Obsession One-Shot Contest

Title: Devotion

Pennames: ele05gs & Lehava

Characters: Edward & Bella

Disclaimer: SM owns the Twilight world. We are just borrowing her characters. No copyright infringement intended. The plot though, belongs to us; we'd appreciate it if you don't steal it.

Warning: This story contains some psychical and emotional abuse. There'll be violence towards the end and adult language. You've been warned.

Summary: Co-written for the Obsession OS Contest. She was a girl, he was a boy. She was broken, he was too. She felt alone, he loved her. She was conflicted, he was obsessed. Can they save each other? All Human, Alternative Universe, OOC. -collaboration with Lehava-

Lyrics that inspired us:
Through this world I've stumbled

So many times betrayed
Trying to find an honest word
To find the truth enslaved
Oh you speak to me in riddles and
You speak to me in rhymes
My body aches to breathe your breath
You words keep me alive

-Possession, by Sarah Mclachlan


Devotion

As Bella sat on her front porch, she looked over the street and into the dark woods, silently swaying in the swing her father, Charlie, had installed there all those years ago. She missed him terribly. While no one could assure her he would be okay, she believed that some day he would wake up.

Bella's parents were involved in a car accident a few weeks ago. Her mother, Renee, hadn't survived the crash; her injuries had been too severe, and Charlie had been in a sedated sleep ever since, leaving Bella alone. Losing her mother and being without her father at the age of nineteen, was the worst thing that had ever happened to Bella because she didn't know how to be alone.

She didn't know what to do; desperation was threatening to overpower her small form. She cried herself to sleep every night and woke up with red swollen eyes every morning. Growing up with her parents and living with them her whole life had made them a crucial part of her life. Without them she was nothing. She felt like nothing.

She just had too much time for herself. Being cut off from the world didn't help ease her worry or her pain, not even for a little while. She had no clue, though, that she wasn't really alone, because her neighbor had been observing her right from across the street.

Across the street in the immense Cullen mansion, lived a man. A man named Edward Cullen, who had secretly loved Bella all his life, all the while she was oblivious to this fact. He remained silent, watching her through his window on the first floor. He wished he could erase the frown between her brown eyes, or hold her in his arms and take the worry and pain away, the worry and pain he knew plagued her. Edward did no such thing; he stayed silent, hoping that one day she would come to him for help.

She was so beautiful, so precious, so unlike him. Edward had a very sad vision of himself, he thought he was unworthy of her love, her affection, unworthy of her. He knew what it was like to feel alone, to be alone, to have no one to return to. He didn't wish that for anyone, least of all for Bella, his Bella.

He still remembered in their school days how they would play together, and though he was a few years older, she still enjoyed the time with him. He would never forget how she saved him. She had saved his life, even though she didn't fully understand it, with a simple child's comment.

"Edward!" she said with horror. "Where did you get that?" she asked, shocked.

"What?" he replied, confused.

"You have a huge bruise!" she said, pointing at the purple skin on his back that was now visible, because his shirt had been pulled up.

He tried concealing it. "I told you I fell from the stairs…" he said, but the look in Bella's brown eyes said enough. She didn't believe him. Neither did the teacher, who had, overheard his conversation with Bella.

The town was bound to find out the truth about his father, but when Edward returned home that day, his father was gone. Edward should have been worried, he should have cried and searched for him, but he didn't. He felt bad to admit it, but the truth was Edward was glad he was gone. He thought the torture, the pain he suffered all those years at home would never be gone. He never saw his father again.

So when he finally moved in with the Cullens, he couldn't be happier. Mr. and Mrs. Cullen were the most caring and generous people in Forks. They tried for a long time to have children of their own, but never managed to succeed. They were delightful to take Edward in as an eleven-year-old boy and give him the home every child deserved. The great part was that he would live just a few steps away from Bella, but that didn't turn out so well for Edward.

When Bella grew older, she started hanging out with kids her age, leaving Edward to be with his own friends. What hurt Edward the most was when she started hanging out with one particular person, a boy named Jacob Black.

Edward could see that Jacob was a good person and that he made her happy, because she was always laughing when she was with him. However, Edward couldn't help the jealousy he felt; he wanted to be the one who made her laugh, to be the reason of her every smile.

As they grew older, his admiration for Bella grew as well, becoming more and more powerful with each passing day. He knew deep down, that he loved her.

But as time passed, they grew further and further apart until they had become nothing more than acquaintances.

So two weeks after the accident with Bella's parents, Edward was busy making up his mind. When he needed to calm his thoughts he always went outside with his camera and took random shots. Those photos were always an expression of how he really felt. So he took his camera and went outside. In that moment Bella walked out of her house, to go to her work at The Grill.

He watched her as she locked the door and slowly, carefully walked the few stairs to the sidewalk. He was hoping she would see him, but her days went by in a blur as she had too many things on her mind. Her father's well being the first and most important of them all. Ever since the accident, her mind was always filled with nothing but worries. She spent the night reading and hoping someone would call her and say that everything would be okay, but no one called.

Edward could see from across the street the pain her beautiful face held. She always walked looking down, fearing she would trip, but now it was different. Her shoulders were hunched forward, as if she was trying to be as small as possible, to take as minimal space in this world as she possibly could.

As she looked up for just a split second, she saw Edward standing there, so she waved at him. Edward, eager for every bit of attention he could get from her, waved back. As soon as he was about to speak, Bella turned and walked away, seeing no reason to linger. Despite the fact that Bella found Edward attractive and interesting, she always thought that he was out of her reach.

She had been a neighbor to him for as long as she could remember, though they never really bonded much. Secretly in her heart, she always wondered what it would be if they had. Would they be together now? Maybe that way, she wouldn't feel as alone as she did now. Even when she was with Jacob, she felt lonely. Bella knew she was pushing him away, but there was nothing she could do about it. When Bella had finally found the courage to really talk to Edward all those years ago, he left for college. So her plan failed.

When he came back, he was a twenty-four year old almost doctor, who could easily work with his dad in the hospital, and have any girl he wanted. On the other hand, Bella was the nineteen year old that stayed home for the first year of college, because her parents were hurt and she couldn't pay the tuition. That's how her life had been for now. Getting up, getting dressed, going to work, taking care of the house, taking care of herself. Waiting at the phone for news and visiting Charlie had become one of her daily routines. If she worked a year at The Grill, maybe she could pay for the first half year of college. Bella secretly hoped that by that time everything would be all right again.

While Bella pondered, it didn't occur to her that Edward had placed the camera before his eye and in one swift motion, took a picture of her. One of the many pictures he already had. In that moment, that precious moment, when he saw her walking away… he knew what he was going to do.

Edward had always been shy, and wouldn't let people in easily. Even if he wanted to, he simply couldn't. So if he couldn't speak to Bella personally, he'd write down everything he felt for her, because he was an exquisite writer and found his way with words easily. That night Bella received her first letter.

She sat in the old couch Charlie used to sit in. Sitting there made her feel safe, as if he were there to protect her. She turned and turned the manila envelope around, not knowing if she should open it. Her name was scribbled in a beautiful handwriting on the front.

After a few minutes, sitting there and looking at it she made up her mind and tore it open.

Isabella,
I know it must be strange finding a letter in your mailbox, without knowing who it came from. I know you don't know me, but I know you and for now, that's enough. I sense you are not happy, I can see it in every move of your body. I know this wasn't the life you had planned for yourself. I see you as someone with big dreams and great adventures ahead of you, though some circumstances made you bury those dreams alive
for the moment. One day, my Bella, I truly hope you can dig them up again, for you deserve to have everything you desire. I'm writing to you, because it's the only way I can be close to you. You are the one thing, the one person I desire and it breaks my heart to know that I shall never have this one thing.

