A/N: Heartbreak. Lemon. Heartbreak. Hope.
HUGE thanks to JaspersBrand for being an awesome beta.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
I woke up to the sound of screaming. I couldn't tell where it was coming from. The world was twisted on its head. My body was suspended in the air and yet anchored at the same time. The screaming was not my own. I looked to my side and saw him crushed against what used to be the steering column. The wheel was impaled in his chest, crushing his collarbone and who knows what else. His windpipe was still in tact, which was made evident by the horror-filled wail that was filling the air.
I couldn't get to him. I was trapped. Upside down. In every sense of the word. I reached out my arm and touched his shoulder. He stopped his cries and spoke.
"Bella?! Bella! Are you alright?"
"Edward, I'm here. I'm ok. Don't move, do you hear me? Do not move."
There was something warm and sticky on my face and head. I assumed it was blood by the smell of rust and salt that permeated the overturned capsule that used to be our car.
I reached down to try to unbuckle my seatbelt so that I could fall to the ceiling of the car and get to Edward more easily.
It was jammed.
My cell phone was still attached to the lighter with the charger cord and I stretched my arm out to grab it.
"Edward, I'm going to call 911. How are you?" I opened the cell phone and typed in 9-1-1.
"I feel like I'm going to vomit."
It rang twice.
"Ok. If you have to, just do it. Hello? We were in a car accident. On highway 54 near exit 112."
I could hear the tick-tick-ticking of the operator typing our information into her computer. She needed clarification.
More ticking. More questions.
"Yes, there are two of us. Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan. The car is flipped. It's a 2008 Volvo S40. Silver."
She asked about any injuries. Mine seemed minimal in comparison with Edward's. I tried to be clinical in my descriptions to her so I wouldn't upset him with the details.
He started to whimper and groan and I reached my hand out once again to sooth him.
"I love you, Edward. Help is on the way."
"Bella...I love you too. Never forget that."
I wanted so badly to be free of the seatbelt and next to him where I belonged.
It seemed like ages before I heard a siren. It sounded so far away.
I must have passed out because the next thing I knew, there were rescue workers all around us. I heard shouting.
"Isabella? Can you hear me?"
"Yes, I'm ok. Help Edward."
"We're going to get both of you out of here. Can you tell me what day it is?"
I answered all of his questions while he worked to release my seatbelt from around my neck.
He caught me once the seatbelt was cut so that I didn't fall to the ceiling and further injure myself.
I looked over just as the other EMT was revving up what looked like a saw to break the wheel away from the column so they could extract Edward.
I noticed for the first time that his left leg was propped up against the dashboard as if to brace himself for the impact. It was at a weird angle and I was sure it was broken.
The blood was pooling on his neck, under his chin, and dripping up his face from hanging upside down both bound by his seatbelt and impaled with the steering wheel.
The EMT got me out of the car and put me on the stretcher that he had waiting nearby.
I watched from the corner of my eye as the other technician worked to free Edward but before I could know for sure, I was unconscious.
It was chilly today. I was afraid the flowers wouldn't last very long in this weather. One cold night and they would be covered in frost and forgotten.
I parked my truck on the side of the entrance and got out to walk the rest of the way. I never did think cars had any place on the sacred grounds of a cemetery.
The route to his headstone was familiar. I had walked it almost as many times as I had gone to work in the last year. I couldn't not be here. My heart ached whether I was here or not. My soul ached a little less when I was.
I rounded the bend in the trail that led to his resting place and I felt my stomach tighten. Every visit was the same. The feelings of anxiety and nausea and dread. Heartbreak and sadness. Fear and guilt.
It was not fair that I had been the one to survive and he was taken from me; he was taken from everyone who loved him. I would give up my life if it meant that he could live his.
Thinking like that was what landed me in therapy for much of the last year.
I came upon the backside of his large headstone. It was a shiny, deep gray and with the small amount of sun shining down upon it, it glinted like a new car. It looked like our car before the accident.
