A/N: I do not own Twilight or any of its characters.
Rewritten: March 8, 2014
Chapter 1 – Guilty
I was sitting on my bed and listening to the heavy rain tapping on my window roughly. Just another ordinary day in Forks...
It was Sunday, late afternoon. Charlie'd gone fishing with Billy, not really bothering about the tough weather, which was not surprising from them, at all. This was not the first time they did it and probably wasn't the last either. I didn't understand how could they sit by the lake all the time, just waiting and waiting all day and often all night too. It was just so boring, at least for me.
Edward, my beautiful vampire boyfriend, wasn't home either. He was on a three days long hunting trip with his whole family, the Cullens. It was family bonding time for them, because they hadn't spent much time together lately. It'd been Alice's idea, of course, and to say that Edward hadn't been very ecstatic about it was a huge understatement. He'd put up a pretty big fight and straightforward refused to leave me alone without any protection, especially for three long days, but his efforts had been completely fruitless. He'd really had no choice on the matter. Alice was an unstoppable force of nature, who usually didn't take no for answer, and this time wasn't an exception, either. And with Emmett and Jasper on her side, Edward had had absolutely no chance of winning this argument. They'd let him no other choice but to join them.
So eventually – though pouting and fussing and grumbling heavily - he'd agreed to go along, but made Alice check my future for at least a thousand times, driving her completely crazy with his worries and overprotectiveness. She'd seen no trouble around me on the whole weekend, if I stayed in the house, so I'd had to promise Edward not to go anywhere, which I'd done without any fuss this time, much to his relief and delight. They'd left on Friday, just before sunrise, and Edward had promised me that they would be back today around midnight.
I couldn't wait for him to return finally. His absence was nearly unbearable. I missed him terribly and longed to be in his strong, loving arms again. It'd always been a torture to be away from him, I'd never liked it before when he'd had to leave me alone for a long period of time. It had made me uneasy and restless, feel like a part of me had been missing. And these feelings had only grown much stronger since last September, when he'd left me for seven long, agonizing months, trying to protect me from himself and his world. He'd thought that it was the best for me, so I could have a normal, happy human life. Well, he'd been definitely wrong. I'd been nothing but a pale shadow of who I could be with him by my side, just an empty shell without any spark of life. The growing emptiness inside me, the haunting memories of the words he'd said on that day in the forest, and the pain of his absence had nearly killed me. But he was here now and would never leave again. He knew that leaving me was the worst mistake of his very long life, and had done nothing good, only nearly destroyed both of us. We'd both learned the hard way that we could not live without each other. Now we were together again and I couldn't be happier. Everything felt just so right.
Only one thing overshadowed my perfect bliss... Jacob...
In the past few days I'd had more than enough time to think everything over. The incident – as I called it - with Jacob had happened almost a week ago, but the memories of that afternoon still tormented me. They filled me with coldness and dread.
He'd tried to convince me so badly to choose him over Edward, trying to make me see that it was possible to be in love with two people at once. He truly believed that I was in love not only with Edward but with him as well - just as deeply, just as passionately. As if it could really be true. If he thought even for a mere second that I could love somebody else besides Edward, than he didn't know me at all and didn't understand the depths of my feelings either. Maybe because he was incapable of understanding how could I feel even a tiniest bit of love for a vampire, a bloodsucker, a soulless monster, a parasite, as he liked to call him nowadays. But Edward was not a soulless monster – he was far from it. He had the purest and most beautiful soul in the world, even if he believed that he'd lost it long ago. He was kind, funny, interesting, loyal, passionate, loving, caring and had the most brilliant mind. He fought so hard every single day to do the right thing, to be good and keep his inner demon at bay. He could simply choose the easiest way and become like others of his kind, like those vampires in Italy or the nomads we'd run into more than a year ago. But he didn't. So how could someone like him be an evil monster?
But of course, it was impossible to change Jacob's mind about Edward. His hatred for him rooted so deeply inside him. It made him blind and deaf to any reason, and poisoned his mind and soul so much that he simply couldn't listen. He didn't want to listen. He refused to see Edward, or any other member of the Cullen family as anything else but animals and soulless killing machines, who deserved nothing but a very long and painful death.
