Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight - The story and its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
A/N So I've always hated how Jacob got injured at the end of Eclipse, as it felt to me that he got injured purely for sympathy and so that everyone will overlook the blatant manipulation he had just pulled with Bella – threatening to kill himself to get her to kiss him. Once again having all of Bella's attention on him, instead of on the betrayal she had just committed against Edward. A betrayal made even worse because she had, only just two nights before, accepted Edward's proposal.
EDWARD GETS HURT
She was dead. Victoria was finally dead. Her dismembered body being set a blaze, not even five feet from me, as Edward and Seth worked together to round up all the pieces of Riley, that were lying around the camp. Before throwing them in the burning pyre that was once Victoria's body.
"Bella?" Edward's voice was soft, cautious then, as he slowly approached me.
I wanted to go to him. Wrap my arms around him and never let him go, but I couldn't move my feet. My eyes, busy scanning every inch of him I could see, making sure that he was okay.
"Bella, love?" He said again, his voice still just as cautious as before, as he came to a stop in front of me.
Reaching out with one of his hands, to remove the rock that was being tightly grasped in my right hand. I had forgotten all about it. Not even feeling the pain, that was my broken knuckle crying out in protest, as all that was on my mind was finding a way to help an injured Seth.
"Seth?" I asked quietly then, needing to know that he was alright.
"He's fine, love." Edward assured me. "He was never hurt, he was only feigning." He explained.
Stepping to the side for a moment, and gesturing to where Seth was standing – uninjured, by the burning flame.
I sighed in relief, hearing and seeing that he was okay. Turning my attention then to Edward, who was still regarding me warily and throwing myself into his arms. Collapsing to my knees, as I kissed every inch of him that I could reach.
"Are you okay?" I demanded between kisses. "Please, please, tell me that she didn't hurt you?" I begged, fear clear in my voice as I clung to him.
"I'm fine, Bella." He spoke softly to me. Holding me to him as we both knelt in the snow. "Not even a scratch."
"The others? Alice, Esme, the wolves..." I asked, needing to know that everyone was okay.
"All fine. Everyone's fine, I promise you." He spoke calmly.
And I let myself absorb his words for a moment. Letting it sink in that my family and friends were safe. That it was all over.
"It's really over." I whispered.
Tightening my arms around his neck, and burying my head in his shoulder.
"It's really over." Edward echoed my words. One of his hands soothingly rubbing my back. "No one's going to hurt you anymore. I'm just sorry that you had to see that."
"What do you mean?" I asked confused, lifting my head.
"I never wanted you see me that way. I must have terrified you."
He was afraid he had scared me?
"Silly vampire. Don't you know by now, that, that's never going to happen." I smiled at him.
Edward shaking his head in disbelief and smiling back at me, before a growl from Seth caught our attention.
"What is it, what's wrong?" I asked straight away, fearing the worse.
"Alice needs us to go – now." He answered me, his voice suddenly hard and pulling us both to our feet. Before turning to Seth. "Go, straight home. Now. As fast you can."
Seth nodding his head once, before taking off down the mountain.
"Edward, what is it?"
"The Volturi." He growled the name in disgust. "They've decided it's time to intervene."
Fear gripped me at their name, as Edward picked me up, holding me tightly against his chest and hurdling us down the mountain, in the opposite direction of Seth.
Breaking through the trees into the clearing where the others are waiting, less than a minute later.
"How long?" Edward asked Alice, as soon as we arrived, dropping me by his side.
There was a large fire burning a few feet from where they were all standing and the only wolf that I could still see in the clearing was Leah.
"Eight minutes." Alice answered.
Noticing then, that where Jasper was standing a few feet away, there was another vampire. A young girl with bright red eyes, looking no older than fifteen.
Her eyes met mine, letting out a loud growl then and I moved myself closer to Edward, taking his hand.
"Surrendered?" I heard Edward ask then.
His eyes flicking from the young newborn to Carlisle.
"There was no need to destroy her, if she stopped her attack on us." Carlisle answered.
"You know the Volturi won't honor that Carlisle. Nor will they honor a truce with wolves – they need to leave." Edward said stiffly. His head then suddenly turning in the direction of where Leah was standing near the tree line. "What the..." He muttered, his eyes narrowing.
I followed his gaze, seeing then, as one lonely newborn made their way out of the tree line. Leah noticing this as well as she immediately sprang to attack.
"Leah, don't." Edward called out, dropping my hand.
Disappearing in a blur from my side, running too fast for my eyes to see, as he reached Leah in a second, pulling away the newborn just as he had placed his arms around her neck. My breath catching in my throat, my heart beating rapidly, when in the next second Edward had his hands on the newborns shoulders, preparing to pull them off, his face focused, until his head snapped up – looking over to the right of him.
Giving the newborn the chance it needed, to get his arms free.
"No! Edward!" I screamed, watching in disbelief, my heart breaking in my chest, at the sight before me.
As the newborn – its arms free of Edward's hold, wrapped his own arms around Edward's shoulders and chest, his teeth coming to rest at Edward's neck. And then in one motion he constricted his arms – crushing Edward, at the same he sank his teeth, viciously, into the back of Edward's neck.
"No!" I screamed, the same time a painful growl was unleashed from Edward.
The sound causing the long healed whole in my chest to rip open with a vengeance. Barely noticing the newborn being ripped away from him, as Jasper and Emmett ran to their brother's side, my eyes solely focused on Edward. Whose body dropped lifelessly to the ground, the moment the newborn was pulled away.
"Agh!" I groaned, as I felt a pair of arms wrap around me from behind.
Preventing me from getting to Edward.
"Easy, Bells. Calm down." It was Jacob.
"Let me go." I screamed. Thrashing in his arms. "Edward!" I screamed again, tears falling.
Why wasn't he moving?
Carlisle and Esme were by his side now. Jasper and Emmett adding the newborns remains to the burning pyre.
"What the fuck was that?" I hear Emmett growl angrily, as he threw the last piece in.
But my attention was on the body of the man I loved and how my best friend was still preventing me from getting to him.
"Jake, let me go." I pleaded, still struggling.
