A/N: Quick, scatterbrained, completely not thorough a/n because it's 5:30am. But I really wanted to get this to you guys because you deserve it. This is the last chapter. The happy ending. I hope you like it. And I hope you can forgive me if I don't do shout-outs right now because I really should go to bed. Just know that I appreciate your reviews and alerts and favorites. There haven't been many for this story but those of you that do like it really get it and that makes me happy. Yes, I'm evil. I like making you cry. Okay not really but I do like invoking emotion and this story certainly seemed to do that. I got some rather heated and unhappy reviews for the last chapter but I'm okay with that. It actually kind of amused me and in a weird way still made me feel like I achieved something. I mean think about it. I obviously made them feel something if they got so riled that they felt they needed to leave a negative review.
Anyway…this chapter has not been beta approved because poor Aleea is still having computer issues. So any and all mistakes are my own.
Please leave a review? And as always thank you for reading.
Within seconds I stood in the doorway and there before me lay Bella's pale and still form. She was on her side, facing me. A knife dangled limply in one hand while the other was covered in blood. It was caked on her forearm in layers upon layers and stained the sheets beneath her. The air was permeated with the rusty floral scent of her lifeblood.
What have I done?
I was at her side in the span of a second, shaking her and hissing her name.
"Bella!" I cried while trying to rouse her. I tossed the offending knife she held clear across the room and heard it clattering across the linoleum of the kitchen floor but much more importantly I heard the soft butterfly whisperings of Bella's heartbeat and that could only mean one thing. She was alive and that knowledge was like warm blood flowing through my veins making me whole and giving me hope like only she can.
I carried her limp body into the bathroom thankful for the skylight that allowed the bright rays of the moon to illuminate us and I was once more struck by just how beautiful she would be as one of us. If we made it through this night I would no longer deny her. I couldn't lose her. I knew that now and if killing her was what I had to do to keep her then I would do it.
I placed her in the white porcelain tub and began to run the water as warm as I dared to. I raised her injured arm above her head and quickly shred my shirt into long strips that I then tied tightly around her wrist. I could tell from the dark color of the blood that she had only managed to sever some veins and that she had likely passed out before she was able to do any more damage.
"Bella." I spoke softly while patting some water onto her cheeks and then cradling her face in my hands.
"Bella, love. Please come back to me."
She began to stir. Eyes closed, brows creasing slightly, and a tiny whimper escaping her lips.
"That's it, love. Wake up."
"No…" she muttered in a barely audible voice.
"Sweetheart, I'm here. Wake up. Please."
"You're not here. You left."
I choked back a dry sob and my head bowed involuntarily.
"Bella please." I begged. "I'm here. I love you. I'll always love you."
Suddenly she thrashed.
"No! You don't love me! You left!"
One tiny fist reached out and hit me while at the same time she backed as far into the corner of the tub as she could. Her eyes were still closed but tears were streaming down her cheeks.
"You left me. You left me. You left me" She kept repeating to herself.
"I did. And I'll never do it again."
"Everything was a lie. I knew it." Finally she looked at me and her eyes were both an accusation and surrender all at once. "I knew it was too good to be true. I knew you didn't really want me."
Her tears began in earnest trailing salty tracks down her cheeks to drip off her quivering chin.
"Why?" she asked, looking away and down into the water which I had finally shut off. "Why would you do something like that to someone?"
Why indeed? She thought I didn't love her, that I'd never loved her. How on Earth could I ever fix this?
I could see her color returning and hear that her heart and breathing were regulating so I deduced it was safe enough to remove her from the water. I scooped her up sans wet sheet and quickly wrapped her in the terry robe that had been hanging on the back of the door and carried her back to the bed. I tried to ignore the blood stained mattress. It wasn't that it made me hunger. It broke me to look at it, made me feel as if I were made of lead and weighted down by sin. I covered her with the remaining blankets and brought her a glass of water, begging her to drink.
"Leave me alone." She said. Her voice was stronger. Hoarse, but stronger.
"No." I said simply.
She turned her back to me.
