From The Strokes of a Pen Contest.
Title: Hear Me.
Prompt:For just one moment, when Edward is saying goodbye to Bella, her mind opens up to him. What does he see? Is it enough to make him stay? AU.
Word count: 2,912.
Disclaimer:*Reluctantly.* I do not Twilight…Unfortunately. That pleasure belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I just play around with them. Although, I do own quite a lot of Twilight merchandise.
I had made a decision. I was leaving. It was time.
The possibility had always been there. I was just waiting for the moment when it would come.
Bella's birthday had just proven what I had known all along. Humans don't belong in our world.
Even the infinite love I had for her, couldn't keep me, it was my love for her that was made this the right thing. She deserved to live a normal human life, fall in love, grow old, and have children. She deserved that much.
The minute her finger bleed that sweet blood, that had tempted me on more than one occasion, had fallen from her finger and I saw into Jasper's mind and saw what he wanted to do her. It was set in stone.
The night of her birthday, I gave Bella a kiss she wouldn't forget, it made me want to go further than we had ever gone before. But I couldn't give her all of me and then take it all away. I left her beautiful sleeping form in the middle of the night.
Not everyone agreed. Actually that would be putting it mildly, nobody agreed with me.
I was taking a daughter away from Carlisle and Esme, a sister from Alice, Jasper and Emmett. Rosalie didn't really care; she never wanted Bella in our lives.
I had never seen my parents more heartbroken than that night.
After jumping soundlessly from Bella's bedroom window, I made my way home. I knew I needed to do this. It was final. Nothing could deter me.
When I opened the door and walked into the lounge, my Mother and father were already there waiting for me.
"Edward? Alice said you needed to talk to us." My mother's gentle voice asked.
Alice. Of course.
"Well, where is she then?" I said shortly.
"She refused to come down, son. What is going on?" My father sat down in his armchair, Esme falling to sit on the arm.
"Why would we be leaving Edward? Does Bella know about this? How does she feel about it? What about Charlie?" My mother always worried about Bella and Charlie.
"It's time to go. Bella doesn't know…yet."
"Why wouldn't she know? She does plan to come with us, right?" Esme smiled sweetly, still not knowing what I was getting at.
"Where's Em and Rose?" Rose might not care, but Em would, and he wouldn't be happy.
"They went hunting. They should be back soon."
"Let's just wait for them, alright?" All in one go, like a bandaid, although I don't know how that feels. I know from Bella though.
"Son? You're scaring us. Are you sure everything is all right?" No.
"Please. Can we wait?"
They nodded. As a silent fell over us I could see my parents, looking at each other, somehow talking volumes with their eyes, I guess that happens after being together or some long, and sharing an eternity.
After an hour of silence, Emmett came storming through the back door looking quite angry, while Rosalie followed behind looking quite Rose like.
"What's up Eddie?" I hate that name. Bastard knows it.
"Why did Alice say it was 'imperative' that we come home right away? I missed out on draining an elk." Rose said with boredom.
"If Emmett is suddenly elk, I'm sure it can wait."
"Stay out of my head, Eddie."
"It's kinda hard when it is all you fucking think about!"
"Ooh, Eddie. What big words."
"Enough." Carlisle said with enough authority that we knew he meant it. "Now that we are all here. What are we doing here, Edward?"
"We're leaving, right, Ed?" Emmett piped out.
"Yes, we are. Soon. Without, Bella."
The gasp from my Mum was predictable, but not the gasp from Rose. I knew what was in her head. I never want to die that way. I let it go.
"Carlisle is barely passing for the age he is. And…soon we won't be able to pass for the ages we are. And it's too dangerous for Bella."
"What? Okay, that is 2 valid reasons and a pathetic third. What is the real reason?" Emmett shot me a deathly look.
"Me." I didn't have to turn to know whose voice it was.
"No, it wasn't just how you reacted, Jasper. It just made me realize. She doesn't belong in our world. I can keep thinking that she will be safe, but last night clearly shows she won't be."
"It was once, Edward. It doesn't mean it will happen again."
"Really? What about when she cuts herself shaving? Or accidentally scraps her knee when she trips. Will it happen then? Will you be able to control yourself then?"
His silence was enough.
"I don't blame you Jasper. It just made things clearer." I sighed "I still have to tell Bella. Which I plan on doing tomorrow, but I want you all to go…tonight. I'll follow tomorrow."
"Bullshit." Emmett muttered.
"No. I won't go."
I turned to the doorway. "Alice. Please. Just do as I say."
