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Chapter 1

I sat bold upright. The darkness surrounding me like a blindfold held over my eyes. I could feel
the cold wind swirl around my nightgown; the ribbons slapping lightly against my legs in a mellow
touch. I blinked and got to my feet, brushing off the dirt that gathered on my behind. My eyes
slowly wandered around the area in which I stood now. I could make out rows and rows of dark


The old Oaks were blinding my vision from all sides. I knew they were Oak trees, because I had
been here many, many times before. I sighed, kicking a small twig from my path as I
subconsciously walked the path that lead out of the woods in front of me. My bare feet ached with
each step; as if I had been walking on rocks.

I made my way past the shadowed trees that hung and swayed in the breeze. Past the open field
that lie beyond the grounds that held them, and out into the road that interconnected Forks with
Eden. It wasn't really Eden, of course. I called it that because in the spring, when the trees were
matured and growing wildly again with apples and blossoms, it looked like Eden. It looked like the
visage in which Adam and Eve had once lain together, and the place where the apple of knowledge
had been eaten. But now, in the dead of winter, the leaves were all gone, and the cold chill killed
the last of the blossoms.

It was always the same. I would find myself awakened by a cold breeze or some animal scurrying
around me. Then I would realize that I again had sleep walked to Eden, laid upon the rancid, dirty
ground and slept. It happened every night, just about. It started when I was nine, and my parents,
Charlie and Renee divorced. I, at first, would find myself on the porch of our house in the
morning, or even once, when I was really stressed, I had walked to the neighbor's yard and lain
upon the daisies and willows. Now I walked a mile to Eden, to lie among the dark, among the
hanging trees. I suppose if I had to sleep walk somewhere, this would suffice. It was lovely in the
spring and summer, and when I awoke, there would be apples falling all around me. It seemed
silly, but it gave me comfort in a strange way.

I walked along the shadowed road, my back to Eden, now. The mile walk home would surely take
its toll on me as the day progressed. It always did. I would smile at Charlie, with whom I now lived,
and I would play brave for him, but I would ache all over. My feet would hold blisters, my legs
would quake with tiredness, and my head would feel as if it was made of glass; ready to shatter at a
moment's notice, but I would forever hide it internally. There were no real explanations that I
could gather, as to why each night, when Charlie and his new wife, Tanya, were asleep, I would
travel a mile down the road and lie among Eden. It wasn't called Eden in reality. It was owned by a
rich family, The Cullen's. People in town would gossip and talk about them and their children, but
no one ever really saw them much. I was always gone before Carlisle Cullen, one of the owners,
came out to pull off the dead leaves in the winter, or pick the apples off in the spring and summer
and fall. They called it "Eventual Ever after." They were known to be good, gentle people, but
those whom kept to themselves.
I was nearing my house now. I longed to sit down, even just for a moment, but I knew that I had to
sneak back in the house and into bed before Charlie awoke to find me missing. I dragged my feet
the last quarter of a mile to the darkened house, careful not to creak the door as I used the key
under the mat to gain access. I slowly shut the door and made my way up the stairs by feel,
catching my bedroom door knob in my hand. I turned it and walked inside, closing the door
silently behind me. I walked over to the dresser, pulled open a drawer and grabbed fresh pajamas.
Stripping in the dark, I peeled off the dirty, soiled garment, and replaced it with the new, clean
one. I walked catatonically to my bed, collapsing on it stoically, pulling the quilt up to my chin. I
fell asleep again immediately, thoughts of Eden and its meaning swirling around in my mind as
blackness took me.

The next afternoon, I was walking along the same stretch of road, on my way into town, when I
passed Eden. My Eden. It was a place of salvation, after all. A place I could find peace in. It was
unclear as to why my sleep walking chose to always end up in there, but I never complained. It was
somewhere I felt safe; happy even. So when I noticed a boy with tussled hair on one of the short
ladders that had been strategically placed against the bark of the Oaks, it took me as odd. I had
never seen him before. But there he was, standing on the ladder picking dead leaves off of the
twigs and trimming them back with a saw. I actually stopped to look, my curiosity peeked.

Who is he? I asked myself mentally.

I was just about to turn and keep walking when he spied me as he threw a branch to the ground
and stepped off the ladder. He was walking toward me with an odd mix in his face. As if he had
seen me before, but wasn't quite sure.

"Excuse me," he said, cupping his hand over his mouth as he spoke, "but aren't you the girl I saw
walking out of here last night?" He asked coming to a complete stop inches from me.

"No," I lied. "That's very silly of you to say," I said, casting a sullen glance at Eden from over his

"I'm pretty sure it was you! I woke up after hearing rustling last night, so I looked out the window,
and I saw you walking among the Oaks," he said, pointing behind him to the trees he had just

I chuckled softly. This also allowed me time to look at him, his onyx eyes and his pale, masculine
jaw line. His muscles flexed out of his black T-Shirt, and his hair was the deepest shade of bronze I
had ever seen. He was amazing to look at. I sighed, and then looked away.

"I'm sorry, but it wasn't me," I insisted, my lie making me blush deeply, staining my cheeks red.

"Oh," he said, rubbing his chin with his hand, "I'm sorry. My name is Edward. Edward Cullen," he
said, placing his hand out for me to shake.

"Isabella. Isabella Swan. But I prefer Bella," I said, taking his hand and shaking it. His grip was firm
and hardy. He looked at me with confliction before he spoke.

"Bella, that is a pretty name," he said.

"Thanks. Listen, I have to be on my way. It was nice talking to you, Edward," I said, letting go of his
hand. He nodded, but said nothing.

I walked on down the road. I was aware that his eyes still remained on me as I did. Edward Cullen.
He must be the owner's son. It bothered me that he knew someone was in Eden last night; much
more than I wanted it to. It was not as if I had a choice but to walk the Oaks. It was a must. I was
unaware that I was lying among the shadows until it was too late; and anyway, I had become too
accustomed to it. I walked on, but I could not shake the feeling that Edward did not believe me. I
had fears about what he would do if I had told him the truth or if he ever knew the truth. I didn't
know what would happen if they banned me from Eden, or if they told Charlie about it.

"Fucking great," I grumbled. I was not a fan of cursing, but I felt hopeless. I had been caught
fumbling out of Eden, and now I would never be allowed to return. But I could not see a way to
stop myself from unconsciously walking in there and falling into dreams with the trees swaying
above me.

I walked into town, my thoughts barely calming down. I took in a small sign that read Grand
Opening! I opened the door to the small, brick stone café, and walked to the counter. I was met by
a shriek, then an armful of Alice.

"Bella! You made it! Oh, I am so happy!" She shrieked, hugging me tighter.

"I wouldn't have missed this, Alice," I told her. Not even if my feet were killing me from walking a
mile in my sleep.

She stopped hugging me and moved her small hands to my face. "Oh. Bella. You look like shit!"
She exclaimed, her eyes raking over my tired face.

"Gee, thanks, Alice. I love how you compliment your dearest friends," I joked. It was probably
true. I probably did look like shit. But did she really have to confirm this suspicion?

"Oh. No, Bella. That's-Forget it! Come on! Tea is on the house," she said, pulling me by my arm to
a nearby table and sitting me in the white plastic chair. "Grey or Earl?"


"Tea! Grey? Earl?" Alice asked, taking the chair across from me. "You know, sometimes I wonder
if you really are my dearest friend. You don't even know your tea!" She chuckled musically.

"Oh! Sorry! No, Alice. It's not that," I said, lowering my eyes and scowling. "I keep…you
know….sleep walking," I told her in a rushed tone.

Alice knew I walked at night. She had once followed me when I first started to sleep walk; when I
would trudge among the daisies in the yard beside ours. Alice had lived with us a brief time then;
her boundaries and pixie-ish behavior filling up the house with laughter. But she had gone her
separate ways once she had met her boyfriend, Jasper. She lived with him now, above the tea shop
in which we sat. She looked at me sadly for a moment, and then touched by cheek.

"Bella, this is not normal. You have to stop doing that. You're going to hurt yourself or get hit! You
need some kind of help, Isabella," she said, lifting my chin. When Alice used my full name, you
knew it was serious.

"It's not my walking I'm afraid of Alice," I said cryptically, reaching up to grab her wrist and lower
her hand from my face. "Someone saw me walking out of Eden last night."


"I think he was the owner's son. Edward. He saw me walking along the trees last night," I said,
placing my elbow on the table and sighing deeply. "He asked if it was me, and I said no. But I think
he knows I'm lying, Alice," I said, rubbing my face with my hand.

"Oh. Well, you shouldn't worry, Bella. It's not as if he will be watching the orchard at like, three in
the morning! I really wish you would get some help for it, Bella. It's not normal. People don't
just….walk in their sleep," she said the last four words darkly. She patted my arm in reassurance.

"Thank you, Alice. I feel all better about walking to an orchard while I'm asleep, and waking up in
the dark, only to walk a mile back home and sleep more," I replied crankily. "Where's Jasper?" I
scanned the shop briskly.

"He's in the back! Come on! I want to show you the rest of the shop!" She exclaimed, pulling me by
the hand from the seat.

She guided me past the counter where the tea bags, sugar, utensils, cups and saucers, cream and
milk and cash register were. She pushed a swinging door open and pulled me in behind her. I was
led up a small narrow kitchen, with pots and pans hanging from the ceiling, and two big ovens on
the right hand side and turned the corner, the smell of cinnamon Buns floating in the air.

"Jasper? Where did you get to?" Alice yelled, walking past the small circular pantry.

"Alice?" Jasper's voice carried from inside the pantry.

Alice doubled back and stood at the entryway to the pantry. Jasper was inside stacking bags of
sugar on the wooden shelves. Sweat was gathering on his forehead, just below his blonde hair. He
saw me behind Alice and smiled.

"Bella, you really shouldn't let Alice drag you around like you're her pet," he laughed, lifting a ten
pound bag of sugar easily and slamming it onto the shelf. "So, Alice, have you told her yet?" his
eyebrows quirked up slightly.
"Hey. Jasper. I don't mind her drag-wait, told me what?" I turned to Alice, my eyebrows up and my
pupils' dark. "Alice!"

"Well, since you are my closest friend, and Jasper here can't shut up," she said, turning to him and
giving him the brief stink-eye before turning back, "how would you like a job here? I could use
someone to help out around here, and you are practically family," she smiled.

"Oh. Alice. I don't know," I started. Jasper snorted.

"Shut up, Jasper," Alice said. "Isabella. You are nineteen years old! You don't do anything! This is a
chance to get out of the house, to be with me during the day," Jasper snorted again. "And with
Jasper, if I don't kill him first!"

I was silent for a minute. Maybe this would be a good thing for me. Since graduating last spring, I
had done nothing notable or talk worthy. Alice, Charlie, Tanya…they all were after me to go do
something with my freedom; at least until college in the fall. A job here, with Alice, would surely
appease them for the time being. And I loved Alice, so that was a bonus.

"What kind of job? Like, what would I be doing?" I asked. She shrieked again. "Alice, you do know
that you are making me go deaf with that shrieking of yours?" Jasper snorted yet again. Alice
picked up a small packet of tea bags from the shelf closest to her and threw it at him, hitting him in
the back of the head.

"Come on, let me show you," Alice said, pulling me behind her back the way we had come, leaving
Jasper to curse and rub his head.

Alice led me back to the front of the shop and pointed to the register. Her smile played huge as it
unfurled across her pale complexion on her face.

"No way, Alice! Run the register?" I fought back the indignation that rose in my throat. "Alice, I
can't! I'm not exactly people material. I'm, anti-social, Alice," I reminded her. "A social retard."

"Oh. Bella. Stop being melodramatic. All you have to do is take their money, you don't even have
to speak to them, for god sake," she huffed out impatiently. "Please," she added.

I was such a push over. I really was not a very social person. I loved being alone. I guess that is why
Eden appealed to me. It was alone in its own world. The only thing I had to do was lie amongst the
falling leaves and dead twigs and imagine the delicious smelling blossoms. That was enough to
keep me complacent. I sighed, and then looked over at Alice.

"Are you going to shriek if I say yes?" I asked her, my eyes have closing at the mental picture in my
head, and the phantom shriek in my ear. "Fine, I'll do it," I told her.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, the shriek came. I felt her hug me tightly, her little
arms squeezing me with joy. I sighed deeply again. Well, at least Charlie could tell the people at
the station that his daughter was no longer a hide-a-way or a social retard. The rest of the day went
by in a blur, most of it held by Alice telling me what she expected of me, and reminding me to
smile when I handed back the customers' change. She told me I didn't need to start until next
week, which I guessed was a good thing.

It was nearly eight in the evening when I left. I walked along the same stretch of road, its
illuminated lamps casting shadowy glints as I passed. The moon, now that I looked at it properly,
was not full tonight. Maybe that was a good sign. I had been walking about twenty minutes when I
came to the dark recess of Eden. The large Oaks were situated in full darkness, and the small path
that I always walked away from them on was lighted slightly by the moons shafts.

I will be sleeping among you, tonight. I said to the swaying treetops as I passed. There was no
doubt about this, of course. Each night, when I laid my head against the soft down of the pillow, I
knew I would not be there long. I passed the small area in which I stopped to talk to Edward
today, and my fear returned. I could not shake the feeling that there was something up. That
maybe he knew it was me, and just decided to drop it. Maybe he would tell his parents, who would
tell Charlie. Charlie knew nothing of my walking, and I would love to keep it that way. I left Eden
behind me in shadows as I walked home briskly against the chill. It was nearly nine-thirty when I
arrived home to the silent house. Everyone was asleep. As customary, I picked the key from under
the mat and opened the door, shutting it silently after I entered. I quietly made my way to my
room, careful not to make too much noise. I opened my chest of drawers and sifted through the
top one, poking around until I found a pink polka-dotted tank top and matching pants. Stripping
down to my underwear, I pulled them on and hopped in bed. The warmness of the bed took
effect immediately, as I drifted slowly; my eyes shutting repetitiously until I was asleep.

What seemed like a moment later, I could feel my body tremble with movement. I moaned, my
face covered by a deep shadow. I was vaguely aware of a cold draft covering my body like a
blanket. I moaned again and opened my eyes. Hazily, I looked around. I felt a slight pressure on
my shoulder. I looked over and gasped. Upon my shoulder, there was a hand. Attached to the
hand, as my eyes wandered up the forearm, was a head. The eyes stared at me in confusion.

I screamed.

The hand that was on my shoulder now was clasped firmly over my mouth.

"Shut up!" The voice commanded harshly.

Too late. A light had come on in the distance, and I could hear a voice through the swaying of the

"Who's out there?" Someone yelled.

Chapter: 2

I never tried to feel.

I never tried to feel.
This vibration.
I never tried to reach.
I never tried to reach.
Your eden.

(Your eden. Your eden.)

Eden by Sarah Brightman

"Come on!" The voice said taking his hand off my mouth and pulling me roughly from the dirty
ground forcefully. "Keep moving forward and don't say anything," the voice commanded, pushing
me forward.

I stumbled along broken twigs and hard, dead rocks. I didn't look back or bother to attempt to see
who was behind me. I could feel his hand tap me on the back every so often as we ventured
further into Eden, the trees thinning out and becoming less pronounced in the darkness of night.

"Here," he said after another five minutes of silent walking. "Stop here."

I stopped and looked around me. There was a clearing in the trees that I had never seen before in
all the times I had come here. The rounded opening free of the Oaks I had come to know, and
the moon shined very brightly on this patch of earth. There were two logs on either side of the
clearing, and in the middle, was a large round tree trunk that was cut. It looked like a table made of
wood, bark still firmly attached.

"What is this place?" I asked, turning around for the first time to the figure that arose me from my
sleep. "You!" I exclaimed when I realized I knew this person.


"Me," he replied, laughing slightly. "I knew it was you I saw last night! You were the girl I saw
leaving my orchard!" he said, his eyes narrowing as he peered at me through the pitch blackness.

"And so you followed me? You know, in all fifty states, this would count as stalking?" I shot back.

Just then, the wind picked up, causing a chill to rip through me and the thin material of my
clothing. I looked down and realized that I was showing slightly through the thin, sheer material. I
crossed my arms immediately and sighed. He chuckled at my reaction, and I scowled.

"Trespassing on someone's property is punishable by law, too, Bella," he smiled at me. The fact
that he remembered my name preference took me aback. He walked to my right side, and sat on
the long dark log that rested on the clearings floor. "Come on. Sit down and explain to me what
you were doing in my Orchard," he said, pointing to the log directly across from the one he

I walked over to the other log and sat down. I looked across at him for a moment before I spoke.
He was smiling at me, his face half in light, half in darkness.

"Who was that yelling earlier?" I asked him, trying to stall the evitable explanation he was waiting

"It was just my father, Carlisle. I wouldn't worry about that, though. He probably went back inside
by now."

"Probably?" I whispered. "Just my luck, I guess," I sighed.

"So, you still haven't given me any clues as to what you are doing walking in my orchard every
night. Or should I say lying in my orchard," he commented, his eyes burning into my own. I
looked away and picked a small branch off the ground to twirl in my fingers.

"It's complicated," I said, swinging the twig in between my fingers. "I wouldn't know where to start."

He bent over and removed the small twig from my hands, throwing it on the ground beside him. I,
stunned and unmoving, looked into his eyes deeply for the first time in several minutes.

"Stop playing with the damn twig and tell me," he lashed out. "Eye contact rules out liars."

"I haven't said anything yet!" I defended, tears ready to expose as I felt the sting behind my eyes.

His eyes became softer now. He looked away from me and picked the twig I once held back up
and handed it to me. His expression held no emotion as he sat back on his log and stared at me.
"I'm sorry," he said after a moment. "Please tell me, I'm curious to know."

Struck dumb by his actions, or the change thereof, I began to once again move the twig in my
hands. I loved the roughness of it; the bark rubbing my fingers raw as I turned it over and over in
my pale, stiff hands. The moonlight cast a shadow across his face as I looked at him. He was half
hidden, which gave me a little more resolve and confidence. I cleared my throat and hoped for the

"I don't know what I'm doing here," I began. "I wander in here almost every night," I said, shaking
my hand in the air in a gesture of general direction.

"You have no idea why you walk this orchard?" he asked skeptically, his head cocking to the side as
if to study the logic of that sentence. "Do you realize how odd this sounds, Bella?"

"I know you think it's odd. I do, too. But it's the truth." I leaned forward and discarded the twig. I
placed my arms around my knees and brought them to my chest. "When I was nine, I
started….walking. At first, it would be the porch or the yard next door. I thought maybe it was
because of stress or something," I placed my cheek upon my knees and sighed.

"Walking?" he repeated my word. "You mean, like when you're asleep?"

I nodded furtively. "As time went on, I would wake up here. Usually, I would wake up when it was
still early enough to get back home."

"And you would just wake up in the orchard? Without realizing you walked here in the dead of
night?" he asked me, his eyes large and filled with a curious complexity.

"Yes. I always end up in the same spot, under the Oaks, asleep. Then, when I realize where I am, I
would walk out from that path," I nodded behind him at the small winding path shaded by the
moon, "and walk home."

"Wow. So then that explains why you were walking out of here last night. By the sound of it, for
many nights before this," he said. I nodded confirmation, and he looked toward the trees, toward
the blackness of the shadows they kept. "I feel the need to correct you, though, Bella," he smiled

"About what?" I asked warily.

"You refer to the orchard as having Oak trees. They are not Oaks, Bella. You are laying among
Pyrus malus. That's Wild Apple trees to you," he said, leaning back, smug look etched across his
face. "If you were lying in a field of Oaks, you would surely get pinged in the head with acorns.
They all produce them. Not in the winter of course."

"Oh." I said, because I was surely stupid in his mind, now.

"It's alright. I just call it an Orchard. But feel free to keep calling them the wrong name. Oaks!" he
laughed, the musical hum falling upon my ears.

Just then, a harsh wind picked up and blew across the clearing, shaking my bones and making my
teeth shudder. I secretly wondered how I endured the cold when I lie among the ground. It was a
miracle I didn't get sick. Edward seemed to notice this, as well.

"You're cold," he said. "I will be right back. Will you be all right?" he asked.

I nodded. He stood up and walked back the way we had come. I could hear him rustling his shoes
over the dead, decaying leaves in the distance until he was too far away for the sounds to carry. Ten
minutes had passed when I heard the rustling sounds resume; this time coming toward me. He
appeared at the path with some things in his arms. He smiled as he walked over to me in a long,
widened stride.

"Here," he said, "These belong to my sister, Rosalie. I'm sure she won't miss them," he said, sitting a
pile of clothing on the log beside me. "I think they will fit."

I looked from him to the small pile of clothing beside me. I turned to him and gave him a small

"Thank you," I said, pulling the first article of material off the top. It was a black V-Neck sweater. I
looked around and frowned.

"Um, you could change behind one of the trees," he offered, seeing my problem. "It's dark there,

I smiled and stood, taking the pile with me. I walked a little beyond the opening of the path and
stood behind a giant apple tree. Stripping my Pajamas, I put on the sweater; jeans and tennis shoes
Edward had provided me, and stepped out into the light of the clearing. He turned immediately.

"Thank you for the warm clothing," I offered my thanks. "They fit very well."

"Good. You look pretty damn fine in her clothes," he said, raking his eyes over me. He sat back
down on his log, and I sat upon mine. "You can keep those, by the way."

I smiled. I planned to wash them and return them anyway. It was a long time before either of us
spoke, the humming of the crickets the only sound for a while.

"You're welcome here anytime," he said finally, "on one condition."

"What Condition?" I asked warily. I was accustomed to being told 'no', so this took me by surprise.
Then again, nothing about Edward seemed guessable.

"Yeah. If you are going to be taking trips into my orchard, you can't be alone. It's very dark out
here and you really shouldn't be walking a mile in the dark to get here, either." He explained, as his
face was unreadable.

"I don't know I'm doing it," I said. "If you hadn't woken me up tonight, I would still be lying among
the darkness."

"I know that. That's why I figured I could come to your house before you go to sleep and
maybe…guide you here," he offered, his eyes excited now.

I laughed. "What? Do you even know where I live? And someone might see you waiting or guiding
a sleeping girl down the road," I laughed again.

"I know where you live, Bella. I used to deliver Apples to your dad all the time. And I rather get
seen then risk having something happen to you…in your state," he pushed.

I was silent now. He wanted to make sure I got to Eden without being hurt. That couldn't hurt,
could it? I hesitated, my mind racing with a mix of what-ifs and If nots. In the end, I decided that it
wouldn't hurt. But he had to make me two very big promises.

"Okay," I began, "but you have to promise me two things."