"I'm not leaving." I told her.
I gave up on the water and crawled into bed behind her and wrapped my arms around her. She didn't flinch. There was one sharp intake of breath and then she settled into quiet little sobs occasionally punctuated by a small keening sound. I rocked her and shushed her until she quieted and finally fell into a restful slumber.
While my angel slept I took in every nuance of her like it was the very first time. I memorized every strand of hair, every pore of her skin, the way her ear curved, the steady pulse in her neck, the feel of my body molded to hers.
I knew I couldn't live without her so it had been stupid of me to think that she could have lived without me. I was just so sure that no human could love as strongly as my kind but then again Bella was no ordinary human. I had been blinding myself. I wanted her to be ordinary. I wanted an ordinary life for her. I wanted her to have all the things I could never have. Like so many other times in our relationship I had forced my ideals and beliefs on her not giving a second thought as to whether or not that was what she wanted.
No more. I would give her whatever she wanted, do whatever she wanted. And if it turned out that she truly did want me to leave then I would. I would go to the Volturi and let death claim me as it should have all those years ago.
She cried in her sleep off and on throughout the night and when she did I would hold her tighter and whisper to her telling her how much I loved her and that everything would be okay and in my mind I was begging for that to be true. Please. Please, God. Please let this be okay. Please.
At one point she actually got up and waved me off as I tried to rise with her. I decided now was not a time to push her. She needed to come to terms with what happened on her own. And I needed to give her that space even if it went against every instinct in my body.
She drank some of the water I'd set on the nightstand and she spent some time in the bathroom. I could hear the water running and her splashing it on her face. I could picture her staring into the mirror, red, puffy eyes staring back. She walked on weak legs into the room and returned to her previous position with me spooned against her.
I idly wondered in the back of my mind what was going on in the rest of the world. Was Charlie panicking? Calling a search party for his only child? I was sure that Bella's mother would think we had eloped. If only…
And where was Alice? Did she not see any of this? It was all a very clear decision on my part so how could she not have? She must have seen something, something that didn't end badly otherwise she would have been here by now. That thought gave me a sliver of comfort.
Finally, as the first grey light of dawn seeped into the room Bella turned towards me and groggily woke. She said nothing and simply buried her face in my undershirt, curling herself into me. I kissed her forehead, ran my hands through her messy hair, held her tightly and told her again and again that I loved her.
"Why what?" I said, pulling back to look at her. She looked so tiny, so frail, but most importantly alive. So very, very alive.
"I don't know." She answered meekly. "Why everything?" she said while gazing at her bandaged wrist.
I could guess at the thousand things she probably couldn't understand right now.
"Why did I take you to the meadow that day?"
She gave a miniscule nod.
"Why did I tell you I love you?"
I didn't wait for her to answer.
"Why did I leave you?" I paused. "And why am I here now?"
She looked at me, her eyes plaintive and searching.
"Because I am so much more when I am with you Bella. More human. More alive."
"What is that?" she gasped, her eyes wide.
My head snapped up looking and listening.
It's only me Edward. My sister's voice floated into my mind, distant but there. Jasper's with me. It was the only way. The only way she'd believe. We'll leave in the next 30 seconds, I promise.
I didn't care. I had to seize the opportunity. Knowing that Jasper was transmitting whatever I felt I turned my eyes on Bella allowing her to see and feel the full force of my intense feelings for her. The love, the desire, the jealousy and protectiveness, my fear and ultimately the bond I felt to her that tied everything together in one string of destiny. I pictured it coiled between us and let her see the reverence I had for her.
I found myself touching her. I couldn't help it. The electricity that danced between us was begging to be released and I hadn't the strength to deny it any longer. I ran my fingers lightly over her lips before claiming them with my own. Softly at first, pouring my love into that kiss. Gentle, not for fear of hurting her but because she deserved that after what I'd done to her.
I knew now that we had all the time in the world.
"I didn't know." She whispered against my lips.
"Edward…" her voice trailed off as she lifted her face to mine and kissed me back.
My name on her lips was the key that unlocked the door.
