Just a short, sweet outtake of Bella's change for you to enjoy. Thanks go to Snarkymuch for beta'ing this for me.
I sat by her side, with her hand clasped in mine, watching my love as she passed through the horrors of the change.
She was so quiet. It was disarming. The only signs of life were the hissed breaths that slipped through her teeth and the pounding of her heart.
I heard movement behind me and turned my head to see Carlisle slip into the room. He took Bella's wrist and pressed gently against her skin. It was already losing some of its pliability.
"She's so quiet," I said in a kind of moan. "What's wrong with her?"
"Nothing is wrong," he said. "She's just quiet like I was."
"You had need to be quiet, you were hiding. She isn't."
Perhaps… He cut the thought off before I could make sense of it.
I stiffened automatically; he was hiding something from me. "What is it?"
"I was just thinking that perhaps she is hiding, hiding her pain from you that is. She wouldn't want you to suffer with her. Not if she could stop it."
I considered his answer carefully. It would be so like Bella to try to hide her pain from me. Wasn't that the reason she had hidden from me when she had been given her diagnosis.
I lowered my head and whispered into her ear. "Bella love, you don't need to hide it from me anymore. I am here, and I love you. I can handle it. If you need to scream, scream. It might help you."
A tear slid from under her closed eyelid. I traced its path with a finger as it slid into her hair. I waited, sure the cries and screams would follow, but she remained silent.
Carlisle patted my shoulder then left the room, remembering Bella's desire to make this as private as possible.
I pressed a kiss to her cheek and rested my head against her cheek. She may be staying silent to protect me, but I felt every inch of her pain as if it was my own anyway.
I comforted myself with the knowledge that she would soon be free of all pain forever.
Sometime later, the phone rang. I heard Carlisle answer it and then his footsteps as he came back to the room. I wondered who would be important enough to call that he would interrupt us again.
It's Charlie, son. Do you think you can speak to him? He held out the phone to me.
There was no one else I would speak to in that moment, other than her father. I knew how he must be hurting.
"Charlie, it's Edward."
"How is she?" he asked without preamble. "Can I speak to her?"
"She's doing as well as we can expect," I said. "But she can't speak at the moment. The…changes are in motion, and she isn't able to speak."
"Is she hurting?"
I didn't want to tell him the truth, that she was in agony beyond imagining, so I diverted his question. "Soon she will never feel pain again."
I heard his heavy sigh. "Never?"
"That's more than I could have hoped for. Can she hear me, I mean if you gave her the phone could she hear me?"
"Absolutely. One moment." I put the phone on speaker and held it up to her. "You can speak now, Charlie."
"Bells, it's me. I know you can't speak at the moment, but I just want you to know I'm here for you. I love you so much, baby. So, so much. You're going to be fine, and soon, you will be free."
Another tear slipped from her eye and trailed into her hair.
"She can hear you, Charlie," I said. "And I know she would want me to tell you she loves you, too."
"Yeah, that's my baby."
After two days of waiting anxiously, Bella entered the last phase of her change. Her heart began to pound louder and faster.
In the night, the rest of the family had arrived, but they kept their distance, comforting me in their thoughts. As Bella's heartbeat echoed through the house, they all came into the room.
"Oh, look at her," Esme said in a sigh. "She's beautiful."
She had always been perfect to me, but even I could see the changes in her appearance. Her skin was the flawless alabaster of my own, with every imperfection removed. The scar on her arm from her disastrous birthday party had vanished, though James' bite mark remained. I hated that it was still there. I hated that there was still a reminder of that pain.
"Gotta admit, she's a hottie," Emmett said, and then looked sideways at Rosalie. "Not that she's got anything on you, babe. Honest."
Rosalie smiled. "Who are you trying to kid? She's perfect."
If there was anything Rosalie could have said to prove her changed opinion of Bella, it was this.
Bella's heart sped impossibly faster, and we all looked down at her.
"I think we should give Edward and Bella some privacy," Carlisle said, mindful of Bella's request.
Jasper shifted uncomfortably. "I don't know if that's a good idea, Carlisle. She may hurt him."
"Bella would never hurt me," I said with absolute confidence.
"Edward is right," Esme said. "This moment is for them alone."
Reluctantly, I could tell, they filed out of the room, leaving my love and I alone together.
"It's just us now, love," I whispered to her.
Her eyelids twitched, and I held my breath. She didn't open her eyes, though her heart was beating its fastest now. It raced on and on, and then, with one final thud, it fell silent.
All was silent in the room for a second as I waited for her to move.
Her eyes opened first, revealing crimson irises. She stared up at the ceiling, betraying no emotion in her features. I stepped back to give her room to grow accustomed to my presence, and she lurched up to a sitting position. Her eyes snapped to me, and a beautiful smile curled her lips.
"Edward." My name was a breathy sigh on her lips.
I returned her smile with a blissful one of my own. "My Bella."
She got from the bed in one smooth movement and came to stand in front of me. Slowly, she raised a hand and traced the line of my jaw. It was a surreal experience. She was no longer radiating heat the way she used to. Now she was the same temperature as me. When her wrist passed my mouth, I kissed it. She froze at my touch and tilted her head to the side.
"Did I do something wrong?" I asked.
She shook her head. "Something right." She leaned forward slowly, and our lips met in a searing kiss. I lost myself in her taste and her touch. My hands rose and cupped her shoulders. Her own tangled in my hair.
This was bliss. This was my Bella.
This was my forever.
I have a new story. It's an Edward/Bella pairing, and it's called Haunted Mindscapes. The first chapter is now posted.
Summary: When Esme is left to guard Bella instead of Edward in the fight with Victoria, the Volturi step in and tear the Cullen family apart. New levels of cruelty are revealed when Aro decides to experiment on the vampire psyche. Fate is about to go Feral. AU