A/N: Here is Part 2 that I donated to Fandom 4 No Hungry Kid. We raised a bunch of money for a great cause. For those of you who donated and have already read this.. THANK YOU! For the rest of you.. I hope you like.
A huge thanks goes to CullensTwiMistress for her awesome beta skills on this! You are my sister.. no matter what.. I heart you hard!
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight..I just like to stir them up with my own little taste of Wicca! ENJOY!
His lips were warm on mine. They were soft and so gentle. His hands cupped my face, mindful of the cuts and bruises. Then suddenly my body was infused with such heat that it made me pull away and gasp out loud. My hands grasped Edward's arms as my whole body trembled.
"W-what's go-going on Edw-ward?"
"It's the spell breaking. You powers are returning." He clutched me tighter to him and I felt his body being wracked with its own tremors. His had to be returning as well.
The hospital room filled with a brilliant white light that momentarily blinded us before it narrowed into two beams that were pinpointed on our hearts. With one last violent lurch, we both convulsed and the light collapsed into us. I fell onto Edward and his arms automatically wound around me.
"What the fuck was that?" I asked him.
He answered with a velvet chuckle, "That would be the universe restoring the balance that your spell had thrown off." He placed a sweet kiss on the top of my head.
"I didn't mean to, ya know." I burrowed closer to him. His unique scent of sandalwood and earth was comforting to me. The low hum of the bind was now a full throttle thrum and it was a bit disconcerting.
"I know, love. I was teasing. How do you feel?" He pulled away from me to look me over. "Do you feel any different?"
I took a silent inventory of my body. There was the bind connection that felt stronger. There was something at the edge of it, like an awareness that I had no idea how to access. I pushed that aside to continue my self-appraisal. There was a new energy that flowed through me, one that made my body feel full of light and warmth. I recognized it as the energy of my magical power; it had been too long since I felt it.
I obviously felt the scrapes and bruises; my body was sore and battered. But I was alive and we had found a way to break the spell. So I would say that things were good.
"I feel tired and very sore. But I can feel my energy. It feels like it did when I was thirteen." I smiled as the familiar energy filled my body with the power that I had shunned for the last five years.
Edward smiled at me, "Give it a go, do something."
There was a light in his eyes and his mouth quirked into a sweet smile. He looked absolutely breath-taking and he was mine. I caressed the side of his face and watched as he nuzzled into my hand. The contentment I felt was magnified, almost like an echo. As if it was being reflected back to me. I wanted to explore this more, but Edward was eagerly waiting for me to test out my powers.
I closed my eyes and let the energy dance around and through me. When I had found my center, I slowly opened my eyes. I concentrated on the eraser that was next to the white board where a nurse had written her name. I raised a shaky hand and watched as the eraser jiggled and then finally rose into the air. It shakily made its way to my outstretched hand. When it touched down I turned towards Edward.
"Did you see that? Not bad for being out of practice if I do say so myself."
Edward was beaming at me as he kissed my cheek. "You did well. Now watch what I can do."
He shifted on the bed and placed one hand on my head and the other on my stomach. With wide eyes, I watched as he closed his eyes, his brows furrowed in intense concentration. His lips moved in a silent invocation. Suddenly my body was filled with soothing warmth. I could feel things moving and shifting in me. My eyes happened to be looking at a rather nasty gash on my arm and I watched, in stunned silence, as it began to heal. Soon all that was left was a tiny faint pink scar.
Just as quickly as the warmth started, it stopped just as fast. Edward opened his eyes as he removed his hands from my body. He shifted on the bed so he could wrap his arms back around me.
"What did you do?" I asked the wonder thick in my voice. I looked back down to my arms where several of the scrapes were nothing more but faded scars. "Did you heal me?"
All he did was nod his head. I saw the apprehension in his eyes. I placed my hand on his face to make sure he was looking at me as I spoke.
"Thank you, Edward. You have a tremendous gift." I stretched up to kiss his lips. I felt the relief as it coursed through his body, he sagged into me.
I made a mental note to talk to him about all of this. But I was feeling so tired. I let out a huge yawn and heard Edward as he laughed.
"Get some sleep, beautiful. You need it. It's been a long day."
"What about you?" Irrational fear gripped me. "Will you stay?" I didn't want him to leave. I needed to have him near me.
"Like there is any other place I would rather be." He toed off his shoes, stripped down to a wife beater and his boxers. I scooted over a little more, to make room for him under the covers. Once were both covered and situated on our sides facing each other, he softly kissed my lips.
"Good night and sweet dreams, love. I'll be here when you wake."
I snuggled deep into his arms, his smell and warmth enveloping me and I eased into a peaceful slumber.
