The Other Side of the Moon
Edward´s New Moon
The world had ended, and I couldn´t understand my apparently normal surroundings, nothing made sense, all continued in the same rhythm, I could hear clearly the voices coming from beneath me, no one missed a beat, nothing stood still, the dust continued to swirl around, the all too human smell of food continued to pollute the air, the traffic roared the same. Yet absolutely everything had to have stopped, this emptying agony was paralyzing. Then it hit me, it was just my world that had ended. My body didn´t respond to the simplest orders I gave it, this was certainly death, this numbing unprecedented pain could only mean death, I panicked as I realized it brought no release from the absolute desolation I was in. Oh Carlisle! You were wrong. I was in hell.
1. Party (Part One)
Never had I dared thought happiness could be so sweet, but for six month I had lived in almost constant, perfect bliss. Bella.
Being with Bella, was the only thing I desired, to bask in the warmth of her skin, of her voice – I wasn´t over the thrill of her saying my name- , of her delectable lips, of her very aware eyes, and the way they gaze at me, almost as if she were just as elated to be with me as I was to be with her. Ridiculous, my fantasizing of her loving me with the same intensity that I loved her, was indeed, absurd. She was only human after all – the most extraordinary, delightful, exquisite human there ever was or will ever there be- and my broad knowledge of their nature had taught me that humans are moderate regarding the depths and duration of their feelings, comparing to vampire´s standard has to be say. In all fairness, I had discovered the same obsessive passions that rule us when face to mothers´ love for their children.
I couldn´t believe my undeserved luck, for as though her emotions would never – God willing- be as strong as a vampire´s, she wanted me, she loved me. That was all – more actually- I could ask of this life. Existence, is a better word for what I was doing on this earth. Only I had a very rewarding purpose now, to protect Bella and to make her happy.
Rewarding didn´t equal easy, not by far. What with her total disregard for her own safety, and her endearing though often perilous clumsiness. She was especially adventurous when it came to our time together; that amounted almost to the whole day and night, it was never enough for me, but I knew she had to tend to her human needs and of course, she had to spend some time with Charlie.
Since really early on our relationship, she had, furiously blushing – Mmmm- , asked me if we were ever going to be physically intimate, and I had been terrified to find that those words had brought havoc for me, farther awakening the dormant desires inside me, terrified because I didn´t need another uncontrollable instinct inspired by Bella.
She was constantly desirous of contact; her graceful arms were ever circling my waist, her soft cheek forever laid on my chest, her luscious lips always searching for mine, urgently drinking my scent. I completely related to her need, as I desperately needed her too. My mind was eternally eluding my restrain and wondering through those breathtaking avenues. I ached to grant her everything she asked of me, to really kiss her and touch her and to be with her in every conceivable way. I hated myself that I couldn´t for I knew this was frustrating for her as well, maybe even more because, regardless the fact that I had explained that my only reason for this was her safety, I could never tell her how much I really wanted her too, without putting false hope in her heart, and she felt somehow undesired – Aaah! If she only knew-. But the thought of my inhuman hands losing control, crushing her while caught in the grip of passion, stopped me effectively, but not long enough.
Every time I kissed her, her lips responded cautiously –most of the time- but her body betrayed her, and I felt her hands jumped to fiercely grab my hair, her warm body crushing on me, her heartbeat racing madly, her breathing either hitching noisily or stopping altogether, and most mind altering, the perfume of her desire coming forward, combining with the nonsensically potent scent of her blood. I had to stop before my control was totally obliterated and with it my entire universe.
Yes, her blood had not for a second relent its appealed to me, to burn me with its inescapable course through my throat. The venom that coated my sharp teeth, and my animal thirst, continued to be the most deprecating hazards in Bella´s life. No matter how much I tried to vanquish the monster in me, I barely tamed it. But Bella´s trust on my self control was unwavering. She was much too good to understand a monster´s nature.
