*I own nothing; I make no money off of the characters created by S. Meyer. My one and only disclaimer! Needed to say that partially because the part in bold – right in the beginning - will be taken directly from Eclipse and that's just to lead into where I take the story from there.*
*Thanks to ILW, Sher, and Cris for dealing with my annoying self and helping me with my title. Might not be perfect for all of us, but I used something each of you liked in it!*
A/N to follow below as well….
"Edward," I said, my voice nearly inaudible. "Edward, someone got hurt."
I'd heard Seth's agony, seen the torture in Edward's face.
"Yes," he whispered.
"Who?" I asked, though, of course, I already knew the answer.
Of course I did. Of course.
The trees were slowing around us as we came to our destination.
It took him a long moment to answer me.
"Jacob," he said.
I was able to nod once.
"Of course," I whispered.
And then I slipped off the edge I was clinging to inside my head.
Everything went black.
There had been a flurry of activity when I had woken from blacking out. I came to slowly, the fuzzy blackness beginning to fade where I could begin making out colors; the soft green of the trees above me, the variety of colors in the Cullen's clothing, and most importantly the golden color of Edward's eyes hovering above me.
"Jake?" I whispered in a pained voice, all too aware of what had happened. I was scared to death to find out exactly what that was.
Every single one of the Cullen's looked worried - about what I wasn't entirely sure - as Edward's golden eyes met mine. He brushed a cool hand against my cheek, worry for me clear in his eyes. "He will be okay," he assured me.
"The bones in the right half of his body were crushed, but I'm about to head over there now to get them set so he can heal properly. He will recover just fine," Carlisle said in a reassuring tone.
It barely registered that he would be fine; I couldn't get past the fact that the bones in his body had been crushed. I felt the panic set in anyway, but before I could insist on going there, I noticed the Cullen's exchanging worried looks again.
"What is it?" I asked my voice rising at not knowing what was going on. "Is there something else going on?"
"The Volturi was here," Esme said gently after exchanging a look with Edward. "We kept you hidden back here in the trees after the wolves masked everything surrounding you with their scent. They weren't aware you were here."
"They... they were here?" I questioned faintly. I struggled to sit up. Edward slipped an arm around me and helped me stand.
"Yes. There were some worrisome things said, too," Edward said darting another glance at Carlisle.
"What..." I started to ask when Edward lifted me quickly.
"We will tell you, Bella, but for now we need to go. I would feel better having you at home."
"But... I want to see Jacob," I said changing tactics. I was already upset at hurting Jacob, at hurting Edward, at knowing I had to talk to Jake and tell him my decision. My heart gave a throb at the thought; it hurt so much more now that I was aware of just how strong my feelings for him were.
Carlisle had slipped away, presumably off to help Jacob, and Edward sighed. "Okay. By the time you get there Carlisle should be finished anyway."
"Why don't you go home," I said quietly. "I'll see you... after." My chin shook at the thought. I had to stop hurting them both, but a big part of me was screaming that I couldn't destroy Jake like this.
We were quiet as he dropped me off at my house. He lightly cupped my face in his hands, pressing his cool lips against mine. I breathed in his scent, trying to keep my mind of the feel of other lips; lips that had been warm and aggressive, his tongue moving against mine. Edward was going to be my husband, and I had to say no to Jake once and for all. The thought of doing that was ripping me up inside; how could I say this to him when I loved him so much? I didn't want to.
Edward leaned back and regarded me sadly. "Are you sure you made the right choice, Bella?" I thought I saw a flash of pain in his butterscotch eyes, but it was gone before I was positive.
"I'm sure," I said quietly, kissing him again, as the twinge in my heart told me while I may be sure about Edward, I was still in love with someone else. Not only did I need to see Jake; I wanted to be with Jake right now.
Torn by my feelings, I got into my truck. Edward leaned into the open window, lightly kissing my temple. "I love you, Bella Swan," he said simply, a small smile curling his perfectly shaped lips. "Forever and always," he added a twinkle in his eye.
Despite everything, I grinned back. "I love you, Edward Cullen. Future husband," I teased.
