Hello, lovelies! This fic is the sequel to Epiphanies and Self Sacrifice. I suggest that you read that one before you begin this one!
A bit of news before the story begins, due to RL issues Candyann will not be co-authoring this with me. It's just little ole' me telling this story. So I ask for patience and understanding if I can't update every few days like before. I am focusing on Heavenly Scent but I won't neglect this story. Updates will be regular but it will be more like once a week instead of every three or four days. Sorry!
*I don't own The Twilight Saga, but if I did this is what Eclipse would have looked like bbs!
You want me to apologize, to that leech? Hell will freeze over first!
You are ridiculous. I've got nothing to feel sorry about…
He's my mortal enemy! So of course I wanted him dead…
Look, I know I was a jerk but what does refusing to talk to me make you?
I miss you Bella, a lot. I know that doesn't change anything but I do.
I had to fight to rein in my anger as I read the latest note that Jake had sent home with Charlie the last time he went fishing with Billy. He had been sending various messages every few days since I'd been home. Did he honestly think that drawing a line through the text would stop me from seeing all of the horrible things he wrote about Edward? No the real questions were did he honestly think I could forgive him for almost getting the man I love killed and threatening to kill my vampire family if I joined them.
I sighed at his stupidity as I slipped the note in my pocket to show to Edward when he arrived. A small part of me wanted to be able to forgive Jacob but the much large part of me- the part that wasn't delusional – knew that forgiving him this time would allow him to believe that he had free rein to hurt Edward and I would just bop him on the nose and call him a bad dog. That's not going to happen, I'll be damned if I let anyone hut Edward!
Thinking of Edward brought a smile to my face. Things between the two of us had never been better. And I was really enjoying the new dynamic of our relationship. Charlie had lifted my punishment after only two days so these past three weeks since we've been home from Italy have been blissfully full of alone time with Edward.
We talk about everything now. If he is anxious over something, he tells me and we talk about what I can do to ease his worry. We've spent hours lying in our meadow together discussing everything, laying out all of our insecurities and putting each of them to rest. Topics that we had never even broached before were laid bare and resolved.
It was amazing to discover that Edward, my Edward-the perfect incarnation of everything good in this world-thought I was too good for him. The realization that he was just as insecure as I was was staggering.
It also brought the fact that he was just as new to relationships as I was to the surface. It makes my heart skip a beat every time I realize that my Edward had spent the last century waiting to share his first kiss with me. That fact coupled with the intense love and longing that I see reflected in his eyes every time he looks at me makes me feel like the goddess that Edward says I am.
I no longer pout or get angry when he buys me something. I finally understand that he doesn't require reciprocation for giving me a gift. Edward would give me the world if he could and that is simply because he loves me.
"Bella, phone!" I let out a loud exasperated sigh before yelling that I'll be right down. I know who it is, he always calls when he knows that Edward is gone hunting for the afternoon. I think he stalks us, waiting for him to leave.
I trudged down the stairs and into the kitchen. Charlie rolls his eyes at the phone before handing it to me. Odd.
"Bella, baby! Why didn't you call me? Charlie says that you and Edward are back together! Do you think that's a good idea? I saw how hurt you were before sweetheart; I don't think I can go through that again."
Good old Renee, always thinking about herself. This is why I was the caretaker. She simply did not know how to be a parent.
"Mom, I didn't call you because I have been very busy. I have exams coming up, the store is gearing up for the tourist season so I have been working a lot and most importantly Edward and I have been trying to sort through all of the issues and misunderstandings that occurred in September. Now tell me how are things in Jacksonville?" I only asked as a way to change the subject. I half listened as she prattled on about some new hobby that she was getting into.
Charlie yelled that someone was at the door for me so I made my excuses to my mother and quickly hung up. I loved her but sometimes it was difficult to play the role of parent to your parent.
Edward and my father were in the living room discussing some roster change for the Mariners and how it would affect their chances for making a pennant run this season. The budding friendship between my father and my… fiancé-it was still difficult to think the word even though I was the one who had initially brought up marriage-made me very happy.
I was worried that Charlie would flat out hate Edward for what happened when he left me but was immensely relieved that that wasn't the case. Alice had soften Charlie up by telling him how much Edward suffered when we were apart and the way Edward had responded to the lies that Jacob told him about my death showed Charlie that Edward truly did love me the way I love him.
"Hello love," Edward smiled my favorite crooked grin as I sat down beside him on the couch. I took his hand and he gave mine a squeeze. This was as affectionate as we got in front of Charlie. Edward was nothing if not respectful.
