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Huge thank you to my betas: mesmerizeme and Rachie81 for helping me with this chapter.
THANK YOU to everyone that reviewed.
So...I guess some thanks should be said for everyone that stuck with me till the end. This is the last chapter. I may write an epilogue...I'm not sure now.
Chapter 49: Ginger
I watched Edward saying good-bye to his best friends, knowing it was unlikely to see them again. Especially Leah – if she left town, it was going to be hard to contact her, and there was her new boyfriend who would realize Edward hadn't aged in a few years.
I couldn't even bring myself to be jealous when he hugged Leah that way, when he almost kissed her – I was certain that if I hadn't appeared into his life, they would have been happy together. After parting from her, he turned my way, but Jake accosted him.
The newlyweds had to leave. I waited until Edward bid him farewell, wishing him to be happy, and then they hugged.
Edward's phone buzzed on the table in front of me, and I answered, seeing it was his mother.
"Yes?" I asked, fear gripping me.
"Sweetie, come home. Ginger isn't feeling well."
Edward's head whipped to me, his eyes wide in horror. He patted Jake on the back then rushed to me, snatching the phone. "Mom?"
"Edward, come quick. He's throwing up and breathing harsher."
"I'm on my way," he whispered in a pained voice, hanging up. "Take the car. I'll run."
He disappeared before I could tell him it was rude to just leave. I made sure to say my goodbye to Jacob and Nessie, and then I went to Leah who was telling her daughter about Mark.
"You're leaving?" Leah asked, looking at me.
"Yeah, uhh…the cat's not feeling well."
"Oh, I'm so sorry, but don't tell Edward that. He'd hate to hear it." She knew him so well.
"I won't." It was uncomfortable. I had no idea what to say to her. "Well, I hope you'll be happy."
"Oh, I will. Thank you. I'm happy for both of you," she whispered.
I smiled, leaning to her, unsure if it was wise to hug her. She got up and hugged me tightly. "Take care of him, Bella."
I said my goodbye to Antonella then rushed to the car. I was afraid of the state Edward would be in when I got home. Was Ginger still alive? We had all tried to prepare Edward for this, but it was difficult, and it was going to be even worse when his parents disappeared. I didn't even want to think of that day.
Parking in front of the house, my insides twisted. I could hear him crying. I knew that the cat had died. There was no heart beat around, besides his parents'.
I froze with my hand on the door handle when he yelled.
"Edward, he's dead, honey," Elizabeth said softly.
"NOO! Breathe, Ginger."
"You're probably destroying his sternum right now," Ed commented.
Was he trying to resurrect the cat? I rushed inside, and found him in the middle of the living room, kneeling over the dead cat, pressing two fingers over the cat's chest.
I bit my lip to keep from crying myself, and walked slowly to them, falling next to Edward. I took his hands in mine, turning him to me.
"He's dead, love. There's nothing you can do."
Edward nodded against my neck, and sobbed. My eyes fell on the cat before I squeezed them shut. There were flashbacks from over the years.
When he poked his little head from the box, mewing.
When he played with that silly toy-mouse.
When he scratched Edward.
When we waited at the window for Edward to come back.
When we tried to live without him and failed.
When Edward came back and he didn't leave his side for a whole month. He even went into his backpack, making us laugh.
When he got sick and the whole nightmare started.
I sat there on the carpet, in front of the fireplace, holding Edward for hours. He had picked the cat in his arms and was just stroking the fur. His parents had gone to bed, and I could hear Elizabeth crying before she fell asleep.
"Let's bury him," I whispered, stroking his hair and kissed the spot where his jaw met the neck.
Edward shuddered, taking a huge gulp of air. "Okay."
"Where are we going?" I wondered as Edward led the way.
"To bury him," Edward answered hoarsely. He stopped in the backyard, looking around for something. He seemed to find what he wanted because he scurried to the left side, putting Ginger on the ground before he started digging with his fingers.
"Don't you want a shovel? It's cleaner," I reasoned.
"Nah." He sniffed, turning to me. "Come here."
I shuffled to his side and saw why he had chosen that place. His other cat was buried there, along with the parakeet.
"Do we say something? I remember saying something when we buried them," he mumbled, squeezing Ginger to his chest.
I shrugged, having no idea what it was done in such cases. I just wanted it to be done. I wanted to fast forward a few months from now when Edward was going to be okay again.
"I don't know, Edward," I whispered when he nudged me.
"Okay, I'll do it," he murmured, laying Ginger in the small hole. "I'll miss you so much. I'm glad I can remember everything about our time." He stroked the fur. "I love you, Ginger. Rest in peace," he mumbled, shoving the dirt over the body.
I watched as the cat became covered by the black dirt. A part of me was happy that he had died, he was suffering too much, but I was going to miss him too. He had lit our boring days, especially the sunny ones when we just lazed around the house.
Edward took a shuddering breath when he was done. "Okay, let's go back inside. I need to wash my hands."
As he scrubbed his hands, I sent Alice a text, telling her to put all of Ginger's things in the basement, away from our room. She answered with an okay.
