***WINNER: Third Place Judges Pick, Second Place Public Vote!***
The Jukebox Contest
Song choice: My Immortal, by Evanesence
Word Count: 2730
Pairing: Edward & Bella
Summary: 'These wounds won't seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There's just too much that time cannot erase.' Does Bella still have all of Edward? AUAH, Angst/Hurt/Comfort
Disclaimer: Death of a child, death in general, etc etc. There are no fluffy bunnies or humping unicorns to be found anywhere. Js. Maybe a lemon.
The nightmare was so real, it gripped me, choking me. I was lost in the fog, trying to get back to where I was supposed to be. I called out for Edward, knowing he was my anchor.
I shot straight up in bed, panting.
"Bella? Are you alright, sweetheart?"
In the quiet darkness of our bedroom, I reached for him.
He pulled me into his arms, and rocked me against his chest.
"Did you have that dream again?" he asked, his voice soft.
"Yeah," I whispered.
He kissed my temple. "The fog?"
I nodded against his chest.
"I'm here. I won't let it get you."
"I'm gonna be up all night now…it's so hard to get back to sleep whenever I have that nightmare."
"Maybe I can take your mind off it…"
His fingers trailed over my arm, sending shivers over my body. My nipples hardened in anticipation as he shifted me in his arms. Edward knew where to place his lips, and I gasped in pleasure as he found the sensitive sweet spot on my neck.
His hands roamed up my ribcage, his thumbs sliding along and up to the underside of my breasts. I arched against him, begging for his touch. I could feel him, hard, pushing between us. My hand slipped between us, and I palmed the head of his arousal over his boxers.
He nibbled gently, and I whimpered. His teeth moved to my earlobe, and then his gentle lips kissed my chin. Finally, his lips settled over mine, and I was floating, soaring. The room may have been dark, but light sparkled before my closed eyelids, as his tongue swirled with mine.
My hands crept into his hair, holding him to me. We rolled together, until I was on my back, and he settled between my thighs. He palmed my breast, squeezing, and when he took my nipple between his fingers and pinched lightly, I broke our kiss, panting into his mouth.
He smiled lightly down at me, and I pushed my hips up to him as he ground back into me in response.
"I love you, Edward."
"I love you, too, Bella."
His mouth lowered, but he only brushed his lips across mine. He moved his head lower, kissing my neck again, making me arch against him. His lips found my collarbone, his teeth scraping lightly before his mouth moved lower again.
My hips moved up against him again, and I felt his lips descend down on my nipple. I may have said his name, I wasn't sure, but I knew that my fingernails dragged against his scalp lightly as his teeth nibbled on me lightly before moving to my other breast, his mouth sucking, until I was nearly writhing against him.
Edward moved his hand to my waist, his fingers grabbing the waistband of my cotton panties. He moved down my body, to my belly, his hand smoothing over my flesh.
I watched as he kissed my navel, and his fingers started to slowly drag my panties down. His lips smoothed over the skin that was slowly revealed, and I lifted myself up, so he could remove the black cotton all the way. He flung it behind him, and grinned at me. Sitting up on my elbows, I bit my lip as his head lowered. His fingers delved between the folds of my slick sex, and my head fell back as I felt his lips on me.
His tongue played me skillfully, until I bucked against him. His hands held my hips steady as he continued to swirl his tongue over my clitoris before sucking with his mouth.
I fell onto my back, and my hand went to my breast, kneading, as I felt an orgasm building, twisting in my abdomen. Electricity shot up my legs, and I panted as Edward moved me closer and closer.
"I'm so close, Edward. I want you inside me."
He licked me one final time, and my hips trembled. The bed moved as he took off his boxers. He crawled back to me, and for a brief moment we looked into each other's eyes before he pushed inside, filling me. I exhaled, and closed my eyes. My legs wrapped around him, and he buried his face at the side of my neck as he moved inside me.
I didn't want it to end, the pulsing need, the thrusting push and pull of his body, and I was blinded by the crashing force of my body tipping over the edge. He continued to move inside me, close to his own fulfillment as I drowned in mine.
I whispered his name as he growled in my ear, making my body tingle.
He held me to him, and I reveled in the feeling of just how precious and perfect he was. I wanted it to be like this forever.
Amy Lynn Cullen
Born May 5th, 2005 - Died January 28th, 2010
'Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'
I ran my hand over the granite face, my fingers stroking over the letters that formed her name. The truth came as cold and hard as the gravestone, that she really was gone, and I would never see her face again.