I shuddered at the thought.
I walked up to it and gingerly reached my hand out to touch the hard, icy marble. I put my arm around it like it was an old friend I'd gone too long without seeing. In reality, it had been two days. I moved around to the front and glanced down at the inscription once again.
Edward Anthony Masen Cullen
June 20, 1981 – November 21, 2008
Dearest Son, Brother, Friend, and Love
The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.
The tears started to fall of their own accord. I had no control. After all this time, the pain was still as fresh as if it were yesterday. I bent down to place the bunch of red-and-white ruffled tulips into the small vase that was attached to the side of the headstone. I noticed a picture frame at the bottom left-hand corner of the stone and leaned over to see what it was.
It was a framed announcement of his death anniversary from this morning's local paper.
To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die.
Edward A. M. Cullen
Your sister, forever – Alice
I fell to my knees. My head dropped into my hands and I began to sob, the tears flowing like a salty spring into my cotton gloves. The guilt was almost too much to bear. Because of me, Alice had lost her brother forever. She would never see him again. She would never hug him or hold his hand. She could never get him another birthday or Christmas present. Not one that he could receive.
I crawled up to the headstone and laid down with my arm up around my head to make a pillow. I lay there in the chilled air and cried for my beloved.
I woke up and my arm was stiff. I didn't know how long had passed but I was significantly calmer now than I was when I arrived. I got to my knees and leaned in to kiss his etched name.
I rose and turned to leave. I felt numb.
The ride home went on forever. Everything was in slow motion. Every move I made felt like I was fighting my way through an ocean current.
Edward loved the ocean. Our trips to the beach with his family were legendary. There were no trips this year. I didn't know if there ever would be again.
I missed my best friend. So much.
We had grown up together. Small town sweethearts since junior high school, I knew from the moment I met him that I never wanted us to be apart. Dances, proms, countless movies and dinners. We were family. His parents and siblings were mine as well and their love and pain was my love and pain.
I could never face them again knowing it was my fault that their son and brother was taken from them.
I lost my whole family that night. Not just Edward.
Had I not wanted to surprise him for our anniversary, he would still be alive.
Dinner was amazing. I'm so glad he was surprised. It was so difficult to pull something on Edward because he and Alice were thick as thieves and she always knew things that she had no right knowing. Devilish little pixie.
After dinner, the wait staff brought out a small chocolate soufflé with a candle stuck in the side of the cake and sang to us in Italian. His face lit up like a kid on Christmas. He leaned over to me and grabbed my hand while they presented us with our gift, bringing my hand to his lips and kissing the back of it ever so lightly.
The look in his eyes never failed to give me butterflies. He showed me so much love that my heart felt like it could burst.
We fed the dessert to each other and snuggled like the most lovesick of couples before I paid for our dinner and we got our coats to wait for the valet. The young man brought the Volvo around and I tipped him well.
I handed Edward the keys and jumped up to give him a peck on the lips. He tried to hold onto me for a longer kiss but I gave him a sly smile and ran around to the passenger side and got in.
He got in, leaned over and kissed my cheek, started the car, and we began our drive home.
Then my life as I knew it ended.
The deer came out of nowhere. Leave it to Edward to save the deer's life and end his own. He swerved toward the median to avoid hitting the animal and we hurtled into the air as the force of the car collided with the median and propelled us upward.
We landed upside down and skidded across two lanes of opposite-facing traffic before coming to rest on the shoulder of the other side. How we didn't collide with anything else as the sparks flew from the scraping metal, I'll never know. It should have killed us both.
It did kill us both.
I got home around noon and decided that I needed to take my mind off of the day so that I wouldn't call the Cullens like some stalker ex-girlfriend. I changed into some workout clothes and plugged my iPod into the external speakers. I got out my bucket, wash rag, broom, mop, and vacuum cleaner. I cleaned every knick-knack and surface in that house for the next five hours.