"Bella, there's nothing you can do for you him." He spoke into my ear. "Let the doctor handle him."
"I don't care, let me go!" I screamed again.
"Bells– " He started again, but was interrupted by Alice.
"She said, let her go." Alice spoke strongly, glaring at Jacob.
But I didn't have time to ask why, as Jacob's arms dropped from around me and I immediately sprinted to Edward's side. Dropping down on my knees by his head and choking out a sob when I saw the large and deep, bite mark in his neck. His eyes closed and his body completely still.
"Edward?" My voice cracks, broken, over his name, as I run a shaky hand through his hair. "Carlisle?" I look up, pleading.
Needing to hear that Edward is going to be okay. Esme, who is kneeling on the opposite side to Carlisle, has the same broken look on her face, that I'm sure matched mine.
"Carlisle?" I ask again, desperately.
His eyes are pained as he answers. "His entire chest is shattered." He spoke, detached, trying to separate the doctor in him, from the father. But I could still hear the pain. "And the bite has severed his spinal cord – it's why he's unconscious at the moment."
Another sob escaping my throat, as I let out a sound somewhere between a choke and a wail.
"But he'll be okay, right?" I choked out, tears falling harder than ever. "Please, please tell me he'll be alright, he has to be." I begged.
But what if he wasn't? A small part of my mind screamed at me and I was quick to silence it.
No. He had to be okay, he just had to be.
"He'll be fine, Bella." It was Alice who answered me.
Coming to kneel next to me, and wrapping her arms around me.
I hadn't noticed when the other Cullens and the rest of the wolves had joined us. Looking up to see that two of the wolves were standing guard over the young newborn girl, that Carlisle had spared.
"What I want to know is what the fuck happened." It was Emmett's, still angry voice, that spoke and he was glaring harshly at the wolves.
In particular Jacob.
"Something or someone." Jasper answered, his voice as equally as angry as his brothers, but laced with an even deadlier calm. His expression one I was sure I would be afraid of, if I wasn't so worried about Edward. "Pulled his attention away. Giving the newborn all the chance he needed."
"I don't see why he needed to interfere in the first place – I had him." Leah spat out then.
Alice, Jasper and Emmett all released growls at her insensitive words, but it was Rosalie who spoke.
"My brother saved your life, you ungrateful little bitch, or did you not notice the arms that were around your neck." She snarled viciously.
Leah sneered right back in response, her skin rippling, until Sam barked out. "Enough." Loudly, in an authoritative tone.
"We need to move him, Carlisle." Esme, addressed her husband, ignoring the growing the tension around her.
"We can't. The Volturi will be here in less than three minutes." Alice answered her. "You need to leave. Now." Her voice turned cold, as she spoke to the wolves.
Sam nodded, the pack following his order, as he gestured with his head to the tree line. The only one not moving being Jacob.
"Come on, Bells. I'll take you home." I stared at him in shock at his words.
Did he really think I would be leaving Edward, like this?
"I'm not leaving. I'm staying with, Edward." I answered, strongly.
"Bells, there's nothing you can do. Let his family take care of him and let me take you home to, Charlie." He said, holding his hand out.
"I'm not leaving him." I repeated.
Emmett moving to stand in front of me, when Jacob began to protest again.
"You heard my sister. She's not leaving – especially with the likes of you." Emmett said, his fists balled at his sides. "You've done enough already."
I was confused at Emmett's words, but didn't have the energy in me to worry about what he meant, on top of all my worry for Edward.
"Fine. I'll see you later then, Bella." Jacob said, turning to me. "We still have a lot to talk about." He smiled.
Guilt eating away at me now, as I thought about the reason behind his smile.
I had just exited the tent, my eyes widening in surprise as I took in the thick layer of snow that now covered the camp site. Wrapping my arms around myself as a cool breeze blew through.
"Here." Edward said, coming up behind me, my jacket in his arms. "It won't be as cold as last night, but you'll still need it."
Taking the jacket from his hands, sliding it on, as I turned to face him.
"I'm sorry." I whispered. "About last night. I know it couldn't have been easy on you."
His carefully composed face, breaking for a second and revealing the deep pain in his eyes, before he quickly hid it again.
"Well... it definitely won't be making my top ten list of favorite evenings." He joked, and I was glad to see his smile.
"You have a list?" I couldn't help but ask.
"Don't you?" He threw back at me, knowing me too well.
"I highly doubt that mine are the same as yours though." I admitted.
"Are you sure about that – you might just be surprised." He smiled.
"I don't have the hundred years of nights that you have, so yeah, I'm pretty sure that they're bound to be different."
"Well then let me narrow it down for you. All ten have been spent with you. Number one, being the other night when you accepted my proposal." His smile was blinding now, as he spoke of the night I finally agreed to marry him.
A smile gracing my own face, as I remembered that night and what he had promised me in return.
"You're marrying him?" A hard, devastated voice, called my attention then, from behind me.
It was Jacob. His face betrayed.
"Jake... I..." I didn't know what to say.
I might have been apprehensive the other night, about accepting Edward's proposal. But that was only because of the way Renee had raised me and my own irrational fear of ending up like my parents.
But just because I knew it was right for me, didn't mean I wanted Jacob finding out like this.
And seeing the look on Edward's face, something became apparent.
"You knew he was listening." I accused.
"He deserves to know." He said back, no hesitation.
Jacob shaking his head then, before turning and leaving.
"Jake, wait." I called out
Edward grabbing my left wrist to halt me.
"Don't!" I said, pulling my wrist free. "Just let me speak to him alone." Turning away quickly and hurrying off in the direction that Jake had headed. "Jake, stop." I called out to his back, as he continued to walk away from me. "Jake, please." I begged this time.
"No!" He span around to face me. "I'm done. I'm so done."
"What can I do?" I rushed out, needing to know how I could make things right, but not having any idea how to.
It seemed that no matter what decision I make, someone I care for is always going to be hurt.
"Nothing. But I can. By going down there and killing something..." he gestured to where the fight was going to take place.
"You can't fight like this, you'll get yourself killed." I shouted at him, knowing that his head wouldn't be in the fight if he were to go.
