Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest
Pen Name: astridt244
Title: Mending Broken Hearts
Picture Prompt Number: 41
Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 2,684 Words
Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): Can a selfish creature repair what was meticulously destroyed?
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Do Not Own Twilight.
"I never thought that
You would be the one to hold my heart..."
- Christina Perri
Mending Broken Hearts
Bella was not happy with this grand production. She was upset with the dress Alice chose for her, the shoes she was forced to wear, every single invitation sent, all the way down to the flower arrangements Alice said she would hold in her hands.
He knew this.
He could feel it in every fiber of his being. Yet nothing was discussed as Bella sat still and allowed herself to be pulled back and forth by Alice.
He understood that she did not want any of these things, but could not voice it. She was resigned. Defeated. He assumed it fluctuated from the human term 'cold feet'. Being who he was, he ignored the blatant discomfort of the bride-to-be.
In his mind, everything he did was for her. The house hidden thirty yards away from where he stood was for her. The expensive vehicle she now drove, her tuition for the next four years, every single insignificant penny spent was for her.
He convinced himself so blindly, that after over one hundred years of nothingness, he deserved to feel something. His entire family had their happily ever after, why should he be the one to remain alone?
Why is he destined to wallow in loneliness while they spend eternity with their significant other?
So he did what he was all too familiar with. He used his unearthly beauty, his addictive allure, and the family's money to gain what he desired. It worked like a charm; she did not leave him. Then, much to his surprise, Bella relented and agreed to marry him as well.
Alice could not have been happier. She was determined to make her vision a reality. The rest of his family was thrilled for him as well. He found his one. They congratulated him and supported his decision. With the exception of his other sister. She refused to be a part of the 'initiation toward death', as she affectionately called it.
No one listened to her. He certainly did not care when all she spouted was venomous words.
The days turned to weeks. He kept his love by his side, never leaving her for longer than necessary. Maybe there was a part of him that knew if he gave her time alone she might change her mind. She tended to make careless choices when she was by herself. He could not have that happen. Selfishness was the center of the monster he carried within.
He should be elated. It was after all, his wedding day. He has been ready to take this step for a very long time. Before his human death, he often thought of the lucky woman he might marry.
However, something was bothering him. There was an ache in his chest, where there should be no feeling at all.
He excused himself with the reverend under the guise of human necessities. When he was away from prying eyes, he swiftly and quietly made his way to the other side of the mansion. It was as if he were being drawn there...
Then he heard her.
She was in the room above.
Never, in his entire existence, had he heard such sadness. She violently sobbed. He listened as her dress moved when she sat on the mattress. Her voice was muffled, but the intense misery was unmistakable. She whimpered a name that speared right through him... Jacob.
He easily accepted that a fraction of his Bella's heart belonged to the boy. He did not realize the truth of it until this very moment. She loved the shifter far more than she knew.
Her pain caused a faint throb to form around the dead thing in his rib-cage. An organ he had long forgotten. That he no longer needed.
But she needed hers.
And without him there to entrance her, the small heart of hers was shattering.
She wept for the boy Edward was certain he crumbled with his gloating by sending him the wedding invitation. She was in anguish over the boy she tore apart because she believed she had no choice. Between the pressure he continuously pushed upon her and the threat of the Volturi, she presumed her future to be set in stone.
If she knew that was not the case, would she stay?
He heard a twig break behind him. He inhaled deep and recognized the scent. "What do you want?"
Rosalie stepped away from the shadows of the trees. "I've been listening to her for a while now... She misses the shifter." She looked up at the mansion and shook her head. "Why don't you let her go? She doesn't love you the way you think. The way you make her love you. What she feels for that boy, Edward that is real. She loves him. Without dazzling, without pressure, without magic; she truly fell in love."
His thoughts became erratic. "She chose me. She said she wanted to marry me."
She closed the distance between them and rested her hand on his shoulder. "Because she thinks she has no choice. You know this. Alice knows this. I heard Alice talking to Jasper... Edward, Bella has been flickering in out of her visions after the honeymoon. Do you know what that means?"
He could not reply. He knew all too well what it meant. The same situation happened to Alice various times throughout the course of his first encounters Bella. The urge to kill her, to drain every drop of her crimson essence would overwhelm him to a crippling point. Alice's vision must mean he was going to lose control.