"No, you can't leave. How could you? She loves you more than anything. And you're willing to throw that away? You are everything to each other. Don't try and tell me that you don't love her. What kind of monster are you?"
"Exactly, Alice. Monster. I am a monster. So I'm trying not to be. I'm giving her a normal life. I'm making it right."
"No. You're making it wrong! This will kill her. And you. I'm losing my sister. Didn't you ever think about that? About Mum or Dad? Emmett? Do you think about anybody but yourself?" If Vampires could cry, I think Alice would be crying a waterfall right now.
"I do care. This is why I am doing this. Please support me on this. Carlisle? Esme?"
"We're your parents. We love you, Edward. We would do anything for you. We'll leave." Esme gave in, her voice cracking. Carlisle with his arm around her looked defeated.
"Can I say goodbye?" Alice said in a small child like voice.
"I don't think so, Alice. It will just hurt her more."
I turned to look at everyone. "I'm truly sorry."
Keeping up the charade in front of Bella was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I could see how I was acting was hurting and worrying her. I hated that I was doing that too her. She would know what was happening soon enough, and then she could move on and stop hurting.
She asked about Alice. I didn't lie technically; she had gone away with Jasper. But it wasn't just them. It was everyone. I could see that Alice leaving affected her. Hurt flashed across her face.
Even sitting in front of Charlie later night that. Knowing what I was going to hurt his daughter. Too bad a shotgun couldn't hurt me; I would gladly welcome that pain.
Seeing Bella fake a smile in front of me and her father, painfully stabbed my dead hurt. She knew something wasn't right. I could always read her, although not in the way I desperately wanted too.
When Charlie took a picture of us, I loosely put my hand on Bella's shoulder. I felt her body sag in disappointment. She tangled herself to me, and it took everything in me to not tangle myself to her.
After I left her that night, I hardly ever stayed anymore, I watched her that night though. She was up late putting pictures in an album. Writing names and dates under each one, stuffing the others into an envelope. I watched her until she fell asleep. I think she was waiting for me. She wouldn't be waiting for me anymore though.
I met her in the school parking lot today. I would do it today. Then it would be the end. I asked her if I could come over now. She didn't deny me.
She had to deliver some mail to Renee, I took it instead, and told her I would beat her home anyway. Of course I did.
She waited at her truck for me, I heard her take a deep breath. When she got out she tried to take her bag with her, I took it and threw it back into the seat. She wouldn't need it.
I took her asked and asked her to follow me. We walked a little ways into the woods, just behind her house.
I leaned against a tree and stared at her.
I waited, steeling myself for the damage I was about to do.
"We're leaving Bella."
"Okay, well I have to talk to Charlie, and explain, he probably won't like it very much, but what can he really do? I-."
Her eyes connected with mine, and widened just a bit, in fear.
"By, we, you don't mean me, do you?" I could hear the hurt in her voice.
"No, I mean my family and myself." I specified those words to try and tell her.
"I'll come with you. I'll make Charlie understand."
"No, Bella. You need to stay here. It's the right place for you to be."
"Anywhere you will be, is what is right for me."
"You don't belong in my world, Bella."
"I do. I belong with you." She said quietly.
"No, you don't. I knew this would happen eventually, although I thought I would be the reason. That the overwhelming thirst I have for your blood would drive me crazy and I would finally crack. Hell, I nearly did. What was I thinking? Falling in love with a human? Who happens to be my freaking singer? Talk about cosmic karma. I guess this is my punishment for all those rapists and murderers I killed. I'm not human, I can keep going on pretending that I am, pretending that my world won't hurt you, because it already has, pretending that I won't hurt you, I already am. It's only me left. Carlisle and the family have already gone. I don't want you in my world, anymore, Bella."
I bowed my head, waiting for her to say something in protest, to beg me to say. I don't know if I could deny her if she did.
I snapped my head up at my name being called.
"Edward! Why can't you hear me? Is this God's idea of some cruel joke? To give me someone, I love with all my heart (who happens to be a mind reading Vampire) but not let him in my mind?
Edward, please hear me.
Please hear me.
I just kept staring at her, half in wonder and confusion.
"What?" She whispered.
"What did you say?"
"Before that. Before what."
"Nothing. I was thinking…You can hear me?" A little smile crossed my lips. "What changed?"
I made my face blank again. "Nothing has changed. The decision is still the same."
"You can't go. Don't…Don't do this. Please." She closed her eyes. I concentrated and watched as her mind opened up to me.
"Hello. I'm Edward Cullen. You're Bella, right?"
Speak. Damn it. Speak Bella.
"Yes. Bella." I smiled at him and got the most dazzling, crooked smile in return.