"Come on, Bella, one more try." I shouted at her trying to encourage her not to give up. We had been working tirelessly at getting her powers and knowledge back up to par. It hadn't been easy on her. Even from over a hundred feet away I could see her sweating and the fierce look of concentration on her face.
We had been working on her levitation skills, trying to push it farther and farther. She was good up to around eighty feet, but when we moved it back any more, she struggled.
"Fuck," shouted Bella. "I can't do it! It's impossible."
With a quick flick of my wrist the stick she was trying to move flew over to my outstretched hand.
"Show off," she yelled as she flipped me off.
I couldn't help but laugh at her. I watched as she plopped herself down on the grass and fall onto her back. I jogged over to her and dropped down next to her.
"Do you really need to demonstrate how bad I suck at all this?" I could hear the quiver in her voice. It really bothered her that it came so easily to me even though we both had been suffering a power loss. Granted, I still studied and I hadn't lost all of my powers, just a huge decrease in them.
But Bella had suffered losing them all and stopped studying, despite her Grams trying to keep her on track. So now, she had all the powers an eighteen year old should have, with little ability to access or control them. Not only was I helping her catch up, but my mom and Grams were putting her through her paces.
"You don't suck, babe. You know this. Look at how well you got all caught up on spell casting?"
She rolled her eyes at me. "Don't patronize me." She pouted her lips and I just had to kiss them.
I hovered over her, placing my hands to the side of her head. Her eyes widened and then turned all hooded. She licked her lips and my eyes zeroed in on them. I leaned down, our lips just millimeters apart, her breath became my breath. Her chest heaved with the force of her pants. Ever so softly I brushed my lips against hers. I made another pass with my lips, using a bit more pressure.
Bella, frustrated with my teasing kisses, linked her hands behind my head and pulled me down to her lips. Her lips moved urgently against mine, her tongue swept across my lower lips and I opened to grant her access. Our tongues tasted and explored each other, the mint from her gum made my mouth tingle.
The hands that had pulled me closer, roamed the planes of my back. Her tiny hands felt like fire. I groaned at the sensation of her bare hands on my skin as she snaked hers underneath my shirt. Her legs had hooked behind my legs, moving me closer to her covered pussy.
Now it was her turn to whimper as the full force of my weight settled on her body. My hips flexed involuntarily, causing us both to let go throaty moans. My hands ghosted down the side of her body to the hem of her shirt, and then I slowly dragged it up her body. When the tops of her breasts were bared to me, I placed wet open mouthed kisses along the exposed cleavage as I finished removing her shirt.
"So perfect," I whispered into the valley of her chest. I laved one hardened tip while I brushed the tip of the other. Bella arched her back, offering them more to me. Seeing Bella letting go shredded the last bits of my control. With a quick flick of my fingers, the latch of her bra was undone.
Thank the gods for front latching bras.
I quickly suckled one nipple into my mouth while rolling and pinching the other. My hips thrust against her pussy and I wanted her naked, badly.
"Clothes…off…now," I managed to pant. I sat back on my knees and pulled off my shirt.
I heard Bella's gasp as my chest was revealed. The desire in her eyes was unmistakable. Her fingers trailed from my throat to my nipples. Her fingers lightly scored over them and down to my abs. My stomach rippled with her light teasing touches while my cock throbbed in my too tight pants.
I covered her hand, worried that if she touched me, I would come in my pants. "Clothes, Bella."
She shook her head and in a flash she had pulled her pants and panties off. My pants quickly joined our pile of discarded clothes. Before I could lay Bella down, she pushed my back and her mouth quickly engulfed my leaking cock.
"Oh, shit, Bella. So fucking good," I hissed as her tongue and lips go to town on my dick. My hands wound in her hair, gently guiding her on my cock. Her tongue stroked the sensitive part of the head and flicked the slit before taking me all the way down. I felt her throat constrict as she swallowed. I could feel the approach of my orgasm.
"I want to be in you, Bella."
I watched as she popped off me with a wet sound and gave me a sexy smirk.
"I can give you what you need, baby."
He looked fucking sexy beneath me; the lust in his eyes made my clench my pussy. I held his gaze as I straddled his waist and rose up on my knees. I grasped his dick and teasingly rubbed my wet pussy with it. His eyes fluttered with the strain to keep looking at me. I positioned it right at my entrance and slowly I sank down on him.
When I was finally seated as deep as I could go, his eyes rolled back and his chest rumbled. His hands went to my hips and grasped tightly. I rocked my hips in a circle a few times until I heard Edward's grunt.
"I need you to move baby girl." His teeth were clenched and his eyes were scrunched closed.
"You mean like this," I teased him as I rose slightly and slowly inched back down.
"Oh, fuck yes. Faster, Bella."
