Author's Chapter Notes:

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners (Stephenie Meyer). The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

I do not own these characters. I am just trying to help them resolve their issues.

I want to thank my amazing and astounding beta who I met on the twilighted boards Kalklo, you rock.

I hope you like this and review. It is my first fanfic ever so be nice :)

Edward's POV

Sitting in the rocking chair in Bella's small bedroom in Charlie's house, I was happier than I ever deserved to be. I was able to watch my love sleep, I was back in her life, she loved and forgave me, and my world was complete. I had moved to the chair a few minutes ago, because Bella was shivering. I marked the passage of time by listening to the sound of her heartbeat, the most significant sound in my world, which was a symphony unto itself.

The sound of her heartbeat was inspiring me; I felt another tune about my Bella forming as she started to murmur. This was only our second night together since our return from Italy, one night since her ridiculous vote, and I could not wait to hear her uncensored thoughts. I missed them most of all because that was the closest I truly ever got to being able to hear her thoughts, as I did with everyone else in my life and the indeed the world.

First, there was a sigh, and I knew any second I would hear her sweet voice, the sound of my salvation; I had so missed the voice of my angel. I leaned forward to be able to hear her better, not that I had to—it was habit formed by years of the human façade we all perfected. Then my angel said my name, and my long-dead heart warmed. There was another sigh. This one was agitated, and this confused me. I realized that she must have been reliving the hell she was put through in Italy. That was my doing. She was paying for my sin, and I was truly a disgusting and selfish creature. I never deserved to have this miraculous creature in my life, and that was never truer than at that very moment.

Her lips parted and I waited for a scream or some other sign of distress as I walked over to the bed so I could wake her and save her from reliving some of the nightmare to which I had subjected her.

"Edward," she murmured. I paused. Was she awake? No, her heart rate told me she was still in the deep REM of her sleep cycle.

She then spoke again. "I don't trust you. You broke me."

With those simple words, I wished I were dead. The irony was not lost on me; I was indeed dead, but what I meant was to be dead in the traditional sense.

My Bella was hurting and it was not due to the Volturi. It was because of me. My leaving broke her, yet she accepted me back in her life almost without question. I thought Bella had forgiven me. She had told me as much.

Had she lied to me? No, Bella was a terrible liar. Her blush and easy to read facial expressions always gave her away. This must have been something her subconscious needed to work through.

She had been through so much: I had left her, I had attempted to kill myself, she had saved me, and then she took me back after I...well… broke her. I would forever carry the burden of this shame.

"Bella," I said softly, knowing full well that even if she were awake, her human ears would not be able to hear me. I needed to say these words out loud. If I said them out loud, I would be making a promise to Bella, and I told her I would never break another promise to her.

I took an unnecessary breath to calm myself.

"Bella," I repeated. "I will make this up to you. I will earn back your trust." With that, I sat back down in the rocking chair and waited for morning.

I was lying in bed with Bella. She was under the covers and I was above them. She was snuggled up tightly next to my hard form, her head resting on my chest. I knew this must not have been comfortable for her, but when I tried to move away, she whimpered. The guilt from what she said in her sleep last night was still fresh in my mind. Truthfully, I had been obsessing about it all day long. I refused to tell Bella about what she said in her sleep. I knew her well enough to know she would blame herself and not place blame where it belonged, which was squarely upon my shoulders. So instead, I tried to be as reassuring and loving as I could all day long.

Bella had not been sleeping long when her breathing slowed and she was in the deep cycle of sleep that voiced the hidden thought of her silent mind to me. Bella stirred slightly but did not wake.

"Edward," she murmured, followed by, "Bastard," and, "How could you?" My long dead heart broke. I realized my actions warranted this punishment. Perhaps I could now brace myself for her sending me away for good. Even I knew this was unlikely, but perhaps fate, in all her twisted wisdom, was doing this to break me as I had broken my sweet Bella.

Every harsh murmur was like a knife going to the heart. I kept repeating over and over in my head my new mantra: "You don't deserve her, you know this. She chose you, so make this right." The time passed slowly, as I waited for the sun to rise and my darling Bella, to awaken. Only her touch, her kiss, and her conscious words would prove to be a salve for the wounds inflicted during the night. Regardless of the fact that I did not deserve these comforts, I needed them. Without them, I could not try to better myself and turn into a man worthy of my Bella.

The last two nights had been torture. Bella had expressed in her uncensored thoughts that I had broken her. I 'officially' left Bella—following the visiting hours assigned by Charlie—and hunted some local game off the Cullen property. Afterward, I sat in the rocking chair in the corner of Bella's bedroom, watching her as per usual. The typical thoughts swam through my mind. My Bella was suffering because of me in more ways than I could count. I left to avoid doing this to her.

Some good that did, Cullen, I chastised myself.

When I returned from hunting, I found Bella's window open and her asleep with her light on and Wuthering Heights lay strewn on the bed. She must have been reading to try and stay awake. She had been waiting for me, and yet again, I disappointed her. When I came in, I turned out the light, placed the book on her desk, and tucked her in properly so she did not catch a chill from the open window. Normally, she would have been able to wait up for me, but the past few days had taken such a toll on her and she still was not fully recovered.

I watched my angel sleep. She was glorious when she slept. Her hair cascaded over the pillow and her full lips were pursed. She was the epitome of tranquility. I sat and gazed upon her, and though I had no right, I thanked God that she was safe, as safe as she could be with me. I should have known better than to be so presumptuous because it was at this moment my love began to speak. Apparently I had not missed this nightly ritual. I wondered what this night would bring. Would she be murmuring my name and declarations of her love, which I did not deserve? Or would I be greeted with the horrific truth of how much I had damaged the most important element of my existence?

"I hate you, Edward," she said so clearly I thought she was awake. These were the words I feared most.

"You nearly killed me, are you happy?" she murmured so quietly that it was almost inaudible, even to my immortal hearing.

I was a selfish being. I would surely be damned to hell for what I did to this sweet and loving woman. Perhaps this would be my punishment as long as Bella remained human. She would profess her love to me during the day, but at night when she found escape from the realities of life, I would be forever confronted by the consequences of her pain… oh, the bitter irony. I would never know peace at night again. I could not sleep and now I would literally never escape the pain I caused her.

"Bella would be angry at you if she could hear your thoughts," a little voice in my head, which sounded remarkably like my pixie sister, said.

Should I discuss this with Bella? What would I say if she asked me what she said in her sleep? I needed a plan of action. I would not let her know about this, as it would make everything harder on her. I would simply confess her murmuring my name and mumbling. I knew that would never work since Bella was well aware that I would never miss a word she said because of my hearing and devotion to her. I would simply tell her I missed her talking tonight because the family sidelined me after my hunt. That was plausible.

I had no way to know how to deal with this. I was at a loss at how to make this up to Bella. I needed someone to help me. I didn't know to whom I should turn. I thought that perhaps I would speak to my father, but then I realized that I did not deserve his council and would have to navigate this on my own. No sooner did I make this decision then my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. I opened it and saw a text message from Alice:


If you don't speak to Carlisle, you lose her. Do the right thing this time, for all of us. Speak to Carlisle tomorrow.

Love, A.

I would not lose Bella again. I would not survive it and I could not do that to her again. My pride would be a small price to pay to keep the loving and trusting Bella I adored in my life. It was settled; in the hours I was forced to spend away from her, I would discuss this with Carlisle. Now I just had to get him away from the others or I would never hear the end of it. Unlike Bella, my family were still openly hostile with me for what I put them all through.

Tomorrow was my day of reckoning.

Chapter End Notes:

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