What in this world
Keeps us from falling apart?
No matter where I go I hear
The beating of our one heart
I think about you
When the night is cold and dark,
No one can move me
The way that you do
Nothing erases this feeling between me and you
I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night
The two days that it took to get me there flew by. My mind was other occupied and the road passed under my car unconsciously. I spent a night in a grubby motel alone, missing those pale arms like I never had before. With nobody there it was easy to cry. I felt like smashing up the world. How could this have happened? I had been such a fool. I drove through the next night just to get where I needed to be. The place that I knew would save me. San Diego.
Arriving outside the apartment as the sun came up I saw lights in the windows and was glad of it. I wouldn't have to be alone any longer, two days was enough. I would have to talk this out. Get everything out.
Jasper answered the door.
"You're here" I said, catching my reflection in the mirror behind him. Jesus I looked wild.
He gave me a sad grin, "So are you" and grabbed me into a bear hug that comforted me and welcomed me home, "You look like shit." He said, ruffling my hair and kissing me on the cheek.
I smiled, meekly and then questioned him with my eyes, raising my eyebrow and looking past him into the apartment.
"Your room...?" He said pulling me into the hall and directing me upstairs. I gave him a nod, and passed him. My feet took me up the stairs, each step feeling like a weight lifting from my body. This was it. My home. It had to be. I had to forget Forks and everything it stood for.
I had to leave everything that Forks was to me behind.
There was one door ajar, Jaspers room. I could see posters on the walls and clothes on the floor. The bed was unmade.
The bathroom door was also open, the clean crisp tiles reflected the light and the window was open. In the air I could smell the sea. It gave me strength. I just wanted to sleep for a thousand years, but there was something I had to do first.
There was another door. Closed. My room.
I stood outside that door for a minute, breathing deeply. This was my portal. My entrance to my real life. The life where I would face reality. My real life.
I turned the knob and pushed the door open. With the curtains drawn the room was dark but in the shadows I could see the bed and on it a dark shape. It moved and lifted in the gloom.
"Edward..." I said, and suddenly the light flicked on illuminating everything. The room was clean, and warm and him. "Edward its me." I said as his eyes flinched adjusting to the light.
He sat up, scrubbing his face with his hands and then stared at me. His face said nothing, I couldn't read him. I was terrified.
"You're here..." He growled, his throat catching and his body tensing.
I moved toward him, "Edward...I..." Tears blinded my eyes and I couldn't see. I stifled a sob.
He didn't move. I wanted him to jump up and hold me tightly, I wanted him to tell me everything was as it should be, that I was home. I was home, I had known that the minute my car had turned into the haphazard streets of San Diego. I just didn't want to fight to stay. I wanted to just let go now, be enveloped in his love and love him back with everything I had. I couldn't fight. Please don't make me fight.
"What are you doing here?" He said, and I could hear a defensiveness in his voice.
"Edward...I'm here. I'm here." That was all I could say.
His eyes changed from disbelief to anger in a flash and he shook his head, "No, no" He said, "I can't handle this, what the fuck are you doing here?"
"What do you mean?" I said, terrified, "I know things got so fucking messed up but Edward I'm sorry and I'm here. Please, I'm here now."
"For how long?"
I rummaged through my mind, self protection taking over again. What could I say to that that would also protect me from looking like a fool. Then I caught hold of myself and shook myself. Stop protecting yourself Bella. Stop it.
"I want to stay here, with you, for as long as you are here." I said, dropping my hands to my sides and turning my palms out toward him. "Don't send me away... Edward I have been the biggest fucking asshole, I know that... I know it took longer than it should have to get here, to be here... But I came? I took the risk... Please don't send me away."
He stared at me, and I could see his chest rising and falling with deep breaths.
"Bella... I've been here for a fucking week, I've called you, I've left fucking messages..."
"I know... I know..." I said, "I was just so fucked up. Everybody, my dad, Angela, even Jacob was on my case to sort this out but I just needed to work it all out. I needed to find out that this was what I wanted before I came."
"And as usual that meant just fucking everyone else up as you did?" He spat, "So you needed what you needed and everyone else had to literally go to fucking hell while you figured it out?"
"I know, I'm sorry" I admitted, "That is so fucking true Edward, Jesus this is gonna sound crazy but the minute I realised that I was on the road. I couldn't get here faster...I drove all night..."
"I can see that..." Did his eyes soften? I moved toward him but his hand flew out to stop me.
He shook his head, "No, stay there. I need to breathe." He said shortly.
"Edward, please" I begged, feeling so weak I nearly dropped to my knees, "Breathe with me. Please. We can work this out. Can't we erase last week? Just forget it? Start now?"
"What do you want Bella?" He asked, snapping his head up to look at me. He was so beautiful. What had I been thinking? I loved this man. I fucking loved him.
"I want you" I said.
"What do I want Bella?" He asked in a whisper that I barely heard.
"What do you want?" I was confused and horrified by the question, the answer could be one I could't take.
"Yeah, what do I want?" He moved to sit up straighter.