"Maybe I will." He mused, as if it was a good idea. "That'll make things simple for you."
He couldn't be serious?
"No – what, you can't – Jake, please, just... stay." I choked out in horror at what he was implying.
"Why? Give me one good reason – why?" He asked, taking a few steps towards me, looking me right in the face.
His eyes expectant. Like he was waiting for a specific answer.
"Because I don't want to lose you." I said, looking him in the eye.
"Not good enough." He spat.
"Because..." What did he want to hear? "Because, you're my best friend."
His eyes held mine for a moment, before he shakes his head.
"Still not good enough." He says, before turning and walking away.
"Jacob!" I called out, desperately, not being able to let him leave. Searching my brain for anything that would get him to stay. "Kiss me." I blurted out the two words I was sure now, he was waiting to hear.
My heart protesting painfully at the words I had just spoken.
Jacob's retreating figure, halting at once, as he turned to face me. Surprise and hope covering his face, but there was also, I was sure, a hint of triumph – like he had just won some game.
"You're bluffing." He shook his head.
"No, I'm not. I'm... asking you... to kiss me." The words taste slightly bitter on my tongue this time around and it was hard to ignore the voice in my head that was shouting at me, Edward's name.
I didn't want to do this. But I couldn't just let Jacob walk away and then let himself get killed.
Watching as he didn't hesitate this time, closing the gap that was between us and pushing his lips against mine. Feeling the anger that he pushed into the kiss – one hand going to the back of my neck, the other my waist – as he felt my passive resistance.
The hand on the back of my neck, steadily becoming rougher, as he pulled me to him harsher, his teeth biting my bottom lip. As he fought for a way into my mouth and a way to get me to respond.
But that wasn't why I asked him to kiss me. Only asking in my desperation to keep him alive.
Jacob misunderstanding the groan I let out, when I reacted to the pain in my lip. His hands becoming rougher than they already were and I knew that I was sure to have a bruise on my hip, from where his hand was holding me tightly – too tightly to him, as his anger began to give away to passion.
Not noticing that my arms hadn't once moved from my sides, the entire time that he had been kissing me.
My mind too focused on Edward and how I was going to face him, when I walked back to the tent. Knowing that this was far worse than any other pain I had caused him – including this morning. Promising myself in that moment – the moment that all my selfishness was becoming clear, that I was never going to hurt Edward like this again. Never going to put his feeling's behind anyone else's ever again and showing him that he never has to be worried about losing me, because it has always, and will always, be him that owns my heart.
Despite what Jake wants to believe.
And something that Jake was just going to have to understand, as I made the choice that I should have made a long time ago. A choice that had been made, since the day I figured out what Edward was.
I had to let Jake go. And he had to let me go.
The pressure on my lips easing, his tongue no longer devouring my mouth, as he pulled back. The hand that was on the back of my neck, coming up to brush a few strands of hair out of my face. His whole face lighting up as he smiles.
"That... should have been our first kiss." He says, sounding proud and extremely pleased with himself.
But all I feel is numb inside. Unable to speak.
"I have to go, but I'll be back later. We have lots to talk about." He was still grinning and I could tell by the look in his eyes, what he believed.
"Jacob..." I started.
"No time, Bells. The newborns will be here soon and I have a job to do." He leaned in, quickly kissing me again, before racing off into the forest.
Well, at least he has something to live for now. Or at least thinks he does, I think. Knowing that I would have to deal with him, when this was all over. Before taking a deep breath and heading back in the direction of camp.
Edward was more understanding than I deserved, taking all the blame for the kiss on him. Telling me that it was his fault, because he left and that I grew feeling's for Jacob while he was away, saying that Jacob had stitched me up when I was broken.
But that wasn't true.
I cared deeply for Jacob. It was why it was going to hurt me, to hurt him, but letting him go was something that needed to be done. For all of us – Edward, Jacob and myself. As I could never feel, what Jacob desired from me and I could no longer continue to hurt Edward, giving him reasons to be insecure and so afraid about losing me.
Angela was right – Edward was jealous. But more than anything, I can now see that he was afraid. Afraid that I would chose Jacob over him.
And I had given him, I could now see, every reason to believe that.
"Thirty seconds." Alice's voice, broke through my thoughts then.
Jasper moving to stand guard over the young newborn, who was watching us with fascinating eyes. The rest of the Cullens minus Esme, who stayed kneeling next to Edward, standing and moving to where they were just in front of us.
"Can he hear us?" I asked then.
My hand still running softly through his hair.
"No. Until the bite on his neck is healed, then he won't be able to hear us – either way." Carlisle explained, a hand on my shoulder.
"Is he in pain?" I asked, looking up at Carlisle.
"For the moment – no." I whimpered at the thought of him in pain. Especially with all the pain I had already caused him. "With his spinal cord severed, his central nervous system is also."
"So once that heals...?" He'll be in pain.
I trailed off, not being able to bring myself to say the words. But Carlisle knew what I was saying.
"Yes." He admitted pain.
"They're coming." Alice informed us then, her eyes ahead.
Carlisle moved to stand next to her, with Emmett and Rosalie to her left. My eyes following their sight and watching with bated breath as four, elegantly dressed figures approached us. The head of the diamond formation that they walked in, being the smallest, all dressed in black and I recognized her instantly.
It was Jane.
Recognizing the other three with her as well, when they removed their hoods as Alec – Jane's twin, also dressed in black. While Demetri and Felix, had cloaks of grey.
"It appears you've done our work for us." Jane spoke, her blood red eyes then falling on Edward. "But not without, it seems, a casualty." The smile on her face showing how pleased she was that Edward was hurt and I couldn't stop the rage that flared inside of me.
The feeling being overwhelmed a second later, as a calm peace washed over me. Looking over then at Jasper, who just nodded at me slightly.
"Let me guess – he was protecting the human." She pondered aloud, her eyes looking right at me. "Aro will be interested to hear that his beloved mind reader isn't as invincible in a fight as he believes." This too, seemed to please her.
Biting my tongue, in an effort not to say anything, as she called Edward, Aro's.
