A/N: Well, here it is! The sequel to Deliver Me From Evil, as requested by so many of you. I am currently working on another story, The Chimera Project (check it out when you get a chance – it is completely different from this story line), so I am not sure how quickly the updating schedule will go. I've also set up a page on Facebook where I'll post updates, sneak peaks, photos that go with the stories, etc., so please check it out and friend me! You'll find me on Facebook under Lisa DawnFanfiction Means (www dot facebook dot com / home dot php). This is something I'll monitor regularly, so I'm looking forward to talking with you all!
I have not put a recap at the beginning, but am picking up where Deliver Me From Evil left off. If you have not read it, then I would suggest you read it first. It is listed under my profile.
And now, without further adieu…
Where to go, where to go? Bella thought frantically, her feet thundering on the forest floor. Everywhere she looked, all she saw was the same thing – trees, moss, broken branches. She panted and grasped the stitch in her side. She could not breathe…
And she was missing something…but what? The thought continued to elude her.
But what was she running from? Why did she feel this relentless need to run…to get away? She could not remember, but she could feel the adrenaline pumping through her body. Her fight or flight response had been triggered…and she had chosen flight. But from what?
The uncertainty of everything was driving her crazy.
Bella skidded around a boulder and stopped. In front of her was the most magnetic, yet the most frightening sight she had ever seen.
Bella was suddenly jerked back to the present and was mortified to see she had allowed her mind to wander back to the dream she had been having almost every night. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Mrs. Cavendish," she spoke quickly to her patient. She had stopped in room four to check on the elderly woman who had just been involved in a minor car accident that had resulted in a fractured leg for her. "Is there anything I can get you? More pain medication?" she asked, noticing Mrs. Cavendish's pallor and slight sweating.
Mrs. Cavendish grunted, attempting to reposition herself in the bed. "That would be wonderful," she sighed thankfully.
Bella straightened her pillow and blanket before she dashed to the nurse's station to verify the medication orders for Mrs. Cavendish. As she had just been lost in her dream world, she was not about to administer any medication without triple-checking the orders.
She reentered room four five minutes later with a syringe of morphine, along with a cup of ice chips. "Here we go," she said softly, checked her patient's armband for her name and allergies, and then slowly administered the morphine through her IV line. She immediately saw Mrs. Cavendish's expression relax and knew that the pain medication was working. "Now, would you like to change position a bit?" she asked, knowing it would be much easier now that the medication was doing its job.
"Yes, please. You are an angel," Mrs. Cavendish said gratefully.
Bella laughed softly. "I'm no angel, and you can call me Bella," she reintroduced herself. "I brought you some ice chips to wet your mouth."
Mrs. Cavendish sighed happily. "I guess water is out of the question."
She looked at her apologetically. "I'm afraid so. Your surgery is scheduled in an hour."
"I figured as much. Thank you, dear, for everything."
Bella patted her hand gently. "You're welcome. I'm going to let you get some rest, but I'll be right outside, so just let me know if you need anything. You can have another shot in 15 minutes if you need it," she added helpfully.
She sat down behind her counter, and did her charting on her one and only patient in the emergency room of Forks Community Hospital. She quickly wondered what Edward was doing, then consciously dismissed him from her mind, or she would not be able to get any work done. The dream was still bothering her, and she knew that Edward would be able to analyze it for her as he was currently studying dream interpretation in his psychiatry practice, but she did not want to tell him about it.
She did not need Dr. Edward Cullen, attending psychiatrist in Forks, to tell her what the dream meant.
"Mommy!" Ben shouted as Bella walked through the daycare door. "I been here all day!"
She laughed and hugged him tightly. "Yes, I know, because I've been at work all day." She quickly took the daily report Ms. Diane handed her and helped Ben into his jacket, even though it was July. He grabbed his backpack and skipped out the door to their old, red Chevy truck that was patiently waiting in the parking lot. She shuddered when she recalled the almost accident Ben had had there almost a year ago that Edward had saved him from.
That had been when she had finally admitted to herself that Edward was not quite human, but what he turned out to be shocked even her.
It had turned out that Edward Cullen, the wet dream of most female hospital staff, was a full-fledged, blood-drinking vampire. But, he had set himself apart from others of his kind by putting down roots with his family, attending medical school, becoming a productive member of society – and not drinking human blood. Bella had been relieved to find that the Cullens were, as they referred to themselves, vegetarians, and only drank the blood of animals.
Although, if she were honest with herself, she would have fallen for Edward regardless of his dietary choices. They had been drawn together as if they were two magnets and no force could keep them apart.
Even knowing what Edward had done to her abusive ex-boyfriend, Eric, had done nothing to disgust her or turn her away from Edward. He had acted out of love for her and Ben, and when he had seen in Eric's thoughts what he had intended to do to the two of them, Edward had actually allowed his inner beast full reign.
He had never told her exactly what he had done to Eric – only that he had taken care of him.
And she had never asked. Her psyche could only handle so much.
"Can we have sketti, mommy?" Ben interrupted her thoughts.
Bella nodded. "Sure can, buddy." She buckled him into the truck and then flipped her phone open at the chirp telling her she had a new text message. "Well, hell…"
Ben gasped. "Mooommmm," he said, scandalized. "You said a bad word a'gin."
She bit her lip. "I mean heck. Heck, heck, heck. Sorry. Ben, I'm sorry, but I can't make you spaghetti tonight. Aunt Alice wants me to come over and try on my wedding dress."
