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Title: Only Human (11/27) Author: Amethyst Jackson Rating: M/NC-17 Category: Drama, Angst, Romance Pairing: Edward/Bella Summary: A wish sends Bella back in time to Chicago, 1918, and to a human Edward. Disclaimer: All this genius belongs to Stephanie Meyer. I’m just having a little fun. A/N: Congratulations! It’s a whole chapter of vampire! Edward!
It hadn’t been a full day since Bella’s disappearance, but from my memories, I was sure she’d been in the past at least a week. I could only dare to hope that the strange time difference would mean having her back with me sooner. Any other thought was…unbearable. My past self was making the most of the situation…not that I could blame him. Hadn’t I said before that I would have done everything to make her mine, had I found her then? And my past
self was proving me correct; thoughts of war had flown right out of his head, though he still pretended…now, all he thought of was providing a home and a life for Bella. I couldn’t feel jealous anymore…I knew those feelings. Those were my feelings. But the fear always remained. If I succeeded with Bella in the past, if I avoided the influenza epidemic and managed to marry her like I wanted…would I ever see her again? I let the memories flow over me…our first kiss in the summer heat, mingling with our kiss after leaving the meadow…different sensations, but both irresistible. Both Bella. I sighed to myself, fighting the longing that the new memories stirred in me. My Bella…what I wouldn’t give to hold her now, to feel her softness under my fingertips… “I want to take her to the Benedicts’ party,” I told my mother, fighting my embarrassment. She
knew as well as I did my hatred of such social functions; she could easily guess my motivation – my desire to please Bella, to impress her, to win her heart…
“Well, I can’t say I’m completely surprised,” she replied, smiling knowingly. “She’s already agreed
“Yes,” I mumbled. My face was flushed. “I’ll take care of her for you, then,” she said. “She’ll be the belle of the ball.”
I rolled my eyes at her smirk…
…I woke in the middle of the night. She stood there in her pure white nightgown, like an angel or a ghost, come to whisk me away. “I miss home,” she’d told me. I’d taken her into my arms, glad of any excuse to be this close to
her, happy to imagine a life where I could lie beside her this way every night…but her sadness haunted me. The longing in her eyes wasn’t completely mine. She still thought of someone else…her Jacob? I felt sick at the thought…
No…I knew better. It wasn’t Jacob. She missed me; I had to believe that, or I would go insane. Clearly she was reciprocating my past self’s feelings, but why? Was it because of missing my present self? Or did she feel the same tug that I did in both times, the need to have her, in any setting, any form. Did she feel the same in regards to me? Could she love my human self and my vampire self equally, unconditionally? Could she come back to me here when my human past held so many more opportunities for her? “I wish I could stop time and keep you like this forever.” Yes…I knew the feeling.
Edward? It was Rosalie this time, approaching slowly. I nodded, acknowledging her and
simultaneously giving her permission to approach. My family had been on tenterhooks with me for
the hours since she’d left, and I hadn’t helped any by refusing to move from my spot in the forest, where I watched her. “You’re scared shitless, aren’t you?” she said as she sat beside me. I smiled at her lack of subtlety. “Completely,” I agreed. “Wouldn’t you be?” “Yes,” she nodded slowly. “If it were Emmett…I’d be afraid he wouldn’t be able to get back to me. Or that he would love me more, if we were human…if I could give him children, a family.” “Shouldn’t I be worried?” The insecurities spilled forth easily, now that she’d been the first to voice them. “If you had the chance at the life you’d always wanted, with Emmett and all, wouldn’t you take it?” Rosalie shrugged. “If it were possible, maybe. But if I were in Bella’s situation, I don’t think I would. I wouldn’t change any of the circumstances that led to me meeting Emmett. I wouldn’t risk letting him spend an eternity alone; I’m sure he would feel the same way. And I’m sure Bella does, too. Besides. Bella’s not the type to settle down and have a family. That’s too ordinary for her.” I smiled to myself. “It would be remarkable for her to make the safe choice for once.” “You don’t want her to stay behind, do you?” Rosalie asked, knowing my tendency toward selfsacrifice. “No…no, we’ve come too far for me to go an eternity without her now.” Rosalie clapped a hand to my shoulder in a very Emmett-like gesture. “Give the worrying a rest, Edward. You’ll only give yourself a headache.” I watched her go, feeling only moderately better. Her reassurance helped, but how much could it do against the images that continued to flood my memory? “I don’t know exactly what to make of you, Bella. There are moments like these when I think you
might feel as much as I do – and then other times it’s as though you’re miles away, like you’re dreaming of someone else…” Someone else like Jacob. Like her past love. Would she cling to those memories forever, continually dream of someone unworthy of her? I could do better. I could be good for her.
