Okay, I had Edward nagging at me all night to start this story. I refused, I have 3 stories on the go and want to end them first but he nagged. I pointed out, I have written him virginal, manwhore, doctor, loverat, vampire,sex addict, rockstar, there is nothing left. And he told me this little scenario. So, I will put up one chapter and if you readers like it, I will continue when he helps me finish a couple of the other stories, and not before, hear that Edward! Please review if you want this to continue.

The Absence Of Him Is Everywhere.

Chapter One/Prologue

Gone (I'm Just Going To The Shop To Get Some Cigarettes.)

Bella's Story

I walked into what had become known as the Wedding Gallery Room, in the house Edward and I had watched being built from scratch, waiting for us to move into after the wedding.

I think all brides have a tiny fear he won't turn up, but I knew Edward would be there, maybe the night before, just to make sure he was there on time. Walking down the aisle all I saw was the smile on his face, the look of pure adoration and love in his eyes, the joy and happiness he had radiated ever since I agreed to become his wife.

Step by step I got closer, my arm linked with Charlie's, my dad looking handsome and almost regal in his black tux, the smile on his face genuine. He had come to like Edward, and accept this was where my future lay.

I look at the photos, the photographers got us from every angle, me smiling at Edward, tears pouring down my face, I was so happy to be there. Him, looking like his life until that moment was just filling in time, now it really began.

My favorite photo, us standing, facing each other, his hands on my hips, mine on his waist, our foreheads touching, both of us smiling into each others eyes. A moment in time, never to be forgotten.

Others, of me entwined in his arms, he standing behind, towering over me, my five foot four inches in front of his six foot three inches. His chin rests on top of my head. We are both smiling, delirious that the day had finally come and we belonged to each other legally, we always had belonged spiritually and mentally. His arms encircle me, like I am the most precious thing in his world, and I know I am. Was.

Maybe I still am, how do I know?

The photos of the guests, our friends, the girls from High School, college, work, all watching, their faces clearing envious of us and our unique, unbreakable connection, they all wanted what we shared.

To say he completed me is trite and understating the truth. He is me, I am him, we are us, we are one.

The honeymoon photos show us, lying on deck chairs, in the sun, hats and sunscreen on, by the pool, on the beach, dancing close, cheek to cheek in the club at night, eating dinner in the restaurant, buying clothes and trinkets at the markets.

We met the day I arrived back in Forks after two long, boring years in Arizona, where I lived with my Mom and then her new husband, Phil. The problems started straight away. For a start, my Mom chose a man much nearer my age than hers, so everyone assumes we are the couple and she is the parent of one of us, which she is, but she is the spouse of the other.

It irked her greatly and she started dressing like a teen, copying my own style, whatever I bought, she would rush out and buy in her size, and the sight of her turning up at High School dressed in a short, pleated tartan skirt and white blouse, tied below her fairly exposed breasts, bobby sox and Mary Jane's, I felt almost ill. Not only was I dressed in identical clothes, I wore my blouse tucked in at the waist of my somewhat longer skirt, and I looked like the sensible, adult version, and she like the slutty teen.

I was mortified, especially when a few of the boys who sneered at me and called me "Virgin Swan", started joking and saying my Mom just went to the top of their MILF lists.

"Bella, honey, over here" she called, and I looked at the ground as I walked towards her. I knew I was bright red.

"I have been talking to your friends, Scotty, Craig, Nathan, and Matthew, that's right, isn't it? Bella, what's a MILF? I don't get all this lingo you young people speak, but Matthew called me his favorite MILF, so I agreed and said he was a sweetheart. Now, what's a MIlf? I want to write this in my diary tonight, such a nice boy. You should bring him home, you should bring them all home. Lovely boys."

"Mom, a MILF is a Mother I Want to Fuck! Are you happy now?"

I turned my usual bright red and bolted to the car. I don't care if I get detention for leaving without attending Roll Call, they can mark me absent. I would rather be anywhere but here.

My mother laughed and winked at Matthew, and I cringed and slipped down further in my seat.