"Yay! Can I go see Aunt Alice an' Aunt Rose an' Uncle Emmett an' Uncle Jasper? An' Nana Esme an' Papaw Carlisle?" He was pumping his feet in excitement.
"Sure, as long as you behave."
"I will, I will!"
Bella started the thunderous engine and swung through McDonalds to pick up Ben a happy meal for his dinner since their supper plans were out the window. She called Charlie on the way and told him that she and Ben would not be home for supper but that there were cold cuts in the fridge. She then headed north on the 101 to the Cullen home where Alice would afflict her for the evening with dress fittings and wedding planning.
Bella vaguely wondered why she had allowed Alice full reign when it came to the wedding details, but all she had to do was picture Alice's disappointment, and she knew why. She loved Alice like the sister she soon would be, and she wanted to make her happy. However, she prayed that Alice would not go too overboard.
Within ten minutes, her truck was chugging down the fern laced driveway that would lead to the Cullen home. Even after all this time, she still had trouble finding the turnoff, but once she did, it was a beautiful drive.
"Bella!" Alice squealed when she pulled up in front of the house. Esme was on the front porch, a smile on her beautiful features. They both met them at the truck.
"Hi, Ben," Esme said softly, and smiled brilliantly when Ben unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped into her arms. "Oh, I've missed you!"
He giggled. "You just saw me two days 'go," he said with a laugh.
"That was way too long!"
He giggled again and kissed her cheek. Bella thought that if possible, Esme would have taken flight she was so happy.
Alice tugged on her arm. "Come on! Perrine had the dress shipped and it just arrived today! Let's go try it on you!"
Bella allowed Alice to pull her into the house and began going up the stairs. "Esme, do you mind…?" She nodded at Ben.
"Bella, of course not. Take your time," she called, walking with Ben into the kitchen.
Alice glided into her room and stood in front of her closet with the French doors. "Now, just wait until you see this!" She pulled the doors open and stood in front of a garment bag that was hanging in the back, her arms poised as if she were a model on a game show. "Ta-da!"
"Am I going to wear the bag?" Bella asked facetiously, then laughed when Alice gasped.
"Oh, me. Here," she said and quickly unzipped the bag to reveal Bella's wedding gown. "Now…ta-da!"
Bella was speechless. "Oh, Alice. It-it's beautiful. And perfect! How did you know?" she asked, looking at the dress she would have immediately chosen for herself, then felt stupid for asking such a ridiculous question of Alice.
Alice shrugged, seeming embarrassed. "Edward. I just know how old-fashioned he is and when you told me what you wanted, I saw you in this dress. So, I designed it and talked to Perrine Bruyere about creating it. He loved it, by the way, and is going to introduce it in his fall line!"
She walked over to the dress, still encased in the garment bag. It was beautiful. And Bella had not been lying to Alice to make her feel good; the dress was exactly what she would have picked out for herself. She breathed an inward sigh of relief as she had been secretly worried that Alice would drape her in taffeta, satin and tulle from head to toe.
The dress was an ivory satin with a long train and high collar. The sleeves were shirred to the elbow and then became snug and would come to her wrists, and the bodice looked as if it would fit tightly. Bella pulled the garment bag off of the dress and found to her delight the back fastened with a long row of satin-covered small buttons. It was the quintessential wedding dress of the early 1900's.
"Alice, I'm speechless," she whispered and was happy to see the delight on Alice's face. "Now, what do you want me to do first?"
"You're taking this all very well," Alice said, a slight tone of suspicion in her voice.
"Why wouldn't I?"
"Well," Alice hedged. "You've always seemed a little irritated when I've mentioned us going shopping, or makeovers…"
Bella laughed. "Alice, I'm marrying Edward! Why wouldn't I be thrilled?" Plus, afterwards, he's promised to change me and I'm going to talk him into a real honeymoon…
Alice laughed. "I guess I misread you, then. So, after the wedding, would you want to go to Seattle for a shopping spree?" she asked hopefully.
"Don't push it."
"Fine, then I guess it's up to me to pick out your…honeymoon…attire," she said, eyebrows raised suggestively.
Bella felt a thrill go through her at the mention of the honeymoon. "I guess so," she replied devilishly, causing Alice to laugh even harder.
Bella turned her face, finally gasping for air, and shivered as Edward allowed his lips to graze behind her ear. "Edward," she groaned in frustration. "Why wait? The wedding is in a few weeks…"
Edward chuckled and put some distance between himself and his future bride. "Two reasons, love. One is sleeping on the couch. The other is because we have to have that paper saying we are bonded until death do us part."
"Oh, my God," Bella moaned, mortified. She had been so taken with Edward that she had forgotten that Ben was asleep on the couch in the same room. "Look what you did to me!"
"Me? I did nothing."
Bella laughed slightly. "Yeah, you think it's nothing. But you have a power over me that no one should be allowed to have."
Edward cupped her face in his hands. "Do you trust me?"
"I trust you with my life every moment."
"Then trust me that you hold the same power over me, and I'll never use it to make you do anything you don't want to do."
"Neither will I."
He looked deeply into her brown eyes, his own amber eyes seeming to burn right through her. "Then don't change."
Bella groaned and flopped back on the bed. "Edward! We've already discussed it and you agreed to do it if we got married."
"Are you backing out on me?"
He sighed. "Of course I wouldn't. But let's take care of the wedding first."
"Yeah," she agreed suspiciously. If he thinks he can marry her and then dazzle his way out of his promise, he better think again, she thought.
End Notes: Please leave me a review and let me know what you think so far. And don't forget to check me out on Facebook for updates and sneak peaks of upcoming chapters! Thanks for reading!