I woke up the next morning and my entire arm was numb. I pulled it slowly out from under Bella and she turned to look at me. I shook it rapidly as I groaned from the tingling sensation. She laughed and when I laid back down she sat up and straddled me.
I ran my good hand through her hair and said, "Good morning, how's freedom?"
"Pretty freaking amazing," she said with the giggle I had missed so desperately.
"I need to go past my house before we go to Forks, will that be okay?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I want to see Carlisle and Esme before we go back to Brazil," she said.
I stared at her, knowing we should be on our way but I couldn't force myself to move. She was feeling the same thing and said, "We should shower."
"Yeah, we should," I agreed.
She didn't move a muscle to remove herself off of me and I was glad she didn't. She leaned over slowly and I held her hair out of the way. Right before our lips touched she said, "Make love to me."
This time I took it very slowly, learning about her body and how to make it respond to mine. She moved purposefully and deliberately as she found every way to give me pleasure. We became one and the thought touched me. We were becoming an integrated couple, working as one to make this a real relationship on every level.
After we showered we stopped by my parents' house. We packed up our stuff and told them of our plans to head back to the island after going to Forks. My father asked if he could speak with Bella. She walked confidently to his office and I watched her with pride.
My mother tapped on my shoulder and said, "I think you are in love."
I laughed and pulled her into a tight hug. "I'm going to propose," I told her and she squealed with delight.
She grabbed my hand and pulled me down the hallway to her room. She rushed to her jewelry box and took out a small box. "Here," she said with a huge smile, "It was your grandmothers ring, use it to propose to Bella."
I opened the box to see a simple diamond ring solitaire and a band with three diamonds. I shut the box and put it in my pocket. I hugged my mother again and she kissed my cheek. "I love you son, and I'm proud of how loyal you were through this trial. You never doubted her once."
"Because I knew she didn't do it," I said.
She laughed and said, "Me too. It would be impossible."
We went back into the kitchen and made some food as we waited for my dad and Bella. They were talking for a long time and I was growing a bit concerned. When they finally returned I could tell Bella had been crying.
I gave my father a dirty look and pulled her onto my lap. "Are you okay?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Can we go now?"
"Sure, I put the bags in the car already. Grab some food and you can eat in the car."
We said our goodbyes and made arrangements for Alice to take us to the airport later that night. I drove from the city and was driving fast to make up for lost time. I was hoping Bella would tell me what my father said so I wouldn't have to ask. But she only stared out the window.
I reached over and took hold of her hand and pulled it to my lips to kiss it. "I'm sorry my father upset you," I said, to start the conversation.
Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "I didn't understand a lot of it. I don't know why I would have some money because my parents were murdered. You can have it if you want," she offered.
I didn't bother explaining how insurance policies worked. I just assured her the money was hers to keep. She nodded and then said, "I have a house in Forks. That horrible woman made me live with her and I had a house of my own."
"You can sell it if you want," I told her.
"People live there, but it's mine. I don't get it," she said again.
"The house is rented. You own it and you can let them live there and pay you or you can make them move," I explained.
She turned away from me and went back to looking out the window. I didn't push it any further. She didn't have an emotional attachment to Forks, but maybe someday she would want to live there. I drove in silence and let her think about things.
When we got to Port Angeles Bella gasped and pointed at the waterfront. "Look Edward, what is that?"
I looked over to where she was looking and saw a bunch of kites flying in the air. "Those are kites, have you ever flown a kite?"
"No, is it hard?" she asked.
"No, it is very easy. We'll get one to take back to Brazil."
"Really," she asked with enthusiasm, "Do they cost a lot of money? I have some money now."
I laughed loudly, since only a couple of hours earlier she was telling me I could have her money. I could imagine all kinds of things Bella has never experienced, things most people take for granted. She probably never had a bike or got to roller-skate.
I was making all kinds of plans when I saw a sign saying we were only half an hour from Forks. I looked at Bella and said, "Are you ready for this?"
"For what?" she asked.
"To see where your parents are buried?" I asked, wondering if she had forgotten why we were coming to Forks.
She nodded and then smiled at me. "I like that they are buried together. It's nice."
"Do you want to stop for flowers to put on their graves?" I asked, and she looked confused so I added, "It is customary to bring flowers when you visit a cemetery."
"Okay," she said, as if it was no big deal.