How can that be?
Rosalie noticed he was lost in his own thoughts. Her demeanor changed, the wind-chimed voice softened. "I'm begging you Edward. You and the rest of this family have done so much damage to that young girl. Please. She can be free. She can truly live, have children, and be loved unconditionally for who she is."
He turned his gaze from the mansion to the woman whom he has called his sister for almost a century. Rosalie was a rare vampire. The loss of her humanity created a hole inside of her. A void that Emmett was simply never able to fill. Only one moment of her human life brought a genuine smile to her face; the hours she spent holding a tiny, dark-haired baby boy. That particular memory of hers was ingrained into Edward's mind.
For a brief second, he pictured Bella in Rosalie's position...
Could he condemn Bella to exist with regret?
He looked back up toward the room where his young singer was currently grieving over her choices being stolen. He heard Charlie knock and then enter.
Her heartbeat quickened when her father said her name. A chair scraped across the wooden floor.
"You know you don't have to do this. You're eighteen Bells. Marriage is... it's long term. You haven't even dated anyone else. I just..."
Bella's crying continued. When she tried to speak, she choked and the sobbing began anew.
"I don't want you to regret this decision later."
Edward couldn't bring himself to listen any further. He knew Bella. From the moment he disrupted her life she developed an extraordinary martyr complex. He lost count of the times when he manipulated her, using her need to protect life, into doing what he wanted. He felt no guilt, no remorse, nothing of the sort for doing what he thought was best. He was not human. As many times he repeated this fact to her, she insisted that he was more human than anyone else she knew.
The person she was when she first came to Forks no longer existed. She has been exposed to terrors and creatures that should not roam the earth. The girl upstairs was a terrified, insecure child; desperately searching for someone to accept and love her.
Jacob Black loved her as she was. She would not have to become 'unbreakable' for him. Inside the shifter boy's mind was a steady loop of Bella; memories, fantasies, and hopes for a future Edward ripped from under them.
He absentmindedly touched where his cold, silent heart was. Bella would no longer have a beating heart. She would be dead. He would be the one to kill a person he claimed to love.
He took a deep, unnecessary breath and closed his eyes.
As the minutes passed, his decision was made for him. He always knew what it would be. Edward has existed for many years, and listened to millions of thoughts; he was far from stupid.
Carlisle and the rest of the family needed to be informed. Preparations had to be made.
Billy waited on his son to come out of his room with a heavy heart. Jacob came back today of all days. The day when the one and only girl he will ever love was marrying his mortal enemy. Billy shook his head sadly. He never wanted the girl to be involved with the vampires. He did what he could without giving away the tribe's secret. Perhaps if he would have pushed more, done more, said more, maybe even held her hostage to talk some sense into her. A part of him felt guilt over all that has come to pass. He couldn't even tell his best friend Charlie that his daughter was marrying a monster.
Billy teared up at the thought of losing Bella; she was like a daughter to him.
The shrill sound of the phone ringing gave him a brief respite from the grief he felt over this day.
"Jacob! Are you ready yet?" he bellowed from the kitchen.
The phone rang a third time before Billy picked it up. He immediately recognized the voice on the other end.
"Cullen. We are headed to the wedding now. What is it?"
"I would like for Jacob meet me at the treaty line."
Jacob stormed out of his room at that moment. As soon as the leech's high pitched voice crackled through the phone his blood boiled and pumped fiercely through his veins.
"Ask him when Dad."
Billy glanced at his son to be sure he heard. Jacob nodded and left.
"He's on his way... Cullen, If you touch one hair on my son's head, wheelchair be damned, I will kill you myself."
"I would expect nothing less from you Chief Black."
Billy hung up then contemplated his next move. His best friend needed him. He dialed Sue's number and asked Seth if he could take him to the wedding.
Ice and Fire.
Warmth and Cold.
The shifter and the vampire stood their ground on each side of the invisible boundary. Both took in the other's appearance. Their looks and personas differed greatly.
Jacob had scruff on his face due to the days he spent living as primarily the wolf. His tousled raven hair hung over his deep-brown eyes, the white shirt was haphazardly untucked, and his black slacks had dirt on the bottom from his run. He towered over Edward, hurt and fury radiated from him as he watched every movement his rival made.
