A Revision of Time is a one-shot and is complete.
All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Excerpt: Chapter 12 Time; Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
"You don't want to be my wife."
"That's not a question," I finally whispered.
He looked down, his lashes casting long shadows across his cheekbones, and dropped his hands from my face to pick up my frozen left hand. He played with my fingers while he spoke. "I was worrying about why you felt that way."
"That's not a question, either."
"The truth?" I asked, only mouthing the words.
"Of course. I can take it, whatever it is."
I took a deep breath. "You're going to laugh at me."
His eyes flashed up to mine, shocked. "Laugh? I cannot imagine that."
I took a moment to find the words that would reveal my feelings on the matter, the words I knew would leave my soul completely bare for him to see. It made me uneasy, the idea of revealing just how desperately I loved him, and I found myself avoiding his gaze.
"Edward, marriage doesn't mean the same thing to me that it does to you." I began slowly, delaying the hard part. "To you, marriage is still this binding sacred vow, pledged before friends and immortalized on paper. It's two people promising to belong only to each other, forever. It means experiencing happiness with the one person you want by your side for the rest of your life."
I paused to take a breath and steeled my resolve.
"And if it were that simple Edward, if it were as easy as giving you what you wanted just to make you happy, just to see that perfect crooked smile of yours, just to watch the laughter play in your eyes, then I'd do it."
And that was the truth. I'd marry him in a heartbeat, if I could be sure it was the key to his happiness.
"But?" He prodded.
But. Right now that word felt like a loaded gun being wielded by a man who was mentally unhinged, and I had no idea if the bullet would leave the chamber or who it would hit if it did.
In a whisper I told him, "It would be wrong to marry you just to make you happy… and you know it. You know that if I stood up at that alter with you and recited words I didn't believe in, you wouldn't be happy. You'd feel cheated. You'd resent me."
"Bella-" He began, but I stopped him.
It wasn't that I didn't care what he had to say, I did. But the words that had been so reluctant to be spoken aloud were now frantic to escape, to be heard, and the weight of their sincerity was crushing me.
"Please. Please, Edward, just listen to me. Try to see things from my perspective, okay?" I needed him to listen without interruption.
He nodded silently; his eyes never blinking, never leaving my face.
"To me, marriage isn't all of that. At the most, its… I don't know, financially sound." I couldn't stop the humorless laugh from escaping. "You see these political slogans at campaigns like, 'how does my homosexual marriage affect your heterosexual divorce' and its frightening because its true. Half the people who are getting married this year, will be divorced in another year no matter their sexual persuasion.
"My parents? They married for love and look where they are now. My dad is still in love with the woman he married even though she up and left him in the dead of night taking his only child with her. Our house is like a shrine to his lost love. The cabinets are still the yellow that she painted, the furniture is still the furniture that she picked out… The center picture on the mantle is still their wedding photo. And my mother? She remarried to a man half her age.
"And I'm not saying that that's why I won't marry you, because its not, I know I'd never divorce you if I did marry you." I was babbling now but it hardly mattered. "At the risk of sounding even more melodramatic than I already do, I know I can't live without you, so I'm not afraid of divorce."
"But Edward, what I feel for you, what you make me feel, and what we have… I don't want a piece of paper that can so easily be discredited and disregarded and torn apart, to define it all. We're so much more than that. It can't be confined to a sheet of paper by way of two names scrawled in ink.
"You know how you always say that I don't see myself clearly? I never lied to you Edward. No one ever noticed me back in Phoenix, not the way that I've been noticed here. That's because you weren't there. This beauty that you see, that the other boys find so attractive? Its not me, its you. Your love, our connection, the happiness you bring me… Its too much for my body to contain. Your love is like a light and it shines out of my eyes, it explodes out of every cell that make my body what it is. The beauty of your soul is reflected inside of my own and I can feel it burning there, bright and interminable.
"I can't put that inside of a written contract that so many others take for granted, like a bad knock-knock joke that won't disappear. It won't fit there. It doesn't belong there."
I could feel my eyes begging his for understanding. I needed him to understand that I wasn't refusing his proposal because I didn't love him, I was refusing because I did love him. Marriage in my world wasn't the same as it had been in his. Marriage in my world was a joke.
"Bella," he breathed my name, his sweet breath wafting across my face, as some unfathomable emotion flickered into his eyes.
"Edward, I-" but I couldn't finish because his lips were crushing my own.
His smooth marble lips moved against mine until I was gasping for breath.
"Bella," he said again, "that's why you won't marry me?"
"Its not because you desire immortality more than me?"
My mouth popped open in shock.
How could he think that after all we'd be through? After what we were going through now?
"Immortality is nothing without you," I told him, baffled that he could reach any other conclusion. "I love you, Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, and I want you forever."
He reached up and brushed his fingers across my cheek as my eyes lost the connection with his. His eyes were still open, but his gaze was miles away, as he lost himself in a new thought.
"And what would you consider to be a more appropriate show of your undying devotion?" He asked slowly, his eyes refocusing on my face.
I frowned at his question. I didn't understand why he'd ask that question when I was pretty sure he already knew the answer.
"Promising to spend forever with you and then spending forever with you."
"Okay." He said.
"What?" I heard him well enough, I just didn't understand.
"I said okay, Bella. I'll give you your forever. I meant what I said about you feeling safe though. I will clean up this mess with Victoria. I will make you safe before I make you immortal. And then when you're sure you're ready…"
It was my turn to crush my lips to his.
I was finally going to get what I wanted. Edward; forever. And now that he knew the truth, the knot that had been twisting in my stomach all day finally vanished. I knew without a doubt that when Edward was ready, I would be too.