suppose, but it was really just the last puzzle piece falling into place to complete an image I had already mostly worked out.

"Then why can I see you?" I wondered.

He sat up then, relief on his face as he absorbed my lack of reaction. He took my hand in his and I gripped it back. "We - Jasper, Alice, and myself - have…theories, about that," he said weakly, like he couldn't get over my calm reaction. "But you are one of the few who can. Most people can't."

"What?" My jaw almost dropped. He was so corporal. I had reacted with him in public several times. How could nobody see him? But if I really thought about my encounters with him in the public eye…it had always been set up so that it could like I wasn't talking to him. I thought about the rumors of Alice being crazy, and talking to herself…and realized the gift they had given me.

Edward watched shrewdly as I pulled myself together. "So what…are your theories on why I can then?"

"Well isn't it obvious?" he responded. "You've been touched by a ghost. By me, actually." He laughed darkly. "The first time you almost drowned…five years ago, I was the one who saved you. Actually - " He hesitated.

"Actually what?" I asked fervently, moving closer to him. I was finally getting to the mystery of all this. Of my life. Of what had happened. This was no time for hesitation.

"I think…that I became a … - sorry, I don't like saying it - that I died…because of you, almost dying."

I felt like the air had been sucked from my chest. My hand went limp but Edward didn't let go. "Are you serious?" I asked with no voice. "How do you know that?"

Edward's hand reached out to cup my cheek, caressing it with his thumb. His eyes were kind but contemplative as he looked past me. "Bella…would you like to hear the story of how I…died? It might make some things clearer for you."

I swallowed, and then nodded.

Edward began his story, and it was like I was there as well, I saw it so clearly in my mind. It definitely was the missing half of my puzzle.

"You remember I told you I lived in Chicago? Well, that's where I lived when I was alive, at least. I was eighteen when it happened, on June thirtieth, five years ago."

I gasped then. I couldn't help it. That was the day I fell off the cliff. I felt ice trickling through my veins as I listened now.

"I was there, you were here. It was really dark, I remember. It was only early evening there, but the weather in Chicago is similar to here and causes the dark to fall prematurely. It was a deep blue atmosphere. The color was very familiar, and it used to be my favorite.

"I used to drive around all the time. It drove my mother crazy but moving has always been my way of coping. Running, driving…anything with movement keeps me sane when I'm anxious or worried; stressed. I only like to stay still when I have a reason to remain sedentary.

"I've played this over so many times, that I feel like I know both sides of the story. The way I see it, when you jumped, I was driving across this bridge. There was no one else on it, which wasn't strange. I loved to drive fast, which led me to taking back roads and driving out to the very edge of the city where there's more open, vacant road. What was strange, though, in retrospect, was the pull I felt to the bridge. It was subtle - I didn't realize it then. Only know when I think about it do I remember this feeling of…of…almost a magnet, in my chest, pulling me along like the needle of a compass. That was you, I'm sure of it now.

"As soon as I started along the bridge - it was rather old, the railings weren't even steel, like they are on newer bridges - I began to feel the most sudden exhaustion. Against my will my eyes closed, my body went limp. I felt on the edge of sleep.

"Even when I heard the sickening crunching sound, and felt my car crash through the side barriers of the bridge, my body couldn't rouse itself enough even to panic, let alone move. It was like I was paralyzed.

"I remember opening my eyes a little bit and seeing my headlights reflected on the water as I fell toward it, suddenly sitting at a ninety degree angle. And all around me it was nothing but that deep blue. It really was like I was dreaming - dreaming the worst kind of nightmare, where you fall and don't wake up before you hit.

"When I finally submerged it was almost anticlimactic in a way because everything slowed. Whereas before I'd been barreling towards the water, now I was slowly sinking in darkness. The headlights glow didn't pierce the dank water very far. And there were bubbles all around the outside of the car. I remember that because it was rather like I'd just been delved into a giant fish tank.

"I suppose I was disassociating at that point because I was absolutely terrified. I finally found myself able to move a bit again and, panicked, I began frantically grappling at the door latch, thinking only of reaching the surface. The door wouldn't open, but the window started to crack - though not the windshield - and I wondered how.