Seeing him wound tightly, was heady and I reveled in the control I had. Slowly, I moved over his cock, his hands guiding me on his hardened length. He thrust up as I slid down him. My hands found purchase on his chest as we gained speed in our rhythm. Soon, all I could hear was our noises and the sound of skin slapping. I bouncing for all I was worth, my tits swinging wildly as Edward pumped up frantically. I could feel my orgasm at it built in intensity at the base of my spine.
Suddenly, an explosion of feeling flooded my body. The lust and desire I was feeling magnified thousand fold. I felt the sensations all over my body. It was all too much for me to take in. Edward and I cried out simultaneously as I clenched down on him as he spilled deep inside. I rocked on him as tremors wracked my body. They seemed to be on a continuous loop, one would end and another would begin. When the last one finally faded away, I slumped down on Edward's chest.
The pounding of his heart was music under my ears as Edward's hands stroked me from the crown of my head to my lower back. The soothing sensations caused me to relax even further into Edward. Don't know how long we stayed wrapped up in each other, but eventually Edward said we should get dressed as we needed to get back.
He was trying to put on his pants when I heard him yell in pain. Instantly my foot was hurting, I reached down to try and soothe it when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Edward reach for his foot.
"Stepped on a sharp rock, man that fucking hurt." I saw him lift up his foot and right on his big toe there was a mark from the rock. The mark was in the same spot that was currently throbbing on my shoe covered foot.
Hmm, what the fuck?
"You're not helping my concentration when you're throwing lust my way, Edward. Keep it up and you'll end up flat on your back." She threw her hands on her hips and glared on me. It was only the slight twitch on her mouth that gave away that she wasn't all that mad at me.
Ever since that night a few days ago, we learned that Bella's enhanced magical gift is empathy. It was my Mom who figured it out when we spoke to her when got home. She started to think sad thoughts and it made Bella cry. She quickly switched to being angry and Bella threw a cup at the wall.
Now I was trying to help her build a mental barrier so that being in public doesn't overwhelm her. She hasn't been school since the discovery of her gift. The constant and ever changing emotions of the kids at school had been making things difficult for her. She couldn't concentrate and would be fighting urges to cry, scream and molest me all at the same time.
"Sorry baby. I'm no good at projecting emotions." That was an understatement if I ever heard one. I felt helpless that I could help her much. I loved taking an active role in helping her with her magical training. But this empathy is hard for me to help her with. I even tried healing her of it when she slept last night, but it's not something that can be healed. It's a part of her.
She flipped me off and I laughed at her. I raised my hands in surrender. "Okay, I'll project something else."
"Remember to concentrate on the emotion," she reminded me.
I nodded my head yes and closed my eyes. I thought back to the night of her birthday, the fear of not knowing where she was and then the call from my father. I played that night on a loop, letting the fear wash over me.
"Fear," I heard her say.
"Yes. Now try and put a shield up." I kept my eyes closed, knowing that if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to hold on to the emotion. I thought about how it felt to believe that I would never see her again, the idea that she was seriously hurt. My chest constricted painfully and I wanted to push away the feelings, but I knew it wouldn't help Bella.
So I let the memories roll right over me. The fear as I drove to the hospital fearing that I'd never get to tell her just how much I loved her. The sight of her on the hospital bed, so still, scrapes and bruises over her body.
"I can't sense the fear. Are you still projecting it?"
"Yes," I managed to croak out, the feelings still too raw for me.
"Hit me with another." I could hear the excitement in her voice.
I shook off the fear, opened my eyes and raked them all over her body. I remembered the feel of her lips against mine, the scent of her pussy when I went down on her. I replayed the last time we made love and the feel as she slowly slid down on my cock. My pants constricted tightly and I let the images play out.
"What do you feel now?" I asked her hoping she didn't hear the tremor in my voice giving away the lust I was feeling.
"Nothing! I feel nothing!" Her smile lit up her face and she did a cute little shimmy dance. "I did it Edward. I fucking did it!" She ran to me and I scooped her up in my arms. Moments later, she fell to her knees and took care of huge problem in my pants.
Once I got back to school with my mental shield in place, the weeks passed by in a blur. I found with practice I had more control over my empathy than I thought. Not only could I feel what others were feeling, but I could project emotions on them. I had to be in close proximity to the person, but it worked.
Of course I think Edward was getting pissed with me constantly messing with him. Yet, he never complained when I cranked up the lust. But, I made him cry just once and he threw a huge tantrum. I also learned that I had better control over my mental shield, to the point that I could raise and lower it at will. I could even lower it part of the way and still get a read on people. Through careful experimentation, I learned that I could focus my ability to almost pinpoint precision. In a classroom I could focus on just a few people or the whole room. Although for the most part, I only used it when someone was talking to me personally. Getting a little inside read on their emotions could go a long way to understanding them.