"My son was harmed," Esme spoke and I knew she was intentionally referring to Edward as her son. "while he was protecting his family. If he hadn't heard the attack the moment before it happened and interceded as he did – then one of us, if not more than one, would be dead right now." She said strongly.
It wasn't exactly the truth, but Jane didn't need to know that Edward had been injured saving a werewolf.
"How noble." Jane quipped, looking less than impressed.
The tension growing.
"It would appear that we missed an entertaining fight, sister." Alec, standing to his sister's right, spoke then, the sides of his lips twitching.
"Yes. It's not often we're rendered unnecessary." She said, with an air of arrogance and superiority.
"If you had arrived a half-hour earlier, you could have fulfilled your purpose here." Rosalie spoke, her words sounding as if they were carefully chosen, whilst masking a different implication.
I watched Jane's face as Rosalie spoke – afraid of how Jane may respond.
"Pity." Was all she chose to say. Her eyes flicking to the right of her then, over to where Jasper and the newborn were standing. "It seems you missed one." She smiled, pleased.
"We offered her asylum, in exchange for her surrender." Carlisle explained.
"That wasn't yours to offer." Jane said simply, before turning her focus to the newborn. "Why did you come?" She asked, her voice rising a little.
The newborn looked both confused and afraid, at the situation in front of her. A blood curdling scream then escaping from her mouth, when she didn't answer straight away. Her knees giving out beneath her as she fell to the ground, under the influence of Jane's talent.
I flinched at the sound of her scream. Turning my eyes away from the young girl writhing on the ground.
My eyes falling back on Edward's lifeless form and remembering painfully, when it was once him being brought to his knees, under Jane's gaze.
"Who created you?" Jane continue to question, but she didn't relent her assault.
"You don't need to do that. She'll tell you anything you want to know." Esme pleaded on the girls behalf hopelessly.
"Oh, I know." Jane smirked, stopping her assault.
The newborn sighed in relief, gasping for unneeded air, as she hurried to answer. No doubt in hopes that she would be spared anymore of Jane's method of persuasion.
"I.. I don't know." The young girl choked out. "Riley wouldn't tell us. He said our thoughts weren't safe."
Jane's eyes flickering back to Edward's form and I narrowed my eyes at her slightly, when I saw the smile on her face.
"Indeed." Her eyes went back to the newborn. "But that still didn't answer why you came?" She questioned again, unleashing her talent at the same time, as the girls screams filled the field once more.
"They came to kill, Bella." Esme said, standing. Moving so she was standing just to the side of the young girl. "The one who created them, Victoria, held a grudge against her."
Jane's assault stopped as Esme spoke. Her eyes coming back to me.
"This one seems to bring out bizarrely strong reactions in our kind." She observed, before turning back to the rest of the Cullens. "Am I right in assuming then, that this Victoria, is now dead?"
"Yes." Carlisle answered.
"Very well." Jane nodded once to Carlisle, her eyes flicking to the young girl once more, looking bored. "Felix." She ordered, with a slight gesturing of her head.
Felix following her command straight away, as he made a move towards the girl.
"She didn't know what she was doing?" Esme pleaded again.
Felix coming to a stop, as Jane held out her hand.
"We'll take responsibility for her." Esme vowed, looking to Carlisle.
"Yes. She doesn't appear unwilling to learn – give her a chance." Carlisle immediately answered.
"The Volturi don't give second chances." Jane answered strongly. Leaving no room for argument. "Keep that in mind." Her eyes then returned to mine. "Caius will be interested to know your still human, Bella."
I stared back at her, unflinching, as I answered.
"The date is set."
She looked taken back, for a second, that I had addressed her.
Her gaze lingering longer than I would have expected.
"I wonder if once you're immortal, you'll still be immune to me." She mused, smirking.
Letting me know, what she had just tried to do.
Saying a silent thank you, to whatever glitch it was in my brain, that prevented Jane's gift from working on me.
"I guess you'll just have to wait and see." I quipped, not being able to stop myself.
She narrowed her eyes at me, but said nothing in response.
"Take care of that, Felix." She instead addressed. "I'd like to go home." She finished, sounding bored.
A smile growing on her face, as Felix approached the young girl, picking her up from the ground as she screamed and writhed in his arms. Turning my head away at the sight of Felix's raised hand – I didn't want to watch this. The young girls screams being silenced a moment later, followed by the tearing sound of a metallic screeching, as she was then ripped apart.
"Thank you, Felix." Jane said, as Felix rejoined her side. "And Carlisle, Aro sends his regards." She added as a farewell, before the two black cloaks and two grey, disappeared back into the trees.
"They're gone." Alice announced a moment later.
"Emmett." Carlisle nodded.
Emmett nodding back in response, as he came over to pick Edward up into his large arms, before racing back to the house. Alice lifting me into her own arms, before we followed.
"Rosalie, Jasper – take these." Carlisle handed them each two steel thermos. "He'll heal quicker with blood." They each nodded, before taking off out the back door.
Alice and I following Carlisle up to Edward's room, where he was laid out on the bed.
The bed that Edward had brought for me and the bed where just two nights ago I had agreed to become his wife. The sting of my betrayal, burning even more when I thought back to that night and how happy I had made him.
Esme was seated on one side of him, while Emmett stood behind her. Esme reaching out to take my hand, pulling me to sit by her, as Carlisle looked him over. Pulling his shirt away so he could examine his chest more closely.
"He's healing. Slowly." He said, as he pulled away. "The internal damage that the bite caused, will take a while to heal. And his body will heal that first, as it's the most severe injury." I knew he was explaining this purely for my benefit.
"And then he'll be able to feel everything." I whimpered, knowing that he will still be in pain at that point.
Esme wrapping her arms around me. Whilst Carlisle's eyes told me everything I needed to hear.
"Here, Carlisle." Alice said, handing him a what looked to be a petri dish and a glass eye dropper.
I wondered why Carlisle needed them.
"Thank you, Alice." He smiled in thanks, taking them from her hands.
Watching fascinated as Carlisle drooled a clear liquid from his mouth – his venom I realized, into the petri dish. Before picking it up with the eye dropper and placing it inside Edward's neck.