"What are they?" he asked, leaning forward so that his face was illuminated by the moon.
"First: you have to promise to keep this a secret. Nobody can know. Second, and most important:
when we get to Eden, to this very clearing, you must wake me up," I said, leaning forward, too, until
I was inches from him.

"Eden, huh? Nice. Alright, done, Bella," he said. I looked down as something caught my eye in the
moonlight. Around his neck, on a white piece of string, was a hand-carved pendant. There was a
tree in the center, filled with deeply carved wooden apples and blossoms. Below the tree, there
were two people carved into the bark on the trunk. It was amazing. His eyes followed mine to his
chest, where it lied.

"That's a beautiful carving," I said, my eyes finding his again.

"I carved it. I do that in my spare time. I take twigs and branches, and whittle small things like this.
You like it?" he asked, a smile widening on his face.

I nodded. Like it? It was the most amazing thing. The best part was that it was carved from the
trees of Eden. The symbolic nature of it captivated me. He smiled and placed his hands behind
the back of his neck to unclasp it.

"Come here," he said, pulling it from around his neck. I scooted over closer to him.

He reached around my neck and tied the necklace. It dangled and danced with the moonlight. He
touched it gently, gazing at its new resting spot.

"There. When I make you your own, you can return it if you want, but you can have it. I want you
to have it," he said, letting go of it and sitting back on his log. He sighed deeply, his face turning
into a sad, distant frown. He looked at me as if he wanted to say something, and then stopped.
Then, when I began to scoot back away from him to my own log, he spoke. "There is something I
have to tell you. When I told you I heard rustling, and that's how I saw you…Well, it's not the
truth," he said slowly, his hands resting on his knees now.

"It's okay, you don't-" I began to tell him. He cut me off abruptly.

"Yes, I do. You were honest with me," he said, shaking his bronze hair. "And now it is my turn to
play honest. The truth is that I am always up. You could say I have the opposite problem of you,"
he laughed sadly. "I don't….can't sleep, Bella."

"It's okay, Edward," I said, reaching out a hand to place on top of his that rested upon his knee.
"You don't have to tell me anything you really don't want me to know."

"A year ago, there was a fire," he began anyway, dismissing my complacent words. "Before anyone
could do anything, it spread to most of the house. Rosalie was trapped in her room from the
flames, and the knob was too hot. She tried, of course. But the fire spread so quickly. I remember
her screaming," he closed his eyes and sighed deeply. "I remember kicking the door in as hard as I
could. Her room was already engulfed by the time I got it open. The smoke so thick," he paused,
and then continued once he gathered himself, "I could barely see her. She was lying in the corner
of the room. I thought-when I turned her over, she was burned along the side of her face and her
hand was, too," his eyes remained closed, but they squeezed tighter. "I yelled for help, but everyone
was already out of the house. I don't remember much beyond that only that I woke up in the
hospital," he continued. I cringed at the infliction in his voice.

"Edward," I whispered, "do you have nightmares about what happened? Is that why you don't
sleep?" I asked gently, hoping that I wasn't prodding too much. He nodded.

"It's my fault. She looks like that because of me," he said, his voice wavering between
embarrassment and sadness.

"No, you're wrong, Edward," I said, scooting as close as I could get and rubbing his hand with mine.
"You tried to save her, and by the sounds of it, you did..."

He opened his eyes and smiled, but there was something behind the smile that seemed out of
place. His hand came up to stroke my cheek gently.

"You seem to find the good in people, Bella," he said softly, "how do you do it?" He dropped his
hand and looked up at the sky; at the moon shining down its rays into the clearing.



"Do you ever sleep? I mean, do you ever find yourself falling asleep sometimes?" I asked, looking
up at the moon, too.

He was quiet a moment, letting the moons clouds curl up around it before he spoke: "Sometimes.
When Rosalie is in therapy or sometimes when she's in the hospital, I will," he explained, turning
his head to look at me now. "But the nightmares still come. Sometimes they are so intense, that I
am crying when I awake, or I am lying in sweat," he said. "We all have our secrets. It's what makes
humans susceptible to failure. We keep in things that eat our soul. We let them fester as we die
inside. We all have problems, Bella. Sleep walking and nightmares are only the tip of the scale.
You told me yours, so I told you mine. Each of our problems seem to hold tight to us, don't they?
Like bindings too tight to get out of."

I nodded my agreement of that statement. I picked up the small carving that hung at the hollow of
my throat.

"You make these to stay awake?" I asked, showing him the necklace.

He nodded solemnly. "Amongst other things. I have you to fill that now," he smiled. I got it then.

We needed each other. I needed him to guide me, to protect me at my most vulnerable, and he
needed the same. The one and only difference was of no real significance, other than being
opposites. I would be asleep, and he would be awake. Those were our most vulnerable moments;
those moments when we control nothing.

We sat there looking at the moon for a long time in quiet; nothing but silence filling the air around
us. The smell of wood was the last clue that we were still even in Eden. When the moons light
began to fade, I knew it was time to go home.

"Let me walk you home," Edward offered, getting to his feet when I announced I must be on my

"No, that's fine. I'm awake, after all," I assured him, gathering my strength as I walked over to the
path that led out of Eden.

"Goodbye, Wanderer," he whispered, watching me as I turned toward the exit out of Eden.

"Goodnight, Insomniac," I replied, chuckling slightly.

So it was with a goodbye that I traveled out of the familiar path, my pajamas under my arm. I
looked back as I made my way to the winding road back to Forks. Edward was not there. I walked
on in the darkness, knowing that I would not be walking—asleep or awake—to Eden alone
anymore. The events that had taken place weighed heavily on my mind as I briskly walked. It felt
as if two separate souls, with two very different problems, seemed to find a solace in one another.
An understanding of what it was to hurt, or feel different. What happened to his sister, without
doubt or reciprocations, weakened him slightly. He was needy. I was needy. We both needed each
other. After all that, though, I still felt as if there was something Edward was not revealing to me. I
thought about this as I walked along the wintery night, my head down. When I got to my house, I
reached down to get the key from the mat. I went about my routine, but being careful to place
Rosalie's clothes in my hamper instead of the floor, and hopped into bed. A part of me wondered
what Edward was doing right now. Was he carving? Was he still even in the clearing? It was with
the fear that he was asleep somewhere, his dreams torturing him, that I fell off into a fitful sleep
once more.

Chapter: 3

SleepWalker by Adam Lambert (Verse Two)

Outside the rain's fallin' down

There's not a drop that hits me
Scream at the sky but no sound
Is leavin' my lips
It's like I can't even feel
After the way you touched me
I'm not asleep but I'm not awake
After the way you loved me


I slunk back on the log and sighed. I was alone again. I seemed, in a sense, to always be alone
these days. My eyes flickered quickly to the vacated spot across the clearing and then back to the
fading light of the moon shining off the cut table-shaped trunk. I had never told anyone
my….situation before. What made her so different that I could relay my secrets to her? Part of me
saw her plight in my own. She was fascinating, that I could not argue. The first time I had seen her
walking among my apple trees, I was drawn to her; drawn to the sheer mystery of her actions,
walking along a very dark, very dangerous orchard at night, seemingly oblivious to anything around
her. The oddness of her lying on the dead, half-frozen ground with her eyes tightly shut. I was not
aware she was sleeping; only that she was in a world of her own. And she was beautiful. Her hair
floating on her shoulders, her pale face with full lips. She was like my Eve. I was her Adam, but
unknowingly so for her.

I bent down and picked up the discarded twig she had held when she first sat down on the
abandoned log across the way. I twirled in between my callused hands much like she did as I
pondered. It was easy to believe her. Her face was much too soft with truth. When she had told
me about her sleep-walking, I utterly believed her. Even when I had told her it was 'odd', I believed
her wholeheartedly. There was a sense of something under the surface of it all that wasn't revealed
until we were both silent under the light of the moon; my need to protect her. How could this need
be so strong of a person that I only just met, and who told me a severely odd story? But yet, there
it was.

Guilt surged through me. She was so honest and open with me, when she did not have to be, and
here I was lying to her. Not completely- mind you- but still lying through my teeth by the same
meaning. I threw the twig to the ground and angrily crushed it with the tip of my shoe. I leaned
back further on the log and closed my eyes. The images behind my eyes flashed. I opened my eyes
and blinked, letting the images fade to black before I closed them again. This time, when the
flashing images flooded and floated behind my eyes, I let them come. This would be my torture
for lying to Bella. It was because I needed her, and I would have to come clean sooner or later.
Punishment for what I will do later on. And I would hurt her; there was no doubt about that. And
the pain started….

I crinkled my nose at the smell that lofted into my nostrils. The smell was horrible; as if I was
sleeping among long detonated fireworks. I opened my sleepy eyes and looked around. I could
not see a thing in front of me, as thick gray smoke had completely filled the room and was swirling
around haphazardly. I could hear a faint scream somewhere in the distance. My awareness was
now fully on as I hopped out of the bed and ran across the wood planked floor. I reached for the
door knob, the heat now flicking from under the door. I stepped back and looked around. Finding
a heavy sweatshirt on the floor, I bent and picked it up, rolling it in a ball. I grabbed the hot knob
with it and opened the door. Thick smoke greeted me, making me choke with thick heaves.
Another scream rang out, making me jump over the licking flames on the floor.

"Rosalie!" I yelled, my voice faltering, and my eyes watering from the intense smoke. "ROSALIE!" I
screamed out louder, moving down the hall, using my hand to cover my nose and mouth from the

Her door was closed, smoke pouring from every opening. I could see fire licking from under her
door. Flames were inside her room!

"Rosalie! If you are near the door, move away from it!" I yelled, inching back into the bathroom
that was behind me to gather more distance between me and her door.

I ran at her door with as much speed as my body could gather. I landed a high kick, but it was still
firmly closed. The door was hot, burning my foot when it connected. I backed up again, running at
the door and placing another high kick at the wood. It broke open then, swinging violently inward.
I jumped over the flames lining the entire room. Rosalie was cradled in the corner, her face down
upon the hot planks of her floor. I ran over to her and knelt, grasping her shoulder and turning
her. I gasped. The side of her face was indented with burns that savaged her skin; big oozing welts
ripped down from her forehead to her neck, blood sheathing her tank top and face. Her hand was
severely burned; skin dangling off her small, thin fingers. She looked up at me with pain inflicted

"You let me die, Edward," she whispered out in a strangled cry.

"I tried to help! I tried to help!" I screamed, sitting bolt upright. My eyes flew open with force.

I looked around in a confused daze. It was not until I felt the slip of tears fall down my sweaty, heat
filled cheeks that I realized I fell asleep and dreamed. Not dreamed; had a horrific nightmare. I
gasped in a lungful of air as I looked around. I was still in the clearing, still sitting upon the log. I
wiped my tear stained cheeks and stood. I looked up at the dawn that was rising now, as it slowly
became a new day, and sighed.

"I tried to help, Rosalie," I said to the purple sky. "But you wouldn't let me."

And I walked back through Eden, as Bella called it, until I could no longer feel the tears slip down
my pale, sweaty face.


SleepWalker by Adam Lambert: verse three

I can't turn this around

I keep running into walls that I can't break down
I said I just wander around
With my eyes wide shut because of you
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker
I'm a sleepwalker walker walker

Let me out of this dream, dream
Let me out of this dream

"Wow, kiddo! That's great!" Charlie exclaimed, pouring orange juice into the glass pitcher on the
table. "I'm sure Alice could use the help, too. Say hi to her for me, will you?"

"Yeah, alright," I agreed, taking the pitcher of juice he held out to me. I poured the glass half way
and then sat the pitcher down. "I'm going there this afternoon. I'll tell her then."

I tapped the white backpack that I placed under the table earlier with my foot. Inside held the
clothing, washed and dried, that belonged to Edward's sister. I would make sure I gave them to
him if I saw him as I ventured into town to Alice's.


I sighed silently. Last night, in my dreams, I visited Eden. I had walked along the same road, the
same path there. I was not sleeping this time, and nor was I visiting a dead Eden. The trees were
full of apples and blossoms. The pink and white buds falling like heavy snow in the winter. The
bark was a light shade of chocolate brown as my hands curved over them. The path into the
clearing Edward showed me was now bathed in the brightest sunlight; the rays illuminating the
finer branches that littered the ground. I walked forward into the empty clearing. The logs were
gone, replaced by two full sized carvings made from the trees that surrounded me. One, the one
on the right, was a striking resemblance to me. My features etched in the bark with precision and
care. I was wearing a replica of the pajamas I wore the first night I met Edward. The other carving
was of Edward. Again, the resemblance was striking. Unable to resist, I reached out to touch his
carving; my hands lingering and brushing over his face, the intricate curve the wood made on his
shoulders. My hands curved to touch his wooden ones. As soon as my warm skin found his
fingers, the carvings hands had started to open. Light poured from the opening at his hands. I
gasped and took a few steps back. Hesitating a little, I moved closer when the light faded. I reached
my hand inside the hollow spot his now departed hands made. My hands found something hard
and smooth. I extracted my hands. Inside the small, pale palm of my hand, there lied the carving
that now hung around my neck. There was one difference. The male carving on the tree was gone.
Just the female remained.

I sighed again. I wasn't into symbols or the provocation that dreams were some sort of fortune
telling phenomena. The dream was strange, but I simply brushed it off, however. I had no time
right now to think about it anymore as I glanced at the clock that hung just above the doorway. I
had to be at Alice's by one o'clock, and it was nearly Twelve fifteen. If I wanted to make it there on
time, I had to leave now. I scraped my chair back and bent to pick up the backpack. Slinging it
over my shoulder, I told Charlie a brief goodbye, pulled on my coat and left out the back door.

I traveled up the dirt path, the backpack securely over my shoulder. The cold air was a welcomed
change from the kitchens stifling heat as I walked along, kicking various rocks and small brown
twigs as I went. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach; one which if nothing else could easily be
deciphered as excited.
It seemed like only a few moments of repetitious kicking and walking, when I saw the familiar dip
of the trees in the distance. It was with excitement and undeniable tension that I walked closer to
Eden, my arms enfolding upon my stomach as I felt the fluttering inside. I was not so sure that it
was because I wanted to see Eden again. I, in all subconscious complexities, knew it was because of
him; because of Edward. He was a mix of complicated and kind-hearted. His eyes were soft and
complacent, and his humanity toward his orchard, toward Eden, was most respectable. He was a
mystery as well. His story held truth, but with a shield hiding the most important parts; tragedy and
horror mingled with guilt and regret; shielding his heart from love and living. It was with these
thoughts that I walked along the grassy patch next to Eden.

I stopped quickly. Looking around the large open area that led into the trees, I saw no movements
or shadows. The ladder that had been propped up against the Apple Tree bark was now gone.
The vacancy made my heart drop. I licked my now perched lips and sighed. He was gone. I
looked around me, down the path in which I had come, and back to the trees. No one was
around. I walked silently to the tree in which Edward had stood on the ladder and shrugged off the
backpack that held his sister's clothing. I bent down to place it along the base of the tree, where the
roots rose above the solid, frozen ground. I just righted myself when I heard a voice behind me.

"I wouldn't leave that there, Bella."

I turned around very quickly. So quickly in fact, that my equilibrium faltered and I swayed. Two
hands darted out and steadied me with strong, firm pressure. My eyes, which had closed as my
balance weakened, were now open. Edward was peering down at me with genuine concern, his
eyes wide and his pupils enlarged.

"Whoa. Are you alright, Bella?" he asked, his arms encircling my waist to hold me up. He gently
lowered me to the ground, where I slumped onto the trees trunk behind me. He took a seat right
beside me, his arms coming off my waist. "I apologize. I didn't mean to scare you," he said,
nonchalantly moving a piece of hair from my forehead. His breath hit across my cheek, dazing me

"I didn't see you anywhere," I stated, my head still whirling. "I meant to only leave this," I explained,
pointing to the white backpack now lying near my hip. "It's the clothes you lent me last night. I
washed and dried them."

He chuckled, but reached across my lap, brushing my waist as he pulled the backpack to him. He
yanked on the zipper and looked inside, shaking his head and laughing. He zipped it up and
looked at me for a second before speaking.

"I told you that you could keep those," he said, a smile firmly on his face. "Do you always do the
opposite of what people tell you?" he said humorously.

I smiled. I could not help it. His smile was dazzling, and at this moment, he was throwing around a
disease in which I caught: laughter. I laughed loudly and shook my head, mimicking his earlier
"Only when I can get away with it," I replied, my laughter dying down.

He took the backpack and sat it behind him on the ground, and then moved to press his back
against the large trunk, so that we were shoulder to shoulder. He sighed quietly.

"I had a nightmare last night, after you left," he began, his voice sad. He picked at the material of
his stone-washed jeans. "I shouldn't have fallen asleep," he lightly banged the back of his head on
the rough bark behind him.

I was silent a moment. The sadness in his voice hurt me. I wanted to reach my hand out and press
it to his cheek and tell him that it was okay. I thought he might not like that, so I kept my hands
firmly on my lap.

"Do you remember it?" I asked softly, glancing over at him. I could see and feel him shake his
head. I knew all too well that he probably did remember it. I would not push him. He would tell
me when he was ready. "I'm sorry," I added.

"I think it was because you left me," he whispered. "I haven't fallen asleep in so long. I nearly had
forgotten about the nightmares." He turned to look at me, sorrow in his eyes. "What are you doing
to me?" He reached his knuckles over and brushed my cheek softly.

I bowed my head to cut off the look he was giving me. His sadness started to shape into something
more. I felt his fingers travel down my cheekbones and collect under my chin. With a quick, solid
move, he lifted my chin, making my eyes find his.

"Isabella, don't look away from me, please," he whispered softly, "let me tell you what you are doing
to me." He dropped his hand from my chin, but continued to hold my gaze. "When you are near
me, out in the clearing with me, I am awake completely. I am not thinking of nightmares, or what
happened that night or how fucked up I am. I can talk with you, Isabella. I can forget the pain and
the goddamn torture I put myself through. You telling me of your sleep-walking made me realize
that I am just another lost soul; that I am not alone. I want to dream; dream of you in the darkness
when I close my eyes. I can't, but I want to," he finished. His body did not move, did not reach out
to me. Instead, he simply watched me as I gasped at his words. "I shouldn't have said anything, I'm

"No," I said quickly, "don't be sorry. It's how you feel." I told him, my eyes still firmly on his. "I'm
sorry I make you have nightmares with my absence. I wish I didn't have to leave every dawn. I
would stay with you and make sure you didn't fall asleep if I could, Edward. It hurts to hear that I
am causing your nightmares again," I said. It was true. I was causing him to fall asleep and bring his

"It helps to know I will see you each night, and bring you here, to your Eden," he said, gesturing
around us to the orchard.

I smiled. I itched to tell him of the dream I had last night, but his words reverberated in my head,
making it hard for me to get the words out and so I left it alone, keeping the dream inside my
mind. He had enough to deal with, anyway.

"Thank you for that," I said softly. "For letting me come here."

He smiled at me, his eyes alight. His face began to move toward mine fractionally, his lips parting
as he neared my own warm lips. It was then that I remembered Alice.

"Oh!" I stood up quickly, startling Edward. He popped up beside me and looked around the area

"What is it, Bella?" he asked when his eyes saw nothing out of the ordinary.

"I'm supposed to be at Alice's! I have to go," I said, starting to head off toward the road leading into
town. Edward grabbed my wrist lightly and pulled me to him tightly.

"See you tonight, Wanderer," he said, bending down to press his lips to my cheek.

He let go of my wrist and smiled. Blushing, I turned around and jogged to the road ahead. I only
had twenty minutes until I was expected. I would be late. I looked back when I got further down
the way. Edward was still standing there with a smile on his face and his hands in his jeans pockets.

"Smooth, Bella," I said to myself, turning around and walking on. "That was really Smooth."

My hand reached down to automatically touch his carving. The carving he made. The carving he

I was still blushing as I made my way to the back of Alice's tea shop. The small kiss he put upon
my cheek burned with warmth still. As if to make sure the kiss was real, I put my hand on my
cheek and rubbed it. I hadn't expected him to kiss my cheek. But I cannot say I minded it. My
time at Alice's went by in a blur. Her incessant babbling about how to handle customers and make
sure they have what they needed seemed to drone on and on. I was still back under the shade of
the tree, his arm wrapped protectively around my waist. And then there was the kiss. The freaking
kiss! I didn't give a shit if it was on the cheek, it was still a kiss.

I finished her boring test on my mannerisms with ease, and then bolted out the door at a quarter to
seven. It was pitch dark out now as I made my way back home. I pulled my jacket tighter against
the wind as I walked on, the moon shining a small lit path in front of me. I thought about tonight,
when Edward would come for me as I walked along the road in a sleepy daze. For the first time
since I was seven years old, I had wanted to run home and hop into bed, and for just once, just
once, want to sleep walk my way to Eden. I knew that he would be beside me, and when we got to
the cold, half-dead trees, he would wake me up, and I would once again keep him company. And
he liked my company. And that had me hurrying even more to my warm, satin oasis of bed. It was
this I was thinking of when I saw it. I was halfway to Eden then.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow pass me on the right hand side. When I turned to see
where it had gone, there was nothing but shadows and silence. I shrugged and walked on. I walked
another hundred feet or so and saw the shadow again, this time, it was directly behind me. I
turned, but before I could see anything that would tell me who this person was, a pair of cold,
desolate eyes stared at me, my reflection in the pupils caught horror. A hand came down on my
shoulder and I was now at the mercy of the shadows…

Chapter: 4


Whenever Im weary
From the battles that raged in my head
You made sense of madness
When my sanity hangs by a thread
I lose my way, but still you
Seem to understand
Now & forever,
I will be your man

The strong hand dropped from my shoulder. I gasped and stepped back.

Finally, I could see who it was who was following me. My hand flew to my heart in a gesture of
pure relief, and it was then that I heard the small sigh that escaped from the person that stood
illuminated by the moons rays.


"I'm sorry. I scared you again," Edward said, pressing his fingers against his forehead. "But you
shouldn't be walking home in the dark, awake or asleep," he finished, dropping his fingers and
finding my eyes with his own. "I keep telling you it's not safe out here alone."

"I don't have a choice," I said, watching as he walked past me. I had to jog to keep pace as we both
walked on in the lighted shafts of the road. "I have to."

"No, you don't," he countered. "I can meet you at the edge of town and walk you home," he stated,
kicking a small pine acorn top across the road. He looked sideways at me with his eyes. "I'm kind
of old fashioned in that way."