She read the words over and over again, letting them float into her mind. The words danced before her eyes as she wondered who had sent this letter to her, who could write such graceful and loving words. Those words made her feel like she hadn't felt in a while; she had longed to read such comforting words for the longest time. Words that could make her smile and that made her feel special and loved.

That night, she fell asleep on the couch with the letter clutched to her heart and a smile on her face for the first time since the accident. While across the street, someone lay in this exact same position, with the exact same smile plastered on his face.

-:-

Weeks passed and more and more letters came. Every day after arriving home from a busy day at work, Bella would almost run to her mailbox and check if she had any mail waiting for her. Disappointment would fill her features when there was only emptiness, and excitement would take over her when she found another envelope.

She was always looking forward to reading what her mystery writer had to say. Those letters were the best part of her day.

She didn't know that Edward would be eagerly waiting for her arrival just to see her reaction to the letters he left. The smile that appeared on her face as she looked longingly at the letter made his heart swell up. He felt like a good person, for making her smile. It was the least he could do.

One day, when Bella was cleaning out the attic, she found some boxes, filled with her mother's belongings. Eager to remember her mother, Bella rummaged through everything. In one of the cartons, she found a little blue box. The memory of it crashed down on her instantly.

"Bella? Come here for a moment sweetie, I have something to give you," Renee called out for her. Bella had been playing on her newly installed swing.

"What is it, Mommy?" she asked curiously, while she ran towards her mother.

Renee looked at her beloved daughter as her little brown ponytail swayed behind her. She crouched down, so that she was on eye-level with her and handed the little blue box to Bella. A look of confusion instantly set on Bella's face.

"What's this?" Bella had always been a curious kid. She always wanted to know more than was good for her. Renee grinned at her little one.

"This is a special box. In this box you make sure to keep your most precious things. That way they'll never get lost and you'll be sure you'll have them forever."

Bella had thrown her little arms around her mother's neck and hugged her tightly for a while.

"Can I put you and Daddy in it?" she asked seriously, letting go of her mother just enough to see her face. Renee had patted her head lovingly, while a single tear had fallen from the corner of her eye.

That memory had caused a breakdown. Bella had called in sick for work that day, not having the strength to move from her cough, where she lay, sobbing the whole day. Bella missed her mother terribly. She desperately wanted Renee to be with her, right there and then.

The blue box had now found a new destiny, for it held the letters Bella loved so much. They were special enough to be put in the box.

On that day, Edward hadn't seen Bella leave for work. One of the benefits of having Carlisle in charge was that Edward could choose his own hours at the hospital. This way he made sure he could catch a glimpse of Bella every day when she went to work and when she came back home. He had just pushed down the overwhelming urge to simply cross the street and ask what was wrong.

When it got to the point when he just couldn't stand it anymore he went to her house. The windows of the living room were partially open, but it was enough for him to see her there wrapped in her own arms, sobbing on the couch.

It broke his heart seeing her like that, but then Edward spotted the manila envelope she fiercely clutched to her heart. "Who are you…?" He heard Bella whispering, "I want to know you."

He wanted to leave, but somehow he couldn't. Watching her broken there on the couch, sobbing over him and her mother, only served to make his determination stronger. He'd find a way to make her better, to make her smile again.

That night, he wrote her another letter, pouring his soul out even more than before.

He watched her as she came home the next evening and a precious smile crept on her lips as she checked the mail. Holding the envelope close to her body, Bella went inside, picked up the blue box and went to sit in Charlie's couch. Her thin fingers opened the envelope hastily, because she wanted to know what it contained this time.

Isabella,
I know you want to know me. I can see it in your eyes,
you are so eager for information, but I can't take that risk yet, I'm no good for you - you deserve better, but I have to know you. I adore you from a distance. There is something about the look in your eyes, something about your beautiful face
that makes you stand out in a sea of people. You are the one who shines brighter... you can light up my whole world just by smiling. And I'm so lost in the grace of your smile... I never knew I could feel this way. You managed to take over my entire world, my every thought, without even trying.

I try to reach out to you, as far as I can... though I'll never get close enough.
I can't explain how you are making my life complete, without even being completely in it.
I can't explain how I fell in love with every single thing you do...

Seeing you is the best part of my day. Knowing you would even be better. I want to be the one who makes you smile, I want to be the one you share your joy with and I want to be the one who creates your happiness. But I can't let this feeling in... because if I do it'll all be over. This bubble will burst and I fear that I'll never see you again. I crave your sensitive touch... but Bella... I can't take this risk with you; I can never lose control with you.

Tears were streaming down Bella's face as the words went straight to her heart. The way he spoke about her was as if he was speaking of a stranger. He had this ideal image of her, and she was afraid that if he somehow got to know her, he'd disappear. Because she wasn't like the person he wrote about, at all. She had received over thirty letters now and seeing them all bundled neatly in the blue box, she decided it was time to take matters into her own hands.

Bella had always liked adventure, so if her mystery writer wasn't willing to take some risk, then she definitely was.

"You want to know me, well I want to know you…" she mumbled as she searched for a pen and a paper.

The next morning, Edward went to her house after he had watched her leave for work. A smug smile was plastered on Bella's face and he was curious as to what she had planned in her head.

When he opened the mailbox to let his letter slide in, his eyes widened. There at the bottom lay a blue envelope with the words: 'To my mystery writer' written on it. Taking it and leaving his in its place, Edward ran towards home, slammed the door shut, and sat on his bed. Tearing the envelope open he read her words.

Dear Mystery writer,
I guess this is a big surprise finding a letter for you instead of an empty mailbox. I need you to know how much your words touch my heart. How much they make me smile, even on the worst day you manage to make my day a little lighter, a little better. In your last letter, you stated that you can't take that risk, that you can't lose control with me – how is this even possible if I don't know you? You are not the one to make this decision. If you do, you only make it for you but you cannot decide for me. You want to know me and I desperately want to know the man behind those beautiful words. I want to know the sensitive guy who pours his soul out to me in the most beautiful letters ever written. They are mesmerizing. I beg you; let this feeling in, please, for we won't know what the future will bring. I implore you to come closer to me; I don't care how, because I want to know the man behind the words I fell in love with.
Bella.

Reading the letter over and over, Edward scanned the words she had written. She was everything he had imaged and more. Edward had never thought Bella would come up with something like this. Folding the letter neatly, he sprinted to his car and rode to The Grill where he knew she was working.

-:-

While Bella entered The Grill, she wondered if her mystery writer had found his letter already.

"You look smug this morning," Angela commented behind the bar. Bella just nodded and smiled.

Angela was the one true friend she had. Jessica and Lauren both left for college and she never heard a single thing from them ever since. Angela had decided to stay although nobody really knew the reason for that. Bella sometimes thought it was because of the loss of her twin brothers.

"Ready for another day of work?" Bella asked Angela to change the subject.

"Sure. Nothing more fun than cleaning the tables and getting snapped at for bringing the wrong drink," she replied sarcastically.

Bella grinned.

Being with Angela was even nicer than being with Jake. She knew this feeling wasn't right, maybe it was time to talk to him. She wouldn't fool him anymore.

After a few minutes, the bell chimed, announcing a new customer.

Bella thought about her life for a moment, Charlie had been in the hospital for over two months, and even though she tried to take care of the house, there were things Bella just didn't understand. Replacing a light bulb was as far as her abilities went.

"What's got you so worried all of a sudden?" Angela asked, friendly. Bella sighed.