I stared at the ground, "I hope-"
"No" He cut in, "Not what you think or hope. Just plain. What do I want?"
"You want me." I said before I could change it. I shut my eyes.
"Thats what I thought I wanted..." I heard a crack in his voice and opened my eyes, his face looked so sad.
"I thought I wanted you. Christ, I just wanted to love you..." He stared at his hands, turning them over and staring at them as if they were strange to him. "but Bella... The last week..."
I felt everything crumbling away. I might not be able to make this right. This could be the punishment I got for my own selfish stupidity.
"You don't want me?" I said, overwhelmed by a numb wave which grabbed hold of me, strengthening my backbone and standing me straighter than I ever had before.
He looked at me, "No" He said with a snarl looking me right in the eye. I burst into tears and fled the room, banging off the doorframe and whacking my elbow off the banisters on the stairs.
Jasper caught me as I headed for the door, whispering in my ear as he held me tightly, "Give him an hour. Give him a minute. Don't leave now."
I pushed him away gently, "I can't take it... He fucking hates me... I'm going back to Forks..." I said.
He shook his head and took my shoulders, "Bella don't run away from this. Just let him get his head on straight. When I got here, Bella when I got here what I found was frightening, Edward was...he is so screwed up without you. He can't, I don't think he will live without you. Just let him sort out his head. You of all people know about pride... And fear... Look at the fight you put up when Edward came for you, but he stayed. You gotta work that hard, if not harder, now. Its your turn."
I looked into Jaspers eyes, he was right. I nodded. I would stay around San Diego and fight for Edward as he had fought for me. I would make him see that I was confused before, stupid and afraid but now I was here. Here for him.
"Okay" I trusted him completely and suddenly there was light in the room and I felt like this was not the end of the line, "What will I do Jasper?"
"Right this is what you are going to do for starters, there is a cafe at the end of the street... Its called The Clocktower." He told me, "Go there, I'm going to talk to our dear Eddie and talk to him until I am blue in the schnoz..."I giggled a little, he continued, "He'll be there at noon. I promise. Even if what he is there to say is not what we both hope, he will be there."
I nodded, swallowing hard. Jasper asked if I had money, which I did but even so he forced a twenty into my hand and with a hug he pushed me out the door and into the street.
The morning was warm and there was no breeze. I pushed my hair back into a barrett as I walked down the hill to the sea. Everything was calm around me but my mind was in turmoil.
It was half nine. I had time so I skirted past the cafe which was already bustling and onto the sea front. I walked along a street called 'Isabella avenue' and resisted the urge to take a picture with my phone to send to Charlie. If things worked out I would. He'd get a kick out of that. When I had confided in him that Edward had wanted me to come stay in San Diego with him he had practically shoved me out the door. He had said "THat boy brings colour to your face Bells, go make it right." I had died when he had said that, yet another confirmation that I was a fool. Jacob had said the same in our goodbye, "I don't know what the hell you see in that fucker Bella, but it seems that whatever it is isn't fading...".
I made my way down and onto the beach, finding a rock and sitting on it.
The sand stretched out in front of me, the sound of the passing traffic faded and I could hear Edward's voice in my head, "I don't want to be a hero..." He was a fucking hero. He had saved me. Everything we had together was saving me, and I couldn't handle the idea that I had sabotaged myself the way that I had. It was all so clear now I couldn't understand how it hadn't been before. Why had I fought against it? Even at the end. I knew he wouldn't fucking let me down, he was who I was supposed to be with. This was too cruel. This hand being dealt to me now was too hard to take. I felt like I was running into the wind, uphill. I just needed to fight to get there.
I imagined the conversation between Edward and Jasper that I had no doubt was going on at that moment. It was ten o'clock. Two hours left. I imagined that Jasper would argue for me, Edward would argue against me. Who would win? I remembered Angela saying there was no crime in loving someone, why had I not just admitted defeat then? Why was everything such a mess? Why had I resisted and talked myself into this position? Had my mothers actions damaged me so badly? Had living with Charlie all these years made me so terrified of love?
I thought about myself and the girl I had been before I met Edward. That silly horny little thing. I'd been so cocky to hide all the fear. Even then I was resisting love. I hadn't wanted love, I had wanted control. All the bravado, all the sexual predator bullshit, was all about hiding the real me. Edward had chiselled at that exterior and falling in love with him had taken my control away. I'd blamed Edward for my fear, told myself it was because of how he had treated me the first time - that was why I couldn't let go. That wasn't the truth. I had always been afraid, since my mom bundled me away from Charlie in the middle of the night. I had fought back by being in control. Roles became reversed with Renee, I had to mind her, I became the mother. Then moving back with Charlie I lost some of that control, that wall that made me feel safe and I replaced it with being rebellious, being promiscuos, being a brat. That gave me control and made me feel safe, but that was not sustainable. I had to let go.
