Disclaimer: Not mine.


Chapter Twenty Four

EPOV

The stench of vomit burned my nose as I lifted myself off the floor. My phone lay beside me, the screen black, the glass shattered. I pushed up on my arms, the act physically painful as the movement jarred my pounding head.

I drew my knees toward my body and planted my feet at the base of the toilet before pushing until my back hit the wall. I looked around the room, my lip curling in disgust at the blackened tiles and grimy walls splattered with bile.

Where was I? It was so familiar...but not. I let my head fall against the wall, wondering exactly how long I'd been here, and again where exactly here was. I crawled to my feet, my body sluggish and aching, I needed something for this pain, something to numb the hurt I was feeling both inside and out.

I pulled out a bottle of pills from the medicine cabinet, sighing in relief and knowing it wouldn't be long now, and everything would stop. I focused in front of me, the hall and living room beyond stopping me cold. I was at our apartment, but where was Bella?

"Bella?" I rasped, my throat like fire.

I stumbled into our living room, but it was all wrong, nothing looked right.

"Bella." My voice was louder this time, the pain more intense as I swallowed blood.

Where was she? I looked in the kitchen, the den...maybe she was in the bedroom.

I froze, grasping the door frame for support as our conversation yesterday― at least I think it was yesterday― flashed through my mind. It couldn't have been yesterday, could it? And why did everything hurt so much?

With a shaky hand, I lifted the open bottle and poured a handful of pills into my open palm.

One pill, two pill, red pill, blue pill, suck them down, swirl them around, until you feel like you're wearing a crown.

I chuckled at my train of thought; of course, I'd turn a children's story into lyrics about drugs. I tossed the pills in my mouth and swallowed, wincing as they burned their way down my throat.

What was I doing?

I needed something to drink, that's it. I was thirsty. Kitchen, I needed to go there. Wasn't I just in the kitchen? Why didn't I get something to drink then; I was so thirsty.

Water soothed my parched throat, but my heart, my body―I was so tired.

Couch. I fell into it. Soft. Lazy eyes gazing at white power, lover to lover. Need. No more pain.

"Snort it all," a voice hissed.

Pills, spilled on the floor.

"Take them all," the voice whispered.

"She'll be yours again," it promised.

"Bella." I exhaled, my eyes fluttering closed, my body sagging, shuddering, jerking.

"Let go."

"Yes," I agreed. Scooping up all of the pills. There were so many.

"Not enough."

I turned to the coke.

"Do it all."

I snorted more.

"Make the pain go away. She'll be here."

My chest was tight. I couldn't breathe, but it didn't matter; she was finally here.

Flashes.

High school.

"I love you."

"You just want to get in my pants." She laughed.

"I'm willing to wait...until we're married," I quipped.

"Fuck that. We can't get the paperwork done that fast. I want you now."

"I don't want to hurt you, baby," I told her. Causing her pain was the last thing I wanted.

"I trust you."

Prom.

"You're so fucking beautiful."

"I might not be once I hit a couple of these girls for eye fucking you."

"There's other girls?" I laughed, holding her tight. I loved her so much I thought I would burst sometimes; she was my forever, my everything.

"You really don't see the way they look at you?" Her eyes were narrowed in suspicion.

"All I ever see is you, Bella."

"EDWARD! EDWARD!"

Banging, there was banging; who was shouting?

Fishing.

"You gonna take care of her, Edward?" Charlie asked, pulling my attention away from the beautiful girl sitting on the sand bar.

"I promise to love her forever, Charlie. She's everything to me."

"She's your Renee," he whispered, my heart breaking for him.

"Yeah," I exhaled.

Silence settled over us before I finally spoke.

"How can you stand to live without her?" I couldn't imagine living in a world where Bella didn't exist.

He sighed heavily, taking a long pull from his beer. "Bella. Bella gave me purpose."

"And without her?" I asked, terrified of his answer.

"I never would have lived a day after her life ended."

"I need an ambulance; he's not breathing. Goddamn it!"

Pain, in my chest, sharp, fast. Was I moving? It felt like floating.

College

"I got a job!" I smiled.

"Oh yeah? Where?" Her voice was just as excited as mine.

"This dive bar downtown. I'll play on Thursday nights. It's not much, but I'm excited."

"I'm so happy for you, baby. You're meant to do great things, I just know it."

"BP is dropping...looks like a drug overdose..."

"Here's to six of the best years of my life, baby," I toasted, clinking my glass with hers.

"I love you so fucking much. You're my whole world."

"Do you know what he's taken?"

