I don't own any of this! (Wish I did!)
Bella lay in the hospital bed, her eyes closed, the heart rate monitors beeping at a slow steady pace, her breath keeping rhythm in a hypnotic sort of way. Edward sat next to her in a green vinyl chair, the smell of alcohol and cleaning supplies assaulting his nostrils. The beautiful girl in the bed next to him still smelled good, but the blood transfusions gave her blood an odd and acidic smell, and his body shied away from her. Her chocolate brown hair was matted and still held traces of her crusted blood in it. The nurses had done all they could to clean her up, but the extent of her injuries prevent them from moving her body too much. One of her legs was in a cast, her skull had been cracked, a few ribs had been broken, and she had cuts covering her body from head to toe.
He had almost been too late to save her. James had been crouched over her, and he had seen the rouge bite her. Rage coursed through his body as he pulled the devil off of her. He watched helplessly as Carlisle worked to save her, his voice pleading with her to stay with him, and she had listened. Edward thought back with regret at the fact that he had not been able to burn James's body himself. Esme and Rose had taken care of the red-headed vampire in Forks. The female went after Charlie and the women just happened to be in the right place at the right time, ridding the world of the problematic creature.
Edwards's eyes held their place, staring at her face, but not seeing them, his mind was far away, replaying the scene from this morning. It was the only time he had left her side, but it had given Bella's mother some alone time with her.
His family had all gathered together, Esme and Rose had flown down on the red eye, in the hotel suite that they had rented until their return to Forks. Alice had a very agitated look on her face, she knew what was about to happen and it seemed to make her very uncomfortable. The rest of them relaxed on the plush furniture, besides Edward, who paced back and forth, wanting nothing more than to return to the hospital, to his Bella.
Esme cleared her throat, pushing back the hair from her face. "Thank you for all coming. Edward I know it is difficult for you to be here, away from…from Bella." She shot her son a grateful glance and continued. "I have done a lot of thinking and I have come to a decision, and it has not been an easy one."
"What is it, my love?" Carlisle wrapped around her shoulders, encouraging her to go on.
Esme took a breath, this was not something easy for her to do, the words seemed to stick in her throat, but she pressed on, trying not to look at the suddenly worried expressions on her family's faces. "You all know that I have been unhappy for a long time, that things have been rough for a long time between Carlisle and me."
Alice made a little noise that sounded like a scoff. "Of your own doing," she muttered under her breath, not hiding her distaste for the caramel haired woman.
"Thank you, Alice." Carlisle bit at her. He already knew that Esme was not contented with their relationship, but he was in love with her. For eighty years he had worshiped the ground she walked on, she was his everything. Her loving nature had endeared her to him and she had been his best friend and lover, his mate. He had noticed for the last few years that there seemed to be a rift forming between them and he had tried to heal it. His attention to her had increased. He had tried to keep her notice with romantic gestures, vacations with just the two of them for some much needed alone time, and kind words. But his attentions to her seemed to go unnoticed, with Esme distancing herself farther and farther from Carlisle.
"Which leads me to the point," she sat her back straighter and shook his arms off from around her. "I am leaving."
"You can't!" they were all talking at the same time.
"Please go!" Alice didn't hide her distain. Edward had not said anything. He just stopped and stared at the woman he called 'Mother.'
I have already filed the divorce papers and it is finalized," she handed Carlisle a manila envelope. "The settlement leaves me with nothing, I don't want anything, but I figured since I forged you signature, that it was fair compensation."
Carlisle's mouth dropped, but no sound came out. What could he say? She hadn't even discussed it with him! His body ached and his mind was spinning. 'Had I not tried? Had I not been doing everything to show her I love her?'
"I am sorry. But, after seeing Edwards love for Bella, it makes me long to find my soul mate. Carlisle…" she turned to him and she could see the sorrow written plainly on his face.
"Please, don't say any more." He raised a hand to silence her. "Just go."
Esme gave one last remorseful look to the rest of her family, her eyed lingering on her first son, but he would not meet her gaze. Then, with the quiet whisper of a breeze, she was gone.
Edward replayed it over and over in his perfect memory until Bella's eyes opened. Her brownie colored orbs met his and something clicked in his mind, a little seed took root, a seed that grew and he could not shake the feeling off.
Bella had healed well from the wounds that James had inflicted on her, slowly, but Alice and Edward had been there to help her, well, Alice more than anything. Charlie was still very much in the dark on what had happened and took care of her with kid gloves, still amazed that anyone could be so accident prone. Bella had surprised him by graduating early from high school, CLEPing most of her courses and completing her education in three years instead of the normal four years, and doing finishing it while still recovering from her injuries. He was happy and no other father could have been more proud.