Trying to prove his point and make me see that I had other options besides bounding myself to a vampire for an eternity, throwing my life away so carelessly, he'd kissed me, not bothering about asking my permission first - something that Edward, as the true gentleman he was, had never done and would never, ever do, even if we lived for a thousand years or more. He and his love for me were just too pure, too selfless. He never demanded and never took anything away from me. Sometimes, he was so reluctant to even accept what I was offering to him willingly, thinking that he didn't deserve it - which was just ridiculous, in my opinion. His main priority was always me, even if he had to suppress his own desires and dreams, or his own happiness. He was the direct opposite of Jacob, who could care about nothing but his own feelings, needs and desires lately, going as far as forcing himself on me. And in reward I'd punched him with as much force as I could muster up with my fragile, human body, but of course, it hadn't been nearly enough to cause him any amount of pain, as I should've known it already. He was a werewolf and I was nothing, but human, after all. A weak, fragile, clumsy little human. He wouldn't have even noticed my ridiculously pathetic try to hit him and cause him some harm, if I hadn't managed to break my hand in the process. At least, there hadn't been any serious damage, like I'd originally thought first, as the first waves of pain had shot through my fingers, only a tiny fissure in one knuckle.
Edward, of course, had been furious, but he'd controlled himself perfectly well, as always, much to Jacob's irritation. Although he really hadn't made it easy for him. He'd enjoyed the situation too much, acting all smugly and cocky, so sure of himself, repeating his own version of that horrible scene over and over in his mind, knowing perfectly well how deeply it would hurt Edward to see me kissing another man, betraying our love. He'd also known how it would bother his vampire instincts, because every vampire was just so protective of their mate, the Cullens especially. Jacob had been completely convinced that he'd defeated Edward and won finally. As if it'd been only a stupid game all along, with me as the ultimate prize, a trophy. He'd truly believed that once my anger wore off, I would see clearly and make the right decision, which was, of course, to choose him instead of Edward. But I could never do that. I could never and would never live without Edward again. Even the mere thought made me feel hollow, empty. And Jacob should know this perfectly well, better than anybody else, besides perhaps my father, because he'd seen me suffer through those long months alone. He'd witnessed my agony at first hand. He'd watched me struggling with my pain every single day. He'd seen how it'd nearly torn me apart so brutally, I had barely managed to keep myself together. Of course, he believed that if Edward hadn't come back and given us more time, I would have healed eventually, because I'd been already much better by then. But it was very far from the truth, he just refused to see it, like so many other things as well.
So after Carlisle had taken care of my broken hand, I'd never spoken a word about the incident with Edward, and I'd been and still was so angry with Jacob that I'd refused to talk to him, although he'd called me many times, even sent a few letters through Charlie, trying to apologize for his behavior and convince me to talk to him again. I'd ignored them all, not even bothering to answer his calls or read his pathetic letters. And for once, I didn't feel any guilt about avoiding him because I knew that his apologies weren't honest, that he didn't really feel sorry for what he'd done. He was still playing his game and I refused to be a part of it anymore.
I'd spent the past three days wondering around the house, cleaning every inch of it, doing the laundry and just trying to busy my hands with anything and everything, while my mind had been racing without any intermission. The center of my thoughts had been Edward and Jacob and this whole mess around us that somehow I'd managed to create in the past few months, trying to keep both of them close. Of course, I should have never even tried, and now I had to make everything right again. I couldn't keep up hurting everybody around me, especially not the man who meant the world to me.
I blinked tiredly, feeling completely drained. I'd managed to get only a few short hours of sleep in the past days and even then I'd only tossed and turned in my too-warm bed restlessly. There was silence in the room, the storm passed and it stopped raining outside. The angry, measured taps of the fat raindrops died down finally, leaving a deafening silence behind.
And I came to a very hard, life altering decision.
Immediately, I felt lighter. I felt like I could breath again after long months of suffocating. That horrible pressure on my chest, that practically choked me, now vanished. I'd felt this way only once before, on that day in the middle of the forest when I'd made the decision to be with Edward, despite everything. And I knew now, just like then, that I'd made the right decision. I'd been trying to please everyone around me long enough, tearing myself apart in the process. But it was impossible, of course, and I'd been wrong to even try it. It was time to finally make everything right.
