The Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm not getting any money to write this, I just want to play this out through Edwards POV, she owns the characters.
4. Our Private Island
"Houston?" Bella asked as soon as got to our gate in Seattle. No, of course we weren't going to Houston, I'd never get out of the hotel room with that sun.
"Just a stop along the way," I grinned, I couldn't believe we were getting Isle Esme, I'd only been there once, about 30 years ago and I couldn't wait to get the chance to go back. I could be in the sun there, all day long if I wanted. Something about owning your own private island...
We were soon airborne and Bella's exhaustion was finally catching up with her. I let her nestle into my shoulder and soon she was passed out. I couldn't stop watching her sleep, just like any other evening. The seat belt light came on as we were making our descent. I gently shook her awake. I'd gladly carry her through the airport while she slept, but I didn't want to risk exposure. I wasn't sure how awake she was as I had to lead her with her eyes half closed to our connecting flight at the international counter.
"Rio de Janeiro?" Bella mumbled, while her bleary eyes fought sleep. Of course she would catch that. What doesn't she miss?
"Another stop," I mused.
This time we traveled in first class, I knew it would be a long flight and I wanted her comfortable. Again, she settled into the crook of my arm, I didn't care. Being who I was, I could sit like this for hours and never notice that I hadn't moved. And being dark, I didn't have to fidget to keep up pretenses, though I couldn't stop kissing her cheek, hair, hand, and her fingers, well mostly one finger, the one that wore my ring. A few times I heard her stomach rumble. How long had it been since she'd last eaten? Our wedding cake? And she'd only had a couple of bites of that. I stopped to think again how that felt to feed her; that was magical, to watch her groan in pleasure as the sweet, moist cake hit her tongue. But, if that was the case she must be ravenous. I'd make sure she got something substantial to eat as soon as I was able. As she slept I ran over the conversation I'd had with my father, brothers, Bella and even Jacob over the past two days. It was like a white elephant in the room, no one wanted to talk about it, but it was staring us, me, in the face. I was so afraid, but Carlisle was the most sure that I wouldn't hurt her. I really did want to consummate our marriage. I just wished she were more durable, but that would mean changing her and I wasn't ready for that either. I was so conflicted, a battle was ensuing between my head and heart and I was the bloody battlefield. I was almost in agony.
We were just starting to make our descent to the airport when she woke up. Her eyes weren't bleary anymore. They were bright. This was my Bella.
I helped her get her bags, and then we found a taxi waiting for us outside the airport. I saw Bella raise an eyebrow at me. She was thoroughly confused. "Good," I thought. We had done a great job hiding this from her and I knew she'd enjoy this extended honeymoon. I asked the taxi driver, in Portuguese, to take us to the marina. We arrived at the docks to get the boat that would take us to our island. It was still an hour away.
I led us past the larger yachts to a smaller and faster boat that would get us to our final destination. Carlisle prided himself on this find. Boats to him were what cars were to me. I didn't mention that three of those yachts also belonged to him. I thought of my cars parked in the garage back home and realized that I would trade them all for this angel climbing into the speedboat with me. Rosalie could burn and push my Vanquish down a hill and as long as I'd have Bella, I wouldn't care.
I got the boat ready to go. Bella stared in silent reverie as she watched my every move. I failed to tell her I liked to boat. In two years I'd never let her know that. I never felt it was important to share. She was probably thinking that I was a show off and that there wasn't anything I wasn't good at. I wished I would have thought to stock the little galley with some food, her stomach was snarling at me over the purr of the engine. Bella never complained, which made me feel even more guilty that I wasn't taking care of her every need. So much for being good at everything.
I headed due East and opened the throttle all the way. I loved the feel of the sea spray over my face. It was more exhilarating than running, unless Bella was on my back. I smiled at her.
She finally broke the silence, "are we going much further?" Her impatience finally caught up with her.