The summer passed away quickly enough, with Bella spending most of her time with the Cullen's and it once again was her birthday.
"Bella, please, be nice," Edward rolled his eyes and sighed, something he had been doing frequently lately. "Alice wants to take you out for your birthday. I know you said you didn't want a party, so a quiet dinner will not qualify under that category."
Bella groaned inwardly. The last thing she wanted was to get older than Edward; she wanted him to change her into a vampire, to stay with him forever. He was blatantly adamant that changing her was never going to happen, so she had stopped bothering him about it. The subject had become a wedge between them and Bella could feel the divide getting bigger and bigger in their relationship. It felt like he was pushing her away. Her relationship with Jasper, Alice, and Emmett, however, was getting stronger; they treated her like a sister, welcoming her with open arms, although Jasper kept his distance. Even Rose had warmed up to her, albeit, only slightly. She hardly ever saw Carlisle. Since Esme left he had thrown himself into his work and when she did see him he looked miserable, biting at his family when they spoke to him.
"Alright, I'm game," she put on a winning smile, not wanting to cause and argument with him. After his confession of love for her, in the forest, and she for him, Bella was committed to making him feel like the most important thing to her, because he was. But, there was something in his reservations now that bothered her. Her doubt had been growing over the summer; she had tried to attribute his behavior to his missing Emse, but the doubts kept growing.
"Great," he smiled, but did it did not touch his eyes. He is holding back again. Her heart ached for the boy she loved, wishing there was something she could do to ease his pain. The car sped toward Port Angeles where Alice had gotten them reservations at an Italian restaurant. It was a pleasant affair; the entire family laughed and joked with her about becoming an old woman. Emmett made jokes about how he could see her breasts starting to sag and she punched him in the arm for it. Even Carlisle seemed to be in a good mood. Bella wondered briefly where the family was hiding the food, considering none of them ate human food.
When they got back to her house, Edward was back to his sullen mood.
Maybe there is something I could do to fix that? She wondered.
"Since it is my birthday, I want you to kiss me." She tried batting her lashed, like she did with poor Jacob Black.
He lowered his lips to hers, her heart pounding in her chest at the cool sensation of the stone lips. She could feel her temperature rising and tired to pull him closer, but it was like trying to move a brick wall. He drew back gently, trying not to offend her. "Don't test my strength," he raised an eyebrow.
"Come on, it's my birthday!" she moaned and frowned.
"Bella, I have to go. Your Father is waiting to see how the dinner went." He didn't wait for a response as he dashed around his car and opened the door.
"Will you come back tonight?" she whispered, knowing he could hear her. He shook his head smoothly, not looking back as he turned on the car and pulled away.
She stood there with a confused expression on her face. What just happened? She heard the door to her house open. "So, Bella! How was it?" Charlie called out to her.
"It was great," she forced a smile to her face as she entered the house. "I had Gnocchi. It was delicious." She tried to hide the disappointment in her voice. Something was wrong.
"Bella, uh…" Charlie began, his hand rubbing the back of his neck, searching for the words. "You are a full grown woman now and out of high school. You can do as you please and are capable of making your own choices. You have always been more of an adult than a child, but I want you to know that I am here for you if you need me. You will always be my little girl." His face had grown steadily redder as he spoke, never one to admit his feelings out loud.
Bella could feel her throat closing; she wasn't good at showing emotions, especially with Charlie. She could feel her eyes becoming damp and before they could spill over she hugged him, hard. "Thanks, Dad." The words were thick, the emotions of the day starting to crash around her.
"There, there. You're a good girl." Charlie hugged her back. Bella escaped to her room before the day could spill over on her.
She didn't even undress as she threw herself into the bed and wrapped the purple covers around her. Why was Edward so distant lately? She tried to think back to recall a memory where she may have offended him, but nothing came to mind. He did love her, right? Now she wasn't sure. He had not told her in a long time and granted his demeanor to her had not changed, much, but his reservations left her grasping for answers. Sleep did not claim her until the sun was almost up and she heard Charlie leave for work.
It was after noon when Bella woke up, glad that she didn't oversleep and miss work. She didn't like working at the Newton's, considering Mike kept hounding her for a date, even though he knew perfectly well that she was with Edward, and on top of that, camping and sports was not her 'thing.' But she needed to save enough money to move out, eventually, or go to college with Edward. The sky was cloudy, but there was no surprise there.