"It's another tool to help heal the wound." Esme explained into my ear, as she noted my confused look. "The venom will help the internal damage, whilst sealing the skin on the outside, as well."
And I watched as Carlisle placed a few more drops on the exposed bite, the skin then healing itself.
"There's not anymore we can do now." Carlisle announced once he was done. "The blood that Rose and Jasper bring back, will help. As it will stop his body from becoming too weak. But he will need to hunt right away as soon as he's able to, regardless."
I nodded at his words, but there was something else scratching at my mind.
"What pulled his attention away?" I asked, needing to know. And from the way Emmett, Jasper, Rose and Alice were acting earlier I was fairly confident that they knew. "He had no trouble against Victoria or Riley – the one that was with her. And I know that they were both more dangerous than that newborn, so why..." I trailed off.
Watching as Emmett and Alice shared a look between themselves.
"What?" I persisted.
"We think it was one of the wolves." Alice explained softly. "You wouldn't have noticed as it happened too quick for your eyes to pick up. But when Edward lifted his head, he was..." She trailed off, sharing a look with Emmett.
"Was..." I urged.
"He was focused on Jacob." She finally answered, and I felt the air leave my lungs.
"No." I breathed, not wanting to believe it. "Jake wouldn't..."
He knew what Edward meant to me, he wouldn't hurt me like this.
"He was smirking Bella and looked quite proud of himself, when he gave the newborn the opportunity he needed." Emmett cut in then. "And it's not like this is the first time he has taunted Eddie in his thoughts. It's just this is the first time Eddie has actually reacted openly to it – so I can only guess what he was showing him."
You know what he would be showing him. A little voice in my head shouted at me. You know exactly what it was, that Jacob was showing him.
You saw how he acted on the mountain. And hasn't he already proven that he likes using you to taunt Edward in the past.
"It was me." I whispered, barely audible. Tears falling from my eyes.
"What was you, sweetheart?" Esme asked.
Of course they had all heard me.
"What Jacob was taunting Edward with – it was me." I admitted, brokenly. "Something happened, before the fight." I continued seeing their confused looks. "Jacob overheard... something, that made him upset and I ran after him to make sure that he was okay. He wasn't. He was angry and defeated and he said that..." I stopped.
Afraid to speak about how I had betrayed Edward. Afraid that they would all hate me.
"He said what, sweetheart?" Esme asked, one of her hands rubbing up and down my back.
"He said, or implied, that it would be simpler for me if he just went down to the fight and didn't come back." I heard the shocked gasps and angry curses, as they all immediately understood. "I tried to talk him out of it. But he wanted me to give him a reason to stay and nothing I said was good enough for him and then..." The guilt inside me was suffocating and I couldn't bring myself to say the words.
"You asked him to kiss you, didn't you?" Alice asked, then. Knowing all about what had happened when Edward had confronted Jacob, after he had kissed me. "That was the reason he wanted you to give him."
My silence telling them everything.
"Son of a bitch." Emmett cursed, angrily. "It wasn't bad enough that he had already forced himself on her by physical means... now he's forcing her to kiss him by threatening to kill himself?" He started pacing, muttering words under his breath that I couldn't make out.
"I'm sorry." I muttered, uselessly under my breath.
"Bella honey, this isn't your fault." Esme said soothingly, pulling me into a hug.
"Esme's right, Bella. This isn't your fault." Alice said, coming over to sit next to me. "The dog knew exactly what he was doing and exactly how to manipulate you to get what he wants – he's being do it for a while now."
I looked up at Alice, my eyebrows furrowed. But before I could ask what she meant, Jasper and Rosalie were walking through the door.
"Here you go, Carlisle." Jasper said, as both he and Rosalie gave him their now full thermoses. "We also stopped by the camp, picking up this." He held up the backpack that was in his hand, before dropping it by the door.
It was the backpack that Edward had packed for us.
"Come on, Bella. We need to get you changed." Alice said then, as Carlisle started to open the first thermos.
Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett exiting the room as he did so.
"Changed for what?" I didn't understand.
As far as I was concerned I wasn't going anywhere.
"Charlie will be expecting you home shortly and as far as he knows the two of us have been shopping all day." She explained, easily. "So we need you changed, so he buys our ruse. Up."
"I'm not leaving, Edward." I protested, strongly.
Didn't she know that already – hadn't she seen that?
"Bella, we're not asking you to stay away until he's awake." Alice started gently. "But Charlie needs to see you, even if only for a minute, because if he doesn't, he's going to come here and we can't risk that at the moment."
I knew everything she was saying made sense, and had to be done.
But that didn't mean I had to like it.
"Fine." I gave in.
Taking the hand that she had held out, and letting her lead me down the hall and into her bathroom.
"Here we go." She handed me a dress. "Evidence to show that we have been shopping today."
I put it on without complaint. The dress being loose fitted, covered in hundreds of small flowers, with spaghetti straps and dipping low in the back.
Alice then smiling once it was on and pulling me to sit down at her vanity while she brushed through my hair, adding a light layer of make-up.
It was more proof, she told me.
"Now go grab your jacket, and put on those old scabby boots of yours, and then we can go." She directed. "Oh and don't forget your bag."
I rolled my eyes at her, before making my way back into Edward's room. Doing as Alice instructed, before sitting down on the bed next to Edward and kissing him lightly on his cheek.
"I'll be back soon. I promise." I whispered.
Throwing my backpack onto my shoulder, but pausing as I reached the door as something on his desk caught my eye – it was the necklace he had given me as a graduation present. A beautiful heart shaped locket, covered in diamonds, that had once belonged to his mother and held a black and white, worn photo, of when Edward was a kid.
I had loved it instantly.
Despite being reluctant to accept it. I was never good at accepting gifts – I never wanted any. But I knew how much this meant to Edward and how much it would mean to him for me to accept it, without a fight. I had taken it off before we left, as I didn't want to risk losing it or damaging it. Picking it up now with a smile and fastening it around my neck.
Going one step further then, as I removed from one of his draws, the engagement ring that I had been so quick to take off the other night. Sliding what was once Elizabeth Masen's engagement ring, onto my left hand, where I would now make sure it stays for the rest of eternity. It was just as beautiful as the locket – silver with a large oval face, completely covered in diamonds.
