New Moon: Edward returns from Italy before he talks to Bella By: Dominique Balkcom After I was finished prying

Bella’s fingers from my shirt, I stole one last glance at her before I left her room to face Charlie. Will she take me back? After finally seeing her after all of this time, after all of the agony I experienced from being away from her, I know that I cannot bring myself to ever leave her again…….unless she asked me to. It’s amazing, though, how being in her room again after all this time feels natural. I haven’t been in a place that felt like this since I left Bella. She’s been very quiet and thoughtful since our little reunion in Italy. I wonder what she was thinking about on the plane? Has she moved on? Does she hate me? I wouldn’t blame her if she did. I wouldn’t blame her if she never wanted to talk to or see me ever again. I would spend the rest of her life apologizing and begging her to take me back if that’s what it would take. She seemed like she still loved me when we were in the lobby after being spared by the Volturi. On the plane also……… A little……….. She was hesitant. She probably just felt pity for me for trying to kill myself. If she has moved on, though, I will support her decision. It would kill me-metaphorically- but I would support her. All I want is for her to be happy. That’s all I ever wanted, but it seems that my latest mistake, leaving her, only caused her more pain that I could have ever imagined. And on top of that, I had left her unprotected with werewolves around. Anything could have happened to her. But for some reason she’s not afraid of them. Of course. That is so Bella. Leave it to her to become friends with werewolves. Our natural enemies. The most dangerous creatures out there next to vampires……….. Well, I guess I should face the music with Charlie now. This is the easy part. The hard part is going to be facing Bella. I stood in front of Bella’s door with my hand on her knob listening to Charlie’s thoughts before I faced him. He was standing right outside of Bella’s door waiting for me. “What is taking him so long? How long does it take to lay her on the bed and leave? The leaving part should be easy. That’s what

he does best. I can’t believe he had the nerve to show his face here after what he did to my daughter…….” Charlie continued with his rant in his head that lead to a lot of profanities aimed at me. I walked out of her door and closed it gently behind me. Charlie started to speak but I interrupted him…. “Charlie, if you don’t mind, could you wait until we get down stairs before we have this conversation? I don’t want to wake Bella.” I whispered before he could speak and turned and walked downstairs before he had a chance to answer. I know nothing could probably wake Bella now, as tired as she was, but I didn’t want to take any chances. She needs her rest. “Who does he think he is telling me what to do? What gives him the right……” Charlie’s thoughts shouted at me as he walked behind me down the stairs. When I made it downstairs, I got to the door and turned to face Charlie. As soon as he met me there he went off….. “What gives you the right to show your face here? You are not welcome here. Do know how much pain my daughter went through when you just up and left her? Left her, might I add, in the woods. Alone. Lost. Do you know how long it took us to find her? Anything could’ve happened to her while she was out there. But that doesn’t matter to you, right.” If I could only tell him that I was the one who left him the note to tell him where she was. That I made sure that we didn’t walk too far in the woods so that she could find her way back home on the trail. That his daughter meant the world to me and her safety has always been my first concern. Her safety was the reason I was in the mess to begin with. “And then you get yourself in some kind of trouble and she has to be the one to run off and help you? Where were you when she needed help? It took her months to even get some color back to her skin after you broke her heart. Now you show up and it’s going to tear her up all over again. Haven’t you had enough of ruining my daughter’s life? Can’t you find some other girl’s life to drag through the mud? I can’t believe you think that you can just leave, mess up her life, and show up again like nothing ever happened? I hope you don’t think that just because she came to

help you that that means anything. I don’t want you here. I don’t want you around my daughter. I don’t want you to ever step foot through my door again……….” Charlie screamed at me. He had every right to feel the way he did. And he was right about everything he said. I have messed up her life. In more ways than he will ever know. She deserved better than me…… Maybe I should just leave again. Before she wakes back up. I don’t want take her through what she has already been through because of me……..No. I can’t. I don’t even know how to leave again. Especially now with werewolves around. I will not leave her unprotected with those dogs here in Forks. I listened to everything he said without interruption and then I began to speak…. “Charlie, I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am for hurting Bella the way that I did. You have every right to feel the way that you do about me. But nothing you say can make me feel worse than I already feel about myself for leaving her. For hurting her. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. My actions were inexcusable. I am also sorry for being the cause of her leaving for the past three days. I know I didn’t deserve her help. I’m sorry for everything. You have no idea………” I said. The look on his face told me that he could care less if I was sorry or not, even without being able to hear the same thing in his thoughts. He cut me off in the middle of my apologies…. “Well, Edward, I really don’t care how you feel. Don’t come near my daughter ever again. I don’t even want to see your Volvo ride down my street,” he said and opened the door, “Goodbye” I knew that if I said anything else it would just make things worse so I simply turned and walked out the door. It slammed behind me. My eyes instantly flashed towards Bella’s window. I listened for her heartbeat to see if she was awake. The door slammed pretty hard. But it was slow and steady. She was still sound asleep. I walked back to the car with my head held low. I felt so worthless. My existence is worthless. I can’t do anything right. When I got back in the car with Rosalie and Emmett, I dropped my face in my hands. They didn’t say anything to me, even though they heard every word that was passed. They just looked back at me and then drove off.

