::Disclaimer:: The characters used in this story and some of the back stories are the creation of Stephenie Meyer and as such, belong to her.
I paced back and forth along the Quileute border, anxiously trying to decide what to do next. The look I had seen on Bella's face as she got into her truck this morning had done nothing to calm my fears or settle the feeling of unease I had been experiencing. In fact, it had only served to increase my anxiety and make me wonder what the last six months had been like for her. More than ever, I was frustrated by my inability to read her thoughts. It certainly complicated matters.
I don't know what I had expected to find, and I hadn't had time to prepare myself for any possible scenarios. I didn't have a plan, another factor that had me feeling uneasy. I hadn't decided to come here; it just sort of happened. I had spent the last month wandering in the general direction of Forks before I even realized where I was going. But yesterday, when I realized that I was so close to the frail, human girl that had become the center of my universe; I knew that I had to see her.
I could no longer deny my selfish desires. I missed her scent, her smile, the way she tried to hide her face with her hair when she was embarrassed. And her heartbeat – how I longed to hear the most significant sound in my world! My mind was tormented with thoughts of her while my heart thrilled at the chance to once again behold her beautiful face, but I also knew that I should stay away. My presence was nothing but a danger to her. However, the pull that I had been trying to suppress for the past six months could no longer be denied. Selfish creature that I was, I needed to be close to her, even if she could not know that I was there.
I had arrived in Forks this morning, intending only to check on Bella, just to see how she was doing. That's what I told myself anyway. I didn't know what I hoped to find. I tried to tell myself that it would be better if she were happy, if she were moving on with her life. I knew that it would be better, safer for her if I was not part of her world. But secretly I was hoping that she had been as altered as I had been by the short time we had spent together. My world would never be the same for having known and loved Bella; I wondered what effect becoming involved with me had had on her. Had she moved on? Found happiness as I intended for her to?
I had arrived outside her house this morning, too late to sneak into her room and watch her sleep as I had done so many times before. Instead, I could see that Charlie had left for work already, his cruiser not parked in its usual place in front of the house. And I could hear Bella moving around inside the house, likely heading downstairs to have some breakfast. I had no idea what her plans would be for the day. I listened for anything that might give me a sign – a telephone call, the sound of her fingers clicking against the keyboard of her ancient computer, anything. But there was a strange, eerie silence that pervaded the house, keeping me in the dark.
Shortly, however, I heard as her footsteps took her to the front door. I swiftly moved through the trees so that I could see her as she stepped onto the front porch. She didn't bother locking the door behind her, and she didn't look around at all as she walked to the driver's side of her pickup truck. She looked down as she walked. Her feet moved methodically, but her stance revealed no emotion and gave me no clue where she might be headed. As she sat in the cab of the truck and turned the key to start the engine, she looked up. That was the first glimpse I got of her face, and it twisted my insides. Could she be more beautiful than I remembered, or was I just overly affected for having been away so long?
Her deep brown eyes and dark hair were unchanged. Her skin was just as flawless as ever. But something was wrong, and this "something" filled me instantly with anxiety and fear. While she still looked the same, this was not the same Bella I had known. Her eyes held a mixture of sadness and determination, but neither emotion really touched her face. She moved automatically, not seeming to really notice the world around her. I remembered her indomitable spirit; it had drawn me to her from our first conversation, and I wondered where that part of her had gone.
I longed with all of my being to go to her, to hold her, to take away whatever pain was tormenting her. But I knew I could not. I had promised her she would never see me again, and I had to keep that promise in order to protect her. I could not imagine a world without Bella Swan, and I knew that being involved with me put her in grave danger. Even if she could not be with me, it was enough that she could continue to exist. But in that moment, I instantly regretted my promise and wondered if I had made the right decision. However, I had no way of knowing if her pain had anything to do with me, and I could not risk revealing myself yet.
So, I followed her. My eyes had finally beheld her, and I could not imagine letting her out of my sight so soon. I kept myself well hidden in the forest by the road, but I had a feeling my caution was unnecessary. Bella didn't seem to notice much of anything. I was puzzled as we came closer to the Quileute Reservation. Why would Bella come here? I knew she had come to the beach at La Push before with some friends, but the weather was looking ominous, and I knew that anyone in his right mind would be staying out of the water today. So, where was she going?
I began to panic. I could not continue to follow her once she crossed the border into Quileute territory. The treaty that Carlisle had made years ago bound the Quileutes from revealing our family as vampires and barred us from entering their lands. I knew I could not risk bringing trouble by breaking the treaty, but my concern for Bella warred with my desire to keep my family safe. In the end, I had to stop at the border as Bella continued driving. I had no evidence that she was in any danger, and I convinced myself that my fears were probably irrational. So, there I stood, pacing back and forth wondering what to do next…