I smiled and nodded. "So I see. Well, if it's not too much trouble for you…" I trailed off, looking at
him now. He smiled, his hand came up and I felt the warmth of it touch my wrist as his fingers
clasped over it.

"Trust me, it's no problem, Bella," he said, pulling me to a stop, "You are the last person on this
planet that would cause me trouble," he took his free hand and brushed my cheek with his fingers
and then let my wrist free of his grip and walked on, leaving me a little stunned. I shook my head
and then caught up to him. My cheeks were emanating heat that could melt an iceberg. That
simple touch of his hand left my cheeks burning. What did that mean?

We were silent for a moment, just the sound of our pattering feet walking along. My thoughts were
jumbled, and confused. He seemed to be waiting for me to show some sort of affection as he had,
with the same sort of affection, brushing my cheek with his fingers. For me, it was not simply
something I could do without thought. I was attracted to him, this was a given, but I simply could
not rely on that alone. I had to, internally, in my heart feel connected to him on another level. I
just wasn't there yet. But I was getting there each time I looked at his eyes, his smile or felt his
sadness and studious pain in his voice. By the way his hands felt on my cheeks, I'm pretty sure that
I'm not far from that deep feeling; although, it seems to want to surface slowly.

"Tell me something," he said, slowing his pace waiting for me to catch up to him, "How can you
trust people so completely?" he turned to look at me.

"What do you mean?"

"Let's say me, for example," Edward replied slowly, "You trust me, do you not?" he asked,
completely serious. I could not understand why he'd want to ask something like this.

Struck dumb by his sudden question, I shrugged. "Why wouldn't I? You're keeping the fact that I
am in your orchard every night a secret. Should I not trust you?" I laughed at the ridiculousness of

"And it doesn't bother you that you know nothing of me really?" he began, his voice lowering just
slightly, but enough for me to catch it, "The night before last, you had no idea who I was or that I
even existed…" he let that hang in the air as I struggled internally to process that in my mind.

"What are you getting at, Edward? I mean, are you telling me I shouldn't trust you? Is that what
you are trying to tell me?" I asked, my voice rising slightly with confusion. And truthfully, I was

"What if I told you there is something about me? Something that isn't normal?" He said, stopping
his walking and turning to me, making me pause in my tracks.

"Your nightmares... I get that, Edward. That's—"

"Not that. Not the nightmares. Something else," he pressed, bringing his hand up to mess with the
carving he gave me as he spoke. "Something that might make you….well, I don't know, but it won't
make you want to stay with me," he finished, releasing the carving and looking profoundly into my
eyes, which by now, were as big as shimmering diamonds in the sun. He started walking along the
darkened road once more and I followed.

I was confused at his words, though. Something that would make me leave him? Really? That was
unfathomable. There was no way I would ever leave him, no matter what he considered to be 'not

"I want to show you something," he said, "Tonight when I wake you up. Before you leave, I need to
show you something… on one condition," he said, his voice only a mere whisper in the chilly wind
of winter.

Without hesitation, I responded, almost hypnotic from his voice, "Yes. Anything."

"You promise not to leave me. Promise me that when I show you my…abnormality—," he said the
word as if it was a catchable disease, "—you won't run for the nearest path and never come back," he
stared deep into my eyes seeming to look and search for answers he wanted, "I mean awake, of
course," he added. He knew I had no choice while I was asleep. But when I was awake… I could
leave him of my own free will.

"But—" I started to reply. The condition baffled me. Was it really that bad that he thought I would
never come back in a conscious state?

"No 'buts', Isabella," he interrupted, "Promise me, or you will go on knowing the mask I put on for
you," he said, acidly. It wasn't like before, now he cut across me, his voice was harsh and no longer
a whisper. "I don't want you to agree to this if you don't want to. I'm giving you a choice, Bella."

"Alright…I promise then," I said softly, my voice then fading into silence.

"Good." He smiled, for the first time tonight, "Tonight then," he concluded. he smiled for the first
time in a while. When he turned to me, his eyes were a little more lit then a moment ago.
"Incidentally, while I am on the subject, I have something for you."

"What is it?" I asked, curiously, I looked looking over to see him watching me.

He laughed, shaking his head slightly with his eyes closed and his laughter fading, he sighed before

He sighed, softly, "I will wait, though…" he looked to me, apprehensively, "Until I know you will
stay with me," he finished, answered reopening his eyes as the sad smile he was wearing slowly
faded fading into a thin line upon his handsome face. "Let that be an incentive to."

That was the last word spoken as we came upon Eden, now in full darkness. We were in silence,
as he walked me into the edge of Eden.

When I told him that I could walk the rest of the way, he said nothing. We said goodbye to each
other then, him with his thoughts, and me with my own. The last bit of him I saw before the
darkness surrounded him… was his eyes. I wonder what he was thinking then, because they were
cloudy. The way the sparkle from his eyes were gone was worrisome. I know that he has his
secrets, but it worries me that it might be hurting him more than I can help. I want to take the
sadness from his eyes, away. I wish that I could. And with a last wave, I was gone; swallowed whole
by the piercing darkness.

Sometimes I just hold you

Too caught up in me to see
Im holding a fortune
That heaven has given to me
Ill try to show you
Each and every way I can
Now & forever,
I will be your man

I watched the darkness completely take her before I turned and walked back the way I had come. I
silently cursed myself for the revelations I promised to divulge to her tonight. It was a risk. One
that if I revealed to anyone, could put my family or me in danger… and that was the last thing I
needed. My instincts told me that she would understand; be reasonable. My fear was that she
might be scared away by its oddness…its mystery. But I made the decision while discreetly
replacing Rosalie's clothing that I would tell her. The further along I dragged my lies behind me,
the more she would pull away from me when she would finally found out did know the truth.

I walked back to the orchard, cutting across the grass and through the trees. It was silent as I
reached the old brick house at the edge of the orchard. I bounced up the stairs and opened the
front door, stepping inside and shutting it tight behind me. I moved past the darkened hallway,
grabbing the white backpack off the bench beside the kitchen table. I went to the fridge and sat the
backpack it on the counter beside it. I opened the door of the fridge and got out contents to make
two sandwiches. Fixing them with concentration, I placed them in plastic zipper bags that were
already on the counter and placed them carefully in the backpack. Then I returned to the
refrigerator, and pulled out two very red, very sweet apples. I shoved them into the backpack and
zipped it back up. I walked back over to the bench and placed it where I had gotten it. I would
take this with me tonight, to the clearing.

I was walking back toward the front door to grab the afghan off the couch when I hear the faint call
of my name. Unsure if I had actually heard it, I stopped. Again the call of my name came. Leaving
the afghan forgotten, I walked back over to the basement door that stood to the right of the
kitchen. Usually, the door was closed and locked, allowing access to no one.

"Edward, come here," the voice commanded. It was quiet, and seemingly calm. Although, I know
otherwise. His voice was not kind or full of love; instead, it was full of malice and impatience.
"Now, boy!" he retorted when I made no movement.

I opened the door a little more and slipped inside the dark, dank basement. Descending the stairs,
I could hear clicking and clatters from the giant room at the bottom. My shoes no sooner hit the
concrete floor then I heard his groan.

"Get in here, now," he demanded, impatient at my speed. I walked past the many bottles and vials

and tubes that interconnected to test tubes. The smell was putrid and acidic. The heaviness in the
air was so strong, that I gasped.

"What is it, Father?" I asked when I saw him hunched over the table, his back facing toward me. I
would normally call him Carlisle, because he was not any real father to me. But perhaps, in
hindsight, it was better not to make him even shrewder towards me.

"Who was that girl you were with this afternoon in the orchard?" he asked, his voice intimidating,
not turning to me or recognizing my presence in any other way then verbally. "Well?"

"No one," I answered to quickly, "Just a friend," I said, answered him. "She's just—"

"She's just what, Edward?" he yelled, loudly, "Your friend? Someone you can trust?" he said, acidly,
his voice dripping with sarcasm. He yelled loudly. "She is nothing but trouble for you, Edward.
You have to use your fucking mind! Think about it! There are accidents…things you don't mean to
happen!" he threw at me, turning around now so I could see his face. His blond hair was matted
with sweat, and his pale features sticking out from the florescent lights that hung above us.

"I won't let anything happen. She is only a friend, Father," I assured him. But, I knew it would not
console him. He didn't ever seem to be comforted by my words, anymore. Anything I would say,
he would just throw it right back at me, and my guilt would grow, and grow, until I couldn't bare it
any longer.

He got up and started to pace in front of the table that he was working at. His head was shaking,
his hands were put into fists against his side, and he half-laughed.

"I've tried to protect you, Edward. I have been slaving on my ass here, trying to figure out what I
can do to alleviate the nightmares you have, and this is how you repay me?" he questioned, his
hands still knotted into fists, "Do you understand the trouble she could cause for us? All the
troubles that would happen if she ever found out?" he continued to pace, his breathing becoming
more erratic, by each second. "I am only a doctor, not a fucking magician. I have to concoct,
subtract, add, concoct some more, just to get a small amount of what it takes to give you what you

"You can't help me with the problem you're worried about!" I spat, "You think I am only concerned
about the nightmares? That that it is the only reason I stay awake for days and days, without an
ounce of want to sleep? To dream? You think that it's the only thing that keeps me up night, after
night?" I challenged, "You can't do anything about this, so why are you trying?" I cried, trying to
slow down my erratic breathing. I took a deep breath and shoved my hands into my pockets. I
shook my head, as if to clear it, "She is just a goddamn friend, father," I finished, my voice
dropping, and my eyes looked down to the hard floor.

He suddenly stopped pacing. He turned, and looked at me. His eyes were almost red with rage.
His face was now scarlet red, his hands knotting into fists beside his body, once more. He looked
like he was going to explode.

"You couldn't help Rosalie, either! You lay in that hospital with her and you claimed that you
wanted to, but you never wanted to help her!" he thundered, "You should be in here, with Rosalie,
and not some bitch who you hardly even know! IN MY ORCHARD!" he roared.

I extracted my hands from my pockets hastily. "She is NOT a bitch! And you don't even know
what you're talking about! I tried to help her! More than you did! You were too fucking concerned
that people would find out that it was you that set the fire!" I exclaimed. His eyes went wide, the
slightest bit, "You told people how Rosalie would be fine… how she would recover. But you
expected me to do it!" I paused, and controlled my breathing and voice, "You wanted me to. And it
kills you that I am still standing here in front of you, and Rosalie is still scarred. What do you think
I would give to change it? To—to erase the memories of her lying in the corner burned?" I
stuttered, getting angry again, "Of course not,"—I laughed without humor— "because it would always
come back to me, wouldn't it? Me; the one who could and can still change it all," I finished, the
anger in me resonating through my bones, through my bitter mind.

"Of course I did expect it to be you! What else did you think? She just said no, and that stopped
you? You listened to her and you just, poof, decided to never try it again? I am not a fool,
Edward." He criticized, looking into my eyes, "You are just a scared, guilty boy. The fire was an
accident, and nothing more! You were there in time to get to her, and yet, you just let her burn," he
said, turning around to fumble on his table. He picked something up and turned to me, shoving
the small paper in my hand. "Remember this?" he asked, his voice harsh and commanding.

I looked at the paper in my hand. It wasn't a paper, but a photo. It was Rosalie; without burning
scars on her face. Her blond hair elegantly posed into a style I couldn't remember the name of, the
smile on her face was wide, bearing her pearl white teeth. I couldn't help the tears that slide from
my sore eyes. He was right that I thought I was guilty. I felt guilty. I was guilty. I let the photo fall
from my hands; my eyes watched watching as it fluttered down and hit the cold concrete with a
small scraping sound.

"You could have saved her," he whispered softly, the anger no longer there, but his sadness taking
control of his voice as he turned back to the table. "Saved her from what she is now."

"If I had done it,"—I whispered almost silently, —"she would have saved me."

I turned and bolted headed for the stairs. But, before I could climb them, his voice came roughly
back to me.

"She stays out of the orchard. Don't you dare bring her in there to taint anything else," he ordered,
called. "If I see her in there, I will take steps to keep her out."

I did not argue with him. All I wanted to do was I just wanted to just get away from him. I climbed
the stairs and shut the door. Pressing my back to it, I let the tears stain my face, silently sobbing,
feeling each and every drop fall from my watery eyes. I stood there for a moment or two, trying to
regain control, and then returned to the afghan. I picked it up and walked to the bench, lifting the
backpack. I opened it, roughly, and stuffed the afghan inside– effectively smashing the sandwiches
–, and closed it again slinging it over my shoulder. I slipped out the front door and into the chilly
night air, heading for the clearing. His words circulated in my brain;

"She's just what? Your friend? Someone you can trust?"

Feeling my eyes starting to tear, I felt my pocket of my jeans. The hard object that lie at the bottom
making things clearer by each passing the second.

My answer?


And, with that, I walked through the trees and disappeared.


Now I can rest my worries

And always be sure
That I wont be alone, anymore
If I'd only known you were there
All the time,
All this time. . .

I did not regard myself to my usual routine. I did not strip my clothes in favor of my frilly pajamas
this time. Instead; I lie on the in bed fully clothed. Even my shoes were still on my feet. It had
been hours since I left Edward standing on the road, yet it still felt as if he were beside me. I could
still feel his hand clasping over my wrist, the way his fingers brushed along my cheekbones. I hadn't
felt this way in years. I actually sprung to my room, and hopped into my warm sheets. I lay my
head against the soft cloud of a pillow, the downy inside quivering at my impact, pulled the sheets
up to my chin, and closed my eyes. The soft ticking of the clock was the only sound heard in the
silence of the room. I counted the ticks in my head as I tried to drift off to sleep. Finally, when the
numbers began to grow into the hundreds, I felt my heavy eyelids start to close. But, before I was
completely under my unconscious spell, I reached over to my nightstand beside the bed, and
grabbed the small gift I had for Edward. I wanted to give him something for the carving. Of course,
it wasn't as pretty as the carving, but it was just as cherished; and though it wasn't much, it was
something I thought he could use. It had hung on my wall for nearly ten years. I would pay
forward its loyalty. It had helped me many times. I only wish it had helped last night, when the
strange dream occurred.

I gently hooked the small object onto my belt loop, and turned myself on the mattress so I would
not smash it. if I should roll. and I closed my eyes once more. Behind the blackness of my eyes,
the possibilities of what Edward would show me tonight flashed in odd, twisted scenes. Some were
farfetched, others were practical. It wasn't long before the flashes ceased, my breathing slowed to
shallow breaths, that I was gone; no longer awake.

Until the day the ocean
Doesn't touch the sand
Now & forever
I will be your man

I watched her light in her bedroom switch on as I leaned against a mature, but bare, pine tree that
stood in the field cross from her house. I strained to see a shadow, or something that told me it
was her, but nothing came. I could almost imagine her undressing; unbuckling her jeans off her
thin frame, lifting her shirt over her head. Basked in just her bra and panties until she took them
off as well, getting into her pajamas. I could see her breasts even still, from when she wandered
into my orchard that first night.

I shook my head, violently, "You goddamn pervert!" I scolded myself quietly, closing my eyes and
trying to drown out the images that had invaded my mind. Although, I cannot deny that I liked
what I saw floating behind my eyelids, it was still wrong to think like that. She was a friend, like I
told my Father.

The light switched off again, distracting me from the thoughts in which I wanted to shake from
myself. I turned my head in the direction of where the light had come from. She was in bed now,
no doubt. I slunk down onto the ground, sitting Indian style, getting comfortable. I looked back up
to her window, where the darkness was still shrouding her room. I reached into my pocket and
pulled out the small, round object I had been holding in my pocket since this afternoon. I had
made it for her, ensuring that all the small details were fundamentally right, and that the carving
depicted everything I had seen with my own eyes.

My callused fingers rubbed over each dip in the wood, the curve of the outline and the small
necklace that I made with strips of bark plaited and bound tight together. I eyed the small, delicate
features of it and smiled. It captured everything and more. The only thing missing was the person
to give it to.

It was as if she had heard me. As soon as those thoughts came into my mind, I heard it then. A
door in the distance had opened softly, and the slight echo of the screen opening, traveling in the
December wind. A moment later, Bella's tiny frame emerged. She looked as if she was simply out
for a nightly walk, only she was so stiff and she walked as if she were a zombie. I hastily shoved the
carving back into my jeans, and set off from my spot against the pine. I waited until she was a little
up the path from me before I came behind her slowly. Without any hesitation or fear of contact
with her, I reached out when I was near enough and took her hand. It was still so warm, probably
as a result from being wrapped around a blanket, while she lay in bed. While we walked slowly
along the deserted, uninhabited night, I stole a look at her in the light of the silver semi-moon
hanging in the sky. Her eyes were shut tightly, and her lips were moving, as if she was speaking;
only nothing came out. My eyes traveled downward, and I was a little dismayed that she was
wearing her clothing from this afternoon, and not the frilly pajamas I've come to secretly love. Her
pace was quite fast for being asleep, though it must be easy for her body, since it seems to know the
path quite well. Though, we had a long walk ahead of us.

"You look very pretty in the moonlight," I said. As cheesy as that sounded, it was true. Her hair
shone a hazy blue, and her face glowed with the moon rays hitting her. "Well, you always look
pretty," I added, even though I knew she could not hear me.

My hand remained firmly in hers as we made the way down the road. She shivered in the slightest.
She was not wearing a jacket, of course, which bothered me. I had left the backpack with the
afghan in it at the clearing. I cursed myself for not bringing at least that along. I looked at her face

"Would you find it weird if I talked to you while you sleepwalked?" I laughed at the sheer stupidity
of even asking her, since it was obvious that she couldn't hear me in the least. "Of course not," I
answered myself and looked at her. The silence dragged on as she walked on, oblivious.

I shifted my eyes forward, searching the shadows for nothing in particular. If anything, I was only
building the courage to tell her what I wanted to say. It was all so much easier and unheeded when
she wouldn't remember what I've told her when she opened her eyes again.

"So, my sister, Rosalie," I began, "She was in this fire. You know that, though, I told you already," I
kicked a rock that was in my path and watched as it skidded to a stop along the ditch on the side of
the road. I cleared my suddenly dry throat and moved on.

"When I woke up in the hospital… I looked over, and she was there, only…" I trailed off, my mind
automatically playing the memories like highlight reel as if it was truly yesterday. "Her head was
covered in white gauze." I paused, clearing my throat, "I could only see half her face," I said,
bringing my free hand up to trace half my face in illustration, even though I knew she could not see
me. "I remember picking her hand up, but then putting it down when she moaned in pain," my
voice faltered; lost all stability. "I—um, went to touch her; to let her know I was there, but… she
pulled away from me," I said, stuttering in places, my tears beginning to find their way to the front
of my eyes.

I looked over back at her and took my hand— that was not holding hers— and brought it up to
trace the pad of my finger down her gentle cheek. She reminded me so much of Rosalie, her
humanity and her good nature; her trust of people more than anyone could understand. This was
why, with each look and expression upon her face, each word that tumbled from her mouth, each
seemingly insignificant thing she would do…I fell I would fall a little more for her. I dropped my
finger and started again.

"A few days went by, and Rosalie's bandages were being changed. I caught a glimpse of what…what
I had let happen to her. I had begged her, demanded that she let me touch her. But, she wouldn't
let me," I whispered, guiding Bella back to the side of the road. I was so into pouring my heart that
we had ventured out into the middle of the street.

We were about half a mile away now, the moon rising higher with each passing moment and
casting shadows further down the road. I could just make out the tops of the Apple trees in the

"It got to me so much that I would sneak in on her while she was asleep and press my hand to her
face, but I would always pull away. She didn't want me to do it, she didn't need me to do it," I said,
exhaling deeply.

I fell silent now. I know that I would tell her everything soon enough. For now, I only had to make
sure we got to Eden in one, solid piece. But the little I did say was enough to effectively rip out my
beating heart. The hurt and pain that went through me was enough to make me remember all the
horrid things that I'd seen… the things that I let happen… everything that I tried so very desperately
to hide was slowly resurfacing. The pain is unbearable at times, and now, my heart feels like it
would wither and fall… if it feels like this now— when Bella is asleep, I wonder what would be the
damage I'd make to my heart when I tell her when she awakens. All the images of that, burned into
my brain, physically and emotionally scarring my soul. We walked the last half mile in silence, my
hand holding hers, and she guiding along, asleep. Every so often, my eyes would drift over to her
face, and her sleepy eyes would still be tightly closed.

We had finally come up on reached Eden. I let go of her hand, and watched in sordid fascination
as she calmly walked over to the grassy edge and disappeared into the open trees, as if she had
been doing this for years. Following her only a short distance behind, I watched as, about halfway
in, she stopped, slumped to her knees, and turned over into a fetal position on the broken, cold
orchard floor, and remained asleep.

"You look even prettier when you're asleep, here in the orchard. The Eve of my Eden," I said,
kneeling beside her. I turned her so that she lay on her back, her beautiful face facing me and the
moon overhead. And without a conscious thought in my mind, I bent down and pressed my lips to
her soft, full lips.

Her eyes popped open in confusion as she sat up, my lips following her movement; never leaving
hers. My eyes closed with the pleasure of feeling and tasting her. She began to understand things,
her mind becoming clearer, her eyes falling closed, once more. Her lips were pliable now; moving
with mine. Her hand came up and cupped my cheek, and slowly traveled down my neck. She left
her hand resting on my shirt at my chest. Slowly, she reached her hand under the collar of my

It took me a full second to fully comprehend what she was trying to do… she was seeking skin.

My eyes popped open abruptly and I seemed to come back into the present, "NO!" I roared at her,
pushing her away roughly, our lips violently separating in the process. "DON'T FUCKING

The only counter response from her was the horror in her eyes…

And the unmistakable fury in mine…

Chapter: 5


I was standing
All alone against the world outside
you were searching
for a place to hide
Lost and lonely
Now you've given me the will to survive
When we're will keep us alive

I stared at him from across the small distance he had put between us. My face must have
mimicked some form of horror or renewed fear, because his eyes softened and his eyes closed
tightly. I could hear his sigh as I placed my hand across my heart.

"I'm so sorry, Isabella," he apologized, his eyes still tightly closed. "I…there is no excuse for my
behavior." His eyes fluttered open slowly, and his hand shot out to place his hand over mine that
rested over me heart. "Please forgive me."

"Yes. Of course," I said, studiously appraising his face. "I should be the one to apologize. I didn't
mean to make you uncomfortable or anything."

"Isabella, please don't say your apologies because you think I didn't want the feeling of your fingers
across my skin. It isn't that. I have already told you the effect you have on me," he smiled, but the
smile did not reach his eyes. Instead, if at all possible, it seemed to make him look forlorn and

"Just the same. I…I know better than to do this," I stammered, my face turning away from his
tortuously steady gaze.