Being with Edward now meant relinquishing control. Even back then it had always been about control. I had taken pain over helplessness. He made me feel vulnerable, even now, even the thought of living here with him made me feel unsafe but I had to come to terms with that - Love was scary, trust was scary. Without it though, without loving someone totally and with complete trust, what was life worth? Even if I got hurt I had to let myself live.
I hated the idea that I had learned this lesson and wouldn't get to be with Edward, the man who had taught me it. I fucking hated the knowledge that yes, I would eventually get over him, I would be happy again and meet someone else, I hated that idea that my next relationship would harvest all the lessons that this one had taught me. Edward and I deserved to reap that reward. We had put in all the struggle. It was our fight, our struggle and I wanted us to be the benefactors. Not other future people that we met.
The time slipped away as I stared into the horizon and suddenly I realised it was five to twelve. I jumped up and began to run, the realization that I could be late and miss him.
I had to make it.
I set my feet under me and ran back the way I had come, abandoning inhibitions and pushing through crowds of people on the streets that led to The Clocktower. My hair fell from its barrett but I didn't care. I ran, pushing myself to the brink, uphill. It was a physical manifestation of what may lie ahead and I was happy to put myself through it.
Then I was at the opposite corner and I could see Edward. He looked so pale and tired, big black circles under his eyes and so sad. So fucking sad. Standing in the doorway, I saw him look up and down the street and then slowly with resignation put his foot onto the sidewalk to step out into the sunshine. He was leaving. Throwing caution to the wind I ran out into the street, jumping across and over the middle triangle, across the middle and onto the other side.
I closed the space between us in long strides, my thighs and lungs burned but I made it slamming my hands onto Edward's chest and pushing him back into the doorway with all my might.
Sweet relief hammered through me and I started shaking as his mouth slammed onto mine in a crushing kiss. He pressed his face into mine, grabbing me by the waist and head as if he couldn't get close enough. He wanted me. I knew it was true, it was over. The pain, the fear, the past.
"I'm here" I whispered into his mouth, "I'm here"
"Heaven" He whispered back, moving his hand from my head to my neck and pulling away slightly to look deep into my eyes. I kissed him and kissed him. All over his face, neck, I took his hands and kissed them.
"I take it its all right if I stay?" I said meekly as I dragged his hands around my waist, rubbing his chest with my palms and running them up around his neck.
"Sure" He said with a crooked smile, leaning away from me for a moment before pulling me back in to his arms, "Bella..." He whispered, "I came here to tell you to go home. I swear, I wanted you to. I just wanted everything to be over, all the fighting and the pain, but I was wrong. When I got here... Bella, when you weren't here... waiting, I felt it - The real pain again of not having you in my life. The last week has been hell but I knew, somewhere deep inside me, that you would make your way back to me, even if I didn't understand that I knew that. Then just now, when I thought you were gone, really gone and probably for good, it was agony. I never want to feel that way again. Ever. We are meant to be together Bella. Never leave me. I love you and I promise you I won't ever leave you. That I know."
Then he buried his face in my hair and I felt the familiar tug on my hair as he inhaled. Edward likes to smell me.
"I must smell like shit" I said looking up at him.
He nodded and quirked an eyebrow, "You do... But I like your sweaty smell..."
He pushed me out on the sidewalk, and grabbed my hand, "So how you like San Diego so far?" He said as we walked back toward the apartment.
"I haven't liked it much up to ten minutes ago..."
"Was that just ten minutes? That back there?" He looked back at the doorway and then smiled at me.
I checked my watch, "Yeah, it was..." I smirked, wrinkling my nose at him.
"Hmmm" He said and for the first time I saw the sparkle back in his eyes, "I know I've got more than that in me..."
He pushed me across against the wall and pushed his whole body into mine, this was it. I had him, he was mine and I was his.
"Want me to show you here? How much I've got for you?" He growled into my neck.
At that minute we heard Jasper shouting "GET A ROOM" and we looked up to see him hanging over the balcony of the apartment. I laughed, feeling myself blush. He waved comically. We waved back.
"Hows the walls in your place?" I said, waggling my eyebrows and nodding my head toward the door.
"Noise wise? Not so great." Edward replied, pulling my hand up and kissing it, "Who cares though? Its nothing Jazz hasn't heard from us already."
"Excuse me?" My mouth fell open, "When the...?"
"I'll tell you later" Edward pulled me behind him up the stairs of the apartment. Our apartment. As he took me upstairs all the anxiety and fear and pain of the last year fell away and I remembered who I really was.
I was Bella Swan, I was nineteen and I was about to get fucked senseless by the love of my life, Edward Cullen.
Edward Cullen. The name alone sends my heart into tiny spasms.
Edward fucking Cullen.
Well guys thats it! Its done! My story has reached its end... Thank you all so much for reading, and for reviewing, its been great fun! I hope you'll review the whole story for me now, especially those of you who haven't reviewed so far! I can see you there, and I'd love to hear from you! And if you are reading this in the next while as a complete story do review still!! Its such a buzz to hear from you all!!
Now... what will I write about next? Maybe Alice and Jasper need a look in? What do you think?
Lots of Love, MLWE xxx