A/N After a 1year pause, i've edited this story and finished the last few chapters.
That made me want a fresh start, so I decided to repost the entire story.
Also if you would like to read an Edward/Bella story that is finished.
Try my story Object of the Mind.
Have fun reading!
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lufu; akin to Old High German luba love, Old English lēof dear, Latin lubēre, libēre to please
Date: before 12th century
Looking at the date reference makes me smile now. Before 12th century. Love through time could be easily found. Each variety of love influencing the life it touched. Forming both interpersonal and impersonal attachments in our lifes. Attachments that change your life completely.
I can recollect how it was for me. At the time I didn't know but at the age of 13 I had fallen in love with my best friend.
We had grown up together, just 2 years apart in age.
His father was the head of the stables at our house. And there were no other children here for me to run around and play with. Against my mother's wishes we had spend many hours growing up, playing in the gardens of my house. Watched from a distance by one of the men working in the stables or maids doing the laundry outside.
This had lasted most of childhood until one day. It had been shortly after my 13th birthday. I had gone outside to meet him. Like every other day, he had been waiting for me at the apple tree.
Running up to him I had thrown myself in his arms. Happy to see him and feel that warm ticklish sensation in the pit of my stomach each time he would laugh at me.
This time, for the first time in our friendship he did not catch me. Instead he pushed me away, shoving me to the ground.
"We can't be friends anymore Isabella."
From the ground I had looked up at him. He seemed so distant and out of reach. All grown up from where I was, as he towered over me. Looking down on me with a frown.
"I have no more time for childish games."
His cold words hurt me more than him pushing me to the ground. For the first time ever in my life I felt like my mother had been right the entire time. Scrambling to my feet I ran back to my room. Ashamed to be crying and not sure why I was crying so hard. All day I spend in my room until it felt like there had been no tears left to cry. But still they continued to run from my eyes.
In the evening the maid came to my room, she looked at the tray of food. Food that was left untouched. She went to get another maid and without my mother home to consult, they called for one of the monks from the monastery. Afraid I had some unknown illness.
The monk had come late at night, asking to be left alone with me in my room. No one had dared to stay, to deny his demands. When they left he pushed my hair out my face. His cool hands had soothed my hot flushed face, wiping away my tears and placing a soft kiss on my forehead. This man that did not know anything about me seemed to fill me with a calm feeling and after drinking some of the tea he made I had slept for hours. He had given me a different kind of love and send me into a calm silent dream.
When I had woken up and remembered my only friend was gone. It took me a few days to find the courage and ask my father what had happened. He just patted me on the shoulder, explaining that my best friend was training at another household with a knight that served for the king. Something girls understood little off, I wasn't allowed to think about it and focus on my training to become a lady.
Already my mother was asking my father to seek out an eligible husband. The prospect of spending the rest of my life with a man I did not feel any passion for did not excite me. And late at night when I would fall asleep. My dreams would be pleasantly rules by green sparkling eyes. Somehow the memory of my first crush made it tolerable to start a new day each morning.
Three years I hadn't seen him, only hearing glimpses every now and again when our fathers would discuss how his training was going. Each time I felt hurt at the knowledge that he had pushed aside his feelings so easily.
I grew up, read about marriage and other things like love. Each time I read that word, I knew my first love was somewhere out there. Committing myself fully to the household chores that were to be expected of a lady I passed through the days, like a shadow passing through the day. Running ahead of the sun and finding shelter in the night.
I had been sitting in the garden on a rather sunny afternoon, working on some small embroidering. Something I was forced to do but found little pleasure in. It was this afternoon a stranger had walked into the garden, stopping a few meters away from me.
His gaze had made me look up and stop what I was doing. There weren't a lot of men visiting our household these days. All knights and able men were collecting themselves, preparing themselves for the King's next crusade to the Holy Land.
My father hadn't told me we would have a visitor and suddenly I felt very underdressed as this man walked into my garden and stopped to look at me.
Glancing away from my handwork again, I realised he hadn't moved and was still watching me. Carefully I inspected him better. In front of me was the most handsome man I had ever seen. Dressed in a tunic that was fashionable at court, showing he served for the King.
It wasn't just his clothes that made me look again. His shoulders were wide and his hips were lean with long strong legs. I slapped myself for thinking about a man this way, but there was no way I could stop admiring what I could see.
Slowly my eyes found it's way up to his face. A strong angular jaw, strong full lips, perfect straight nose and a tiny scare above his eyebrow. What was the thing that made me hold my breath were his eyes, deep dark green eyes. Like an emerald forest, enchanting me. It was impossible to not recognise the eyes.
"Did you miss me?" His voice was low and breathy making me bite my lip. "Because I missed you." Crossing the small distance that was left between us he offered me his hand.