I emptied the vacuum cleaner into the garbage and cleaned out the bucket. The wash rag went directly into the washing machine and the broom and mop were rinsed off and hung to dry.
By that time, I was finally hungry after an entire day of not being in the right state of mind to eat. I went to the freezer and got a microwaveable meal. It was hot and it filled me up. I don't remember what it tasted like.
I brought the iPod and speakers into my bedroom so I could keep listening and went into the adjoining bathroom. I had so many songs downloaded that it would play for exactly 11.4 days if I let it run continuously.
I lit the candles on the shelf near the shower and left the overhead light off. I was not in the mood for anything bright. I stripped down and laid two towels out for myself on the small table next to the shower curtain.
I ran the tap and held my fingers under the stream until it was sufficiently hot enough for me to flip the shower button.
Slowly, I stepped into the shower and closed the curtain behind me. The water ran down my overheated body and I could barely feel a difference, though I knew it was scalding.
I washed my body and shampooed my hair. I shaved my legs last night and honestly didn't think the best place for a razor at the moment was in my hands. I placed one hand on the wall of the shower and held my head under the scorching fire and let it evaporate the thoughts from my head along with rinsing the shampoo from my hair.
A song from The City of Angels soundtrack began and I could hear the haunting first notes of Peter Gabriel's "I Grieve" floating into the bathroom to come and find me.
It found me sitting on the floor of the shower with my knees up against my chest and my arms wrapped around my legs, hugging them to myself. I felt like I was falling apart. I needed to hold myself together somehow. The tears were mixed with the shower water and I couldn't tell how much I was actually crying in comparison with how much I was sobbing.
It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
It's just the way that we are tied in
But there's no one home
I grieve for you
You leave me
So hard to move on
Still loving what's gone
Said life carries on
And on and on
The news that truly shocks
Is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks
It's empty, empty cage
And I can't handle this
I grieve for you
You leave me
Let it out and move on
Missing what's gone
Said life carries on
And on and on
When the tempo of the song picked up and the lyrics changed, I felt the urge to stand up and continue with my shower.
Life carries on in the people I meet
In everyone that's out in the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and the rats
In the rod and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
I was rinsing the conditioner from my hair when the tempo changed again to the final lines which were reminiscent of the beginning, slow and aching.
Did I dream this belief
Or did I believe this dream
How will I find relief
I pushed my whole head under the stream of water again to rinse the last of the conditioner out and I swore I felt the palm of a hand touch the back of my head in the shower.
I whipped my head around and, of course, there was no one there. I was alone.
I chuckled gravely at my apparent insanity and cut the water off. The towel felt scratchy against my skin and it brought me back to reality. It really was too early to think of going to bed, but if I got a book and crawled into bed to read and happened to fall asleep, then that was acceptable.
My fevered body needed to cool down so I went with a navy blue tank top over a simple pair of white cotton underwear. The blankets would keep me warm enough through the night.
I made sure the front door was locked and walked back into my room and grabbed my book off the dresser. The overhead light was not on but I couldn't read in the dark, so I lit a few more candles that I kept on the nightstand next to my bed. The glow from the candles would be sufficient to feign reading a book until sleep claimed me.
Two chapters and about forty minutes later, I could feel the darkness creeping over me. The music was still playing lightly in the background and it relaxed my body immensely. I closed my book and set it on the nightstand as I blew out the candles. I was relieved to have gotten through this day.
The moon was high and bright and it shone through my window like a beacon. It was comforting. I always felt at home in the nighttime.
Sleep came then.
I opened my eyes to see him standing over me next to the bed. The candles flickering off of his copper hair and ivory skin made him look translucent. He was framed in moonlight shining in through the window behind him. Even in my dreams, he looked so ethereal.
I could hear a song through the speakers breaking through the dream.