Bella was very self-conscious about money; she had made that much apparent from the first real date I had planed - . I wanted to take her out for dinner to a very exclusive restaurant in Seattle, but as soon as Alice tried to lure her into her room for one of her makeovers, Bella was onto us, and when Alice confessed what I was planning for the evening – thinking that would make Bella more pliant. - A very bothered Bella asked me not to do stuff like that. That it was utterly unnecessary for me to spend money on activities, that by nature were barred to me. How could Alice not see that coming?
Car? College tuition? Same story. Those were not romantic attempts to please her and have a good time with her. They were of a more serious character. The car was to ensure her safety- hers was a decrepit thing that threw rust with every step- and College, not only would she love that, it was also an important asset for her future, not that she´d ever need to work to support herself if she was to spend the rest of her life with me – I couldn´t help myself as I pictured her as Mrs. Bella Cullen. My silent heart swelled at the thought. But she had to have options. She could change her mind, I reminded myself, after all I´d never be able to fulfill all my husbandly duties. This depressed me to no end.
As Bella´s birthday approached, I contemplated the satisfying possibility of gifts, as she never allowed me to give her anything out of the blue; the celebration of the providential day she was born was more than an excuse for presents. I had let myself go and considered a piano, which was a little conspicuous for her tiny room, but I´d dreamt of playing for her until she fell asleep, a trip to somewhere sunny and secluded, I´d run that one by Esme, I was sure she wouldn´t mind, and if it was a family trip, Charlie couldn´t say no … Oh Alice was going to love that! she´d been dying to get Bella new outfits, this would provide her with the chance to indulge her inclination.
I was quite decided on that when Bella informed me that she didn´t want anyone to even wish her a happy birthday, let alone buy her presents. Oh well, I had to think of a way around that, I definitely had to get her something she loved. She felt depressed about turning eighteen. Preposterous. This saddened me because I knew the reason behind her reluctance. She was horrified of aging, of being older than me.
It escaped my understanding that she didn´t seem to grasp that she was my life, my universe, infinitely more important than something as superfluous as money. It was maddening for me that she denied me the simple pleasure of "giving" to her, instead of "taking" from her – which was the constant case, my presence in her life meant she was going to miss a lot of experiences.
With this in mind I had settled for a home made present, something from the deepest portion of my heart, the closest thing I had to a soul. Alice helped me with the selection, so it went as a joint gift. Bella couldn´t object to that, it was virtually free.
So on September thirteen, Alice and I were waiting for her in the parking lot of Forks High, we heard her truck from a mile away.
"You should give her the car, Edward." Alice thought grinning.
"Do you know Bella, Alice?" I asked sarcastically.
"I´m sure you could find a way to make her take it. The way she looks at you, Edward, like she´d do anything you asked of her" She smirked. I roll my eyes. "She loves you as much as you love her, you know" I felt my eyes prickled at this thought.
"That´s not possible Alice…"
"Self belittling fool, of course she does!"
As Bella entered the parking lot, I notice her face twisted in distress, it was clear that she was already dreading this day. I had to change that. She got out of the car and as she spotted me her face relaxed into a tender smile. She was so lovely. Then as she saw the silver wrapped box in Alice´s hand she frowned and banged the door of her truck raining rust all over the pavement. I laugh to myself as Alice went to greet her. I was busy relishing her presence; I had missed her the little time we had been apart.
"Happy birthday, Bella!"
"Shh!" she told her, anxiously looking around to make sure nobody had listened.
"Do you want to open your present now or later?" Alice inquired quickly, trying to perk Bella up the wrong way as they walked towards me.
"No presents," Bella muttered.
Momentarily defeated, Alice conceded "Okay… later, then. Did you like the scrapbook your mom sent you? And the camera from Charlie?" Bella exhaled noisily and a strong gust of her scent reached me. Pain. Venom filling my mouth… Ahhh… well, that only meant she was alive, so I welcomed the brief torment. I knew it would lessen with the passing of time in her company.