Not thinking about all the ladylike things I had been taught in the past years, I put my hand in his and allowed him to pull me to my feet. Awkwardly I straightened my gown, somehow feeling exposed standing in front him.
"You left me and I thought I would never see you again." The last little bit of anger I had been holding on to seemed to find it's way to my mind first. Crossing my arms I looked up at him, noticing that even now I was standing he was still towering over me.
His eyes showed a glimpse of excitement as he looked down and I could feel his eyes drift away from my face. Quickly I relaxed my arms, heat flushing to my face at the knowledge where his eyes were focussing on.
"I am here now." His voice sounded broken and immediately my anger ebbed away. Leaving me with a feeling I had never experienced before. A strange feeling in my stomach made me sit down and gasp for air.
Worried he sat down next to me, grabbing my hand. His gesture was completely inappropriate and yet the best thing I had ever felt. "Are you well Isabelle?" His face was now so near, all I needed to do was turn my face and our lips would brush. Again totally inappropriate thing to do.
Pushing back my shoulders I raised my head. He leaned back also, still facing me.
The moment our eyes met I could see the green emerald storm raging behind the calm exterior. I lost my resolve and opened my mouth without thinking.
"I am... now you are here."
My words had been true that afternoon and three weeks later it felt like we had never been apart. Each day we had found an excuse to see each other. And each day the time apart seemed to last longer and longer, like time only moved when I was around him.
He had come to my room that first night after he had returned, climbing through my window. Claiming he wanted to spend each possible moment together. His words had made me laugh but I'd enjoyed our talks before going to bed. It had felt natural and each evening had been innocent.
Up to this night.
Now feverish hands ran down my back. Even through the fabric of my gown I could feel them burn my skin. Arching my back to press my body closer to his. The feeling of his long torso supporting me as for the first time ever he seemed to let go of his manners. Kissing me thoroughly, opening his lips to mine and exploring my mouth.
Panting for breath he stepped away and let go of my. The sudden movement almost made me fall. Barely I managed to stay on my feet, my knees weak from his passion.
"Isabella..." His piercing eyes met mine as he lowered his face. "I have something for you, to remember me while I am away."
Carefully he unwrapped a small leather pouch. When he shook it empty a small ring fell on his hand. I gasped at the sight of it.
"Would you wear this, as a promise ring. Until the day I am back and knighted. I will ask your hand in marriage." The conviction behind his words made my heart melt. Holding out his left hand palm, he held the delicate little piece of jewellery in his other hand.
Holding my breath I placed my hand on his raised palm and he slipped the ring on my finger. It fitted perfectly.
"Mine" Was all he managed to say as he closed the distance between our bodies again and kissed me again. It sounded hungry and dark, it sounded good in ways I'd never ever felt. Just as he was about to deepen the kiss I heard footsteps in the corridor. He had heard them too and quickly let go of me.
"They'll catch you." Scared I let go of him. He didn't seem to be afraid of getting caught. Instead he just pulled me back to him and smiled at me.
Gentle he placed one last kiss on my forehead before letting go. Walking to the window he took one last glance at me.
"I love you"
There was no hesitation as he spoke the words. Swinging his legs outside the window he smiled at me and lowered himself from the small ledge.. Rushing to the window I looked to see him climb down, using the large rosebushes that covered the walls below my window. When he was on the ground he completely disappeared
"I love you more..." My words were lost in the darkness but I knew he had heard them. My words were lost in the darkness but I knew he had heard them. Just like every evening before this one where he had climbed up to my room.
On my finger was the proof of his love. Running my finger over the smooth emerald that was set in the ring. The color was the same deep dark green as his eyes. Without a doubt this ring would remind me of him, until the day we would be reunited.
Three months had passed and the crusade had left England to continue onwards to France and from there travelling further east. There was little told about the progress they made. Each day I got up hoping to see him return and each night I would go to sleep dreaming he had. Nothing changed and I just spend my days at the house. Working at my chores silently. All this time I had his ring on my finger.
Each time the loneliness was too much to handle I would look at the deep dark green color and remember how vivid his eyes had sparkled the evening he had slipped it on my finger. That memory was enough to keep me going.
My mother would frown at my behaviour, mumbling about marriage and finding a suitable man to secure my future.
My father would smile at me, a knowing look on his face as I blushed whenever I knew someone was looking at the ring.
That had lasted until this morning. News had been brought to our household. From this day onwards nothing would matter, there would never be another star shining bright enough to light me out of this darkness.
My father had looked at me with a sad look in his eyes, letting me know he understood why I was so sad. My mother ignored me and just picked at the sleeve of her gown. When the messenger had finished reading his news he excused himself and within seconds I got up and left the sitting room also.
The reason for my existence had been brutally killed, taken from me in some far away country fighting for a cause that seemed to be lost.