"About another half hour," speaking just loudly enough so she could hear me. I really didn't want to fill the silence with much chatter; I was enjoying the peaceful silence of just us. We hadn't been just us since our meadow after the battle with the Seattle army of newborns. Hmmm, that's what started this whole stomach knotting discussion in the first place. But it's also what put the wheels in motion for the most emotion filled day of my existence. I thought back and realized how many times that I had been on the verge of tears of happiness, if only I'd been able to cry. I was envisioning the angel in a white dress coming down the stairs when I finally saw the bright lights of the island house looming up ahead. I wanted Bella to see this.
"Bella, look there," I pointed straight ahead. I knew her weak human eyes couldn't see it yet, but I wanted her to be focused on it. There was a halo over the island from the lights.
Awe crept into Bella's questioning face as she finally made out the faint silhouette of Esme's Island. "Where are we?" Bella muttered so low that I couldn't be sure she was talking, hard to do that, with my hearing abilities.
I smiled a wide grin once I knew she saw it. "This is Isle Esme. Your new family's gift to you, love," I added in my thoughts. I wanted to see her take it all in. I slowed the boat down and docked it perfectly into place. There was sudden silence as I cut the engine. This was like the meadow. No impending thoughts, even though there was a human with me; her thoughts, like always were guarded from me.
It took me by surprise when I heard her murmur, "Isle Esme?" She startled at the sound of her own voice.
"A gift from Carlisle--Esme offered to let us borrow it," I wanted her to know just who was giving the gift of seclusion to her, to us. I watched her as her face changed from surprise to quizzical to awe again. She was fascinating to watch. I then realized that I didn't want to be in this boat any longer, I wanted to show her the rest of the gift. I placed our trunks on the dock and then reached for her. It had been too long since I held her last. I didn't just want to hold her hand; I wanted to hold her against me. I wanted that warmth, to feel her heartbeat against my body. I wanted her, truly I did. I swept her off her feet and cradled her against me.
She gasped at me. I looked at her face to make sure I hadn't hurt her. I didn't think I was too rough, "Aren't you supposed to wait for the threshold?" She asked as I sprung lightly from the boat.
"I'm nothing if not thorough," who cares about a threshold? I just wanted her in my arms. I considered leaving our luggage on the dock and coming to get them later, but I figured she'd want something out of there as soon as I didn't. I grabbed them by the handles, both of them, and carried everything towards the house, through the dark forest of trees. I, of course, could see everything clearly, I saw Bella squint to see a little further in front of us. Stupid limited human vision, I hated it. The house was clear to me from the dock, Bella finally caught sight of it. The same expressions flitted across her face again. I smiled. I loved watching her receive this gift. Then I felt her quiver, I looked at her face again, her fear was evident on her face. Not prominent, but evident. I felt her heart thud hard in her chest, and her breathing hitched. I knew what was wrong; there was no question what she was thinking about. At this moment, I knew her thoughts, they mirrored mine. If I were human, my reactions would be the same. I also noticed she looked everywhere but at me. Was she finally questioning her request?
I set the trunks on the porch. I continued staring at the love of my life. I wasn't going in that house until she returned my stare. I needed to read her eyes, since I couldn't scan her thoughts. As soon as she met my eyes I saw her nervousness. I carried her into the house, turning lights on as we went, I didn't want to put her down. I made it to the bedroom last. I turned that light on, this room really was beautiful. Again, I watched Bella as she took in Esme's decorating abilities. The moon was bright as it shone in through the glass wall.
I reluctantly set her on her feet. "I'll go get the luggage," I murmured, hating to break the silence again. I didn't want to leave her longer than necessary, though. I was back before she realized I was gone, I even had time to open her suitcase. Taking a moment to scan the items Alice had packed for her. Oh, Alice, what was she thinking? As I pinched a designer piece of lace between my finger and thumb, all the lace and frills, I hoped there were actual clothes in there, too.
I went up behind her and as I wiped a bead of sweat with my cold finger from her very warm neck, she shivered. Was it the nerves or my sudden cold touch to her warm skin? I couldn't be sure. "It's a little hot here, I thought," since I make you cold, "that would be best."
"Thorough," she replied quietly, nervously.
I let out a low chuckle. I knew what was wrong with me. I felt like it was almost my turn to be on stage, I was the leading man, and I forgot my lines. Suddenly, I was that nervous, and the butterflies were back for the second time that day.