The vampire was the complete opposite. His suit, his hair, all the way down to his shoes was immaculate. Unlike the shifter, Edward was not angry. He knew what he came to say. Seeing the boy's distress and rage, knowing why he was in this state, only served to assure him that he was making the right choice.
The shifter spoke first, "Leech."
Edward gave him a nod in acknowledgement. "There are some things I would like to discuss with you Jacob..."
Bella stood next to her father near the backdoor of the Cullen mansion. Charlie did not understand why she insisted on continuing with the wedding. Bella could never tell him. Charlie was safe from the many secrets she knew. He would be protected, so would Jacob and everyone else that she loved and cared for.
It didn't matter if it cost her all her hopes and dreams.
Just as that sentence finished forming in her mind Rosalie joined them and gave her a soft smile.
"Charlie, we are taking a small break. Some things have come up. Don't worry, it's being taken care of. Billy should be pulling up in a short while. Did you want to wait for him?"
He looked at his daughter with pleading eyes. Bella comprehended his question. He was uncomfortable in the penguin suit. She squeezed his hand, "Go ahead Dad. I'll be right here."
As soon as Charlie rounded the corner, Rosalie took hold of Bella's hand and started to haul her away from the wedding.
Bella struggled against her grasp. "Rosalie! What are you doing?"
The vampire offered no words. She merely dragged the human pass the treeline.
They walked until Bella felt her feet throb inside the expensive high heels.
Suddenly, Rosalie stopped and sniffed the air. She turned around and hugged Bella so tight she thought her ribs were going to break.
Rosalie sniffled and exhaled a shaky breath.
Was she crying? Vampires can't cry, can they?
Bella awkwardly patted her back. "Why are we out here Rosalie?"
The female vampire pulled away. Rosalie's beauty always amazed her. She held Bella's hands in her cold ones. "Make the right choice. The way we exist is not for you. Live as if tomorrow were your last day on earth, love unconditionally and without reservations, and have as many children as you possibly can."
The tears she worked so hard to stop streamed down her cheeks once again. Ruining the perfect make-up Alice worked on for hours. "Rosalie... I can't. It's too late."
"Do you love him?"
Bella knew she wasn't talking about Edward. "More than I ever thought possible."
Rosalie smiled sadly at her, a wistful expression on her face. "I would give up everything to be human again. To have the chance you have right now... It's never too late Bella. Not while your heart still beats."
Bella closed her eyes and tried to push away the vision she longed for. Jacob consumed her mind. The future she saw so clearly when they kissed invaded her every thought. When she opened her eyes, Rosalie was gone.
She didn't know how long she stood still in the middle of the forest.
What did this mean? What was she waiting on now?
When she turned around to try and find her way back to the wedding, a deep rough voice she was positive she would never hear again broke through the silence of the night. "Bells?"
She stopped moving. Her heart raced, she felt light-headed.
He was here. He came.
A large, fiery hand grabbed hold of hers. Bella sighed. She yearned for his warmth.
This was the chance Rosalie spoke of. Her last opportunity. If she walked away now, she could never come back. Every cell in her body hummed for the man that touched her.
Jacob pressed himself against her back and wrapped his arms around her. She heard him deeply inhale. "I missed you."
"I missed you too." Her whispered voice cracked as she admitted this truth to him.
She turned around and placed her ear over his heart. The strong, steady beat soothed her. "I love you Jacob."
He held tighter. The fear of her disappearing evident, even to her. She pressed her face against his shirt, his natural masculine scent was intoxicating.
"I love you too." As he spoke each word, the emotion within them made her soul complete.
Bella didn't know how long they stood there, simply holding each other. They reveled in finally being close once again. Jacob's embrace was something she had only been able to dream of since Edward sent him the invitation and he disappeared. The hole she assumed had long closed burst wide open without him. Jacob's absence in her life changed her. As she listened to him breathe, she knew.
She could never exist without him. There was no Bella without Jacob. They were two parts of the same soul.
She was not going to let him go again.
Life was with Jacob.
Verse from Song: Arms
Artist: Christina Perri
Side Note: I did contemplate writing out the Edward and Jacob discussion, but it didn't seem to fit properly. So, I left it open. The end would have always been the same; Jacob holding his Bells and never letting her go.