So this is it. The last chapter of my novella. Your reviews have been wonderful and the support for this story supremely epic. JB30 (I think that's right off the top of my head xD), you've been amazing, posting my story over on ADF and your reviews have always put the biggest of smiles on my face.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the end of this story that has been my favourite piece of my writing :)
A Love Story For The Ages
A Twilight Fanfiction
Graduation was creeping ever closer and Edward was no closer to deciding what to do. He'd always hated how time moved faster when you're dreading something happening. Like a test, or say the love of your life suffering a horrible demise.
Alice was constantly scanning the future, to the point where she had constant headaches that not even Jasper could ease. But she didn't stop searching, she was determined to find some alternative. Something had to give. She would not allow Bella to be harmed and to leave them again. But not even her own decision to change Bella if it came to it could change the course of her visions. All she saw were rivers of red and her brother falling to pieces by the side of his dead love. She was sure that if it came to pass this would be the end of Edward, that he would simply cease to exist.
Bella on the other hand had no idea she was set to die in barely a weeks time. During the week leading up to graduation she had been trying, in vain, to put all thought of vampires and her inevitable death from her mind. She'd barely spoken to Edward, through no fault of their own however, due to the ever present sun during the week and the Cullens affinity for 'camping trips'. The fact that they were only absent from school when the sun came out didn't help to alleviate her speculation that they were vampires.
She had been spending her week accessing her college fund and setting up her scholarship. She'd managed to get into Columbia to study architecture and she was trying to iron out all the details before summer, so she could enjoy her last summer at home.
The whole process had been both exciting and heart breaking. She'd applied before she'd worked out that she would die, and then when she was accepted into the program she was ecstatic. But now it was all a little bittersweet. She put on the façade for Charlies sake, filling out forms and working out where she would live, even though she knew she would never make it. She would be long dead before she could move into the fifth floor apartment she'd found.
She'd been working up the courage all week to ask him whether he was a vampire or not, and for him to finally tell her the truth, and then maybe she could convince him to make her like him. She'd worked through her strange dreams and come to the conclusion that it was what she wanted. She loved him, and if he could live forever why couldn't she by his side? She also wanted to tell him she loved him, and to get just one kiss, just to see if his lips were as soft as she'd always imagined they would be.
The graduation ceremony passed without a hitch. Each student walked up to the podium to collect their diploma, smiling and occasionally waving to friends and family in the audience. As Bella collected hers she got a full on cheer from her dad and Billy Black, and with blushing cheeks she tripped down the steps to join the other students. She didn't throw her cap as some of the students did, too afraid to lose it.
She had just said goodbye to her Dad, as he was called to the station, when Alice came over to see her. Bella didn't think she looked entirely happy, and the smile plastered on her small friends face was anything but sincere.
"So, we're graduated…how grown up do you feel?" She asked, wrapping Bella in a tight hug.
"Not very, but thankfully I'm set for college in the fall. Where are you going Alice? We'll have to keep in touch." Bellas smile felt just as forced as Alices looked, both of them thinking about how Bella wouldn't get to go to college in the fall, and they wouldn't be keeping in touch.
"Yeah, 'course. Anyway, I think Edward was looking for you."
"Oh, well will you tell him to meet me by my truck?" Alice nodded and gave Bella another tight hug, whispering, "I promise to keep in touch" before relinquishing the contact and walking away. Alice felt horrible for saying that to Bella, because honestly she still wasn't sure whether Bella would be alive by the end of the day.
Alices head hung low as she made her way back to her brother and husband. It was killing her that this was happening. That she was losing what felt like a sister. She wished there was a way to convince Edward to do what was right and change her, before it was too late to save her. She was within an arms length of Jasper when the vision hit, the vision that made her stumble and almost fall to the ground. An act that should be near impossible for a forever graceful vampire.
She saw Bella and Edward surrounded by trees like in her other vision, but this time she wasn't dying, she was speaking. Talking about how she knew what was going on, that she knew what Edward was and she wanted him to make her like him. Of course Edward denied her, refusing to damn his love like that. But Bella fought back, getting into his face and shrugging out of her cardigan as she went, itching her already red arms and pulling at her hair as she screamed at him. She was begging him to understand, to make him understand that she was dying. She was dying.
"Alice what is it?" Jasper asked as she broke out of her haze. But like before she was silent, looking into Edwards fearful eyes.
"Did you see?"
He nodded, too shocked to open his mouth to speak. She knew, how could she know?
"This is it Edward. This is the make or break moment." Alice whispered, walking up to her brother and placing a hand on his cold arm, "It's not just your decision to make anymore." She sighed and leaned up to place a kiss on his cheek, "She's waiting for you."
Alices fear had worried Bella. Did she know something? After everything she had managed to work out for herself, and if the Cullens really were vampires, she didn't like to think of a reason why someone like Alice would be afraid.