"Hi. How was your trip?" The laughter that filled his eyes confused me for a second but then he spoke.
"Interesting to say the least, Emmett decided that he wanted try his hand at hunting rabbit. He chased a small brown bunny all the way to its burrow and trapped the poor thing. He lifted the rabbit to eye level smiling at how easy it had been to catch but as soon as he looked the rabbit in the eye, he very carefully sat the bunny back on its feet and backed away a few feet before slumping down on the ground crying." Edward laughed again at Emmett's antics and this time Charlie joined him. I still didn't understand.
"Why did that make Emmett cry?" I demanded. I hated being left out of the loop.
"Em couldn't hurt the rabbit for the same reason that my dear brother refuses to hunt deer." This statement made Charlie laugh even harder and me angrier.
"And why is that?"
"Emmett had what we all like to call a Bambi moment. He saw something in the rabbit and deer's eyes that made him start to think of them as people. I'm guessing that in his case the color of both of the animals' eyes reminded him of you right, Edward?" Charlie and I both looked at Edward who was nodding with a huge smile on his face. I guess it was sort of funny that Emmett reacted that way.
I laughed with them for a second then excused myself to the kitchen to start dinner. Edward had told me yesterday afternoon before he left that he had plans for the two of us tonight and I was curious and excited as to what they might be.
Edward excused himself as he always did when Charlie and I ate supper choosing instead to sit in the living room watching ESPN. Charlie had long since stopped questioning it and just went with the flow. We ate in silence like we usually did but I could see the questions in Charlie's eyes every time I looked up at him.
"What's wrong dad?"
"Nothing's wrong Bells, I was just wondering if maybe you weren't being a little too hard on Jake. He's barely sixteen years old Bella. He's just a kid, a good kid mostly and I think he's really sorry for what he did. I was thinking that maybe you should give him a call and invite him over or go over there to see him. I'm sure the two of you can work this out." Wow, Jacob had Charlie completely fooled. He really seemed to think that Jacob felt remorse for what he did to Edward but I knew better; in fact I had the proof in my pocket. I guess that means Charlie hasn't been reading the notes that he's been bringing home from La Push.
"Look, dad. I'm not sure what Jacob has been saying to you but the closest he has come to apologizing to me was the day I came home and he was here with the bike. He told me he was sorry about the bike, but he had to do what he could to protect me from myself. So I see no reason to go out of my way to bridge the gap that he made." Not to mention the fact that he had threatened to kill my adopted family. That in and of itself made me never want to see or speak to him again.
"Then what do all those notes that he's been sending say? He told me that they were apologies to you and Edward." Charlie challenged.
I knew that I couldn't show him all of the notes because some of them referred to Edward as a bloodsucker and an undead monster and other ludicrous things like that but this last one, he had only called Edward a leech and he had said that in front of Charlie so I figured that it would be okay to show him this one.
I pulled the note from my back pocket and unfolded. I laid it on the table and smoothed it out and turned it so that Charlie could read it.
"Damn, that boy has some nerve. All this time he's been telling me how sorry he was for lying and hurting you and then he goes and sends you notes like this. Well I for one am finished listening to anything that comes out of Jacob Black's mouth." Charlie fumed. He ran his hand through his salt and pepper hair in frustration. I knew how he felt; I had once believed that Jake was a good guy, too.
I washed the dishes and straightened up the kitchen while listening to Edward and Charlie talking in the living room. From what I could gather they were discussing colleges. Charlie said something along the lines of Carlisle being proud that Edward was accepted at some Ivy League school. I knew that the plan was to have Charlie believe that Edward and I had gone to college next year while I was busy adjusting to being a newborn vampire but I'd never guessed that it would be An Ivy League School. Could I even get into one?
Charlie excused himself to go shower and Edward came into the kitchen. He had a stack of forms in his hands and I suddenly knew what his plans for tonight were. He wanted me to fill out applications for college. It wasn't the romantic surprise I had been hoping for but at least we were together and that was all that mattered.
I had just finished filling out the personal information on the application to Dartmouth of all places when Edward broke the silence.
"I think that you should call Jacob." He said quietly. My head snapped up from the application in front of me. Edward was staring at me holding the note that Jake had written in his hand, I cocked an eyebrow in question. Hadn't he just read the reasons why I shouldn't call Jacob?
