Push and Pull
New Moon AU where Bella stands up to Edward when he tries to leave her. Told in first person POV with changing characters, but no repetition of scenes. No infringement intended. Thanks for reading, and thanks to my prereader Erikasbuddy and my beta OnePushyFox.
Bella stands up for herself when Edward tries to leave. Offering him something that no one else can, they now face a new adversary in a surprising newborn with a strange ability. How far will they go to tear them apart? AU Bella x Edward M
My entire existence changed the second that James attacked Bella. I was forced to remove the venom that was infecting her through the most simple and agonizing way possible. With each slow pull from Bella's pale arm, my control was waning. This was the most exquisite blood I'd ever tasted, even tainted by James' vitriol and venom. I didn't want to stop, but somehow I found the strength. I wanted my Bella alive, and more importantly, she must remain human.
After Bella's recovery, I tried to act like nothing was different. She needed me in new ways every day, beyond the expectations of protection and companionship a normal man should provide. But every minute I was in the presence of this fragile woman, the thin thread of control I had was fraying.
My thinly veiled façade of control was never breached. Who knew that Bella's eighteenth birthday would signal another upheaval in my carefully constructed world? A millisecond after she cut her finger on a beautifully wrapped birthday present, the most intoxicatingly wonderful bouquet flooded my senses. The next moment, I flung Bella into the table occupied by dishes, her own birthday cake, and presents. Another blink of an eye later, I fought Jasper with all that I had, just to keep the reason for my continuing existence alive.
I began to formulate my plan while I drove Bella home in her rusty old truck. She practically begged me to stay the night with her, and on a normal night, I would have with little protest. I relented only after she used the "It's my birthday" excuse. By this point in time, I was close to making up my mind, I just needed to decide how I was going to execute my plan with minimal damage to her fragile soul.
As a final birthday wish, Bella wanted a kiss. I'd always had clearly drawn boundaries for us so she wouldn't be physically hurt. Those restrictions went out the window since I knew this would be our last kiss. It started out slow, but I couldn't hide my need when she eagerly responded. As Bella crushed her warm body to mine, our kiss became more urgent. I held her close, my hand entwining with her hair as I held her face to mine. A small moan escaped her lips as she pulled away slightly to take a breath. She wound her slender hands around my neck as she pushed her mouth to mine again hungrily.
Realizing the tight control I had was slipping, I gently pushed her away. Gasping for air, we both knew that the carefully constructed lines had been crossed. She greedily asked for more, but I declined due to my now imminent self-control issues. We sagged against her hard mattress, choosing to remain silent for a few moments.
When she turned towards me, I could tell by the darkness in her eyes that Bella wasn't ready to let it go. She pushed the issue by asking me if I wanted her body or blood more at that moment. I honestly answered that I wanted them both equally. I'd never been so relieved than when she finally dropped the subject and snuggled into me, allowing sleep to find her.
I couldn't act as though nothing had happened, though. Bella blamed herself for this entire situation when it was completely my fault. I shouldn't have started this reckless relationship and irresponsibly let it continue. There couldn't possibly be a happy ending for a beautiful, brown eyed human and a soulless vampire.
The next day, I found myself acting cold and distant around her. Sensing her confusion and fear, I was thankful for the first time that I can't read her mind. I didn't want to know if she sensed my withdrawal from her, because I already felt guilty enough for starting all of this.
After several days of slowly pulling away from her, I met Bella at her house after school. A walk in the forest was my ruse. I tried to convince myself that I was fully prepared to leave her; it was the only way I knew to protect her. If I was no longer in her life, she would not be in danger. In my mind it was pretty cut and dry.
I had imagined how everything would play out. Bella would be somber and tears would be shed, but she'd get over me quickly, as most humans get over such matters. However, things did not go exactly as I'd planned that day.
"Let's go for a walk in the woods, Bella," I said flatly as I offered her my hand. I could sense her hesitation as she placed her soft, warm hand in mine. I practically had to pull her into the forest as she drug her feet. We stopped walking just inside of the tree line; I didn't want her to be too far from home when I broke the news. There were creatures more dangerous than my family roaming the woods.
"Talk to me, please," Bella plead, looking downward as she did. She knew what something was amiss, even if she couldn't quite put her finger on the specifics.
"Bella, we're leaving. People are starting to get suspicious, starting to notice that Carlisle looks much younger than he should be now," I lied. It was unsettling how easily the lie escaped my lips.
"I'll have to think of something to tell Charlie. Are you sure we can't wait until the school year is over?" she innocently asked, clearly not getting the intent of my words.
"Bella, my family and I are leaving." I stared at her without showing any emotion, even though it felt like my insides were being ripped out of me through a pinhole with tweezers.
"Oh," Bella said quietly, her lower lip starting to quiver. "I see."
"You're not good for me, and God knows, I'm not good for you," I simply stated. This was actually the truth, not just a lie to make her believe that I should leave. She made me want to be human so bad. And in turn, I made her want to be a damned vampire.