Instead she hopped into her truck after throwing the mustard coloured gown into the back and waited for Edward to arrive. She wasn't sure where they would go or what exactly she would say to him, but she knew she had to try something. Everything was just so up in the air, she needed something concrete, something definite. She couldn't keep thinking what if. What if she died in August? What if Edward was a vampire? What if he wouldn't change her? And her biggest worry, what if this just happens again?
The sun looked like it was trying to make a break for it through the clouds, before they covered it's rays up again. No more sun today, thought Bella. Her fingers tapped out a rhythm on the steering wheel, as she pursed her lips in boredom. Edward was taking his sweet time getting here.
She was incredibly nervous and her heart was still pounding a quick beat through her ears, as Edward broke through the swarm of yellow gowned students. He, like his sister, had a fake smile on his face. His eyes were just dull. Bella frowned but chose to ignore it, maybe he was just sad to be leaving for college. If vampires even go to college?
"Alice said you wanted to talk to me?" He asked. She was trying to catch his eyes, but he was looking somewhere in her forehead, refusing to meet her gaze. It was…strange.
"Yeah, but not here 'kay?" She started the truck without waiting for an answer and drove out of the lot, avoiding ambling students as she went. Bella had no clue where they were going, but she knew they had to go somewhere quiet, someplace where people couldn't over hear the incredibly crazy conversation they were about to have.
Edwards mind was racing. All of Alices visions and the things she'd managed to work out running through his head. This was it. This was his last chance. If he didn't take it, he would lose her again, only for her to be reincarnated and for them to meet again in another eighteen years. But no matter how hard he tried he couldn't think through it logically.
Logically he knew it would be the right thing to do to change her. That way neither of them would have to live through her death again and they could be together forever, if Bella even loves me he thought pessimistically. But the irrational, and winning, part of his mind believed that this was right, this was her destiny. To live multiple human lives and come back to him. In that part of his mind he saw that as the right thing to do, that multiple short lives were better than an unending half life, lived in the dark and feeding off the essence of others.
He was at war with himself. Trying desperately to think of what would be best for Bella, but coming back to what he wanted. He was being selfish. He couldn't take her life, not just so he wouldn't have to live through the heart ache of watching her die again. Surely it wouldn't affect Bella…or would it?
It was something he hadn't considered. If she remembered him, and of course he still had no idea how deep her memory ran, did she remember the pain? Did she remember screaming in agony in the field in New York? Did she remember running blindly down dirty alleys in Chicago? Or screaming in her bed in London? If so, and she died again, would she remember it then? Could he be the person that forces her to relive that? He wasn't so sure, and he was running out of time to decide.
Bella had been silent the whole drive. She'd been thinking over what she was going to say to him. What was the most important? Maybe she should start with the whole 'I love you' business and move on to the vampire stuff afterwards. Surely if he knew she loved him he would be more inclined to keep her, to stop her from dying. But maybe that would be seen as manipulation, maybe she should ask him about being a vampire first, but then what if she didn't get chance to tell him she loved him?
Maybe she should just tell him she knows. She knows he is a vampire, there's no question about it. No matter how crazy the idea could be, she was sure that it was right. Then the only real question is if he would make her like him. All the details could be ironed out somewhere between now and August, so long as she didn't have to live through the agony she'd felt in her dreams again, Bella was more scared of the pain than of dying again.
She felt a tingling in her arm as she turned off the main road through the town and onto a smaller track. Then the tingle turned to an itch that almost burned. She didn't realise she was already scratching it until she turned to look at her arm. She frowned at the deep red lines carved into her skin, they sparked something else, another memory of a cold night. Running through empty streets with blood dripping from her finger tips, seeping from the deep gauges caused by her nails and other sharp implements digging into the skin, in a desperate attempt to remove the unfathomably painful itch.
But this was worse than that phantom memory. This felt like hot knives were being poked from the inside of her arm outwards. She knew what this was. This was the beginning of the end. But why was it happening so soon?
Was it because she'd worked it out? Because she now knew her destiny and was seizing it with two hands? Was that it? Was fate so cruel? She pulled quickly over to the side of the road and squeezed her eyes shut, the pain was spreading. Moving from the arm to her shoulder, across her chest and seeping into her other arm. It wasn't this quick last time.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked her, watching as she jumped slightly as she scratched her arms.
Bella didn't answer as she hopped out of the cab, pacing in front of the bulbous hood while she waited for Edward to meet her. This was it. Her last chance - literally. It was such a rare moment of clarity, she didn't quite know how to grasp it. As she realised that this was it, by figuring it all out her body was giving in - giving in to her destiny. By reconciling her true memories with her mysterious dreams she had somehow sealed her fate.
"No, I'm not." She began, answering his question. Should she just come out and say it? Could it be that simple. "I'm dying."