"Isabella, please don't blame yourself…" He hesitated, and then went on. "Let me at least show you
what your blaming yourself for," he responded, pulling his hand from mine and placing his fingers
around his top button of his white shirt.

He slowly unbuttoned his shirt with his eyes falling firmly closed. His hand went to open this shirt
wide when I reached my hand that had been across my heart and grasped his hand, scooting closer
to him on my knees. He opened his eyes in startled haste. He found my eyes staring at his; the
tears falling slowly but silently from my eyes and dripping on the back of my forearm.

"Please, Edward, don't. Don't drag old memories out in the open. No, please listen to me-," I said
when he made to interrupt me, "-whatever made you react like that…whatever upset you, it doesn't
matter to me. I don't care. I don't want you to hurt yourself because you feel the need to explain
things to me," I said, retracting my hand and placing it on my knee.

"You're crying," he said, bending over to wipe away the stray tears that fell from my eyes. "I made
you cry. Awesome."
He closed his eyes and shook his head forcefully. "Isabella, old memories are just that…old.
Besides, I promised you I would tell you things tonight. Things not normal," he,-eyes still closed—
reached down and retched the shirt open to bare access to his secrets.

I squeezed my eyes shut before I could see anything. Did I really want to see this? Did I want to
know his long buried secrets? To see them reflect back to me?; to resurface. I felt a light pressure
on my lips. I opened my eyes and could see Edward as he pulled back. He had kissed me so
lightly on the lips, I almost wasn't sure it was a kiss. He took my hand and moved it toward his
open shirt.

"Understand," he pleaded, bringing my hand to touch his cold, taught skin where his ribs were
located. "Understand that I want you to know. Don't worry about old wounds, Isabella. They heal
after awhile and drift away."

My hand quivered with the softest of touches as I moved my fingertips along where his ribs rested.
I could feel ragged, bumpy skin. My eyes fell upon the tattered skin and roadmap of the ravaging
fire that licked his body and made its permanent mark. The texture was hard and thick as my
fingers lightly traced his chest. The contours of his muscles seemed to congeal into a hard mass of
rocky skin; the dips and indents felt like relief paper. He was burned there. He backed away
earlier because I had touched some of his deformed skin. I understood now and it saddened me.

"I can touch it now, but before...," I started to ask, opening his shirt further so I could look at the
scars of his past; the source of his nightmares and his hesitation.

"I'm sorry. You did it without warning. I know it looks…horrible," he replied, making a face as if he,
himself, was repulsed.

"Tell me how you got them?" I asked, rubbing the burn scars as if I could take them away. "Was it
when you went after Rosalie?"

He nodded. "Grafted from my lower leg. I don't remember the actual pain of it. I remember the
flames flicking up as I crossed the threshold of her door. When I awoke in the hospital, there were
bandages across my ribs. I remember thinking that I wasn't perfect anymore. Dented," he smiled at
me as I continued to run the burn marks that unperfected his body.

"We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight,
somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken," I recited. "Even imperfect ones."

"Dostoevsky. Interesting quote," he said, the smile fading a little. "Mind if I quote?" he asked. I
shook my head and smiled. "Good."

He cleared his throat, to which I laughed at. He winked at me, and then took my hand that was
rubbing his scars in his own and held it firmly.

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my
soul," he quoted, pulling me to him firmly so that his lips could reach my ear. "And my soul is
yours, too, if you would like it," he whispered, pulling his head back to look at my face.

In that moment; that instant, I was his. I felt it. All the reservations I had about him as more than a
friend crashed down upon me like a building in an earthquake. His eyes were not sad as they had
been for so much of the time that I searched and dug through them, but rather happy; mischievous
even. His face seemed to glow softly in the weak light of the moon. The smile that was draped
across his handsome, genuine face literally made my insides kindle with desire. My body began to
shake slightly at the closeness of his body to my own. He mistook this, though.

"You're cold, Isabella," he said, standing up abruptly and reaching down for my hand to help me
up. I held my hand for him and he pulled me gently to me feet. "I brought you a afghan," he
explained, not letting my hand go as he lead me back through the path to the clearing. "There are
some sandwiches, too, but I'm afraid I may have squashed them."

He walked me in silence through the bare, innocuous darkness, his humming the only sound until
we found the familiar path that lead into the clearing. He let my hand go as we stepped inside the
clearing, the only light a beam from the moon hitting the center table. I proceeded slowly to my
log, and he to his.

"I have something for you, Edward. It isn't much, but I found comfort in it, and I can only hope
you will do the same," I said, reaching down to untie the small present from its place on my belt
loop. I got up from my long and walked to him, handing him the small wood wound with colored
thread. "It's a dream catcher. Indian theory is that it makes bad dreams go away. It worked for me
when I was young, so perhaps you can put it to better use," I said, watching his face as he inspected
the small dream catcher. The colored threads of red, green and tan littered it and three red
feathers hung from the bottom. The beading was made into the spider web of thread that
surrounded a small, round opal in the center.

"Isabella, it's beautiful. Thank you! I have a few things for you," he said, carefully tucking his newly
acquired dream catcher against the log so as to not smash it. He reached behind me and produced
my white backpack that I had left with him this afternoon. He unzipped it and stuck his hand in,
and then produced the blue afghan. "Here, wrap up in this."

He handed me the afghan. I unfolded it and swung it around like a cape until the soft fibers rested
upon my thin, square shoulders. It was very warm and smelled like Edward. He smiled at me and
reached back into the backpack.

"I apologize, but I think I did indeed smash the sandwiches," he said, handing me a Ziploc with a
sandwich tucked inside. "It's just bologna. I hope you like that," he looked at me with concern. I

"It's fine, thank you. That's thoughtful," I said.

He pulled his sandwich out and pulled it from the Ziploc. He took a bite, chewing slowly as he
watched me do the same with mine. I chewed slowly, watching him watching me as an owl hooted
somewhere in the distance. I was a long time before we spoke. We had both finished out
sandwiches and successfully discarded the bags when he spoke softly.

"I'm afraid you will leave me," he admitted, picking at the material on his jeans as a distraction. "I
mean, I would not blame you, Isabella. I hope that you won't, but there are no surprises anymore.
I will tell you whatever it is you would like to know."

"Well, whatever it is you want to tell me, Edward. I promise not to leave," I assured him. And I
meant it.

He was silent a moment, then began.

"Fire is a great thing, Isabella. But there are things even greater. Things your mind can only assume
to be fairy tale. When Rosalie first was burned, I wanted to…use my advantages for her. To help
her. She knew of the consequences of my ability and refused. She wanted to save me," he paused
to clear his throat, which had grown thick. "I stood in the hospital and waited for her to fall asleep;
to use what was given to me by a higher power for good. Each time, she stopped me," he chuckled
darkly. "My father, Carlisle, insisted that I 'save her', as he likes to say. He would pressure me to do
it while she was on Morphine, which rendered her incoherent. I refused. It always bothered him as
to why I refused to use what I have. He never understood…still doesn't. He resents me, Isabella."
He said with a sad sigh.

"I'm sure that's not true," I inputted. I wasn't so sure, but I wanted Edward to feel better.

"It is," Edward replied, shaking his head. "He doesn't get it. There are no second chances. No do-
over," he said, bringing his knees up and hugging them. I must have looked confused, and that
expression was probably right.

"Edward, I'm missing something here," I said, shaking my head slightly, "What does he have to do
with this…abnormality you talk about?" I had no idea what he was talking about.

"He says he is trying to find a cure for my nightmares down there in the basement," he laughed,
"but really, he is trying to find a way for me to use what I have and still have a son that's not fucked
up or completely gone," he replied, his face twisting into a scowl. "I can't say I won't give him hell if
he does concoct a fucking miracle. Probably turn me into a tree for laughs," he said, snorting at his

"I am still not following you, Edward. Actually, you're starting to scare me," I said, looking at him as
if he were mad. His insanity seemed to be bordering into full blown madness.

"Come here, Isabella," he commanded softly, his eyes swung searchingly into the darkness around
him, and then back to me. I got to my feet and shuffled over the dead twigs and leaves, my shoes
crunching the ground in small steps.

"Kneel down in front of me, please," Edward asked.

I did as he asked, falling to one knee and looking him straight in his onyx eyes; the wind began to
pick up, making the afghan fall from my shoulders and drop to the ground. I ignored it,
maintaining my gaze upon his fevered face. His face took on a serious, almost unnatural look as he
stared back at me.

"Isabella, you must listen to me. You can't touch me. No matter what happens, you cannot touch
me. Do you understand?" he asked his face unmoving from the serious expression he held. "Do
not place your hands on me anywhere, alright?"

"Edward—" I began.

"ISABELLA!" he roared, "I am asking you to please listen to me. DON'T TOUCH ME."

"Ok, I won't," I replied, not quite knowing what to make from his shouting.

"Promise me…"

"I promise."

Edwards's eyes fell closed. He lifted his right hand in the air. I felt the need to reach my hand out
to touch his palm, but beat the urge back. His face was calm. My eyes swung over his face; from his
eyes to his nose and back again. His facial expression began to change slightly, as if he was
swimming underwater. His body started to shake almost unnoticeably, from his legs, traveling
slowly up his body in waves of vibration. I could hear a soft humming, as if electricity was flowing
through power lines; hissing and humming about. I realized it was coming from Edward. His body
began to shake violently now.

"Edward!" I screamed. "Edward! What's going on?" I demanded, the scream fading with the sound
of the humming coming from his now violently trembling body.

Edward did not respond. Instead, the wind began to howl and whip angrily; leaves picked up and
swept violently in a tornado; the branches of nearby trees snapped and fell to the ground in waves.
The log in which I had occupied groaned and cracked with a mighty sound. Edward's face, what I
could see in the fierce wind, was still calm but stressed. In that instant, I saw it. The hand that he
still held suspended in the air began to glow. The bluish-white light started from his fingertips and
slowly spread to his palm and the wrist. With a mighty hum, the light became so bright; I had to
bring my arm up to shield my eyes. The ground shook and the cracks and groans and snaps of
twigs, leaves and trunks filled the air, singing with the humming that emanated from Edward's
body. It reminded me of how people describe near-death tunnels of light. There was Brilliancy
and illumination; peace and comfort. The odd sensation in my own body was nothing I could
describe. I felt weightless. I stumbled back and fell on my backside, rendered completely immobile
by the scene before me. The trees became illuminated backdrops as the light pierced through the
broken, dead limbs. The clearing was completely engulfed in the brightness. Edward was gone
from my view as the light spread out from his hands to a beam of unfiltered rays. The humming
was so loud, that you could barely hear your own thoughts. Edward groaned loudly as his fingers
began to falter in the air, spreading the light to the ground as his hand began to fall from the air.
His face, no longer impeded by the brilliance, was twisted in a tired, stressed expression. His teeth
had ground into his lip, which now lie bare to a cut. With a groan and a deafening crack, his hand
fell limply to his side.

I waited for Edward to open his eyes, but he did not. Instead, he swayed on the log, his body
seemingly moving on its own. I wanted to help him; to touch him, but he had warned me not to.
The horror that rose in me was not from what he just showed me, though it was a spectacle, it was
the way he looked unnatural sitting there with his eyes closed swaying to the cold wind. Edward
shifted forward and fell to his knees, his body flying forward.

"Oh. My god," I said, watching as the light from his hand began to slowly fade; the wind stopped
the fierce whipping and the humming sound faded as well. It was as the last bit of shaking stopped
in his body that he collapsed onto the orchard floor, unmoving.

Don't you worry

Sometimes you've just got to let it ride
The world is changing
Right before your eyes
Now I've found you
There's no more emptiness inside
When we're hungry…love will keep us alive

I heard nothing distinct as my face lay across cold, long dead twigs. My body was frozen in a state
of paralyzed confusion. Everything around me sounded muffled; unidentifiable. As my ears
adjusted my surroundings, I could hear her voice. Even though she sounded far away, her voice
carried comfort to my tired, weak body.

"Isabella?" I managed to gasp through dry lips. I could not move my body very much without
effort. I heard her muffled steps across the clearing, the dead leaves crunching under her weight. I
felt something warm touch my back.

Her hand?

"Edward," she cried out. She sounded as if she was crying, but I could not move my head to see if
this was the case. "Edward!"

She moved to my head and knelt down upon her knees on the ground. She hesitated touching me;
her hand had reached slowly, then retracted back toward her body.

"You can touch me now, Isabella," I whispered. "It's okay."

She took my head and tilted it up, positioning her lap under my head. Once she knew it was okay,
she placed my head on her lap, her hand stroking my cheek. I could only feel the light scratching
of her fingernails.

"I just need to rest. It tires my body so much," I said, closing my eyes with each pass of her fingers.

"Edward, are you sure you're okay?" Bella asked her voice thick with tears. "What just happened?"

"Everything is fine, Isabella," I assured her, my voice becoming more defined. "You didn't leave
me, Eve. You're here." I smiled a pitiful smile. "I showed my gift to you. Who I am, who I will be.
There are no secrets anymore, Bella. What I have shown you is what I am," I told her.

I was getting stronger; I could feel my body become heavier, and my mind get clearer. I turned my
body ever so slowly so that I could see her face, the back of my head resting upon her warm lap. I
gazed up at her; into her eyes. They were not full of fear or unbridled horror, but of curiosity and
complex concern. Her pupils had become a little enlarged, but otherwise, she looked like the Eve
of Eden that I had come to fall in love with. I knew I loved her as soon as she promised me she
would stay and not abandon me at the first sign of difference and adversity. Her fingers still traced
my cheek, her lips curved into a relieved smile as she looked at me. Her eyes held the same flicker
of love as mine did. She was looking at her Adam.

"You scared me, Edward," she murmured, cupping my cheek with her palm. "You look so tired."

"Why did you stay, Isabella?" I asked her, reaching a tired arm up to grasp her forearm. "Why,
after what I showed you, did you stay here with me?"

"…because I made you a promise, Edward," she explained. "I'm not sure what that was, or why it's a
'gift', but you're going to need more than that to chase me away from you," she chuckled softly. "I
wasn't scared of you," she rolled her beautiful eyes at me; "I was scared for you."

I looked at her staring down at me, her eyes unwilling to break from mine. Overhead, the moon
stood lowly in the sky, raining down a beam of its grey light to illuminate the place in which we lie.

"Eve of my Eden, how you mimic desire," I said softly, using all the strength I had to bring my head
off her lap slightly and reaching her cold lips to my own.

I pulled her bottom lip between mine. I didn't care if my bottom lip was sore and cut; it didn't
matter because when I touched her lips to mine, all feeling of pain or despair left my body. My
hand moved from her forearm to her soft cheek, cupping it with my palm. Her lips moved with
mine, pliable and soft, and her hand fell from my cheek to my still open shirt. I had to stop this
before it was too late. I had to explain this all to her, because it involved more then she knew. She
still had no idea how fucked up I was.

"Isabella," I said, pulling my lips from hers reluctantly, "Please. Listen to me. I…I need to explain
things to you," I told her, swinging my body up with everything I had to rest against the log that
rested just behind us. She scooted to sit beside me, but placed her hand into mine.

"You have questions. I want to answer them," I told her, stretching my tired legs out in front of me.
"Anything you want to know, I will tell you."
And I would. The truth.

She looked apprehensive, but nodded her head.

"Your 'gift', you said that I couldn't touch you when it….expels. Why?" She asked, placing her hand
on my knee. "Is it dangerous if I did touch you?"

I sighed. Complicated explanations were not something I perfected. It was more than likely that
she would get upset with my beat-around-the-bush explanations, but it could not be helped unless

"Your healthy, Isabella. If you were to touch me when I…what did you call it? Expel? If you were
to touch me when I am expelling, I would waste my gift and that would be the end. There would
be nothing left to do."

"Healthy…" she trailed off. After a moment of silence, comprehension unfurled across her features
and her hand flew to her mouth.

"Holy shit! You can heal people?" she gasped, her eyes enlarging and her face reflecting awe and
understanding. "That's it isn't it?"

I chuckled at her use of curse words.

"I can make the sick well, I can make the dying live. I can do it, yes, but it is not without
consequences. To make one better, means to make one sicker, Isabella," I replied darkly.

"How did you find out you could do this? Did something happen that you had to use it? Or did it
happen by accident?" Her hand squeezed mine, and I returned the pressure.

"When I was five, Rosalie had fallen from a tree house Carlisle had built in the backyard. Her leg
had a compound fracture of the Fibula. No one was around. Carlisle was practicing at a doctor
clinic in town, and Esme, my mother, was at some friends. I remember thinking that if I could
make it go away, disappear, I would be a hero," I laughed at that, and then continued, "I stuck my
hand over her fracture and concentrated so hard. She was screaming in pain, which made me
focus even harder. I remember blue light reflecting through my skin. The blue light absorbed into
her leg and her wound. I pulled back when she stopped screaming to look at the wound, but there
was…nothing. It was gone," I smiled halfheartedly. "I knew then there was something wrong with
me. Imagine being five years old, and knowing you would never be normal again."

"So, you can't heal someone unless you concentrate?" She looked on in fascination as I explained.

"I have to want to heal you. I have to call upon the energy to do it…the will to do it. I can touch
you," I said, touching her arm, "and it will do nothing unless I want it to," I brought my hand to her
face. "I can control it. Not without effort, but it is controllable."

"Why would you not use it on your sister, Rosalie? You could heal her scars, right?"

I knew this question would come. I banked on it. I sighed and dropped my hand from her face. I
looked down and my shoes and frowned. This was a topic I hoped she would not wonder about,
but I could not be angry that she asked. I told her I would tell whatever she would like to know,
and I was true to my word. The memories and pain of it would surely inflict more damage to my
already guilty heart.

"Rosalie didn't want me to do it, Isabella. I would have done it with no hesitation; with no regrets or
guilt afterwards. I would have taken what I deserved. But she refused. She knew the consequences.
She knew, and how I wish she didn't," I explained, turning to her now.

"And Carlisle?" She used his name for the first time.

"He resents me. He thinks I should heal Rosalie, even without her permission. My selfishness goes
without saying. He wants his daughter 'normal', and he would risk that for anything. I'm not even a
fucking son to him anymore. He spends all his time down in the basement, trying to use his
medicinal knowledge for finding a way around the very thing stopping Rosalie from letting me do
it." I finished, letting her absorb what I was trying so hard to make her see.

"What about the nightmares? Are they part of the healing, too?" She looked up at me and her face
fell. She was saddened by my problems. I frowned. It made me upset to think I make her sad feel
pity for me.

"The nightmares are just that, Bella, nightmares. Traumatic events warp a person's mind, but no,
they are nothing to do with the healing part. At least not directly," I added. Pausing to gauge her
face, I began to see her expression change. Curiosity changed into need, and need changed into
consumption. She was consuming the information slowly, and the hints were catching up to her.

She bent over to press her lips to mine, taking me by surprise. Her lips moved unyieldingly against
mine as I opened to let her tug my lip with her teeth. Her hands came up to push the shirt off my
shoulders. She bent down to my burned skin that was taut against my ribs. Her lips kissed the
burned skin. She took her lips off my skin long enough to ask another question.

"Why can't you heal yourself, Edward?" She asked, returning to kissing the burnt flesh.

I laughed.

"It would do no good, Isabella."

"Could you do it?"

"…Of course. I don't want to, and even if I did, it would be as much a waste as me healing a healthy
person. To make one healthier means to make one sicker," I repeated my earlier statement. I
pulled her chin up so that I could look her in the face.

"When I first saw you walking among my trees, there was no other thought in my mind but that
you were Eve in Eden. You were beautiful walking along, your hair flapping in the breeze. The
moon would hit you when you came between trees, and it would illuminate your body, making it
glow and shimmer. I knew that you were here for me. Someone had sent you to me, and I had to
talk to you, had to know you. I've known about you for months, Isabella. I would follow you to
your resting place and watch you sleep. You were a wanderer, Isabella. You still are," I smiled at
her and dropped my hand from her chin so I could delve into my jeans pocket for her present.

"I made this for you," I said, opening her palm and placing it inside, closing her fingers over it.
When I released her hand, she looked up at me and then down at her fingers.

Slowly, she opened her hand and looked at what I had promised her.

"It's a carving," I said, pointing to it. "There is the Apple of Knowledge. I am handing it to you
under the moon of night. You look beautiful even in wood," I smiled widely. She smiled.

"I love it, Edward," she said, falling silent a moment. "I love you, too," she whispered.

"I love you, Eve. Read the back," I smiled at her again. I watched her turn it over. She read the
engraving aloud:

To My Eve,

Wander the garden,

For it is yours,

Taste the fruit,

For it is ours

The tears started to fall from her eyes as she finished. I pulled her into the circle of my arms and
held her, trying to stop the tears from slipping. I decided then that I would not tell her the most
important part of all; the very reason for my brittle existence; the reason that I could not heal
myself or Rosalie without dire consequences. I would not ruin this moment for her or myself.
Instead, I took her by the hand and stood, grabbing the afghan on the dirt floor to my right.
Searching her eyes for approval and finding it, I pulled her along the trail that led into denser

Behind the wood of her Eden, in the shield of the darkness, on the afghan, we made love for the
first time. After the pain subsided, she has succumbed to her desire and became one with me. The
rhythm was slow, unhurried, and she lay across my chest afterward, wrapped in part of the afghan.
I had explored her, and she had explored me, and we were spent. She had cried and I had held
her close. I would never let her go. My arms would always be hers should she need them, and my
heart was hers, too. I had given everything to her tonight, and she had given everything including
her innocence to me, too. In the light of the moon, she fell asleep beside me, her cheek resting on
my burned skin, and her arm draped over my waist. It was as the clouds rolled in across the moon
that I spoke softly the poem that I had learned many years ago, when Rosalie had recited it to me.
I pressed my lips to her ear as I heard her soft breathing:

"I wrote your name in the sky;

but the wind blew it away;
I wrote your name in the sand;
but the waves washed it away;
I wrote your name in my heart;
and forever it will stay."

And I watched the moon drift…

Chapter: 6


Oh, why you look so sad?

Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
'cause I've seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less

I'll stand by you

I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
The dawn crept unwillingly fast as I helped her dress. The treetops shadows became increasingly
longer, and Bella had to be home before her father knew she was gone.

"This is the saddest time for me, Isabella. Letting you go isn't very easy for me," I told her, hugging
her tightly and kissing her forehead. "I feel like my heart goes with you. I love you, Eve."