I didn't want to make this more awkward than it already was going to be. I wanted to reassure her that I only had her best interests in mind. "I tried to think of everything that would make this" I searched for the best word"easier," that was the best one I could come up with. This was certainly not going to be easy.
Bella swallowed loudly, she still wasn't looking at me. What was she thinking? I really wanted to know, more than ever, what was on her mind. I probed it again, only to hit the same wall of silence.
"I was wondering" how to prolong this? "If...first...maybe you'd like to take a midnight swim with me?" I took a deep breath to calm my nerves; I hadn't felt like this, ever. "The water will be very warm. This is the kind of beach you approve of," knowing she hated the cold and the wet, I knew she'd like the warm water on her body.
Her voice betrayed her fear even more, "sounds nice."
I was really needing to collect myself, it seemed she needed the same, "I'm sure you'd like a human minute or two...it was a long journey," I suggested. She nodded stiffly. My surreal blanket was back. I couldn't believe this was happening, but I also didn't want to leave her too long. I was yearning to kiss her again, but I was afraid of what would happen so I kissed her throat below her ear. I laughed, "Don't take too long, Mrs. Cullen." Again, I felt shivers down my spine as I attached my surname to her. I felt Bella shiver as well. "I'll wait for you in the water," I murmured, almost seductively. Where was that coming from? I felt her eyes on me as I left the room. I wanted to give her a physical gesture that I was keeping up my end of the bargain. I shrugged out of my shirt and left it there on the floor by the French doors.
I made it down to the beach. I removed the rest of my clothes, hanging them on a tree and took a swim. My head and heart were fighting again, I knew this was wrong. I was going to severely hurt her, but my heart ached to be with her. This time I didn't have Carlisle to talk me through this, Jasper to calm me and Emmett to make jokes at me. The charged tension was there. I swam almost two miles away from the beach to put more distance between us. I let the warm water current swirl around me. This distance hurt. I couldn't be that far, I swam back and lay in the shadow of the palm trees breathing deeply, as if this would work to calm me.
I heard the squeak of a faucet turn on. Was she taking a shower? Was she ready for this? Was I ready for this? The faucet squeaked again after a few minutes. I walked back out in the water and stood there gazing up at the moon. It was almost full, illuminating me, the sky, the water, and the white sand. I heard her talking to herself, "Don't be a coward." She was reassuring herself, but it was what I needed to hear as well. I heard the door open quietly and footsteps making their way to the beach. Then a pause as something was being hung on the tree by my clothes, her breathing was jagged. Bella's heart was beating like a hummingbird with a broken wing, very irregular, very fast. The unsure footsteps made their way to the water. I didn't turn around, I could smell her; her aroma was always strongest after a warm shower. I gazed up at the moon again, she was by my side, and there was nothing between us but water. She placed her hand over mind as she gazed at the moon with me.
"Beautiful," she muttered. I couldn't agree more, but I wasn't thinking of the moon. I was looking at her out of the corner of my eye.
"It's all right," I answered. I was right to not peak at her while Alice was helping her change. I was right to enjoy the gift of her by my own eyes. I twined our fingers together as I turned to face her. My eyes roved over her exposed body. "But I wouldn't use the word beautiful, not with you standing here in comparison." She was truly exquisite. For the millionth time that day, if I could cry, I would have had a tear running down my cheek. I couldn't believe she was made for me. She barely smiled at me, it didn't touch her eyes. She placed her free hand on my chest, over my dead heart. I swear I felt it flutter, again.
I took a deep jagged breath. I didn't want to break this quiet moment, but I wanted to remind her of our agreement, so I whispered, "I promised we would try. If" when "if I do something wrong, if I hurt you, you must tell me at once," because I would kill myself before I hurt you, I added in my head. She nodded slowly at me, still gazing into my eyes. Then she took a step forward and leaned her head onto my chest.
"Don't be afraid. We belong together," her resolution was so strong it was hard to not believe her. Suddenly I wasn't afraid, Carlisle was right, I would do everything in my power to not hurt this fragile butterfly who was now my wife.