"When it finally shattered, I found I couldn't move again. The water hit me with such ferocity, and it filled up so fast, the car. I was left stunned.

"And then I was in that dreamlike state again. My eyes closed. I found myself floating limply a bit as my body depleted the rest of my oxygen. …I don't remember the exact moment I died. The whole accident felt like forever, but in reality it was only a few minutes.

"The next thing I do remember is opening my eyes and finding myself in water again, but it was different. It was colder. I registered that, yet it didn't bother me. I was floating in the water, neither sinking nor rising. I was looking at my hands, wondering at how pale they looked. I couldn't even get myself to process anything else at that point.

"And then in my peripheral vision, I saw these tendrils of something. I looked over and it was you, your hair misting around your face. You were sinking right next to me, your eyes closed.

"For the most fleeting of seconds, I wondered if you were dead as well and if we were in some sort of strange purgatory.

"But then I felt - and it was so strong, the feeling, you've no idea how strong - that I needed to save you, no matter what. With perfect clarity I knew it and I acted instinctively after. Nothing else mattered until you were safe.

"You were drowning. Almost dead. So I took you in my arms to stop your descent and pressed my mouth to yours to give you air. I didn't know if I even had breath anymore. Certainly I found myself underwater and yet lacked the need to breathe. But again, it was instinctive. I knew I could breathe for you, whoever you were, if only because you needed it. As soon as I was satisfied you would survive a few moments longer I swam us to the surface, faster than I knew I was capable of.

"I expelled the water from your lungs when we broke through to the air. I took you to shore. You weren't waking but I wasn't worried. I felt that you were safe now. I stared at you a while, forgetting my own predicament for the time, wondering who you were and why you were so important. You might recall me interrogating you about that when we met in your school cafeteria that first official day after…

"I realize it now though, Bella. Why." He took a deep breath.

"I know I'm not...alive." He swallowed thickly. "And I can't give you everything I should...that you deserve. But know now that...I died for you. I died because if I hadn't, I never would have been able to meet you, to fall in love with you. And believe me now when I say that is worth everything. Even my life. Especially my life."

"It's a roundabout way of saying it, I suppose, but …I love you Bella," Edward finally declared, eyes clear and determined.

The tears that I had been withholding through most of his tale finally spilled forth, and with a sob I threw myself into his arms, kissing him soundly. "How can I not love you?" I murmured helplessly against him. "It's impossible. Obviously, we were made to."

"I agree," he whispered.

I had so many questions now that I knew the truth. But they were going to have to wait for some later. I didn't mind delaying them anymore, not for this.

We didn't have to say anything, though that didn't stop us from time to time. This was innate for us. Edward's hands dragged my clothes from my body as I discarded his, and now that I understood the coolness of his skin it bothered me even less and excited me even more. The contrast was heavenly when our bare skin was pressed together.

There was no pain. No discomfort. The French phrase "la petite mort" flashed through my head at one point. And it was true, if death was easy, beautiful, and perfect. As Edward's lips caressed me and our bodies loved one another, I would've known he felt as I did even without his declarations, just by the way he touched me.

We were meant to do this. We were supposed to be together. There was no other way this could feel so right. There was no denying it, not now, not ever.

Everything else flew from my head. In this moment, here, with him, everything disappeared except for us, and I had never been more grateful to be alive, now that I knew he had saved me.

For once, I didn't fall asleep. Despite all the hectic events of the day, and only the short rest I received on the ride back to Seattle, my exhaustion had been siphoned away to be replaced by a complete rejuvenation. I felt cleansed, revived, and most certainly awake.

The answers I was getting now wasn't how I ever imagined obtaining them. Instead of the ferocious interrogation I had envisioned in the past, this was relaxed, easy. Edward stroked my back slowly as I laid across him, my own fingers making patterns on his skin.

"I want to know everything," I murmured to him. "You told me a more simplistic version of the truth before. You said you wandered around the country after you saved me? And then went back to Chicago?"

"Yes," he replied. "For my…" he shuddered. "Funeral. Could we talk about that later? I'm actually feeling happy for a change."

"Okay." I kissed him. "And then you came back to Washington? And found Alice and Jasper?"