"Well, I was thinking… my dad has been away for almost two months and I can already see how the house is deteriorating. Things that need to be redone or replaced… and I just don't know what to do. Maybe I should just pay someone to fix the whole house, so that it'll be nice when Charlie comes home."

Going on with their conversation, both girls didn't notice the coppered hair man that sat a few tables from them, in perfect reach of hearing their conversation.

He didn't mean to eavesdrop, but he couldn't resist the urge to know what they were talking about. Bella needed someone to help her, and she was willing to pay some random stranger for it. A sudden feeling of protection took over him. He didn't want some random stranger in her house; he didn't want any stranger around her. This feeling made it clear to Edward that there was nothing he could do but just offer his help.

Getting up, he walked toward the girls. Angela gave him a sweet smile when she saw him approaching. Bella was turned with her back towards him and didn't see him coming, but what Edward didn't know was that Bella felthim. The humming under her skin whenever he was near her was constantly present.

"Maybe I could help…" he said, uncertain.

Bella turned and raised her eyebrows at him as Angela turned and went to the kitchen, subtly giving them a bit of privacy.

"Help with what?" she asked, crossing her arms in front of her.

Edward smiled crookedly at her.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to listen, but I heard what you two were talking about. It's not necessary to pay someone to help you fix the house. I'm offering my services..." Edward said, while smiling even more brightly. Bella had uncrossed her arms while he spoke and was eyeing him suspiciously.

"You would do that?" she asked. While a comfortable feeling set itself in her stomach she realized just how much she had missed spending time with him. Memories of their youth came back… memories before Jake.

"I'd do it for you," Edward answered in a whisper, so that Angela couldn't hear it. Bella suddenly felt very warm inside. The bell chimed again and a group of people made their way inside. Edward heard Bella growl and sigh, but before he could speak she cut him off.

"I'd love to, Edward, I really do, thank you. Can I come over maybe tonight after I get back from work, so we can talk about it?" Her brown orbs filled with excitement.

Edward nodded enthusiastically, and was fairly sure his eyes matched hers. Bella was coming over, tonight. She was willing to spend time with him. With a little wave from Bella, he made his way towards his car, without even buying his regular drink.

Once Edward arrived home, he focused his attention on making the house perfectly clean. His house was already in order, but he paid special attention to the small details. It all had to be perfect when Bella got there. He had to make sure that there weren't any manila envelopes lying in view, for Bella could not know, yet, that he was the one writing to her. Secondly he made sure to close the room where he held all of his precious photos from her. She couldn't find out, ever.

When the time of Bella's arrival was approaching, Edward could feel that little tingle of nerves forming inside of him. As Edward had always been shy, talking to a girl wasn't easy, but having Bella over in his house was something he never expected to happen.

He sat on the couch, only to get up and start nervously pacing until the doorbell finally rang. The screeching noise breaking the silence. He looked at himself in the mirror, just once more, and went to open the door.

"Hi," he greeted her. His eyes falling on her instantly, taking her beauty in.

"Hi," she replied timidly back, looking down before walking in when Edward asked her to.

"Wow…" Bella whispered. Edward stood behind her and took her coat off her shoulders, making sure his fingers lingered only a second on her skin.

"This place is so different from what I remembered," she added.

Edward grinned. "Well, a lot has changed since you were here last time."

She smiled timidly again. "It's been a while, hasn't it? It's beautiful, though. You've done a great job." Edward smiled gratefully at her as they made their way into his enormous living room. When Edward asked her to sit down, she did and immediately started with her questions.

"So, are you sure you have time? I don't want to bother you," she said, worriedly. The last thing she wanted was to keep Edward from his work over something that could be done by someone else… not that she wanted anyone else doing it, but still.

The last thing that crossed Edwards mind was work; he'd take every opportunity to be close to her.
"Don't worry about it, Bella. I work with Carlisle, I can manage it, besides I only work a few hours each day," he replied, his voice reassuring her.

There was something in the way he pronounced her name that called Bella's attention, but she let it go. "But won't you be tired?" she asked.

"Bella, don't worry, really. I offered my help and I'm helping you… unless you don't want me to," he said, looking at his hands that were now folded in his lap, feeling suddenly not so sure of himself.

"No," she said, a little too quickly. "I'll be glad if you could help me. Honestly, I don't want a stranger inside of my house, but I don't want it to be a burden for you, that's all," she said, smiling at him. It's been a long time since Bella really looked him in the eyes. The green eyes she remembered oh-so-well.

He smiled at her in return before saying, "It's okay, don't worry. When do you want me to start?"

Bella wanted to say as soon as possible, but she didn't want to push him, so instead she asked,
"How about next week?"

Edward felt a bit disappointed by her question, for he wanted to be near her immediately, but he concealed it just fine. "Next week it is, then."

As silence was beginning to set in, Bella rose to her feet and said, "Well, I'll just go now."

Edward's face fell, but he composed himself almost instantly.

"Don't you want to stay for dinner?" he asked hopefully, "Carlisle, Esme and Alice are coming over."

Bella wanted to accept, badly, but the fact that his parents and cousin were going to be there, made her decline politely. She didn't want to intrude.

Bella saw the flash of disappointment on Edwards face when she said no.

He helped her with her coat and she waved him goodbye, before crossing the street and getting inside the warmth of her home. She ran upstairs and threw herself on her bed, as unconsciousness rapidly took her. This was the first night that nightmares of her parents didn't bother her.

The week passed torturously slow for Edward, he couldn't wait to see Bella every day and actually be able to speak with her, so instead of giving into his anxious self he threw himself into work. He worked every day during the week, but not enough to prevent him from seeing Bella leave and arrive from work every day.

He didn't write her any letters that week, for he knew that if he did his anxiousness over seeing her would be reflected in his words and she was likely to find out who her mysterious writer was. Edward was not willing to take that risk just yet.

On the other hand, Bella's week flew by as work got busier and busier. The Grill was doing more than fine, and they had now more customers than she and Angela could take care of.

When Monday morning finally arrived, Edward was eager to see Bella.

It was barely past nine when he softly knocked. After a few seconds, the door flew open and there stood Bella. Her hair was a bit messy but it only made her look more beautiful to him. What called his attention were her red eyes, as he looked at her she looked away avoiding his eyes. In that moment, he knew she had been crying, he fervently hoped he was wrong.

Bella invited him to come in, and they sat on her couch for a while, drinking coffee as she explained somewhat awkwardly what needed to be done. Edward just nodded at her to show her that he had understood. After she told him he could start from where he thought it was better, she excused herself and went upstairs to take a shower and leave for work.

As Edward watched her leave he felt his heart fall. He hadn't thought that she would leave for work. Logical it may have been, it was just something that hadn't crossed his mind.

It was close to midday and Edward stood in the middle of her living room, his former white shirt was now blue with paint and starting to stick to his body. He thought twice before removing it and putting his earphones in again as he continued painting.

Bella was worried all day at work about Edward; she thought that leaving him alone was not a good idea. Not because she didn't trust him, but because she didn't want him to be alone there all day. So when her lunch break arrived, she told Angela she was leaving as the day had been fairly calm.

On her way home, she picked up some lunch for both herself and Edward.

When she opened her front door, she saw something she had never expected. Edward stood there facing the wall as he carefully analyzed it, seeing if he had missed anything. He was silently humming to the music, but what caught Bella's attention immediately was the fact that he was standing there… shirtless.

Bella gasped and Edward's head shot to the side, his eyes widened when he saw her there. A few seconds passed, while Edward stood frozen watching Bella as she watched him, taking in his beautiful formed chest, his muscles and the low V on his abdomen.