“Edward, I promise, every part of me is with you.”
My heart thrummed with hope. “Every part?”
“Every part,” she said. “Of course, it’s not easy to let go of the past completely – but with you…that’s where I want to be.”
“You really mean it?” I pressed, wondering if she were only trying to spare my very obvious
feelings for her. “You’re not just saying it –“ “I wouldn’t lie about this,” she said, so sincerely that I had to believe…and the joy that came with that belief was powerful. I would marry this girl. I was absolutely determined. I would make her so happy that her past love would be nothing but a bad dream, forgotten upon waking…
What did she mean? I reviewed her words over and over again. Was that doublespeak? Did I imagine a strange point of emphasis every time she addressed my past self, pointing to both of us…or was she completely honest? Was 1918 where she wanted to be? Was she ready to let go of what had happened in this time, of our plans for the future? I groaned aloud. If only I had answers! I would give anything to speak with Bella, to know for certain what she wanted. Knowing would allow me to decide my next course of action. I could wait patiently if I could be sure she wanted to come back to me. I would wait forever for her. But if she was never coming back… “I suppose I should get you home before you fall asleep here on the dance floor,” I said to the girl
nearly dozing off in my arms. She was adorable in her sleepy state, a little extra pout in her full, red lips. Her dark eyes were incredibly warm as she looked up at me. She fell asleep in the car, and I savored the feel of her body against mine, her soft curves and her warm skin under my fingers. I had to keep reminding myself that she was in my arms willingly…I couldn’t escape the worry that I was taking advantage or the guilt that I was lusting after her. She deserved better than that… Unwilling to wake her, I carried her inside. She woke, protesting weakly, but I was of no mind to put her down. Carrying her this way, bridal style, with her in that gown made my heart swell with joy and hope. Someday, perhaps, we would be just like this, but I would carry her into our very own home, and into a bedroom we would share… It would be completely proper, in that situation, to remove the dress from her body, to touch her like I so desired… I pushed away the fantasies as soon as I entered her bedroom. Time to be a gentleman, and I would treat her with all the respect she deserved. Help me take the pins out of my hair, she’d asked. I couldn’t be happier; the desire to run my hands through her thick, silken locks had plagued me since the first time I laid eyes on her. Any excuse to touch, to feel… All the pins were free, but I couldn’t stop touching…her hair was just as soft as I’d imagined. I could picture it fanning out beneath her on a pillow; I dreamed of burying my hands in it as I moved over her, kissing her soft mouth, holding her body as close as I had tonight, while we danced…
“I’m glad you came with me tonight,” I said, finding a patch of skin to caress.
“I’m glad, too,” she said. Her eyes were so innocent. It was time to leave.
But first…one kiss. A kiss would be acceptable, wouldn’t it? She hadn’t minded the first time. So I touched my lips to hers, careful not to overstep any invisible lines, and she proved to be temptation incarnate, offering me a heated, open-mouthed kiss…the kind of kiss lovers shared between the sheets…the kind of kiss that would have me waking in the night for some time… I pulled away out of necessity. If I didn’t, I would keep pressing for more, and now wasn’t the time. I left her reluctantly, and I hoped I wasn’t imagining things when I saw the same reluctance on her face…
The memories were fresh enough to torment me, to bring up images of hot nights in Italy and those same passionate kisses…except I had never felt the same freedom as I did in that one excruciating memory. To be so lost in her…what an exquisite feeling…I wanted to experience it anew, as my current self, again and again… …“How was the party?” my mother asked, smiling. “You got in rather late.” “It was wonderful,” I admitted, turning to the open window where I could see children playing in
the street. Bella had gone out, to see her friend, the doctor; this time, she refused to let me come. I tried not to let it bother me.
“I probably danced with her too long,” I said, knowing my mother would not settle for the simple
answer I’d given. “She was exhausted when we got home. But I couldn’t help myself. And I couldn’t bring myself to leave her side all night. There will be gossip. But I don’t care.” I turned back to her, assessing the wry smile on her face. “What? I always knew you’d fall in love with her. It was all over your face the first time I saw you talking to her.”
“I want to marry her,” I said, uneasy. My father wouldn’t like it. I wasn’t supposed to marry until
after law school, and I definitely wasn’t supposed to marry a girl with no family, no money, and no connections. But somehow, my father’s disapproval didn’t scare me as much as it used to. I would risk it for her.
“Again, I’m not surprised,” my mother smiled. “Things will all work out, somehow. Someday. I
can see it.” I frowned. I wasn’t one to doubt my mother, but I definitely didn’t like the way she’d phrased that…
I frowned in the present, too. What did my mother know that I didn’t?
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