The Definition of 'End'
-noun; the last part
All things Twilight related belong to Stephanie Meyer
I purposefully tuned the voice out as I felt my hands in cuffs. That seemed to be a regular occurrence in the past couple of months.
I couldn't see Bella, but I could hear her protests from behind me. Carlisle was trying to calm her down. Alice was screaming obscenities. It was a madhouse.
I was pushed outside. The sun had now set and it was completely dark in the meadow, but there were a couple of police cars flashing their lights. I was shoved into the back of one with enough force to bang my head against the opposite window.
I grunted in pain as the door slammed shut.
I didn't know where I was being taken or what was going to happen to us but I saw Bella's frightened eyes as she was put in another car.
I just prayed like hell it wouldn't be my last memory of her.
"Edward, are you okay?" Esme cried, hugging me with tight arms, "Don't worry. Carlisle's going to take care of everything."
"He had me arrested, Mom."
"Well, you did break the law… several times, but he was just doing that so you wouldn't hurt anyone."
We were currently sitting in my old room at Windemere. It had since been transformed for someone else. The colorful walls had been painted over, and all my possessions were gone. Esme said she had them back at home. I didn't know what was going to happen to me, but right now it didn't matter; I just wanted to see Bella.
"Where is she?" I asked for the tenth time. "I need to see her."
"Bella is fine. Carlisle's trying to convince the police not to take her away. She killed that man, Edward."
"He deserved it. And she didn't kill him. She just stabbed him; he happened to bleed out on the floor. That wasn't her fault."
"I've seen the tape you had. I know what happened." Esme brushed some hair out of my face. "Why did you do it?"
"Kidnap Aro, run away?"
"Because you love her, I know you do. We do crazy things when we're in love."
"Can you cut the lovey-dovey bullshit, please?" I snapped.
Esme retracted her hand, shocked, but didn't let surprise pass across her face. "When was the last time you took your medicine?"
"I don't know. Can I see Bella?"
"No," she replied firmly. "That's not the best thing for you right now. Carlisle thinks…"
"I don't care what Carlisle thinks. He's just as bad as the rest of them. Why can't everyone just leave us alone?" I struggled with my hands, still in police cuffs.
"Everything's going to be okay, Edward. Carlisle's going to take care of it."
"I'm tired of this. I need to see her."
"Edward, please, calm down." Esme pushed me against the bed. "I promise that she's okay. Maybe… Well, maybe you two need some time apart."
"She's the best thing that's ever happened to me, and if you can't see that then you should leave right now," I challenged. I was pissed, but kept myself in check. The last thing I needed right now was to lose my cool, especially with my mother.
"You're good for her, and she's good for you, but a little time apart isn't the worst thing that could happen, right?" Her voice held a note of hopefulness that made me uneasy.
"I love her."
"I know that, sweetheart, but she's sick and so are you. You can't have a healthy relationship like that."
Our arguing was interrupted by a harsh rapping on the door.
Emmett poked his head in the room with a wide grin. "Can we come in?"
"I'll leave you guys alone." Esme got up from her seat and went into the hallway as Emmett and Jasper stepped to the side.
"Dude, you are seriously the most badass patient this place has ever seen." Jasper nodded his approval in my direction. "I can't believe you just ran away like that."
"Yeah, little good it did me," I scoffed. "I'm back in the same place I was before, just in worse off condition."
"No, you aren't. Aro's getting his ass arrested right now." Emmett smiled. "Yeah, the police didn't like what they saw on that tape. They're saying something about endangering Bella's life and medical ethics. It's a big deal."
I sat up a little. "How is she?"
"She's okay. Carlisle's calming her down. She had to be medicated." Jasper walked close. "A lot's happened to her in the past couple of hours."
"Am I in trouble?" I asked.
"Well, you were until Carlisle defended the hell out of you. We could hear his shouting in the hallway. It was intense. He was cursing the police out cause they wanted to take you into custody. Now, Aro's being taken away, and Bella's sedated. It's just a mess." Jasper huffed. "Good news, though, you should be fine."
"I want to see her."
By the way the two of them were standing I knew there was something more. They were having a silent conversation between each other, daring the other one to speak first.
"What is it?" I sat up further against the headboard.
"Nothing." They both said at the same time.
"You're lying," I accused. "I just want to see her. That's all I'm asking."
Carlisle came through the door before either of them could answer. He was angry and trying to appear calm, but I knew differently.
"Gentlemen, if you could give us a minute alone," Carlisle suggested, holding the door open for Emmett and Jasper.
"No problem." They both left quickly.
Carlisle shut the door. "Edward, how are you ?"
"Arrested, once again," I said, holding up my cuffed wrists.
"It was for your own good. You wouldn't have cooperated with the police."
"You're damn right."
"And then they wouldn't have had a choice but to take you to jail. I saved you."
"Where is Bella?"
"She's being kept safe. Let's talk about you." He shined a tiny flashlight in my eyes and then flicked it away. "How are you feeling? Any lightheadedness? Pain?"