“ I’m sorry bro. That was brutal. I didn’t know Chief Swan had that kind of anger in him.” Emmett thought. But I knew he did. He loved Bella unconditionally. He may not be very verbal with his love for her, but I knew just how deep his love ran. He would do anything for her. It killed him to see her in so much pain. The pain that I caused. The ride back to our house was quiet. All I could think about was going back to see Bella. To get this over with. No matter if it was good or bad. If she would take me back or not. It felt like the anticipation would drive me insane. I had been without her for so long, being away from her now, after seeing her again, was even more painful. But what was I going back to? A girl who was still in love with me. Who wants to be with me, despite all the pain I caused her. Or a girl who despises me and never wants to see me again. Or, even worse, a girl who belongs to someone else……... With all that has happened, I never got a chance to think about being back home. At my house. The only house that has ever felt like home to me. Back in the only town that has ever really felt like home. When we pulled into the garage, Emmett and Rosalie proceeded to get out. I didn’t move. Rosalie got out and went into the house, but Emmett hesitated. “Are you coming”, he turned back and said to me. “Yes, I just need a minute. I’ll be right behind you” I said to him without looking at him. “Are we leaving Forks again?” Emmett thought. “I don’t know Emmett. I don’t know what to do. How do I know if she will even forgive me? If she even wants me to stay? I have made a real mess of things. I just don’t know what I am supposed to do.” I said to him in a detached tone. I’m sure he could hear the sadness in my voice. The pain. “She loves you Edward. Do you really think that she would have went across the world to risk her life to save you if she didn’t still love you?” Emmett said, but I couldn’t believe the words. Bella was selfless. She probably would’ve done that for anyone to save their life.

“There could be a number of reasons why Bella came to save me, Emmett, and that fact alone is what I am most scared of. Maybe she didn’t act out of love. Maybe she just acted because………I don’t know. Maybe it wasn’t love……..“ I told him. My voice broke a little at the end. “I don’t know Edward. I can’t tell you what to do. I’m not going to pretend like I know what you’re going through, because I don’t. All I know is that I don’t want to see you live your life the way you have been living it these past months. I hated not having you around. We all did. And as much as Rosalie may deny this, she missed you too. She feels really bad about what happened. Don’t give her too hard a time. But all I can say is just talk to Bella. Don’t make this decision for her like you did when you left. See where her head is at.” Emmett said. “Thanks, Em………..And I missed you too.” I said to him with a half smile. “When you get in the house, could you tell Alice that I need to speak with her? “Yeah” he said and before he could get to the door, Alice was there. “Hey Edward, wassup? She asked, like she didn’t already know. “Alice, how is Bella? Tell me everything. What happened? I asked her. I never really got the chance to ask her with all the chaos that we went through and with Bella still around. “She’s not so good Edward. She’s had a rough time dealing with this. I talked with Charlie before we left for Voltera and he told me that it was like night of the living dead around here. She wasn’t talking to her friends anymore. She wouldn’t really talk to Charlie. He said that she would answer if she was asked a question, but that was it. Bella wasn’t Bella anymore. She withdrew from everything. She withdrew from life. I knew leaving was a bad idea…….Anyway, she was really bad when we first left. She wouldn’t eat or sleep.” “ I can’t imagine what that kind of pain must feel like. If Jasper ever left me………” Alice thought. Then she looked at me, apologetic and said “Sorry…….. Charlie said that she stopped doing any and everything that reminded her of you. She stopped reading, watching TV, everything. Then one