"I won't take it off again. I promise you." I whispered into Edward's ear, giving him a final kiss before heading downstairs to where Alice was waiting with my keys and two shopping bags, that I knew were mine.
They were more props. But that didn't mean that they weren't full, with whatever Alice had now decided I needed.
"What do I tell Charlie?" I asked as I took them from her.
"The truth – that Edward has been hurt. But instead of what really happened, tell him that he was injured when the boys were rock climbing and dislocated his shoulder, on top of being severely bruised and taking a nasty knock to his head." She created on the spot.
"What if he asks why Carlisle hasn't taken him to a hospital or something?"
"Tell him that he did, but they were closer to Olympia than they were to Forks, so they went there." I nodded, distracted. Biting my lip. I didn't want to leave. "He'll be fine, Bella. I promise you." She said, knowing what I needed to hear.
I gave her a quick hug, telling her that I'll be back soon. Her eyes shining when she noticed my left hand, but she didn't say anything, merely smiled.
I drove home even slower than usual, as my mind was constantly replaying what had happened, while wondering whether Alice and Emmett were right about Jake. Could he really have distracted Edward, just so that he would be hurt, or worse killed? The question kept echoing through my mind as I watched Edward's lifeless body, drop to the ground over and over again.
I didn't want to believe it.
But I knew that in my heart, it was true. Jake had always been immature, impulsive and at most times rash – saying things before he thought, or letting his temper get the best of him. But I never would have thought that the same boy who had been there for me when I was broken – could be the same man who would stand by and purposefully help contribute, to the man I love getting hurt, or worse.
It was that understanding of why, that I couldn't find.
Knowing that there truly was no reason for how Jake had acted – in causing Edward harm, or on the mountain top. And the reason I had been trying to find one, was because I wanted to believe that the young, carefree, always smiling boy that first became my friend still existed.
But he didn't. I could see that now.
The Jake I had first met ceasing to exist as soon as he had phased for the first time. Inheriting the hate and prejudices of his culture. The unrequited crush he had on me only making things worse.
And there were so many emotions running high inside of me, that I didn't know what I was feeling... anger, hurt, rage, pain, guilt – they were all fighting each other for dominance, as I thought over everything that had happened.
Robotically pulling up in front of my house, as if I was on auto-pilot and not even noticing until I had exited my truck, that there was another car parked in the driveway – Jacob's red VW Rabbit.
What the hell was he doing here?
I knew we needed to talk. But did he really think that I would talk to him now, whilst Edward was hurt.
"That you, Bells?" Charlie called out as soon as I shut the door.
He was sitting in the living room, with Jake.
"Yeah, it's me." I said, my voice off, as I dropped the two shopping bags and my backpack near the stairs before heading into the kitchen.
I needed to start Charlie's dinner, before heading back to the Cullens and wanting something quick I decided on hamburgers. Placing the meat immediately on the fry pan to cook, while I pulled what I needed from the fridge to make salad.
"Bells, are you okay?" Charlie asked me a moment later.
He must have followed me into the kitchen.
"I'm fine." I lied.
Putting my head down as I started to slice the tomato.
"You look anything but fine, Bells. Now tell me what's wrong." He pushed.
I stopped my movements. It would be better to just tell him now, as I knew he wouldn't let me leave until I had.
"It's... Edward." I said, my voice breaking.
A few tears leaking from my eyes.
"What, did you two have a fight?" There was hope in his voice.
"No, we didn't have a fight." I said angrily, turning around to face him. My patience with Charlie's constant disapproval of Edward, had finally run out. "And not that you really care, but he's been hurt – badly. Carlisle took them all rock climbing and Edward... slipped." I choked out the last word.
"Oh... I... Is he okay?" Charlie stumbled over his words as he asked.
Turning back to face the fry pan, so he wouldn't see the lie in my eyes.
"Carlisle said he will be." I explained, remembering what Alice had told me to say and wiping away the tears that had fallen. "He dislocated one of his shoulders in the fall and took a nasty hit to the back of his head when he hit the ground. He's also pretty, severely bruised."
I heard Charlie sigh, behind me. "I'm sorry, Bells. I may not like the boy, but that doesn't mean I wish him harm."
Yeah, keep telling yourself that Charlie, I thought sarcastically, as I rolled my eyes.
Quickly plating two plates for him and Jacob, before grabbing my bags and heading upstairs. I dropped them on to the floor of my room, before racing back downstairs as I fast as I could, picking my keys up off of the table.
"Bye, dad." I called out as I headed for the door.
Charlie was back in the living room now with Jake.
"Wait, Bells. Where are you going?" He looked at me confused. "And what about your dinner?"
"I'm going back to the Cullens." I said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world – it was. Seeing Jake's eyes narrow, as I spoke. "And I'm not hungry, the other plate was for Jake."
"Bella, let the boy rest. Dr. Cullen will take care of him, and you can see him tomorrow." Charlie said. "Besides, Jake here said you two had something pretty important you needed to talk about."
There was the hope again.
"I know we need talk, but right now I need to see Edward." I turned my eyes to Jake's. "There's nothing we need to talk about, that is more important him."
"What about us, Bells?" Jake asked then, confused.
I had seen it in his eyes, when he left me on the mountain top that he believed he had finally won. And it only made me more confused as to why he would then purposefully hurt Edward, if in his mind, he finally had what he wanted.
"Us, what us? There is no us, how many times do I have to tell you this Jake. I love Edward. I will always love Edward."
"You love me, Bella. I know you do." He persisted, clearly not listening to anything I just said.
"No. I don't." I said, sure of myself. "I'm marrying him, Jake." Had he forgotten what he had overheard just this morning.
And to prove my point across, I held out my left hand.
"You're what?" Charlie roared and I had forgotten that he was there.
"Edward asked me to marry him. And I said yes." I explained, turning to face Charlie, whose face was growing red.
"You're not marrying him, Bella. I forbid it." He was angry now. "The two of you are far two young and he'll only end up hurting you again."