"Forever," I resolved. We did belong together. I gently wrapped my arms around and held her, all of her. Her skin warmed me. I slowly started pulling her to deeper water. I thought this would be better than starting out in the bedroom. I would take her there later. To finally be able to let ourselves get wrapped up in each other, all walls were being torn down, was heaven right smack dab in my personal hell. I still had to control myself, though every fiber in my being, the monster within, wanted me to just take her and be done with her. We kissed more passionately than we ever had. Her hands knotted in my hair, and mine in hers. No matter how close we got to each other, it wasn't close enough for me. I wanted her, again and again. Bella finally collapsed in utter exhaustion as the feathers from the pillow, or two, that I bit settled around and on us.
As the night wore on I replayed in my mind what had just transpired between us. It was beyond amazing. I couldn't put into words what I felt other than euphoria. Even then, that wasn't enough. As she slept I watched her smile and heard her murmur my name over and over. Slowly my euphoria changed to chagrin and then horror as bruises slowly surfaced on her arms, chest and cheek. Her lips were swelling, I lifted the sheet and saw finger bruises forming over her ribs and a larger bruise on her leg. I never heard her complain that I had hurt her, but I had. Bella slept on, peacefully. I thought about cleaning up the feather mess, but decided she needed to see how I could have hurt her. How the pillows had taken the brunt of my force. As the sun rose higher in the sky I felt her wake up, I thought I heard a smile in her sigh. I didn't look to see if she had opened her eyes or if she was smiling. I was hurt that I had hurt her, despite what Carlisle and Jasper had said to me, she was hurting. She was lying on her chest across my chest, her back was bare, with small bruises forming there, too. I absentmindedly stroked my fingers up and down her spine. I still couldn't look at her, though she tightened her arms around my neck. Suddenly, she giggled.
"What's funny?" I asked with hardness in my voice, maybe a little harder than I should have spoken.
"You just can't escape being human for very long," she replied as her stomach growled at me.
I didn't feel like laughing with her. If she hadn't been human she wouldn't be bruising. I thought I was so careful. I kept berating myself and staring at the frothy mosquito netting above us, as she slowly opened her eyes to look at me. I caught this from the corner of my eye. I still couldn't really look at her. She was hurting, whether she knew it yet or not. I locked my jaws, I was stupid, I should have let Jacob kill me, I had hurt her. That's all I could think about, I had hurt her. During my selfish pleasure I caused her pain.
"Edward, what is it? What's wrong?" She asked frantically.
"You have to ask?" The hardness of my voice still wasn't gone. I finally looked at her, and saw a small spot of purple on her cheek. I could see her thoughts forming in her eyes and that small pensive V was forming in on her forehead. I smoothed this out, as many times I had wanted to do this to her, I chose now to make her expression calm. I had to know what caused that V, but, I couldn't talk in a normal voice, I had to either whisper or growl. I chose to whisper, "What are you thinking?"
"You're upset. I don't understand. Did I...," she couldn't finish her sentence. She thought she did something wrong. She was perfect, as always. I was the monster. I was once again selfish.
I tightened my eyes, "How badly are you hurt, Bella? The truth—don't try to downplay it." I pleaded. I couldn't have her spare my feelings. I needed to know what I did wrong. I was hurting that she was hurting.
"Hurt?" Bella practically screeched at me. I raised my eyebrow at her. She was going to downplay this alright. I felt her stretch her body, tensing her muscles here and there. It seemed nothing was broken. I saw her wince as she stretched, but she didn't cry out.
Storm clouds rolled into her eyes, "Why would you jump to that conclusion? I've never been better than I am now!"
I closed my eyes, "Stop that." I pleaded again. She was definitely downplaying it. I hated her selflessness sometimes.
"Stop what?" she demanded.
"Stop acting like I'm not a monster for having agreed to this."
"Edward!" She reprimanded, in a whisper. She was now upset. Now she was realizing how much she hurt and she was going to let me have it. I deserved this. "Don't ever say that!" Agh, her mind worked in strange ways again.