My eyes burnt with hot tears that quickly clouded my vision, and before I could control myself they started to roll down my flushed cheeks unstoppably, just as a strangled cry of both enormous relief and overwhelming guilt ripped from my lips. I'd made the right decision, but hadn't I waited too long? Had I caused too much pain and hurt already? My relief was short-lived, though, as my guilt ate away at it quickly.
"Bella?" a familiar, velvety voice called my name suddenly, full of worry and pain.
I jumped, frightened by the unexpected sound, gasping both in fright and surprise, and manage to lose my balance and fall off my bed. But before I'd have hit the hard wood floor and hurt myself, two cold, stony arms wrapped around me securely and lifted me gently back onto the middle of my tiny bed, like I was made of glass. As soon as I was safe again, I felt the bed shift beside me as he lowered himself on top of it gracefully and slid closer to me, but I kept my eyes down, unable to look into his beautiful eyes - light butterscotch like always after hunting -, and see the pain in them that had dripped from his voice just moments before.
He reached for my face, his pale fingers brushed along my cheeks ever so gently, wiping my tears away tenderly. That simple touch held so much meaning, relaying his love and complete adoration, but I could not stand it now. Not when I was not worthy of it anymore and when I'd failed him while he'd placed his complete trust in me. The feeling of guilt was heavy in my chest, and it burnt me from within. I pulled away from him and slid further away on the bed, putting some distance between us. I didn't deserve his closeness, just like I didn't deserve his love anymore. Yet, ironically, I couldn't live without it. Now I just had to force myself to somehow learn it.
"Bella?" he breathed confused, his voice full of agony. Agony I caused again.
I felt like somebody just ripped my heart out of my chest brutally. I was the source of his pain. In the past few weeks I'd done nothing but hurt him time and time again and he'd just endured it silently. Out of the two of us, I was the real monster here. How could he not see this?
"Bella, love? What's wrong? What happened? Please, Bella tell me." he begged desperately for some answers. My irrational behavior confused and frightened him more and more with every passing second.
But I didn't know how to tell him what was wrong, where to start or with what words. How to make him understand what exactly had been haunting me in the past days or weeks and how I was feeling right now. The only thing I knew that with my silence I only caused him more pain. It broke his non-beating heart to see me crying, especially not knowing what was the reason that brought those tears into my eyes. The silence of my mind had always frustrated him. Everybody was like an open book to him, he could hear their thoughts clear and loud. I was the only exception of his unique ability, the only person whose thoughts he really wanted to hear – as he'd said once.
"You returned early." I breathed almost inaudibly, still avoiding looking at him.
He sighed. "Yeah, I was anxious to get back to you. I missed you so much and just wanted to be with you again. I drove the others insane with my sulking and restlessness." I heard a small smile in his beautiful voice and felt him shift closer to me again.
Every fiber of my body was so much aware of his presence and closeness. My stomach filled with butterflies, the muscles in belly clenched deliciously and my skin burst into goosebumps. The air around us filled with that now very familiar electricity, that we'd both felt from the very beginning. It drew me to him like a magnet.
"And now, beautiful girl, would you, please, tell me what happened? Why are you so sad and why are you crying? Please, love? It's killing me to see you like this."
He placed his index finger under my chin and tried to turn my head towards him with gentle force, his golden eyes desperately searching for mine. His touch - though cold as ice - burnt my skin.
I knew that more than anything he waited for some kind of explanation, and that every further tear I cried only drove him crazy with worry and probably made his mind run wild with theories about what could've possibly happened while he'd been gone for the weekend. I knew that, of course, he thought the worst. But I couldn't give him what he wanted. I only shook my head silently and let my hair fall over my right shoulder, making a thick, dark curtain between us and hiding my face from his searching eyes. I pulled away from him again and scooted to the very edge of the bed.
"Please, don't touch me." I whimpered. I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs tightly, curling up in a tight ball, then buried my face into my left arm, trying to just disappear from him and from all the pain.
