A/N: Oaky so, we're starting at the present (for them) in New Moon, when Edward is leaving Bella. What can I say its a great starting point! This is starting about half-way though the chapter, some of what is below is true to the book, some of it has been changed or just plain cut out to twist it to my own devices. So, that being said, you may very well want to read that same old boring scene down there, because it HAS changed, and greatly impacts the rest of the story. Anyway Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters recognised, nor do I own most of this first chapter. Everything in bold and the characters you recognise belong to Stephenie Meyer, the creator of Twilight.
Edward did beat me home. He was parked in Charlie's spot when I pulled up in front of the house. That was a bad sign. He didn't plan to stay, then. I shook my head and took a deep breath, trying to locate some courage. I was in this for the long haul, not that Edward truly knew this. But it was for his own good. Taking another deep breath I began to move.
He got out of his car when I stepped out of the truck, and came to meet me. He reached to take my book bag from me. That was normal. But he shoved it back onto the seat. That was not normal. For a second I wished everything was as it should be all ready, as much as I did love Edward, I had a feeling what would happen tonight would hurt most everyone involved.
"Come for a walk with me," he suggested in an unemotional voice, taking my hand.
I didn't answer. I couldn't think of a way to protest, but I instantly knew that I wanted to. I didn't like this. This is bad, this is very bad, the voice in my head repeated again and again. I knew nothing Edward said would actually change my future, Alice had ashured me of that long ago. It was in my nature to worry though, for my mind to fill in the unknown with the worst of things that could happen.
But he didn't wait for an answer. He pulled me along toward the east side of the yard, where the forest encroached. I followed unwillingly, trying to think through the panic. It was what I wanted, I reminded myself. The chance to talk it all through. So why was the panic choking me? Where was Jasper, the ever-feeling empath, when I needed him? We'd gone only a few steps into the trees when he stopped. We were barely on the trail–I could still see the house.
Edward leaned against a tree and stared at me, his expression unreadable.
"Okay, let's talk," I said. It sounded braver than it felt. I just had to remember what Alice had told me.
He took a deep breath.
"Bella, we're leaving."
I took a deep breath, too. I had a part to play still, I only hoped he and the rest of the family would forgive me.
"Why now? Another year–"
"Bella, it's time. How much longer could we stay in Forks, after all? Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he's claiming thirty-three now. We'd have to start over soon regardless."
It hurt. Realising what he was trying to say. No matter how prepared I was by Alice, it hurt that he would try to hurt me this way. I did love Edward, not the way he believed right now, but I loved him as a best friend and sister, and I hoped to God he would forgive me.
"When you say we–," I whispered.
"I mean my family and myself." Each word separate and distinct.
I shook my head back and forth mechanically, trying to clear it. He waited without any sign of impatience. It took a few minutes before I could speak. The only words cycling through my head right now being that I still had my part to play.
"Okay," I said. "I'll come with you."
"You can't, Bella. Where we're going… It's not the right place for you."
"Where you are is the right place for me."
"I'm no good for you, Bella."
"Don't be ridiculous." I wanted to sound angry, but it just sounded like I was begging. I really wasn't a good actress. Why, oh, why was I the one to play this part?
"You're the very best part of my life."
"My world is not for you," he said grimly.
"What happened with Jasper–that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!" That was true at least, Jasper had no problem with my blood, it was all part of the plan. Edward needed to realise what was infront of him and, how he needed to act accordingly. The papercut had been deliberate as it would start the ball rolling.
"You're right," he agreed. "It was exactly what was to be expected."
"You promised! In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay–"
"As long as that was best for you," he interrupted to correct me. I wished I could stop this conversation with him here, but I needed to be convincing, I would have to up the stakes, as it were.
"No! This is about my soul, isn't it?" I shouted, furious, the words exploding out of me–somehow it still sounded like a plea. "Carlisle told me about that, and I don't care, Edward. I don't care! You can have my soul. I don't want it without you–it's yours already!"
He took a deep breath and stared, unseeingly, at the ground for a long moment. His mouth twisted the tiniest bit. When he finally looked up, his eyes were different, harder–like the liquid gold had frozen solid. My heart broke for him, he was believing my act, and it was hurting him. I prayed he would forgive me.
"Bella, I don't want you to come with me." He spoke the words slowly and precisely, his cold eyes on my face, watching as I absorbed what he was really saying.
There was a pause as I repeated the words in my head a few times, sifting through them for their real intent. I knew that he didn't love me as he believed I thought he did, so it didn't hurt as much as he thought it would. However it hurt all the same for him to tell me in such a way. Still, the show must go on, and my part wasn't yet done.
"You… don't… want me?" I tried out the words, making it sound like I was confused.
I stared, hopefully with a look of uncomprehending, into his eyes. He stared back without apology. His eyes were like topaz–hard and clear and very deep. I felt like I could see into them for miles and miles, yet nowhere in rheir bottomless depths could I see a contradiction to the word he'd spoken. Not that I thought I would, but maybe a little feeling for what he thought he was putting me though at least. The 'break-up' was nearly coming to an end, I could feel it, and even if it wasn't, I couldn't continue with this much longer, but i'd promised to see it through, and so I would.
"Well, that changes things." I was surprised by how calm and reasonable my voice sounded, maybe I could act after all.
He looked away into the trees as he spoke again. "Of course, I'll always love you… in a way. But what happened the other night made me realize that it's time for a change. Because I'm… tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella. I am not human." He looked back, and the icy planes of his perfect face were not human. "I've let this go on much too long, and I'm sorry for that." So he had realised the truth. Thank God for that. It made me happier for him than I could ever be, but it also made me feel guilty and sad. That he would soon learn of what had been done to get him to realise such feelings, that he was hurting himself in telling me all this, because he thought he was breaking my heart.