She let the hot water from the shower work at her tense neck, the steam engulfing her and cleaning her body slowly, and washing her hair with the strawberry shampoo that she knew Edward liked, and taking time to enjoy the sensation of the heat. She carefully worked at her hair, curling it uncharacteristically, and applying makeup. She hoped to see him later and wanted to look special for him. She wanted answers and maybe this would help.
Her heart jumped when she heard a light rapping at the front door. She opened it to find her Greek stature posed before her. He looked amazing in his cream color pull over and jeans and she took in a sharp breath, her heart fluttering.
Edward was flattered by her reaction to him. He felt a little guilty when he saw her appearance, she had taken the time to make sure she was beautiful for him, and she did look nice. His mouth watered when the smell of strawberries and her sweet floral smelling blood hit his nose. This was going to be harder than he thought.
"Come and take a walk with me," his silky voice left no room for discussion. Bella grabbed her jacket and her legs followed him into the primordial forest behind her house, a green haze coloring everything the dull light touched. They had barely walked into the greenery; Bella could still see the roof of her house from where they stood.
He turned and faced her, his glare struck her and froze her still, there was no kindness in his eyes. This was not the Edward she had fallen in love with, this was not the boy that professed his loved to her, and suddenly she was frightened.
"We are leaving, Bella." His brow was furrowed.
"Leaving?" she sighed, so this was it, he was worried that she would not want to come with him and relief washed through her. "Okay, I'll tell Charlie. It will break his heart that I'm going so soon, I mean I moved here only a few months ago…." Her voice trailed off as she watched his head shake back and forth, his fingers pinching the bridge of his nose.
"No, Bella. I don't want you coming with me," he rolled his eyes and his word were sharp.
"What? I don't understand." How could this be? She knew something was wrong and suddenly it all made perfect sense; his exasperation with her, rolling his eyes, his distance, his lack of emotions.
"You are tearing my family apart and I won't stand for it anymore. Esme left because she was jealous of our relationship, Jasper can barely stand to be around you, and Rose barely likes you. We decided that you are not good for us." He could see the tears welling up in her eyes, but it didn't sway him from his barrage, everything that he had been holding back came flooding forward. "You are like poison to me; clouding my mind with your smell, filling my every though, and slowly killing me, cutting off any life I still may have with my family. The antidote to your venom is to cut off the infected part, cutting you out."
His words sliced into her mind, splitting her heart in two, ripping her soul to shreds. She had given him her entire heart, entrusted it to him to jeep safe, and he had just dashed it to pieces. Somehow she wasn't surprised, he was perfect in nearly every way, and she could never measure up against him or his family…..
"So Alice is…" her voice sounded small and hollow.
"Leaving, too." He smiled inwardly, this was going better than expected, and he was feeling release at his vented anger. This was perfect, better than he imagined. The hurt that crossed her face was actually giving him a high. He had blamed her from the moment Esme said she was leaving and the blame grew stronger with every passing day. He knew he was a bit heartless to string her along; all the kisses, all the touches, all the pretenses had nearly made him nearly sick, sick to even touch her. Now it all seemed worth it, just to see the look on her face. He realized that his fascination with her was mainly because he could not read her mind, but the call of her blood for him was still just as strong as ever, and he knew he would never truly be rid of her. The thought of her blood would still fog his mind.
"I will still love you, in my own way," his velvet voice grinding glass into the invisible wounds further. "But we vampires are easily distracted. And you are human, you'll get over us soon enough."
Rain began to stream down and he stood, waiting, as she absorbed what he said. He could hear the fast wet pumping of her heart, the warm rain intensified her smell, and it took all of his strength not to sink his teeth into her neck and drink her life-giving liquid. No, this will be better. She'll suffer longer this way.
"Keep out of trouble, for Charlie's sake," he knew that her luck would never hold, she would probably be dead in a few short years. "And I make you a promise that from this time forward you'll never see us again."
She bit her lip to stop herself from begging, she had enough pride left to not become one of those girls; the kind that plead for their love to stay, to accept them, no matter the cost; the kind of girl that would let the boy step all over her, just to keep the love. No, she had enough self respect to not do that. He was next to her suddenly, kissing her forehead, and she flinched away. He was gone in the next moment, leaving nothing but a soft gust of wind caressing her skin. Her mind was clouded, her heart sought him out. She didn't cry out for him, but her legs carried her deeper into the forest, following where he may have gone, knowing she could never catch up to him, or to his family.