I couldn't look at her. I refused to open my eyes. It hurt me to look at her bruised and battered body. But I needed her to see what I, the monster, had done to her.
"Look at yourself, Bella. Then tell me I'm not a monster." I shut my eyes tighter, waiting for the screaming, crying and the demanding that she take me home to Charlie.
She was silent for a few seconds, and there it was. A gasp. I braced myself for what was coming, "Why am I covered in feathers?"
I sighed, a bit impatiently. This was not the reaction I had braced myself for. "I bit a pillow. Or two. That's not what I'm talking about."
"You...bit a pillow? Why?" Once again, she was missing the bigger picture. She always had it all wrong. I couldn't take it anymore, I had to show her what I had done to her. I was furious with myself for allowing this to go on this long.
"Look, Bella!" I grabbed her hand, carefully, but with force to stretch her arm out. She didn't need any more bruises from me. I would not hurt her again. "Look at that!" I growled as I pointed out what a monster of a husband she had.
Then she started poking at one of them on her arm. It would disappear and reappear as soon as she raised her finger. I watched her eyes as they wandered over the rest of her upper torso. To make my point, I carefully wrapped my hands over each arm and showed her how those contusions came to be.
"Oh," she said, with slow realization. Oh? That's it? No scorned woman brow beating? No demands to be taken home. Her silence was making this so much worse.
"I'm"-a stupid bloodsucker-"so sorry, Bella," I whispered again. "I knew better than this. I should not have-" I couldn't finish that sentence, I snarled at myself. "I am more sorry than I can tell you." If I could cry I would be sobbing uncontrollably. I threw my arm over my face, I couldn't look at her, and waited for the berating that was sure to come now that I showed her how horrible I was...I am.
She didn't move for a few minutes. She was collecting her thoughts to let the fury come full tilt. I would be ready for it. I deserved it. I was contemplating calling the airline to get us our tickets for the return trip home, separate seats as well, she in front in First Class and I in very back, in coach. I was mentally discussing with Jasper the divorce proceedings, and the discussion with the rest of my family how it didn't work out and that she hated me, after all I had done to her, this is what she was revolted with.
"Edward?" she quietly interrupted my thoughts. I sat there, unmoving, bracing myself again for the torrent of words. She obviously waited for me to answer. I wouldn't, couldn't answer her. I was beyond ashamed of myself.
She took a deep breath, "here it comes," I thought.
"I'm not sorry, Edward. I'm...I can't even tell you. I'm so happy. That doesn't even cover it. Don't be angry. Don't. I'm really f--".
"Do not say the word fine!" I couldn't take it anymore. I was going to have to do the berating myself. She was utterly backwards. "If you value my sanity, do not say that you are fine."
"But I am," she whispered. No she wasn't. Her selflessness was getting absurd!
"Bella, don't," I moaned at her. "Please, please, please don't..."
"NO! You don't, Edward," she commanded from me. Her fury had finally found its voice. I was ready; I removed my arm to look at her again.
She took a deep breath, winding up for the pitch... "Don't ruin this. I. Am. Happy." She spoke each word clearly as if I couldn't understand English.
"I've already ruined this," I whispered again. I hurt her. Why couldn't she see that?
"Cut it out!" she berated me. I mashed my teeth together. I didn't want to say anything I would regret. I had enough regret this morning.
"Ugh! Why can't you just read my mind already? It's so inconvenient to be a mental mute."
"What?" She loved that I couldn't read her mind. I, sometimes, liked that I couldn't read her mind. It added to the mystery of our relationship. "That's a new one. You love that I can't read your mind."
"Not today," she stuck her chin out like a mad child again.
All I could do was stare. I was reconsidering that mental hospital I thought about when I first started talking to her. I had hurt her, I had promised to give all of myself to her and I hurt her. I kept repeating that to myself. I couldn't ever forget what I did to the love of my life. I couldn't forget that I was the monster.
"Why?" I finally muttered.
She threw her hands up in the air. She winced again. I mentally winced at her wince. Her hands came smacking down on my chest. Great, I probably hurt her there, too. "Because all of this angst would be completely unnecessary if you could see how I feel right now! Or five minutes ago, anyway. I was perfectly happy. Totally and completely blissed out. Now—well, I'm sort of pissed actually."
