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P. 1
With Thee Fade Away (Part 2)

With Thee Fade Away (Part 2)

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Published by floralfs
Twilight...with a twist...u'll luv it.
Twilight...with a twist...u'll luv it.

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Published by: floralfs on Jun 27, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/04/2013

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 And with Thee Fade Away 
 
7. Away 
Bella hurried along behind Edward as he turned what seemed like an endless number of corners andpassed through a series of long hallways. He strode forward without looking back at her, insensitive tothe current weakness of her muscles. Bella found the task of keeping stride with his rapid gait especiallydifficult, and wondered why he was moving so quickly.Even still, she studied his stride with growing curiosity. There was something easy about it, slow even,despite the speed with which it carried him. It was almost as though, in this moderate measure of haste,he was walking at a more leisurely speed than he was used to moving.Bella tore her eyes away from the movement of Edward's long legs in order to get a better glimpse of the Cullen house. By the sheer length of time it was taking them to walk from one end to the other,Bella suspected the dwelling to be massive. The existence of such a house was shocking to Bella; shedidn't recall ever having seen a mansion in Forks, and she had certainly not expected the Cullens to livein such a grand estate. She knew doctors were supposed to be wealthy, but this amount of fortuneseemed absurd.Even if she had not been privy to the vastness of the place, she would have still been taken aback by itsstyle and decoration. Congruous with the room in which she had awoken, the house blended classichardwood, velvet, Persian carpets and arched doorways with airy openness and modern artwork.Despite its size, the house was somehow a much warmer and more inviting environment than she hadexpected of someone like Edward Cullen. Then again, she wasn't entirely sure what, exactly, she hadimagined Edward's home to look like. His appearance and manner suggested a dwelling closer to adungeon or a cave than to an enormous, elegant mansion.At last, and out of breath, Bella had followed Edward all the way to the foyer, in which she found herfather anxiously pacing its length. As they passed through the doorway, Edward stepped aside to allowCharlie Swan a full view of his daughter. Stopping mid-pace and making no effort at all to bury hisexpression of relief behind his dark mustache, he ran to Bella and hugged her with a level of fervorwhich was not particularly advisable, given the bruises her body had recently sustained.Luckily, Bella, despite her discomfort in being squashed between Charlie's arms, accepted his embracewith a degree of affection suitable to calm a worrying father. Her return hug was indeed so effectivethat it hastened the return of Charlie's normal personality sooner than she would have wished."Good god, Bella," he exclaimed upon releasing her. "Do you have any idea how close you came to dyingtoday? What on earth were you thinking? Running into the forest, alone, despite the double threat of dangerous weather and rabid animals? Did you leave your brain in Phoenix?"
"I'm sorry, Dad…" said Bella, because she could think of nothing else to say.
 
 
"Can you imagine what it's like getting a voicemail from your daughter consisting of nothing but adistant scream?" He was pointing his finger at her, wagging it a little as he spoke, like the lawyers did ontelevision dramas."Dad
""No, you listen to me. If it hadn't been for Edward
"Her father was interrupted by the sound of a throat being cleared pointedly. Both Bella and Charlieswung their heads around to the source of the noise. Carlisle Cullen had joined Edward in the foyer andwas watching Bella and her father with an expression close to impatience.Bella was, at first, surprised by Carlisle's appearance. He, too, was every bit as pale as Edward. With theknowledge that the two were not biologically related, Bella began to suspect that the Cullens lived in acave after all: an enormous, ornate, house-like cave. Or perhaps, as a physician, Carlisle had an extremeskin-cancer phobia.Stranger still, Carlisle also shared Edward's remarkably dark eyes, but in all other respects, carried acompletely different air. He wore a coffee-colored tweed jacket and beneath it, his shirt collar wasfastened by an ordinary striped tie. His frame was slim, but short in stature, with blonde hair neatlycombed and parted. Overall, his manner and style of dress produced the gentle and inviting appearanceof a kindly scholar. This was in stark in contrast with Edward, who stood silently at his foster-father'sside, all imposing height and darkness in a deep grey ribbed sweater and wild russet hair.Despite Carlisle's softer appearance, Bella found him surprisingly unsettling. Looking at his handsomeface, she struggled to pinpoint his age. With the Cullens side by side, Bella had the odd feeling that thetwo were somehow more like brothers than father and son. They both seemed of an equal age, or, if shewould dare think it, ageless. Yet, still, Carlisle might have been forty to Edward's seventeen; the anglesof his face had the harsh appearance of world-weariness, usually only present in midlife and later. Thisconfusion made Bella's head ache, and she had to blink a few times to clear her mind."I do hope you feel well, Bella," said Carlisle with a voice somehow reminiscent of the tweed he waswearing. "You bumped your head pretty thoroughly, but I suspect you'll be feeling fine by tomorrowmorning. I would, however, recommend avoiding strenuous activity for a week or so." He remainedseveral feet away from both Bella and her father, and though he spoke like a doctor, he didn't move toshake either her hand or her father's. Bella wondered if he was annoyed by her presence in his house."Thank you for looking after me, Doctor Cullen," she said hesitantly, "I'm sorry to put you and Edwardthrough all this." Working up a small amount of courage, she stepped toward him and reached out toshake his hand. For a split second, shock overwhelmed his face, but his countenance quickly resumed itsplacid expression. He gently took Bella's hand, barely exerting any pressure at all on her open palm.Bella nearly jumped with astonishment; his fingers burned with the same iciness she had felt fromEdward's touch. It took a great deal of effort for her to avoid yanking her hand away, but she bit her lipand gave his hand a small shake before releasing it. Bella couldn't help but notice Carlisle glancing
 