"What about your reflexes?"
"I need to ask you if you were in your right mind when you kidnapped Aro." He sat in a chair close to the bed.
"What does that mean?"
"Was Max an influence at all?"
"No. It was all me."
Carlisle pinched the bridge of his nose. "We were making such good progress, Edward."
"Yeah, until you shipped us off to be tortured."
"I did no such thing." His voice boomed. "I wanted to help you. I tried to help you and I still am."
"Where is Bella?"
"You're not going to be able to see her for quite some time."
"Why? What did you do?"
"She's being sent away."
"Away?" My blood ran cold in my body.
"Yes, for special care. She can't be here anymore, and I'm going to personally help her get better. We need to get her someplace safe."
"And where would that be?"
"Alaska. I have a colleague up there that can help me. I think I've been trying to treat her instead of talking with her about her past. That's not the way to move forward, and she needs private therapy right now."
"For… for how long?"
"As long as it takes. I'm sorry, Edward. You won't be able to see her. She needs to be alone."
I didn't know what to say. I was shocked. This was just like the last time when they threatened to take her away from me, but this time, there wouldn't be a chance of my following. She was leaving.
"You can't do that," I said half-heartedly. "I need her."
"Maybe you need to be without her. It's the only way for the two of you to grow."
He was right. I knew he was, but I couldn't convince myself of that.
"What's going to happen to me?" I bowed my head, suddenly losing all the will I had left in me to fight.
"Well, I have good news on that front. If I can prove to a medical board that you're getting better, they might allow you to leave."
"Yes, go back home. You would, of course, have to see a therapist, probably three times a week for the rest of your life and take medication, but after your accusations against Dr. Volturi were proved true, the board is looking at you in a different light."
"But I'm not healed. You told me that I wouldn't ever be able to leave."
"I didn't say 'ever'. I said it would be a while. Do you think you've gotten better?"
I didn't answer. I didn't know what I should say. I wanted to be free. I wanted to see if I could do this, but it scared the hell out of me. Was I cured? Hell no. But I understood everything he said. I needed to be out there to see if I had at least gotten a little better.
"You're not a danger to yourself or to anyone else. Max is… for the most part, subdued, and you haven't even been on medication. You can control yourself."
"But what about the past couple of days?"
"Everyone knows you were just defending yourself and Bella."
"Why didn't you believe me when I told you Aro was a bad man? You never believed me."
He sighed heavily. "I was trying to not see it. He's a good doctor, but a sick individual. I'm sorry about that."
"Do you think I'm ready to go back into the normal world?"
"If the medical board asks me, I'll say yes. You're a different kind of patient, Edward. I thought that I could help you in a place like this, but Max doesn't work that way. The more you try to hold him in, the more he's going to push to be free."
Everything he was saying made perfect sense, but I was still stunned at how quickly things were changing and how little control I had over my life… once again.
"Your mother and I just want what's best for you," he said compassionately. I heard the hurt in his voice, and I knew he cared for me more than any doctor would a normal patient.
I snorted in laughter. Even though he wasn't my real father, Carlisle was the closest thing I had ever had. Even Edward Sr. wasn't as caring. I knew he loved me, sure, but he would never show it. And it was obvious that he had some demons that he didn't share with anyone, hence my reasoning for being in here. I was fucked because of him.
"You can, of course, try to convince the board that you're not ready. If you do, they'll probably leave you in here, but I suggest you take a chance."
"They'll just let me out, even after all this?"
"It doesn't work like that. It'll be as if you're on parole. They'll let you live your life, but you will have to check in with a therapist, keep a strict medication schedule, and show that you can live as a regular person."
"It's not fair." I shook my head. "Bella always told me that I wouldn't be in here forever, but I didn't believe her. She's never going to be able to leave."
"She will," Carlisle assured me. "I promise you, she will get her life back."
"I just want her to know that I love her." I sniffed, unable to wipe the tears from my face because of the cuffs.
"You won't be able to see her for at least a year. She needs separation, and I'm sorry, but that's the best way for her to heal."
"I know." I sighed. "When is she leaving?"
"As soon as possible." He cleared his throat. "Tonight."
"Tonight?" I raised my head, suddenly panicked. "No, that's too soon."
"This place holds a lot of bad memories for Bella. The sooner, the better." He stood up to leave. "I'm sorry."
"Can I see her?" I asked urgently.
"I can't do that, Edward."
"Please, let me see her before she leaves," I pleaded. "I need to see her."
Carlisle looked troubled, shifting on his feet. "That really isn't a good idea."
"I'm begging you." My voice completely broke down to nothing more than a whisper.
He exhaled, looking like he was carrying the world on his shoulders. "I'll be right back."
Carlisle left the room and then returned five seconds later with a police officer. He unlocked my cuffs, but shadowed me as I leapt off of the bed and ran into the hallway.
"She's in her room, Edward!" Carlisle yelled.
