I lay with my back against the headboard - waiting patiently for Bella to come home from school - with my arms clutching her pillow to my chest. I close my eyes and think to myself how amazingly happy I am, how nothing could make my life anymore perfect than it is at this moment. I finally have someone who will love and care for me as much as I will for her, and not just use me for the pleasure of attempting to drive another person jealous – pass the time with. I look into her eyes and all I can see is my own feelings reflected back at me.
I had wanted to be with her for so long - it hurt every time Edward brought her over to the house, talked about her… He didn't even care about her! He knew I loved her, and yet he insisted on tormenting me with the prospect of them always being together. But I guess he could have been doing that to fend off Rosalie, too – but that still doesn't change the fact that he knew how I felt. He can pretend all he wants, but he knows I have loved Bella just as long as he has – did.
Bella would always talk to him about turning her, and he would always say no – I don't want to condemn your soul to hell – and that would be that. She would beg him, plead with him to understand. Jasper had Alice, Carlisle had Esme, and Rosalie had me – even if she didn't want me. They – we - would all be together forever, and Bella would eventually, in a few decades, just die. Didn't Edward want her forever? Didn't he want to spend the rest of eternity with her, as she did him? Yes, of course he did – not. The one he really loved was already a vampire – already a product of no expiration date – a product of forever and eternity. Bella was just a silly little girl who didn't understand anything, all Edward wanted to do was love her and live with her until she passed away. But then what? Move onto another innocent young girl in another century and do the same thing all over again?
What Bella was asking, what Edward always refused to do for her, was not stupid: if you love someone, and that someone happens to be an immortal vampire who will never age, die or get sick… the answer of how to spend forever with them seems to be pretty clear. Change them, show them you love them as much as they love you in the biggest, most intimate way you possibly can – promise them forever. Promise them an eternity of love…
I open my eyes and realize what I am thinking – this is not about Edward and Bella, I realize – this is about myself and Bella. I love her, and I want to spend forever with her – forever and always… But am I really capable of doing that to her? Allowing her to sit by and watch as all of her friends, family and loved ones age and die? Would I really be that selfish as to rip her from the world she knows just so I can be with her? Just so I don't have to watch as that happens to her? Suddenly I am more understanding of Edward's reasoning, but at the same time, against it. I mean after all, that scenario happened to all of us; the only difference was that we were dying – with the exception of Carlisle, of course.
I close my eyes and try and imagine a life of what would be if I didn't change Bella, and I sat by and just watched her as she got older and older – elderly, sick, injured… I wouldn't be able to do a thing for her but tell her I love her and we'll always be together – I would sit by, stand around telling her all of this was how it was supposed to be. Then I would look in the mirror and see myself, young, dashing, unyieldingly changing. She would be old and gray, yet still so much younger than me… Could I really live with that? Could I live with loosing the one person – the only person – who I have ever truly loved? And has ever truly loved me?
No, I decide without a moment's deliberation, I couldn't – I can't. Thinking of a life without her… it hurts so bad it feels like I am being torn apart from the inside out, slowly. Never being able to hold her again, kiss her, talk to her and tell her how much she means to me, how I will always protect her and love her – hear the sound of her voice as she whispers my name. Feel her hands in mine, her body pressed against mine as we hold each other in the gentle moonlight, looking into each others eyes… I can't live without her – I don't want to ever have to find out what it would be like to be without her. She makes everything perfect; she makes everything shine so much brighter, everything that is beautiful is in her eyes.
How could have Edward ever let someone as amazing as her go? How could he have ever let her just die – becoming nothing when she has so much to give?
I don't know how, I don't know when, but I have to tell her all of this. I have to tell her that there is no world without her – I want her forever, and I never want to just leave her behind and try to find anyone else, because there is no one else. There is only her. And if I let her go – even by dying human – I would never be able to forgive myself, never be able to go back and change things. I wouldn't be able to change my mind, either, because while I would still be this – forever, she would be gone. I would spend the rest of forever hating myself and regretting letting her go – and for a vampire, forever is a long time.
I open my eyes to the sound of her truck making its way up the gravel drive and slide myself to the foot of her bed and plop my feet onto the ground, disregarding her pillow against the headboard knowing that I won't have to just pretend I am holding her in a few more seconds. My ears are faithfully focused on her every move, every sound, as she pulls her truck into the driveway and kills the engine. Her footsteps close the distance between the house, the front door is pulled open and then locked shut, followed by the sound of her kicking off her shoes. She lets out a sigh and a gentle yawn as she trudges her way up the stairs, her hand gliding along the railing as the other runs through her hair…
I keep my position on her bed as the handle to her door twists open and she steps inside, dropping her backpack onto the floor beside her closet. She doesn't see me at first. She does a double take, and when our eyes meet the second time a big smile spreads across her face and she is running towards me, flinging her arms around my shoulders as I pull her into me and cover her face with kisses.
"I didn't know you'd be here," she says with closed eyes, her hands tangled in my hair, as I trail my lips along her jaw line and neck.
"I'm sorry," I say between kisses, "should I leave and come back later after I've called you so you're expecting me?"
"No," she says quickly as she tightens her arms around me. "I just wasn't expecting you to stay here all day – I thought you'd get bored all by yourself."
"You were only gone a few hours," I tell her. "And for a vampire who doesn't sleep, well, let's just say a year to me is like a month to you. It feels like you only just left."
"I guess I'd never really thought about that," she admits. "To me being away from you for any amount of time feels like eternity."
I run my hand up her back and grace my fingers into the base of her hairline. "You really love me, don't you, Miss Swan?"
"Only as much as you love me, Mr. Cullen," she whispers back as she leans her lips into mine. "So I guess you could say that's a lot, or a little, I'm not really too sure as of yet," I know she is teasing, but after all of my thoughts that passed me today while she was at school… Well, so much for subtleties.
"I love you more than I have ever loved anyone, Bella," I tell her as I cup her face in my hands. "And I know you love me – you don't even have to vocalize it with the way you look at me… Bella," I tell her as I run my thumb over her lips, and lean into kiss her. "I want you forever."
"Huh," she breathes softly. "I guess you could say that's a lot," her voice is so quiet I know that I wouldn't be able to hear it if I weren't a vampire.
"I mean it Bella," I tell her as she places her hands onto my chest. "I was thinking about you – us – it – while you were at school… I seriously can't live without you now that I have you. I can't just stand around like Edward had planned to and just watch you age and get sick and fade away into death… I wouldn't be able to live knowing I let the one woman I have ever loved die and become nothing."
"Are you screwing with me right now?" she asks after a moment. "Emmett, please don't do this to me, don't-"
"I love you," I say as I place my hand gently over her mouth. "Is it so hard to believe that I want to spend forever with you?"
"You really do love me?" she says, more to herself than me.
"Since the first time I saw you," I assure her. "The first time we spoke I knew I was a goner – I'm yours, Bella, nothing's ever gonna change that."