Finally, this is the scorned woman fury I was waiting for. "You should be angry with me."
"Well, I am. Does that make you feel better?" She asked me.
Did that make me feel better? Not really, it couldn't make the bruises go away. "No," I sighed. "I don't think anything could make me feel better now."
She snapped. I had never seen her this angry. Ever. Even when she had punched Jacob when he kissed her. "That! That right there is why I'm angry! You are killing my buzz, Edward!" I just rolled my eyes. I hurt her, and she was worried about a buzzkill?
She swallowed. The next words she spoke were calmer, "We knew this was going to be tricky. I thought that was assumed. And then—well, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. And this," she brushed her fingers along her arms, "is really nothing. I think for the first time, not knowing what to expect, we did amazing. With a little practice--"
"Assumed?" I was mad, surprised, and hurt all at once. I was seeing red, the rage was consuming me. "Did you expect this, Bella?" Were you anticipating that I would hurt you? Were you thinking it would be worse? Do you consider the experiment a success because you can walk away from it? No broken bones—that equals a victory?"
She sat there silently, letting my fury work itself out. My breathing was ragged, she waited some more while I calmed down. She was patient. When my rage was slightly controlled, she finally spoke.
Her tone was soft and low, "I didn't know what to expect—but I definitely did not expect how...how...just wonderful and perfect it was." She dropped her calm brown eyes down to her hands where I couldn't read them anymore. "I mean," she continued, "I don't know how it was for you, but it was like that for me," she admitted.
I really was the luckiest monster in the world. She was telling me how wonderful I was even after I beat her up during our first real night together. I couldn't stand not seeing her eyes as she said this; I pulled her chin back up to meet my eyes. I wanted her to face me. My rage hadn't completely left me, but I needed to affirm her worry, I could only speak through my teeth as my rage waned, "Is that what you're worried about? That I didn't enjoy myself?" Even as I said this her eyes never came up with the rest of her face.
She answered me with her eyes still down, "I know it's not the same. You're not human. I just was trying to explain that, for a human, well, I can't imagine that life gets any better than that."
She left me speechless. Despite the way I had grabbed her, held her tightly to me, practically forcing myself onto her she still found it wonderful? I had made her happy? Oh, I was a monster, in more ways than one. I did kill her buzz. I remembered the buzz I had had up until the moment I started seeing her bruises forming on her arms during the night. She finally looked up at me as these thoughts ran through my mind. Seeing her eyes melted the remaining rage I felt. Yes, I had hurt her physically, but I was able to please her just the same. This premonition made me frown. "It seems I have more to apologize for," and I did. I was sorry I ruined her first night with me as a married couple and I was sorry I forced my rage onto her. It seemed I was making a mess of things. "I didn't dream that you would construe the way I feel about what I did to you to mean that last night wasn't," amazing, perfect, sensual... "well, the best night of my existence. But I don't want to think of it that way, not when you were..." getting beat up by your new monster of a husband," ...what was she smiling about?
"Really?" She asked excitedly, but quietly. "The best ever?"
It was time I explained what I was expecting. I took her face in between my hands, the warmth helped melt any residual rage that may have been in my body. "I spoke to Carlisle after you and I made our bargain, hoping he could help me. Of course he warned me that this would very dangerous for you." I was remembering that last conversation before our wedding.
"I have faith in you," Carlisle reassured me.
"I don't deserve that faith..."
"He had faith in me, though—faith I didn't deserve," I continued. I watched as Bella started to interrupt me, but I needed to get this out before I lost my nerve. I put my fingers over her lips to silence her.
"I also asked him what I should expect. I didn't know what it would be for me...what with my being a vampire." I smiled as I used this term with her, a gentle reminder of the real monster I was. "Carlisle told me it was a very powerful thing, like nothing else. He told me physical love was something I should not treat lightly. With our rarely changing temperaments, strong emotions can alter us in permanent ways. But he said I did not need to worry about that part—you had already altered me so completely." I smiled wider, she had changed me; she had made me a better person.