He laughed and backed away, and I pulled out of the driveway, feeling the tears pricking my eyes and beginning to blur my vision as I looked back at him, his skin sparkling just a bit as the sun peeked out for a moment. Little did I know what was about to happen.
I swallowed hard. This was going to be hell.
I parked my behemoth of a truck and hurried to the front door as Carlisle came out. "Carlisle?" I asked worriedly, dread trying to take up residence in my heart.
He smiled. "It was not any easy process for him, Bella, but he's beginning to mend in the correct way. He will be perfectly fine."
I threw my arms around Carlisle, hearing him chuckle as he gave me a gentle squeeze. "Go," he said quietly. "I had to give him a lot of morphine, so it won't be long before he succumbs. He wants to see you." As Carlisle walked down the steps, Billy rolled to the door.
"Thank you again, Dr. Cullen. I appreciate what you have done for my son. I won't forget that."
An exchange of smiles, a handshake, and it looked like the wolves and the vampires were on the road to understanding each other a little better. I paused outside of Jacob's room, my hand hesitating on turning the knob. With a pained swallow I pushed the door open and felt my breath catch at the sight of him. He was in bed, the sheet pulled up to his waist. His breathing was labored, and he was holding himself a certain way, but what really got to me were his eyes. He opened them when I pushed the door in and there was nothing but a quiet defeat in them.
"Jake," I whispered past the lump in my throat.
"Bells," he whispered back.
Before I knew it, I was laying on the bed next to him. He had his arm around me, his fingers lightly touching my hair. He was so unbelievably warm; I snuggled against him my throat too clogged to say anything yet.
"I was worried about you," he finally said. "Was he upset with you?"
"No. Not at all," I admitted.
He looked surprised. "Figures," he sighed. We were both quiet. I knew I was going to have to say something; I needed to say this even though every cell in my body was screaming not to hurt him. I loved him so much, but I had to.
As I pondered that, I glanced up at Jake, and I realized he had fallen asleep. The morphine must have kicked in already. Well, I figured it gave me enough time to contemplate how I was going to break his heart. Again I felt sick at the thought. Instead I leaned up and kissed his cheek lightly and lay my head on his shoulder and drifted off to sleep.
I woke and sat up with a jerk at the flurry of activity that seemed to be coming from the front door. Glancing at the clock I realized only an hour had passed. Jake was stirring; the morphine must be wearing off already. I started to get up when the door opened with no knock and Sam stood there. My first impression was that he looked a little dazed.
"Bella?" he said.
Jake woke and sat up. "What's going on?" he demanded groggily. He looked surprised to see me in his bed and concerned to see Sam.
"Sam, what is it?" I asked quietly a nervous twinge in my stomach catching me off-guard.
"Bella, something is wrong. I don't know exactly what's going on, but you need to go home," he said quietly.
Scared, I jumped up. I looked back at Jake; he was sitting up and looking worried. I never got to talk to him. "Go honey," he said softly. "We'll talk later," he added. My heart felt as if someone had a painful grip on it; the tone in his voice spoke volumes. He knew why I was there, and I just wanted to cry and hold on to him forever.
I reached out and our hands met. He laced his fingers with mine, a small smile curling his lips. "I love you," I mouthed.
"Love you more," he whispered, but gave me a reassuring smile.
I hurried out of the room and jumped into my truck. With a loud growl and a spray of stones, I was pushing my truck as fast as it could go back to Forks. I barely managed to turn my truck off before I was leaping out of it. I yanked the front door open; as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting, I saw Alice's profile.
When she turned to face me, my insides froze. Her face…
I struggled to find my voice. "Alice?" I whispered. My voice sounded like a scared little girl's.
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. The agony on her face ripped at my insides, but I couldn't move. Her eyes were haunted, and I knew if she could cry she would be. I managed to move towards her and reached out to touch that smooth face, to try and offer comfort that I knew would do nothing.
"Ed-Edward's gone," she whispered. "The Volturi took him."
I just stared at her, uncomprehending. "That's impossible," I said calmly. "Edward can read minds, and you have visions. You would have known if they were coming."