Sadness began sinking into her body, making it hard to move. Each limb felt like it gained weight with every step, making it almost impossible to move. Bella sank down to the ground and let the weight consume her, not caring about the rain pouring down on her, chilling her to the core.
Edward arrived at home within minutes of leaving Bella in the forest, a sneer adorning his handsome face. The lights were on in the living room, casting a welcoming glow through the gloomy dusk. He happily shook the rain from his hair as he entered the room, still smiling, ignoring the angry glares of his family. He plopped down onto the white couch, his wet clothing seeping water into the delicate fabric. The seconds passed, thickening as the time slipped by.
"Dude, you're an asshole." It was Emmett who broke the silence, never one to beat around the bush.
"Come on, guys," Edward was still unaffected by the mood. "It was time for us to move on anyhow, she was just a liability," he laughed.
"How dare you think of her that way, son." Carlisle's quiet baritone quieted the boy. "She is a kind, loving, caring human being and you tossed her aside like garbage. Alice kindly informed us about what you said to Bella and I am ashamed of your conduct towards her. Not only that, you knew she would follow you, and now she is lost in that black forest. You know what is out there!" His heart ached for the girl. He had been carelessly tossed aside by Esme and his heart had not yet healed, though it had been months. He knew what she would be going through. His first few hours after the revelation were so horrid that he had even contemplated going to the Volturi and asking them to end his existence. It was only for the sake of his children that he had not gone, that he continued to survive.
"Bella will heal. It's not like she was one of us. We are all leaving tonight, we have to," there was a quiet desperation in his voice, almost pleading. His eyes shot to Alice and he stood up, suddenly, rage rolling off of him. "What do you mean you're not going?" he yelled, reading her thoughts.
"None of us are," Rose interjected.
"You acted on your own in this," Jaspers calm voice finally spoke, his influence trying to diffuse the situation. "We have all decided to stay. It is you who must go."
"No. I won't. Not without my family."
Carlisle sighed, "We welcomed Bella into our hearts and home without knowing your true, horrid, intentions. She is part of our family and we will not leave her here, broken and alone. I have called the Denali coven. They are expecting you. You acted much less than honorably and need to take some time to reassess your life and the direction it is taking. Your car is packed and waiting. I'm sorry, son." He turned away, hiding his sorrow as his son stormed out to the garage, breaking out two windows, with his fists, on the way, and sped off into the night.
"Carlisle, I'm going to go get her," Alice rested a hand on his forearm. "She needs us now."
"No, I'll go," he whispered. What she needed right now was a friend, someone who could empathize and sympathize with her. And by Alice's description of her, lying on the forest floor, she may need a doctor.
He was flying through the forest, the dampness of the now misting rain not bothering him; in fact, it was a bit refreshing. Alice had told him where Bella may be. She had not made a conscious decision about where she was going in the forest, just following on impulse, so he had only an idea. He let his instincts begin to take over, his hearing ranged out, searching the forest, his nostrils inhaled the woods around him, searching for any sign of the girl. Soon his vampire side had luck; he heard a faint sound, the soft thudding of a broken heart. If his heart was beating it would have made that sound when Esme left. He caught her scent; he stopped instantly and looked down at the broken girl at his feet. He knew the sight of her, hurting, on the ground, would haunt him forever. She looked so small and helpless. Her eyes were closed, and her lips were silently moving. He knew what she was saying; she was noiselessly saying Edwards name, like a prayer, praying for him to return and take back the ghastly things he had said.
Carlisle scooped her up in his arms, she felt almost as cold as he normally did. She stirred, but just barely.
"Carlisle? Carlisle, is that you?" her voice was broken and hoarse from crying.
"Yes, my dear. I'm here." He hugged her closely.
"You didn't leave?" her hands found their way to his collar, clutching at them like a lifeline, and he could hear the fabric straining with her distressed strength.
"Now, why would we do that?" he smiled at her warmly. His doctor instincts took over and he began assessing her, without her knowing it. He was sure Edward had left her physically whole; the emotional injuries would take longer to heal.
"But Edward said…" she trailed off and a strangled sob escaped her throat.
"No, we are all here for you: Jasper and Alice, Emmett and Rose. And I am here for you. I'm not going to let you go, I will not let you fall. Edward is gone to Denali." Her sobs wracked her body as he flew through the forest, tears falling freely.
Carlisle could see the search party forming as he neared the house. Men were wrapped in thick jackets, thanks to the drop in the temperature. Flashlights were examining maps and coffee had been poured for the long night ahead. Charlie was going to be livid at this turn of events, at the callousness of his son. Carlisle could hear Charlie talking to some of the men from the reservation. The woodsy wet dog smell filled his nose as he approached, he could clearly see Sam Uley glaring at him.
