Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. It belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

My real life is busy. You can read about it on my profile, but I do apologize for the long wait.

Sometimes, these things write themselves, and sometimes unexpected things happen while writing. This is one of those times. I'm sorry this is so short, but I figured it was better than nothing, after such a long wait.

Thank you, Melanie. My evil genius. ;)

Enjoy.

BPOV

"Is it okay if I go now?" Edward asked. "I mean, are you feeling better?"

I nodded, sitting up on the bed.

"I'll be back as soon as I can," he promised.

"I know."

With one more glance and a quick smile, Edward left. I listened, not surprised when I heard the unmistakable sound of the key. It created a stark juxtaposition to the intimate moment we had shared mere seconds ago and served as a harsh reminder that, despite all of Edward's sweet words, I was still his prisoner here.

Sighing, I fell back on the bed, staring at the ceiling. What had happened to my life, now that I was no longer living it? Did everyone think I was dead? How long would it be until Charlie discovered that I had gone missing? We hardly talked anymore, but he was listed as my 'in case of an emergency' person, so the police had probably contacted him by now. Was he out there looking for me right now? I had only been here a week, but it seemed a lifetime, in some respects. It wasn't that I missed my old life, per se. I didn't miss my job, where most of my colleagues ignored me, and I didn't miss worrying about money all the time. I missed having opportunities, and working toward something. What did I have to look forward to in this life with Edward? I would get to know him better and spend more time with him, which was something I wanted, but that wasn't nearly enough, and I knew it. I would have to stay here, locked up, whenever he left to make his trips into the real world.

I won't see another person, ever again. Only Edward. Always.

No one knew I was here. Only Edward. I was completely dependent upon him for everything. Even the most basic of necessities, like food and clothes, were completely in his control. I could only lie here and wait for his return. Like a pet.

How long will I have to wait today?

Edward had said a few hours, but what if it was longer than that? What if… what if something happened to him? I sat up on the bed, staring at the locked door, then the bars on the windows. What if he got into an accident? What if he died? What would happen to me?

No one knows I'm here!

If Edward for some reason wasn't able to return… I'd die. I'd starve to death. All alone.

I'll die in this room, all alone!

My breathing became fast and shallow, and the walls seemed to close in on me. Panic. This was panic. And terror. I had to get out of here! Stumbling off the bed, I ran to the door and starting yanking on the handle. I threw myself against it, hurting my shoulder. I was trapped.

Without giving it a second thought, I grabbed one of the chairs by the table and hurled it against the window with all the force I could manage. The sound of glass shattering only fuelled my determination. I threw the small table aside, grabbed the chair again and slammed it against the window, over and over again.

"HELP ME! PLEASE, SOMEONE HELP ME!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, gripping and shaking the steel bars that hadn't been damaged in the slightest. "HEEEEEEELP!"

I registered pain in my hands, but I didn't stop. I screamed until my voice was hoarse and the words that left my throat no longer made sense. At some point I crumbled to the floor, exhausted, sobbing and bleeding. I had cuts on my fingers and inside my palms. My feet were unharmed, only because I was wearing shoes. There was glass everywhere; on the floor, on the windowsill, on the overturned table. I had made quite a mess but I found it impossible to care. I lay down in the middle of the chaos, letting the reality of my impotency wash over me. I had no power and no one was coming to my rescue.

Time passed and I drifted.

"BELLA!"

I blinked, trying to focus.

"Bella? Please, talk to me! Oh, please, please. Wake up!"

"Edward?" I couldn't recognize my voice as I croaked his name.

"Bella! Oh, Bella, you're hurt!"

Strong arms lifted me upward, cradling me against a firm, warm body.

"Edward. You came back," I whispered, as he lowered me onto the bed.

I heard him rushing around, water running, drawers being opened.

"I-I need to clean and dress your h-hands. You're cut."

"I'm sorry," I croaked.

"No, no, no," he told me, openly crying. "I did this. This is my fault. What have I done? What have I done?"

He washed, cleaned and bandaged my hands meticulously, only pausing to wipe his eyes. I didn't speak. I had no idea what to say. Now that Edward was back, my fears seemed ridiculous, but I knew I'd feel them again every time he left me alone, locked in.

"I got scared," I whispered.

He stopped fussing over my bandages and raised his eyes to meet mine.

"That you wouldn't come back," I added.

"I would never leave you," he said, his voice incredulous.

"I know." I nodded. "But… there could have been an accident. If something were to happen to you…"

"You'd…" he paused, eyes widening.

"I'd die," I croaked. "I don't want to die, Edward."

He inhaled sharply, grabbing his chest as though my words caused him actual physical pain.

"You won't," he said. "I won't let that happen."

I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut, feeling tears running down across my temples and into my hair. Edward controlled a lot of things, but he couldn't control everything. He couldn't prevent something from happening to him in the outside world.

"You can go home now."

My eyes flew open.

"W-what?"

Edward swallowed audibly and let go of my hands.

"You can go home now. I'll drive you or… I'll pay for a cab."

"You'll…"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My heart hammered away as I tried to make sense of what Edward was saying.

"I… I can't do this anymore," he whispered. "I never should have done any of this. I've ruined everything. I've made you like this; sad and hurt and scared. I only wanted to make you happy. I never wanted anything like this."

He looked at me. His eyes were glassy with unshed tears, his bottom lip trembled.

