Two Worlds Collide

Disclaimer: I don't own it. Stephenie Meyer does. Thank goodness she lets me play in her sandbox.

A/N: Hello? Remember me? I sure hope so. I haven't forgotten you or TWC, I promise. I've been working on a short Jasper/Alice story that is almost posted in its entirety and some random flash fiction in attempt to recharge my writing batteries, but my muse has been non-existent for so long I forget how it feels to have one. A gazillion thanks to darcysmom for her brainstorming with me on this chapter, and to her and kare831 for taking the time out of their lives to look over my writing. I love you guys hard. This is a short, transitional chapter. Hope you enjoy. I won't keep you. Off you go …

BPOV

Dreams have a way of putting a spin on reality, and the result is a tangled web of reality versus fiction. What is real, and what is a figment of one's overactive and colorful imagination? The answer to this, I had no clue. My life seemed to be like the movie, The Truman Show, and I could certainly relate to the character Jim Carrey portrayed. Everything around me seemed legitimate and real, bright and vibrant as a summer sunset. I could feel, touch, and sense who and what was around me, but on the fringes of my life seemed to be many shades of gray. Unknown and non-tangible variants which shaped who I was in this world were now mingling with repressed memories of my life before the accident.

Night turned to day, and I found myself wrapped in the cold, safe and strong arms of my beloved. Edward had been nothing but patient and encouraging as I tried as I could to make a new life for myself as my old life returned to me in flashes and dreams. There were some changes that I knew had to be made in order for me to find some semblance of normal in my most abnormal world. I wasn't looking forward to the conversation that had to occur, but I couldn't put it off any longer.

"Good morning, love," Edward spoke softly as I burrowed into his cold and comforting side.

"Morning, I'd ask if you slept well, but hopefully you rested well anyhow. Watching me sleep has to be boring as hell," I replied as I looked upon his face, and I was rewarded with a deep chuckle and a panty-dropping crooked smile that immediately made me warm and tingly in all the right places.

"I rested quite well, thank you, and nothing about you is 'boring as hell', Isabella Swan. Quite the opposite, in fact, your night time musings are quite … animated."

Oh God.

The seriousness of my inner turmoil was temporarily exiled by the dark, hooded eyes of one fuck-hot, enigmatic vampire. I moaned like the wanton woman I had become as he leaned in to within an inch of my face. My hands slid on their own accord with the movement until they rested upon the evidence of his arousal, eliciting an erotic in-human growl.

"Oh yes, Miss Swan, I've been rock hard for hours listening to you voice your wants and needs. There is only so much a man can take of such an enchantress without acting upon his and her desires, but if you wish to wait, I will understand. You are in control here, angel."

So perfect, and so wonderfully mine.

"No more waiting. Take me, Edward. Take me."

His lips crashed into mine in an act of lust and dominance. Hands roamed and skin slid against skin as our bodies staked their claim. I was lost to the feeling, and drunk on the emotion between us. As his body covered mine, and he thrust into my wet heat, I felt complete. Steel and satin meshed into one as we danced the timeless dance of eroticism and love. Higher and higher we climbed until we reached the peak as one, only to tumble back down together. Our bodies wrapped around each other until you couldn't tell where he ended and I began. We lay silent for a long while, no words needed between us, basking in our post-orgasmic bliss. Too soon it was time to face reality, and I reluctantly was first to break the spell we'd fallen under.

"I'm going to go shower, then we need to talk, Edward," I mumbled while extracting myself from the safe haven of his arms. I knew Edward well enough to know he'd be here when I was done. I stopped briefly at the bathroom door when he spoke.

"Take your time, love. I'll start your coffee, and wait for you in the living room."

I nodded in accession, and shut the door behind me before my emotions betrayed me. I had to get it together, and fast. How do I tell Edward that I need some space to regroup, without hurting him? Was it even possible to do so?

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

EPOV

Fuck.

This was not good, whatever it was, yet I hoped to God Bella was finally going to come clean with me. Not being able to read her mind was frustrating in itself, but knowing she was hiding things from me both scared and pissed me off. Vampires were not known for being patient creatures, although I was able to suppress my emotions if it was of a benefit to the situation. Heaven knows I'd give Bella anything she wanted to see a smile light up her face. My mind was capable of thinking about so many scenarios of what Bella was going to say at once; I had to calm myself before I had the human-equivalent of a panic attack.

Emmett would never let that shit die if it happened.

When I heard the shower turn on, I quickly dressed and made my way to the kitchen to make Bella's coffee. I wanted to call Alice to see if she had seen anything about this conversation with Bella that I needed to know, but when I looked at my phone and saw no messages, I decided to put Bella and myself on a level playing field. No, I wouldn't use any supernatural abilities today, unless it was necessary. I knew I wouldn't have to wait much longer to ease my hyperactive and troubled mind when I heard the shower fall as silent as its occupant.