Her lips were shaking with the effort to not lose control. "He got back to the house first," she whimpered. "When we got back the place was torn up; vases were smashed, a window was cracked, there were flowers scattered on the floor…"
"Oh Bella!" she cried. "I had no visions of this! How could Edward have been taken? Something rendered our abilities useless. My brother is gone."
The reality began to sink into my brain, and I began shaking. "No," I murmured. "No. No. No! NOOOO!" My voice ended in a scream, scaring me.
"Bella, honey," she said grabbing me into a tight hug. My ribs were being crushed by her strength. "Oh God, I hate to leave you like this. I'll get someone to come to you, but Bella we have to go. We're going to find him."
My face felt like a mask. I just stared at her, unblinking. "I'm going with you."
"No, you can't," she cried. "Bella, it's too dangerous."
"I went to Volterra with you!" I yelled at her. "I saved him! I'm going with."
She cupped my face in her hands, forcing me to look at her panicked, grief-stricken golden eyes. "This is different, Bella. This isn't saving Edward from himself and facing the Volturi when they were at least partially cordial. They took him; there's something wrong and I can not put you at risk like that."
The tears began streaking down my cheeks. "B-but Alice… I don't know how to live without him. Not again." Even to me my voice sounded agonized. "He would never give up on me. I can't give up on him."
Her voice cracked. "Bella, you don't have to give up on him. Just because you can't come with doesn't mean you're giving up. I will be in touch with you; I won't keep you in the dark. Edward would want you safe, you know that."
I relented, my body sagging to the ground, nothing left in me to salvage. She knelt down with me and whispered, "I'm so sorry. Please understand and forgive me," she begged. I felt her lips press against my forehead. I nodded faintly, for her peace of mind, and she stood.
"I'm not leaving you alone, Bella. Someone will come and stay with you, to help you."
I nodded again, not knowing what else to do. All I could do was kneel in the middle of the kitchen as a fresh wave of agony rolled over me.
"I love you," she choked out.
"I love you, too," I managed to say. When I looked up she was gone.
I knelt in the middle of the kitchen, my mind a blank, for what felt like ages. All I know is when I got up, my knees ached fiercely and my back felt tight. It was nothing compared to the ache in my heart, though. My mind scurried away from what I had heard, trying to protect me from the pain.
I stumbled through the kitchen, into the living room. I stood there, confused.
Memories were pushing at my mind consistently; the couch where he sat with me. The movie "Romeo & Juliet" on the coffee table that he watched with me tickled my mind; as did the memory of him sitting at the kitchen table with me discussing universities to attend together. I trudged upstairs, escaping the grasping tendrils of something I couldn't bear to remember. In my room the memories hit me full force, dropping me to the ground again.
Gasps pushed out of me as the memories of Edward were all over my room. The rocking chair, my bed, the window; even his smell still lingered in the air and I tried to breathe it in, to keep it with me so I wouldn't forget. The tears came fast and silent and I laid my head on the floor unable to do anything else.
I woke groggily, confused about where I was. As reality sank back in, I jumped up, agitated. Everything was a reminder; this room, this house, the town, and I had to get out.
I couldn't stay here; I couldn't stay surrounded by the promises that were now broken remains of a life with the man I loved.
My suitcase came down off the shelf in my closet, clothes thrown haphazardly into it, my toiletries following after in a mad rush to flee. It wasn't much, but it would do. I carried it down the stairs and ran out of the house in my haste. Throwing my bag in the truck, my chest heaving, I rested my trembling hands on the wheel.
I had no idea where I was going, but I couldn't stay with these painful reminders of what I could have had and now wasn't sure that I ever would. My thoughts drifted to Jake for a moment, but I knew he was strong and I prayed that he would be okay.
With a last glance at the familiarity of Charlie's house, I shoved my foot down on the gas and did what I had to do…
A/N: I just wanted to let it be known that I am definitely not a hater of Edward. So any Edward or partial-Edward fans, this is definitely not my way of bashing him. It's just the premise of this story. Things will be revealed over time! And yes, I know there was a lot of Edward in this… Jacob will be back in full force, though!