"I'm sorry," Edward apologized quickly, breaking their eye contact first as he frantically searched for his shirt. Once it was on, he looked up at her again, embarrassment clear on his features. "I'm so sorry," he repeated.

"It's okay," Bella said waving him off casually, and going into the kitchen to set up their lunch. She had been caught off guard as well. Edward followed her silently.

"You're home early?" he asked casually, not letting her notice how much that sentence meant to him. He dreamed so many times of asking her that question every day as she came home, to their home. It was in moments like this, that Edward wished he could read Bella's thoughts and know what she was thinking, what she was feeling.

"It was pretty quiet today, Angela could handle it herself, and besides I can't let you do all the work, can I?" she asked playfully as Edward grinned.

"You hungry?" Bella asked, and a loud grumble out of Edward's stomach confirmed it. Both laughing, they made their way to the table and ate.

Once they were finished eating, Bella helped Edward with painting. The afternoon flew by without them even realizing it; it was already dark outside when they finished. Being in each other's company was easy, almost as if they were kids again. Once Edward noticed the time, he began to pack up all his belongings.

"Do you want to stay for dinner?" Bella asked, trying to keep the hope out of her voice.

Edward shook his head. "Not tonight," he said, while he saw her face fall. "I'm in need of a shower," he added playfully. "Maybe some other time? There'll be plenty of chances." He smiled, and she nodded reluctantly.

"You've done an amazing job already, Edward, thank you," Bella said quietly when he was packing.

"It's no big deal," he said casually, but the way she spoke his name made him cheerful.

Waving as he went to his home to take a shower, he smiled; a real smile. He had been close to his Bella. He had spent a whole afternoon with her, without freaking out. He could still hear her giggles and laughter and when he walked up his driveway, he didn't know that someone across the street was watching his every move.

-:-

The weeks after that day were great for Edward. He went happy to his work, and made sure to keep writing to Bella. He still took photos of her, and would spend as much time at her home as he could.

The house was going through a real transformation. Charlie wouldn't recognize it.

Charlie was one of Edward's patients. Every day he made sure to check up on him, not only because it was his work, but for Bella. But he saw no improvement. Edward didn't talk much about Charlie to Bella, but she wasn't stupid. She knew it had been almost five months now and the chances of waking up were slim.

The weeks after the first day Edward came by were the most wonderful for Bella as well. She was happier when she woke up; Angela noticed that she had become more cheerful. Bella still got her letters from her mystery writer, and she got to spend time with Edward. Being with him made her almost forget the loss she felt. There had been one dark day in her otherwise sunny days with Edward. It was the day she had finally talked to Jacob.

"What are you saying, Bella?" Jacob had asked her, the hurt in his deep, dark eyes was clear. There were already tears in Bella's eyes.

She just shook her head.

"I just can't… I don't love you anymore, Jake… I see you as a big brother but not as…" She let the words fall into the silence.

Jake roared, screamed, and fumed at Bella. In that moment, he was nothing like the boy she fell in love with. He was a beast, an angry looking beast.

"You can't do this to me!" he roared, while hovering over her. Bella was scared, maybe even terrified because she didn't recognize this person.

"I'm sorry," she chanted over and over again, but there was something inside of her saying she should have done it much sooner. She hadn't felt love for him in years… she just stayed with him for… she didn't even know why. Maybe just because she had to? Billy and Charlie were best friends, so they assumed their children would end up together.

Her back crashed against the old wood of his garage, Jacob's hands on her shoulders and his eyes fierce in hers.

"Is there someone else?" he hissed.

Deep down, Bella wanted to say yes, because there was. Edward had taken a huge space in her heart, more than Jacob ever had. But the fact that he was nothing but a good friend made her keep quiet. She couldn't hurt Jacob more than she already had so she shook her head. Speaking the words aloud would make him see her lie.

The hurt in his eyes were the last thing Bella saw before Jacob turned and ran off into the dark forest.

Bella ran away as well, back to the one person she knew she could trust.

Edward woke up to the sounds of loud knocking on his door. Opening it in only his boxers; he found Bella on his doorstep. Her eyes were red rimmed, tears falling as she sobbed.

She threw her arms around his naked torso and buried her face against his chest. Edward was speechless, dumbfounded for he had never thought he would ever find Bella like this again, after the day he saw her through her living room window.

He had hugged her tightly to his body, and carried her to the couch. He tried reassuring her in every way he could. He whispered soothing things in her ear; he caressed her back over and over. At some point, Edward tried convincing her to go home, to rest, but in a shaky voice Bella had asked, "Can I stay with you?" He didn't hesitate as he kissed her forehead and carried her to his bed, where she had laid down with her head upon his chest.

She told him the whole story of what had happened with Jacob, how she never really loved him, how she was just with him for security, how she was an awful person and how Jacob had pushed her against the garage. Edward was livid that Jacob had hurt her, but he said nothing. Instead, he just kept caressing her back and placing sweet kisses on the top of her head, shushing her. After hours she finally fell asleep on top of him.

Even though he felt sorry for Bella's pain, there was a whispering voice that told him he should be happy, she was finally free. She was finally within reach, and most importantly, she never really loved the boy. Edward wanted to know the reason for this, but his thoughts were interrupted with a whisper coming from Bella's lips.

"Edward… I love you…"

Edward never told Bella the words that she had said that night, but he would always remember them. His whole world had been turned upside down by them. Were they true? Did she really feel that way? Those were questions that lingered in his mind every second he spent in her presence. Those were the questions that plagued Edward when he was doing his route in the hospital during a morning a few days after the incident between Jacob and Bella. When he made his final stop at Charlie's room, he was surprised to find Bella there with him.

"Sneaking out from work again?" Edward asked playfully, while he was checking Charlie's results.

Bella nodded. "I had a feeling… something wasn't right. I had to be here today," Bella answered, while Edward studied her for a moment with concern.

She had dark bags under her eyes. She looked irritable, and worried. Her eyes held the question if Charlie was any better, but Edward just shook his head in denial.

"You want me to come over later?" he asked, because he didn't want her to be alone in the state she was in.

Bella nodded again. "I'd love to," she said, and granted him her first real smile of the day.

Edward stayed a while with Bella in the presence of Charlie. The old man looked worn down, his skin had a sort of grayish tint to it. He wasn't healthy.

"Will he ever wake up?" Bella asked, the hope in her eyes was painful for Edward to watch.

"I don't know," he answered honestly, and as if Charlie could hear them, the machines started beeping.

Everything after that happened very quickly.

Bella jumped out of her chair and Edward was already calling for a nurse and Carlisle for help.

"Edward! What's wrong?" Bella screamed. Charlotte, one of the nurses, came in and tried to push her outside. "What's happening?" she yelled again, while wrestling against Charlotte's arms.

Carlisle came in and was immediately busy with the defibrillators. "Edward, son, calm her down!" Carlisle said, his voice calm but firm.

Edward nodded and closed his arms around Bella, taking over from Charlotte as she went to assist Carlisle.

Edward had more strength than Bella, so he pulled her with him, close to his body. Bella was still screaming and wrestling against him, chanting Charlie's name over and over again, just as much as she chanted don't leave me.

"Bella? Bella, look at me," Edward said, while placing both of his hands on the sides of her face. His green eyes boring into her tear filled ones. She had no power left in her body.

"What's happening?" she whispered as Edward caressed her face and wiped away the tears.

"He's having a heart attack, Bella; you can't come in there for as long as we are busy with him. But I promise you, we will save him. I won't let him leave you. I'll bring him back. You won't be alone." And with that he pressed a soft kiss against her forehead and bolted towards the room, leaving Bella in the arms of the waiting nurse.