You disappear with all your good intentions
And all I am is all I could not mention
Like who will bring me flowers when it's over
And who will give me comfort when it's cold
He looked so handsome standing there in just a pair of long pajama bottoms with no shirt, that a small, involuntary groan rumbled out from the back of my throat.
She took a plane to somewhere out in space
To start a life and maybe change the world
See I never meant for you to have to crawl
No I never meant to let you go at all
Don't ever say goodbye
He smiled down at me and I smiled back showing him my love with my eyes. His left hand crossed over his body and grabbed the corner of my blanket and peeled it back until my body was exposed. In his right hand was a red-and-white ruffled tulip. He lifted the flower and brought it down to my left foot and started trailing the petals up over my skin lightly while his eyes followed the action. When the tulip reached my thigh, his head turned and his eyes met mine as he watched my reaction.
See my head aches from all this thinkin'
Feels like a ship God, God knows I'm sinkin'
Wonder what you do and where it is you stay
These questions like a whirlwind, they carry me away
The closer the flower came to my center, the more I wanted it. I needed to be touched. It had been so long since I had been touched in that way by anyone other than myself. I dreamt of Edward often, but never before like this.
The flower bypassed my apex completely and I groaned in frustration. His lips curled into a devilish smile and he continued his ministrations upward. The firm, yet fragile flower was grazing across my stomach towards my breasts and I found myself struggling to breathe. I saw some petals being left behind on my body as he pressed too hard.
Who will bring me flowers when it's over
And who will give me comfort when it's cold
Who will I belong to when the day just won't give in
And who will tell me how it ends and how it all begins
When he reached my left nipple, it was already so hard that it was easily visible in the candlelight through the thin cotton of my tank top. He pushed the thickest part of the flower, the ovule, across my hardened tip repeatedly.
Then it was gone.
Don't ever say goodbye
I said I'm only human
I opened my eyes, not realizing they had closed, and saw his dark stare boring down on me. He put the tulip on the bedside table and brought his hand back to my skin. He completely avoided any sensitive areas and lightly traced his fingertips over my stomach, hips, and legs.
Again, he removed the stimulus I sat up in frustration. I took his arms in my hands and began to pull him down onto bed with me. He complied easily enough. I scooted over and he nestled in next to me. He felt ice cold so I threw the covers back over the both of our bodies in one fluid motion.
I laid on my side and he came up behind me encircling my body in his arms to spoon me. He took one arm and brushed my hair off of my neck and shoulders and buried his face in my neck. After a minute of nuzzling, I felt his lips start to move as he peppered tiny, cold kisses down the side of my throat.
Don't ever say goodbye
I said I'm only human
His arms were once again holding mine to my body and I squirmed slightly to remove my left hand so that I could reach behind me and rub his hip. I needed to touch him too, not just be touched. He moaned and his kisses became rougher as he opened his mouth and licked up the shell of my ear. He took my earlobe in his mouth and sucked it while his hands moved to my hips and began to rub small circles across my hipbones.
I said I'm only human
He pressed himself into me and I felt his excitement. It excited me as well. I let out a tiny whimper and pushed myself back into him so he could feel the pressure of my backside on his hard cock. His hands immediately started traveling up my sides to my rapidly heaving chest and when he reached my breasts, he simply palmed them. The effect was immediate. His hands were like ice and my nipples strained against the material of my shirt, struggling to break free, like they knew that the source of their pleasure was close by.
Edward removed his hands from my chest and placed them back down on my hips. He started to push me so I would turn on my side to face him. I turned toward him and looked into his radiant green eyes. His face astonished me. The love I felt was immeasurable. I had to shut my eyes and put my forehead on his to try to regulate my breathing. The power of the moment was too much for me and I could feel myself trembling. Without saying a word, he put his fingers under my chin and lifted my eyes to meet his once again. He placed a chaste kiss on my lips as he brushed the hair out of my face.