day, Charlie said that he called Renee to come and get her. He thought that maybe if she went to Florida, it would help. But he said she got really angry. She started crying and yelling and throwing her things around the room saying that they can’t make her leave.” This was unbearable. How could I cause the one person that I have ever loved that much pain. If I ever thought I was a monster before, this was my proof. Just picturing Bella going through that kind of pain was agonizing. Worse than any pain I felt being away from her. Knowing that the pain the she went through was because of me……. I felt my hollow heart breaking all over again, hearing her pain. My pain, I could handle. Hers, I could not. “After her tantrum, he thought that she would be a little better. But she didn’t get better. She was just……… lifeless……..empty…” Then Alice hesitated. Oh, no. What did that mean? I had been looking down while she gave me the details on Bella. I wasn’t paying attention to her thoughts. When I looked up, she was staring at me with a concentrated expression. She was debating whether she should tell me something or if she would let Bella explain. She didn’t reveal what that something was in her thoughts. “What is it Alice? Then what happened? Does she have someone else? Did she move on? Tell me Alice.” I said, pleading, begging, desperate to know if someone else had her heart. “Charlie said that she was starting to come around, but he still saw something in her eyes. The same thing I saw when I came back to Forks. You could see the pain in her eyes, as much as she tried to hide it. I don’t think any of us will ever really know how much pain Bella was in. Is still in.” She said. “Alice, I’m not stupid. You still didn’t answer my question. Has she found someone else or not? Has she moved on?” “Edward, you and Bella should discuss that. I’m not going to answer that question. You need to face her. Not as a vampire to a human. But as a man in love. As a man who knows that he’s made a huge mistake by letting the love of his life go. A man who is willing to do whatever it takes to get her back. You need to

experience the vulnerability and uncertainty of not knowing what the outcome will be.” I didn’t protest. She’s right. If I know that Bella doesn’t have anybody else, than I would be a little too confidant when I went to talk to her. Already knowing what will happen. Not that I would take it for granted. But if I don’t know if she has someone……if she has kissed someone else…….if someone else has had permission to touch her warm, soft skin……than I would feel……. experience the desperation to have her and keep her in my life. And I would be more than willing to do whatever it takes to deserve her, even if I never could. But there was one more thing that I wanted to know before I faced her. Before I had the courage to even talk to her………… “Alice,…..” I said and then hesitated. This was the question that I was afraid of hearing the answer to. But she already knew what I was about to ask. “She loves you Edward. She never stopped. “ she said, smiling from ear to ear. That put a smile on my face to. It felt so strange to smile. I hadn’t in so long, but it was short-lived with Alice’s next words…. “But she’s still hurting, Edward……….. Imagine if it were the other way around and she left you and made you believe that she didn’t love you anymore. Imagine how you would feel thinking that Bella was off somewhere having the time of her life while you were left to suffer from the pain of losing her.” Did Bella really believe that I could even have any kind of life without her?, I thought to myself.” “But even going through all that pain, she still is madly in love with you. “ Alice said. “Jasper couldn’t believe it himself!!!!” “Jasper? What do you mean?” I asked, surprised and confused. “Jasper said that the love and happiness that was radiating off of Bella at the airport for you was overwhelming. He said he has never felt that kind of intensity, from a human, ever. Not once. It was more intense than before you left her.“ Alice told me with a giggle.

Wow, was all I could think to myself. Could she really have those feelings for me after all I have put her through? “Thanks Alice.” I said. I knew Bella would hurt after I left, but I didn’t know that she would continue to hurt. After all this time. Most humans got pass things pretty quickly. Especially humans her age. They fell in and out of love all the time. But then again, when did Bella ever act like most humans. “But…” Alice said, a different tone in her voice. Sadness, maybe? “even thoughshe still loves you, Edward, I can’t see if you two are going to be together. Both of your futures are tangled up indecision and uncertainty. I don’t know what the outcome will be because you both are still confused about each other’s feelings” She said. I didn’t expect that. Now what was I suppose to do. It was one thing to not know whether she had moved on and quite another when Alice couldn’t even tell if we were going to be together. I have no guarantee to go on. I have to go in blind. “Everything will work out Edward, even though it may seem impossible now. Trust her and trust her love for you. Don’t underestimate it.” Alice thought as she went back into the house. Now the question is what am I going to do now. I can’t leave. I know that. There is no way I could ever leave her again. As I walked into the house, I just looked around and took in my atmosphere. I was home. A week ago, I was in an alley in South America. Thinking that my purpose in life was over. Counting down the time when Bella would leave this world for a better one. So I could finally escape this misery. I exist only for her. When she no longer existed……neither would I. I saw my family convened in the living room. All looking at me with nothing but concern. Even Rosalie. Their thoughts flooding my mind… “Edward, I’m so sorry. You have no idea……” Rosalie pleaded.