Phil walked towards the car and a teacher walked over, here we go, I am about to be ordered back to class.

My Mom saw and started coming over as well.

"Bella Swan, tell your boyfriend here not to park his car in the Teacher's Car park. Shouldn't he be in school himself? Which school do you attend, boy?"

My mother stopped and her mouth fell open.

"This" I waved my hand towards Phil "is not my boyfriend, he is my stepfather. He looks like he could be my boyfriend because my mother is a cougar and married a twenty four year old. Yeah, a 24 year old who looks seventeen. It's an understandable mistake to make."

Renee was furious and she got into the car, and Phil jumped into the front passenger seat and looked scared, and remained quiet the whole way home.

"You are going to live with your father. I have had enough! Your boyfriend, what a joke! I may have married a younger man but you don't even date anyone at all, Bella. I think a whole new start is called for, I am ringing Charlie tonight. He can pay for the plane ticket. See how you like living with an old man, Bella, seeing my young husband is such an embarrassment for you."

I was so upset and mortified I actually wanted to go live with my Dad, who I hadn't seen for two years, seeing my mother had never let me go back to visit him.

Charlie had been thrilled to have me back, and Renee promptly stopped calling either one of us a week after I moved in.

I started at Forks High, in my Junior Year.

I noticed Edward Masen that first day, who could fail to? He was beyond gorgeous and I immediately regretted my own average looks because he was one beautiful creature.

Tall, slim, but strong, fit, a mass of the wildest copper hair that had never known a brush or comb, big green eyes, a mouth you wanted to kiss there and then, without even an introduction, and long fingers that sent my brain into the porn gallery in my mind as they felt places no man had felt before.

Shit.

I think my panties got a lot damp in that moment.

He was dressed in a ripped up pair of blue jeans, a black Tshirt with some old band on the front, and a sexy black leather jacket with red graffiti. His boots were black, shiny, and had chains around and under the soles. I knew there was black Harley in the carpark, I saw it as I drove my red clunker truck in, and now I knew who owned it.

Bella Swan, virgin and contemptuous of all males under adulthood, just got her head turned and her heart taken.

He smirked when I felt my mouth drop open in surprise, that anyone that good looking existed.

I blushed madly and hurried to the office.

"Welcome dear, we have all been so excited the Chief of Police's daughter was returning to Forks. Now, you will be starting Junior Year, we have your transcripts from your school in Arizona, and I will get you a studybuddy to show you around. Excuse me.

"Could someone from Mr Banner's class please come and collect our new student, Miss Isabella Swan, from the Office. Thank You."

I cringed, I was bound to get the class nerd. Or be the class nerd.

The gorgeous boy I had ogled dashed into the office and stood in front of the desk, smirking at me, and winking at the woman behind.

"I would be happy to be Isabella's studybuddy" he said, winking at her again.

"Edward, this is not a hook up center, go back to class and ask Angela to come and fetch Isabella, now."

He swaggered out, backwards, looking me over and approving of what he saw, a grin splitting his face.

Angela proved to be quiet, pretty, and thoughtful and she took me from class to class and to lunch, and I sat at her table and met her friends, their names going out of my head as soon as we were introduced.

"Jessica, Lauren, Eric, Mike, Tyler, Ben" I heard and forgot.

"Who is he?" I asked quietly, nodding at where Edward sat, with his group of cool friends, watching me and smirking when he caught me looking back.

"Edward Masen. Flirts, smirks, and doesn't go any further. Looks of a God, but it's all wasted" sighed the one with the frizzy ponytail, Jessica? "He's all look at me, I am beautiful, but no touching, you can't have me."

"Really?" I questioned, I would have thought a boy that good looking would be ploughing his way through the girls, three per night. I am sure he could have if he wanted to, there wasn't a girl who didn't flirt back, smile, simper in front of him.

He was like the sun and we were all the planets that gravitated towards him, circling around, getting close but not touching.

He smiled and joked and looked like he enjoyed himself but it was true, I never saw him touch a girl and I did see him duck back out of reach if any of them tried to touch or kiss him. He was literally eye candy.

