Come Back to Me

It's been ten years since he left. Left me alone to fight off the evil.

I wasn't successful.

I've stayed here in Forks the whole time. My friends and most of my family think I went off to college, graduated, and moved away. But the truth is, I only took online college courses to fight off the boredom and loneliness I felt.

I never moved away from Forks.

Actually, I broke in and live in their old house. It was difficult to get through the metal shutters, but I managed. I was hoping they'd have an alarm system, but if they did, no one ever came, and they've never sent anyone to arrest me or make me leave … not that anyone could.

I'm not completely alone though, my dad is here with me, and I still see Jacob on occasion. Dad begs me to move, but so far, I've not been able to leave. I sit in his old empty room, on his leather couch, and wait for him to return to me.

Even if it takes seventy years, I'll wait.

He was insane to think I could get over him, that I could heal. It will always be him … forever, only him.

"Bella?" my dad calls as he enters the house. I don't answer, but he knows where I am. He always knows.

He knocks softly on the bedroom door. "Yeah, Dad?" I answer in a low voice.

He peeks into the room. He sighs as he looks at me lying on the couch with one of his shirts pressed to my nose. It no longer smells of him, but it brings me a sense of peace. "Sweetheart, let's leave. Even if it's to find him," he pleads for what feels like the millionth time … maybe it is.

I shake my head. "Dad, you know you'll just want to kill him. He's probably moved on anyway. He said he didn't love me remember." I don't bother to look up from the book I wasn't really reading.

"Yeah, I know, kid, but I don't believe it." He sat quietly for a few minutes staring at me. "You need to eat, it's been days," he commands. He holds his hand out to me; it's not a suggestion. I either eat willingly or he'll make Jacob hold me down, while he force feeds me. I've been there, and believe me, I don't want that happening again.

I huff as I slap my hand into his. "Fine, I'll eat, but I want to eat alone."

He pulls me up and looks me dead in the eye. "Promise you'll eat, and come back to me." His eyes soften to show his sadness. I hate all the sadness I bring into his life, but I can't bring myself to change.

I smile slightly. "I promise, Dad. You're all I have. I have nowhere else to go." He kissed my forehead before I jumped out of the window.

I suppose I should explain some important things to you. After they left, trouble continued. I was still in danger and even though Jacob and the pack tried, they couldn't stop what happened. Victoria bit Charlie and turned him thinking he would kill me. It backfired. Charlie has an aversion to humans; he doesn't drink human blood, never has, never will. The smell of it makes him sick.

So, like father, like daughter. I was also turned, but not purposefully. I was the last meal for Laurent. He bit me with every intention of killing me, but Jacob and the pack came to my rescue, killing Laurent. They were just a bit too late to save me.

Charlie brought me here, to their house after my change. We broke in and stayed. The town thought Charlie was dead, and I was too heartbroken to come home from college. We were lucky that Jacob knew about us. He was able to get everything that belonged to us from the house and helped sell it, it's not like we needed the money, we don't really leave this house, but just in case.

Like I said my dad, Charlie Swan, has an aversion to human blood, but he's also an excellent tracker. He knows where the Cullens are and has been chomping at the bit to find them. He wants to kill Edward for what he did to me. I, of course, will not allow him to do this, and I will stop him if he ever tries.

My power is different from my dad's, though, neither of us are bothered by human blood. When I was human, Carlisle said I shielded my mind from Edward. I guess that is why I call myself a shield. I can block myself from all power. Charlie hates it because he can't find me if I block myself from him, but I rarely do. I can stop people stone cold with my shield, that's how I keep Charlie here. Not that he's tried to leave, but once, he threatened to hunt Edward down. That's how we learned of that nifty little power. My shield changes to the way I need to use it; I mold it to fit my needs. It's rather cool, I think. My shield also blocks my vampire scent, when I want it to. Charlie and Jacob both agree I appear human when I block.

"Bella?" I turn and see Jacob leaning against a tree.

"Hey, Jake." I smile, but it doesn't reach my eyes.

"I just came to tell you that Sam heard from the Cullens." His voice is soft. He knows what it does to me, hearing their name. I stopped breathing. Why now? What do they want? Do they know I'm trespassing in their home?

"And?" I said trying to seem unfazed.

"And …" he stretched out the word. "… they were just letting him know, they needed to stop by the Forks house for a couple weeks. They said they weren't going to mingle. They just needed to wait for a house to be completed." He shrugged.

"Oh, I guess Dad and I should leave," I said, trying not to let my emotions show.

"Charlie said no," Jacob said cautiously.

"Doesn't surprise me," I said rolling my eyes. I looked down at my hands. Jacob knew what I was thinking.

"I don't know if he's with them, Bells." Jacob stepped forward and grabbed my hand.

I nodded. "I should get back and tell Dad."

"He knows. He can sense them," Jake reminded me.

"Of course, I forgot." I sighed heavily.

"Bells, are you going to be okay?" He wrapped one of his hot arms around me. I sank into the familiar comfort.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Jake."