"I spoke to my brothers, too. They told me it was a very great pleasure. Second only to drinking human blood." I remembered the taste of her blood and I compared it to last night, they were right. I decided she needed to know this, too. "But I've tasted your blood, and there could be no blood more potent than that at least for me I don't think they were wrong, really. Just that it was different for us. Something more." So much more. I couldn't decide which was more pleasurable for me, her blood or her yearning for me to please her more.
"It was more. It was everything!" she said excitedly.
But since she had never drank blood, and would probably faint if she ever had to, she couldn't really make this comparison. "That doesn't change the fact that it was wrong. Even if it were possible that you really did feel that way."
"What does that mean?" Her fury was back. "Do you think I'm making this up? Why?"
"To ease my guilt. I can't ignore the evidence, Bella. Or your history of trying to let me off the hook when I make mistakes." She was always forgiving me. I really didn't deserve her. I didn't deserve her love, her understanding or forgiving nature. How many times had I hurt her and yet she still wanted me.
She then grabbed my chin with more force than I had ever felt her use with me, outside of her passionate kisses. She brought her face within inches of my face. "You listen to me Edward Cullen," she was hissing my name. Her rage still wasn't gone, it had sat there smoldering, and it had turned into a blazing inferno. "I am NOT pretending anything for your sake, okay? I didn't even know there was a reason to make YOU feel better until you started being all miserable. I've never been so happy in all my life—I wasn't this happy when you decided that you loved me more than you wanted to kill me, or the first morning I woke up and you were there waiting for me...Not when I heard your voice in the ballet studio"—I was hurting her again, bringing up old memories. Her point was starting to hit home with me, but she didn't pause as I processed the day that James met his death—"or when you said "I do" and I realized that, somehow, I get to keep you forever. Those are the HAPPIEST memories I have, and this is better than any of it. So just deal with it!"
Finally, there was the fury I had been bracing myself for, but it wasn't what I thought she would or should be upset about. I saw the V pucker her eyebrows again, it saddened me to see it there. I touched the furrow in her brow again, "I'm making you unhappy now. I don't want to do that." I never want to make her unhappy, yet here I was on our honeymoon making her yell at me.
"Then don't you be unhappy. That's the only thing that's wrong here," her point was made.
She was right. I had taken something so wonderful, so magical, and twisted it to make her yell at me. What the hell was wrong with me? I conceded, despite how wrong I felt, "You're right. The past is past and I can't do anything to change it. There's no sense in letting my mood sour this time for you. I'll do whatever I can to make you happy now," this I could promise. I needed to lock the monster back inside. She watched me, warily, not believing what I just said. I smiled because I realized I did ruin this blissful morning for her...for us.
"Whatever makes me happy?" she inquired, as her stomach snarled from beneath the blankets. I promised myself I'd get her something to eat as soon as I was able, how many hours ago was that? Nearly 48? She must be beyond ravenous. I was going to make her as happy as I could for the rest of the day, starting now.
"You're hungry," I superhumanly got up, creating a cloud of feathers in my wake.
"So, why exactly did you decide to ruin Esme's pillows?" She asked me calmly, as if the past ten minutes of anger hadn't just happened.
I pulled on a pair of khaki pants, shaking feathers from my hair. This is why I chose not to clean them before she woke up. I wanted her to see that it was pillows and not her that met their demise. "I don't know if I decided to do anything last night. We're just lucky it was the pillows and not you," the thought of her with me made me smile, but not so widely that she couldn't see how much danger she really was in.
She slid her fragile body off the bed. I finally saw the full damage I had done to her. I was very thankful that it was the pillows that caught the worst of it. I turned away from her, I couldn't look at her anymore, not because she wasn't exquisite, but because I hurt her worse than I first thought, and that made me ache. I balled my fists, fighting the rage within myself again. This time I couldn't blame anyone for hurting her. I couldn't hunt anyone down and make them pay, because I did it.