She would never laugh again at Spongebob.
Her eyebrows would no longer wrinkle together as she concentrated with her crayons over a coloring book.
Her little fingers wouldn't need wiping after eating a popsicle.
And there wouldn't be any new pictures for tacking onto the front of the fridge.
I stood up, and looked around me.
I was always alone here, Edward never came with me. This was a special part of the graveyard, reserved for children and babies. It was incredibly depressing, seeing the toys and balloons for children.
I made my way home, and didn't bother to check the mailbox on my way into the house. The house was silent, Edward wasn't home from work yet.
I should probably make dinner, but I didn't feel like eating. Edward had been fending for himself lately anyway, bringing food in for himself on his way home. He knew I wasn't much for eating, and didn't bother to bring anything in for me. I took a seat at the opposite end of the table, trying to give him some distance.
We didn't talk any more. I had tried to talk to him at first, but he refused to look at me.
The front door opened and closed, and the light flickered on in the kitchen. I blinked as Edward walked in, and he ignored me completely as he laid his coat down. A greasy fast food bag was thrown on the table. Edward washed up at the sink, as was his habit.
Next, he kissed me hello. At least, that's what he used to do.
Now it was like I wasn't even here. He simply sat down at the table, and pulled out the paper wrapped burger.
"How was your day?" I asked.
Tension was heavy in the room, and I wondered if I was the only one who felt it. Edward didn't even look up to acknowledge me.
I knew he blamed me for our daughter's death.
"Edward, please talk to me!" I stood up from the chair, but he continued to eat in stony silence. My temper raised another notch, as I watched that muscle in his jaw tick while he chewed, I broke.
I went right over to him, and shouted right in his face.
"How are we supposed to move on if you don't talk about it? EDWARD!"
This time he looked up, but his face suddenly mottled with confusion. The burger fell from his fingers, and plopped onto the wrapper in front of him. He swallowed, and for a moment his eyes met mine.
I nodded, my hands cupping the sides of his face, and he closed his eyes.
"I'm here, baby. Talk to me."
He flinched back from me, and rose from the table.
"I can't do this any more."
My hands were still frozen in the position they had been when I was holding his face, and I stared down at the empty place where he had been.
He walked out of the room, his hand catching the light switch, leaving me alone in total darkness.
Later that night, he climbed into bed beside me, and I turned to face him, but was presented with the broad expanse of his back. Sometimes, when I couldn't sleep, I would run my fingers over his back, and he would sigh in contentment.
I tried tonight, my fingers running over the indentation of his spine, but rather than sighing, he shuddered away from me. I dropped my hand, and rolled over.
But sleep didn't come to me, and I lay there with my eyes wide open, listening to Edward sink into the silent oblivion of his dreams.
I stared at the digital clock, and watched the hours go by. At quarter after three, Edward became restless. He turned himself over, groaning, and he was facing my back. Before I knew it, his arms wrapped around me. I bit my lip, not wanting to wake him, as I snuggled deeper into the circle of his embrace.
"Bella…" His sleepy voice rasped.
"I love you, Edward." I whispered.
A sob worked its way up my throat, and just before it broke free, Edward's body moved slightly. He rocked back and forth, and his chest shuddered in a broken sob. I moved with his body.
"It's gonna be ok, Edward."
In the morning, although still dark outside, Edward rose from the bed. I listened to his early morning routine. He used to kiss me before he went to work, but now he just left, his coat draped over his arm.
One morning, I had tried to get up before him, to turn the coffee machine on. When he had arrived in the kitchen to see the pot slowly filling, the smell of percolating coffee filled the air, he paused. His eyes went incredibly wide, and his face went blotchy. Before I could say anything, he rushed over to the counter and swept the machine from the counter. The glass pot shattered on the floor, hot brown liquid spilled all over the tiles. The coffee machine hung like a condemned man over the side of the counter, lynched by its power cord.
And so our lives progressed, and I felt isolated and alone. It was like being in a small boat, staring at the shoreline.
The phone didn't ring anymore, but that was mostly because Edward kept pulling the cord from the wall. Sometimes I replaced it, but gave up when he kept doing it.
I looked up from the piano, as Edward placed a paper coffee cup in front of me.
"Skinny latte, no foam, extra shot."