The waiting was excruciating. She paced around the waiting room, declining every offer for a cup of coffee. She was getting sick with worry. The people that passed by eyed her, wondering what gotten into her, but Bella didn't care. The one thing she wanted was for Charlie to be okay. She had lost her mother; she couldn't stand the idea of losing her father, too. After hours, she finally sank into one of the plastic chairs, defeated and tired.

Bella stared at the clock. The seconds ticked by as in the other room, Edward and Carlisle were both trying to save her father. After an unknown amount of time, Edward finally came out and walked slowly towards Bella. His scrub was slightly splattered with blood and his eyes looked tired.

Bella looked up at him, trying to read his expression, but it remained professional.

"We did everything we could…" he started, but he was cut off by Bella's worried voice.

"Edward say it… please," she begged him. And with her words, a smile crept upon his face.

"He's okay, he's stable. We had to…" but he couldn't finish his sentence, for Bella had run towards him and had knocked the air out of him when she strangled him in a warm embrace.

"You saved him…" she whispered, while her tears spilled over. Edward patted her back lightly.

He didn't want her against his dirty work outfit where Charlie's blood still lingered, so he pushed her away slightly, but still held his hands against her face – the same position they had been in a few hours earlier.

"He's going to be fine. He had some internal bleeding, but the heart attack wasn't as bad as it looked. He'll be fine," he said the last words, again, for her reassurance.

"You saved him," she said again, while looking into his honest eyes. The eyes she had become so fond of, and then added, "You saved me."

The sincerity of Bella's words shot straight to Edward's heart.

Without realizing what she was doing, Bella leaned forward and pressed her lips against his. The soft, velvet touch was enough for him to kiss her back. His arms embraced her, tight against his body.

This was everything he ever wanted. Bella's arm curled around him and the two stood there for a very long time in the deserted gray hallway. Bella had known panic and worry a few hours ago here, but now that she was in the arms of the man she loved, she found her happiness.

-:-

"What about this movie, Bella?" Edward asked, as he showed her a DVD case. It had been three weeks after Charlie's collapse. Edward had been there for Bella in every way he could, supporting and listening to her every way possible. Charlie was getting better, day by day Edward saw some more brain activity and it seemed like Charlie reached his lowest point; now he could only go up from here.

"It's-" Bella started, but was interrupted by Edward's cell phone ringing.

"Who is it?" he asked her as she looked at the ID caller of his phone.

"It says unknown," she replied, shrugging and handing it over to Edward.

Edward was confused. Who would call me on a Sunday afternoon? He thought. He shrugged as well as he answered it. "Hello?" he asked.

Bella was checking the DVDs, but as she glanced at Edward she froze, her smile fading. Edward was frozen as well, his face as white as a ghost. Seeing his horror stricken face, her heartbeat accelerated considerably.

She watched him, alarm on her face, as he stood listening to what the unknown caller was telling him. He was pale and looked like he was in excruciating pain, but he remained quiet.

"What's wrong?" she asked as soon as Edward hung up.

Edward opened his mouth a few times only to close it as the words would not come out. He thought of what to tell her, he couldn't lie to her, but he couldn't tell her the truth either. It would scare her away.

"I- I have to go," he finally said hastily, as he grabbed his coat and headed towards the door.

"Why? What's wrong?" she asked again, while running after him. Bella was confused, but most of all she was afraid, afraid for him. The look on Edward's face indicated that something was wrong, very wrong.

Bella's expression was killing him even more than the words he had just heard. It was breaking his heart to leave her in the dark, but it was for her sake. She didn't need to know how fucked up he really was. He convinced himself in that fraction of a second that he wasn't lying to her; he was just not saying everything. He was protecting her.

"I have to go; don't wait for me," he said, as he closed the door behind him and ran towards his house.

Bella stood there staring at the door for several minutes, too stunned to move. She didn't understand what had gotten into him; he never behaved this way. She shook her head a few times, trying to get rid of Edward's horrified face in her mind, but she couldn't.

Something was terribly wrong; she could feel it, though she couldn't put her finger on it just yet. As she tried thinking about it, she couldn't help but wondering if it had something to do with her…

Did I do something wrong? she thought over and over again. She replayed in her head every moment they had spent together, every second of their amazing time together. She tried thinking where she could have messed it up, but nothing came up. It was the phone call, it had to be.

As Bella was trying to ease her worries and confusion, something completely different was happening across the street. Edward stood on the doorstep of his bedroom. The room that once had been in perfect order was now a complete mess.

There was glass shattered near one of the walls, and lying next to it was one of his paintings, ripped to pieces. The former perfectly painted walls had now a big stain on them. The floor was covered with a blanket of torn paper and the nightstands were bare as its belongings were shattered all over the room. It was a mess. It was chaos.

Edward stood once again frozen staring at his destroyed room as the anger subsided.

No, no, no, he chanted in his head. This can't be happening.

He desperately wanted someone to tell him it wasn't true, that it was all just a bad dream, but there was no one who could. No one that could reverse this situation.

Edward always thought this could happen again, but he had held on to the hope desperately. The hope that he would never show up again in his life, that he would never destroy his life again, that he would never fill it with pain again.

You are bound to me; you will never get rid of me.

The words rang in Edward's head repeatedly. A strangled cry escaped his lips as he sank to his knees in a sea of torn papers.

It was nearing midnight of that same day when Bella couldn't stop herself and decided to call Edward. It rang and rang, but he never picked up, she tried several times until she chose to leave a message.

"Edward, it's me, Bella," she said. "I feel stupid talking to your voicemail, but I'm worried about you, are you okay? What's wrong? I mean… could you… Would you please just call me? No matter what time, I will be waiting. Please, Edward I… just… just call, please," she pleaded before hanging up.

Bella waited and waited and waited… but no response came. She tried going to him, but found his doors and windows locked. She peeked through the windows, but saw nothing moving there. She even thought about placing a ladder against the house to see the first floor, but she thought the better of it, knowing that she was sure to fall. Defeated, she went back to her house, but staring from the window on the first floor stood Edward; watching her retreat.

He could not face her now; she couldn't see the mess he made. So he locked himself in his Bella Room, filled with photos of her.

As days went by everything seemed to be back to normal. Edward never explained to Bella what had happened that night and she never pushed him to tell her.

Bella never ceased worrying about him though, at first he seemed more at ease, but after a while things started to get a little… strange. She knew he was keeping a secret, but she thought that he would talk about it with her once the time was right. That's how Bella found herself in the shower one evening, trying to wash away all her worries.

Abruptly, some very familiar hands sneaked around her waist and pressed her naked body against his. Bella shrieked and spun around, finding a grinning and naked Edward in front of her.

"Sorry love; I didn't mean to scare you," he said playfully as Bella kissed him fully on the lips.

"Oh, I like being scared, if the result is this..." she whispered against his jaw as she started pulling him closer to her. The times they had made love were wonderful, filled with passion, desire and love. Mostly love. The shower though, that would be a first.

While her hands moved up to his neck and into his wet hair, the water cascaded between them. It streamed over their bodies while both lovers were exploring the places they had become accustomed to.

"Have I told you lately how beautiful you really are?" Edward asked her while sucking lightly on her neck. "You are absolutely marvelous," he whispered in her ear, a loud moan escape Bella's lips.

"About a hundred times… each day," she panted, while Edward's hands caressed her naked bottom and pulled her towards his already hard cock.

Hitching her leg up over his hip, he created the friction they both wanted, the friction they both craved.

They were both panting loudly now as Bella felt Edward sliding and teasing over her most sensitive parts. Pulling herself completely up, she threw her arms around his neck and sucked on his earlobe, she knew how Edward liked that, how it turned him on.