"No he won't. You don't understand our relationship Charlie, you never have – we love each other. We need each other." I told him strongly. Surely he would have realized that by now. "And you can't stop me from marrying him. I'm eighteen."
"Exactly. You're only a teenager." Charlie continued to rage. "A teenager who knows nothing of love and as for your relationship with that boy, it's not healthy. You're entirely too dependent on him."
"Because he's my life." I shouted back at him, my own anger rising. "And we're dependent on each other. We love each other. Something that you've never tried to see or understand, because you've been hell bent on pushing me towards Jacob."
"Because Jake won't hurt you." He shouted back.
My eyes looking over at Jake, the smug smile on his face enraging me further.
"Oh, so all those times, I came home crying because of Jake – they weren't because he hurt me." I shot back at him sarcastically, seeing Jake flinch. "Jake forcing himself on me and kissing me against my will, that wasn't him hurting me. Me breaking my hand on his head when I punched him, that wasn't him hurting me." I continued to fire off.
Charlie becoming speechless. He had no comeback.
"And don't tell me that I'm too young to get married, or don't know anything about love, because you and mum were both, at my age." I threw back at him.
"And look where we are now – divorced, after not even two years together and all because of a mistake." Charlie spat back at me.
My breath hitched in my throat, as I stopped breathing.
Knowing instinctively that the mistake Charlie was referring to was my birth.
"I was a mistake?" I asked, tears pooling in my eyes.
It hurt to hear the truth, that I had suspected ever since I was a child.
Charlie's horrified expression telling me that he didn't mean to say what he did.
"No, Bells, that's not what I– "
"Save it." I said. Tears falling over. "You meant what you said. If you didn't you wouldn't have said it."
"Bells, I was angry, I didn't mean it. I just don't want you throwing your life away." Charlie tried to explain.
"People always have a habit of speaking ugly truths when they're angry." I told him. "And marrying Edward will never be a mistake. Nor will I ever consider it throwing my life away." I spoke with all the conviction I had.
"Even though that's exactly what you will be doing." Jake snorted. "Without a care, it seems, for all the people you will be leaving behind – people that love you."
"People that need to let me go and let me live my own life." I threw back at him. "A life where I'm not taking care of everyone at my own expense. And a life that is not, and never has been, here."
I saw Charlie flinch from my words and as much as I wanted to tell him that I didn't mean them. I couldn't. Because I knew with every fiber of my being that even if I had never met Edward, that my time in Forks would have still ended at graduation. Other than Charlie there would have been nothing in this town for me – and I never would have been able to play the role of doting stepford wife, down in La Push, just like Jake dreams.
That's never been me.
"What are you talking about, Bella, of course your life is here." Jake protested.
He and Charlie being a lot a like, as neither of them can imagine a world outside this town.
"No it isn't, Jake. You've never left this town, so you don't see, but there is a world outside this town and I want to see it. I've always wanted to see it." I explained. I may not have Renee's excessive love of traveling, but there were places in the world I wanted to see – Rome, Greece, London. "We've never wanted the same things Jake – I've never wanted the same things as you."
"This isn't you speaking Bells, it's him." Would he never listen to me?
"No it isn't. Your biggest argument with me Jake is that staying with you means having a family, kids. Something that I don't want. I never have." It's true.
I've spent my whole life being the parent, that kids to me, has never been anything I have ever wanted.
"Wait, what?" Charlie interrupted. I had forgotten he was there again. "What do you mean you've never wanted kids? And what does Jake mean by if you choose him, you can have them over if you stayed with Edward?"
"Edward's sterile – he can't have children. He was sick, really sick when he was kid." I explained, speaking facets of the truth. "It's what killed his parents."
"Oh." I saw compassion shining over Charlie's face.
"And as for not wanting children, why would I?" I asked them. "I've always been the parent. I raised myself, took care of Renee and when I moved here, I did much of the same thing."
Guilt now filling Charlie's face.
"Bells..." He started but I stopped him.
"Don't." I told him. "I didn't say that to hurt you. It's just... the truth."
"Bella..." It was Jake this time.
"Don't you either." I cut him off. "You've never listened to me Jake and this will be the last time I'm telling you this, because after what you did... I never want to see you again."
"What I did, Bella what are you talking about?" He asked, confused.
"Did you really think they wouldn't tell me, or that I didn't notice myself." He froze. It wasn't exactly true that I had noticed everything myself – but I had noticed enough. Alice and Emmett merely filled in the missing piece. "I don't love you – something that you and Charlie and Billy," I added in for extra measure. "all need to accept and move on from. Because there will never be an us. I love Edward. And I will be marrying him. Regardless of what you or anyone else thinks. I'm done worrying about everyone else's opinion."
I opened the front door.
"Bells, please, reconsider this." Charlie said, grabbing my wrist. "I can't let you leave this house, knowing what a huge mistake you're about to make."
It hurt to know that my father would never approve of my choice. But that's what it was – my choice.
I pulled my arm free. "I'll be back some time tomorrow for my stuff."
And with that, I headed for my truck.
"Bella." I heard Jacob call out, but I ignored him.
Tears falling the entire time I drove, as all the emotions I had been feeling today washed over me at once.
"Bella!" Alice was outside waiting for me as I pulled up. "Are you alright? I couldn't see you, so I assumed that the dog was waiting for you."
"I'm fine, just tired. And I want to see Edward." She nodded, taking my hand and leading me back upstairs to his room.
He was exactly where I had left him. Esme sitting by his side.
She took my hand as soon as she saw me, pulling me down next to her and I snuggled into her embrace.
It was good to have a mum at the moment.
"He'll be okay, Bella. Alice says he'll be conscious again by dawn." I merely nodded, my eyes never leaving his form.
"Bella?" I lifted my head, to see Jasper, standing in the doorway.
He must have been picking up on my emotions.
"Sorry, Jasper." I apologized.
"It's fine, you've been through a lot today. All though I have a feeling," He smirked. "that something happened just now, with Charlie."
"Jacob was there. He wanted to talk."
"Alice assumed as such when your future disappeared." He had entered the room now.
Sitting on the opposite side of the bed from Esme and I.