I couldn't help but to deepen the kiss. I needed to feel him. After all this time, I needed to know that what we had was real.
I said I'm only human
With one swift motion, I was on top of his body, straddling his legs. I inched my way closer to him, dragging my wet, panty-clad pussy along his body towards his obviously aroused cock. He brought his hands to my sides and inched his fingers up under my tank top. My pelvis started rocking over his hardness and I felt him start pushing up against the thin, cotton barrier.
His hands rose higher and grazed the undersides of my heavy breasts. I tried to lean into him so that our bodies would touch down their entire lengths, but he wouldn't let me. He was enjoying this. He could see my nipples hardening in the soft light. A small smile lit up his face and he leaned up a bit so that he could give me a hot, wet kiss while his hands moved up to finally reach my peaks.
He sucked my bottom lip in between his and bit down on it at the same time that he pinched and twisted my nipples with significant force. I ground my pussy down hard on his cock and grunted like an animal. God, he knew what I wanted. He knew how I liked it. I missed that so much.
I started moving my hips in a circular motion and his hands stilled immediately, not anticipating the sensation. I removed his hands from under my shirt and brought each of them to my mouth, kissing the tops of them in turn. Then I placed them over his head and leaned down to kiss his neck. I licked a hot trail up under his ear and continued the trail down over his shoulder. My tongue blazed its way across his collarbone and down to his chest where I took his tiny, hard nipple in my mouth and sucked. He jerked his hips upward at the electricity.
His hands came down to my head and I stopped sucking on him. I sat up and took his arms and once again placed them above his head. As I did so, his mouth found my nipple and he latched onto it through my shirt. I cried out in pleasure as suckled me. I had to struggle to pull away from him. I wanted this to be about him. My face met his and I kissed him forcefully, our tongues intertwined and hot.
I kissed quickly down his chest and licked the hair that formed a trail from his belly button down to where the waistband of his pants started. Once I got there, I hooked my fingers under the elastic and slid down the length of his legs and took the pants and boxer-briefs with me. They were wrapped around his ankles and I briefly wondered if I should leave them there for my own amusement. I removed them from his body completely and slowly snaked my way back up his legs, licking and touching the tense muscles until I was at the tops of his thighs.
His breath hitched as my face neared his manhood. I opened my mouth and lightly blew across it. It twitched, anxiously awaiting its sheath.
I reached up and took him in my hand. I held him without moving and he stared down at me, begging me to continue with his eyes and furrowed brow. I slowly began to stroke up and down his cold, hard length. I moved my mouth closer to him and his eyes widened. My tongue snaked out and licked the wetness that was starting to form at the head. He let out a small hiss and I watched as his head leaned back on the pillow and his eyes rolled into his head.
At hearing his wanton groan, I could wait no longer. I opened my mouth further and took his entire length into my throat in one stroke. He cried out and his hands came down immediately to my head and fisted in my hair.
My lips were pressed flush against his stomach and I groaned at the thought. His hands tangled in my head further as the buzzing from my throat affected his penis. I held still and he finally began to warm once he was in my mouth for a few seconds.
I slowly removed his dick from my mouth and placed my hand back around him to pump him smoothly up and down. My lips followed after and I engulfed him and released him, repeatedly. He began to thrash around and he couldn't keep his hips still any longer.
I looked up to see him watching me with such intensity that it broke my concentration. I faltered for a second when I saw that his eyes were a steely gray instead of his usual green. It must have been the moonlight that was touching his entire body and making him look like a statue of a Greek god.
He took advantage of my hesitation and grabbed my arms and lifted me up towards him. He flipped me on my back with ease and swiftly lifted my shirt up and over my head. He flung it over the back of his head and then placed his fingers on the waistband of my underwear. He slowly and painfully pulled them down over my hips, my thighs, my knees, my calves, my ankles, and finally, my toes. He leaned backward on his knees to sit on his heels and brought the panties to his nose as he inhaled deeply.