He inhaled sharply. "Why? Why don't you want me to touch you? Have I... have I done something wrong?" he asked after a brief moment of silence, his voice shook with emotions.
His agony was absolutely heartbreaking. It ripped open that oh-so familiar hole inside my chest and tore at my heart. I couldn't bear to hear it. I couldn't let him feel this way and blame himself for something that was entirely my fault. Because I was the one who was not worthy of his love anymore. I was the one who'd betrayed him. I'd betrayed him.
"Bella, I swear to you that…"
"No!" I cried out, cutting him off, shaking my head frantically. My eyes flashed towards him, desperately trying to reassure him and make him understand. As our gaze locked, I was instantly lost in the depth of his beautiful topaz eyes that were shining with the same grievous emotions that had colored his voice only moments ago. I could see his confusion, uncertainty and sorrow, but the main emotions in them were naked fear and pure agony.
A broken sob ripped from my lips before I could control myself, and instinctively I reached for him, willing to erase the tantalizing pain from his eyes, needing to make him happy again. An angel like him should not know any kind of pain, he should always be happy and carefree. But then I clenched my fingers into tight fists and pulled back my terribly shaking hands. I wasn't worthy enough anymore to touch such a perfect creature. I felt too dirty. I was too dirty.
I inhaled sharply, trying to calm down a little bit. "You've done nothing wrong. How can you think you have? This is my fault, I am the one who's done something wrong and…" I looked down again, hesitating. I felt overwhelmed and I didn't know how to explain to him all the jumbled thoughts that were swirling around inside my head. For once, I wished he could read my mind now like any other person's. It would make everything so much easier.
I took another deep breath and started to talk again. "I wish you could hear my thoughts now." I mumbled helplessly, staring down at my hands, fidgeting with the fabric of my old sweatpants.
I heard him take another shaky breath, but he remained silent, just waiting for me to continue. I felt his intense gaze on me.
"You know, when I moved here, I had absolutely no intention to fall in love with anybody. I'd never really been interested in boys and dating before then. Just like they'd never found me interesting at all, not even a bit." I shrugged, flushing softly.
Edward snorted quietly, but otherwise remained silent.
"And when I first met you, I had no idea that so very suddenly that I barely noticed it happening, I would fall in love with you so deeply and unconditionally and irrevocably. And I never dared to dream of you ever feeling towards me even a tiny fraction of what I felt for you. I thought that I was way out of your league. I thought that someone like you could never fall in love with someone like me. "
"But I did. It was so easy to fall in love with you." he said softly. "I love you more than anything."
The corner of my lips twitched and I smiled a tiny, weak smile. Hearing him expressing his feelings for me out loud always made me smile.
"From the first moment I laid my eyes on you, you were all I could think about." I continued, quietly, stubbornly avoiding making any eye contact with him. It was just easier to talk this way. "From that moment my every thought and every action, even every breath I took centered around only you. They still do."
From the corner of my eyes I saw him smile a small smile. His body shifted closer to me again, though I doubted he did it on purpose. I believed he didn't even notice it, it was only an instinct, a primal need to be closer to each other - however close we were, it never seemed to be enough. I felt the coldness of his skin radiating off of him, his cool breath brushed against the bare skin of my neck and upper arm, making me shiver. It was hard to concentrate on what I wanted to tell him.
"On that day when you took me to your meadow for the very first time and told me that - despite every rule of your world and even sanity - you fell in love with me..." I sighed at the memory. "I have no words to describe the happiness I felt then. That afternoon was simply perfect. The tiny, beautiful place in the middle of the forest, the bright sun, shining down at us, but mostly being with you so freely, without any hiding and lies and boundaries... well, there still were boundaries for my safety, but still... you could be yourself, really yourself. We both could..."
"Oh, Bella." Edward breathed, leaning forward. He reached for my hand, but before he would've touched me, he stopped and, with a soft sigh, let his hand fall back onto the bed, and continued listening to me tensely. But he never pulled away and I couldn't resist anymore turning my head toward him and looking into his mesmerizing eyes. His very close proximity surprised me for a brief moment. He was even closer than I'd thought, only a very few inches away from me. Our gaze locked and the burning fire in his topaz orbs completely dazzled me. How could he do this to me with only one, single look? How could he have so much power over me?