"He was convinced that I loved him. That I wanted to be with him, the same way he wanted to be with me. But I don't. And when I mentioned that I was marrying Edward, Charlie flipped." I continued on, ignoring the inhale of breath by my head. "Saying that we were too young and that we didn't understand love and that Edward was going to hurt me again. Or we were both going to end up making a mistake just like Renee and Charlie did with me."
I was crying again.
"Oh, Bella." Esme crushed me to her, as hard as she could without hurting me. "I'm sure Charlie didn't mean it, you have to know that you aren't a mistake."
"They broke up because they had me. If they didn't, maybe then, they would still be together." I muttered.
"Bella, sweetheart, you don't know that. And from what Edward has told me of Renee, it doesn't sound like she would of ever been happy staying in Forks, the way Charlie has." Esme reasoned with me. One of her hands, coming to lift my chin. "Now tell me more about this engagement of yours with my son?" She beamed, and I blushed.
Alice squealing in excitement as she came in the door a second later.
"Oh, me too, I saw it, but I still want to hear it from you and show me that ring." She was bouncing where she stood.
It felt good, to laugh at her enthusiasm.
"And that would be where I exit." Jasper said, placing a kiss on his wife's head. "Congratulations, Bella." He smiled, as he walked out.
"Thanks." I mumbled still blushing.
"Bella – ring – spill!" Alice ordered, impatiently. Taking her husband's place.
I held out my left hand.
Alice squealed again, while Esme gasped. "It's beautiful."
"It's even better than when I saw it in my vision." Alice gushed.
"It was his mothers." I spoke quietly. "As was this." I held up the locket around my neck.
"It's stunning." I nodded in agreement, with Alice's assessment. "And completely covered in diamonds, so I was impressed when you accepted it from him, with no complaints." She teased.
And I narrowed my eyes at her.
"It belonged to his mother, I knew how much it meant to him, so for him to give it to me..." I trailed off.
Esme hugged me to her side. "We know." She whispered into my ear.
Esme and Alice had both tried getting me to sleep, but I wouldn't be able to close my eyes and rest until I saw Edward open his. Time feeling as if it wasn't moving at all until I saw, just as the sun was starting to rise, Edward's hand twitch inside mine. I had been holding it all night.
Followed by a groan of pain.
"Edward." I whispered, barely audible.
Gently squeezing his hand.
His golden eyes opening a moment later, groggily. They were pitch black.
"Bella." He groaned, in obvious discomfort.
"You're awake." I breathed, in astonishment.
I wanted to throw my arms around him and never let him go, but I knew that I couldn't. He was still healing.
"I'm awake." he replied, trying to smile. But it came out as more of a grimace.
"This seems familiar. Only it's usually me in the bed." I joked.
"Ha-Ugh! Don't make me laugh." He shut his eyes tight in pain.
"I'm sorry." I whispered, feeling guilty for making him move.
"I'm fine." He teased, borrowing my line.
"Liar." I smiled.
Just as Carlisle knocked on the door.
"Sorry to interrupt." He smiled at the two of us. Walking over to Edward's side, inspecting the back of his neck and then his chest. "How are you feeling son?"
Edward grimaced before answering. "Odd. And painful. I can literally feel as each bone heals itself." I winced. "How long do I need to rest?" He asked.
"At least twenty four hours. Without moving." Carlisle said sternly, to his stubborn son and I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. "Now that the more serious of your injuries has been healed your body can concentrate on the rest. And to do that, you need to remain still."
"Don't worry, Eddie, I'm sure your little nurse here," Emmett teased, as he walked in, pointing to me. "will take good care of you." He smirked.
"Keep up the disgusting thoughts Em and I'll get Jasper to bring you to your knees, with what I'm feeling at the moment." Edward sniped back, before wincing again in pain.
"Is that anyway to talk to the brother who brought you this?" Emmett said, holding up a thermos of blood.
Carlisle had fed Edward once during the night.
"Emmett, enough." Carlisle said, sternly, taking the thermos from him.
"More power to ya, brother. I hate it when it's cold." Emmett wrinkled his nose. "But it's definitely good to see you with your eyes open. This one here," He was gesturing to me again. "hasn't slept all night. She's been waiting for you to wake up."
I scowled at Emmett, for telling Edward that.
"Thank you, Emmett." I practically growled.
"You're welcome." He smirked at me, before leaving the room.
"Are you mad?" I asked cautiously, as I turned back to Edward.
"No. I know you, even if Jasper put you to sleep you would have woken up. And if you didn't you would have had nightmares all night."
"Probably." I agreed with him.
Watching as Carlisle held the bottle up to Edward's lips, while supporting the back of his neck. Edward grimacing as he swallowed.
"You'll need to hunt straight away once your able to, but this will help tie you over until you can." Carlisle said, once Edward had finished off the thermos.
"Thanks." Edward grimaced.
Carlisle giving him a gentle smile, before leaving the room. Waiting until he had shut the door before I leaned over and kissed Edward lightly on the lips.
"You scared me. Please don't ever do that again." I said, quietly.
"I'll try my best." His eyes turned curious then.
"What?" I asked.
"You're wearing your necklace." He said, simply.
"It's not the only thing I'm wearing." I raised my left hand. "I'm sorry that I ever took it off. I hope you still want to marry me, after everything that happened with Jacob."
"Bella, I love you. Of course I still want to marry you. Nothing Jacob has done, or could ever do, will ever change that."
"Even after he played a part in you getting hurt?"
"Even after that." He smiled at me.
I smiled back, getting lost in his eyes, until a yawn escaped me.
"Now, I think it's time for my little human to sleep." He chuckled at me.
"I guess your right." I made to move off the bed, but he shook his head.
"Where are you going?" He asked confused.
"The couch. You're still healing." I said, as if it was obvious.
"Bella, I'm fine. Stay." He urged.
And not being able to deny him, I laid down next to him, my head on his pillow. I had changed during the night, into a pair of his sweat pants and a clean tee that smelled like him. Allowing myself to get as close to him as I could without touching him.
"I love you." I whispered, letting my eyes drift closed.
"I love you, too. Now sleep." He whispered, back.
Hearing the sound of him humming my lullaby before I drifted off.