It was like he'd been punched in the chest. As though a herd of elephants had crawled in there to reside where his heart used to beat. She was dying, and she knew it. So this was it, no more time to prepare, just time to decide.
"I can't think straight." she murmured, pulling at her hair in a desperate attempt to remove the pressure building there. This was so much worse than New York.
"Bella-" he began, moving towards her in an attempt to calm her, to do anything to help relieve the pain she was in.
"No!" she shouted. Putting a hand in the air between them to halt his approach, she just needed some space. "I just-God. I know, okay? I know what you are. God this hurts!" She was gasping and mumbling, but Edward heard every word.
"You're a vampire. I know it. You've been alive since 1901 and in 1918 you died of the Spanish flu. But you didn't. I died and somehow you got to stay just the way you are, for forever." The pain had radiated throughout her body and as she fell to the ground she felt hot tears on her cheeks, but as she pulled her fingers away from her face she saw they were stained red. She was crying blood.
"See this!" She screamed, her voice hoarse, as she thrust her blood stained hand up to his face, "My blood. I'm dying and you stand there and do nothing. I love you. God Edward, make this go away!"
Her hands were back in her hair, pulling strands and clumps out without any notice of what she was doing, and Edward was frozen. Completely and utterly gob smacked by the words coming from her mouth. He was in agony. His heart was being shredded to pieces watching her come apart in front of his eyes and knowing there was nothing he could do. Not one thing.
"I've lived like this so many times and I can't do it again. I won't Edward, my heart can't take it." It was an odd sensation she felt, like all her past selves were converging, melding together inside her. All the memories she had, all the moments she had with Edward running together. All the heart ache she'd felt her whole life but never knowing a reason for it. All the days she awoke crying silently but having no recollection of why. She was done, and Bella felt her heart breaking because she knew if she died today, she would never see Edward again. This was her last chance, no more Bellas.
"Please Edward." She begged, mumbling the words over and over as rocked into the earth, the blood dripping down her nose and chin onto the dark ground.
"I can't-" he began, collapsing into tearless sobs as he watched his love. How could he condemn her?
"This is it you know?"
"I'll see you again." Edward was quiet as he moved to kneel before her, holding onto the knowledge that he would see her again.
"No you won't. I said we're done. Too much pain, too much." Her eyes were crazed as they met his own jet black irises, "This is it. I won't see you after today, I promise."
Bella felt the life working it's way out of her and she found herself hoping for the end. Edward was before her and yet he wouldn't save her, all she had left to hope for was the peacefulness death would bring.
"Do you love me?" she asked, as she lay herself down on the ground, wincing at the pain slicing through her limbs.
"More than anything." He murmured, grasping onto her outstretched hand as though it held all answers to life. He couldn't just let her die. But what could he do, he'd promised himself he wouldn't make her like him, that he wouldn't condemn her to this half life.
"I know what you are, my love." She whispered, coughing blood after she spoke, "Can't I be what you are, and be by your side for forever?"
At her words Edward broke down. His cries echoing off the surrounding trees who were audience to his grief. His mind was shouting at him, telling him she had no idea what she was asking for. But his heart, the heart that had long ago stopped beating, was telling him to do it. To break her skin and pour his venom into her, to save her and to change her. To be selfish.
"I don't- I don't think I can." he sobbed, kissing her hand softly and gripping it for grim death. Quietly hoping if he held on tight enough she would stay with him.
"Not much time now." Her voice was barely a breath through her teeth, her body too weak to force more unnecessary air into breathing. She barely felt the pain anymore, her mind trying desperately to block everything that wasn't Edward from her. "Please Edward. Save me." Then her eyes slid shut and her breathing became laboured.
Edward heard her heart speed up frantically and knew he only had seconds before not even venom would save her. So this was it, no more time to think things over, only time left for action.
He swept her sweat matted hair from her forehead and face, smoothing away the blood from her lips before he placed a soft kiss upon them, relishing in the softness but wincing at the lack of heat. She was nearly gone. It was now or never.
"Forgive me," he whispered into the skin by her ear.
And with the last breath of his words he bit, letting her blood rush into his open mouth, almost losing himself in the sweet taste of her before pushing it and his venom back into the wound, sealing it as he went. He did the same to the other side of her neck plus her wrists, before pulling his Bella into his lap and tearlessly weeping. God, he hoped it was the right decision.
I never intended to continue this. The idea of Bellas change and her continued life as a vampire has been done so many times I didn't want to detract from my plot. So this is it. It allows for the reader to have some creative license don't you think?
So this is it. It's complete, as is my other Twilight story, The Curious Case of Isabella Swan (though that will have a sequel), and I am now moving on to begin my original fiction novel during NaNoWriMo.
If any of you will be taking part in this years NaNoWriMo feel free to add me as a buddy, missrebecca, and get me on twitter missrebecca_12. Drop me a line if you are doing this and as ever let me know what you think of this :)
thanks very much.