Stupid Biology. I have already done this, although it wasn't with onion root.
"Could you pass me the next slide?" I asked him softly.
"Sure." He answered smoothly. His voice is like honey.
I reached for it at the same time he went to place it on the microscope. The current of electricity that flowed through him to me, nearly took my breath away.
"Thanks." I whispered and blushed.
"Edward?" I looked around the room.
"Nice hair, love. It suits you." He smiled.
My head snapped to his voice, sitting in the old chair in my room.
I launched myself at him, not realizing what I was doing.
"You stayed." I smiled.
Until I realized I was in his lap.
I went to move myself to somewhere less intimate, like another country, talk about embarrassing.
"Don't," he stopped me, "move." He smiled crookedly at me. "Of course I stayed. I had to stay for the sleep talking."
I blushed again.
"What did I say?"
"That you loved me." He said triumphantly.
"Of course. You knew that."
"It is still nice to hear, especially from someone who is sleeping."
I'm not sleeping now. "I love you."
"You are my life." He kissed my cheek.
Good hospitals suck.
"You can't…Don't…Don't leave me." I would fall apart.
"Bella. Please, calm down. Look, I'm here. I will always be until you no longer want me.
"Like that will ever happen." I slowed my breathing.
"Why would you even think that? Let alone say it? Are you tired of always saving me? I try not to be the damsel. It's not my fault. It's genetic." I laughed, or tried to.
"Look at you, love. You're in a hospital bed. I caused this. My stupid need to not be able to stay away from you. You nearly died because of me." Idiot.
"Idiot. I wouldn't be here, actually alive, if it wasn't for you. Obviously my need for you nearly killed me. I let him trick me, it was my fault. I was protecting you."
"You don't have to, Vampire, remember?" He flashed a blinding white smile at me.
"You shouldn't always have too." I argued.
"Agree to disagree?"
"Fine." I relented. He reached over to kiss my head. "Lower, please."
"As you wish." He reached my lips and placed a soft kiss there.
"I love you." You'll never know how much.
"As I do you."
He was taking me to prom. I would never forgive him. Well actually I would. I could never stay mad at him. Not even tonight, especially the way he looks in his tux. James bond eat your damn heart out.
I didn't want to dance, not didn't want to. I can't. Ballet as a child did nothing to improve my coordination skills as I grew older. But with Edward, I could do anything. Although I felt like standing on his feet was cheating.
"Don't worry Bella, love." Looking into my eyes he swiftly swung us around the floor.
Is it possible to love someone this much?
"It's not me I'm worried about. Your feet? Yes."
"My feet?" He laughed. "Bella, you won't hurt me, you weigh nothing."
"Whatever, you have Vampire strength." He pulled me closer, so close that I could feel his cold hurt chest through my dress. A little more intoxicating then his breath and his presence.
"Will you just hold me?"
"Hold you? I will hold you forever." Definite, freaking swoon.
"Such a romantic." I laughed.
"You bring it out in me." He pulled me even closer, like we were one.
"I love you more than anything."
"I love you, for forever." We danced out the doors and he kissed me under the stars.
I love you, for forever.
I love you, for forever.
"Don't leave me."
I felt the most excruciating pain in my heart. I could feel the love every time she was with me. I groaned loudly and fell to my knees.
"How can you love me so much? I'm a monster." I heard a brush of fabric and she rushed to me and fell to her knees in front of me.
"How can I not? Don't you see? Couldn't you see? All of what I showed you. I want to be with you. I LOVE YOU! I can't be without you. Don't you see?" She pleaded.
"I'm sorry." I whispered.
"Don't be sorry. Just don't go. Please don't leave me."
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I chanted over and over again. Is sorry even enough?
She wrapped her arms around me and pushed herself tight against me. I wrapped my arms around her.
She kissed my cheeks, my forehead, my nose, and finally rested her lips against mine. I did what I always do I responded, slowly molding my lips against hers. "I'm sorry." I whispered against her mouth, again.
"Shhh. Just kiss me." I kissed her with more pressure and fervor, but not enough to ever hurt her. She pushed herself closer to me, as if wanting to feel every inch of me.
I have no idea how long we were there. We alternated between kissing, holding each other. She would let me into her mind, letting me see everything I never could or never thought I would see.
As night descended around us, I hugged her tighter, not hurting her, but enough to not even let the cold around us touch her, holding her saying I would protect her. I always would.
"You'll never leave me?" She whispered.
"Never." I kissed her carefully like I had the summer before.
I need you to see,
I'm screaming for you to please,
Can you hear me?