"Do you want to hunt?" Edward whispered, coming behind me and sneaking his arms around my waist.
"How are you?" I asked, putting my hands over his.
"I'll be okay. I knew it was going to happen. It doesn't make it better, though."
I turned around and hugged him tightly. He chuckled lightly making me look at him surprised.
"We've come such a long way. I was thinking of the first time you hugged me," he murmured, kissing my forehead.
I giggled, titling my head. "My little muffin," I said affectionately.
Edward narrowed an eye at me. "You, red eyed monster!"
"Hey! That's not working," I said playfully.
"I'm not a muffin anymore," he grumbled, clasping me closer to his chest.
"But you'll always be my warm, soft, delicious Edward. Even though you're more durable now."
"Durable?" He smirked. "Like…the Duracell Bunny?"
"You remember that?" I asked surprised.
He frowned, peering at me. "What should I remember?"
I focused on the memory of him promising to buy me a Duracell Bunny, and opened my mind to him. As always, he gasped, his eyes glazing over as he paid attention to what I had for him. And then he was laughing so hard, I thought he'd roll on the floor any moment.
"I can be the Bunny." He winked. His head snapped to the door and he cringed. "Oops."
"You woke up your parents?" I asked, realizing someone was coming to his room.
A moment later, Elizabeth peeked inside, bleary eyed. "I know you kids don't sleep, but can you keep it down?"
"Sorry, Mom," Edward mumbled, just like a scolded child.
After a short hunting trip, we returned to their house, ready to say goodbye. His parents tried to make us stay longer, but we insisted that we had to return.
Every time we were away or some other Cullen was away, it was hard. We were a real family.
"But look at the rain," Ed insisted, pointing to the window.
"So what?" Edward asked. "It's not like we'll make an accident."
It was the wrong thing to say, and he realized it too late. Elizabeth's eyes became glassy as she threw herself at him, hugging him. An accident had ripped him away from them. An accident kept him around because I loved him too much to let him die.
"We're going to be okay," Edward whispered, rubbing her back. "We really have to go back."
After we left, I wished I had let him drive. It was raining so hard, there was a fog around us. I could see through it, but it was distracting. And Edward wasn't exactly allowing me to focus on the road.
He kept talking about anything and everything, not even allowing me to answer the few questions that slipped. An hour later, I realized why he was doing it.
I pressed Pause on the blaring music, turning to him. "Shut up, will you?"
"I can't," he said quickly. "Don't make me shut up. If I don't talk…I think I'm going to break down again."
Admitting it, seemed to be hard for him, but it meant a lot to me. I had to distract him, but crying would make him feel better.
"Distract me," he whispered brokenly. "Please."
I reached for his hand, squeezing it. "You should wear your seatbelt," I said the first thing that popped into my head.
Edward chuckled, tracing his thumb over my palm. "You said it yourself. I'm more durable now."
"You tell that to the cops when they stop me."
His eyes turned to the road, zooming to the police car that was ahead of us.
"Then you should drive slower," he whispered.
"And you should wear your seatbelt," I retorted. I adjusted the speed after he snapped the seatbelt.
Edward pressed play on the CD player, turning down the volume. "Sorry, but I'm on edge. I feel…actually, I have no idea how I feel."
Little Jimmy's gone way out of the back streets
Out of the window, into the falling rain,
And he's right on time, right on time.
That's why broken arrow waved his finger
Down the road so dark and narrow
In the evening just before the Sunday six bells chime
And way out on the highway
All the dogs are barkin' way down below
And you wander away from your hillside retreated view
Went to wanderin' Northbridge way out on the railroad
Together all the tipping trucks will unload
All the scrapbooks built together stuck with glue
And I'll stand beside you, beside you
Oh child, to never wonder why
To never, never, never, never wonder why at all
To never, never, never, never wonder why
It's gotta be, it has to be
I met his eyes, a lump forming in my throat. There was something about Van Morrison's voice that sent chills down my spine. Every time I heard him.
Across the crystal pavements
Way across the country where the hillside mountains glide
The dynamo of your smile caressed the
Barefoot virgin child
To wander past your window in the nighttime cross the floor
Crying as ecstasy surrounds you
Through the night air your proud time is open
Go well against the pointed idle breeze
Past the footlights of the brazen silence easy
In the night you cry and you want spirits to tell you
Go ahead and do it one more time baby
You're satisfied I guess, you're way up and the sky comes down
Edward leaned into me, pressing his lips to my ear, crooning along. I turned into goo, momentarily forgetting about the road.
Open and just hold the lantern in the doorway,
For the freedom of it.
And you take the night air through your nostrils and you breathe
In out, in out
And you breathe just like that, just like that
How does it get you when it gets you
When it gets ya
You may not know it's got you until you turn around
And I'll point a finger at you, point a finger at you
You say which way, which way
That's alright, we've gotten hip to it
Goin' to do it right now.
Beside you, beside you
Oh child to never wonder why
To never, never, never, never wonder why at all
Never never never never wonder why at all.