Edward braced her against the glass of the shower door, taking one of her nipples in his mouth and sucked hard on it, making Bella hiss. Two can play this game, thought Edward, while Bella's wet hair was draped around his face.

"Edward… I want you," she moaned, which made his cock even harder.

While kissing and sucking and licking over the exposed skin, they felt complete. Both ready to give in to the extreme pleasure.

What should have been an extraordinary experience, ended in a disaster. Bella opened her eyes and saw Edward's back in her bathroom mirror. Seeing the reflection almost made her scream.

"Edward, your-your back… how…" she stuttered, while Edward stiffened completely. Gently he put her on her feet again.

"It's nothing," he answered casually. Even though they had made love, and saw each other's naked bodies before, Bella had never really paid attention to his back, there were other parts that were far more interesting.

"That," she pointed at the reflection in the mirror, "is not nothing!" while she turned off the shower, leaving them both in an eerie silence, water dripping off their bodies.

"Please Bella, don't ruin this," he pleaded, but he knew it was already too late. Bella had seen something she didn't like, and she'd wanted to know the truth. Staring into her eyes, and not paying attention to her beautiful naked body, he surrendered. Hesitantly, he turned around giving her the full impact of his destroyed back.

Edward heard Bella gasp and closed his eyes, while he let his head fall against the shower door.

He knew this was going to happen one day, but he had fervently wished it didn't have to. His greatest fear was that she would feel disgusted and never want to look at him again.

Bella wasn't prepared for this and she scolded herself for not paying more attention. I should have seen it, she thought while cursing inwardly.

Bella slowly raised her hand to carefully touch the scarred skin. She saw patterns in it. As soon as her finger was against his back Edward shivered. Giant red stripes were forever set in his skin. Some were large, other smaller. There were deep red ones and some were more pinkish.

"Edward, what happened to you?" she said, her voice barely audible. If Edward wasn't paying close attention to her, he wouldn't have heard her.

He didn't want to answer her, for she already knew the answer. He didn't want to say it out loud because it would make it only more real. Especially after what had happened last week, the phone call, how he had destroyed his own room… this was one point too far. He sighed and turned around; his green eyes, usually filled with such fire and love were now vacant.

Bella reached out to him, but he flinched away. Getting out of the shower as soon as his legs could drag him, he tossed his boxers and jeans on and threw his t-shirt over his head, covering his still wet back.

Seconds ticked by and Edward finally answered. "You know what happened," he whispered, his voice held every emotion he felt if he thought back about the time as a kid, about his youth.

Bella shook her head, whispering no over and over again. She could not believe it. Edward watched her inner conflict, and decided to give her some space.

For the second time in a row, he left without explanation, leaving Bella to guess what was wrong. As soon as he closed the door, Bella sank against the floor, tears streaming down her face. She knew his father had treated him badly, even as a six year old she had seen the bruises. Her outburst had made the teacher act, her outburst had saved him. But she never knew that it was this bad. His father had damaged him for life, and Bella did not know how she could help Edward get past this.

-:-

A month went by, but after Bella's discovery, things between Edward and her were not the same, things were… stiff. That was why Bella didn't want to leave him alone, not for a second, but she had to, her grandmother was sick. She needed Bella; she was the only family, apart from Charlie, that she had left. Grams Marie had lost her daughter too, and she clung to Bella for dear life. Her grandchild was her only reminder that Renee was still there, somewhere inside Bella.

Edward had reacted very defensively when Bella told him she was leaving for a while. He thought she was going to leave him, for good. Bella reassured him that she would be back.

But since the moment Bella arrived at her Grandmother Marie's house, she couldn't shake the feeling of dread inside of her, something was wrong, she could feel it. One more day passed and Bella couldn't take it anymore, explaining to her grams that she had to go back to Forks immediately, she packed her things and tossed them into her car.

She drove as fast as she could from the airport to Edward's house. He hadn't answered any of her calls, hadn't responded to any of her texts. She knew what her heart was trying to tell her, the way it was constricting was far too painful for that strange feeling to be nothing, but what had her on edge was that everything in her was telling her that there was something wrong with Edward. That he needed her.

As soon as Bella parked the car she ran towards the house, knocking furiously on the door, but Edward didn't open the door.

In her haste to get to Edward, Bella checked the door. It was unlocked. Without hesitation, she threw it open and sprinted inside screaming Edward's name.

She frantically searched the house, never ceasing to call for him. Her heart was beating furiously in her chest, and it became difficult to breathe as Bella spotted some red dots on the floor, near the kitchen door.

It is not blood, it is not blood, she prayed in her head as she slowly went in, her eyes widening in horror as she saw the destruction. It seemed like a tornado had gone through; Edward's formerly perfect kitchen was now completely destroyed. Chairs were broken; the door of the fridge was dented. His cabinet doors were hanging off their hinges. Forks, knives and spoons were spread all over the floor. It was a total mess and in the midst of it all were several pools of blood. Some were smeared and Bella recognized finger prints in them.

Making an effort to breathe evenly, she slowly started going upstairs, her fears grew as she saw more red strains on the floor and some marks on the walls. When she finally reached his room, her heart was threatening to leave her chest for it was beating far too rapidly.

The door was closed, and it was dark inside as there was no light coming from under the door frame. Bella reached out her trembling hand and slowly turned the doorknob, praying it was unlocked too… and it was.

Hesitating for just a brief moment, she whispered, "Edward," her voice trembling.

Silence.

"Edward," she whispered again, but a sob escaped her lips along with his name. She was crying. The feeling of not knowing what happened was killing her.

Willing her feet to move she went in the room, searching the walls for the light-switch. When she finally found it she hesitated before turning the lights on, for she was afraid of what she could see there.

After she turned the light and blinked a few times, adjusting to the sudden brightness she felt her eyes widening again. The floor of his bedroom had a big red stain on it, there was even more blood than in the kitchen. She scanned the room frantically with her eyes, just to find it empty. When her eyes landed on the bathroom door, she moved forward. It was slightly open and she could see the light coming from it.

He has to be in there, she thought.

Slowly Bella pushed the door completely open and she froze dead in her tracks.

Her hand went flying to her face, to cover her mouth and stop the strangled sob that ripped out of her chest as she stared at Edward, laying limp on the bathroom floor. His skin pale on the parts that were not covered with blood.

Tears ran down Bella's face as she thought she lost him. Willing her feet to move, she took a few more steps towards his body. She could see some bruises on his face, near his eye. He had blood on the side of his lips and a very bad cut on his cheek. His clothes seemed to have been torn and she could see angry red marks on his arms and his stomach, but what worried Bella the most was the small puddle of blood she could see near his head. The rusty smell made her dizzy. The walls started spinning but Bella tried to remain focused. Edward needed her now.

She was desperate, she didn't know what to do, so in the same second she was standing next to him she was crouching next to his body, calling his name as her hands moved on their own accord towards his face.

His skin was cold, too cold.

"Edward, you can't do this to me, please," she begged, though he couldn't hear her.

Edward was unconscious not only because of the blood he had lost, but also because of the excruciating pain.

The sudden appearance of his father in the middle of his kitchen had sent the memories of his childhood running through his head over and over again. Since the moment he received that phone call from his father telling him he would never get rid of him, that Edward would better give him what he wanted or he knew what could happen. Edward knew his father would come for him one day.

But what he felt the moment he saw his father was not even close to what he thought he could ever feel again. He was petrified, his heart beating fast, his breathing ragged as he trembled with fear. He felt like the little boy he used to be, sitting terrified in the far, dark corner of his room trying to be as small as possible, while watching his dad get closer, with the menace in his eyes and the leather belt hanging from his hand.