I swallowed hard and shook my head, trying to clear my jumbled thoughts again, then continued. "I thought that day couldn't be any more perfect, but then you stayed with me that night, barely leaving my side, proving me wrong."
More tears flowed down freely on my cheeks. Edward fingers clenched my sheets tightly, his muscles tensed. I could see how hard he was fighting to resist the urge to reach out and wipe them away, and to take me into his arms and comfort me. But he respected my wishes.
"You were mine finally. Mine to love you the way you always deserved to be loved, and to make you happy after a century of suffering alone. Even the mere thought made me blissfully happy." my voice broke and his eyes frantically searched mine, while his fingers tore the weak fabric of my sheets.
The harsh, ripping sound was loud in the silence of my room, but none of us cared about it. We only stared at each other, unable to break away, as if an invisible power bound us together.
"And I was even happier that I was the only woman who could ever reach your heart, and in whom you took any interest in over a century... I was the only one who had ever touched you and your perfect body, and who you had ever touched and kissed..."
"And you're going to be the last too. It will always be only you, Bella." he whispered, his cool breath brushed against my trembling lips, making me dizzy. I could taste him on the tip of my tongue, and it made everything so much harder. How could I give up this? How could I let him go, while every fiber of my being craved for him so badly?
I shifted uncomfortably. I didn't know how to say it to make him understand what I really thought and felt.
"Edward..." I breathed. His name burnt my tongue, almost as much as while he'd been gone. "Your body and soul were so pure, waiting only for me for over a hundred years. Nobody had ever waited for this long to find love. And in return I could give the same thing to you. I was only yours, I'd never felt this way for anybody before and nobody had touched me or kissed me before you. In this one thing we were equal. But now…" My voice broke again and I couldn't continue.
I took several deep breaths, trying to regain some control over myself and not to start sobbing again. But I could feel the traitor tears on my face again, flowing more intensely than before. They were unstoppable and blurred my vision. I couldn't see him anymore, and it made me angry. I was wasting precious time with him.
I gasped in surprise as Edward's strong arms suddenly encircled me. They wrapped around my weak, terribly shaking body like an iron cage, unbreakable, yet so, so gentle. He held me close, pressing me to him firmly, completely ignoring my weak, pathetic protest. His fingertips danced down then up on my back again and again, tracing the line of spine softly, while he tangled his other hand into my messy hair and pulled my face up to his. His thumb rubbed my tear stained cheek, drawing lazy, soothing circles on my flushed skin, while he nuzzled his icy cheek to the other side of my face. His lips brushed against me every now and then, kissing my tears away lovingly. He held me like a small child, rocking me slowly back and force in a very soothing rhythm, I felt myself relax against him involuntarily.
"Bella, my Bella, it's okay. Please, love, don't cry. Try to calm down." he whispered, pain and helplessness colored his voice, and his suffering only ripped the aching hole in my chest wider. It was hard to breath with this searing, pulsing pain inside me.
"No, no, no." I shook my head and tried to move away from him again, pushing against his marble chest, but his stony arms held me securely, not allowing me to pull away from him even a mere, tiny inch. "I don't deserve it... I don't deserve it." I choked into his shirt, which was already tear-soaked.
"What don't you deserve, my Bella?" he asked gently, patiently, still rocking me slowly.
"Your touch. Your kiss. Your love. You." I whimpered.
As soon as the words left my mouth, his whole body froze. His hands stopped caressing me suddenly, and I immediately missed his loving, gentle movements. Tension radiated from him in huge, shocking waves, and it only fueled my own anxiety and fears. A low, very angry hiss ripped from his flawless lips, making me cringe. Then his arms tightened around me and he pulled me into his lap possessively. Our bodies melted together perfectly, as if they were made for each other. The thought brought a fresh wave of pain and I whimpered again.