"Do I look that hideous?" she asked, trying to make a joke out of it. I despised myself at that moment. I took a deep breath as I fought the rage again. I didn't want to scare her and I still couldn't look at her. She went into the bathroom to look at herself. I waited with my breath held in my lungs. I was waiting for the screaming and the running. I mentally prepared myself for the divorce conversation with Jasper again. Then I heard her groan.
"Bella?" I was anxious, I needed to know how much she hated me at this very moment. I ran into the bathroom to face her fury and my fears.
"I'll never get this out of my hair!" She pointed to her head, where the feathers were sticking out everywhere.
Again, she surprised me with her thoughts. "You would be worried about your hair," I muttered, she was totally other. I started helping her get the feathers out. That I could do.
"How did you keep from laughing at this? I look ridiculous!" She giggled hysterically.
I couldn't answer that. I couldn't even fake a smile. The anger I felt was just under the surface. I concentrated on the feathers in her hair, I forced myself to.
She broke the silent tension after a few minutes of feather pulling, "This isn't going to work. It's all dried in. I'm going to have to try to wash it out." She turned her exposed body to me and pressed herself into me. I fought the urge to kiss her, the red haze of anger at myself was still there. "Do you want to help me?"
She was trying to seduce me? After all this, after all I had done to hurt her, she was tempting me to do this again? I would kill her this time. "I'd better find some food for you," I unwrapped her arms gently from me, when I was fighting to hold her to me. I ran away as quickly as I could so I wouldn't be tempted to break her, again.
I went to the kitchen, I had been brushing up on my Food Network episodes and I wanted to impress her with my cooking abilities. It was late morning, but she was probably so hungry she wouldn't care what I made. I wanted to try an omelet recipe I saw. It looked easy enough. I just hoped I got the taste right. I wouldn't be taste testing anything. How many eggs would she eat? Hmmm, four should be plenty. I knew it had been days since she'd really eaten anything.
As I mixed and fried I heard the shower start and then her smell assaulted my nose again. It took every fiber in my being to not turn off the stove and race in there to help her with those stupid feathers. That aroma was definitely more pleasing than this putrid egg, bacon and cheese omelet I was making for her.
Soon she was seated at the small tiled table in our eat-in kitchen. I saw she used makeup to cover what bruises were visible. This made me cringe. I plated the still steaming omelet. She hungrily bit into it. She winced and then she groaned, was it bad? No, she took another bite, and another, and another like she hadn't had food in, well, two days... "I'm not feeding you often enough," I stated. I sat across from her. I wanted to watch her eat. I wanted to see her enjoy something I had made for her.
"I was asleep. This is really good by the way. Impressive for someone who doesn't eat."
I was pleased, that wince probably meant it was too hot still, not that it was bad. I smiled knowing that I finally got something right today, "Food Network."
She returned my smile. She was happy again. Her scorn was gone and with it those feathers with the reminder of what I could have done to her.
"Where did the eggs come from?" She asked as she took another bite.
"I asked the cleaning crew to stock the kitchen. A first, for this place. I'll have to ask them to deal with the feathers..." I glared at the ceiling. I couldn't go back in that room, I couldn't clean up that mess. The anger would flare up again and I didn't want to upset Bella anymore while we were here.
She finished her meal, I guess I made just enough for her. Her plate was empty. I made mental note to always use at least four eggs.
"Thank you," she told me, sincerely. I could tell she was thanking me for more than just her breakfast. She leaned over to kiss me. The desire to take her, since all boundaries were officially gone, was strong again. I had to stop this. I ended our kiss just as quickly as I started it.
Bella gritted her teeth. She felt my apprehension. "You're not going to touch me again while we're here are you?" It felt like an accusation rather than a question. I was hurting her again. I didn't want to do that. I lifted my hand to stroke her cheek as I smiled half heartedly, to prove that I would touch her again.
"You know that's not what I meant," she said, as if to read my mind, oh the irony again.
I dropped my hand and sighed. "I know. And you're right." I resolved myself that I would NOT hurt her again. In order to make my body understand this as well, I lifted my chin, "I will not make love with you until you've been changed. I will not hurt you again," that pained me to say because I didn't want her to be changed either. I knew that would hurt her as well. My heart and head were battling again.