This is a one-shot.
"Bella, he's going to Italy!" The words froze me to my core and I stilled.
"NO!" I managed to hiss. "Alice, no!" I was frightened. What was he doing? "We have to-"
"There's little time to waste!" Alice rushed around the house for a second, looking for the appropriate things.
"Bella, don't do this," Jake begged, but I ignored him. There was only Edward. He might not love me, but I could never let him die.
"I can't. I have to do something," I replied. I moved from Jake and Alice was there.
"Now," Alice said. She had a faraway expression on her face and I worried if I should drive. She took the driver's seat before I could voice my worry. I glanced one last time at Jake and then Alice sped off.
"What is he thinking?!" Alice muttered to herself.
"What is he thinking?" I questioned her. She threw me a glance.
"He's alternating between a killing spree and sunlight. Whatever, really, that'll expose him. He's leaning towards the sunlight," Alice explained. I sucked in a breath.
"Will we make it?" I asked. She frowned at didn't reply. I switched subject. "Why is he doing it?" watched the scenery as we sped past it.
"He thinks you're dead," Alice told me. "Rosalie told him…" She made a quick phone-call and I realized it was to Rosalie. She was talking too fast, but clearly furious, for me to understand. She snapped the phone what.
"I know that he thinks I'm dead… But so what?" Alice glanced at me, surprised. She seemed rarely surprised.
"Bella, don't be silly," she told me. I frowned. She frowned. "This is more difficult that I imagined," her frown deepened. "What did he tell you?" I flinched as she asked me to recall the worst night in my life.
"That he was leaving," I edited, not wanting to remember.
"Yes, that was obvious, but… Your question seemed so sincere…" She trailed off. "Bella, I think Edward said something terrible," Alice ventured. I turned my face towards the window. "He's been in a comatose… Stupid vampire…" I didn't want to think. She saw this.
"Bella, did Edward ever tell you about mates?" Alice abruptly questioned. I turned to face her.
"It's life-altering," I told her. She nodded. I waited for her to elaborate.
"Little can change vampires. Finding one's mate can, however, can. Otherwise it's extremely hard. Mates speed up to process… With Vampires we only have one shot, so to speak. We don't fall in love, unless it's our mates. Some might play around casually, but they don't fall in love… So when they do, it's so life-altering, so shattering, that nothing can ruin it… It's forever." She trailed off. I didn't know where she was getting at.
"Let me explain… A vampire that falls in love is not possible unless the other one is in love as well…" Alice trailed off. She was hinting at something and I didn't dare voice it.
"You're wrong," I told her. She laughed.
"No," she told me seriously. "The problem, however, is that Edward thought that it would be different between you two, since you're human," her voice fell. "Stupid man," she hissed. I tried not to be uncomfortable.
"What are you saying?"
"Edward thought that the mate-bond would be weakened due to your humanity. He thought, honestly, that you'd move on…" Alice told me boldly. I gaped at her.
"Is he insane?"
"Yes. Egoistical in his own selfless way…" She replied humorless. We didn't talk, not even when we boarded the plane. I had too much to think about. Was that true? Did Edward leave because he wanted to protect me? And he thought, since me being human, I'd find someone else?
I doubted I'd ever find someone else.
"Why did Rosalie tell him I was dead?" I wondered, breaking the silence. Alice frowned disgustedly.
"Rosalie wants us to be as we were…" Alice explained, but elaborated. "She's jealous that you're human and doesn't get the fascination. She wants you to have a full life, as 'nature' intended it for you… And that makes her a bitch," Alice ended. I stared at her. I had never imagined that. I fell silent and pondered Rosalie's behavior. It was stupid.
"YES!" Alice yelled, disturbing the other humans onboard. My eyes had widened in fright at her outburst.
"Alice?" I hissed. People were looking towards us displeased.
"This is wonderful. Edward has decided to hunt before doing anything rash…" I worried at her sentence, but she elaborated. "Hunt close enough for us to get him without coming in range of Volterra. There's a bountiful forest he plans to visit," she closed her eyes and sunk into her seat. Only then did I realize how tense she'd been.
"You expected us to die," I told her. She looked at me and waited a moment to answer.
"I expected to have to go to Volterra… and possibly die," she admitted. I grasped her hand in support. "I hope he'll stick with his decision. This'll give us plenty of time," Alice told me. I felt relived,
Alice didn't take any chances, however, and stole the fastest car possible. I still had a lot to think about. If Edward really loved me, if he wanted me back… I shivered at the idea. I needed him so much.
By the time we reached the designated area it was getting dark. Alice was ecstatic, as this was giving several hours till Edward could do anything in the sun.
"You might have to go in alone," Alice told me. I stared at her. "I don't want him to know I'm here…"
"Alice, it's a forest… A forest!" I hissed at her.