It wasn't until about a week after I went back to school that I realized not only the strength of my ability, but the connection to Edward. It was Saturday afternoon, and I was waiting for Edward to get back from an errand to Port Angeles and then we were going down to First Beach to hang out with some friends. When the time he was supposed to pick me up came and went and no call, I grew worried. A call to Esme told me that she hadn't heard from him since before he left.
I called his phone and it went straight to voice mail. I tried not to let my imagination run wild, but it was hard not to. The connection I had to him always made me feel slightly off kilter if we were apart for too long. After another thirty minutes had passed and countless more calls that went unanswered, I gave into my panic.
I had been practicing with my abilities and the connection to Edward. I knew I could find him anywhere in school. In fact, it was often common for me to open the link between us so I could feel closer to him. I was even starting to be able to get a feel for his emotions from far away. My problem was that I had no clue how far I could reach with my connection to him, much less use my empathic gifts.
But doing something was better than doing nothing, at least in my book.
So I found a quiet place in my backyard and centered myself. I blocked all other things except my need to connect to Edward. I found the familiar hum or magic that was my connection to him and extended it out and away from me. I pictured it going out and seeking Edward.
I sensed it was struggling to find Edward. This to me meant he was out of my range. Without thinking I scrambled to my car and headed towards Port Angeles. About a mile outside Forks I pulled over and tried to find him again. Still nothing.
I drove another short while and then tried again. I did this over and over a few times until the fifth time I felt the small flicker of recognition. I latched onto it as weak as it was and kept driving. About half way to Port Angeles, I felt the connection click. I rounded the bend and there was Edward's car off the road.
Fear washed over to me, until I realized there was no obvious scratches or dents, but that it was tilted slightly crooked. A huge sigh of relief blew through me as I navigated my car to a stop on the side of the road. I rushed out once I was stopped and ran across the road.
"Edward!" I shouted and I saw him stand up on the other side of his car.
"Bella?" Confusion was evident on his face.
I wrapped my arms around him tightly and let the connection wash over me. He was safe and alive. We rocked back and forth for a bit, his strong hands running a soothing line from my head and down my back.
"It's okay, baby. I'm fine." His fingers wiped away the tears that I never knew were falling.
When I got my shit together, he told me how his tire blew and when he went to change it, the spare was flat and he used the last of his phone's juice to call for a tow truck. He was waiting for it to arrive. Our reunion was interrupted by the tow truck coming down the road. When it was safely on the truck bed and on its way to the garage, we climbed in my car and told Edward how I found him.
"You can feel me through the connection?" I couldn't read his expression. It was guarded, but I thought I saw a touch of anger or maybe pain.
I nodded at his question, not sure if I should speak.
"Has it always been like this?" Again, there was some unnamed emotion in his voice. I could have used my gift but I was frazzled and not thinking clearly. The relief that Edward was okay was still coursing through my body.
I nodded again. I cleared my throat, "Ever since the spell was broken it's been more intense." A fierce emotion flitted across Edward's face an in a blink of an eye, it was gone. I felt a sudden fear that I had done something wrong and I wasn't sure what it was.
A few days after Bella found me using her connection and I was still unsure why I felt on edge. I knew it wasn't that Bella used her connection to find me. I knew from the beginning that she felt something drawing me to her. It was something that I expected. So not knowing why the unease lingered was making me crazy.
It wasn't for another few days when I was doing some research on binding spells that I figured it out. It was one sided. Bella felt connected to me and could experience a link to me that I couldn't. At first I refused to believe it. I even tried to find my own link with her, but I kept coming up empty.
When I brought it up to my Mom, she gave me that look that told me I was being really obtuse.
"Edward, think it through. It was her spell. She bound herself to you, not bind you to her. So it makes sense that she could feel a magical connection to you and you wouldn't to her."
When she laid it all out like that, it made sense, but I didn't like it. I loved Bella, so very much. I'd be lost without her. So there was a huge part of me that wanted to feel as connected to her as she did me. I brought it up to Bella, but she waived my concern away.
"I wouldn't want you to feel tied to me like this, Edward. I wouldn't want you feel what I feel when we are apart. It's an uncomfortable feeling." She rubbed her chest in an unconscious way. It was the first time I wondered if she ever felt physical pain when were apart.
I tried not to let the pain of her words show. "Why is it ok for you to be bound to me, but not the other way around? I don't get it." I truly didn't. "I love you Bella, just as much as you love me. Why is it so hard to understand that I want to feel connected to you like that."
"Oh, baby, I didn't mean like that. But this magical connection seems to take over and I guess I don't want you to do something that you would regret." Her eyes fell to the floor.
Instantly I knew what she meant. Although she knew I loved her, she didn't want me to tie myself to her permanently because she still feared I would want to leave her. Even though it would be almost impossible for Bella to leave me, I had the ability to walk away. If I was bound to her, there would be no leaving for either of us.
