Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale 'til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Edward felt sick. He had washed the last of the paint off his skin and nearly wept to see it disappear down the drain. Bella was gone. He had searched the meadow, but he knew even as he did it, that she was gone. The proof was all over him.
He dried himself as he sat on the edge of his bed when inspiration hit. If he created her once, he could do it again. He rushed to his easel and grabbed the paint tubes. It was clear as he looked at his supplies that he would not have enough to paint the girl again.
Edward was on the phone in a minute, calling a cab. A familiar driver known as Ben was waiting for him as he exited his building. He hopped into the taxi and gave Ben directions, the best he knew how, to get him back to the paint shop he had stumbled across last time.
"This one," Edward said when he was sure they had spotted the right alley.
Edward half expected the shop to be gone, like a magical place that had appeared once and then left in the fog of night, but it was there and Edward sighed in relief as he got out of the cab.
The small woman greeted Edward with wide eyes as he entered the store like a tornado. But she didn't seem afraid, only surprised to see him back so soon.
"I need more paint," he huffed, and then tacked on a, "please."
"First timers never get it right," she said a little more jovial than Edward would have liked. He tried to be patient, the woman had no idea this was life or death.
She pulled out a box exactly like the one he had purchased before and set it before him. Edward grabbed a hold of it like it was a lifesaver and he was drowning.
"Just wait," she said, as he went to grab his wallet. "There are some things you need to know. This paint needs a canvas." Edward looked at her like she was daft. "You can take the picture out and show it to your friends but at the end of the day the painting needs to be back on the easel."
The words clicked in Edward's head. "So as long as the painting and canvas are on the easel each night, then the work won't deteriorate?"
The quirky woman nodded her head and gave him a little smile. "Also the painting needs to stay close to you. You're the breath of life into the art, without you it cannot survive."
It was Edward's turn to nod as he took the box to leave. He was nearly out of the store when he had a thought. He turned back to the lady and asked, "Do you sell many of these paints?"
"No, those paints are very particular. They choose their own artist." The two shared a smile.
As Edward was leaving the shop he was blocked by a man carrying several boxes.
"Where do you want these, Miss Allie?" the voice behind the boxes asked.
"Just there is fine, Emmett."
The man set the boxes down by the front door and Edward came face to face with the cab driver that had brought him to the shop the first time. Edward opened his mouth but then closed it and shook his head. There were too many questions and he had better things to do with his time, like go home and paint.
Edward worked all afternoon and late into the evening before he finished the work. He painted her slightly different this time, giving her more life in her cheeks with a pink flush. When he was satisfied with his work, he sat back and waited. When nothing happened, he wondered if he needed to sleep for the spell to take place.
Edward moved the partition dividing his bed from the living room, so that he could see Bella from his bed. It was a task for Edward to fall asleep, for even though he was tired, he didn't want to miss a moment with Bella. When slumber hit, it took him fast and he did not dream.
His eyes opened and they immediately fell on the canvas, with Bella still on it. Tears welled up in Edward's eyes but he was too angry to let them fall.
"No," he spat out. "You were supposed to come back."
All of the exhaustion and stress that Edward felt came out. He stood up and kicked over his table full of paints, frustrated. The colors went flying across the room but one landed at his feet.
Edward's eyes opened large as he picked up the paint and squirted some on his palette. It took him a couple hours to get the necklace just right, with his hands shaking so badly but once he was finished, the painting was perfect.
So perfect, the girl on the page jumped out at him—literally.
Bella's arms wrapped around Edward as he sobbed in relief. "Bella, I thought I lost you."
"I'll always come back. I'm your muse."
E/N- There you are dear Psyche001, I hope you enjoy this as I had great fun writing it for you.