His father had destroyed Edwards kitchen with his own body. Even though Edward was a grown man now and could have fought his father easily, he didn't. The fear had set him frozen in place as his drunken father took his anger out on him.

"You're still a piece of shit. Worthless, just like your fucking mother," he spat.

"Look at you," he hissed, while hovering over Edwards limp form. "You aren't even resisting, you are nothing! Nothing but a piece of crap! I'm disgusted that you share my blood and flesh. Repulsed! You aren't even worthy of life, your whore of a mother wasn't either. She was a tart. The world would be better off without worthless creatures like you," he lit a cigarette and blew the smoke into Edwards face. Dark, lethal green eyes stared into Edwards beaten face.

Deep down, Edward knew his father wasn't done yet, his rage never ended so quickly. He knew that all too well.

"And look at the shitty room you've created upstairs? Obsessing over the girl next door, you should be ashamed of yourself. She's pretty, it's a shame I cannot pay her a visit… I could turn you in you know, for assaulting a girl living alone, you could serve some time in prison. Maybe that would be good for you. If you had just any dignity left, but no…"

He started pacing in the destroyed kitchen. Mumbling curses under his breath.

"Guess it's time to teach you a lesson, maybe that'll show you how to be a man. A man that is worthy of calling me his father," and with that his malice increased and Edward took in every blow.

By the time he was done Edward couldn't even breathe nor move, the pain was excruciating.

"I'm taking this money," he had said, while stuffing the package inside his jacket. "At least there's something you did right. I'll see you soon, son," he had hissed, before leaving casually through the door after wiping Edward's blood off his hands.

With every ounce of strength Edward had left, he dragged himself up the stairs and into his bedroom's bathroom. He knew his phone was there, but reaching out he flinched from the pain and collapsed near the bathtub. His strength and will to fight against the pain was now gone. He couldn't fight against something so much bigger than him; he had fought so many years against this, but now, there wasn't some sweet girl to rescue him.

He would never see his Bella again, her beautiful, kind eyes. He would never feel her sensitive skin or her sweet touch. Never would he feel happiness again, and with that thought he let the pain take over his body, while silently drifting into unconsciousness, with a vision of Bella's gorgeous face before his eyes.

And now as Bella kneeled beside Edward, praying he would open his green eyes, or just show her in some way he noticed her, she spotted his cell phone near the mirror.

She ran to it and searched for Carlisle's number. It rang two times before he picked up.

"Hello? Edward?" a man's voice answered.

"Carlisle! Carlisle, oh my God," Bella cried on the phone.

"Bella? Bella, calm down, what's wrong?" he asked concerned.

"It's Edward, Carlisle, he's… he's been hurt… there's so much blood, I don't… I don't know what to do… please, you need…" she cried, but didn't finish her sentence as she thought she saw movement in the corners of her eyes. She let the phone fall and she ran towards him again.

"Bella, Bella…" she could still hear Carlisle's voice on the phone, but she didn't move to pick it up, she kneeled next to Edward, cupping his face with both her hands.

"Edward, please… please be strong, I'm here. Carlisle will be here soon," she whispered against his mouth. "It's my turn to save you," and with that she slowly leaned in to give him a small kiss on his damaged lips.

-:-

It took Edward almost a month to fully recover. Not once did Bella leave his side. Spending time between Edward and Charlie, she was with both men she loved most in her life. They meant everything to her, and knowing that they were both hurt right now made her extremely sad. Bella was a strong woman though, so she held on. She held on for both of them.

The moment Edward opened his eyes; she was lying next to him on the little hospital bed.

"Bella," he had croaked.

She had been stunned to hear her own name, for it meant that he would be better, eventually. Bella had cried endlessly, saying over and over how glad she was that he was finally awake. Carlisle came in shortly thereafter, followed by Esme. The question that had burned in all three of them could now be asked.

"Edward, my son, what happened?" Carlisle asked.

Edward's only reply was a shake of his head. He struggled to find the strength to say it all out loud, for he knew they deserved to know the truth. "I was so weak, I've been so weak…" he whispered while tears threatened to fall from his eyes.

"Calm down sweetheart, just try to tell us what happened," Esme implored.

It took Edward a while to start, but with a reassuring look from Bella, and her hand securely clasped in his he started his story.

"My Dad," he whispered hoarsely, and just as Edward had expected the three of them were shocked, but deep down they all knew the truth, they had known all along.

Not giving them time to start with the inquisition, he told them everything, starting from when he was a little boy and how he saw his father beat his mother to death. How he saw the life fading out of her eyes and even though the town believed there had been a burglar, Edward always knew it wasn't true. But he needed to keep his mouth shut, for he would get the consequences if his father ever found out.

He went on and on, telling them how his father took his anger out on him after his mother's death. For every little thing that he did wrong, or sometimes just because he felt like it, Edward would experience pain that left him unable to neither move nor speak for days. He left out the exact description about the beatings and the whipping, for both women he deeply loved were already crying for his pain.

He went further, saying his dad called a few weeks back, at which Bella gasped for she finally knew who the unknown caller was. He told them how Bella had saved him all those years ago from something far more badly than they ever thought. Edward told them how he saw his father showing up, at places he went and how he demanded money from Edward. He told them the story of what had happened in the kitchen and everything his dad had said to him.

The memories of it all caused Edward a great deal of pain. He could see the hurt in the eyes of his real father, for Carlisle had always been his true father. Esme was silently shaking, and his Bella lay motionless against him, grasping onto him for dear life.

Bella felt horrible, she blamed herself for not being there sooner, for not seeing the hurt that had plagued Edward for such a long time. She couldn't believe how a father could treat his own son like this. And she felt his pain, for his pain was her pain now, too.

The authorities came in shortly thereafter, and practically forced Edward to recall the whole story. Someone needed to be punished for this and deep down he knew that. So even though it hurt so badly, he told it again. It was easier talking about it to people he didn't know.

The officers took care of it and they assured them all that Edward's father would be arrested once they found him. Attempted manslaughter was almost always a life sentence. He'd be charged for mental and physical abuse of a minor, his own son. For neglecting every human right to his son, for Edward went days without food or something to drink, there were days that he wasn't even allowed to shower. And with a testimony of Edward he'd be charged for the murder of Elizabeth Masen, Edward's mother. And the list went on and on…

For the first time in a long while, Edward felt relieved. Holding the dark secrets of his past had taken a great deal out of him. He felt the weight falling off his shoulders now.

Carlisle and Esme left both, Edward and Bella, alone shortly after Edward's confession, for they both knew the two of them had a lot to discuss.

For an hour long they talked and cried and held onto each other. But after that, they both felt better. Bella knew Edward would be better in time and Edward knew that his Bella was not running away, now that she knew everything, she was still here. She still loved him.

She had one condition for him though, and that was that he should see someone to help him deal with his dark past and everything that had happened recently. Even though Edward didn't like talking about it, he knew that it was time. He had carried this burden for so long, it was time to let it go.

-:-

A few weeks had passed since Edward had his first appointment with Dr. Kate. She was a sweet and loving woman. Edward related to her in many ways. She understood everything he said, and still remained very professional. With her help, Edward felt he was getting better. He felt the burden lessen with every passing session. Also the fact that Edward's father had been caught and declared guilty to every charge made him feel more than relieved. His 'father' was forever behind bars, and he would never come to seek him, or endanger Bella ever again. They were both safe now.

After a good session with Dr. Kate, Edward was on his way home. To his Bella. While he was on his way to her house, he didn't know that Bella received the phone call she'd been waiting for, for over eleven months. Bella was ecstatic to hear that her father's health was improving.