Knowing why she felt like she did helped but it still didn't get rid of the uneasy feeling. I hated that our relationship now seemed lopsided. That Bella loved me more, that my love for her wasn't as deep as hers.
When my mom and I had discovered the reason behind my sudden loss of power, mom had one of her visions of a girl as the cause. Ever since then I had felt as if this was where my life was destined to go. The feeling of hope and lightness that I felt as we got closer to Forks told me we were going towards her. From the moment I laid eyes on her, I just knew.
She was mine.
Up until now, that had been enough for me. But now, I wasn't too sure if it was and I didn't like feeling uncertain. I didn't speak to Bella about by unease. Instead I did my best to bury it and just move forward. We were busy trying to decide where we wanted to apply for college. We had it narrowed down to several West Coast schools, a few in New York and UW as a standby. Bella wanted to study psychology and I wanted to pre-med. We felt it was important that we use our abilities to help others rather than not use them at all.
Everything was fine until one night I took Bella to PA for a movie and dinner. We left the movie early as it really sucked ass. Bella wanted to hit up the herb store to restock some of her supplies. I had been there a few days ago and wasn't in the mood to go again.
"Let me go and I'll meet you at the restaurant." Bella looked at me with soft puppy dog eyes. I'm sure she sensed my hesitancy. "You could go looking for new running shoes; the sporting goods store should still be open." She pouted her lips and I knew I would cave.
"Fine. We meet in like twenty minutes. If you need more time, we'll come back after we eat." My tone left no doubt that I wasn't willing to compromise. There was something prickling at the back of mind my mind and it was screaming at me to pay attention.
I had picked out my shoes in like ten minutes, my gut churned wildly the entire time. Something just fucking felt off and I bothered me. I ran to the herb store and when I got there, Bella wasn't to be found. I spoke to Maggie the owner and she said that Bella was never there.
Ice water ran through my veins at her words. Something was so very, very wrong. In vain I tried to reach out, to find some type of connection to Bella, to figure out where she was. But I got nothing and I hit the wall next to me in frustration. The crack of bones did nothing to quell my anger. After I had healed my knuckles I jumped into my car and started to look for Bella.
I drove up and down the streets like a mad man. I paid no consideration to speed limits or traffic laws. My only thought was that I needed to get to Bella. When I failed to find her in the more downtown areas, I made a bee line to the outskirts of the town. In that part, there were more warehouses and abandoned businesses. I zoomed up and down the streets until I heard a blood-curdling scream.
In my heart I knew it was Bella. I parked the car and bolted out.
"Bella?" I screamed. Trying desperately to determine where I heard the scream coming from. Another scream came and it was from behind me. Without thinking I started running, looking down streets and alley ways. Three blocks down I saw her and them.
She was surrounded by three guys. Her purse was on the ground, the contents scattered. Her hair was a mess and she was being held by one guy while the other two blocked her in. I saw red and ran straight towards them.
About hundred feet from them, the two guys turned to see me and the sneers on their faces made me livid. I spied several stacked wooden crates and with a flick of my wrist I sent them flying right at them. They crashed into them and sent them stumbling backwards. But I didn't relent. I threw a metal trash can at them and it landed on top of them both.
I turned towards the third guy who still had his hands on Bella. "Let her go, asshole." I concentrated on several bricks that were next to me and levitated them. "Or you will regret it."
His eyes went wide and when he didn't comply fast enough I sent them careening towards him. At the last second Bella ducked and a brick hit him in the chest and he let go of her arm. I heard his body as it fell to the pavement.
As I rushed towards Bella she flew into my arms, tears streaked down her face. Her eyes wide in fright and small bruises were forming on her arms. I smoothed my hand down her wild hair and crooned softly in her ear.
"You're safe now. I got you. You're going to be okay." Silent tears fell from my eyes as I breathed in her scent. The idea that should could have been seriously hurt or worse played havoc in my brain. It was unfathomable that she could ever be taken away from me.
A few groans broke the small bubble we were in and I pushed Bella behind me as I turned to face the three men. They were bruised and bloodied. I sensed nothing major was broken or any internal injuries. A small part of me was glad that they were not seriously injured.
"Get the fuck away from here or I will do much worse to you. Understood?" To punctuate my words I slowly rattled the heavy metal dumpster that was in the alleyway. Their bodies trembled and they hastily got up and ran the other direction.
I watched as they ran and it wasn't until they turned the corner and was out of my sight that I finally breathed a sigh of relief.
To say that Edward acted differently after that night was a gross understatement. He became withdrawn, quiet and at times very clingy towards me. In fact, the days following he refused to leave my side for any reason. Grams allowed him to stay over when she saw the frazzled look in his eyes when we tried to say goodnight. I woke to find him covering my bruises with soft kisses and tears falling from his eyes.
