I've waited long enough so this has not been reviewed by the beta! Sorry! But I will be posting the cleaned up version soon.
In the meantime, here is the chap which I tried my best to look over.
She takes a deep breath, trying to find her words. "Remember that day I took you to the place by the beach…in the woods?" she asks. Her voice breaks at the end before she closes her eyes. "You seemed to be off somewhere in your mind and I thought surely you were remembering. I thought it was time. I thought maybe I needed to be honest. How dare I hold a secret like that from you?
"When you woke up in the hospital and you spoke your first words, I knew you didn't remember. Somewhere in the head of that 12 year old girl, I thought it to be true. I needed to stay quiet. You were so broken. It broke my heart to see you so distraught. That day when were kids older and I took you to that place, I thought you'd remember.
"But you didn't…," she wipes her eyes and places her hands over his chest. "It's where…where I kept you warm. For a moment, I kept you safe. I, that stupid and depressed kid, cared for someone. You weren't talking. You were in shock. I…when I found you, you were standing next to your mom, just looking at her. You weren't blinking or even breathing. You…you weren't there. Your mind took you far away from that. You were going to freeze to death if I didn't pull you away from her. I remember calling your name…
"Edward! Edward, please! Can you hear me! You have to get out of there! Edward! Edward…I'm so sorry. I'm sorry…please walk towards me. Take my hand."
"You wouldn't turn and look at me so I jumped into the icy water and pulled you to shore. I kept telling you…
"Don't look back, you hear me? Don't look back, Edward. You just keep holding my hand and keep walking. Don't stop and don't turn around."
"I walked you through the beach and into the woods so you wouldn't see your mother anymore. I still remember how your soggy, wet and cold hand felt in mine. I began to panic when you didn't respond to me at all. I pulled you out of the water. How was I supposed to pull you out of your mind? I felt so hopeless. I remember starting a campfire to keep you warm, like Rambo did for himself in the movie. I thought to myself that at least I knew how to do that. I wanted to be like Rambo and take care of you there and fight off anything that dared try and harm you. I was such a stupid kid. I thought I could do it. We spent hours there. We laid by the fire on our sides. I had my arms wrapped around you to keep you warm while you faced the flames. You never said a word to me. I kept talking to you, trying to distract you. I told you stories and sang and made stupid conversations with you." A few more tears slip from both their eyes. "But you didn't even cry. I was so scared. Who doesn't cry for their dead mother? I thought surely you were gone from reality. When Carlisle came and found you, I was away finding more firewood. I didn't let him see me. They just took you and I continued to feel hopeless. I thought I'd lose you for sure."
"The hospital? You were there?" Edward finally asks after a long moment of sobbing and deep breathing. Tommy quickly nods.
"Yes, that was real. I snuck past your dad and the nurses' station and into your room. I needed to make sure you were okay. You woke up crying and I held onto to you because I was crying, too. Maybe if I held you together, I wouldn't break. That was my life from then on. You think you used me, Edward. You think you used me so you would not break, but the truth is that I did the same. I wanted to keep you safe so I could feel safe, too. It pained me when you would hurt so much and it made me happy when you were happy. I became part of your life at first because I was lonely myself and I needed to feel more powerful than I did before, but soon enough, you filled up my heart and made it feel full."
With desperation, Edward grabs onto her waist and pulls her into his body. His trembling hands take both her cheeks and softly kisses her eyelids.
"I owe you my life, Tommy," Edward whispers. "I will always be in debt with you. Always. I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you."
"You don't owe me anything, Edward. You were my friend. You were my best friend."
"Why didn't you tell me? I should have known what you did for me."
"Why did you need to know that? I didn't want you to remember how your mom looked in that water. I thought it would be too cruel of me to remind you. A few times, I wanted you to remember that it had been me. I took you to the same spot in the woods a few times, but you never remembered," she whispers.
"I still don't."
"And with good reason. You don't need to remember that horrible moment. You only need to remember how she was before she died. The happy her. Remember her and forgive her for what she did."
Edward wraps his arms around Tommy, holding her so tightly. There is no chance of losing her ever again.
It had taken Edward a good night's sleep to recover from Tommy's revelation. She was patient and kind with him as he went through the motions of her confession.
He had tried his best.
There was nothing he could have done.
"Are you gonna be okay?" She asks.
"Yes. Don't worry about me. I'll see you tonight?"
"As planned, handsome," she says with a smirk.
He chuckles and shakes his head.
She hasn't changed.
They stand outside her apartment complex. She has her work uniform on and her hair neatly pulled into a bun. He smirks and takes her hand in his, making her spin around.
"What?" she asks, with a light chuckle and a huff of breath. There hasn't been a laugh or smile in hours, but this feels natural. This feels like them again.
"You just look adorable in that awful uniform, that's all." he confesses.
"Shush! I can't believe you just checked me out."
"I can't help it. Your fault."
"Well, you're no fun. I expect our usual trash talking tonight. None of this 'beautiful' business."