quickly at Edward, and receiving a slight nod from the latter before looking back at her. Theirmovements had the appearance of a silent conversation, the subject of which Bella couldn't begin tounderstand.Carlisle smiled. It wasn't at all like Edward's smirk; this smile was full of warmth and generosity. "You'rewelcome here any time, Bella. It's my pleasure to help you; your father is a dear friend of mine."Charlie nodded, arms crossed, as a sort of "thank you." Bella was fairly certain they would leave thehouse at last, but just then, two more people arrived in the foyer. Bella recognized the young man asJasper; he was followed by an older woman who, by her father's account, she suspected was EsmeCullen: Carlisle's wife. Bella's guess was confirmed as the truth when Esme immediately took Bella'shand in her own and introduced herself. During this handshake, Bella was surprised yet again, for anentirely different reason. Esme's hand felt entirely warm and normal. Her skin was a smooth goldencolor, and her eyes a pretty, natural green. Bella assumed that unlike the other Cullens, Esme mustprefer to live elsewhere than in a cave, sleep in a bed rather than a freezer, and avoid whatever horribledisease made one's irises all dark and funky.Lacking the eerie features of her husband and foster-children, Esme was a striking beauty. She wasprobably seventy-five, but age had only added distinction to attractiveness, absorbing none of the latter,as successive years usually do. Her all-white hair fell just to her shoulders and was styled into shinywaves, in a way that harkened back to movie stars like Katharine Hepburn in the golden age of cinema.As elderly as she was, Esme was probably the most beautiful of the Cullens. Bella needed no further justification to understand Carlisle's love for her, age gap be damned."I've given your clothes a wash and dry, dear," Esme said, with an old-style mid-Atlantic accent tocomplete her classic movie star image. "The robe you're in now, I'm sure you're wondering, belongs tome. I helped you change; I believe in modesty, and I'm the only lady of the house. I surely hope youdon't mind."Bella smiled appreciatively and said, "Not at all. Really, thanks for all the help, especially since youwouldnt've had to do anything if I'd used some common sense."Esme batted her hand against the air nonchalantly. "Having guests at the house is a welcome treat, deargirl, be they half-dead or in full spirits." Without elaborating on that statement, Esme handed Bella ashopping bag containing her clean clothes, and then flowed gracefully across the floor and took herplace beside Carlisle. He turned to his wife with adoring eyes, and very gently caressed the back of herhand.Jasper, as quiet as ever, lingered behind his family members, staring through the gap between Edward'sand Carlisle's shoulders. There was something hungry in his gaze, and his eyes were held wide with thekind of desperation Bella associated with drug addicts.Jasper's eyes met Bella's and he took a minute step forward, looking like he was preparing to burstthrough the barrier created by his brother and foster-father. In response, Bella was unable to stifle a

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