He nodded then kissed my lips softly. It wasn't a romantic kiss, it never was, it was just a friendly peck. Jake still loved me, even though I was his enemy. We both knew we could never be. Though, sometimes I thought it might be nice to try. At least I wouldn't be alone, but I never expressed these feelings to him. For one, I didn't return those feelings; two, it wouldn't be fair to him; and three, I was his enemy. He never imprinted and says he'll stay with me forever, but I can't ask that of him. I'll have to move eventually, and it looks like that time is now.

"Dad?" I said as entered the house.

Charlie came around the corner from the living room. "Bells, did Jake find you?"

"Yeah, we should go," I tried.

"No way in hell! I'm staying right here. We've lived here for a decade it's just as much ours as it is theirs."

I rolled my eyes. "Dad, we broke in. I don't think squatter's rights holds that much clout. We'll be lucky if they don't try to kill us for taking over." I huff as I made my way inside to start packing.

"Carlisle is a good man, Bella. He'll just be happy to see you," my dad says as he leans in the doorway of his room. I don't have much, but I want to be sure I have the few things that remind me of him. His Forks High gym shirt, his leather satchel, and one of his journals. I'd lost count of how many times I'd read the thing … okay, I've read it one thousand, seven hundred and eighty times.

"He's not coming is he?" I said sadly, looking at and running my finger of the book before shoving it in my bag.

"No, he's not with them. I only sense Carlisle and Esme," Dad responded.

I nodded. "When?" I ask.

Charlie looks at his watch. "In about ten minutes."

"Great," I said sarcastically, even though, a part of me was looking forward to seeing them.

I decided to wait for my fate instead of running, but I left my bag packed just in case. I went out the front door and sat on the porch to wait for my possible end.

If I thought about everything rationally, I knew they wouldn't be angry with us. They'd be upset that they didn't protect us, but not that we've basically stolen their house for the past ten years. We haven't moved or changed any of the belongings they left behind. Charlie did install a satellite to watch his games, and all the living room furniture has been uncovered … well minus his piano. I've taken over his bedroom, but other than that, we've not gone anywhere else in the house.

I heard the rumble of an engine coming up the drive. It's a quiet one, I know it's them. The car stops in front of the house. Esme gasps as she sees me sitting there. She jumps out of the car and runs to me pulling me into her embrace. I can't stop myself from crumbling into a heap of dry sobs in her loving motherly arms.

"Oh, Bella! What's happened?" Esme asks as she squeezes me tighter.

Carlisle joins us. "Bella, is there someone else here with you?" he asks sniffing the air.

"Charlie," I say in a normal voice, but he hears me and comes out on the porch.

"Carlisle." Charlie nods in Carlisle's direction.

Carlisle and Esme gasp when they realize that we are both, in fact, like them.

"How did this happen?" Carlisle insists.

"Victoria and Laurent," Charlie answers.

"I'm so sorry, Charlie. We had no idea," Carlisle apologized.

"No big deal; we're managin'," Charlie said in his typical Charlie way.

"Sorry we kind of broke into your house," I said quietly.

Carlisle laughed. "Bella, you do not need to apologize. All we have is yours," Esme told me as she stroked my hair. I smiled. It felt good to be in her motherly embrace again.

"Come on, sweetheart. We have a lot of catching up to do," she said as she walked me into the house. Esme and I talked for hours about everything that had happened to Charlie and me over the past ten years. It felt cleansing. I almost felt free.

"So, you were changed a few months after we left?" Carlisle deducted.

"Yes," I said plainly.

"Bella, we are so sorry. We shouldn't have left you," Esme said sincerely. She stroked my hair.

"It's fine. I mean, he didn't love me anymore, and you guys have to move regularly. It's no big deal." I tried to brush it off as nonchalantly as I could.

"Bella! He still loves you," Esme said in shock.

I stared at her. "What?" It couldn't be true.

"Once you fall in love, as a vampire, it's forever. He left to protect you from others like us … the ones that do not follow our lifestyle. After your birthday, he made us all promise not to contact you. I'm so sorry we listened, Bella. Alice checked on you once; you were laughing with your friends. We just all thought you had moved on and were fine. She never checked again."

"I was far from fine, Esme. I've been miserable. Has he moved on?" I asked tentatively, not sure if I wanted the answer.

"No, definitely not. He is so miserable. He's moved out on his own, so he doesn't hurt Jasper. All the emotions were causing Jazz problems."

We sat quietly for a long while until I said, "I want him back," in a whisper as I fiddled with the hem of my shirt … his shirt.

"Here," Esme handed me her cell phone after pushing a few buttons. I stared at the ringing device until it stopped ringing.

"Esme, is everything alright?" Edward asked panicked. He sounded horrible. He was raspy. It didn't sound like him at all.

"Esme?" he said again. After a few more moments, and in a softer voice he said, "Mom?"

"Ed … Edward?" I said in a whisper. I hadn't said his name in so long it was hard to get out.

He gasped. I could hear his accelerated breathing. "Bella?" he asked confused.

"Yeah," I said barely above a whisper. My eyes filled with unshed tears.

"Am I hallucinating again? Esme, it's really you isn't it?" Oh my, he was really out of it.