"Don't." My voice was just a whisper now; becoming emotionally, mentally and physically tired to the conversation. I needed to finish this though. "Don't do this."
He just stared at me, and I could see from his eyes that my words, had they been real, were far too late. He already had.
"You're not good for me, Bella." He turned his earlier words around, so I had no argument, not that I would. I knew that I wasn't good for him, we were both in love with other people.
I opened my mouth to say something, and then closed it again. He waited patiently, his face wiped clean of all emotion. I tried again.
"If… that's what you want."
He nodded once.
"I would like to ask one favor, though, if that's not too much," he said.
I wonder what he saw on my face, because something flickered across his own face in response. Had he seen through the act? I hoped not, it would screw everything up. But, before I could identify it, he'd composed his features into the same serene mask.
"Anything," I vowed, my voice faintly stronger. Had he been truly leaving, I would still say the same thing. He was my best friend and I would do anything for him.
As I watched, his frozen eyes melted. The gold became liquid again, molten, burning down into mine with an intensity that was overwhelming.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid," he ordered, no longer detached. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"
I nodded and tried my best not to smile at the request, he would ask that of me knowing how clumsy I could be.
His eyes cooled, the distance returned. "I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself–for him."
I nodded again. "I will," I whispered.
He seemed to relax just a little.
"And I'll make you a promise in return," he said. "I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. I won't put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed."
He smiled gently. "Don't worry. You're human–your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind." The git! I'd get him later for that one, not that he knew I would. With the ending of the conversation in sight I found my heart feeling both lighter and heavier.
"And your memories?" I asked. Making it sound like there was something stuck in my throat, like I was choking.
"Well"–he hesitated for a short second–"I won't forget. But my kind… we're very easily distracted." He smiled; the smile was tranquil and it did not touch his eyes. I could see how much it hurt him to try and hurt me like this. God, please let him forgive me, forgive us all.
He took a step away from me. "That's everything, I suppose. We won't bother you again."
The plural caught my attention. So he had ordered the family away. I knew it wouldn't happen, but it still hurt. I realised I had been quiet, but looking at his face I caught a glimpse of the hurt he was feeling by doing this to me. The pain of thinking of the family leaving me must have shown on my face more than anything else Edward had said to me for him to react like that. I continued with the act, though it hurt me more and more to do so.
"Alice isn't coming back," I murmured. Going along with his last words. He shook his head slowly, always watching my face.
"No. They're all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye."
"Alice is gone?" My voice was blank with disbelief. Had they truly gone? I couldn't believe they would. I wouldn't. But the way Edward had said this made it seem they had. I drew strength from remembering it was part of the plan, though I hadn't realised it would hurt just this much to hear Edward say these things.
"She wanted to say goodbye, but I convinced her that a clean break would be better for you."
This was it then. The end of the act. Alice had had the heart to tell me when to expect the end of the conversation to come. It would be with Edward commenting on a clean break. I breathed deeply, steadying myself for it.
"Goodbye, Bella," he said in the same quiet, peaceful voice.
"Wait!" I choked out the word, reaching for him, willing my deadened legs to carry me forward surprising myself. I knew I would be seeing him plenty soon, but the mere thought of a goodbye had me upset, he was my best friend damn it!
I thought he was reaching for me, too. But his cold hands locked around my wrists and pinned them to my sides. He leaned down, and pressed his lips very lightly to my forehead for the briefest instant. My eyes closed.
"Take care of yourself," he breathed, cool against my skin.
There was a light, unnatural breeze. My eyes flashed open. The leaves on a small vine maple shuddered with the gentle wind of his passage.
He was gone.
I stood alone on the trail for a number of moments, trying to put my thoughts in order. breathing in and out deeply I jumped when my phone began to ring in the stillness Edward had left behind him. Not bothering to check the caller ID, as i knew who it was, I picked up.
"Alice." I acknowledged.
"I'm sorry you had to do that, Bella. I know that must have hurt you." Came the bell like reply.
"It did. Is everything still on track?" I asked curious. I would never bet against Alice, but it didn't stop me from worrying.
"Yes. He's waiting for you in your room." The phone disconected. I shook my head, as much as I loved my Pixie-Seer sister she had a knack for knowing how to annoy me. However I had more important things to be doing than standing around mumbling things about hurting certain tiny vampires. Near running back to the house I stumbled a few times, but I didn't care, he was in my room waiting for me, and it had been too long since we'd had the time to be alone, just us two.
Quickly unlocking the front door and bolting up the stairs I threw open my bedroon door and scanned the place. A happy smile came to my face seeing the lanky blond stretched out on my bed. Closing the door behind me and walking slowly towards him, my smile faded into a frown and tears gathered in my eyes for what i'd had to do.
Throwing myself into his arms the tears spilt over and quiet sobs wracked my body. He caught me and pulled me closer shushing me and combing one hand through my hair.
"It'll be allright Darlin'. They'll all understand and everything will be better than ever." He cooed, making me cry harder.
"H-He'll never forgive me th-though." I sobbed into Jaspers chest, fisting his shirt in my hands.
"'Course he will Bella. He does love you, just not how he thought he did." Jasper whispered into my hair, where he placed a light kiss. "Dry them tears Darlin', we still got to explain everthin' to the others and Edward."
I felt the calm Jasper was sending me, mixed with my favorite emotion in the world; Love. Letting him influence my emotions I smiled against his chest.
"Love you too, Jas." I sighed, content in finally being in his arms again. We had stuck to the plan and according to Alice everything was still how it should be. Now we waited, Jasper and I, for Alice to call one of us again. Then the real truths would come out. However tonight went, I hoped Alice, Jasper and myself could be forgiven for all the lies we had told for love.