Biology was boring as hell, I had already done all the work the teacher set and he soon noticed.

"Bella, I think I will move you to the back table, you seem too far advanced to be wasting your time doing this again. I have one other advanced student, you can sit with him and share his books, he is earning extra credits doing some work that's frankly far above the capabilities of the rest of these students. Follow me.

And he walked me straight into the lion's den, like a lamb to the slaughter.

Edward Masen.

He moved his books off the chair beside him, and pushed it out with his foot.

I slipped into it and found my eyes turn to his and we sat for a long, silent moment and just looked at each other.

He broke the tension by smiling a glorious, genuine smile and my heart met his and that was it. Together from that moment onwards.

And seven years later we married. We lived together when we went away to college and we considered ourselves man and wife, as did everyone else, nobody ever tried to come between us, they knew like we knew, it wouldn't happen.

My Dad was eager for us to tie the knot and make it official, my Mom was captivated with him and wanted him secured into the family, his parents, Edward Snr and Elizabeth, adored me and treated me like a daughter.

The honeymoon was amazing, we had shared our bodies with each other since Senior Year when we both turned 18 the same month, and it seemed impossible not to. There was no reason to wait until after college, when we married, it was always inevitable that was where this would evolve.

We were blissfully happy, crazy in love. We had careers just starting, we both had jobs we loved, I was teaching five year olds at the local school, he was interning at the hospital where Edward Snr was Chief of Medicine. It was perfect.

We had reached all our goals and had just set new ones.

To start a family in two years time, to be debt free by then, and I would be staying at home with our three children until the youngest started school. I longed for a son, like Edward. He longed for a daughter, like me. The third child we debated about, were two boys and one girl best, or two girls and one boy? We decided to just accept whatever we were blessed with, and talked excitedly about names, which we changed regularly.

Then, one day, Edward kissed me goodbye and got in his car to go buy a packet of cigarettes at the corner store.

He was giving them up, he wanted to be as healthy as possible before we conceived, and he had followed the cut down plan to the letter. This was to be his very last pack.

But he never came back.

Edward's Story

The pain was lessening at last, and I was astonished I had lived through it. I had been burning in the fires of Hell for days, and my body felt like it had been incinerated from the inside out. I shuddered and gasped, my heart was racing impossibly fast, and just as I figured, this is it, I will die now, my heart must burst under this pressure, it stopped. I mean, literally stopped.

Nothing.

No beating, no pulse, nothing.

The silence was deafening.

I opened my eyes and was assaulted by sights and sounds I had never noticed. Tiny dust particles floated in the air. The sunlight was refracted and I could see every color, hah, one more than the scientists had said.

The ceiling was painted white and every particle of paint stood alone, the brush strokes were easily seen.

A broken scrap of stray hair from a paintbrush, maybe a tenth of a quarter inch long, was as clear and noticeable as a coil of rope.

A voice spoke and I jumped, literally, and found myself on my feet across the room in an instance.

"Edward, don't be alarmed."

I was alarmed. Who was he? Who were these people? What was I doing here?

"We are all your friends, we will help you cope and learn."

Cope? Learn what?

The man who spoke looked at me kindly, his blond hair combed back, a white doctor's coat like that which my own father wore, over his neat clothing.

"I hope he isn't going to be too wild, Emmett will restrain him physically if he has to but it seems words are working with him already. Strange."

"No, don't let Emmett restrain me, use your words." I answered.

They all looked shocked at my words.

"Carlisle..."

"He read my mind. I merely thought I may need Emmett to restrain him if he went wild."

They edged closer.

There were six of them, three couples.

The blond man was the oldest and he had an auburn haired wife. The big guy had muscles everywhere and black curly hair. He was with a Barbie doll lookalike. The other male was similar to me in height and build, maybe a little shorter, six one, and the girl he was with was tiny, five foot, spiky haired, bright eyed.

"My name is.."

"Carlisle Cullen." I supplied. He had it ready to say, sitting in his brain. He was about to introduce the others so I read their names as well.