"Beside you. Always and forever," he murmured, peppering kisses on my jaw and neck.
Turning my head to him, I kissed him, pouring all my love for him in that kiss.
"Crap," he murmured, pulling back.
"What?" I asked, dazed.
We were close to the cruiser and we got pulled over. Perfect. I wished I could speed past them, but dismissed the thought.
"What ID do you have with you?" Edward asked, fishing for the car's registration.
"The Masen one," I said, smiling.
"Good. I might allow you to flirt with him."
"I have a kinky husband." I laughed making him shrug unapologetically. "Jerk!"
"Hey!" he hissed, slapping me with the registration documents.
The cop knocked on my window. It was the first time I got pulled over. And it was only Edward's fault.
I offered him the documents before he asked. I knew the drill. The cop grabbed the documents and went to his car.
"He has a preconceived idea about teenagers driving alone," Edward muttered. "But he inclines to let us go with a warning because you're beautiful."
"You just made that up," I groaned, exasperated at his smirk.
"Did not! Pinky swear."
I slapped the side of his head, making him burst in laughter. "What's so funny?" I grumbled.
"You just reminded me of Ella. She poked me for a few minutes, telling me to set her mommy up with the hot doctor," Edward explained.
"Little did she know that her mommy was…with that doctor," I said, not really wanting to say any bad word. It wasn't like me. I rarely used them.
"Uh-huh! What did you want to say? Don't restrain, I'm not afraid of big words." He shot me a cheeky grin.
"I'm afraid I can't swear in front of minors."
"Bella! Will you ever give it up?"
"Uhh…" I tapped my chin, urging that cop with my eyes to finish already – of course, he didn't see me since he was with his back at us. "How can I let something like this slide?" I asked Edward, pinching his cheek. "My husband is a minor. Go figure!"
"It's called jailbait in my days," he added through a smile.
"Cop, ahead!" I hissed, gesturing to the guy that was finally returning to us.
"Here you go, Miss Masen."
"That's Mrs. Masen to you," Edward said loudly, linking our fingers. Possessive vampire.
The cop blushed lightly, looking at the documents in his hands. "Uhh, here, Mrs. Masen. I'm sorry for my mistake. Please, do keep under the speed limit and try to refrain from…other activities on the road. That's part of the many accidents nowadays."
I nodded, taking the documents back. "I will. Did you hear him, honey? No funny business?"
Edward pinched the skin above my ass, where the cop couldn't see, making me jump. "Of course, sir. We'll wait until we park."
What had happened to the gentleman I had fallen in love with? I wondered amazed. He was spending too much time with Emmett.
The cop looked flustered. Poor guy. "Have a safe trip!" he said, returning to his car.
As I pulled up, Edward looked through the documents.
"He didn't do anything to them," I told him, rolling my eyes.
"I'm checking if there's something missing," he said seriously. "He's human…and cops usually are scattered-brained."
"You sound like you speak from experience," I told him, grinning.
"Maybe I do."
"When were you pulled over? You didn't mention it."
Edward groaned. "It was before we met. Before we talked," he rectified. "Dad had just given me the car for my birthday…and told me to take it for a ride."
I snorted, imagining that he had sped up the second he was on the main road. "And?" I urged him to continue.
Edward rubbed a hand over his hair, nervously. "I might have hit 90…I was aiming for 100."
My head whipped to him. "You wanted to kill yourself?"
"It's called adrenaline rush. Anyway, I was watching the needle going over 90, slowly and surely-"
"You weren't even watching the road!" I exclaimed, scandalized.
"-and then I heard through megaphones to pull over as sirens blared behind me. There were two cruisers! You'd think I was some Bonnie and Clyde." He rolled his eyes.
"And what happened next?"
"I got fined." He beamed at me. "Although, I tried to bribe the cop, begging him to let me go since it was my first car, my first drive… He had none of it. He was Mark, you know him? One of Dad's friends," he added on a small voice.
"The law is law, Edward. And what just happened – warnings – they usually work best for women."
"Should I have showed him my leg?" Edward asked sarcastically.
"If he was on the other side… And what did your parents say?"
"Oh, that was…well, it resulted in grounding and no car for a month." He shrugged.
"Yeah, I was so excited to finally have my car and then…it was gone. Well, not gone. It just sat there in front of the house, dusting. I washed it every weekend, even attempted to sleep in it."
"And you accused me that I loved my car!" I giggled.
"What can I say? It was my baby."
"And you wrecked it."
"Let's not remember its death."
"But tell me how they reacted when you told them," I insisted.
"I don't remember, Bella. Dad shouted and Mom was disappointed, like always when I did some bad thing." Edward shrugged.
When we arrived in front of our house, we realized it was empty. They had probably gone hunting. Taking the bags from the car, we walked inside.
Our room looked the same, minus Ginger's stuff. Edward realized it was missing, and came to me, hugging me.
"Thank you. I couldn't have looked at it," he murmured in my hair.
"I love you."
"I love you too, Bella."
Hoping you enjoyed the journey as much I did.. review one last time.
Happy Holidays for everyone!