She left without her coat and was about to run outside and towards Edward's house to tell him the good news. The rain was coming down heavily, and when Edward made his way to her front door, Bella threw it open and crashed into his chest. Knocking the air out of him, he made sure she was balanced enough to stand up straight.

"Slow down there, Tiger," he said, grinning crookedly at her.

Once Edward let go of her shoulders she looked up at him for a very long time; the rain soaking both of them. Bella thought about everything that had happened to her through the past months and as if all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fell into place she whispered, "It was you…" while looking in his deep, burning green eyes.

Edward nodded, for even though she had not really said much he knew what she was talking about. After such a long time, she had finally found out.

Edward had never stopped writing his letters to her, and there were many times that she wrote back. It had been the start of their relationship. It was trickier to get the letters to her unnoticed once they were together, but he still managed to do it. He still watched her, as a smile formed on her lips every time she found a manila envelope.

A week after Edward got released from the hospital; Bella had run into his –as he called it- Bella Room. The look of shock on her face was horrible when she saw all of the pictures he had taken over all those years. It was the one day, apart from the day his dad attacked him, that he hadn't locked that door. Curious as Bella was, she threw open the door to find a compilation of herself through the years.

Edward freaked out, for he feared how Bella would react, because even though he loved all the pictures he had taken, he knew how a person could react to finding something like that.

"What is this?" she had asked, dumbfounded. Edward hadn't had the courage to answer.

After minutes and minutes of silence she had turned around. "You've really loved me for a very long time, haven't you?" she had whispered.

"You finally noticed?" he whispered back, though a playful tone was still present in his voice.

Smiling brightly Bella had thrown her arms around his neck and told him she loved him.

While they both stood there, still in the pouring rain she asked again, "It was really you?" and a little smile played in the corners of her mouth.

Edward nodded again, but eyed her curiously, for he didn't know what to say or what to think about this, how would Bella react?

"Deep down…" she began after minutes of silence, "I always hoped it was you, you saved me. You always saved me, and for these past months your words have kept me alive… you kept me alive more than anything else."

A single tear fell out of the corners of her eyes when Bella suddenly realized how much she loved this man in front of her. Edward wiped away the single tear and caressed her cheek with his thumb.

Still standing in the rain, now both soaking wet, Bella threw herself at him and Edward caught her without difficulty, swaying her around in circles while she kept saying "I love you" in his ear.

With the rain crashing down upon them, they bent forward and their soft lips met once more, sealing their love with every fiber in their body. And in that moment, they both knew that everything would be all right.

-:-

Bella sat on the little bed, grinning at her roommate fighting again on the phone with her boyfriend. Rosalie was one hell of a friend and a lot to handle, but her boyfriend Emmett was even worse. They fought constantly, but adored each other deeply. They were the most discussed couple on campus, and Bella felt grateful to call them her best friends.

Even Angela had gone to college. Seeing Bella leave was her cue that something needed to be different. It was time for a change. Collecting all the courage she had, Angela had talked with her parents and told them she wanted to study philosophy. They had both hugged her and told her how glad they were that she was finally picking up her life again. Bella couldn't be more proud of her friend, for finally doing what she wanted to do.

Bella had just started her second year at Dartmouth. Studying English Literature was her dream finally coming true. Paying a bit with the money she had earned while working at The grill, together with an almost full scholarship, she had got in.

The day she got her acceptance letter, she had shrieked so loud the whole town had heard her.

Bella felt honored that she was accepted, though she wished she could have shared her joy with Charlie. Bella still called the hospital on a daily basis; just to hear them say that Charlie was getting better, though they never knew if he would ever wake up.

A loud knock on the door made Bella wake up from her daydream.

"Bella, get the fucking door already! I can't even hear a thing what Emmett is yelling!" Rosalie shouted at her. Bella had to hide a smile. Even though Rosalie and Emmett were fighting now, everything would be alright in a few hours. Opening the door in her grey pajama pants and a brown tank top, she faced a freshman girl.

"I have a delivery for you Miss Bella," she squeaked, while she handed Bella a manila envelope and two beautiful red roses.

"Oh, thanks?" she asked, dumbfounded, while closing the door and retreating to her bed. Sitting cross legged on it, she smelled the sweet scent of the flowers and tore open the envelope, for she already knew who sent it.

My sweet Isabella,

It's been two years, precisely this day, since I sent you my first letter. I cannot describe the feeling of joy when I saw you smiling at the envelope that first day. It was your first real smile in such a long time. I really hated to see you that sad. You were so defeated back then, but you and I have overcome a lot since that day.

First of all, I want to congratulate you, my love, on your second year at Dartmouth. I cannot begin to tell you how extremely proud I am of my girl. But just so you know, I really am. You followed your dreams again and I'm very grateful for your courage. Secondly, I'd like to tell you that everything is going really well with Kate. She and Garrett have a little boy, and named him Benjamin. And the good news is Kate told me I'd only have to go to a session once every six months now. Apparently my 'progress' is going really well.

But the real reason I'm writing to you, Bella, is to say how deeply I love you. These past two years have been the most wonderful of my life, and it is all thanks to you, my love. You've created so much light, where there was only darkness for me. Every time I found my way blocked, you opened a new door. You are the fire in my life. You are my life now and I can't say how grateful I am for the day you first wrote back to me. You said you wanted to know me, and I desperately wanted to know you too. You made me take that step towards you, you made me suggest helping you with the house. You made me reach out to you and I'm glad I did.

I worship you, my sweetheart, and I can't imagine a moment spending without you. I'm at the end of my restless road, and this journey was so worth it, for it brought me to you. It resulted in being with you. Everything leads me back to you; everything I do brings me back to you. You showed me things; no one could ever make me see. Because if anyone could make me fall in love, it was you. You saved me from myself. It'll always be you and no one else. If the world would crash down someday, I know I'd still have you. I cherish every single moment of you in my heart, always. Because Bella, I feel nothing but love and devotion for you, and I promise I will love you every moment of our forever.

Always and forever yours,

Edward.

When Bella finished reading his letter she had tear in her eyes, once again. She missed him so much, it had been such a long time since she saw him.

She was doing what she had always dreamed of, and she couldn't be happier about it, but she felt Edward's absence frequently. She wanted to have him there to kiss him and hug him whenever she wanted. But she knew this was something that needed to be done, she was making her dream come true, and if it wasn't for Edward she could never have been able to.

As she wiped her tears away, a big smile appeared on her face, as she heard another knock on the door, a lighter one then the previous one.

She frowned just slightly and got up to open it.

Opening it Bella froze, she was shocked to see Edward there.

"Hello, my love," he said, whispering as he bend just slightly.

Bella reacted, squealing loudly and throwing her arms around his neck. Their lips instantly met with a kiss full of love and the longing they had felt for each other in the time they spent apart.

They stood there, on the door way kissing passionately as the love they felt for each other only grew. In that moment they both knew it would never stop growing. It was an endless love.

"Ewww, guys! You are not the only one with feelings!" Rosalie screamed from behind them. "Get a room for Christ's sake!"

Slowly they backed away from the kiss to look at Rosalie. As they all started laughing together, they knew what a beautiful life was a head of them. Edward had saved Bella, and Bella had saved Edward. What they now felt for each other, was nothing but love. Love and pure devotion.


A/N: Thank you for reading. I hope you liked it. :)

-Voting Starts: 22nd June 2010 and Ends: 30th June 2010!

-Time to thank the betas from PTB Carla de Guzman (nijiska) and McGee! And Lehava for working with me again! It was tough, but we did it! Lots of love to you! :)

Thank you all again for reading and please review! :)