All my attempts to get him talk to me yielded nothing. He just kept insisting that he was fine. We did talk about how they took me by surprise as I had my shield up as the feelings of people around me were giving me a headache. When I had realized I was being followed and honed in on their feelings, I panicked and went the wrong way.
It never occurred to me to use my magic to defend myself. It hadn't been ingrained in me to use it like that. I thought that would set him off, but it didn't. So there was something else that was bothering him, but he was refusing to talk to me. I tried to be patient. I could sense that what happened that night shook him deeply.
He had a mixed bag of feelings; guilt, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety and one that confused me, longing. I thought about that one for a while as it was the only one that didn't fit, that didn't make sense in the larger picture. But nothing that I could gleam from his emotions helped me figure out what he was longing for.
When I spoke to Grams about my concerns she reminded me that Edward was just trying to work through what had happened that night. As long as he wasn't completely pulling away from me or shutting me out, I should give him his space. She reassured me that he would come to me in his own time when he had a chance to work it out in his head.
So I took her advice and gave him his time and space. I let him know that I was here for him and that I loved him. His only response was a soft kiss on the cheek and a weak smile. I took it as it was the most I knew I was going to get from him.
Instead, I threw myself into planning our Samhain ritual which was in a week. It was the first major Sabbat I would get to celebrate since the return of my powers. Grams had me busy mixing up the cleansing herbs for the ritual baths; we also made the incense, wrote the calling of the elements and prepared other ritual supplies.
It was the start of the Wiccan New Year, so it was a time to celebrate new beginnings and fresh starts. I was hoping that whatever Edward was wrestling with would be resolved so we could make out own fresh start. I spent lots of time crafting my own spell to do perform during the ritual. I sent a silent blessing to the Lord and Lady that it made a difference.
I knew I was acting all emo and out of sorts, but I couldn't help it. That night really shook me up. It was more than Bella could have seriously hurt or even killed if I arrived a few minutes later. It was the fact that I was late at all. That night was a huge wake-up and reminder that there was nothing that bound me to Bella. That I had no link, no connection to her, to help her sooner.
That was the thought that kept me up at night, which percolated in my brain and made me not want to ever let go of Bella. I knew in my heart that she was it for me. She was my heart, my soul, my very life. If I had lost her…well, I couldn't even finish the rest of that thought. Needless to say, it wouldn't have been pretty.
So while I could see and feel Bella next to me, the warmth of her skin, the light summery scent to her skin. It wasn't close enough for me. Bella had a wonderful connection to me. One she could feel and sense. So much so, she found me when I broke down on the side of the road.
I tried to get past my feelings, tried telling myself that it didn't matter, that it wasn't important. But as the days dragged on, I could no longer lie to myself.
It did bother me. It made me feel as if I loved Bella less, as if she loved me more. I hated the feeling of inequity. So I poured myself into research mode. I wanted a way to magically tie myself to Bella. I couldn't do what Bella did. It had to be different.
I spent my nights looking through my mom's old spell books, Book of Shadows from our ancestors and even research on the internet. Just when I was about to give up, the answer just appeared in a beginners book I was looking through. It was a very easy answer, but one that would solve my personal dilemma.
I knew that there was a big Samhain ritual being planned. Bella had thrown herself into it as a way to give me space. It was the perfect time to implement what I wanted to do. What a better holiday then on the Wiccan New Year.
The night of the ritual, I was a nervous wreck. I wanted everything to be perfect. I had no idea what Bella would think or what her reaction would be. So I needed the words to convey just how much this meant to me. It took me close to an hour to get what I wanted to say just right.
When we came to the part in the ritual where we could ask for help in performing personal magic, I asked to go first. As Bella's Grams was acting as High Priestess, she gave me permission to proceed.
I nervously wiped my sweaty hands on my pants and took a few centering breaths before I walked across the circle and stopped before Bella. Her eyes went wide. I had no idea what she was feeling from me through her gift, but I'm sure it was a jumbled mess.
I reached for her hand and clasped it in both of mine. "Bella, I know that for the last little bit, I've been out of sorts and not my usually self. I'm sorry for that and I thank you for standing by me as I worked out what was going on in my head."
I felt her hand squeeze mine in encouragement. I gave her a soft smile, but one full of love and adoration.
"I love you and always will. You are my friend, my love, my soul mate, my better half. So it is with that in mind that I ask you one very important question. I ask you to join our hearts and our love in a handfasting ritual. Will you help me bind my heart and my love to you?"
Her eyes glistened with unshed tears and she held onto my hand tightly. I reached into the pocket of my jeans and pulled out the small ring I had fashioned. It was made out of wire and had several small stones wrapped in the wire.