As the news slowly made it's way to my brain, cruel and hurting. I looked at the ring to seek support. What I found made me cry out loud in desperation.
Even the comfort of the green color of his eyes caught in the emerald had been taken from me. In it's place I now felt shattered as I glanced down at the sparkling green stone set in the delicate silver band that was still on my finger.
Rushing to my room, I tried to get the ring of my finger. But it was no use, instead of slipping it from my finger it only seemed to be getting more stuck. With an angry cry I slammed the door of my room shut behind me.
I waited until it started to get dark and dressed in my riding clothes. Using the dark to shelter me from unwanted attention I went to the kitchen. Rummaging through the different vegetables and cooking herbs I finally found what I was looking for. Grabbing the little bundle of herbs that my mother used to medicate her pain, I slipped it into my pocket.
Sneaking out to the stables next I was relieved that they were almost empty. The only person there was one of the stableman and he just looked at me but since I ignored him, he left me alone to saddle a horse by myself.
I took the animal outside the gate by hand and got in the saddle. As soon as I was on the back of the horse I dug my heels in it's side and pushed it to a fast pace. Riding it deep into the forest. Tears blocking my eyesight as I forced the horse to go faster and faster, not caring where I was going.
Finally it felt like I was far enough and I halted the poor animal. Sweat covered it's body and his entire body was tense. I swung my feet to the the ground and looked around me.
This place was far of any roads. It's nature raw and untouched. Perfect for me and what I wanted.
I took the saddle and bridle from the horse and let my fingers caress it's soft nose one last time before stepping back and waving my arms at the animal.
At first it just lifted it's head and took a step back. Showing the white of it's eye as I tried to spook him. Angry I yelled at him. A violent cry that echoed through the forest. Finally it turned and went back the way we had come. Finally I was alone.
Shaking I reached into the deep pocket of my gown. In it was the herbs I had taken from the kitchen earlier. She used them to calm herself, but I knew from the maid that too much could kill you. Frowning at the dried green leaves I pushed a handful in my mouth and chewed it. The bitter taste made we want to gag but clasping my hands over my mouth I managed to swallow all of it.
Sinking to my knees I wrapped my arms around me legs and allowed my tears to finally run freely. Crying until my eyes hurt. I felt like that little girl again, three years a go. Except this time I hadn't just lost my friend.. I had lost the love of my life.
My only reason to exist in this world.
Darkness swirled around me and I had been right the herbs were taking control of my body, giving me trouble breathing already. Resting my head on my knees, I could see the sky. There were no stars, no moon, nothing in this dark far away clearing.
I had already settled into dying right there when from the corner of my eye I saw movement. The figure coming towards me made me cry out in despair...or was it relieve.
"I won't hurt you." The soft soothing voice made me try and focus but the herbs were mercifully taking control of my body and I couldn't focus my eyes.
"Are you lost?" The voice was closer.
"Yes I'm lost." I started sobbing uncontrollable as the double meaning to the words remembered me of what had happened.
"He promised he would come back for me and now I'm lost."
For the first time today I felt angry. Struggling I lifted my chin from my knees and raised my hand at my visitor. Somehow even with the limited light the ring on my finger was still visible. It felt like being stabbed in the chest.
"This promise means nothing anymore. He is dead and I want to be dead also."
"He gave you that ring?" Surprise tainted the soft voice this time. A cold hand grabbed mine and I could feel him brush past the ring. Almost as if he was caressing the little piece of jewellery.
"What if there was another way?" Holding on to my hand the unknown man waited for me to answer.
"For us to be together, is that what you are asking me?" Gasping at the thought I could feel my heart swell with love just at the thought of getting that second chance.
"That is the only thing I want and it is too late now."
"Time is relative for some people." His words only made me cry more. Releasing the piece of cloth that had been used to tie together the herbs, it fell to the ground.
White fingers flashed in front of me as he caught it, bringing it to his face.
"I understand." The sad tone in his voice made me feel sure, he somehow really did understand.
Lifting my chin to see my face, I could feel him trying to connect with me. But it was no use the drugs had taken control of my body and my eyes couldn't focus enough.
"There is a chance but it won't be easy." His voice swam in my head, sounding like he was giving me a warning, a final chance to back out of his offer. My hand was still locked in his and it was so cold, it made me shiver.
"I don't care." Whispering the words I desperately hoped he heard them.
He had because he replied to me. "Very well." A sad whisper back into he darkness to match mine.
His hand gripped more tight around mine and with his other hand he pushed my body dow. The next moment an excruciating pain took control of me. There was no escaping this iron grasp on my body that seemed to make me burn from the inside. A slow fire burning away everything that was me.
Writhing in pain I called out for the only one that could make me feel a glimpse of happiness at this moment. Recalling the vivid green that had brightened many days of my life. The touch of his skin, the smell of his hair and his name. His name echoed through the black forest...