"Look around the fucking room; what hasn't he taken!"

"Are you sure you want to wear that?" I asked eyeing all of the skin exposed from her barely-there bathing suit.

"What's wrong with my suit?" She even stuck her lip out in a pout. She knew what the hell was wrong with that suit.

"There's not very much suit," I pointed out, wincing from her glare.

"And you think girls won't be ogling you, Mr. Sex Hair?"

"But only you know what my real sex hair looks like." I grinned.

"And only you know what the rest of me really looks like under this suit."

"I might need a reminder..." I smirked crossing the room and pulling her to me.

"We're not going swimming are we?" She exhaled, her lips parting.

"No fucking way. But," I whispered, pulling the string from around her neck and letting the material fall to the floor, "I promise you'll still get wet."

"I already am."

"We've lost him; charge the paddles!"

Too bright...

"AGAIN!"

Mom?

"Oh, Edward, baby." Was she crying?

"AGAIN!"

Where are you going? Mom, wait...

"No, honey, please, please don't follow me."

"We have a heartbeat! What's the ETA?"

"You want me to travel with you?" Bella asked, her eyes wide, her smile breathtaking.

"Of course I do; I want you with me always."

"Oh my God, Edward, there's nothing I want more. You always come first. Forever."

"Push the tube in; we have to pump his stomach now!"

Pain. White hot. Bitter, bile, blood.

"We should get a pet."

"Well, hello there, Mr. Domestic," she teased.

"I'm serious; we should get a dog, a big one."

"In an apartment? You're insane."

"Not an apartment." I smiled shaking my head. "A house. Our house."

"You want to buy a house? For us?"

"Of course I do. We're gonna have it all, baby."

"We already do."

"He's not responding."

"You know, I'm going to ask you to marry me someday," I warned.

"You better," she sassed smiling. "This milk ain't free."

"Are you the next of kin?"

"No, no...someone needs to call Bella."

"What about his parents?"

"Bella is his family; my girlfriend has already called her."

"I wrote you a song," I whispered, nervous that she would hate it.

"Play it for me?"

"It might suck."

"It's about us? How we're meant to be?"

"Yeah." I smiled, my head down, embarrassed.

"Then it will be beautiful," she promised.

"We have to put him on a ventilator; his heart is working too hard. We-"

"We have to wait for Bella! Goddamnit! You keep him breathing until she gets here. You fucking hear me?"

"I want to do movies."

"Movies? Like pornos?" I joked.

"No, you ass, I want to direct. I want to produce. I want to be behind the scenes."

"But for pornos, right?" I hinted, raising a brow at her.

"Actually, yes." She smirked. "I hear some of those guys have the biggest cocks..."

I grabbed her and kissed the shit out of her before she could finish her sentence.

"How do you feel about documentaries on pottery?" I asked, my lips still pressed to hers.

"I like pottery just fine." She laughed.

Thank fuck.

Voices floated around me. Who were these people? Go away.

Bella. I only wanted Bella.

I drifted, drowning in memories, time slipping and spinning, whispers―strange, unfamiliar.

Then finally, finally, Bella.

"Oh, baby," she cried. She sounded so sad. I never wanted her sad.

"I'm here," I whispered, my mouth unmoving.

"I'm so sorry, I didn't know. So sorry. But I'm here now."

"Heart rate increasing; it's too much, too fast."

Pain, light, bright.

"Calm down, honey, I'm here, Edward baby, please."

"Bella, I love you so much; I'm so sorry for everything."

Was that me? It sounded all wrong, so far away.

"Don't," she spat. "Don't you do that. You fight for me, damnit. I'm not ready, I'm not ready to lose you. You stop that right now."

He's coding! It's too much! NURSE, CODE BLUE!"

"Edward, no," she cried, "no, baby, no. Stay with me please."

"Will you stay with me?" I begged.

"I'll stay with you forever; it's okay, I've got you. I love you."

"I trust you."

The last thing I felt was a sharp pain shooting through my chest, but it didn't matter; she was here, forever.


A/N

First, there are no words to express how you guys made me feel after the last update. Thank you so, so much for your support, it's heartwarming to know how much you guys care. And also, I'd like to note that I did not receive a review from miss brutally honest. So, YAH. LOL

So I have been in Austin with iambeagle for ACL since last Friday and haven't had internet until now. But I figured you guys would rather have another chapter than wait for me to do replies. Yeah? ;)

Thanks to Perry and all my prereaders who even though they cried and threw things at me, told me this chapter was, well, as it was supposed to be.

More soon!

love you guys!

~Liv