"The stones on this ring represent the love and passion I feel for you and only want to increase by binding my love to you. Will you wear it as a symbol of my love?"
The tears fell slowly one by one as she reached with a trembling hand for the ring. Her fingers clasped around mine.
"I will wear it as a symbol of our love. I will also join our love and hearts in handfasting." She reached up on tip toes and kissed my lips in a sweet and chaste kiss full of love and devotion. When she pulled away, I shakily placed the ring on her right ring finger.
She gave me a bemused look when I slid the ring on that finger.
"I'll save the left hand for the real ring."
The coven members that had joined us for the ritual clapped and cheered as the ring was placed on her finger and I swept her up in a tight hug, relishing the feeling of her being near.
The sunlight caught the stones in my ring just right and threw small prisms of light. My heart still gave a slight stutter remembering what the ring means. I still had a hard time believing it. It was almost too good to be true, even more so, now that I understood why Edward wanted to do it. The importance it has for him. Even if I felt it was unnecessary for him to bind himself to me, it was important for him.
So after Samhain, Edward poured himself into planning our handfasting. He researched everything from how to case the circle, to calling the elements and the vows we would speak to each other. He threw a minor fit when he realized that a traditional handfasting was for a year and a day. When I reminded him that the spell he would cast would bind us together for longer, he calmed down. Then he started to work feverishly on the spell. He even asked for help from Grams and his mom. I had to admire his tenacity and determination to do this right.
We decided to perform the handfasting on Yule, the Winter Solstice. Although the more traditional Sabbat for this would be Beltaine, Edward couldn't, no wouldn't wait that long. Even the short wait to Yule was hard on him. So I didn't begrudge him the need he had to be close to me. I reveled in it, my bind to him hummed in contentment having him so close. So for me it was a win-win.
So as the day drew closer, I could sense the tension and anxiety leak away from Edward, until the night before he was so relaxed that I just knew deep in my bones, this was the right thing to do. It had been so long since I've seen him at ease. That it struck me how much the incident at Port A affected him, so much more than he ever let on to me.
In the hours before the ritual, I was up in my room, getting ready when Grams came in carrying a delicate floral wreath with ribbons trailing down. It was woven with several types of tree bark with holly and ivy interwoven throughout. The ribbons were red, green and gold.
"Grams this is beautiful. Did you make it?" My hands reached out to delicately trace the wreath, afraid that I would ruin it somehow. Her gentle laugh pulled my focus back to her face which was alight with glee.
"Ohh, no child. This is all Edward." His name ended on a soft whisper and I felt my heart swell with even more love and adoration for him. He truly was my perfect match.
"Edward made this?" My eyes watched Grams carefully, trying to understand.
She nodded. "It's his gift to you. He wanted you to wear it tonight." She gently took it from my hands and placed it on my head where it sat perfectly on the crown on my head. The ribbons trailed gently down my back.
I stepped back to take a good look at myself. Grams and I had made a dress out of red crushed velvet trimmed with white and gold lace. It was long, the bottom brushing the ground and the sleeves were tight and ended on a point on the back of my hand. I was borrowing Grams white fake fur wrap as the temperature was a bit chilly.
I felt and looked beautiful and Edward's wreath was the perfect addition to my outfit. More than ever I couldn't wait for the start of the ritual and for us to be bound together. Grams handed me my athame, the paper with my vows and the bag with all the ribbons and ropes needed for the ritual.
I was ready.
When I made it to the clearing, there were strands of white fairy lights strung through the trees and tons of white, red and green pillar candles created a circle on the ground. My breath caught in my throat and I was stunned speechless with how ethereal the space looked. Tears stung my eyes and I blinked them back furiously to keep my make-up from running.
Edward stepped out from among the pine trees and I turned to look at him with my mouth opened wide. "This is absolutely beautiful, Edward." My eyes scanned the area again, still struck by how much effort he was putting into all of this.
He walked over to me and clasps our hands together, "It was nothing. I wanted to make it special for us." He paused, and we both soaked up the atmosphere that he had created. Our musings were interrupted by the rest of our party.
Grams and Esme were going to be the High Priestesses for the ritual. Edward's dad was also coming to witness and a few of Grams coven mates that we were close to come to bear witness as well. They oohed and ahhed over all that Edward had done and I beamed with pride that he was all mine.
Esme walked over to us, her eyes shining brightly, "Are you both ready?"
Edward nodded his head enthusiastically, "Yes." They both turned to look at me, "Yes, I'm ready."
I felt the last of Edward's tension drift away and I knew that he was worried that I would back out. I squeezed his hand, letting him know that I was in this all the way. He gave me his trademark smirk and I felt my heart melt.
He really was too good to be true.