"Me, too, and I love you, my Adam," she amended, kissing me before turning and heading out of
Eden, letting the foggy morning dew distort her silhouette until she was out of my sight.

"Take thy heart; I do not use it but only to beat for you," I murmured, gathering the afghan and
stuffing it back into the backpack that was on the ground.

Slinging the back over my shoulder, I made my way back out of Eden. My mind was wandering as
I reached the old wood steps of the house. I made my way up the stairs and planned to go into my
room to hide the backpack. They would never get the afghan back…it smelled like Bella and it was

"Edward? Is that you?" A soft, nearly inaudible voice asked from the door that stood ajar on my left
side of the hall.

"Rosalie?" I called out, walking over and opening the door further. "It's me."

The room was bathed in darkness. Just a sliver of winter sun leaked through the blinds that were
pulled down; the slats were firmly closed, filtering out any possible rays into the room. Her entire
body was silhouetted against the blinds; her body cradled in a rocking chair that stood a few feet
from the window. Her room was small, and it did not give her much room to move, but like
everything else, she did not complain. She motioned for me to come in with her finger. I did so,
walking across the room and bending down to kiss her forehead, which was sweaty and clammy.

"Feeling better today, Rose?" I asked her, sitting on the empty bed across from her.

She nodded but said nothing else about how she felt. She looked at me longingly, the shadows
creeping across her burn-touched skin. Her eyes were filled with sadness, but also a tinge of
happiness. She sat up a little straighter in the rocker and smiled, or what could be interpreted as a
smile since half her face was unmovable.

"She makes you happy, doesn't she?" she questioned, a knowing smile on her tortured face.
"Before you ask, I saw you both going into the orchard for the past two days," her lisp strong as she
struggled to say the words.

I sighed. Leave it to Rose to figure me out

"I don't know whether to be angry at you for being up that late, or laugh at your sheer ability to read
me like a fine leather book," I replied, smiling at her and shaking my head. "Yeah, she is amazing,

"Can I meet her?" Rose replied anxiously.

"Rose," I started. I heard her sigh deeply, "That's really not a good idea. Not in-"

"…in my condition? You are so naïve! Are you afraid she will take off when she gets a good look—
and laugh—at my face?" she replied angrily, her words slurring.

"Isabella is not like that, Rose! She would never laugh! I just don't think now is the right time, Rose.
That's all," I said, crossing my arms in defiance.

"Edward, I just want to meet the person you found happiness in. I know I'm not very pretty
compared to her-"
"Don't you dare say that, Rosalie Lillian! You are burned on the outside! You are still whole and
pure hearted on the inside. Those marks mean nothing to anyone important, you understand? I
would love you even if you were something worse than burned. I could have returned you to the
way you were! But you won't let me!" My arms were unfolded now; fists balled up at my sides. She
smiled sadly at me.

"I know, Edward. And your right, I will never let you do it," she replied.

"All because I could-"

She cut sharply across me; her lisp mangling the words as she tried desperately to speak them.

"That's not the only reason, Edward! There are things you have to know. Listen," she sighed and
turned back to the darkened window, "I just want to talk to her. I won't tell her about you."

"She knows. I told her," I said, avoiding her eyes.

"I figured as much when I saw the orchard light up like a Christmas tree. That's not what I was
referring to and you know that."


"Are you ever going to tell her, Edward? Isn't that something she should know?" Her voice was a
soft whisper.

"I will, Rose. Just not right now. I didn't scare her off with my flashlight for a hand," I said
sarcastically, "and I would like to keep it that way."

"Then what are you worried about? You know I would never tell her, Edward. Please?" She half
begged, her mangled hand joining with her normal hand in a beggar's pose.

I groaned. I was waning and I knew it. I knew that Rose would never tell Bella what I didn't tell her
myself, but it was just that Rose had a way of making people uncomfortable with her talk of 'I'm not
worth saving' crap she always seemed to add to the conversations.

"Guess there is a trip to Alice's Tea Shop in town, then," I sighed, half-smiling at Rose as her hands
faltered and fell to her lap.

"Good! Tonight you can bring her to my room," she smiled. Her smile wasn't alight like it had been
before. Her eyes glazed slightly, and she slightly paled.

"Are you in pain again? Should I…"

"No. I'm not in physical pain, Edward."

She did not elaborate. I sprung off the bed and walked over to kiss her forehead. I made to turn
around when her good hand fell upon my wrist.

"You are too good to me, Edward. Anyone else would have cringed at the thought of having a
burned sister. I love you," she said, her voice quivering slightly.

"Sometimes the most difficult of life's roads are the very ones that can bring us the greatest rewards.
You have traveled a road that is full of curves, but I was standing at every single one of them, my
hand reaching for yours every time."

She let go of my wrist and I walked out of the room, unwilling to let her see the tears that silently
plunged off my face. Every single time she said anything about what anyone else would think of
her, I died a little more inside. Her scars did not depict her heart or her gentle humanity. I lifted
myself from her door and bolted to my own room, shutting the door with an echoing snap. I
walked over to my bed and sat down, slinging the backpack off my shoulder and flopping it onto
my bed. I yanked the zipper open and hurriedly pulled the afghan from the pack. I lifted the fabric
to my nose and inhaled a long, drawn-out patch. It smelled like her soft, warm body still, my eyes
begun to unwillingly flicker shut; the smell intoxicating and unruly in my veins. I lay down on top
of the comforter, her afghan balled in my hands. With the last waning power I had, my eyes
closed, emotionally drained. I flickered into darkness.

And the nightmares came for me.

Came for my sanity…


So if you're mad, get mad

Don't hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too
Well I'm a lot like you
When you're standing at the crossroads
And don't know which path to choose
Let me come along
'cause even if you're wrong

I'll stand by you

I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

I looked out the window with longing. I shifted infinitesimally as the winter rain pounded against
the windows. The echoing rain lulled me into calmness as I clung to the tea cup in my small hands.

"Bella, are you listening?" Alice's squeaky voice cut through my thoughts. I sighed and turned to
face her.

"Yes. Alice. You only told me about a thousand times! I get it. The customer is always right and—
you know," I added, my face scrunching up in detest, "You're the one who is forcing this job on me.
If you didn't need the help, I totally would laugh at your attempt to even ask me."

"Stop being grumpy," she replied, sliding a napkin across the small table. "Use that. The tables are
new, and unless you want to buy me new ones, it's a coaster."

"Talk about being grumpy…" I murmured, taking the napkin and placing my teacup on it. "And I'm
not grumpy. I just have a lot on my mind," I added defensively.

Let her make whatever she wanted out of that. I would never tell her I was deflowered by the
Orchard Owner's son. She would have a freaking gossip session about it and want details. My mind
automatically, without skipping anything, replayed what happened last night in my head like a tape
recorder rewinding.

His eyes had searched mine for some sort of communication, and my eyes had not deceived me.
He obviously knew what he was doing, as he undressed me first, his hands skimming over every
visible part of my body reflecting from the rays of the moon. He had guided my hands along as I
disrobed him. He laid me down on the afghan, and small twigs and leaves, some of which dug me
in the back through the material of the blanket, but I didn't care. He was gentle in his exploration;
his touch light and his kisses even lighter. He had asked me every single step if I was still fine, to
which I had nodded. My hands had run down over his chest, caressing his burns, hitting the shiny
dips of his skin there. I had explored him the best I could as his body rested on top of my own,
returning his light kisses. When he entered me, I had gasped. He had been concerned, but I
shook my head. The pain subsided after a few minutes, with just the burning sensation lingering.
Afterward, I had cried, and he had held me, whispering in my ear that is was alright, he was there. I
didn't remember much after that, because I fell asleep.

I smiled at the mental picture.

Bad move…

"What the hell are you smiling at? What world are you in, Isabella?" Alice cried, snapping her
fingers in front of my face. I shook my head slightly and blinked.

"I…nothing…" I stammered. I was saved by Jasper's stupidly loud distraction. He was trying to open
a ten pound bag of sugar with a knife, effectively ripping the side of the bag, pouring white powder
all over the floor.

"Oh! For god sakes! Jasper, you moron! You're ripping the-," Alice trailed off. Her face turned to
me in apology. "You know, sometimes I wonder what fuckery he is patenting," she said. "Listen, I'll
be back. Don't go anywhere." She lifted herself from the table, yelling at Jasper as she went.

I laughed as I watched her tiny frame disappear in the back, stopping only to smack Jasper upside
his head. Jasper might be stupid to her, but to me, he was an angel wearing a stupid apron. I was a
'safe-by-the-bell'…or 'Jasper' in this case. I was still laughing when a soft voice sounded somewhere
from behind me.

"Isabella?" The voice asked, making me turn around in my seat to see the face with the voice.

"Edward? What…what are you doing here?" I stammered, as he smiled crookedly at me.

"Can I sit? You don't have company, do you?" he asked, coming around the table. My eyes
followed him. I was unable to speak. The man at the table in the corner lifted his eyes to Edward,
then to me, and then shifted his cold gaze back down to his newspaper he clutched in his hands.

What was he doing here?

"I see you're not quite sure what to make of me here…" he sat down, his fingers clasping under his
chin. He smiled at me like a Cheshire cat. "We do come out in public, Isabella. Those are just

"No. It's…it's not that. What are you doing here?" I asked, finally snapping from my shock.

"I actually came to see you, Eve. You see, when you leave me, I have this…problem…" he trailed
off, his eyes finding mine with intensity.

"Oh, no! Not another nightmare!" I whispered. "Was it really bad?"

He took his hand from his chin and placed it under mine, so that I would maintain his gaze as he

"Not as bad as you leaving me this morning. Irreplaceable! You're warmth; smile…all of it is
irreplaceable. I had to smell the afghan. I had to have your scent course through my veins once
again. You are quite intoxicating. I got a little tipsy and fell asleep," he admitted, his head shaking
slightly. "But to answer you, yes, it was particularly bad."

I closed my eyes and sighed. I could not imagine what he saw in the dark recesses of his mind
when he finally closed his eyes. He had not told me of the nightmare he had before, and I doubt
he would of this one, either.

"I have something to ask you, Isabella. That is why I am here; aside from the fact I can see you
again." He said, releasing his hand from my chin and touching my hand that was firmly wrapped
around the tea cup. "Your friend over there is very curious. She keeps peeking over at me. She
owns the shop, right?" he asked, his eyes gazing over my shoulder

"Oh. God, she isn't staring is she?" I was mortified. I turned my head slowly to see Alice staring at
our table, her eyebrows raised and her hands on her hips. "Oh. Please, if there is a god, don't let
her come over here…"

He laughed, and then looked at me again. "I think it's me. People don't see much of The Cullen's
out and about anymore. People tend to make up stories. You know…serial killing family, inbreeds.
I don't take any of it personal, though," Edward sighed.

"Alice is like a cockroach. Just don't look her in the eye. You might coax her closer," I replied. He
laughed. "What is it that you wanted to ask?"

"It's actually a favor for Rosalie," he paused, and then continued, "She would like to meet you
tonight, before we head into Eden."

"Rosalie wants to meet me?" I repeated, confusion meshed into my words. "Why?"

"She saw us last night. Not that part," he added quickly when he took in my expression. "I tried to
discourage her from it, but she won't listen. Far be it for me to fight with her. She always wins."

"Oh. Alright…" I trailed off. "Why are you against it, then?"

"Rosalie has a way of making people uncomfortable. Her words towards herself are not kind. And
also, in her condition—" I interrupted before he could say the rest.

"This is about her burns isn't it? Did you think I would make a crack about her skin? Run away
after seeing her skin all burned and scarred?" Indignity soared through me and bubbled to the
surface. How could he think so low of me? After his unveiling of his scars!

His eyes softened slightly. His hand came up to brush the hair from my forehead.

"Of course not, Isabella," Edward replied, but did not elaborate. "Rosalie was persistent in meeting
you. She said you make me happy. And of course, as usual, Rose is right. You make me incredibly
happy, Isabella," he said, reaching over the table to kiss my lips. "Indulgently so."

If I had ten bucks and eyes in the back of my head, I would bet that Alice's mouth was now laying
somewhere by the crook of her knees. I internally cringed. As if he read my thoughts, he laughed
and pulled back.

"She seems pissed," he seemed amused. "Perhaps I better go. Rose will be waiting for us tonight.
Until then," he said, bending over to kiss my lips again; his lips traveled up my cheekbone till he
reached my ear, "Whisper thy desires; for silence makes a loved heart weak." He kissed my lips
once more, "Goodbye, Isabella," then turned on his heel and was gone.

Before she had even gotten twenty feet away from me, I could feel the air change as Alice neared.

"Alice, before you say anything, remember that you need me to help around here. Say anything
remotely stupid or asshole-ish, and I will quit before I begin," I rubbed my eyes and licked my lips.
I could still taste him on my lips; a mix of toothpaste and something I could not guess.

"Who is he, Bella?" her eyebrows went up and her arms crossed. I sighed.

"Sit down," I told her.

As the rain poured on outside the tea shop, I explained everything except Edward's gift and what
happened last night to her. With the sloshing of cars outside and the squeaking of boots coming
through the shop, Alice listened.

And so was someone else…


I'll stand by you

I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you
I'll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I'll never desert you
I'll stand by you

My hand lifted slowly to trace the rain droplets that formed on the outside of the window pane. It
was dark now, and I could freely open the blinds without the sun filtering in to remind me of the
imperfections across my face. My finger followed the drop as it descended down the glass,
smudging until it finally popped when it hit the outside sash. I pressed the cool finger to my
burned face and sighed. Even the coolest of rain could never cut the heat that seared into my skin.
I felt the bumpy creases and the rough, ragged dips. I closed my eyes as I took my good hand and
slammed my fist on the window glass. What I had to do tonight would no doubt change things
forever. I had lived with it for a year, and could not stand another lonely night, watching my
brother go into the orchard with that girl. Not because I didn't like her, I did, even though I had
never met her before. I had this sense of people, and she was kind and sweet and good for
Edward. No. That wasn't it. I had to do it before I got to a point where there was no turning back.
Before Edward left me for good, and went out on his own. He had to know the real reason his
choice to heal me went ignored. It was not because of his secret he was keeping from Bella. It was
my secret. The one I held inside for too long.

I opened my eyes and could see two black shadows emerge from the edge of the Orchard, holding
hands. I lifted my hand from the glass and turned a little in the rocker so that I was in the shadows;
invisible in the rooms darkness. I could hear the soft murmurs as they neared the house. I didn't
hear the door shut, and I guessed that Edward was trying to avoid alerting father. They made their
short way up the stairs, as their murmurings got louder. I could hear the door creak open, then a
soft voice.

"Rosalie?" Edward called softly. "I brought Isabella."

I turned my head minimally so I could look at her. She and Edward were cast in shadows, but I
could just make out the small wave of her hand at me.

"Hello, Isabella. Edward, let her sit down there," I told him, pointing to the empty bed across from
my chair. "There is some light so I can see her properly."

"Come on," I heard him tell her as he guided her to where I pointed. I heard the small creak as
they sat down.

"It's nice to meet you, Rosalie. Edward talks of you all the time," her small, shrill voice said.

"He speaks too highly of me, I'm sure," I replied. Oh, how true that was.

"Rosalie..." Edward warned.

"Yes, yes. So, my brother seems happy with you," I shifted so that I could see her in the light of the
moon. "And you're the only one who knows he can heal besides us," I said, and then added, "my
family, I mean."

"It's safe with me. I won' tell anybody or anything," she replied, looking at Edward adoringly. "I
could never."

"Don't worry," I laughed a brittle laugh. "I'm not worried."

"Rosalie knows that. Rose, stop teasing."

I smiled in spite of myself. She obviously was taking me serious. I liked it, though. She had no
hesitated in her answer, which meant she could be trusted to be honest; rare feat in today's society.

"How do you feel about having to keep this a secret? Knowing that if you spill even on minute
detail, that you could ruin us? Have Edward labeled as some kind of 'freak'?" I asked, my eyes
shifting to the window again.

"Rosalie, where the hell are you going with this?" Edward asked roughly.

"No, it's alright, Edward. Look, Rosalie, I have already said that I could never tell anyone. And if it
is a secret that I must carry to protect Edward, I would do it. I would die bearing this to no one but
myself," she paused, and for a minute, I thought she was finished speaking. It was not until I
opened my damaged mouth again that she spoke.

"What about you? How do you feel about keeping Edward's secrets?" she whispered solemnly.

I laughed.

"Secrets are like the liars who carry them; full of guilt and empathy. You have no idea all the secrets
do you?"

"Rosalie!" Edward yelped loudly at me. My expression changed slightly.

"Not you, Edward! Not your secrets! Mine. My secrets," I tore out of mouth, my body leaning
forward so that my burned face shone in the light of the moon. I heard Isabella audibly gasp.

"Rose, what are you talking about? You're babbling nonsense. You wanted to meet her and you
did. Come, Isabella," Edward said, standing from the bed and pulling Bella to her feet. "I knew this
conversation would be like this."

They were at the door when I whispered it.

"Do you want to know why I won't let you heal me, Edward?"

"I know—" he started.

"No you don't. The real reason I won't let you heal me-"

"Rose, I don't care-"

I interrupted him, cutting across his words like a sharp knife.

"I started the fire," I finally said.


"I said I started the fire."

The audible gasp from Bella was drowned out by a hard hand on my shoulder whirling me around
so hard I nearly lost my balance and fell from the rocker.

"What the fuck did you just say?"

I looked up into his eyes where rage and confusion mixed and meshed.

"I started the fire. Me. Not father. That is why you can never heal me. I did this to myself."


And when...
When the night falls on you, baby
You're feeling all alone
You won't be on your own

I'll stand by you

I'll stand by you
Won't let nobody hurt you

"Why are you doing this?" I roared at her trying to manage my voice. If anyone heard me, they
would discover Bella inside the house. "Why are you taking the motherfucking fall for him?"

"I'm not-" Rose started to say.

"Yes, you are! You're lying to me to cover for him!" I shot at her.

"Edward, would you please sit down so I can explain?" Her eyes flickered to Bella. "And you're
scaring her."

I turned to Bella to see her cowering in the shadows, off-put by my sudden anger. I reached my
hand out to hold hers. I gave it a squeeze.

"Edward, please just hear her out," Bella asked softly, her free hand coming to touch the small of
my back. "Please."

I sighed and then tore my gaze from hers and guided Bella back over to the bed, where we sat
down once more. Rose looked at Bella and smiled, then at me and frowned.

"Be civil, Edward. You're way too dramatic," she said, clicking her tongue in impatience. "You
could never heal me because I resented myself for being the reason I am laid bare to these scares.
I know what could happen if you did heal me, and I could never carry the burden of that. Not
when it was my fault I'm…burned," she said with a shudder.

"What are you talking about, Rose? The fire was started by father when he went to put wood into
the wood-burning stove. It had nothing to do with you. Blaming yourself-"

She cut me off promptly. "You believe that because it is what he told you happened. Edward, you
resent him, and you would love to pin this," she gestured to her face, "on him. But it was me that
did this. I did that," she pointed to my burned skin over my ribs that were tucked under my shirt,
"to you." Her voice quivered slightly now.

I waited for her to continue, but she did not. Instead, she looked back to the open blinds of the
window and sighed deeply. I waited a moment, and was about to speak when Bella's soft voice hit
my ears.

"What happened that night, Rosalie?" Bella asked softly, leaning forward so that her face was out of
the cryptic shadows. "What happened the night of the fire?" She saw me out of the corner of her
eye staring at her, so she added, "She wants to tell us, Edward."

"You're right, I do," Rose replied. "First, you have to know something, Edward."

"What could that possibly be, Rose?" I said sarcastically.

"I can heal, too, Edward. We share the same gift."

The gasping from my mouth was drawn out only by the sound of the hum as her hand came up
and light started to form at her fingertips…..

Chapter: 7


My concentration began to fumble as my hand slightly waned. With the last bit of energy I had, the
light ceased and my hand fell to my lap, effectively stopping the hum. I gasped out as I tried to
catch my breath; slumping slightly in the rocker.

"No! Leave me go," I shouted, seeing Edward move to help me. "Give me a minute."

I breathed heavily; my lungs burning with the need for air. I righted myself back into the rocker,
and looked tiredly across at the two forms still firmly sitting on the bed. One, Edward, had his
mouth opened, as if he was about to speak, and Bella looked as if she had seen a ghost.

"You can heal like Edward?" Bella asked, her voice the first to sound in the brief minutes of silence
that preceded.

I smiled with conviction. The smile, however, did not last. I was tired, and I could barely open my
mouth to answer her. I felt weighted down; as if every limb was made of concrete.

"How long, Rose? How long have you been lying to me?" Edward murmured quietly. "Have you
always known?" His voice was not kind, but rough and thick.

"Only since I got burned. When you're sitting in therapy sessions or up here all day long, you kind
of have time to concentrate; be alone with your own thoughts." I chuckled, but I was the only one.

"And you decided to keep it to yourself? Not to tell the one person who would understand what
the hell was happening?" Edwards's voice rose slightly, gaining heat and accusations.

"What would you have done, Edward? Hmm? Please, enlighten me," I said, swinging my mangled
hand in the air.

He didn't answer that, but he asked what I knew he would, eventually. He just asked it a lot sooner
than I had anticipated.

"What does that have to do with the fire? I'm confused," he admitted.

"Edward…" Bella warned.

"No. It's alright, Bella. It is what I wanted to tell him, after all." I turned slightly, so that I was facing
the both of them on the bed. "Edward, I can do more than heal."

"What are you talking about, Rose? More than heal?" Confusion laced his words and twisted them
into unrelieved narration on my part.

"That's what I said. Bella, can you hand me that over there?" My mangled hand pointed to the
night table beside her where a notebook laid. Bella looked at me for a moment, then retrieved the
black, spiral-bound notebook off the table and slipped it into my damaged hand. "Thank you. And
that if you please," I said, pointing to a waste can with a lid that littered the floor at her feet. She slid
it to me and then looked at Edward.

"Rose, what are you doing?"


With my burned hand, I held the notebook up by its one corner over the wastebasket. The
binding groaned in protest as it hung limply in the air. My eyes flickered to Edward's for a
moment, and then back to the black leather of the notebook. My intense gaze on the book made it
sway slightly, and the pages inside rattle in brittle silence. My eyes did not blink; did not so much as

"Rose…what…?" Edward started.

I put up my good hand and silenced him, never breaking eye contact with the book. Suddenly, and
without effort, the corner of the leather-topped book began to ignite; ashes flickered off as the
corner became consumed by the heat and flicks of fire. I turned my head a little upwards, and the
flames began to follow the path my head had transparently drawn. When the book at become half
ash, I shook the book hard, and placed it into the waste can, slamming the lid down and starving
the fire of oxygen. With the last bit of orange flickering, the fire dissolved into nothing, leaving
behind only the scent of burned parchment and leather.