"I—I don't believe you. You're just trying to protect me," Bella screamed, clenching both of her hands tightly to her stomach. She'd never raised her voice in anger like this before, and it momentarily stunned me.
"We don't belong in the same world, it's too hard to keep you safe." Bella just stared at the ground, as if what I was saying wasn't registering into her consciousness.
"You've been living in my world quite successfully for many years now. I don't think that gives me a fair chance at trying to live in yours. I've only had a few months to try. And you wouldn't have to worry about my safety if you would just change me already."
I needed to change the direction of this risky conversation, take control to steer it back to the way that I wanted it to go. "Can I ask a favor?" I said hesitantly, expecting to not be granted this wish.
Bella stared straight into my eyes, answering with a desperate sounding, "Anything."
I returned the pleading gaze from her chocolate eyes, asking her not to endanger herself while I was away.
"I can't promise you that. You don't have to leave just because Jasper couldn't control himself. Send him away," Bella spoke quickly with force, sounding like a spoiled little child.
"How would that be fair to Alice, Bella? It doesn't matter anyway, Jasper and Alice have already left."
Bella shook her head back and forth. "How is it fair that you're willing to abandon me, no questions asked? And what about Alice? She's losing me too."
She had a good point. I realized that this wasn't fair to anyone. "I guess I didn't think of it that way," I admitted, averting my eyes downward.
"You've always treated me like a disinterested party in this relationship. I've never been an equal partner or had a say in any important decisions." Bella's eyes were starting to glisten with tears, but I could see the sparks of anger just under the surface.
She reached up and jerked my chin forward, forcing me to hold her gaze. I wasn't expecting her to react so physically. Her behavior was so unexpected that I allowed her to manhandle me.
"To answer the favor you so selfishly want me to grant you. If you leave me I will die, even if I have to do it myself. How does that make you feel?" She turned to leave and couldn't bear to see her walk away. Maybe it was better if she hated me? I would still feel eternally guilty, no matter what happened.
I don't know where the strength came from to be so brutally honest about my feelings. They manifested themselves both verbally and physically, bubbling up inside until the spilled over like a volcano. I wasn't stretching the truth when I said that I wouldn't live without Edward. He was my life, and it wasn't worth living if he wasn't present. Would I kill myself? I knew the answer to that was no, but the life I would have wouldn't be any kind of life worth enduring.
Apparently I'd used up that strength very quickly, so I decided to retreat. I turned to go, trying to keep my head held high as I moved one foot. I took one shaky step with my left leg onto some jagged rocks, immediately falling. Trying to catch myself with my right arm, a sharp pain pierced my hand as it slid along the rocks. I curled up on the ground, cradling my now bleeding hand to my chest.
While I remained on the cold ground, something inside of me snapped. It was like a pilot light was set ablaze, a flame that had one purpose: to fuel rage. I'd never felt like this before. I'd always been the adult, even when my age didn't reflect it, first to Renee, next to Charlie, and finally to Edward. I had always been agreeable—the even minded and dependable girl.
Edward reached out his hand to help me up, ever being the gentleman. Instead of reaching for his outstretched pale hand, I pushed his arm away. I didn't need the help of someone who could so easily throw me away. I confidently stood up, looked Edward in the eye before cocking my arm back and smacking his left cheek hard with my right hand. Then, the white hot pain shot through my hand from hitting such a hard, beautiful face. It was only after I saw Edward's posture change that I realized what I had just done.
Edward immediately shifted into a defensive crouch as I scrambled backwards. I'd placed my bloodied hand directly on his cheek and open mouth when I'd slapped him. I had unwittingly fed Edward my blood. He stayed perfectly still, and I could tell it was taking great effort to stay that way.
"Bella, you really need to go before something bad happens," Edward growled. His eyes quickly changed from amber color to black. His thirst started to take over, and I was in mortal danger. "I'm not sure how long I can control myself."
He remained perfectly still, not breathing or even batting an eyelash. Suddenly, Edward's cell phone rang from inside his coat pocket. I didn't see him move any part of his body, but he had somehow hit the speaker phone key.
"Edward, Edward? What have you done?" Alice pleaded from the speaker. "You haven't killed Bella, have you? Please tell me you haven't harmed her."
Edward didn't say a word. He was silently frozen in place, and I had to answer for him.
"Alice, I'm alive but I'm bleeding. I—I fell," I answered in a loud, shaky voice.
"The vision I just had is too terrible to describe. Edward, you have to calm down and stay away from Bella." Alice sounded frantic because she was too far away to help physically.
Edward hadn't moved out of his defensive crouch and it was up to me to calm him down before we both regretted the situation. "Edward, I'll back away slowly. It's the only way to make things a little more bearable."
He finally seemed to snap out of the trance that he was in, his eyes staring through me not as intensely—less like I was dinner. He finally spoke to Alice. "What you saw before, has your vision changed?"