"And here's a compass," she got one out from her purse. I didn't question this. "Go straight south-east. Just walk… I think your scent is enough…"
"But it's a forest! And it's dark!" I told her.
"And Edward's in there!" Alice cheered me on.
"Yes, hunting…" I told her. Alice trailed off.
"He wouldn't hurt you…" I noted the emphasis on 'you'. I stared at her. This was really stupid. And yet I was out of the car at the edge of the forest in seconds. Edward was hunting in there, somewhere.
And so I walked.
I might've walked for hours. But then again I fell a lot, which slowed me down, and I felt I was barely ten feet into the forest. I felt slow. But I managed to stay my course with the compass. I considered yelling, and as I was about to I tripped.
"Ouch!" I could feel something sharp hit my hand and I groaned. Great, I was bleeding. Way to impress Edward.
I trudged on. For another hour. The wind shifted. The trees rustled. I shivered. For a brief moment I felt I was being watched.
"How is this possible?" A voice whispered. It was a mere whisper, almost carried by the wind, and I felt my heart almost explode. I knew that voice.
"Edward!" I yelled and then he was here. In a second. He was in front of me, glorious even in his mangled state. His clothes were darkened and spotted, so was his skin and his hair were disarray. And yet he looked glorious, as I remembered him.
I threw my arms around him. "Oh Edward!" And he held me close.
"How-?" Edward asked. I could see his golden eyes. He had fed. But they were filled with confusion.
"Alice. And I didn't die. She has holes in her vision!" I quickly explained. I held him close again. All the while I was thinking about what Alice had said. I would've loved to contain myself better. I knew this would tear me apart when he left, but I had crossed the point of no return.
I knew that this was the last I would have of Edward if he left. I wouldn't be able to exist anymore.
"I- I thought… Oh Bella!" He whispered. I don't know for how long, but eventually I was starting to get cold.
"Hello, dear brother," Alice's voice cut through my perfect dream and Edward moved in our embrace. He didn't let go.
"Alice," he acknowledged. Something tugged in me and when I wouldn't let go Edward laughed lightly. "Come, Bella. A blanket," he told me and wrapped it around me. He hoisted me into his arms and then he sped from the forest. I didn't see the trip, as I was focused on his face and the second we were clear from the forest his eyes were on me.
I wondered if Alice had been correct, for in his eyes I saw all the love and adoration I remembered.
On the backseat of the car Edward held me closely and while I enjoyed our time right now, too much to fathom, I knew I had to get some things cleared out.
"Did you leave because you thought the bond wasn't strong for me?" I asked him, timidly.
He was surprised at my question. Alice had given nothing away.
"I thought you'd move on…" He whispered. He looked pained. As if he'd really been dumb enough to believe such a thing.
"And you?" I questioned, remembering his terrible words.
"I was never distracted. Always a lie. I'd wait in the wings, be your second option… Your first option let you lead the life you were intended to have," he told me. I couldn't see his logic in this.
And that's when it hit me. I moved away from him. I realized what I had to do. Edward was blinded by his arrogance and age. He thought I did what was best for me. I had to take that ability away. I knew he loved me. I was betting everything I had that he did. Otherwise this would go horribly wrong. But until we were equal one of us had to have the power and it had always been Edward. There had to be a shift.
"The bond would keep me from loving anyone else," I told him. My voice was steady, factual.
"Alice, stop the car," I asked her. We were on the roadside in seconds and I turned fully to Edward.
"Either you take me, Edward, as per my decision, or you leave this car now, and, whatever happens, don't hurt yourself and never seek me out," both Alice and Edward seemed shocked by my words. Alice hadn't had time to see what would happen.
"What-what do you mean?"
"Edward, you're wrong. Always wrong. Not only that, but you're blinded by your own arrogance, borne from your many years…" I straightened, "You never want to discuss your opinions, to be challenged. Your fear of being wrong is ruining us."
Alice left the car and I assumed she'd give us privacy. Edward frowned.
"You say you don't have a soul, and yet the mere thought of Esme being soulless is too much for you to bear. You're inconsistent."
"Inconsistent?" He was fidgeting, which I'd never seen him do before. It was empowering.
"Inconsistent," I confirmed. "You said that vampires have evolved, like any other species. Yet you don't believe in heaven for you. If vampires have evolve, like all else, and that, then you are natural…"
"You say you're a monster, but nature created you to drink blood. The true monsters are those who do things that isn't in their nature and which is bad. Like humans and some forms of crime". He was listening, surprised at my rant.
"I will not be destroyed by that. I will not subject myself to living half a life. I will not have you decide my course of life, based on faith," I spat the words angrily and venomously; "do you think Carlisle prays for his patients? Is that how he cures them?" My voice was mocking now and a small laugh escaped me. Mockingly. He flinched. "How dare you touch my life with your faith, decide how my life should be based on your faith and opinion. What makes your faith right and your opinion right? For the years you've spent living you've learned so little."