"Why do you think that? Why do you think that you don't deserve me, Isabella? What brought this on suddenly?" he asked, pressing his forehead against mine firmly, staring at me with wide, conflicted eyes. His voice shook with concern and anger that he tried to control.
I stared at him helplessly, feeling slightly nauseous. "Because everything's changed..." I breathed, defeated, and slumped against him. "I'm not the same anymore."
I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, trying to regain some control back over my shaking, overwhelmed body. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and inhaled deeply as my warm breath brushed into his face.
"You're not the same?" he asked confused, his eyes bored into mine again, searching for some kind of further explanation. "I don't understand, love. Please, calm down, and try to tell me what's in your pretty little head exactly." he started rocking us again, his fingers drew soothing patterns on my back and played with a few strands of my hair, making it so much easier to find control over my raging emotions again.
"Edward... oh Edward..." I sighed, burying my head into the crook of his neck, hiding from his penetrating gaze. It was just too much. "I love you so much." I breathed into his sweet smelling skin.
He pressed his face into my hair, inhaling my scent deeply.
"I love you, too. You have no idea just how much." he mumbled quietly and kissed the top of my head.
"But I don't deserve you. Don't you understand?" I tried to desperately explain it to him again, my fingers clenched his shirt tightly. "How can you still touch me and hold me and kiss me? You were the only man, who had ever touched me, but not anymore. Not anymore." I shook my head frantically. "And Jacob… that kiss… I didn't want it… I swear I didn't... I didn't want anybody to kiss me but you… but he didn't listen... he didn't listen to me at all..."
"Oh Bella," Edward breathed, holding me tighter in his arms. It was almost painful. Almost.
"I feel so... dirty…" I whispered. "I've never wanted anybody but you… I want only you now… only you… forever..."
I was sobbing again, uncontrollably, the words rushed out of my mouth, incoherently. I could hardly breath. I tried to slip out of his embrace and push myself away from him, so he wouldn't have to touch me anymore, but his arms were locked around me so firmly, that I had absolutely no chance of escaping from his hold. I had no chance against such strength. Why couldn't he just let me go? What else could he still possibly want from me? It'd never made sense for him to love me. I was nothing but human - weak, plain and boring. But at least I'd been as pure and innocent as him before. But not anymore. Jacob had taken away this one thing, in which I'd been equal with Edward. How could he possibly want me, after another man had touched me, the way only he should. I knew it was only a kiss and that something much worse could have happened to me - memories of that night in Port Angeles flooded my mind and I shuddered. So much worse... Yet, this tiny kiss felt like the worst crime, even filthier than what those men had been planning to do with me on that dark, deserted street, because it was my best friend who'd done it, somebody whom I'd trusted with my life, whom I'd defended stubbornly from time to time against Edward, when he'd tried to make me see how dangerous Jacob really was. And he'd betrayed my trust and my selfless nature, and made a fool of me.
Finally, Edward shifted, his long fingers wrapped around my upper arms, and he pushed me away gently, but surely. I knew that I deserved his rejection, but, still, it pained me so much. I couldn't help myself whimpering at the loss of contact. I couldn't help craving for more time with him. Just one more second... Just one more minute... How could I not? I thought, he finally agreed with me and saw things the way I saw them. The way he should've seen from the moment Jacob's lips had touched mine. I thought that he would leave me again - alone, broken, to live with my shame. But he didn't.
He placed his large hands on my cheeks and cradled my face tenderly, brushing my messy hair out of tired eyes, and forcing me gently, but firmly to look up at him. His thumbs rubbed my cheekbones lovingly, wiping away my tears. We sat there, just staring at each other for a long moment silently. His smoldering eyes were full of anger and pain, yet they were still so inhumanly beautiful, two tiny windows to his perfect soul.
"Isabella..." he shook his head softly and despite his swirling emotions, he said my full name with so much tenderness and reverence, I had never, ever heard him talking this way. Not even on that very early morning, when he'd explained his reasons for leaving and confessed his undying love for me, after we'd returned from Italy. His voice was shaking, his eyes softened and I felt my heart burst into a frenzy, I was afraid it was going to jump out of my chest.