Werewolves! Great! As if we didn't have enough problems right now!
"I've got her!" Carlisle called out, head snapped up in his direction as he emerged from the woods.
"Bella, Bella!" Charlie bolted towards them. "What happened?"
"I'm okay, Dad." Her voice sounded weak, sleep was about to overtake her, and she could barely keep her eyes open.
"Edward left her. In the woods and he broke up with her." Carlisle explained.
"That bastard!" Charlie yelled. "How could he do that?" he grabbed for his daughter, but Carlisle held her tight.
"Can we discuss this inside," Carlisle said calmly, motioning around to the listening crowd. "Bella may have hypothermia and we need to get her out of these clothes immediately, she needs to get warm."
He pushed by Charlie and headed for the house. He smelled something familiar and headed to it, the scent mixing with Bella's in her room. "Alice!" Carlisle breathed a sigh of relief as he entered the room, Charlie following him close behind.
"I came here see if Bella had come back from her walk, in the woods, with Edward," she said innocently. "Charlie was nice enough to let me wait here. I got so scared when I knew they were going to send a search party! Bella had left a note telling Charlie where she would be."
That must have been one final laugh from Edward. Bella hated attention and the humiliation of having half the town come and search for her was just another nail in the coffin he made for her. Carlisle bit down, snapping his teeth in irritation at his son. Although, he was happy that Alice was there. Bella was a beautiful girl, soft and proportionate, but he didn't relish the thought of seeing her naked. It would only be to help her, she was too weak to disrobe herself, but it would just add further to her humiliation. Alice's visions were extremely helpful, sometimes.
"Would you mind?"
"Of course not," her voice was chipper as she ushered the men out of the room, into the hallway.
"Charlie, I must apologize for the actions of my son." Carlisle's voice was low and remorseful.
"Why would he do this to her? So suddenly? It always seemed like he was in love with her," he shook his head, the worry evident in his eyes.
"He has gone to stay with some relatives in Alaska; I don't expect him to return any time soon. Charlie, my family loves Bella. Jasper, Alice, Rose and Emmett look at her as a sister and I consider her a daughter. We are here for her and for you, if the need should arise."
"Thanks, Doc. I don't see Bella getting over this easily. This is a big blow for her."
Alice opened the white door to the room and waved the back in. "Your patient is waiting. I'm going to get some hot packs."
"Do you mind, Charlie?" Carlisle raised an eyebrow to him.
"No, I just want to make sure she is alright." He followed the doctor into the room. Bella was out of the clothing, but she was shivering and breathing shallowly. Alice had wrapped her trunk in blankets, trying to warm her. Bella's eyes stared off into the distance, but saw nothing.
"Bella, honey, I am going to examine you." Carlisle said in a louder than normal voice, trying to get her to respond, but she made no movement to indicate she had heard him. His cold hands felt for the bones in her arms, back and legs. His touch told him that she, indeed, did have hypothermia. His vampire ears could hear her weak heart and his nose picked up no trace of any blood, she would be alright, eventually. He pulled a rocking chair next to the bed and began rubbing her back through the blanket just as Alice returned with the hot packs.
"She is hypothermic. Put the hot packs near her, but not touching her skin. We need to warm her slowly or she could go into shock." Carlisle explained to Charlie. They worked for nearly an hour, slowly, coaxing her into drinking warm fluids, and bringing the heat back into her frozen limbs. Bella began to breathe normal again and she lay on the bed her eyes closed, her heart beating a bit stronger.
"That's all we can do for now. She needs time to rest." Carlisle looked down sadly at the girl; hoping sleep would bring her some respite from her pain. "Please call me if you need anything and I will back in the morning to check on her."
He rose from his watch on the chair, intent on leaving, when Bella's had shot out and grabbed his. "Don't go! Please stay with me!" Carlisle was shocked at the intensity in her chocolate eyes. He was her last thread holding precariously on to sanity. Carlisle looked to Charlie and saw him nod slightly.
"Of course, my dear. I'll be here as long as you need me." Carlisle smiled reassuringly at the fragile creature before him and sat back down in the chair, her hand firmly entwined in his stone grasp. Soon she was lost to the land of dreams and somewhere in the back of her mind she knew she slept better knowing that Carlisle was there; he would protect her, he would keep her safe from the nightmares that threatened to crush her.
Aww… Hope you like it… I had this idea floating in my head for awhile….Please review…