"Yes, Edward. Now I see you getting Bella safely home with a bandage on her hand. You take her to the hospital," Alice was giving commands now, and it was up to Edward would comply.
"I can't be around her, not with her bleeding like this."
"I'll find my own way," I hissed. "You were so eager to toss me aside like trash a few minutes ago, so you don't have any obligation to help me anymore."
Alice was still on the line, her vampire hearing allowing her to catch everything that was said. "Edward, what have you been doing? What is Bella talking about?"
"You're the one, dear sister, who can see the future. You didn't see me break up with Bella for her own good? Or did I decide much too quickly for you to sense it?" He almost seemed amused that Alice hadn't seen this coming. I'd bet that he knew that she'd have tried to stop him if she had seen this scenario.
"We can argue about this later. Take her to the hospital now. Just deal with the smell. I have faith in you," Alice optimistically said. "Besides, if you harm Bella in any way, you'll have me to deal with for eternity. I consider her my sister."
Edward slowly reached into his pocket, ending the call with a quick press of a button. His eyes were two dark, black pools, and that worried me greatly.
At least I have Alice on my side, I thought as my hand started to throb. "I really need to get this taken care of." I started to walk out of the forest, thankful that Edward had not led me very far into the trees. He followed behind me by about ten feet, not wanting to get any closer to the walking wounded. All of this happened because I decided to put up a fight and not accept what someone was trying to do to me.
We drove to the hospital in complete silence, Edward noticeably holding his breath while I cradled my hand to my chest inside of my coat and pressed my own shirt into the wound, trying to stem the flow of blood. The heater was on full blast while the windows of the Volvo were down, blowing my hair around as we sped down the road. To add further hurt to my already bruised ego, Edward dropped me off in front of the doors and waited outside while I was stitched up in the emergency room. The only bright spot was that I was eighteen now. Charlie didn't have to be notified, and that was one less thing to worry about.
When I exited through the sliding glass doors of the emergency room, Edward quickly and soundlessly joined me, placing his cell phone in his jacket pocket. Hopefully he had been speaking with Alice because she was the only one who could talk some sense into him at the moment. He opened the car door for me, still not looking me in the eyes.
We pulled away, this time with the heat blowing at a more reasonable speed and with the tinted windows closed tightly. After driving for a few minutes, the silence and pressure of the unknown started to crush down on me. I decided to be blunt. "Edward, where do we stand?"
He finally glanced towards me, and broke his silence. "I still feel that if we stay, you're in danger. Every second of every day. You know of our existence. How long will it be until an episode like your birthday is successful in getting you killed? Or another nomadic vampire catches wind of you like James did?"
"I have you to protect me, and Alice too. I feel I've become a part of your family whether you believe so or not." He needed to know that this wasn't only about him, several other people were involved as well. It wasn't right for Edward to make decisions based solely on his own selfish reasons. I especially wanted to point this out since I now knew where Alice stood in all of this, and she was firmly on my side.
"I don't think it's enough, especially since I'm the one you're going to need protection from. One untainted taste of your blood, Bella. That's all it's taken to make my control shatter."
"You seem fine now. I trust you. You can control this," I said smoothly.
Edward smiled, and I would be lying if I said he didn't look a little crazed. He let out a small sigh before becoming stone faced again. This was obviously going to be a mostly one sided conversation, so I started forming a plan of my own to keep us together.
"Remember my birthday, when I asked you what tempted you more, my blood or my body?" Edward's jaw tightened before he nodded. "You said it was a tie. What if you can have both?"
Edward immediately responded "I can't have either and have you remain human. If I take your blood, I kill your body. You won't exist anymore, Bella."
I continued undeterred. "I think we can have it both ways. You can have my blood, and we can have each other."
"It's not what we do Bella, we don't prey on humans. It's not an option." Edward sounded exasperated, but I could detect the slight hint of interest as well. "Besides, it would be a one-time deal—ending with you dead."
"You've drunk my blood twice now, Edward. Am I dead yet?" I knew he couldn't refute this statement since I was very much alive, and it was certainly due to Edward's extraordinary efforts when James had attacked me.
We pulled into my driveway. Thankfully Charlie worked late tonight, and hopefully, he wouldn't find out I had been to the hospital. I turned towards Edward, staring into his eyes brightened by the interior lights of the car. It was then that I saw a faint red ring around the dark irises that gazed back at me with hunger and longing.
"We won't be leaving. I spoke with Carlisle when you were in the emergency room. He doesn't think it's a good idea for us to leave so hastily."
"Good, so you'll be picking me up for school tomorrow?" I asked, but my tone made it more of an instruction than a question.
"Um, yes, I'll be here," Edward answered mechanically.
"Remember what I said. You can have all of me. I won't be in danger. Think about it." I walked into my house, wondering where this confidence had come from. But then I decided that I didn't care what had caused it, because I liked myself better this way. And more importantly, I won't let Edward make all the decisions from now on.