Disclaimer: Twilight and all of these characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Chapter 1: Watching Over Her
For the third night in a row I sat under the tree cover outside of Bella's bedroom window, watching as she prepared herself for bed. It took every bit of restraint I had not to go to her and comfort her. Even though she was not crying at the moment, her pain was etched into her features as she slowly made her way across the room.
Just like every other night, I would sit here in the shadows until she fell asleep and then make my way into the tree just outside her window to watch her fitful dreaming. Every night it was the same thing. She would toss and turn, mumbling in her sleep, before finally waking up screaming his name. Edward might be my son for all intents and purposes, but it was increasingly difficult to think of him without being overcome with anger. How he could cause this sweet innocent girl so much pain and feel no remorse about it is beyond me. Of course, when he left Bella, he did not just hurt her, he hurt the entire family. Leaving her ripped our family apart.
At first part of me wanted to blame her. Our life was seemingly fine until she came into our world. Most humans shy away from us, sensing what we really are, but not Bella. She was different than all other humans. She actually fell in love with Edward. At first we all thought that he loved her too. That is why we so willingly opened our arms to her, allowing her into our lives, and into our hearts. We felt that she made our family complete. That was until we discovered Edward's true feelings on the matter.
We had all believed that Edward's overprotective manner around Bella was just because she was a fragile human and he did not want her to get hurt. He refused to turn her though, claiming the excuse of not wanting to take her soul. Most of the family accepted this excuse, but not I. Only I know Edward really believes, as I do, that even as vampires we still retain our souls. Otherwise, we would not have a conscience. How else could we decide to deny our natural instincts and not take the lives of humans, only to live off of the blood of animals instead? Only creatures with a soul have a conscience. He may have fooled Bella and the other members of my family, but not me. So when he made this excuse, I knew something was wrong. I shrugged it off at first though, trying to trust my son, and let myself believe that he would decide to change her in time.
Over time everyone, except Bella, began to debate Edward's reasoning though. Bella fought him constantly about being changed into a vampire, because she wanted nothing more than to be with him forever and to officially become part of the Cullen family. The more adamant she became about it though, the more controlling he became in other areas. He never let her out of his sight, except for when he was forced to hunt. Even then he made sure Alice or Esme was with her. She did not seem to notice because she loved spending time with our family, but I could tell he was slowly breaking her ties with anyone outside of our family. At first I figured this was to help protect her for when she was changed, that way she would only grieve over Charlie and Renee, but now I know better.
Only I seemed to notice, but Edward's frustration began to show through more and more each time he had to save her. We tried to convince him to change her so that she would no longer need protecting, but he was so against the idea that he even sucked the venom from her arm the night that James attacked her so she would not change. At first Edward liked playing the hero, but soon he became annoyed with that role. He was not only constantly catching her because she was clumsy, but he was frequently saving her from life-threatening circumstances too. First there was the incident with Tyler's van, then the four rapists in Port Angeles, then the hunter James, and then finally her 18th birthday party. That was the last straw for him.
I still have a sneaking feeling that Jasper was trying to protect Bella from Edward that night and had no intention of attacking her. Bella is Edward's singer after all. Of course, Edward would have attacked any of us who tried to take his prey away, so that made it look like Jasper was the weak one trying to get to Bella. I think Jasper could feel Edward was about to attack and tried to step in. There was no way to prove it though. Edward would never admit it, and he forced Jasper and Alice to leave that night, so there was no way I could ask them. Hopefully, one of them will contact me one day, I really do miss them.
Of course, after that incident, Edward decided that he had enough. He convinced the rest of us that we should leave "for her safety" and that a "clean break" was better. I had my doubts about this at the time, but he said he would leave without us if we did not go. I knew this would hurt Esme if she were to lose yet another "child," so we all packed up to head to Denali. It broke my heart to not be able to say goodbye to Bella, but I did as my son asked, despite the feeling that he was not really doing this for her safety.
It did not take long to confirm my suspicions that Edward's motivations for leaving were less than noble. He did not seem to be that upset at being separated from his "mate." Yes, he seemed a little sad and bored the first few days, but the moment Tanya came back from her hunting trip, he seemed to forget Bella completely. It was not even a week before he and Tanya became inseparable and his chaste ways completely disappeared. We knew then that Bella was just a pet to Edward. He was only interested in her because he could not read her mind and her blood sang to him. That is why he never changed Bella. He was only interested in her as a human. Esme, Rosalie, Emmett, and I tried to hide our disgust and resentment towards Edward for using Bella and then pulling her away from us only to shack up with this succubus. We still loved Edward of course, he is family, but we were extremely angry with his actions. Of course, being the mind reader that he was, he could not take the harsh thoughts anymore and he and Tanya ran off together.