I slowly lifted my eyes to find Edward's staring at me. His face was quite pale, even in the deep
shadows of the night. I knew that he knew what this meant. How this figured into that tragic night. I
could see it in his eyes; the pain and the knowing horror shining right back into my own cold,
desolate eyes.

"You start fires with your mind," he did not state this as a question, but a knowing fact.

I nodded.

"You…you started the fire that night. Why?" Edward asked solemnly, his voice changing into
something I could only recognize as sadness and disappointment. "How could you, Rose?"

I looked quickly away from him and sighed. I could see why he would ask me such a thing, and I
guessed, in a way, that I didn't blame him. The truth was that it was not intentional. Had I the
chance to do it all again, I would do it all different, if at all.

"It wasn't intentional. I was merely testing it. I didn't know it would get out of control! I thought it
would be like healing; a light or a…a hum. I had no idea how to control it then!"

"How did it start exactly?" Bella asked timidly, reaching her hand to touch Edwards. He flinched,
but squeezed her hand in return.

I looked from her to Edward and cleared my throat, which was sticky and thick.

"Well?" Edward demanded, his eyes shining even in the dark.

"Edward!" Bella said reproachfully. "Let her do it in her own time!"

I sniffed. My whole body was tense and I could feel the stress building in my head. The memories
would come and I knew it. Painfully, they would creep up to the front lines in my mind and make
me relive them with each tortured flash.

"I snuck out to see Emmett that night," I began. I closed my eyes and let the flashes come
uninterrupted. "Let me tell you what I did. What I wish I could take back."

The open window stood in the darkness; the curtains flapping as the fierce breeze swept through
the room. I put my left leg onto the sash first, and then the other, launching myself inside with
staggered imbalance.

"Rose, you're going to wake your parents up," Emmett said, grabbing my arm to right me. He
laughed as he let his hand travel to my waist. "Want to give them another reason to ban me?"

I laughed and kissed him. "That is why the window comes in handy, Em. What they don't know
won't kill them," I said, kissing him again.

I pulled him by the hand and walked over to the bed. I pushed him down onto it and sat beside

"You said you wanted to show me something?" Emmett asked, his face inches from my own. "And
you couldn't show me this at the party?" He rolled his eyes.

"No. But I need you to promise me that whatever I show you, you won't tell anyone or get freaked



"Fine, whatever the hell you're hiding, I'm sure it will be fine. Although…if you tell me you're a
dude…" He chuckled.

"Em, this proves my theory."

"What theory?"

"You are retarded," I laughed, shaking my head with vigor. "Listen, seriously, you have to trust me."

"I do," he punctuated that with a small, soft kiss on the lips, "but you're going all 'miss mystery' on
me here, and I am getting excited…" He trailed off.

"You pig! Not that!" But I laughed and slapped his knee, reaching out to touch my lips to his.

"Rose, you are killing me. Just get it over with," Em said, sighing deeply.

I looked at him a moment and then turned to face forward. I put my hand up in the air and

"You look like your constipated, Rose," Emmett laughed hard. "I'm sorry," he said getting a look at
my expression, "go on."

I turned back to my dangling hand and concentrated hard on the inner most line that connected
on my palm, making a small triangle. My eyes bore into the spot with constriction as my vision
blurred slightly. My breathing sped up, and I was just about to lower my hand in exhaustion when
the blue light began to flood from under my nails and down my fingertips. The sound of the wind
rushing in through the curtained windows was no match for the gasp beside me. I smiled, expecting
him to be in awe; to be in wonder of what I was doing. I turned my head, effectively breaking my
concentration to look at him. The blue light faded simultaneously and my hand fell back onto my
lap. What I saw when I turned to Emmett, was not what I was expecting.

Emmett's eyes were bulged out and his pupils large. He stood a little shakily, swaying as his body
came of the bed.

"You're some kind of fucking witch! You—you!" he stuttered, his face losing color. "What the fuck?"
His hands came up on either side of his head and grabbed a fistful of black hair.

"No, Emmett, listen! I'm not!" I assured him, standing up and walking toward him.

He backed up away from me, his hand coming out to stop my advance. "No. No! You stay far away
from me!"

"Emmett! I'm not a witch! I can—,"

"You're a fucking freak!" he spat at me, turning around me in a circle so that his body was now
close to the open window. "People don't have blue shit coming from their hands, Rose. People said
your family was fucked up, but I had no idea it was this bad."

"Emmett, NO!" I roared as he leaped from the window and disappeared.

I ran to the window and looked down at the grass illuminated by the moon, but he was gone, the
only thing of evidence was the lattice we used to climb up the high wall was lying on the ground.
He must have pulled it down in haste to get away. I could feel the tears stinging my face as they fled
the corners of my eyes. I turned away from the window and ran to my bed, collapsing on it and
sobbing into the Lilac comforter. He was supposed to not freak out; to understand. I would have
told him what I could do if he had only given me the chance! He backed away from me as if I was
ill with a spreadable disease! He feared me! All I wanted to do was share what I could do with
somebody other than myself! Tears gave away to anger now, as I sat up and wiped my eyes. I
looked across the small, open space to my mirror where all the pictures I treasured hung.

I got up from the bed and walked across the cold, wooden floor to my mirror. With shaking
hands, I plucked a picture of Emmett and me from the lake off the side and turned, walking back
to my bed and sitting Indian style.

"You promised me!" I spat at the picture of his smiling face. His arm firmly around mine, I, too,
was smiling.

My eyes concentrated completely on Emmett's, the intensity of my grip crinkling the picture. As
my eyes became unblinking, a small, ashen hole began to spread from his face; the flames
whooshing along as the lamination began to shrink and burn. I gritted my teeth together as the
flames flickered and danced across. I was so angry and bent on watching his face curl up in burnt
vengeance, that I didn't notice the corner of the picture and fallen off and fallen onto the covers.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the covers engulf beside me; the flames spreading rapidly across
the fabric. I leapt off the bed and hastily threw the burning picture into the trashcan. I turned
around to stamp out the fire that had landed on the cover, but it had engulfed the entire bed in a
mere few seconds. The wood of the headboard and footboard were charring black as I bent down
to the floor and picked up a dirty shirt I had discarded to try to beat the flames down.

"Shit," I muttered as I swung the shirt down over the flames.

That action did little more than spread the flames to the shirt. I threw the shirt down as the panic
in my eyes reflected back through the licking flames that spread to the wall beside the bed and
across the doorway, blocking the only exit besides the window, and the lattice was not going to help
me twenty feet below. I backed up away from the door the flaming door and bed and settled into
the crook in between my dresser and wall and watched as the flames grew higher and hotter. I
hugged my knees and began to cry. Impending death would only be fair. I failed at being normal;
being something somebody wanted. I could never be myself as long as I was this fucked up version
of E.T. The smoke filled the room quickly, and I began to cough roughly. I pulled my shirt over
my mouth and nose to try to slow the sickening choking, but it only made it worse.

As the flames licked on and my throat became restricted and sore from the smoke, I began to lose
consciousness. My body swayed stiffly as I slumped over onto the floor. My body was heavy;
ridged and in a fetal position. My eyes flickered open and shut as I heard a faint muffle from
somewhere I could not discern.

"ROSALIE!" The voice screamed.

"Edward…" I whispered. With that, my eyes closed, my body became limp and I was surrounded in
darkness; no longer in the world of reality.

"That's when I came in and turned you over," Edward told me, his eyes dark and remote. "Where
are you going with this, Rose?"

"Let me finish, will you?" I replied back, shaking my head. "This is where your memory ceases to
be reality, Edward."

"What do you mean? I know what happened! I was there!" he shouted at me, his finger pointing
wildly to me.

"No. You don't. Your nightmares are reflections of what you think happened. What you thought
you saw. But, Edward, they are just nightmares. They aren't real or based on facts."

Edward was silent now. I sighed and looked down at my mangled hand. I turned my attention to
the shiny, matted skin that made up my hand. I returned my gaze to Edward and continued on.

I stirred. The blackness faded slowly as I looked around the room. The flames were close now;
tossing across the floor like a wave. I shook my head and coughed. I turned my head sharply, and
that is when I saw it. A black T-Shirt lies on the floor, only it was being worn and the wearer was
lying face down on the burning floor.

"Edward!" I choked out, crawling on my knees. I was still weak, and it took me a little to get to his
sprawled form. "Edward! Can you hear me?" I coughed again. No answer.

I reached my shaking hands to the lifeless, unmoving form of my brother and grabbed his T-Shirt.
Pulling with all my might, I turned him over as much as I could. Through the thick dark smoke,
through the burning flames and stinging eyes, I could see it.

It sickened me.

It overwhelmed me.

Edward lie unconscious, half of his face burned and peeling; pieces of flesh falling from his cheek
and forehead. I slumped back as his gasp exhaled from his charred lips. I coughed again and
reached my shaking hand out to touch the burns that were etched painfully into his skin.

Without anything in my mind to argue with, I touched my fingertips to his face and concentrated
as much as a semi-conscious person could until I could see the familiar blue light descend from
under my nails and down my hand until it reached my wrist. As my hand lay bare upon his face, I
could feel my own face begin to feel hot; as if coals were being placed against it. The sensation was
almost too much to bear as the heat intensified. I could see pieces of my flesh begin to fall and I
could see through the smokiness that Edwards face began to heal; congeal back to its original form.
I cried out in searing pain as my lips began to blister and crack, my eye began to blur. I gasped
once more before my hand fell from his face and my body slumped onto the floor, my newly
charred skin slamming against the wood, making pain shoot up my body and rendering me

"What the hell are you saying? That my face was burned? That you healed me?" Edward yelled
loudly, his shadowy form ricocheting off the bed. "You're fucking crazy!" he spat.

"It's what happened, Edward. Your nightmares have fucked up your memories of what really
happened a year ago. And you know it deep inside. That's why you feel guilty, Edward. Deep
down, you know I healed you, and this," I pointed to my brutalized face, "was you a year ago."

Bella stood now, and I could see, that even in the dead of night, with the shadows perching across
her pale skin, that she comprehended the meaning of my words. She looked from me to Edward,
who was staring at me with distaste.

"Oh. My god! Is this what you meant by 'to make on better means to make one sicker'? If you use
your healing on someone, it doesn't go away! It just absorbs and reflects back and you take it on!"
Her voice was no longer soft, but upset and troubled. "You lied to me!"

"I didn't lie, Bella! I didn't tell you because it's not that big of a deal," he replied, his cold, onyx eyes
darting to Rosalie. "Was that story supposed to make me feel less guilty? Are you trying to replicate
my pain?" he asked harshly, his voice quivering. He was losing the battle with his emotions fast.

"You always asked me, Edward, why it was I wouldn't let you heal me. I just told you. I started the
fire. I regret it so much. I live with the guilt and the memory of seeing your scarred face every day;
not only in my mind, but whenever I happen to glance at myself in the mirror."

"Fuck you, Rose," Edward said angrily, the tears slipping down his face shamelessly now.

I watched him run out of my room, his sobs echoing against the walls. Bella offered me a small,
apologetic smile, and followed behind him, softly calling his name as she went. I shifted my face
back to the window and sighed. All my guilt and remorse was gone. Freed with every single word I
had spoken tonight. But in lifting my own demons, I had created more for Edward, and no doubt,
Bella. I could see Edward through the thick darkness head into the trees, his pace fast, meaning he
was pissed and upset; Bella followed a few steps behind.

I stood from the rocking chair and reached over, pulling down the blinds and shutting out the pain
that I did not conquer, but simply passed on.


The cool night air hit me as I walked angrily across the grass and into the protection of the tall,
shadowy cover of the trees. The tears were furiously falling from my face. I could hear Bella softly
call out to me to slow down, but I couldn't. I was too angry. Rose had kept this from me, and now
she was trying to erase her own guilt while adding to mine! How fucking dare she?

"Edward! Please slow down and talk to me!" Bella pleaded as we came to the familiar clearing in

I turned on her and fell apart as her arms encircled me and cradled me to her chest like a child.
My head fell to the crook of her shoulder, and my hands wrapped themselves around her waist.
Her fingertips found my cheek and she turned me so that she could wipe the salty water from the
corners of my eyes. As I stared into her brown eyes, my need was far more apparent than ever
before. If I was going to be ripped open anymore tonight, then so be it, but I wouldn't be the only

My lips found hers, crashing down hard as her hands slipped to my chest and rested there. It was
only when my lips began to trail down her neck did she speak.


"Please, Bella. I don't want to hurt anymore tonight," I whispered, bringing my lips back up to hers
to silence her reply.

She mumbled against my lips, but returned the kiss with enthusiasm. I surprised her by picking her
up by the waist and letting her legs wrap around my hips. I carried her over to the nearest tree and
rested her upon the dark bark; my lips and hers feverishly dancing together. Supporting her
weight, she reached up to remove her shirt, only breaking the kiss when she had to pull it over her
head. Her bra was next. She didn't bother to unhook it; she instead pulled it over her head like the
shirt and tossed it aside. When her hands found the warmth of my back, I leaned down and pulled
the right bud into my mouth, sucking gently. Bella arched her back against the tree and moaned
slightly as I flicked the small, pink areole with the tip of my wet tongue.

"Edward…" she breathed huskily as I brought my eyes up to meet hers.

"Bella, I can't…I don't…I won't be gentle this time. I need you too much to be careful. If I hurt
you…" I trailed off, wanting my lips back on her creamy breasts again. I licked my lips and tried to
think of the words to say next.

"Shhh!" she requested, bringing my lips back to her own. She pushed my face away so that she
could reach down to undo her jeans. She stepped from them and kicked them aside.

I set her down and kissed her lips slowly. Her eyes twinkled and I groaned as she pulled my body
closer to her own. My hands trailed downward to her butt and squeezed hard. Her gasp made my
stomach clench in anticipation. I looped my fingers into the elastic of her panties and pulled down,
letting them fall to the hard, broken earth.

I picked her up once more. I thrust into her hard and deep immediately. In the light of the moon,
I took her. I was not gentle as I rammed into her over and over again; her back sliding roughly
against the bark. Her moans and my pants filled the air until we both tightened around each other
and spilled over. Tired and spent, we collapsed onto the earth floor and lie quietly.

"Are you still angry?" Bella asked after a long silence.

I kissed her shoulder and brought my lips to her ear. "Very much so, but you make it more
bearable. Did I hurt you?" I asked her, my tone taking on concern. She had not said I hurt her, but
I knew I was far from the gentle, easy first time we had slept together. "Tell me the truth, Eve."

I felt her turn herself so that she was facing me, her body pressed fully against mine, her exposed
breasts pressing into my chest. Her lips reached mine softly.

"It wasn't you that hurt me, Edward. It was the tree," she giggled and kissed my lips again.

Knowingly, I pressed my hands to her naked back. I could feel the small scratches all down her
milky back. I took my hands and pressed them firmly in the middle, and waited for the hum. The
blue light extended out past her shoulders, and the hum was low and monotone. When I felt her
back with my fingertips, the scratches were gone and I removed my hands, sliding them to her

"Problem solved," I murmured, bending to nibble on her neck.



"Why didn't you tell me about what happens when you heal?"

"Because it really wasn't a big deal. I would have told you in time."

"Is that…is that how you got the burns on your ribs? Did you heal somebody?" she asked her voice
low and cautious.

"No," I replied. I could not meet her gaze. Instead I shifted my hips against her to produce a moan,
which I hoped would make her forget about what she asked me.

She moaned slightly, but didn't deter the determination in her eyes. Her hands came to drape over
me and let her fingertips dangle and feel my back.

"There are scars, Edward. They were the ones on my back," she whispered. "You didn't have to do

"Yes, I did. I would do anything for you, Eve." I paused then.

"What is it?"

"I have to tell you something…I…"

A voice, cold and hard, broke across me. Bella and I sat up in shock as the shadowed person came
strolling up with Bella's clothing in hand.

"Get your fucking clothes on you little tramp, and leave this Orchard. If I see you in hear again, I
will call the Sheriff. Oh, I know he's your father, you little bitch. Move it!"

I watched in horror as Bella grabbed her clothing and fled through the orchard, the only sound
was her echoing sobs and patter of naked feet in the distance….

Chapter: 8


After all this time

I never thought we'd be here
Never thought we'd be here
When my love for you was blind
But I couldn't make you see it
Couldn't make you see it
That I loved you more than you'll ever know
A part of me died when I let you go

I would fall asleep

Only in hopes of dreaming
That everything would be like it was before
But nights like this it seems are slowly fleeting
They disappear as reality is crashing to the floor


By Lifehouse

"What the fuck was that about?" I demanded, getting to my feet and looking around for my clothes.

"I warned you, son. I told you if I caught her in here again, I would take measures to keep her out.
You defied me!" Carlisle roared, kicking my shirt with his foot. "You just have to fuck things up
even more, don't you? Do you understand what could happen if something were to happen to
her? You would waste your gift on that fucking tramp and leave your own sister to rot!"

"She has nothing to do with this! You have no right-"

"I have a lot of right. This is my property—all of it! I own this fucking orchard, not you. If I catch
her in here again, I will have a little talk with the sheriff! That little tramp is going to fuck up
everything, and it will be your fault. As usual," he spat, turning away from me to head back through
Eden. "Fucking her in my goddamn orchard…" he muttered as he left.

I gathered the rest of my clothing and dressed quickly. Everything that Rose had told me tonight
came back to me. Guilt still surged in my impure veins. Carlisle had no idea that his precious
daughter sacrificed her own body for me; so that I could live. He wanted me around to heal Rose,
with or without her consent. It didn't matter to him if it would disfigure me for the second time. He
didn't care. He had no idea she'd started the fire, either, and I really didn't think that would change

I buttoned my jeans and sighed. I had to go after Bella. It couldn't have been more than fifteen
minutes that she had been walking. I could still catch her on the road. I hurried and sat on the log
to lace up my shoes, then popped up and started running through the shadows that stilled the trees
in the moonlight.

I ran across the path and down the grassy knoll that led to the road Bella and I had used the past
few nights.

I didn't see her, so I ran along the macadam, my lungs hurting with each pound of my footsteps.

"Bella?" I cried out in the darkness, my voice echoing in the pitch black of the night.

No answer.

I slowed my running to a jog as my eyes scanned the road ahead for anything. When I got half-way
to Bella's house, I finally saw—no, heard—her. I could hear the sobs catching in her throat.

"Bella?" I called out again. I could not see her anywhere, though I could still heard her. "Where are

I looked over to the side of the darkened road and saw her silhouette sitting on the grassy
shoulder; her hands were covering her eyes and her knees were drawn up to her chest. She didn't
acknowledge me as I slowly walked over and sat down beside her. She was fully clothed, now. I
reached a hand out to caress her back, but her voice stopped me cold.

"Please. Don't," she pleaded in soft, broken sobs. "Please don't touch me."

I retracted my hand and sighed. Of course she didn't want me to touch her! My father had just
called her a tramp. Not only that, but she was probably embarrassed that she was forced to leave
the orchard naked. I watched as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and dipped her

"Is-is t-that w-w-what h-he thinks I am?" she choked out, pressing her wet face into her knees, now.

I lifted my hand to touch her back again, but instead, I leaned forward and coaxed her face away
from her knees. Her face was puffy; red splotches spread across her cheeks, and tears still fell from
her swollen, brown eyes.

"Hey!" I said, reaching the pads of my fingertips up to brush away the stray tears cascading down
her cheeks. "Don't you ever think something like that! I don't give a shit what he says or thinks
about you," I told her, gently brushing her wet strands of hair behind her ear. "You matter more to
me than he ever will, do you understand?"

I gently lifted her face and leaned down next to her ear, my breath hot and damp as it drifted
across her cold skin.

"I love you, Isabella Swan. That is the only thing that you should care about." I tugged her earlobe
with my teeth and then pulled her lips to mine to hungrily crush them in a kiss.

It wasn't the same. Her lips did not move in unison with my own. Instead, they became pliable and
robot-like. I pulled my lips away from hers reluctantly, and looked in her eyes; the light that once
filled those chocolate brown orbs was gone. She made no movement to explain the change in her.
Instead, she turned her face away, her back now slightly facing away from me.

Something had broken in her.

Something had shattered in her frail heart.

"I'm sorry, Edward. I can't," Bella said softly, pulling herself to a standing position and turning to
face me. "This is all just too much for me. You're wonderful, please don't misunderstand me. It's
just….this is just….overwhelming," she sniffled.

"Please, Bella," I pleaded with her. "Please don't do this. I know what…the things I've told you…" I
tried to reason in broken, misguided failure. "Don't let him do this to us!" I shouted, pacing back
and forth in front of her as she stood quietly watching me lose control. Watching me unravel in the
clear light of the moon above.

"Edward, it's not just him," she whispered, not making any moves to come to me. "It's everything. I
don't belong knowing your secrets, Edward. I don't belong here, with you. You have enough guilt
eating at you; you don't need me adding to it."

I stopped pacing and whipped around to stare at her. She didn't look at me. That pissed me off. I
walked over to her and roughly pulled her head up to look me in the eyes.

"What are you saying, Bella? That we are too fucked up for you? That we are just a bunch of
freaks with problems you rather not associate yourself with?" I demanded, anger flashing in my

"No! It isn't that-" she replied hurriedly. "It's nothing like that."

"Explain, then!" I commanded her, gripping her chin with too much pressure. "Tell me why you
are leaving me when I fucking need you the most?"

I was losing control, fast. I could feel myself slipping as I tried not to fall apart in front of the girl I
had come to love; the girl I had come to call my Eve, the girl I slept with twice, and it still wasn't
close enough.

"I'm sorry, Edward. Please let me go, you're hurting me." She wiggled her face and I let her go. She
stepped back and looked at me apologetically.

"But your sleep-walking…you can't control walking in here every night, Bella. You have no choice
but to come back here," I shoved at her.

I was excited that I had a small, irrefutable loophole to use.

"You have to come back to me, every night," I told her, clutching my shirt in a desperate attempt to
hold onto that bit of hope.

She smiled a little and shook her head. My hand fell from my shirt, and I swallowed hard.

"Why are you shaking your head? You have to! You can't control it, Bella!" I had her cornered.
There was no way she could deny this.

"I can't control it, you're right," she smiled feebly before it fell from her face. "But I want you to
promise me something, Edward."

I shook my head in painful disbelief. She had found some other way to rip my heart out and
squash it between her small, delicate hands. I laughed. It was a small, desperate laugh, and it scared
the living shit out of me.