"My sweet, beautiful, silly Isabella." he whispered, shaking his head. "How could you ever think that you didn't deserve me, or my love, my touch and kiss?" he smiled softly as I stared at him in confusion. "You did do nothing wrong, my love. It's not your fault that mongrel..." he bared his teeth and a feral growl erupted from his chest "...can't behave and, taking advantage of his inhuman strength, forced you to do something that you didn't want to do. It's not your fault. Do you hear me, love? It's absolutely not your fault." his voice was gentle again, his eyes pierced into mine and my whole inside burst into flames under his intense gaze. I started to feel dizzy.
"Breath, my Bella." he whispered, brushing his thumb along my bottom lip slowly.
I took a deep breath, his sweet, delicious smell filled my lungs completely.
"It doesn't matter what others think or do. Nothing and nobody can stop me to do this..." he said and leaned closer to me. His lips touched my forehead softly. "...or this..." he mumbled against my skin as his lips trailed down my temple and kissed along my cheek. "...or this..." he pressed a tiny kiss on the tip of my nose. "...or this..." he kissed along my jaw, nibbling my soft skin carefully, then pressed a wet, open-mouthed kiss on my neck tenderly, just above my artery.
My head was spinning and I tried to remember how to breath but failed miserably. My whole body trembled and my hot skin burst into goosebumps as his cool breath brushed against my neck. His fingers stroked every inch of my face, as if trying to memorize my every feature - like he hadn't done it already -, and trailed down on the side of my neck and collarbones slowly, drawing lazy patterns on my skin, carefully avoiding the small bruises that Jacob's fingers had left there as he'd grabbed me too roughly in the heat of his passion. Then he lifted my arms and wrapped them slowly around his own neck. I couldn't help burying my fingers into his messy, silky hair immediately, my nails grazed his scalp softly and he sighed deeply while his eyelids fluttered closed for a moment. His own arms snaked around my waist and pulled me closer to him. Our bodies pressed to each other tightly, melting together perfectly, and a soft moan escaped from my lips as his fingertips trailed down my spine. My heart pounded in my chest, wildly and fast, it was to be feared that it would jump out eventually. He lifted his head then and pressed his forehead to mine gently. I could only stare into his bright eyes helplessly, completely dazzled by everything that was Edward Cullen.
"But mainly this" he breathed, leaning toward me, closing the small distance between our lips.
This kiss was like nothing else before, filled with so much passion, that the whole world could've burnt down around us, I wouldn't have noticed it. He had never kissed me like this before, always scared of hurting me accidentally, always worrying about his venom and razor sharp teeth being so close to me. I gasped, both in surprise and excitement, as I felt his cool tongue stroking my bottom lip a bit hesitantly, asking for entrance, which I granted eagerly. He pushed his tongue into my mouth so slowly, so carefully, yet I couldn't feel any hesitation in his movements. It was like he was only trying to draw out the moment to enjoy every little detail of it. Tasting his sweet, spicy flavor for the first time in my mouth was the most incredible feeling I'd ever felt. I'd wished for it for so long, but I'd always thought, that this was something I would only ever experience as an immortal. I touched my hot tongue against his icy one and moaned embarrassingly loudly as those oh-so-familiar electric jolts, that always buzzed between us from the very beginning, shot through me with full force. And I was not the only one. Edward growled, low and deep at, at the same time, the most erotic sound I'd ever heard, so much different from any sound he'd ever made. He tangled his fingers into my hair and pulled me closer to him, deepening our kiss even more. I could feel nothing but pure bliss and happiness and I wanted nothing else but to stay in this moment forever, just kissing and tasting each other. And for the first time it was me who broke away, needing some air. I was still only human, after all. I gasped for air and Edward pressed his forehead to mine gently, chuckling just as breathlessly. I opened my eyes slowly and stared at him, watching the most angelic smile spread across his face.
Then suddenly I remembered what we'd been talking about and could feel my eyes tear up again. Seeing this Edward's smile vanished instantly, his sparkling eyes filled with panic.