After this, the loss of Edward, Jasper, Alice, and Bella really took a toll on the rest of us, especially Esme. These were her children, and without them, she lost all interest in everything around her, including me. I tried to stand by her, but the pain I felt at the loss of my family weighed heavily on me as well, and I found myself either at the hospital or locked in my study all the time. It wasn't long before Rosalie and Emmett decided that they wanted to travel together to try to escape some of the pain they were feeling themselves. At this, Esme just totally broke down. She knew then that she and I were never true soul mates. The only thing that had held us together was our children. With all of them gone, we were just roommates, so she asked for a divorce. I knew I should have been devastated at the news, but I could feel she was right and the only thing that hit me was the loneliness. The realization that I was back where I started almost a hundred years ago before I first changed Edward, alone, was almost enough to crush me.
The only thing that kept me going at that point was the question that if leaving Bella had caused this much devastation to us, with our vampire ability to handle a larger range of emotions, what had this done to her? She is only human after all. That was when I knew that I had to go back to check on her. I would watch her from the shadows and see how she was coping. If she showed signs of healing and moving on, then I would leave and attempt to find Jasper and Alice. On the other hand, if she was as broken as we were, then I would find the right time to reveal myself and help her cope. I would not leave her feeling like none of us loved her. She would know she is not alone. That is why, just two months after we left, I sat in the shadows outside her bedroom, watching her finally settle into a not so peaceful sleep.
Now that Bella had finally fallen asleep, I quickly dashed to my perch on the tree outside her window. Even two months after our departure, she still kept the window open, hoping that Edward would return to her one night. It broke my heart the she was holding on to a hope that would never be fulfilled. This thought caused my anger to flare again, but the sudden shifting of Bella's covers caused her scent to fill my senses and I was immediately calmed, weird.
My eyes fell on Bella as she rolled over, now facing the window. Her breathing was still shallow and even, but tears began streaming down her face. Suddenly, her heart rate picked up and her breathing was coming in gasps. "No…Edward…please….don't leave…I…I need you." She was mumbling in her sleep again. Pain ripped through my chest as she cried in her sleep and I knew I would not be able to keep away from her much longer. I could not just watch from the shadows while she hurt so much. I had to comfort her somehow.
The question was how? I was afraid that if she sees me that it will just make it worse. I would be an obvious reminder of Edward and it seemed that any reminder of him almost broke her down. Would it be different because I was like a father to her? Would it help knowing that at least one of us cared about her? Would she even be able to forgive me for leaving her alone like that without even saying goodbye? Why should she? I had the power to get the family to stay, if not Edward, but I let myself lose sight of the feelings of an important member of our family, just because Edward asked me too. I do not deserve her forgiveness.
Of course, being the selfless, kind hearted creature that she is, Bella would be the person to do just that, forgive us all, including Edward. She is so kind, so gentle, so selfless, and so beautiful, that she deserved nothing but happiness. Instead, she is suffering a pain that would no doubt bring Jasper to his knees. It is a good thing he is not here right now. Bella would just feel worse for bringing that pain upon him. If Edward wasn't my son, I'd rip him apart myself for all the pain he has caused this magnificent creature.
As Bella's whimpers crossed my ears and her scent filled my senses, I knew without a doubt I would do what ever I could to ease her pain. She needed to heal, to get over Edward, but that would take time. She needs someone to be there for her that understands the whole picture. She can not talk to her human friends or even a counselor because it would expose the vampire world. So she has not had a real chance to heal. She would not be able to tell them why she felt she was never good enough for him, so they would not have the chance to convince her otherwise. This is something that I can do though. If she will let me, I will show her exactly what a magnificent woman she is. I will show her that she does not need Edward to be happy, that she is good enough to be loved and that there are family members out there that do love her, fully and unconditionally.
With renewed determination, I decided that had to reveal myself to her. I wanted more than anything to go to her tonight and comfort her, but that would probably just scare her. So I decided the best thing for me to do would be to go hunt and then just knock on the front door after she wakes up in the morning. Being a Saturday, she would not have school and Charlie would be going fishing, so it would be a perfect time for her to get past the initial shock of seeing me. Hopefully it would not be too bad. It would destroy me if I brought her anymore pain. It will not be easy, there will be a lot of tears, but once the initial shock wears off maybe she can finally begin the healing process, with me right there holding her hand. I can not let her turn me into a crutch, she has to be able to live when I can not be there for her anymore, but I will help her as much as I possibly can. How can I not?
So with these thoughts of hope and one last look at the fitfully sleeping Bella, I left my perch in the tree and headed out into the forest to hunt. My restraint may be the best of all my family members, but since I would be in such close proximity to the deliciously scented Bella, I did not want to take any chances. It was no telling when I would be able to hunt again, especially since I planned on spending most of the weekend with Bella. It is a good thing I decided to hold off on returning to the hospital for a while.