With one arm he sweeps her into his body and plants a wet kiss on her neck making her squeal. "It's your fault, Swan. You've turned me into this," he says.
He chuckles and kisses the side of her head and she kisses his cheek before they part.
As she starts to walk off, their conversation from last night creeps back into his head. He can't help but fear he'll lose her again. He meant it when he said he would spend his life repaying her for what she did. He wanted to make her happy.
He wanted to show her how much he loved her. It was his responsibility.
She turns and smiles at him. "I don't know what's going on in that head of yours, Edward Cullen. But I ain't going anywhere far… not without you, at least. See ya later."
Edward doesn't know what kind of relationship they are going to have. But they have never needed an explanation or title. They made sense. They felt like a breath after a deep dive into deadly deep waters and now he knew she was exactly that to him.
"You were always the smarter one, Swan," he says, and leans his forehead against hers. "I still can't believe it. You're the best person I know." He takes her face into his large hands and kisses one of her wet cheeks. "You're such a beautiful being."
"So, you don't hate me? You don't hate me for not telling you about your mom? For leaving like an idiot?" She asked, tears streaming down her face.
He wonders when they'll stop crying. She had arrived to the apartment to find him gone. He had only gone to look around for work, but it seems she was scared too. He found her crying the moment she opened the door. She jumped into his arms and wrapped her skinny arms around his neck, sobbing her false alarm away.
"What? Hate you? I could never. Why would I? You saved my life."
"I'm sorry," she whispers brokenly. "Don't leave me. I didn't mean to hurt you. I had always known I would be leaving Forks. Finding you that day at La Push and growing up with you and filling my heart with you wasn't part of the plan. But I had to leave. I should have told you. I thought you would eventually forget about me and that you would be okay."
"How could I ever forget about you? You were everything to me, Tommy. Although that idiot eighteen year old didn't realize it, yet, you were everything." He caresses her cheek with his fingertips. "You still are and I'm not afraid to say it."
She smiles through her teary face, wraps her arms around him and rests her head on his shoulder. "How I missed you. I missed you so much. I missed your green eyes, your smell, your stupid laugh, and those lines on your forehead when you're pissed and you…just all of you….The thought of you was a constant in my head these past six years and it will be for the rest of my life."
"I don't have to be a thought. I'm here. I've found you."
"So how was Forks?" She asks, running her fingertips over the wrinkles of his t-shirt. She is resting her head on his chest as they lie in bed.
He smiles into her hair and glances at the window of the tiny apartment.
They have lost track of the time.
The sun is peaking its face and the night is saying its goodbyes, but for the past few days Edward and Tommy have talked about everything in their lives that distance kept from them. Sleep has seemed like such a drag. "Is it still small and dreadful?" She asks with light voice as if frightened by what he'll respond.
He chuckles. "It's different but the same. I don't know what I expected when I went back. I guess I expected to find you. It reminded me of you, of course. The woods, the beach, the cottage, the diner and my room…they all reminded me of you. The breeze in the afternoon and the cool grass. You were there. Always. And it was like everyone knew. They knew how much I wanted to find you and the real reason I was there. They kept asking me about you and I cursed myself for not knowing anything."
She kisses his chin and runs a finger over his nose. She inhales deeply and her hold around his body becomes tighter. "It seems I can't get close enough to you, Edward Cullen," she whispers against his cheek.
"You can have all of me, if you'd like."
She smiles. He can feel it and it fills his chest with warmth. "I have years of missing you. I think I will."
They stay quiet for a moment. He closes his eyes and listens to her breathe hoping this moment isn't temporary. His arms tighten around her at the thought as if she'll slip away.
"Is Leah still there?" She asks. "Tell me she left. Tell me she left that place."
He shakes his head. "She works at the diner."
Tommy sighs. "That girl…"
"She asked me to tell her if I ever heard from you. Same thing with Jacob, my dad, Alice, Rosalie…"
Tommy sits up, still resting a hand over his chest. "Rosalie? Did she ever…"
"She told me everything… about what happened to her." Edward's heart stops. He holds his breath, waiting for Tommy to tell him. He wants her to open up and tell him what happened to her. Surely the thought of Rosalie would remind her why both girls ended up having a connection. But Tommy inhales, exhales and nods. He closes his eyes in disappointment.
It seems Tommy is still battling her own demons. She stares off into space for a moment and her resting hand turns into a fist over his chest.
"Hey," he says, and gently pulls her back to his chest. "What's going on?"
"Nothing," she mutters.
"I thought we were in the business of honesty tonight."
"I just can't believe…I'm glad she's talking to someone."
Edward smiles at Tommy's excitement. There is pure and honest joy in her brown eyes. "Yeah. His name is Emmett. He's a great guy."
"That's great. I'm so happy for her. How about Alice? How's she doing?"
"She's in school. She spends her time studying and worrying about me. She drives me nuts, but I love her."
"Why is she worried about you? Does she know where you are?"