We all stepped within the circle of candles. Grams and Esme cleansed the circle, cast the circle, called the elements and then lastly the Lord and the Lady. When the familiar hum of magical energy flowed over my body, I just knew this would be perfect.
We moved to face Grams who held in her hands two rings that were fashioned out of pounded metal. They were both similar in a plain silver finish; it was the inscriptions that held the most meaning. Edward's ring was engraved with the simple Latin phrase, Vestrum Semper which means 'Yours Forever'. My ring held the Irish phrase Mo Chroi, Mo Anam, which means 'My Heart, My Soul'. Grams blessed them and then held them out for us to take.
Edward turned to face me, grasped my right hand and held the ring just over my finger.
"I, Edward Cullen, come here of my own free will before the Lord and the Lady to acknowledge the bond that is shared between us both. I give you this ring as a symbol of our bond, my love and my devotion." He slid the cool metal onto my hand and I closed my eyes to quell the tears that wanted to fall.
I took his right hand in mine, held the ring aloft and spoke my pledge to him. "I, Isabella Swan, come here of my own free will before the Lord and the Lady to acknowledge the bond that is shared between us both. I give you this ring as a symbol of our bond, my love and my devotion." I placed the ring on his finger.
Esme stepped up to Edward, holding in her hand several strings of thread. She wordlessly handed them to him and stayed close to his side. He wrapped the thread around my right wrist, his lips moving in the silent invocation of the binding spell he wanted to work. He then handed the other end of the string to Esme who wrapped it around his wrist, his lips still saying the spell. He pressed a hand from his head to mine, his heart to mine and then to his stomach then to time.
Instinctively, I knew he was binding us mind, heart and soul. When his whispered words of "So Mote It Be," were uttered, I felt a stronger hum of magic between us. My bind pulsed and danced within me, I reached out with it towards Edward and what I felt floored me. It was so warm and vibrant; it was like reaching in and touching a live wire. I felt Edward. I swear that I could feel his heart beating, feel his soul as it pulsed throughout his body. It was a heady experience.
But the look of wonder on his face told me that he could feel me as well. I searched for his recognizable magical energy and when I found it, I twined it with mine. We both gasped at the intense feeling of wonder and awe. I closed my eyes as our magical energy danced and flowed between us.
"I can feel you," Edward's whispered reverently. In silence we let the energy ebb and flow before a shuffle of noise reminded us of where we were. We reluctantly pulled back our magic and faced Esme who was smiling brightly at us both.
"Will you please both join your left hands. Edward and Bella have asked to recite vows as the traditional ties bind them together. Once they are done, you are free to come up and add your own ties and blessings."
She gestured to Edward to begin as she selected one of the many ropes that were next to her on the altar.
"Bella, over the last five years you have been a part of my life, even though we were far apart. Now I can't imagine a day without you in it. You are my soul mate, the other half that makes me whole. I promise to love you, to protect you and cherish you. You are my heart, my soul."
Esme had wound a few ropes around our hands as he talked. The blessed ropes caused a magical thrum to race up and down our arms.
"Edward, I once heard that long before the Earth was created we were connected to our soul mates. Then we were scattered to the wind and when we were born, it was our job to try and find our long lost soul mate. I know that I have found mine in you. I promise to love you, protect you and cherish you. I am yours forever."
By the end of my vow, you could no longer see our hands as there was a multitude of ribbons that bound our hands.
Esme gestured to the rest of the guests, "You may now add your tie and your blessing if you so wish." She then stepped away and gave space to the others.
Grams came up first with a sparkling silver tie, she looked at us both and as she concentrated on adding her tie to the rest, she gave us her blessing.
"May you always love each other, take care of each other, but most importantly, support each other. I love you both." She placed feather light kisses on our foreheads and stepped away.
Garrett, an old friend of my parents, stepped forward. "May you find joy, peace and happiness." He added his red ribbon and then backed away.
Maggie was next; she was a dear friend of Grams and one very smart witch. "May your love give you room to grow and wings to fly." After she added her rope she made room for Carlisle.
He smiled at us both, but looked at Edward with such love and joy, it made me ache for my missing parents. "Listen to each other, with your hearts and your minds. Find your strength as a couple and always tell the other that you love them, even when angry."
Esme came back to us and placed her hands on the bundle of ropes. "Here before witnesses, Edward and Isabella have made their vows. With these cords, I bind them to the vows they have made. The binding is not tied, so that they are not restricted by each other, instead the binding is enforced by their will alone."
As one, Edward and I faced each other and uttered the final words to bind us together:
Heart to thee
Soul to thee
Body to thee
Forever and always
So Mote It Be
Ever so gently, our lips brushed against each other, sealing our bind with a kiss.
A/N: *sniff* Aww.. soo sweet! This is the end of this little tale.. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Thank you very much! WVG