"Stop being inconsistent and start using your head. You've had over 100 years do use it and all I see is stupidity. And whining."
I fell silent, not sure what else to say. He looked sad. I felt my chest tighten.
"Which is it?" I gestured to the door. I knew he'd stay. I'd seen his love. This is what I was counting on. He had to stay, or else my plan would fall to pieces and I'd be the one groveling.
"I can't take your soul away," he whispered.
"Your belief is your belief. I will never be with anyone else but you, never be happy, know that. You can go," I knew he hadn't meant it as a rejection, but it felt like it nonetheless. I had to be strong, stronger than him. He stayed in the car. As I'd counted on.
"Please, Bella…" he whispered.
"Be my equal, otherwise get out of the car," I had barely said the words before I felt him shift in his seat. He leaned against me.
"I can't ever leave," he whispered, "I just… I can't lose you again," his voice was agony. I turned to him, certain of my success.
"This is my decision. Human experiences… Do you want me to have children, with someone else?" He looked anguished at the idea. "I didn't think so. This is it," I told him. I was staring into his eyes and I saw his will crumble. He'd do anything I'd ask to keep me.
"If you ever wish do have this discussion again it will be based on knowledge, not faith. But preferably I will never talk about this again," and to drive it home I added:
"I will always remember the pain you've put me through," he cringed and I almost wished I hadn't said it. But this was war and I had to have the upper hand, "But becoming a vampire might lessen it. After graduation." I raised an eyebrow as he seemed to want to object. But I knew he had no real arguments. There was no point in me staying human longer than that. I'd go to university, at least tell Charlie that, and then I'd die in an accident. The pain of not seeing him again stupefied me, but I stayed strong. I had to do this.
What would happen when Charlie and Renee died? If I stayed human I'd feel it too late to be changed. People would eventually see me as his sister, his mother, his grandmother… I couldn't allow it to get that far.
As Alice entered the car she glanced at me. Her expression held nothing revealing and I was uncertain if I'd done the right thing. Edward snuggled against me, held me tight, and I knew that, as long as he and I were together, it didn't matter.
For the entire ride Edward and I nuzzled together. Alice seemed impatient and I knew why.
"Soon," I grinned at her. She grinned back.
"Not soon enough," she laughed. Finally we landed and we met his family and the welcome area. Alice had already located Jasper and the pair shared an intimate moment. I looked away.
"Thank you so much, Bella! My stupid son!" Esme sobbed and hugged me close.
"I don't know how to repay you. You have my deepest gratitude," Carlisle said emotionally. I blushed.
"It was nothing, Carlisle. Happy to do it," I assured him. I glanced adoringly at Edward and saw he was looking at me as well. He was still holding me close and I didn't mind at all.
"Rosalie and Emmet are in the carpark…" Carlisle said. Edward growled, "Please let her make amends, Edward," Carlisle whispered. I squeezed Edward lightly and he calmed.
Esme and Carlisle rode with Alice and Jasper. Rosalie and Emmet were by the other car. Rosalie looked surprisingly sad.
"I'm so sorry, Edward. Bella," Rosalie turned to me in the car as Emmet drove us away. "I never meant for this to happen. Thank you so much, Bella, for having the courage to save my brother…"
"Don't worry about it Rosalie," I assured her. I was feeling tired, but at the same time flamboyant. The same kind I'd felt with Edward. I straightened in my seat, so that I could face Rosalie properly.
"Rosalie…" I considered her wrath for a second, but discarded it. This was the only time I had the time to open this can. "I will become a vampire. I am Edward's mate. I will never love another man. I will never want children, unless it's with him. It's redundant to consider the idea, because I want Edward. If you could have children, would you do so with any other then Emmet?" I saw her shake her head, her eyes wide.
"Rosalie, why do you think Carlisle does what he does? Being a doctor, I mean?" Rosalie stayed silent. Both Emmet and Edward were listening intensely. "Because he loves helping other people. Alice said you're jealous of me for having the opportunity to lead a 'normal' life. But Rosalie, just because you can't have children doesn't mean you can't be around them. If this is such a big deal to you perhaps you should work in a kindergarten. Do as Carlisle. Take a chance and work with what you love." I fell silent for a second.
"This entire family wants to be normal, wants to spare humans. But to what point and purpose? You avoid humans like a plague. That doesn't help any one of you. Jasper might have difficulty with his diet. His might know what his intended prey feels or, through Edward, thinks, but none of you actually tries to befriend them. There's no point in going to school if you're not gonna blend it. Rather, you'll stand out more obviously…"
Rosalie was still staring at me. I didn't dare to look away. Eventually she looked away and stayed silent the entire trip.
Later Edward told me that she'd been surprised by my outburst, but had had a revelation. A change was coming over this family and I felt empowered for bringing it on.
Edward started to use his head and so book 3+4 happens, only with Edward not such an idiot.