"Sweetheart, I am here with Bella," Esme said softly from her seat beside me, but I knew he heard.

"Mom, I told you not to bother her! She's moved on," Edward said his voice full of emotion.

"No, Edward, I haven't moved on. I'm here at your house in Forks. Where I've lived for the last ten years waiting on you to come back to me." I sobbed.

"Bella, I can't put your life in danger," he insisted. Stubborn ass.

"You won't, Edward. The danger is gone, trust me. Please just come see me … just a visit," I begged. I felt something wet and tingly on my cheek, as I touched it, I realized my face was wet. I was crying and it felt so good. I couldn't help but to break down in sobs. "Please, Edward. I need you," I stuttered. I couldn't hold my emotions in any longer.

"I'm coming, love," he said. A sudden whoosh of air sounded in the phone before the line went dead. Esme wrapped her motherly arms around me. I was going to see him again! He would really be here soon. My body shook from my sobs of relief.

It had been four days since I'd spoken to Edward. The rest of the family had arrived, but there was no sign from him, not a phone call or vision. Charlie said he could still sense Edward, but wasn't sure where he was.

I was beginning to become extremely worried. I hadn't eaten in a while, and it was starting to take its toll. I was lying on the couch, in his room, with my eyes closed. Willing him to come through the door.

Alice told me to make myself smell human. I could even make the sound of my heart beating. She said Edward would think it was a trap if he couldn't smell me or hear my heart. Finally, at the end of the fifth day, we heard a car that we didn't recognize pull up the drive.

I didn't leave my spot on the couch, it was taking all my energy to keep up my facade for him. My arm lay across my face, my body stretched out on the couch with one leg hanging off the side and my foot on the floor.

Anyone that didn't know me would think I was asleep, Edward would think I was asleep; I wanted a true reaction from him. I had to know that he still loved me for me. My breathing mocked that of a sleeping person. I heard him greet the family and his surprise that Charlie was a vampire.

"Bella?" Edward said. I could tell that he had just entered the house.

Charlie cleared his throat before he spoke. "I kept her safe. Now your family assures me that you will not pull something so stupid again, but if you do, if you even think about leaving her again, know that I will rip you limb to limb and burn every last inch of you."

"I promise I won't hurt her again. If she'll still have me. I'll work every day of forever to regain her trust and love," Edward vowed.

"Okay," Charlie responded sternly.

The door to Edward's old room flew open. I could tell he was staring at me, but he made no move to come to my side. He didn't speak he just stood there and stared at me. I thought I'd give him something for old times and talk in my 'sleep'. "Edward," I whispered.

I heard his sob and couldn't take it any longer. my arm moved and my eyes flew open. He was beautiful, but looked exhausted and old. He hadn't fed in a very long time.

"Bella," he breathed. Neither of us moved.

"Edward." Tears started to fall from my eyes again. He was in front of me in an instance. He didn't touch me, just simply sat in front of me.

"Bella, I'm so sorry. I don't deserve your forgiveness but please, please forgive me. Tell me I'm not too late that you will take me back," he pleaded.

"Do you promise to be with me for all of eternity?" I said making sure he understood the implications of that word.

"Yes! I'll change you right now," he vowed.

I smiled. "That won't be necessary."

"Why? Have you changed your mind? You don't want to be a vampire?" he asked with the most adorable confused expression.

"I've not changed my mind; it's just that you're too late because … I am a vampire." Once I lowered all my shields, he gasped in understanding.

"Oh, baby. When did this happen?" he asked, finally touching me. He ran the back of his hand on my cheek like he used to do when I'd blush.

"Right after you left. Laurent found me," I explained. Edward dropped his head to my knee.

He sat up then pulled me into a bone-crushing hug. I hugged him back. "I'm so, so very sorry," he mumbled into my hair.

"Don't be. It doesn't matter now. All that matters now is that you're back, and we can be together now."

He pulled back and looked at my face. We stared at each other for a long time. His lips were on mine without a second thought. I kissed him back hungrily, but it ended too soon. "You need to eat," I said quietly as I traced his purple shadows.

"I don't want to leave you. I'm fine," he insisted. I smiled.

"Let's go together," I suggested.

"No, it's too dangerous," he said shaking his head in disagreement.

I laughed. "Edward, I told you, I'm a vampire. I need to eat anyway. It's been a while since I fed last. We can go together if you want." He stared at me dumbfounded.

"You seem so much like 'human Bella' are you sure?" He looked so torn.

I scoffed a laugh. I pulled out of his embrace and stood up.

"Come on. I'll show you." I held my hand out to him and when he took it, I squeezed it tightly. His eyes went wide, but he didn't say anything. I let go and jumped out the window and ran full force into the forest.

"Bella, wait come back," he yelled after me. I stopped and within seconds, he was in front of me.

"Believe me now?" I smirked.

He smiled his crooked grin I loved so much. He didn't speak, but he crashed his lips to mine and kissed me like he'd never done before. It was absolute bliss. I wasn't sure where our lives would take us, but I knew from now on we'd never be without the other.