"I'm so sorry," he managed to choke out before standing up and leaving the room with the door wide open.

I lay on the bed much longer than I probably should have, given the circumstances. If I were an entirely sane person, I would have probably run down the stairs and away from this house, and Edward, as fast as my legs could carry me. But I didn't, so I had no choice but to seriously question my own sanity for lying there, waiting for God knows what.

"Are you ready to go?"

I was startled by the sound of Edward's voice. Sitting up slowly, I saw him standing in the door, holding my jacket that I didn't know he had brought along when he took me. I looked him over carefully, taking in his rigid posture and closed off body language, but nothing about him scared me. I stood up and walked to him, letting him help put me in the jacket. He reached around me from behind to zip it up when suddenly his arms closed around me, holding me to him.

"Please, don't be scared," he said urgently, feeling me tense up. "I'll take you home."

He sighed into my hair.

"I just wanted to hold you one last time."

"Edward," I whispered, not knowing what else to say.

"I love you," he said softly. "And… I have to ask you something, please?"

"What?"

"Please don't go."

I gasped. Had it all been a trick? Had he been lying?

"Come with me," he continued. "We can leave here. I have another house… it's down in Austin. Bella, we could have a life there. A real life. Together. It wouldn't be anything like this and… and I won't make you go with me if you don't want to."

He sighed.

"We could start over. It's beautiful down there, and warm. I'd take care of you, and you'd take care of me. We wouldn't have to be alone anymore. And… and I'll do anything to prove to you that I… that I'm not… bad. And maybe… maybe someday you'll forgive me for everything I've done to you and we could try… you and me."

He gave me a light squeeze and then released me before slowly turning me around to face him.

"W-what are you thinking?"

Nothing. I wasn't thinking anything. I couldn't. Conflicting emotions tore at me from every direction, leaving my insides feeling raw. I had reached my limit and felt as though I might shatter into a million pieces. I was scared, sad and tired. Most of all, I wanted my bed. I wanted to sleep for a hundred years. I wanted…

"I wanna go home."

Edward didn't say anything and I couldn't find the courage to look up at his face.

"Please," I whispered, wrapping my arms around my middle. "I want to go home now."

"Of course," Edward rasped. "Do you want me to drive you?"

"Okay."

Walking through the house, I registered everything around me, especially the grocery bags whose contents were scattered everywhere outside my room. I could only assume that Edward had come upstairs to let me out and had seen the destruction the moment he opened the door, making him drop everything in his hands. My heart clenched when I saw that he had purchased potted plants for the windowsill in the kitchen, as well as candles and a whole chicken, which he was going to cook for our dinner tonight.

We drove in silence all the way until we reached my street. The trip had taken less than half an hour. Outside the car, people were walking and driving by, living their daily lives and paying little notice to us.

"What will happen now?" I asked, staring out the window at the familiar sight of my building.

"I don't know. I won't…"

He cleared his throat.

"I won't go anywhere. If the police show up… I'll come along."

"I-I wouldn't… I wouldn't do that," I whispered, finally looking at him. "When they ask me, I'll make something up. That I took a trip somewhere, or something."

"Why would you do that?" he asked, dully. "It's not like I don't deserve getting arrested."

"You know what you did was wrong, and you did it to save me. Thank you for doing that."

Edward nodded. He looked so different now. Solemn and sad. The worst part to look at, though, were his eyes. They seemed completely vacant, as if all life had been drained from them.

"We'll see each other again," I said. "On campus and stuff. We can be…friends."

Even I could hear how lame I sounded. Edward could as well, because he let out a humorless chuckle.

"You won't see me again, Bella."

"Why not?"

Why was the thought of never seeing him again so terrifying? Edward turned his head and looked at me.

"Because," he whispered. "Because it hurts too much. Just sitting here… knowing that you won't be with me anymore. It's like I'm being ripped apart. Don't you understand, Bella? I love you. I can't stop loving you. I won't stop wanting you. Not ever."

"I'm sorry," I cried, even though it was ludicrous.

I hadn't done anything to make Edward fall in love with me. I was the victim here and yet somehow I recognized that, of the two of us, Edward would be the one who wouldn't ever recover from this.

"Please, just go now," he choked out, wiping away my tears with his sleeve. "No more tears. I promise I won't ever make you cry again. You'll be happy. You always were, you know? Even when things were hard for you, you always bounced back the next day and wore a smile again."

But when will you smile again, Edward?

He reached across from me and opened the car door.

"Be safe," he whispered, gently nudging me to move. "Be happy."

I slipped out of the car, strangely frozen to the spot.

"I'll watch until you're inside safely," he said.

"You've done that before," I concluded.

"Almost every night," he admitted. "I'm so sorry, love, for everything."

He shut the door before I could say anything. As if in a daze I walked to the building's door and found my keys in the jacket pocket. I looked over my shoulder, meeting Edward's gaze. With great effort I made my lips turn up into a smile. A parting gift, I supposed. Edward didn't return it. He merely raised his hand for a moment before looking down, hiding his face from me. Once inside, I rushed up the stairs, locked myself into my apartment and ran to the window overlooking the street, but all I saw were red tail lights as Edward drove down the street and out of my life.

This is not the end. I repeat: this is not the end. Have faith.

I'll do my best to update again soon, but I won't blame anyone if you decide to wait until this is complete. I know my updates are sporadic, at best. I'm trying.

Take care until next time.