"Promise me that you won't come for me at night anymore…"


"…and that, no matter what, you won't guide me into the orchard anymore…"

"No fucking way."

"…and that when I am in Eden, you let me be…Don't touch me or move me…"

"Bella. Please!" I pleaded. I could feel the tears sting my eyes as what she was asking of me sunk
into my tired, aching head.

"And, one more thing, Edward," she softly lifted her hand to caress my cheek.
"No, Bella. I won't listen!" I felt the tears start to tumble down my cheeks.

She looked apologetic as she sighed.

"Don't be there when I wake up. Please," she lowered her hand and turned away from me.

"Bella! I won't do it! I can't fucking do it!" I yelled at her, sobs choking my words; making them
sound slurred as they fell from my mouth.

She stopped but did not turn around.

"If you ever loved me, Edward, you will do it," she replied.

She started walking again, and a moment later, there was nothing but blackness, much like the hole
in my heart, engulfing me.

I flung myself to my knees and sobbed. She honestly had no idea how much I still fucking needed
her. The shit I wished I would have said to make her stay was just a distant figment in my head. It
was too late. She was gone. She made it clear that she wasn't coming back. Her words bit at me like
a snake. 'If you ever loved me, Edward, you will do it.' It wasn't love I felt for her. It was the world.
I felt the world of her. I had told her my secrets, and Rose had revealed secrets in front of her,
because she was unlike anyone else.

I picked myself up off the road and turned back toward Eden. There was nothing I could do. I let
her go without even fighting for her. It was too easy. I would do as she asked of me. I would not
touch her, move her, or even be there when she awoke to find herself again in the middle of the
orchard, among the desolate, dead trees. I walked mechanically, as if my legs were made of
concrete. There was nothing to return to anymore, so I wasn't in a hurry.

I got to the fence where Bella and I had first talked to each other. I almost passed it when
something gleaming in the moonlight reflected off the fence. I walked over hesitantly. When I was
close enough to see what it was in the darkness, my heart dropped. There, on the old, cracked
wooden fence, hung Bella's carved necklace I'd made for her. She must have wrapped it around
the post as she had walked past to get to the main road. I pulled it off the post and held it in my
hands. The carving was one of my favorites. Now, the saying on the back hurt to read it. I shoved it
in my pocket and kept on walking.

Tonight, I would hurt. I would open wounds that I'd thought had been sewn shut. I would be
alone, and I would suffer for that. For not being what she wanted; what she needed.

Tonight, I would intentionally drift off to sleep and hurt myself with nightmares.

Yes, tonight…tonight, I would inflict pain.

And if I fall and crash and burn
At least we both know that I tried
And as I crawl those lessons learned
Yeah they remind me I survived
And I've been hurt and I've been scarred
At least I know that I'm alive
And If I fall and crash and burn
At least we both know that I tried

All of the things I tried say

All of the words just got in the way
I'm waiting here, I need your help
Don't leave me down here all by myself

Crash and Burn

By Lifehouse

I wiped my nose and cheeks with my sleeve.

I had to hurt him. I had to make him understand.

His father, whose face had been hidden in the deep shadows of the trees, was only part of the
problem. He had enough guilt and pain and infliction to go through without me there to fuck
things up or add to it. He had said he needed me, but not really. He needed anyone who would
listen to him, anyone who would keep his secrets. That, for all intents and purposes, could feel like
love but not really be love. The more his secrets and his family's secrets piled up, the more
uncomfortable I became with it all. I felt as if I had to watch myself. I didn't want to slip up. It was
bad enough I'd told Alice most—leaving out the healing part—of what happened when I was with
Edward. I had to let him go for his own benefit. I was protecting him, or at least, I was trying to.

I had to make him believe that I didn't want him anymore.


Cool, October air whipped around me as I neared my house. This time, the routine felt empty;
distorted from the other nights I walked this same path. There was dread. I knew, as soon as I
made him promise me, that that would be it. I would not feel his arms wrap around me; his breath
on my neck; his hands on my waist. I would not look into his eyes and see the small light that they
held when I was with him. I would see, feel and do none of those things any longer.

I walked up the stone steps and retrieved the key, my mechanical movements unabridged as I
finally slipped through the door and up the stairs. I slipped off my clothes for the second time, this
time, dumping them into the hamper. I did not dress in my pajamas. I didn't have the strength to
change. Instead, I lay down in my bra and panties and pulled the cover over my cold, tired body. I
looked over to the empty space in which the dream catcher I had given Edward once hung, turned
my face into my pillow, and wept.

I did not sleep the entire night. Even after the tears faded, and left my face a red, blotted mess, I
did not sleep.


"Oh. Bella, you look like shit!" The always honest Alice said from behind the counter.

It had been four days since that night. I had started my job at Alice's Tea Shop yesterday, and I was
already regretting it. Not only was she on my case constantly, but she knew there was something
wrong. And she had no problems with trying to pry it from me.

"Yes, I know, Alice. Thanks for the reminder," I huffed softly at her, rolling my eyes.

Shouldn't I look like shit? I spent the last few days stuck inside my house, dreading every single
time I had to walk past Eden; walk past him. Every night, I ended up waking amongst the trees;
always laying in the same spot full of twigs and pieces of bark. There was a difference, however.
Edward was nowhere to be seen when I awoke. When I checked outside my window before I
drifted off into a depressed sleep, he was never at the familiar lamp post. Each time I made my
way to Alice's; the orchard was silent and abandoned. The carving I left for him was gone, and so
was he. But sometimes, when I awoke and started my journey back through the trees on my way
home, I thought I could feel him watching me, only to see nothing when I whipped my head
around to scan the dense trees.

He was doing what I wanted of him.

He was staying away.

And I was miserable. I fucked up. I made him disappear from my life, and I fucked up. I did need
him…did want him. So much so that it hurt. A part of me wanted him to disobey me, so that I
could touch him again; have a chance to be with him. I was such an idiot for even thinking I could
last one day without him. It wasn't the same.

"What did that bastard do to you?" Alice demanded, sitting a cup of tea in front of me as she sat
down across the table. "I know something happened, Isabella."


"Bella, we have been friends a long time. Long enough to know when something is wrong. Spit it
out." She crossed her arms across her chest and glared at me.

I sighed, picked up the cup of tea and sipped. I sat the cup back down and sighed again.

"I let him go, Alice," I told her, my eyes dropping to gaze at the tea swirling around in the white,
opaque cup. "He had enough going on in his life, and he didn't need me there fucking it up," I
finished, raising my eyes back up to meet hers.

Her lips curved downward, and her hand shot out to cover mine. "Oh, honey! I'm so sorry!"

"Nobody died, Alice."

No. But it sure the fuck felt like it.

"At least it was mutual. Leaves less to cry about," she replied, tapping my hand and smiling.

I was going to correct her, to tell her that it wasn't mutual, at least not on his part, but I changed my
mind. Maybe she would leave this subject alone. After all, she had Jasper. And by the looks of
things, he wasn't leaving anytime soon.

"Come on, people need their tea," Alice said, getting up from her chair and motioning to the room
filled with customers. "You can start with him over there," she said as she motioned to the corner of
the shop.

I groaned, but got up and pushed in my chair.

"Don't be sad about this, Bella. You're too trusting; too caring with people. I'm sure whatever the
reason you dumped him was, it was the best option you had," she smiled complacently at me and
pointed to the corner again. "Go. Tea won't order itself."



"It wasn't the best option, but it was the only option."

The day seemed to slow down and drag as I took order after order of tea, doughnuts and cookies.
I had to say, Alice had this place jumping. It was nearing five; the time in which Alice scooted all
the stragglers from the shop and cleaned up. I looked around at the mess on the floors and tables
and groaned.

"Oh, stop your groaning! I'll get Jasper to help. JASPER!" Alice yelled to the back of the shop,
where Jasper was hiding. "Clean the tables while I go get his lazy ass," she said, disappearing to the
back of the shop.

I smiled and shook my head in amazement. Poor Jasper! I made my way to the tables, picking up
the trash off the tables and plopping it into the bin I held in my arms; napkins, half-eaten
doughnuts. I reached the far end of the shop, the final table in the back. I picked up the napkins,
and was going for the sugar packets when I saw it. It was tucked innocently under the napkin
dispenser, its beading glimmering in the lights of the overhead lamps.

The dream catcher I had given Edward. The feathers were all in a straight line, and there was a
piece of paper woven in between the intricate beading of the main loop around the center. My
heart dropped as I sat the bin on the table and pulled the dream catcher out from under the
dispenser and held it in my hands.

Had Edward been here? If he had, I had not seen him. But it had been so busy that maybe I
hadn't paid adequate attention.

I carefully slid the piece of paper from its holdings and opened it. In Edward's neat handwriting, a

I will be in the clearing, tonight,

Please let me talk to you.

I took a long look at the note and pocketed it in my apron. Taking the bin to the front and
emptying it, I looked around for Alice.

"Alice?" I called, bending over the counter to see where she was.


"Can I leave? Something came up!" I shouted, looking at the clock above the kitchen doorway.

Nearly six o'clock. If I hurried, I could make it to the clearing in ten minutes.

"Yeah, alright," Alice said. "What's the emergency, Bella?" she asked as she emerged from the back
with a look of concern.

"I just have to go, Alice. I will explain later. See you tomorrow!" I yelled as I grabbed my jacket and
ran out the door.

It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. I was going to finally see him, and I was ecstatic. I would tell
him that I was sorry, that I didn't want to walk away from him. Everything I told him had been to
protect him, but I was suffering. My heart was broken in so many pieces right now. I wanted to tell
him that I took back everything I'd foolishly said. I wanted him to touch me all over, everywhere. I
wanted him to hold me in his arms like he had after we made love the first time. I was a fool for
trying to pretend he didn't love me. I knew he did.

I jogged down the darkened, shadowy road as I clutched the dream catcher in my hands; the note
was safely stuffed inside my jacket pocket. I smiled to myself as I felt inside and touched the
parchment. Tonight I would be in his arms, again. I would go to bed knowing that when I awoke, it
would be to his face. I clutched the dream catcher tighter and walked on.

It wasn't too long before I saw the familiar swaying of apple trees in the distance. And the faint
smell of wood. I was getting closer. I finally came to the grassy hill and skipped across it in
desperation. I flung myself into the trees and ran through the darkness, avoiding tree after tree as I
did. The clearing was ahead of me as I pushed myself the last few feet. When I stepped into the
clearing, however, it was completely empty. In fact, as my eyes scanned the space, it didn't look like
anyone had been here since that night I'd left him in the road. Confusion swept over me as my
heart sank.

He wasn't here.

He really didn't want me.

He didn't need me.

I heard a faint cracking sound behind me; twigs snapping on the impact of a shoe. I turned around


A faint, "No." Followed by severe pain above my right eye.

Blackness surrounded me immediately. My body went limp as a blow struck me on top of my

head. I swayed and crumpled to the ground, where my mind joined the blackness and dragged me


Are we alone?
Is there more than we believe in?
Haunting these walls
Shadows crawling out, revealing
Fear in me, Stays in me

The nightmares inside here

My dark fears
All in my head again
The nightmares I might hear
All my tears pull me through hell again

I wake in the night

And I pray that I've been dreaming
There's nowhere to hide
From this nightmare calling to me
Fear in me, Stays in me

Through Hell

By: We are the Fallen

My eyes fluttered open and my body lurched forward in an attempt to collect oxygen into my
lungs. The sweat poured off my forehead, and my knees shook as I placed my hand above my
heart and gasped.

"Jesus Christ," I muttered in my disoriented state.

It had been so long since I'd fallen asleep and had a nightmare. I sat up and looked around the
dark, cluttered room.

My room.

I placed my head in my hands as I slowly remembered. I had to get out of that clearing, away from
things that reminded me of her. Of Bella. I had come up to my room, only to find that fucking
afghan that smelled like her. It was too much. I had lain down and must have drifted off.

I swung my eyes over to the clock on my night table; nearly ten at night.

"Fuck," I swore as I got up to head for the bathroom. "So much for dream catchers."

I rinsed my face with cold water and wiped it with a towel. I glanced in the mirror at myself and

"You look like shit," I told my reflection. "You are shit."

She was gone; never coming back. In the days since she had left, whenever she would sleepwalk
back into Eden, I would watch her from the shelter of the trees, but never, ever, touched her. I
wanted to keep the silent promise I made to her, and let her go. As hard as it was, I would do it. I
was late tonight, though. She would be in Eden soon.

I left the bathroom and headed down the stairs and out of the house, careful not to slam the door
and wake Carlisle. I reached the end of the trees and headed down the familiar path to the
clearing, where I would wait until I heard her coming, then hide among the dense foliage and
watch her in silence.

I reached the clearing, and was just about to walk over and sit on the log, when I heard a crunching
sound from beneath my sneakers. It did not sound like twigs, so I peered down.

"What the fuck?" I yelled, squinting down at the ground as I moved my shoe.

I bent down to get a closer look at it.

The dream catcher.

It lay in two pieces on the floor on the orchard, the feathers trampled. Some of the beading was
broken, and some was completely missing.

"How the fuck did this get here?" I questioned, lifting the pieces and inspecting them. I looked
around on the ground for more of the dream catcher when I saw it; a small, folded piece of
parchment lying a few feet away. I walked over and picked it up, tucking the broken dream catcher
under my arm. I opened it and held it up so that the light of the moon illuminated the words:

I will be in the clearing, tonight,

Please let
let me talk to you.

"What the fuck is going on?"

I didn't write that. I didn't even move the dream catcher from its spot where I hung it on the tree
across from her log. My heart began to race as I started to piece things together.

Somebody lured her here. Someone did something to Bella.

The sheer panic in my throat rose like bile. I felt my world spin; give away and collapse. I backed
up slowly at first, and then turned and ran back the way I had come.

"ISABELLA!" I screamed as loud as I could as I went along. "ISABELLA!"

As I neared the end of the tree line, I was stopped cold.

A scream in the distance…

A dark figure…

"I can't let you go, Edward," the voice said, coldness seeping in each and every word.

"Where's Bella?" I asked breathlessly. "Something happened to her!" I yelled desperately.

"I know," the calm voice assured me. "But I can't let you help her."

I tried to make sense in my brain of everything that was happening, but I couldn't concentrate. The
shadowy figure blocked the pathway, and with the denseness of the trees to the left and right, I
would not make it more than a few feet without being caught—or shot-or whatever the fuck this
person wanted with me.

"I'm sorry, Edward. It has to be this way," the voice said, nonchalantly.

I whipped my eyes to the shadowy head to which the voice belonged to.

"Rose?" I breathed out, disbelievingly.

"I'm sorry, Edward," Rose replied darkly.

There was silence at first. But, as the light of the moon filtered across her disfigured face, and the
concentration in her eyes reflected back to me, I felt it. It started at the bottom of my pant legs, and
there was nothing I could do.

As the fire spread up my legs, I crumbled to my knees, dropping the dream catcher as I did and,
unintentionally, smashing it with my palm.

The moonlight faded away as I withered in pain, and I could feel my skin heat with each lick of the

I repeated one word over and over as I desperately tried to fan the flames that were coursing up
my body.


Chapter: 9




My eyes swung open and scanned the darkness.

The pain on the top of my head throbbed, obscuring my vision and making my surroundings
blurry. I heard a slight humming sound coming from in front of me as I tried to get into a sitting

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," a voice called from somewhere in the shadows. "Keep still."

A clicking sound, followed by a small, round beam of light illuminated the dirty, ragged floor on
which I lay sprawled out. I shifted my eyes to where the beam of light was originating, but I could
see nothing distinguishable or familiar.

"You've been out for quite some time," the voice said coldly. "I didn't think you would ever wake.
Not that I particularly care," the voice laughed.

"Edward," I managed to wheeze out, grasping at the dirty, hay-filled floor with my dirty hands.

I was still disoriented. Calling his name was merely a desperate attempt for me to hold out hope

that wherever I was-whatever was happening to me-he would come. Maybe the voice belonged to
him? I could not distinguish the voice as belonging to a male or a female, I only could hear it
fleetingly through the ringing in my ears.

"Edward can't help you, Bella, so there's not use calling for him."

I put my hand up to shield the beam of light from my face.

"Who are you?" I whispered, barely raising it over the hum in the distance.

I heard a faint sound of footsteps coming closer, and then the lights overhead switched on,
illuminating the room in which I was laying.

The room was small; dirt and smoke filled the putrid air as I looked around. The floor was made
of dirt with straw lining the top. I tried to move my hands, but they were bound together with a bit
of rope.

"What did you do to me?" My hoarse voice echoed in the tiny room, and I could hear the fear and
desperation in my voice.

"What was necessary," the cold, malicious voice answered. "You were fucking things up for me."

The figure walked into the light where I was, showing me the full profile of whom the voice
belonged to.

"Rose?" I gasped, looking upon her disfigured face and the anger in her eyes.

"Who else?" She smiled, the deformed part of her face curving upward. "Carlisle? Edward? Carlisle
is a mean fucker, but he sure the hell would never hurt you. I, on the other hand, would do much,
much worse than hurt you, Bella," she said, bending down in front of my sprawled out body.

"Edward," I whispered again, looking up at the blonde evil, who was now staring at me.

"Liar, liar, pants on fire," she sang, laughing as she moved a stray strand of hair from my eyes. "Oh,
I'm sorry. Edward can't help you, honey."

"Why are you doing this, Rose? What did you do to Edward?"

"Simple. I needed you. You were a pawn piece in all of this. I strived on the convenience of your
arrival to the orchard. I waited for Edward to find you; it was only a matter of time." She stood and
walked around me until she was at my back. "I watched as he would watch you in the orchard at

I trembled as I felt her bend down and touch my back, the coldness of her skin causing me to
shiver slightly in the damp, smoke filled room.

"You used your own brother to get to me?" Disbelief made a hard edge to my voice. "Why?"

"Who else would I have to bring me such a pretty, young face? He was so easy to convince," she
laughed as if remembering some funny joke. "I told him to go talk to you that day, after he came to
me and told me about you. But, you see, I already knew. I didn't expect it to be so easy, mind you,
but I knew he was in love with you for months," she said, standing again and walking back in front
of me.

"Months?" I repeated in a whispered hoarse voice, watching as she paced in front of me.

Rose nodded her head. "Months. I watched from my bedroom window as he snuck in between
those fucking trees and watched you as you sleepwalked your way through them. You know, his
fascination with you really, really confused me, but then I didn't care, because it fell right into place
for me," Rose explained.

"But Carlisle…he-he…" I struggled to say the words. They fumbled on my tongue and never made it

"Carlisle tried to see that you got away from danger; from me! He begged Edward to not see you
anymore! He figured out what was going on that night he caught you with Edward. He wasn't
supposed to come back so fucking soon! He saved you that night. I was going to wait until Edward
let you go at dawn to get to you, but Carlisle fucked it all up. " She slammed her hand into her
palm and then placed her hand on her forehead. I watched her pace again, the light casting
shadows on her burned skin with each pass. She was quiet for a few minutes. Then she turned to
smile at me. "Edward had to be used as bait, you see. I do regret using him…" she trailed off.

"But what's done is done, right? Carlisle is still downstairs trying to concoct a magic formula that
will never exist. That means it's still girl time between you and me," she said. "He doesn't know you
came back for Edward. Oh! That's right, Bella! I forgot to tell you," she laughed again. "And this
really is the best part…Edward never wanted you back. I took the dream catcher, neatly copied the
note, and slipped it onto the table for you to find. Isn't that just the best part? He never wanted to
see you again, Bella," she sneered, anger flashing across her face.

I didn't reply. There was nothing I could say that would contradict her. The note had been a
forgery. She was probably right; he never wanted me back. I came back to falsehoods and he was
probably not even around anywhere. He probably didn't even realize something was wrong; that I
was not in Eden tonight.

My heart shrunk when the realization hit me. Edward had moved on and accepted what I'd told

"Please let me go," I begged. "What can you gain from this? Edward doesn't want me, you said it

"This has nothing to do with Edward, you stupid bitch!" She shoved me, walked over and then bent
down to pull my hair so that my head lifted off the floor. "It was you the whole time!"
"What are you going to do to me?"

She laughed softly.

"I plan to take your pretty face, Bella," she explained.

"You can't. Edward said you have to be sick before you can heal," I countered.

"Edward said, Edward said," she taunted. "You are sick. How fucking dumb are you? Goddamn it,"
she shook her head in disapproval. "Sleepwalking is a sickness. But if it gives me your pretty,
unburned skin with it, who am I to judge?"

"You can't reverse the healing! You can't give me your burns!"

At least Edward never mentioned that to me.

"Oh, but you are severely wrong, my friend."


"The story I told Edward-"

"You made it up?"

"Nope. Just left a few things out. Couldn't give my plot away, my dear," Rose said, placing her hands
on her hips and smirking. "When Edward was unconscious on the floor during the fire, I had to
turn him over. I reached over and was stopped by pain on my left side. I looked down, and I saw
that I was burned near my rib cage," she told me, her eyes distant as if reliving that moment again
in her mind.

"Edward has burns on his ribs…" I trailed off, realization washing over me for a second time
tonight. "You accidentally transferred the burns to him turning him over! You reversed the
healing!" I accused her.

"Bingo. Imagine my surprise as well," she lifted her right hand and smiled.

My eyes darted to her hand immediately. The change was so noticeable, that I didn't need to
wonder why she was showing me it.

The hand that once lay bare to burns and disfigurement was now white, smooth and without burns
or any signs that it had ever been injured. "Works like a charm."

If her hand was fully healed, it had to mean that she had to transfer it to someone else. My heart
sank as I caught her expression.

"What did you do to Edward?" I demanded. "Where the fuck is he?" I yelled at her.

"He won't be joining us tonight, I'm afraid. He's a bit hot under the collar," she laughed, lifting her

In the light that lit the room, I could see the blue stretch down her fingertips and the hum grow
louder and louder as the blue light engulfed the entire room, making me shield my eyes. She
moved toward me with her hand raised.

"What are you doing?" I tried to back away, but could not.

"First, I am going to steal your unflawed, unburned skin," she replied, holding her hand even
higher as the humming continued. "And then I am going to light the hay around you on fire and
watch you fucking burn."

I watched the blue light approach, and I knew I was helpless. I braced for it.

I repeated the only words I wanted to hear when her hand touched my skin; when she stole the
beauty, and when she looked me in the eyes as she burned the hay and watched it engulf me;
swallow me whole:

"Edward, I'm sorry."