"Yes. This past summer. After I left Chicago again, I initially came back here, looking for you, looking for answers - but you were gone. I kept being drawn to the south for a while after that, a nagging sort of thing I was too stubborn to acknowledge - and I suppose it was because you were there that I felt it. But I felt uneasy in the sunlight. It's easier to cope with being invisible in the shadows. But then it switched, and the compulsion to come back here was too strong to ignore. I guess I knew you were coming.

"Alice was the one who found me. I was walking around Seattle, trying to decide on a course of action - and trying to explain my own actions - when all the sudden Alice showed up and started talking to me. You have to understand how shocked I was. For five years I'd gotten accustomed to the fact that nobody could see me and then - then suddenly, my whole perspective was shaken. Alice explained to me that she knew what I was, that she was in love with…one of us herself, and that they wanted me to stay with them."

"How many ghosts are there wandering around exactly?" I asked.

"As far as we know, not many. Obviously, Jasper is the only other one I've met."

"So Jasper is dead as well," I mused aloud. I supposed it made sense. The crazy Alice rumors were sliding into place, although obviously not the whole story.

"How did she find you?"

Edward grinned down at me. "Do you believe in psychics?"

I sighed. "After my crazy life, I don't what not to believe in anymore."

"Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say she's a psychic, per se, but she definitely has some powers of precognition. Very strong ones. I'll let her explain herself in more detail though. She could do it better."

"All right." I took a deep breath. "And then, what came next?"

"I suppose you did," he said, looking at the ceiling. "I thought about you often. It was obvious you were the link to what had happened to me, but I didn't know how or why."

I snorted. That sure sounded familiar.

He continued, ignoring me. "Every time I thought of you, I had this flash of a swan peeling off a lake in my head. I had no idea what it meant. It's apparent now that it was a clue.

"Sometimes I would talk to Alice and Jasper about my story, and I had mentioned that particular image before. So, when Alice began college and came home the first day talking about the girl whose last name was Swan and who wasn't afraid to touch her - "

"Wait," I interrupted, sitting up. "People don't like touching Alice, either?" I had never realized that.

"It's an uncomfortable feeling, touching a ghost, or so it appears," Edward explained. "People avoid it instinctively. Obviously, neither of you are dead, but…you have been touched by us. What we don't understand though, is that it's a little bit worse for you than for her."

"What do you mean?" I asked, intent.

"People will touch her bare skin, though it's hardly enthusiastically. They don't shy from her, though, the way they do you."

I sighed, burying my head in my hands.

"I'm sorry," Edward murmured. "We have theories about that too, and the conclusion is that it's my fault."

"It's not your fault Edward," I said clearly, looking him straight in the eyes. "Now that I understand why…it doesn't bother me so much. I just always thought it was because I was a freak."

He smiled sadly. "Even if it's not my fault, I am most certainly the cause."

"What are your theories?"

"We think…it's because I gave you my breath. There was a substantial part of my essence inside of you."

I pondered this. "So you think…it was just because of heavy quintessential contact?"

He nodded.

I thought some more, before I blushed. It was still valid, no matter how embarrassing. "But Alice and Jasper…obviously, erm, they've had…heavy contact as well. And yet you say that people still react differently to her…"

"Yes, well, certainly there are some flaws to the idea," he conceded. "We don't really know why it is the way it is."

I was silent for a minute, digesting that, before I waved him on. "Okay. Continue."

He drew in a breath. "Anyway. So Alice came home talking about you, and it wasn't just that you weren't shy to touch her that got her attention - she has come across anomalies before - but that fact that she had trouble touching you. She described it as a resistance, a sort of barrier - and recognized it as someone who's been touched by a …by one of us. She put the pieces together, and came home crooning her own praises that she had discovered my long lost singer, as she likes to refer to it as.

"I was skeptical, and to be honest, angry. I saw you as the person who had damned me to this life. I didn't want to believe you were here again because in all truthfulness - I hoped I'd never see you again. Alice wouldn't leave it alone though, kept badgering me about it, and a week later I gave in to her demands. I came to see if it was really you.

"Alice has always been very strange to me, such an anomaly herself. My contact is obviously limited to a small number of people. I know Alice is still alive, and she can see me, but I truly believed that she was the only one who could.