"Kind of…but I stopped seeing my shrink and she thinks it's a horrible idea."
Tommy stays silent again, but before Edward can ask what's wrong, she continues her questionings. "How is your dad?"
"He married again. He married my Aunt Esme."
Tommy looks at him with wide eyes. "Your mom's sister?" She asks, with a crinkle on her forehead. He smiles and soothes it over with his thumb.
"I'm not mad about it anymore."
"She makes him happy. He deserves it."
"You deserve it, too."
He pulls her face closer to his and kisses her nose. He chuckles when she rolls her eyes. He knows what she really wants, but he's waiting for the right moment. "You make me happy, Swan. Always have. I wanna make you happy."
She smiles and playfully nudges her nose against his. "Just don't go anywhere and I'll be ecstatic."
She might be battling some of her past. But he silently promises to help her beat them.
Like she did with him.
Edward doesn't dream of his mother. He doesn't wake up in fear or panic. Instead he wakes up to Tommy who is in a wrestling mood.
He wins with what she calls "his cheats."
"Always the sore loser, Swan," he mutters playfully.
She flips him off. "I simply call it as I see it."
"It's not my fault you're ticklish as hell."
"Ugh," she grunts as she gives him a plate of scrambled eggs. "Cheating I say!"
"Hmm, you sound upset, sweetiepie."
She chuckles. "You hush, Cullen. And don't call me that or I'll smack you."
"Why is there food in my fridge I don't recall buying?"
"Because I bought it, that's why."
"Edward," she whines. "I have money. I promise I'm okay."
"It doesn't matter. I wanna buy you food. Get over it. Sit your ass down, Swan, and eat."
She playfully smacks his arm, but then caresses it. Her soft hands run over his skin, crawl under his shirt and up his arm.
He rolls his eyes with a smirk on his face.
"You're a beauty! No wonder this baboon went around looking for you," Jasper says, giving Tommy a tight hug like he's known her forever. He spins her around and Edward chuckles at the wide eyes she throws his way.
Maria does the same and goes on about how romantic Edward is making him sigh in fake annoyance. Tommy giggles and takes his hand with hers as they follow the other couple into their temporary backyard where Jasper is making "authentic Texan BBQ."
"She loves you," Jasper says, as they stare at both women from afar. The ladies are sitting by the pool with only their legs in the water.
"I know," Edward says. "I love her, more"
The blonde man chuckles. "How sweet, you sugar man."
"Have ya told her?"
"That I'm sweet?"
"No, you know what I mean, asshole."
"What you waitin for? That girl adores you. She won't stop lookin over here. I feel like I'm in high school again."
Edward smiles into his beer. "I wanna make sure that when I tell her, there is no doubt in her that it's true."
"Well, hell, you spent almost a year looking for her. I think it's safe to say that she'll believe it."
In that moment Tommy turns and looks at Edward. She's sucking on her bottom lip as Maria animatedly talks about something he cannot hear or care for. Tommy looks a little worried and he wants to run over to her and ask what's got her stressing, but he doesn't want to scare her away.
He smiles at her and the brief look of fear in her face disappears and is replaced by a light he wasn't sure he'd ever see again.
Everything is okay. Everything will be alright.
"What are you thinking about?" He asks.
She hums by his ear as they dance to the slow folk song playing outside the bar they picked. "I still remember how you used to say there would be something good after it all."
"I used to say that?" He asks, with a chuckle.
"Yes, you. You always had this dreamer look on your face. I took those words to heart. I pulled them and held onto them so desperately…"
"I was an idiot."
"Why do you say that? It was true. Life is good, Cullen. Let's not be sad anymore. I've found it to be true in the past five years. Good things do happen."
"Tommy… perhaps more things were to happen. More of these good things you speak of… but I was an idiot, because I already had you. You were the good "thing" I kept hoping for. You are. Looking for you has made me live. It has reminded me of what it feels like to look ahead. I've lived in order to find you and that is something I will always be grateful for. The thought of having you in my arms like this," he says and hugs her closer, "moved mountains. I needed to find my best friend. You revived me."
Tommy deeply exhales and takes hold of his shirt as if she will fall if she doesn't. "Damn it, Cullen. What's a girl supposed to say to that?"
He smirks and kisses the corner of her mouth. He gently caresses her cheekbone and jaw. The way her brown eyes shine with the lights hit her face is perfect. And the way her new reckless adorn her nose and the way her cheeks dimple with her smile…it's all perfect.
"I want you to know that I understand why you left, but a day doesn't go by without me regretting not finding you sooner. I regret all the years wasted, but I'm gonna make it up to you."
"But I'm the one that left," she whispers.
"Something told you to leave, because I didn't tell you to stay. So I'm telling you now, Swan. Stay with me. Stay with me because I love you and I'm tired of living a life where I don't get to tell you so."
Tommy doesn't answer with her smart tongue or with a cry. Instead she presses her soft lips against his, shoving her hands into his hair and holding on so tightly that Edward needs no other answer.
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