His eyes rolled backward into his head and then fluttered open, locked on mine. He flung the fabric down to the floor and slid forward onto my body. I unconsciously wrapped my legs around his back and I could feel his heat pressing at my entrance.
I waited not so patiently for him to push himself into me. He didn't. He waited. I could feel the head twitching against my wet folds and I wanted so badly for him to enter me right then. He picked his right arm up off the bed next to my head and reached to stroke my left nipple. He plucked it like a taut guitar string and leaned down to capture my lips with his.
I whimpered and leaned my arms down to try to grab his ass and pull him into me but he resisted and deepened the kiss. He let go of my nipple and brought his arms around to mine. He took them in his hands and brought them over my head, never breaking the kiss. He placed both of my wrists in his left hand and held them above my head as his right hand moved to hike my leg further around his back. He kept his hand my hip to steady himself.
He entered me in one deliciously swift motion and I gasped from the sparks I felt inside of my body.
Then he pulled out of me and stopped moving.
I groaned my frustration loudly and my eyes implored his to continue.
He leaned down to suck my nipple into his cool mouth and he entered me again.
This time, he did not stop.
His mouth left my breast and met mine in a fiery passion that ignited the very core of my soul. My body was writhing uncontrollably underneath him as his hard cock plunged deep into me over and over and over. I could feel his hip bones slamming against me as he buried himself to the hilt in my dripping wetness.
My sex was on fire. Our bodies were rocking back and forth from our passion and the wrought iron headboard began to slam against the wall with so much intensity, I thought we would break the wall down.
It didn't take long for me to feel that aching tingle start to bubble inside my stomach. I looked in his eyes and showed him with mine that I could not last much longer. He nodded feverishly and kissed me hard.
He pounded into me hard.
On the third thrust, I felt myself going over the edge. My walls clamped down on him so hard as I came and my whole body started shaking again.
He thrust twice more and I felt his release. His neck strained upward and a guttural growl escaped from the back of his throat. He held himself fully inside me as he hovered his face over mine.
His face and neck started to relax and the calm floated down to his entire body as he rested the full weight of himself on me. He released my wrists and my arms wrapped around his back to hold him to me. I felt him trembling on top of me and he buried his face in my neck and breathed in my hair.
We rolled over on our sides and he brought my face to his chest as he kissed the top of my head. I breathed in the scent of his skin and fought so hard to stay conscious of the moment so that I could hold onto him for just a little longer.
I floated away from the dream feeling his fingertips stroking my neck under my ears. A gentle kiss was placed on my lips.
And then he was gone.
Don't ever say goodbye
The sunlight felt warm on my face as it streamed in through the window. The rest of me was freezing and my toes brushed the blanket, which was bunched up at the foot of the bed. I opened my eyes and realized that I was naked. That dream was still playing over in my head and it must have affected me more than I realized.
It was intense and erotic and fulfilling and I was so thankful that I got to experience it.
The last year was so painful for me and for the first time in a long time, I woke up in peace. My stomach was not anxious or nauseated or even remotely painful. I lay there in bed for at least an hour enjoying the comfort that I had rarely felt since my love had left me.
For a second, my mind flickered to the beautiful tulips that I had brought to the grave yesterday morning. I realized that the flower that dream Edward had brought to me last night was the same red-and-white ruffled tulip.
My eyes flitted to the end table. I don't know if it was hope or insanity that made me do it.
The end table was empty but for three candles and my book.
I got out of bed to brush my teeth and wash my face. I slipped on a pair of yoga pants and a t-shirt and decided to run down the road to the mailbox.
I opened the door and something on the ground caught my eye.
A red-and-white ruffled tulip on my doorstep.
A/N: The two songs featured were "I Grieve" by Peter Gabriel and "Flowers for a Ghost" by Thriving Ivory. They will change your life. Seriously.
Review please. :o)