"I was shocked when you turned around that first day and starting mouthing to me, looking me straight in the eyes. It was even more poignant than the first time Alice showed up in front of me because it was you, the cause of everything. I thought I was the only one to be affected by all this, which always added to my anger towards my abstract version of you, but then I saw that you had been touched just as deeply.

"I was in conflict then. I hated what I felt you had done to me, and yet…I was relieved, to know that you, such an integral part of my predicament, were able to see me, hear me, touch me, when few else can. I'm solid to you, for you, but to most people…I would go right through them. After you confronted me in the lunchroom, I realized I needed to lose my anger towards you if I was ever going to get to the bottom of all this. If I was ever going to know, why you. Which would then explain, why me, or so I hoped.

"That first night, I watched you outside your window. I was planning on searching your room, learning more about you - "

I interrupted him. "Wait. You watched me outside my window? I'm on the second story! How did you manage that?"

He grinned. "I'll show you later kitten. Can I go on?"

I nodded, still discontented at this new mystery.

"But I was distracted. You were having a nightmare, tossing and turning. You were so…vulnerable. That's when I really lost my anger. Suddenly, I was unsure if I even should know why I saved you. You were so innocent…I wondered if I should just be glad I did and leave it that.

"You might remember I didn't come around again for another week."

"Hm," I huffed. I most certainly did.

"That's because I wasn't here. I traveled. I went back home, to watch over my parents, contemplate things. Maybe I should leave you alone? I considered. But my own curiosity wouldn't settle for that. I had to come back.

"At first I headed toward Seattle. But I began to feel off. It was like needle in a compass again. It said I should go farther north. Before I knew, I was back in Forks. And there you were, in your father's house, sleeping. I was struck again by how vulnerable you were, how much pain you seemed to be in. I couldn't stand for it. Without thinking, I found myself holding your hand. You woke up then, and I had to go. But I couldn't deny anymore that I couldn't just leave you behind.

"So then I began to get to know you. I attempted to keep my original mission in mind - to find out your significance. But though I tried to keep perspective, I was failing. I couldn't help but be drawn in by you. So I tried to stay away as much as I could - as you know, it was never more than a couple of days - and when I was around you I tried to act normal but - I was falling deeper than I'd ever planned or even imagined.

"But because I was falling for you, my concern for your well-being increased. I already told you that people react more severely to you than Alice - and I know the cause is me, somehow. Contact with…a ghost is what made you so untouchable to the living world, and I feared that my continued presence in your life would give you no hope for recovery. And not just my own contact - Jasper is every bit as dead as I am, and Alice is involved in this world as well.

"Bella, I never wanted to hurt you by leaving, or asking them to stay away too. I realized I was in love with you, and that I wanted what was best for you. I knew it wasn't me. In fact, I'm still not sure I'm what's best for you…but regardless, I can't leave again."

"You are what's best for me Edward," I told him, feeling blazed. "You make me happy. You made me feel touchable again - and don't say that you're to blame for it either, because without you I wouldn't be here right now. And more than what you do for me, you're such a good person. The only thing that was wrong with my life before was that I was alone. And I'm not anymore. That's what it's all about. That's what's good for me. You're not going anywhere again Masen," I warned, poking his chest.

He took my hand, kissing it. "I wouldn't dream of it Swan. Not that I can sleep or dream anyway."

It felt like I'd said this so many times today. "What?" My questions were far from over.

So, a big, big thanks to Placebo, because without their song Sleeping With Ghosts, this story never would have happened. It was the cornerstone for my inspiration, the first little plot bunny that arrived. It's grown a lot since then, but without this song, this wouldn't exist. So thank you Brian Molko, for your creative genius! It was really the line, "Soul mates never die," that caught my attention. "Hm…" I said.

I'm so sorry for the wait! There's no excuse really, except my own distraction. This chapter was a great deal of work though…but I'm finally happy with the result. I understand if no one is reading or cares about this story anymore. It's been enough time to forget all about it.

The ongoing play list for this story resides at the bottom of my profile.

Cheers! If you do still care, I'd love to hear from you! Also…*crosses fingers*…I have a new supernatural story up called 'The Cure'.

- The Romanticidal Edwardian