I slid her robe open and brushed it off her shoulders running my hands along the soft warm skin of her. Our kisses remained unhurried. They were declarations of love, promises of devotion and eternity.
I cradled her neck in my hand thankful for the even pulse beneath my thumb. I stroked it, my fingers like a ghost on her skin and then dragged my hand languidly down to cup her breast. She arched and made a small noise of approval into my mouth. Nothing needed to be said. We both knew what was about to happen, what we were about to share.
I caressed her softly and she responded perfectly. My mate, my love, my life.
I let my hand drift lower and teased her, awakening her, opening her to me like a flower.
She drew in a deep breath and tried to wrap her arms tightly around me but flinched at the pressure against her wounds.
"Here, love." I said as I gently removed her arms. "You'll need to lie still." I whispered.
I carefully removed the rest of the robe from her and laid her back down. I discarded my own shirt and leaned back down to her aligning myself to her side so I could watch her, beautiful and bare and mine.
"Now, where were we?" I smirked before placing my mouth on hers and my fingers to her petal soft nether lips, stroking her, coaxing the nectar that would grant me passage to the temple that was her.
Her body undulated beneath me and her breath came quicker, in time with her ever increasing heartbeat. Little whimpers of pleasure escaped her and I didn't need to look to know that her skin was flushed red. I could feel the heat emanating from her, the fire to my cold. I could feel her muscles tightening and her hips twitching and I knew that it was time.
I pulled back so I could remove my clothes. Her eyes were heavy lidded, unfocused, pupils dilated, and just as I'd thought her face was flushed and her lips were deep crimson from our kissing.
I positioned myself at her entrance, holding myself up on my forearms that surrounded her like a cage so that our faces were mere inches apart. She nodded her assent and I entered her, just the tip of me filling her, our eyes never breaking contact.
I didn't push all the way in. I needed this to be perfect. For her. So instead I returned my hand to the seat of her pleasure, fondling her until her eyes were begging me for what we both so desperately needed.
I leaned down to whisper in her ear.
"That's it my beautiful girl." I said as I slid deeper inside her but still not all the way. I kissed the point just under her ear that she loved so much. Even as I worked her I kept my movements slow and deliberate. I wanted both of us to feel every second of this, to etch it into our memories and engrave it in our souls.
She cried out and brought her legs up so that they were bent at the knees and her feet were planted next to my hips which opened her further to me. This was it. It was time. She held her breath and buried her face in my shoulder and when I felt her careening over that edge I sheathed myself within her.
She screamed and rocked her hips in time with my own riding out wave after wave of her orgasm.
"Oh my God. Oh my God." She chanted over and over again.
I grunted, straining. The feeling of her around me, beneath me, it was like nothing I could ever have imagined. Last night was a pale mockery in comparison.
"Yes." I whispered, "Yes."
I changed my rhythm to long deep strokes and pressed my lips to hers once more. She moaned and panted and it was so hard to rein myself in. I was speeding towards my own release, my muscles coiled tight like a spring, but it wasn't gratification of the flesh I sought. It was the absolution and forgiveness that would come from it. The meeting of soul and body, of two made one.
She continued to meet me thrust for thrust and I angled myself just so and felt her body react instantaneously. Our eyes locked seeking a different permission this time and again she nodded her assent.
I placed one hand at her backside pulling her body flush to mine and I sped my movements in an effort to bring her to a second climax. It didn't take long for her to get there and in the few short seconds before she succumbed to the will of our bodies I buried my hand in her hair and cradled her head.
"I love you." I said in a voice strained with desire being let loose.
"Always." She whispered, a single tear sliding out of the corner of her eye and then she tumbled over and gave into the moment, baring her neck to me.
I spilled into her the instant my teeth sank into the soft skin of her neck and I couldn't help the possessive growl that escaped me. She was mine in ever way now. She would be mine in every way.
A/N: Some people have asked me if there will be a sequel to this story. I honestly hadn't thought about it so I've put up a poll on my profile. So go vote and let me know what YOU want. :)