"Yeah. They're great." She granted.
"I think it's a nice idea. You're only a senior once. Might as well document the experience."
"How many times have you been a senior?"
"11 times" She thought. "That's different." She answered dismissively.
I took Bella´s hand, lightly pressed it and her face smoothed again as she looked into my eyes and her heart faltered. A smiled escaped to my lips at the sound. She was so warm and beautiful I couldn´t help the need to kiss her, but settled for touching the sweet skin around her lips.
"So, as discussed, I am not allowed to wish you a happy birthday, is that correct?"
"Yes. That is correct." She said trying to be firm.
"Just checking. You might have changed your mind. Most people seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts." As much as I loved the way she surprised me with her every action and word, I felt thwarted with this rather uncommon quirk of hers. I´d have loved to give her things, and she made it unnecessarily difficult.
"Of course you'll enjoy it. Everyone is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way, Bella. What's the worst that could happen?"
"Getting older," she answered in a shaky voice.
I tensed as she spoke because the only way that could be halted was if I stole her soul from her which I´d never do.
"Eighteen isn't very old," Alice said appeasing. "Don't women usually wait till they're twenty-nine to get upset over birthdays?"
"It's older than Edward," Bella murmured.
I heaved I sighed. This was of course ridiculous since I was more than a hundred.
"Technically. Just by one little year, though." Alice said nonchalantly. "You are being silly Edward; you know it's going to happen eventually. Why deny her what she wants?" She told me silently.
I knew how unfair this was to Bella, that she was going to get old, while I remained unchanged. But I would never cave before that particular request of hers. The thought of Bella becoming a vampire was exceedingly tantalizing, to have her safe, immortal, to never have to see her threatened by sickness, accident, an ultimately death, was as alluring as her blood. And if I was being honest, the prospect of physical intimacy with Bella was on its own cause enough to make me selfishly start to reconsider. Nevertheless this was Bella, my precious angel, and her soul was far more important than any peace or pleasure I longed for. I was not about to forfeit her soul and damn her to this dark existence of ours just so I´d never have to suffer.
"What time will you be at the house?" Alice swiftly introduced the topic she was most excited about, Bella´s birthday party.
"I didn't know I had plans to be there." She answered stiffly.
"Oh, be fair, Bella!" Alice whined. "You aren't going to ruin all our fun like that, are you?"
"I thought my birthday was about what I want." Bella reminded her.
"I'll get her from Charlie's right after school," I said pretending to disregard Bella´s words.
"I have to work," She objected.
"You don't, actually," Alice informed her, a little satisfied. "I already spoke to Mrs. Newton about it. She's trading your shifts. She said to tell you 'Happy Birthday.'"
"I—I still can't come over," Bella stammered, it was really amusing see her lost for words, charming. "I, well, I haven't watched Romeo and Juliet yet for English."
"You have Romeo and Juliet memorized." Alice snorted.
"But Mr. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it—that's how Shakespeare intended it to be presented."
This was getting nowhere. I rolled my eyes at her weak excuse. She was so stubborn.
"You've already seen the movie," Alice pointed.
"But not the nineteen-sixties version. Mr. Berty said it was the best."
Talk about stupid excuses, this girl has to learn to have fun" Alice thought impatiently. "Edward if you don´t talk sense into her I´ll take her there by force!"
"This can be easy, or this can be hard, Bella, but one way or the other—"
I couldn´t allow anyone, not even Alice talk to Bella like that, but as I knew she only meant well I interrupted her empathetically.
"Relax, Alice. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can. It's her birthday."
"So there," Bella said relieved.
"Edward! I thought you wanted this too. Traitor!" Alice fumed.
"I'll bring her over around seven," I clarify. "That will give you more time to set up."
Alice trill a laugh, mollified. "Sounds good. See you tonight, Bella! It'll be fun, you'll see." Grinning, she place one quick kiss on Bella´s cheek and left us alone.