I sped around the corner so fast I slid on the floor and almost toppled a nurse over. By the time I arrived at Bella's room, I was out of breath and sweating. There were two more cops outside of her door who tried to block me.
"I need to see her!" I pushed the both of them, but my efforts were useless. They had a couple inches and several pounds on me.
"Sir, we can't let you in. Calm down." One of the cops restrained me.
"Please, just let me in!"
"He's okay." Carlisle came bolting down the hallway at full speed. "He can go in."
The cop hesitantly let me go, not really wanting to, but he didn't really have a choice.
I opened the door and rushed inside.
Bella was lying in bed, her head rested softly on a fluffy pillow. She was awake, but languid. Her eyes opened and closed slowly, and her breathing was forced. Esme was sitting next to the bed, smoothing Bella's hair over her forehead. Just the sight of her like this was enough to make me sob, although I didn't allow it. I wouldn't let her see me like this.
"She was waiting for you." Esme patted my shoulder before giving us some time alone.
"Hi, Edward." Bella smiled. Her voice was so weak.
"Hi." I waved, walking slowly towards the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Tired. Pathetic." She giggled. "A little drunk. It's this fucking medicine they have me on."
"I'm so sorry that I ruined everything." I knelt by the bed, holding her cold hand in mine.
"You didn't ruin anything so stop acting like I'm dying."
I chuckled, "I love you, Bella."
"And I love you too, but this crying shit isn't going to work." She seemed to be drifting into sleep.
"You're leaving me."
"Not by choice. I heard you're getting out, though. Congratulations. Are you going to do it?"
"I think I would like to try." I admitted to her, and I think myself. "I don't know if it'll work out, but I have to try."
"You live life for the both of us. Promise me you won't brood in your house all day. I'll have Esme kick your ass."
"And she'll do it too."
"I know." Bella squeezed my hand. "I'll be back before you know it."
"I can't do this without you." I sounded pathetic, but I didn't care. I wanted her to know just how much she meant to me.
"Yes, you can. Stop being a pussy. You're going to go out there and be amazing. I know you can do it, Edward. You've grown so much. I'm going to miss you."
"Please don't say that. We're going to see each other again."
She smiled sadly. I don't think she believed it.
"Carlisle's going to help me."
"I know he will. Just listen to everything he says. No back talking and no biting."
She giggled. "We did it, though."
"Got rid of Aro. Now everyone knows how horrible he really is."
"I don't care about that."
"But I'm still probably going to Hell. I killed a man."
"No, you didn't. You were protecting yourself."
"I'm hope the court sees it that way."
We didn't talk to each other for five minutes. I counted. Her breaths began to even out, but came slower. I thought she had fallen asleep.
"I love you, Edward," her tiny voice muttered. "Don't forget about me."
"I will never forget about you, Bella."
"Will you wait for me, until I'm all better?"
"I'll wait forever, I swear." I kissed her hand.
I heard the door open behind me and smelled Esme's perfume in the air, along with Carlisle's cologne. Both scents somehow completed each other and put me somewhat at peace.
"It's what's best for her, Edward." Carlisle sighed. "I know it hurts, but sometimes you have to let the things you love go."
In her drowsy state, she said, "I have to fly like a blackbird."
"Do you have any idea what you're talking about?" I laughed quietly.
Esme dug into her purse and pulled out the long, navy blue scarf which Bella had knitted me all those months ago. I thought I lost it. She placed the warm fabric around Bella's neck.
"You come back, and we'll be waiting right here," Esme cooed.
"She's out." Carlisle checked Bella's pulse at her wrist. "Sedated fully."
"You'll be leaving soon?" I wiped my face.
He nodded. "Everything's already set up. I'll take good care of her."
"She's going to come back better than ever, Edward." Esme hugged me. "Don't cry."
"I love her so much."
"I know you do."
I once remember Bella telling me that she didn't like forehead kisses, but I couldn't help myself. I just had to do it one last time. Just to touch her one last time.
Are you sobbing? I am. In case you didn't know, this was the last chapter. There will be one epilogue to post later. There will be a happy ending.
I know, I know. It's been like months since I posted, but guess what? That was on purpose. I needed you guys to forget the chapter before. I wanted you disconnected from the story for the last posting. Because, in a word, I wanted this to feel as real as possible for the reader. Do you feel disconnected?
I know, I probably sound insane, but it worked in my mind. Lol
As I said, epilogue will be posted later.
Thanks so much to Suzie55 for the wonderful pre-reading she has done for this story. She is amazing and gave me comments that I wouldn't even think about. I needed her more than you'll know.
And thanks as well to the ultimate beta Jennyb0719. She is incredible and just gave me all the corrections I needed. Without her, this story would be an absolute mess.
And thanks to all of you readers for keeping up with this crazy ride. I know I might have lost you at some points, but most of you always came back and reviewed with nice things. I write for readers like you.
Thank you so much for making this fun!