I pulled into the first flower shop I saw in the small town of Forks. Bella waited in the car and I ran in to pick up a bouquet. I got a single Rose for Bella to keep for herself. When I came back to the car I walked up to her side and held out the flower. She looked at it and then up at me. "What?" she asked.
"A red rose stands for love," I explained, and held it out again.
She smiled widely and took the rose from my hand. I put the bouquet on the backseat and then got into the car. The florist gave me directions to the cemetery but once we were there I had no idea where to look. We walked among the tombstones for twenty minutes before I found their gravesite.
I called Bella over and she looked down to see her parents' names. It said Renee Swan instead of Renee Harris and I was grateful for it. Bella stared at it for a few moments and then fell to her knees and began pounding the stone angrily.
I wrapped my arms around her, trying to get her to explain what she was feeling. She fought to get away from me and when I let go she jumped up and moved away from their graves. She pointed at their names and said, "They should have stayed together. They should have worked out their problems and stayed together. Why do they get to be together now? They ruined my life and they are together laughing at me."
I shook my head and tried to reason with her, "No love, they are not laughing at you. They feel horrible for letting you get hurt. They gave their lives trying to save you. Don't hate them."
She covered her ears with her hands and shook her head to block out my words. I finally stepped away from the headstone and said, "Fine, tell them how angry you are. Tell them what happened because they parted."
She looked at the names again and then walked up to kick the rock. "You were supposed to take care of me," she screamed. "You were supposed to protect me. He hurt me in the darkness and nobody helped me."
She had her back to me and she wiped her face before turning around and saying with no emotion. "I want to leave now."
She headed to the car and I put the flowers down and promised the Swans I would take care of their little girl and never let anyone hurt her again. We didn't even spend an hour in Forks before returning back to Seattle. I stopped by a game store and found the perfect kite before we headed to Alice and Jasper's house.
They both drove us to the airport and wished us well. We told them we would come back for their wedding and I stuck my hand in my pocket to feel the box waiting for the perfect moment to propose. We got on a flight and both fell asleep.
It felt like we had been gone from the island for years, not months. The stress of the trial had taken its toll and we were both emotionally exhausted. Bella slept soundly the entire way and I realized I had spent the entire day with her and never knew which personality was dominate. They had merged into one woman and I knew writing the book would keep her integrated.
We arrived at the house in the middle of the morning. Bella climbed onto the dock and turned to look at me. "We're home," she said, and I nodded in agreement. I could live here forever with just Bella and be totally happy.
We took our bags inside and Bella looked at the kite," Can we fly it now?" she begged.
I looked out the window and saw the wind was blowing. "Get your swimsuit on and meet me on the beach."
She grabbed her bag and ran to her room as worked on putting the kite together. She was jumping up and down as she waited impatiently. I decided to propose as we flew the kite. It would be the perfect time as she experienced something new.
"Let me put on my swimsuit," I said, and ran toward the house. I got my trunks that had pockets and threw them on, hiding the ring in them.
I saw Bella through the window. She was rubbing her arms as if she was cold. I yelled to her and asked, "Do you want a sweatshirt?"
She nodded and I went into her room to grab one from her closet. I saw a hoodie in the back of the closet and hung the sweatshirt back up and pulled the grey hoodie from the hanger. It was bulging out in the front so I stuck my hand inside the pocket to see what was there.
I pulled out a bright pink wig, covered in dried blood. My entire body was frozen in shock. I heard a noise and looked up to see Bella standing in the doorway. Her head lowered and she said with a deep, threatening voice, "Keep your mouth shut, or you'll be next."
"Do the others know?" I asked in only a whisper.
She shook her head and then turned and ran from the house yelling excitedly for me to hurry. I put the wig into the pocket and hung the hoodie in the back of the closet again. I touched the ring in my pocket and felt like I was going to vomit.
I walked to the beach where Bella waited. I forced a smile and realized we were stuck here forever. I couldn't let her rage loose because it would never burn out. It was buried deeply, still unknown to the other fractures, but it would always be there. The island would become our dollhouse, where she could remain cracked but able to do more than sit on the shelf.
I picked up the kite and ran down the shore until it soared high in the air. Bella laughed and squealed as she ran after me. I felt the kite catch a current and stopped to watch it sail above us. I held out the handle for her to take and I moved over to an outcropping of rocks. I put my hand in my pocket and pulled the box out, letting it fall between the large boulders.
"Edward, do you love it?" she laughed, still looking upward.
"Yes, I love it," I said honestly, and then walked into the surf to join her.