"Edward, please—" Bella said a little whiny, but I didn´t want to be sidetracked on this, and it came hard for me to deny her anything so I pressed a finger to her pretty lips.
"Let's discuss it later. We're going to be late for class."
High School with Bella was no longer a comatose experience, it was fun. I had managed to rearrange my schedule to match Bella´s almost down to every class. She was very smart, despite the fact that she thought of herself as average, and I took pleasure in seeing her mind put to work through her schoolwork. Sometimes, it was more revealing than listening to her sleepy mumbles – not quite as gratifying though- because in her writings I could appreciate the depths of her considerations on many different subjects. She was amazing.
I was not the only one to notice her charms and there were still many envious boys around us. Bella was totally oblivious of course, for none of them was bold enough to pursuit her with me right by her. Mike Newton continued to be the most annoying of all. He had now changed his tactics to feigned acceptance of Bella´s choice- me- and a new ridiculous look that I knew was supposed to emulate mine. Totally absurd.
"I´ll never understand what she sees in him. He´s such a freakshow! Urgh! … the way they look at each other is disgusting, that can´t be real, they won´t last … and he never leaves her side. Gosh! What does he think he is? Her bodyguard?" Mike thought bitterly as we got to our first class, though he pretended not to notice us.
The day went by uneventfully. Alice and I were now somewhat accepted in Bella´s group of friends, so we sat with them. I endured Mike´s acidic thoughts, Erick and Tyler´s ridiculous fantasies of girls- that much too often included Bella- Jessica´s jealousy of "Bella´s luck" – Ha! The luck was mine. - Lauren´s toxic green envy of her, and thanked God for Ben´s and Angela´s kind minds. But mostly I enjoy Bella´s presence, sat by her side holding her and reminding her to eat each time she got so focused on our conversation that she seemed to forget.
At the end of the school day I went with Bella to her truck, Alice was driving my car back home. But Bella started her usual fight for the driver´s wheel.
"It's my birthday, don't I get to drive?" She asked stubbornly crossing her arms despite the rain.
"I'm pretending it's not your birthday, just as you wished." I teased her a little.
"If it's not my birthday, then I don't have to go to your house tonight…" She retorted in hope that I changed the plans for the evening.
"All right." I said calmly shutting the passenger door and went to driver's side to open it for her. "Happy birthday." She was not worming out of celebrating this joyous occasion.
"Shh," She hissed and got on the sit looking disappointed.
Emmet, Rosalie and Jasper had gotten her a stereo for her truck so I started joking about the reception of her current stereo, I knew she didn´t like that, and was very amused by the retort I got. But I disliked seeing her so distraught and when we parked I held her face taking pleasure in the proximity of her lips.
"You should be in a good mood, today of all days," I whispered to her and saw her eyes blurred a little as my scent reached her.
"And if I don't want to be in a good mood?" She asked a little breathless. I immediately felt an overwhelming need to kiss her.
"Too bad." I said I little roughly while reaching for her lips.
I kissed her softly, savoring the taste of her lips during a too short time until she threw her arms around my neck and started to kiss me in earnest. As gently as I could I loosened her grip on me and moved slightly away from her. This sudden reaction was not at all uncommon for Bella, but it didn´t fail to spin my world and cloud my mind. That frightened me. I could hurt her, and she didn´t help her case by being so astonishingly desirable.
"Be good, please," I begged her a little breathless. I pecked her lips once, placed her arms on her tummy and straighten myself.
I was trying to dispel the paradoxical effect her throbbing heart was causing on me when she spoke.
"Do you think I'll ever get better at this? That my heart might someday stop trying to jump out of my chest whenever you touch me?"
"I really hope not," I said truthfully, because I was not going to pretend that it didn´t filled me with possessive joy that it was me who made her feel that way.
"Let's go watch the Capulets and Montagues hack each other up, all right?" she said rolling her eyes.
"Your wish, my command." I responded a little theatrically. It was nonetheless nothing if not fact.