"Yes, I know but Bella he was your friend. He cared for protected you at a time when I didn't and no matter how much I wish I had never left, I can't escape the fact that I did. I'm not saying run to La Push and jump into his arms. I'm just saying offer him a chance to make amends," Edward's eyes were tense with some emotion that I couldn't understand.
"Edward, I will forever be grateful to Jake for being there for me when I needed him the most but I cannot and will not allow him to manipulate me. The Jacob that I knew is not here anymore, this new stoic, hateful Jacob took over him and I have no desire to spend time with him. And I'm sorry but I feel he has had ample opportunity to try to make things right between us but he keeps sending these notes that say spiteful things. So unless hell has frozen over and no one told me I guess we are at an impasse." Edward's eyes were full of relief that confused my but the laugh erupted from him told me that he remembered when he and I had been at impasse in our relationship.
"Okay, love if you're sure?" He asked reaching over to place a stray hair behind my ear, lingering to trace his long fingers down my neck and over my collarbone before pulling back. He smirked at my elevated heart rate and rapid breathing.
"I'm sure," I breathed. I took a couple breaths to steady myself and turned in my seat to fully face him.
"What was with the whole calling Jake thing about? I could see the tension in your eyes when you said it so why say it?" I asked. I really communicating with Edward like this, knowing that he would answer instead of being evasive like he used to be.
"I just didn't want to be the reason you lost your friend, love. I want to give you things, not take things away from you. I guess I just wanted you to have a legitimate reason for ending your friendship that wasn't all about me," He looked into my eyes for a long moment as if waiting for some sign to confirm that I was only staying away from Jacob for him. He must have seen nothing but m love for him reflected there because the next thing I knew he was crushing his lips to mine.
He kissed me until I was gasping for breath and then pulled his head back to smile crookedly at me.
"I love you, Isabella Swan." The joy in his eyes was electric.
"I love you too, Edward Cullen." I responded and he resumed his previous activity of kissing me until I couldn't breathe.
School had pretty much gone back to the way it was before Edward and Alice left. Edward was able to resume his schedule from the beginning of the year and Alice had transferred into most of our classes. Angela and Mike, who had pretty much been the only friends that had not abandoned me when the Cullens left seemed to accept Alice and Edward back without any hesitation although Mike's smile looked forced for the first week that Edward sat beside me at lunch.
Today started off normal but by second period I was feeling very uncomfortable, sort of like I was being watched. I decided that if I still felt like this at lunch I would say something but when lunch came around Alice chatted animatedly with Angela who sat dutifully beside her like she did everyday and Edward sat watching me eat playing with a lock of my hair, again like usual. I decided that I was just being paranoid but then Alice's eyes glazed over like they did whenever she had a vision and I wondered if my feeling and her vision were connected somehow.
Suddenly Edward sat up stiffly in his seat and wrapped his arm around me. His lips were suddenly at my ear as his voice low and urgent whispered in my ear.
"We need to talk, now!" I nodded dumbly as he took my hand and pulled me to my feet. Alice made excuses for us and quickly followed us outside.
Once we were in the parking lot and I was sure no one could hear us I stopped walking.
"What's going on?" I asked shakily. Edward immediately pulled me into an embrace murmuring reassurances in my ear. He was tense but was trying hard to comfort me.
"Bella, did you ever use the tickets that Esme and Carlisle gave you for your last birthday?" Alice asked suddenly. I shook my head no and Edward's body visibly relaxed.
"Excellent idea, Alice," He said over my head to her and then pulled back a little to look me in the eye.
"Bella, I think that we should go to Jacksonville this weekend. We don't have school on Friday and it would be a great time to visit Renee." He told me. I must have looked very confused because Alice laughed and Edward sighed.
"Alice sees Victoria coming into the area on Saturday. She won't get close to Charlie as he will be at the lake with Billy but she will come very close to your house. Alice thinks that we may be able to trap her this time, but her vision is blurred by the wolves patrolling the forests," I needed more information than that. I didn't understand how us going to Florida helped anything and I told him that.
"It actually doesn't help anything but my peace of mind, love. I honestly can't stand the thought of that vile harpy being anywhere close to you." He tightened his hold on me as he spoke.
"Are you sure that no one but Victoria gets hurt, Alice?" I asked anxiously. Her positive reply was the only reassurance I needed. I had learned a long time ago not to bet against my pixie sister.
"Okay Edward, let run the idea by Charlie and if doesn't have a problem with it then we can go to Florida." His relief was palpable and it made me relax even further. I'm so glad that Edward and I share everything, now. I felt like we were equals in our relationship even though I wasn't yet a vampire.