I took a seat on the couch and willed myself to stay put as I heard Bella go about her morning routine, then putter around the kitchen as she prepared and ate a light breakfast. Soon, my beautiful girl appeared before me. Her soft curves encased in comfortable lounging clothes, a steaming cup of coffee in her hands. Instead of looking refreshed from her night's sleep and hot shower, Bella looked weary as she took a seat on the opposite end of the couch, and drew her legs beneath her. This was her show, and I would let her lead when she was ready. When she took a long drink and set the mug on the coffee table, I knew the time had arrived.

"Edward, as I said earlier, we need to talk. All I ask that you keep an open mind, and please listen to all I have to say before you respond or pass judgment on what I have to say. I promise to give you all the time in the world to reply, after I am finished. If I don't do this my way, I'll never get it done. Can you agree to my terms?"

"Of course, love. Whatever you need, it's yours."

Please don't start this with "I love you, but …"

Bella nodded and took a deep breath.

"I love you, Edward Masen, and there is no way I could ever repay you or your family for the acceptance and kindness I was given after the accident. You gave me shelter, and took care of me when I was unable to take care of myself. Coming home, here, after my discharge from the hospital alone and without any memory of my life before would have been extremely difficult. You took me into your home, and nursed my physical injuries, as well as helped me cope with the more abstract mental injury. Falling in love with you was an unexpected and most wonderful perk. You have been a trusted friend, passionate lover, and steadfast companion these past weeks, and I cannot imagine going forward in my life without you by my side."

Ok, so far so good, but I sense that damn BUT coming …

"But, I fear I have become too dependent upon you, Edward, and I need to do more day-to-day on my own. My biggest fear isn't the past or falling in love with a vampire, but it's the future I fear. I don't want you to feel beholden to me out of misplaced duty, only to later despise me for keeping you hostage. You have a family and a career that you love, and you've let both go since I came into the picture. I have a career that I need to return to someday, a home to run, bills to pay, friends to reconnect with, and a life I desperately need to remember, be it good or bad memories, both of which have been more frequent and clear to me. When we are together, it's a magical thing, Edward, surreal and amazing. Making love with you is beyond description, and I cherish the time we spend in each other's arms. However, with that being said, and as perfect as life seems at the moment, it's not going to be a happily ever after for me until I can reassert myself into the real, human world. For now, I think it best if you and I take respite from being together twenty-four-seven for a few weeks, and let us both regroup to what is our reality. We can talk on the phone, and spend time together like a normal dating couple. I do love you, and don't want to lose you, ever. I only need a break from the pressure of living both lives until I can get back on my feet, and it is important for me to do this on my own. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say."

My eyes never left her face for a second as she spilled her heart to me, and now I knew what she'd been hiding from me since we'd moved her to her home. Bella's watery eyes betrayed her as fat tears trickled down her rosy cheeks, and that alone spoke for the truth in her words. My cold, dead heart felt as if it was breaking for her and myself, and I found it hard to breathe, even though it was not necessary for me to do so. What Bella wanted went against everything normal for a vampire and is mate, but we sure as fuck weren't a normal couple in any sense of the word, so why in the hell should the normal rules apply to us? The biggest question was could I do what she's asked of me? Could I leave her to her own devices, or even better, could leave her here alone and not have physical contact for an undetermined amount of time into the future? Fuck if I knew, because mated vampires physically couldn't be apart for long amounts of time, but for Bella, I owed her as much as to at least try. As she had said, I didn't want her looking back on her life and regretting anything, especially anything related to our future together.

"Bella, love, I do understand what you're asking of me, and I will be honest as you've been with me, I don't look forward to this arrangement. I love you with a passion that isn't of this world, and it is in my nature as your mate to protect and help you in all things, always. However, I would never go against your wishes, and force you to bend to my will. Our relationship has been a whirlwind, and as it happens with mated couples in my world, it happened much more quickly than a human courtship. It is because I love you, and respect you, I will do this. You are in control of our future. It's always been in your hands, my love. I will resume my work at the hospital, and try to quell my urge to rush you, but please do not make me wait too long. I don't know if my heart can take our separation any longer than necessary. Love with one's mate is different for me than you in that regard."

Like magnets, our bodies couldn't stand to be so close, yet so far apart any longer, and like a flash Bella was in my arms, sobbing into my shoulder.

"Please, wait for me, Edward."

I held her as tightly as her human body would tolerate.

"Always, Bella. Always."

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

A/N: **peeks from my freshly dug bunker** Ya'll still with me? As I said above, this is a transitional chapter. Things begin to move more swiftly from here on out. Would love to hear your thoughts. Please review! Thanks, and see you soon! T