Fading in Increments

Notes

Fading in Increments is the companion story to Dying by Degrees and shows Edward's point of view of the events in Dying by Degrees.

The story is set during New Moon and contains spoilers and some text from New Moon, specifically chapter 23, "The Truth." Canon couples, rated M just to be safe for later. I am Bella and Edward all the way, so if you like Bella and Jacob, then I'm afraid this is not the story for you.

Disclaimer

All characters, text and story lines are from the Twilight Saga belong to the talented Stephenie Meyer. I am just borrowing them briefly for non-monetary purposes. No infringement is intended. Any poetry or lyrics used belong to their respective owners and will be acknowledge when used.

Chapter One


Don't go anywhere without me.

Let nothing happen in the sky apart from me,

or on the ground, in this world or that world,

without my being in its happening.

Vision, see nothing I don't see.

Language, say nothing.

The way the night knows itself with the moon,

be that with me. Be the rose

nearest to the thorn that I am.

I want to feel myself in you when you taste food,

in the arc of your mallet when you work,

when you visit friends, when you go

up on the roof by yourself at night.

There's nothing worse than to walk out along the street

without you. I don't know where I'm going.

You're the road, and the knower of roads,

more than maps, more than love.

The Arc Of Your Mallet - Rumi


Every breath that she is takes is precious to me. Every thump and whoosh of her heart more valuable than the one before as it pushes the elixir of life around her body. From the inferior and superior vena cava into the right atrium, then to the right ventricle to the lungs, and back through the left atrium, left ventricle into the aorta; around and around in a natural circular pattern as old as time itself. The medical terms come easily to me - without effort on my part - but it is the process itself, that so thoughtless occurs over and over again in her slight body, which has become the rhythm to my existence. Bella's heart beats for us both.

With her head tucked under my chin, I watch as my unneeded breath disturbs the silky strands of her hair. Entranced by the way each individual strand moves, I sit captivated as they dance in the dim light of the dark plane's cabin, hypnotised by shifting shades of mahogany and red.

But she is so quiet....

Surrounded by the mental crush of humanity on the plane I should be finding the cacophony of inner voices intrusive at the least, but Bella mental silence acts as a salve to the inconsequential noise of the people around us. She is a point of focus upon which I can centre myself and exclude the rest. Bella is the centre of my world.

What I wouldn't give to be able to hear her inner voice. To peel back the layers of her mind and be able to nestle within the seclusion of her thoughts alone. The irony that hers is the only mind that I cannot enter, and at the same time the only one that I would ever choose to hear, is not lost to me. The situation sums up what we are very well; a paradox. Yet we are together despite my best efforts to tear us apart. Fate thrust her back into my harm's way, so who am I to argue against a second chance at heaven. I won't make the same mistake twice. I can't.

Being apart from her during those dark months of empty existence, I believe, made me lose my sanity a little. Each minute alone, my will to be strong and stay away faded by increments with my ability to exist on my own. Without the light of her love in my life, I was losing the fight to be never mind live -if you can call what I am living. That irony has never been lost on me either, any more than the situation we are in now can, because what merciful God would partner an angel with a monster? As much as the cosmos maybe playing serendipitous games with us I am and will always be her monster. I can only hope that she still wants to be my angel.

She is so quiet. Too quiet.

With greedy arms I hold her tightly to my chest and the continuous lub dub, lub dub, lub dub sounds of her heart are like the sweetest music to me. Nothing can surpass it, and nothing will ever stop it while I have false breath in my body, until nature takes it course. Only then will I step aside. Then I will gladly lay down the burden of this existence with a smile on my face and follow her into the unknown. I would follow Bella anywhere willingly.

Perhaps the fates are smiling on us finally. Perhaps this is our chance to make the best of what we have, as flawed as it is. I will dedicate my existence to the tiny scrape of humanity who sits curled so trustingly in my arms. I will be a better man for her, and she will be my life. When it is over, I will be with her again. God owes us that much, doesn't he?

Please, Bella, speak to me. Say my name. Make this really for me. Silence the voice in my head that thinks this is a dream. Please, speak to me...

Suddenly she burrows closer to my chest, tucking her head into the space between my chin and my shoulder and I am immediately comforted even as my throat burns. My thirst, odious evidence of the beast that I am, seems so inconsequential to me now. I have faced her death head on, and by some miracle come through the other side with Bella in my arms. The reality of that hell followed by heaven, nullifies the effect of her blood. My baser desires quelled by the prospect of the greater hell of our future parting. So the burn in my throat, which is so much more intense because I have been slowly starving myself since we parted, is a painful irritation and nothing more. It will not conquer my desire to stay by her side.

My Bella. My Angel.

I cradle her closer to me, happy to feel her respond in kind, and the fleeting anxiety that her silence nurtures, slides away. This is enough for now, and whatever follows will be enough too, because she is my life and she lives.