“Everything’s gonna be ok, Edward. This will work out……..” Esme worried. “Edward, ………” Carlisle simply said. “I’m fine, you guys. Really” I assured them. Knowing that it was a lie. I was far from fine. But I’ve hurt them enough in these past few months. I wasn’t going to let them worry about me again. “Edward, what are you going to do?........... We all met you in Forks because we knew you had to bring Bella………” He hesitated. Probably because every since I left Bella, it hurt to hear her name. To even speak it. They were used to not saying her name around me. If I wasn’t feeling so lost right now, the guilty look that came on his face would have been funny. “It’s ok Carlisle.”I assured him. “Well, we knew you had to bring her back to Forks. We don’t know if you are going to stay or not. But if I may, can I please just say one thing?” Carlilse asked. “Of course, Carlisle” “Well Edward, I didn’t say anything when we left last September because that was your choice to make. Even though I did not agree with it, you had to make the best choice for you. But it hurt me to see you in so much pain. It hurt us all to see you in so much pain. I have never witnessed you in that state before. As long as we have been together. I don’t think I have ever witnessed any vampire in that state before. Or human for that matter. And it seems that Bella didn’t do too well either. With that being said, I don’t think that it is in your best interest to leave again. I don’t think it is in Bella’s best interest for you to leave again either. I don’t think it ever was.” I hated that I made my family suffer. Made them hurt. “ Carlisle…….everyone, I’m not leaving. We are going to stay in Forks. This is our home. I’m sorry for making you guys leave in the first place. At the time, I thought it was the right thing to do. It was a stupid mistake. The worst mistake I have ever made in my life. I can’t live without her. I know that now. I just thought that if

we left, Bella would be happier. Safer. But she wasn’t. Either one. And I just made things worse by leaving. I don’t know what the future holds for Bella and I though. Alice can’t see because Bella and I don’t even know yet. But I know that I will be wherever she is, no matter what the outcome will be. I’m not going to give up on her. On us. Like I have already have. I’m gonna fight to be with her. I just hope she can forgive me. I hope you all can forgive me.” “There’s nothing to forgive” Carlisle said. “ Go to Bella. Do whatever it takes to make this right. You two are meant for each other. We’ll move everything back in. Don’t worry about it.” “ Move everything back in? From Denali? Tonight?” I said. Surprised. I know we have superhuman speed, but there was no way they could pull that off in one night. Esme answered, “Well…….actually……..while you were on the plane on your way here. We packed up everything and brought it with us. We didn’t know what you would say but we had a pretty good idea. We know how much you love Bella Edward. I knew that once you laid eyes on her after all of this time, there was no way you were going to leave her again.” I smiled at her and turned to walk out the door. I put my hand on the knob and hesitated. I don’t know what her reaction will be once she opens her eyes and sees me. Maybe I should wait…..well it’s not like I could just walk up to her front door and knock on it. Charlie told me never to step foot through his door again. “Go to her Edward, it will be ok” Jasper said, sensing my insecurity. “Trust her, Edward” Alice thought. I walked out the door and took off running. It’s been awhile since I just ran for enjoyment. Just to feel the wind against my face. Blowing through my hair. This was it. Now or never. Now more than ever I wished I could read her thoughts. So that I could know, when I talked to her, what was going through her mind.

I climbed up the wall and eased through her window. How many nights had I wished that I could be in her room. Lay next to her while she slept. Listen to her mind unravel while she dreamed. This was nothing like my fantasies. This was a thousand times better. I inhaled, letting her scent overwhelm me. But it didn’t scorch my throat as much as it once did. It burned, of course, but not nearly as much as it had before. I wonder why? Hmmm…… “Edward, Please don’t leave me. Please…..” Bella pleaded in her sleep. She still dreamed about me. This moment brought me back the first night I came to her room and watched her sleep. That night, in her sleep, she asked me to stay. And that time, as well, I was thinking about leaving her. Why was I always trying to leave her? She always stayed with me. She stayed when she found out I was a vampire. A monster. She stayed when she saw me sparkle in the sunlight. She stayed after she had almost been killed by James. She also stayed after Jasper had almost attacked her. All of those times she proved her love for me by staying with me. No matter what tried to come between us. Why couldn’t I be that strong? Why couldn’t I love her that much? I used to think that being strong enough to leave her always meant that I loved her the most. But I was wrong. It was always a struggle for us to be together, we knew that from the beginning. Being able to endure that struggle for the one you love was always the real test. And she always passed with flying colors. I was the weak one. I was the one that didn’t love her enough. That didn’t deserve her. She loved me more than I deserve. How did I survive without her in my life? Without her beautiful face, her warm lips, her soft skin. I traced by hand over her forehead, just to feel the warmth that I had been without for so long. She squeezed her eyes shut. My cold hand must have frightened her. Did my cold skin finally repulse her like I had thought it would at the beginning of our relationship? She opened her eyes. “Oh” she gasped and threw her fists over her eyes. Does she want me to leave? Does she not want to see me? This was a bad idea. I should leave…..Ugh, there I go again. Trying to leave her. No, I’m not going anywhere unless she orders me away.

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