"Bella, love, please don't cry." he stroked my cheeks softly. "I understand what you're feeling and why. Believe me, I really do. But you have to understand that you've done nothing wrong. Do you understand it?" he searched my eyes, willing me to understand what he was trying to say. "Don't torment yourself over something that he did. Only because you didn't have the physical strength to stop him, it doesn't mean that it was your fault. And don't you dare to think that you don't deserve me just because he dared to put his filthy paws on you. You're not responsible of his actions. Especially because, I believe, you told him very clearly and honestly who your true love was and who you wanted to be with. It's not your fault that he can't accept that. He's known your feelings all along, almost since we started to date, he just couldn't accept it, and honestly, I doubt that he ever will. And it's mostly because of me, because of what I am. I know..." he tapped his head softly "...that he thinks of me lower than the dirt on his shoes and he'll never change his mind about me."
I shook my head and grimaced, disgusted.
How could Jacob think about Edward this way? I knew that werewolves and vampires were mortal enemies. But even enemies usually did respect each other. But there was no respect in Jacob toward Edward or the other Cullens. He hated them with everything he was, and I should've never tried to force them together. Just like the magnets, they would never stand together peacefully. And I could never be a part of both of their lives. I could never be Edward's Bella and Jacob's Bella too. I could never be Bella Cullen and Jacob Black's best friend.
"But, my beautiful Bella," Edward continued. "you aren't less precious or less pure and innocent in my eyes than on the first day, when I saw you in the cafeteria, or first touched you, or first kissed you."
I stared at him with wide eyes and he smiled, brushing his fingertips along my cheek tenderly.
"I love you. I want you. And I will always love you and want you. Nothing can change that. No matter what game Jacob Black is playing, no matter how hard he's trying to get between us. Although I'm so ready to tear him apart because he ever dared to kiss you without your permission and caused you so much pain." he muttered the last part quietly, his eyes darkened slightly.
I shook my head. My eyes widened even more at the thought of Edward and Jacob fighting, especially because of me. I wrapped my arms around Edward's torso, my fingers clenched his soaked shirt so tightly that my knuckles went white from the effort. I whimpered quietly.
Suddenly I realized that I didn't fear for Jacob anymore, although I didn't wish him to get hurt, or something worse to happen to him, of course. But the thought of Edward getting hurt was unbearable. I felt a sharp pain inside my chest and pressed myself even closer to him.
"Shh, love. Don't be afraid. Nothing bad will happen. I could never hurt you with something like this. Never." he said, unclenching my fingers from his shirt carefully, and kissed them one by one tenderly. "I love you. Maybe it's not right to feel this way but, you know what, I don't care anymore. I don't care what's right and wrong. I don't care that you're human and I'm a vampire. I don't care what Jacob or Billy Black or the other Quileutes think about us and our relationship, and I don't care that Charlie hates me with all his heart and doesn't want me anywhere near you. What matters to me is only you, that you love me and want to be with me. Once I was foolish enough to let you go, but I'll never make that mistake again. I'll be wherever you are as long as you want me. Forever."
His beautiful topaz eyes shone with all the love he felt for me and how could I doubt myself and be sad anymore when he was looking at me like this and talking this way. It didn't matter what Jacob had done, it never had. Edward still loved me and wanted me. The only thing Jacob managed to attain by his actions was to ruin our friendship.
I sighed, my tense muscles relaxed as my fears and anxiety slowly disappeared. I smiled at Edward and he smiled back at me crookedly. My heart pounded in my chest wildly at the beautiful sight and his smile widened. Then suddenly I wrapped my arms around his stony form, pressing myself as close to him as physically possible, and buried my face into the crook of his neck, kissing his icy skin lovingly. If he had been human, I would have knocked him down to the floor of my small room. He laughed sweetly at my eagerness and wrapped his arms around me, squeezing me to his chest tightly. I could hardly breath, but I couldn't care less. I kissed him everywhere I could reach him, and could feel him sigh in relief as he buried his face into my hair. His closeness felt wonderful.
"You. Only you matters to me." I murmured into his skin. "I love only you. I want only you. Forever and ever and ever. I can't live without you. Can you hear me? You're a part of me and I need you more than air. I love you, Edward Cullen."
"As I love you, my angel." he mumbled and I could feel him shaking lightly in my arms.