"Your wife Esme, your son Emmett, his wife Rosalie, your son Jasper, his wife Alice."

"That's right." he nodded.

"Your name is Edward Masen? It's on your driver's licence."

"Yes" I confirmed.

"Why am I here? Am I on drugs? I am seeing...things."

"No, not anything quite that simple. I had to change you. Do you remember what happened?"

I thought for a moment and a hundred thoughts whirred in my head at once.

"Whoa, no, I am on drugs. I can tell, I have friends who take drugs, they tell me what it's like, and this is it. What have you given me?"

"Nothing, I assure you but if it helps to adjust by thinking that way, continue."

"I drove to the corner store. You were there." I accused the blond man.

"I was" he agreed.

"Punks, three of them. Oh shit." I grasped my chest, the bullets had gone into my lungs, it hurt to breathe. Only now I didn't appear to be breathing.

I understood at last and smiled.

"Oh, I am dead. Right. This is Heaven. I kind of expected everyone to be in white flowing robes and have wings, you know? Too much propaganda. "

"Well, you are dead, in a manner of speaking. I know this is very hard to believe but you are dead but still on earth. Still in Forks, even.

"Forks is Heaven? Come on, maybe Hawaii or California, never Forks."

"No, you are right, Forks is a long way from Heaven. I saved you. I hope I did the right thing."

"Sure, you saved me but I am dead? Was I going to Hell? I don't think I did too much wrong, nothing too bad. Nothing to go to Hell for. I didn't even touch those lap dancers on my bachelor...Bella! Where's my wife? Where's Bella? I have to get home. Thanks for...whatever, I have to go. She will be worried, was I here long?"

"Three days, Edward."

"Three days? She will be hysterical. Can I borrow a car? I have to go to her and tell her I am okay. I have to go home."

"I'm sorry, Edward. That will be impossible for about a year."

"You can't keep me here. Is this some cult? Are you all crazy?"

"No, we are more a coven."

"Witches?"

"Vampires, Edward."

I laughed.

Morons.

I was clearly in the local insane asylum. I needed to stay calm and play along.

"So, who is the boss? Dracula? Is he here? "

"No, son, but I guess, I am the boss, if there has to be one. I am the oldest."

Numbers flashed in his head. Impossible numbers, dates, he was lying in his brain.

"No, don't worry yourself, age means little now. How old are you, Edward?"

"24" I replied.

"A good age, I hope you like being 24?"

"I suppose I do."

"Good, because you will be 24 for eternity."

"My wife is really going to want to get in on this, she thinks she will be over the hill at 30." I joked. Keep them happy, don't upset them, they may cut me up with blades and suck my blood out, they seem crazy enough.

I edged towards the door.

"It's been great, truly, lovely to meet you all, we have to do this again. Bella will love that dress you have on,uh, Alice, is it? Yeah, you tell her where you bought it, she will want one just like it."

Be nice, calm, friendly.

She was laughing at me in her head, flashes of images hit me. Me, climbing a tree but not the normal way, my hands and feet were grabbing on, scrambling up faster, sitting atop the very tip of the tree, looking over the panorama. Me, catching an animal, tackling it, biting it's neck, Good Lord, what drugs had they put me on? Me, sucking the throat of a mountain lion. Me, running up a mountain, so fast my legs were a blur. Me, breaking a tree with my bare hands, smashing it to woodchips.

Me, sitting in a tree, watching my father-in-laws house.

Watching Bella.

My wife.

She was laying, sobbing, on her old bed, in her old bedroom where she lived when we were in Junior and Senior years. She is curled into a ball, and the pain is radiating out from her little body. I have to go and tell her I am okay.

"You can't stop me, I have to go to Bella." I explained.

The girl with the spiky hair walked towards me and held my hands.

"Edward, look. If you go home now, this will happen."

Inside my head, images, flashes, me walking, carrying my Bella. She lay limply across my arms. She was clearly broken, dead? My face was distorted in agony but the tears that fell were not water. They were blood.