I smiled up at him, and straightened my glasses. "Thank you."
Taking the coffee, I drank deeply, as the warm liquid washed down my throat, warming me inside. His fingers caressed my cheek, and I leaned into his touch.
"How's it going?"
"I'm getting really frustrated today. I just can't seem to get it going. That's why I'm in here. I had to walk away from the laptop before I threw it in the trash."
Edward chuckled, and sat down next to me on the piano bench.
I looked up at him, and smiled. "Will you play for me?"
His brows knit together in concern. "Where's Amy?"
"Still at your mom's."
His nodded, and his fingers flexed before settling over the keys. I watched in fascination as his long fingers depressed the keys, and music sang softly from the piano. His arm brushed against my breast as he played a higher note, and I inhaled at the contact.
I listened to the melody, eyes closed, and placed my hand on the keys. Playing a harmony in delicate higher notes, they evened out the low solemn notes he was progressing through. Our fingers played a constant game of advance and retreat. Our arms touched, and every time it happened, it heightened my awareness of the man in front of me.
The song ended, and he turned to me.
"God, Bella." His hands captured my face, his eyes staring deeply into mine. "You have no idea just how captivatingly perfect you are."
I blushed, and before I could reply, his lips were on mine, passionate as the notes we had shared.
I kissed him back, my tongue softly brushing his. The piano was forgotten, and we were wrapped up in each other.
Edward lost weight, and he stopped shaving regularly. His hair grew shaggy, and he stopped bringing dinner in with him. His mother visited, but he always beat me to the door, before I could speak with her.
This afternoon, he had just gotten in from work, and the doorbell rang. Edward threw his stuff down, and pulled the door open.
"I asked you not to come here."
"Edward, I'm your mother. Let me help you."
"I don't need help." His voice was a monotone, and he stiffened when I placed a hand on his back.
My mother-in-law, tried once again. "She's gone, Edward. You can't take the car accident back. There are times in our lives when we need to accept that we need help-"
"Mom," Edward's voice was strained from pent-up emotion. "Please. Leave."
I could almost hear her purse her lips before moving away, her sensible shoes clicking over the porch and down the steps.
"I'll be back next week."
Edward shut the door in her face. I watched as he moved to the kitchen, and made a strangled sound. I rushed in to see what was wrong, and found him staring at the open laptop. I had turned it on earlier to work on my dissertation again.
An empty document sat open on the screen, the cursor blinking.
Edward crumpled onto the floor, and I rushed forward, trying to catch him, but he slipped through my arms. He sobbed loudly, the sound ripping from his throat.
"Please, Bella. Please…I can't take it anymore."
I ran my hands through his hair, and he made a motion as if to brush my hand away.
"Please stop. Just go! Leave me alone."
I sat back from him, staring at him, my eyes wide. "But Edward, I-"
"I can't move on because you won't let me."
"We have to do this together, Edward."
"Christ, I can't even bring myself to go and see our daughter. Maybe that's what's wrong, maybe I just need the finality."
I looked at him, hopeful. "You want to go to the cemetery?"
Edward stood up, and grabbed his car keys from the kitchen counter.
Outside, the air was chilling, and a thick gray fog had settled over our street. I could just barely make out the features of a house across the street.
The drive to the cemetery was quiet. Edward parked outside, and got out, not bothering with a jacket in the cool autumn air. I started to remind him he should wear his coat, but thought better of it, knowing he had come this far. Calling him back wouldn't make a difference.
I followed him to the grave of our daughter, and watched as his hand shook before touching the granite. He spent nearly a half hour, kneeling in the yellowed grass. Then he stood abruptly, and started making his way to the other part of the cemetery.
Perplexed, I followed him. We passed several rows of older stones, but most of the scenery was blotted out by the thick mists. I walked beside Edward, trying to read his face, but it was undecipherable.
Finally we arrived at a granite stone that matched Amy's in size and color. On the front, the inscription read:
Isabella Marie Cullen
Born September 13th 1980 Died January 28th 2010
'The Lord watch between me and thee,
when we are absent one from another.'
Edward cleared away a leaf from the edge of my headstone, and I felt something trying to tug me into the waiting curtain of the fog.
Before Edward was entirely out of view, I heard him whisper.
"You still have all of me."
Thanks for reading.
Massive thanks yous to my ficwife lambie, my beta TwilightMomofTwo, and my prereader snshyne.