I watched in harrowing desperation as the flames licked up my knees. I rolled around frantically,
letting the twigs, bark and rocks dig into my legs and my lower back. The orange-yellow flicks
climbed slowly as I tugged on my belt buckle furiously. The flames made the metal of the silver
buckle hot.

Rose had left me there to burn away into ash, but not before she had reached her glowing hand
down and clenched mine; the humming had drowned out the painful screams as I felt the licking
of each burn scar, as each tightening of my fingers and dips and crevices transferred to my hand.
My hand curved into my palm, much like hers had, and then she was gone. She left me on fire,
and in pain, as my hand was now a burned, scarred deformity, in the middle of the orchard.

I looked at my now-deformed right hand and pulled it over to my waist to unclasp the belt buckle.
I felt the heat as I painfully, and frantically, pulled the belt free of my pants, which remained
engulfed in flames. I quickly unzipped my zipper with my good hand, and kicked the pants off my
legs, the flames going with them as they slid to the dirty orchard ground.

As I stood in my boxers, my legs completely red and slightly burned, a scream rang out off in the
shadowy distance. The long, drawn out scream echoed in the stillness of the night.

"Bella!" I screamed as I took off running in the direction of the scream, leaving the burning pants
behind. "Bella!"
I ran through the dense trees as the screaming ceased. I gasped as my lungs began to hurt as I got
deeper and deeper into the orchard. I had no idea where Rose had taken Bella. I could only run
until I found her. I needed her, and I would find her, would do whatever it took to find her. I
circled around the outside of the orchard as I emerged from the trees, desperately looking around
for any sign that she had been that way.

"BELLA!" I screamed out again, turning quickly to the left and right on the small path I was
standing on.

I continued to run. As I passed my house, which lay dormant and shrouded in darkness, I glanced
up at the window that Rose always occupied, but it was empty. My heart beat faster as I turned
back and ran behind the house to head back into the trees to search some more. That is when I
saw the blue light jutting out from the bottom of the old barn where Carlisle housed the apple
picking machines in the winter, to keep them from thieves. It was no more than ten feet from me.

"I'm coming, Bella," I shouted, running to the double barn doors.

I got to the double barn doors and tried to open them quickly, but they were barricaded shut from
the inside.

"BELLA!" I sobbed, pounding on the door with my good fist.

I ran around the side of the barn, looking for a way in. Up at the very top of the barn, stood an
open window in an area that was once used as a loft.

"Fuck," I breathe out.

I needed a ladder or something. That window was at least fifteen feet above me. As another
scream rang out, this one of pain and torture, I ran beyond the path I had just taken and back into
the orchard, to retrieve the ladder I used when trimming off wayward tree limbs.

One way or another, I was going to rescue her, no matter the cost. No matter of my own life. Her
life was the only thing that I was concerned with, and whatever happened to me in the process
would be worth it.

Nobody was going to take Bella from me.

I would die first.

I would prepare for it, in fact. Deep in my heart, I knew that there was a good chance I would not
make it out of that barn…

I was banking on it.

She lay on the barn floor, her chestnut hair flowing around her burned face. I turned her on her
back so that I could admire what I once looked like on someone else.

"Jesus Christ, I was one ugly bitch," I laughed, looking at the burned remains of the unconscious
girl's face. "Pity, you were so pretty."

I could hear Edward rattling the doors to the barn as I stood and touched my now-perfect, flawless
face. It was too little, too late; Bella lay motionless, the pain of the searing burning too much to
handle. I smiled as I righted myself to a standing position and walked around her.

"Your job is done here, Bella," I said, not caring if she could hear me or not. "You have to die,
now. Thank you for the beautiful skin. I love it," I taunted, laughing as I reached up to touch the
smoothness between my fingers.

I brought my hand back down and fixed my gaze on the dirty, yellow straws that lay underneath
her head. I could feel the pressure of my gaze start to heat the straw; small smoke plums rose from
the hay. As the smoke got thicker, a sound up at the barn ceiling broke my concentration. My eyes
wandered up to the clanking sound now pouring into the whole barn. I didn't see the metal pulley
swinging toward my face until it was too late.

The heavy, metal hay pulley crashed into my newly-perfect face with a slight cracking sound. I
could feel the pain rush to the surface as I gasped and fell to my knees, holding my face with my

"Bella," I heard Edward whisper from across the barn as he jumped from the loft, down to where
Bella lay. "Bella, honey? Can you hear me?"

I moved my hands away from my damaged face and saw just his shadow pull her hands free from
the rope I had bound her with. I saw nothing else however, as my eyes fixed upon the hay near her
feet this time. With a slight sizzle, the hay caught fire.

"What the-" Edward gasped as the fire spread quickly around them; encircling them.

Trapping them.

"Oh, my god," Edward breathed as the hay bales behind him caught fire, sending falling embers
over the two of them.

One of the embers landed in Bella's hair…

...And ignited…




Our Farewell (Within Temptation):

In my hands
A legacy of memories
I can hear you say my name
I can almost see your smile
Feel the warmth of your embrace
But there is nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?
Sweet darling, you worry too much, my child
See the sadness in your eyes
You are not alone in life
Although you might think that you are
Never thought
This day would come so soon
We had no time to say goodbye
How can the world just carry on?
I feel so lost when you are not at my side
But there is nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?

I watched in horror as the ember ignited and started to singe her hair, effectively sending smoke
and the stench of singed, blackened human hair into the air. I gasped as I reached up to brush the
embers away with my deformed hand. The ember of straw sputtered at first, but then died down as
my hand provided starvation of the oxygen it needed to continue its heated torture. When I pulled
my hand away from her freshly singed hair, I slowly grasped her shoulder and turned her so that I
could look at her face. She was eerily still, and didn’t even bother to wither when I pulled the
ropes from her bound wrists.

Even in the pale light that still illuminated the small, dirty old barn, I could see the burn marks that
viciously covered half her face. Straw stuck to the side of her cheek and her eye on that side was
half-closed. The sobs that threatened to consume me came without shame. I picked her up and
hugged her gently, as to not cause her anymore pain, to my chest. There, on the barn floor, in the
dirty air, in the pale light of the overhead fluorescent lights, I rocked with her in my arms, the tears
dropping from my eyes and falling into her dirty, partially-burned chestnut brown hair.

I could feel her shallow breathing against my solid chest, her chest rising slowly against mine. I
could feel, with every breath she took, it getting more and more shallow.

“Bella, please don’t go,” I begged, placing my cheek to her burned face. “Please don’t leave me

I pulled Bella away from my chest just enough to hook my arms under her knees and lift her limp
body in my arms. I made my way to the barn doors, which now stood ajar thanks to Rosalie’s
escape after setting fire to the hay, and walked with her in my arms into the cold, windy October

“I didn’t leave you, Bella,” I said softly, looking down at her face while walking to the end of the
trees that lined the orchard. “I was here the whole time. Return the favor, Isabella. Stay for me,” I
begged of her as I laid her upon the cold leaves that littered the orchard floor and stroked the
unburned side of her face.

I heard a small, wheezing gasp escape her slightly open lips, and I brushed my fingertips across
them. The portion of her lips that were burned where chipping pieces of skin and a small bubble
of saliva had developed in the corner of her newly-deformed lips. That half of her mouth was
burned upward in a sick, painful smile.

“Bella, listen to me,” I told her, even though I knew she could not hear me. “I’m going to heal
you, alright? You . . . you need to be here. You need to live for me, Bella,” I told her, softly
rubbing her forehead as I looked into her eyes. “I love you.”

I lifted my hand, completely prepared to scar myself, to take away her pain, her suffering. To make
sure that she would not become a memory in my heart, or a name in a carving, or a poem I would
only recite to myself.

Before I could even get the energy to call upon the blue, healing light and the dull hum, I heard
her gasp deeply. Looking down at her face, even in the darkness of the moonless night, I could see
her eyes flutter open and a gurgle and cough as she fought for air to fill her lungs. Her eyes looked
around fleetingly until they located my own wide, desperately-bright eyes.

“Bella!” I shouted in desperate, welcomed relief.

I wanted to bend down and touch my lips to hers, but I refrained, afraid that I would hurt her if I
did so. Instead, I touched her cheek softly and smiled at her. I caught her expression and the smile
dropped from my face.

“Edward,” she gasped so softly that I had to bend down to hear her. “Don’t.”

“Don’t what, Bella?” I asked her, closing my eyes briefly, hoping I’d heard her incorrectly.

Her face twisted in pain, and her lips barely moved.

“Don’t . . . heal,” she choked out, closing her eyes again.

“Bella!” I shook her gently, “Bella, please don’t close your eyes! Stay awake! Bella, I have to heal
you. I can’t, no . . . won’t, live without you. Do you understand?”

“Promise,” she whispered, opening her eyes slightly to look at me from under her heavy lids.

“No, I can’t let you go! DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE ME!” I roared at her, unwilling to listen to
what she was asking of me.

“Let me go, Edward,” she said, lifting her hand in a tired gesture to touch my arm. “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you fucking apologizing? Sorry for what? You’re going to be fine, Bella,” I assured her,
clasping my hand over hers that was resting on my arm. “I’m going to heal you, Bella. Losing you
is a far greater loss to me than skin. Than these fucking bones! I would die for you, Isabella, but
don’t you dare do the same.” The tears started to once again explode from my eyes as I looked
down at her and saw the truth smacking me in the face.

She was dying.

And she was begging me not to heal her; wanting me to promise.

“Just promise,” she whispered, letting her hand fall from my arm.

“But I just found you. You don’t know how you changed things for me, made me understand that
I am not alone in the world; that there are people worth being with, worth sharing my gift with . . .
worth loving. You walked into that fucking orchard because you were sent to me!” The tears
spilled onto her face, but I let them fall, unabridged. “You told me that everyone had buried
secrets, and that nobody was perfect, but you were wrong. You are perfect, Bella, and I am begging
you not to separate from me,” I sobbed, watching as her head turned to the side and her eyes
lulled open and closed. “I can fix this.”

She did not answer me. Whether it was because she knew there was no way I could fix it, or
because she was just too weak, was unclear. I could see that she was fading away, and the pain in

my chest grew with uncontrolled pressure. It felt as if my heart was going to explode. I looked
down at her through watery, blurry eyes and did the only thing I could ever really do for her.

I promised her.

“Bella…” I whispered, reaching my hand around her neck to lift her head slightly. “Bella…”

I hugged her gently to my chest, the silent acknowledgement that I would abide by her promise
understood by us both as the moon peaked its rays over the spot at the edge of the big, expansive
apple orchard that we had both come to know as Eden. The place in which I had found my Eve,
and she had found her Adam, the place where we had made love for the first time, the place where
I whittled the carving for her, and the place where the dream catcher she gave to me once hung on
the bark, the dark feathers blowing in the chilly wind.

I felt the small heave of her chest against mine, and then there was nothing.

I knew, then, that she was gone. There was nothing I could do but hold her cool body against
mine, and rock with her in my arms. The sobbing came relentlessly and without shame. My hand
curved around the top of her head, and I pulled my lips to her ear. For though I knew she could
never hear the words I was about to speak, they said everything. In a shaky, sobbed filled voice, I
recited the poem; the one I was going to recite to her the night Carlisle chased her from Eden. The
one I started to say, but never got the chance to share with her:

I never felt a thing

before you touched my heart
and when you touched my body,
I thought I'd fall apart.
When you kiss my lips,
I feel you deep within my soul
then you wrap your arms around me
and say you'll never let me go.
When I tremble at your tenderness
and melt in your arms,
I know you really love me,
and you'll keep me safe from harm
you know I've never loved
or been loved in any kind of way-

But now, there was another verse which I had to add:

So I cry for my loss and the things I am about to give away

With nothing left to do, I moved my lips away from her ear and gently laid her down on the hard,
cold, dirty earth. Her body was limp and catatonic. I reached up to her still-beautiful face, stroked
her cheek with my fingers, then, with all the bit of strength I had left, I reached up and closed those
beautiful, chocolate brown eyes for the final time.

And then, I lay down beside her on the same hard, cold, filthy earth, clasped her increasingly
colder hand in mine, and wept.


Sweet Sacrifice (Evanescense):

It's true, we're all a little insane.

But it's so clear,
Now that I'm unchained.
Fear is only in our minds,
Taking over all the time.
Fear is only in our minds but it's taking over all the time.

You poor sweet innocent thing.

Dry your eyes and testify.
You know you live to break me. Don't deny.
Sweet sacrifice.
One day I'm gonna forget your name,
And one sweet day, you're gonna
gonna drown in my lost pain.

I stopped running and turned to the darkness behind me slightly. Off in the distance, the barn was
now fully engulfed in the ravages of fire. The flames should have gotten to the both of them by
now. I turned back to make my way to the burning barn. I would have to play my part, still. I
would tell Carlisle of Edward and Bella’s defiance; their secret meetings in the barn, since he had
chased them from the orchard. He knew of my plan only to a degree. He had no idea of my ability
to light fires with my concentration, and I would, of course, leave that noticeably out of my
explanation. Carlisle would ask about my face, I knew that. That was something I would have to
figure out before his eyes rested upon my new face, minus the wide laceration to one eye and

“Edward said he was going to use candles for light, so he wouldn’t alert anyone that they were in
there,” I would tell him, hugging him close and forcing sobs to clench my throat. “He knew the
dangers of fire,” I would add for pity.
“Shit,” I whispered to myself.

The trees I was passing were the ones I went past earlier. I’d never been in the orchard this deep
before, and I was lost as I left the main path and followed the dense trees that surrounded me
from all sides. I started walking back slowly, trying to find my way out of the puzzle of trees. I
looked up into the night sky to see if I could see the smoke from the burning barn, so that I could
follow it to take me back to the right track. I could see the slight plumes of smoke in the distance
to my left, so I turned that way and walked among the dead, bare trees.

This night was shaping into one that was unexpected, but worked to my advantage. I didn’t count
on Edward even bothering to go into Eden, since the bitch left him. I regretted using him as bait,
but he overstepped his boundaries; was going to stop me from being normal. I purposely set fire to
his pants, knowing he had plenty of time to shift out of them, but still giving me plenty of time to
get back to Bella, who was still unconscious and bound in the barn. I had not counted on his little
trip to the barn, though. I underestimated him; there was no doubt in that.

I had waited an entire year, a year with a deformed face and hand, with the knowledge of what
happened that night. I even thought maybe it was just some fucked up delusion that I had from the
smoke inhalation. But, when I saw Bella for the first time, walking through the trees late at night,
her thin pajamas swaying in the wind, I knew I had to try it. I refused to be a fucking freak
anymore. I refused to waste my life hiding away, for fear of ridicule and teasing. The reaction of
Emmett no longer bothered me like it once did. After the fire and my face became the object of
ugly despair, I stopped even believing that I could heal, that I could possibly reverse the healing.

Until I saw her; saw Bella.

I could see how Edward looked at her perfectly unflawed skin. The way he was enamored with her
beauty. It angered me. She was getting the attention that I so craved! That I used to get! Jealousy
meshed with anger, and I was determined to do whatever it took to get what I wanted. I had never
wanted Edward to heal me. Because the regret of what I would do would be evident on his face
every day that I looked at him. As for her, there was a cold indifference with her immediately. I
couldn’t give a shit about her.

I ducked through the trees and finally caught sight of the orange, white-hot flames through the
broken limbs ahead of me. I was a few steps from the outer edge of the tree line when I saw
movement on the ground. I tightened my walking up so that I was a little more silent as I stepped
out of the trees. At first, I could see nothing but dark earth, but as the orange flames poured from
in between the slats of the barn, I could just make out two figures lying on the ground.

I backed up slightly, not altogether sure who the figures were. I heard what sounded like crying
from one, but the other was stock still. Turning my back slightly to the trees as I made a wide circle

around them, my right foot skidded on a wet leaf and a snapping of a twig resounded loudly into
the nearly-silent night.

“Fucking cocksucker,” I seethed, watching as the figure farthest from me popped up quickly and
looked around.

The light from the fire caught me just as his eyes locked on mine in a bitter, unloving glare.


My eyes shifted to the figure lying on the ground, unmoving. Bella laid still, her eyes tightly shut,
and her right hand across her heart. Even from the distance in which I was shrouded, I could see
that her chest did not rise.

“I’m going to fucking kill you, you bitch,” Edward assured me, the look in his eyes confirming this

I watched as he wiped his nose on his sleeve. He was still in his boxer shorts, which were filthy and
ashy, and had holes in them.

“Edward,” I murmured, “You should really rethink that theory. You know I will win. Just let me
do the talking. You won’t have to say anything. All you need to do is agree,” I reassured him,
walking sideways, my hands finding the tree trunks behind me as I did so.

I knew he had no intention of letting me go without a fight. I knew that she was dead on the
ground, and I knew he would expect me to pay for that. Fleetingly, for an instant, there was a
feeling of remorse. It quickly subsided when I saw Edward walk toward me, a look of pure rage
across his features.

“Edward,” I called, “I have no issues lighting you the fuck on fire again, and this time, I’ll aim
higher,” I boasted, staggering backward toward the burning barn.

He said nothing as he came toward me, his fist curled up at his sides.

“Did you fucking hear me? I’m going to kill you, Edward. Like I did with that little whore lying
over there,” I invoked.

“There is nothing on this planet worth living for anymore, Rosalie, you made sure of that,” he said.
“How long?”

“How long what?” I asked, stopping my retraction as he stopped himself in front of me.

“How long did you know you could transfer the burns, Rose?” he asked calmly.

“Since the fire,” I replied, pressing my hand automatically to my new face, as if to make sure it was
still unblemished. “Since I transferred them to you.”

“And you thought it would be a good time to transfer them again? Why not me, Rose?”

“You never gave me a chance to! You never slept, Edward. And when you did, you would always
make sure it was in this damn orchard! She was easy. She was a walking target, Edward.
Vulnerable, alone . . . she was asleep half the time, for fuck’s sake,” I spat at him. “I didn’t think
she would die, Edward. Not from a simple transfer of my burns!”

It was the truth. I knew the fire would get to her eventually, but I had no idea that the transferring
of my burned, desecrated skin would be her death. But then, I didn’t know how the transferring
worked. I had no idea if it was like being in a fire, with your face being charred and raw with pain,
or what. I didn’t really have time to think, or care, about that.

He said nothing. Instead, he walked slowly, fluidly again. Walking closer to me as I backed up
against the side of the burning barn. His eyes were fixed on my face, as if he was admiring the new
flesh that wrapped around my bones. He stopped suddenly, and cocked his head.

“You know what, Rose?” he asked, a small, unnerving sneer unfurling across his face. “Death is
too good for you.”

I saw his eyes dart above me at the eve of the barn roof. Quickly, his eyes returned to mine and he
started his ascension once more. I could not back up anymore, because my back was against the
hot, expanding wood, blocking my way.

“Death is an evoking emotion, Edward.” I replied, feeling my way across the hot planks of wood
behind me. “We all do it sometime or another.”

“Some sooner than others, Rosalie,” he shot back, still coming toward me, eyes ablaze.

Suddenly, in a move that was both unexpected and surprisingly fast, Edward reached up to the eve
of the roof that hung down from the intense heat of the fire, and yanked it down with his hand, so
that the burning wood fell upon us both, knocking me to the ground and pinning the lower half of
my body under the ashy wood.

I gasped in pain as the wood crushed my body tightly. I tried to move my legs, to free myself from
the wood-prison, but the planks were too heavy, and the small fire that engulfed the top of the pile
stopped me from pulling the planks free. I doubted I could free myself even if there was no fire. I
was laying half inside the gaping hole that once belonged to part of the roof, and which, now, had
dangerously low hanging beams exposed, and half outside the tree line.

From the corner of my eye, I could see Edward struggle to get out of the heavy material that
trapped him to the ground. Finally, after kicking himself free of the wood, and with bleeding
scratches on his legs, he stood and brushed the dirt off his legs and walked over to me. His face, at
first, was impassive; unimpressionable, as he bent down to look me in the face.

“Get it over with, already,” I gritted my teeth, and gasped at the painful pressure the lumber placed
on my legs. “Kill me.”

“You haven’t been listening, Rose. I told you . . . death is too good for you. Too easy,” he said.

The expression he wore on his dirty, scratched face left no doubts in my mind. I saw him cock his
hand back as far as he could, and slam it into my face, causing the laceration from the pulley to
throb in protest.

I was fucked…


Fight Inside (Red):

Enemy, familiar friend

My beginning and my end.
Knowing truth, whispering lies
And it hurts again.
What I fear and what I've tried,
Words I say and what I hide.
All the pain, I want it to end
But I want it again.
And it finds me
The fight inside is coursing through my veins.
And it's raging
The fight inside is breaking me again.
I'm still the same, pursuing pain.
Is it worth all that I've gained?
We both know how this will end,
But I'd do it again.

I really wanted to kill this fucking bitch, sister or not. Her blood relation to me didn’t matter
anymore. Nothing did. The thing I found that had made my life bearable – livable – was no longer
breathing. But I could change that. Would change that. I was smarter than her fucking bleached
blonde ass thought I was.
I smashed my fist into her face with all my might again, making her head rock back in fast
succession from the first punch. I heard, and saw, the first flow of blood crack from her nose as
she gasped in pain.

“Is that all you have?” she taunted, the blood flowing down her nose, into the crevice between her
lips. “Still weak.”

“I don’t want to hurt you too much. You’re not the only one that would be affected by that,” I told
her, turning myself around and heading back to the shadowy tree line.

“What are you doing?” she called across the empty area.

I didn’t answer her. Instead, I walked back over to where I had laid Bella earlier and knelt down
beside her, taking her cold hand that was draped across her heart, into my hand. I looked down at
her face, which, other than the burns that disfigured half of it, looked peaceful and serene. I took
my deformed hand and stroked her cheek softly, unspoken words and unadulterated emotions
filling my tired, sore eyes.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Rose shouted once again, her voice hoarse.

“Shut up!” I yelled at her from over my shoulder.

Turning back to Bella, I brought my lips down to her ear and softly whispered to her.

“I know I promised not to heal you, but I’m going to do it anyway. You have to trust me, Bella,” I
told her lifeless form in a hushed tone. “I am going to fix this. Like I promised I would,” I told her
quietly, releasing her hand and getting to my feet beside her.

I had to try; had to use what little hope I had. She was the one ray of light that brightened up even
the darkest of nights in my life. I had an idea, one which I had no clue if it would work, but I was
willing to try it. And if I had to sacrifice myself to do it, I would.

For her. For Bella.

I bent down, and for the second time tonight, hooked my arm under her knees and the other
around her back, and lifted her, kissing her cold, chapped lips before walking with her in my arms
toward the burning barn, and toward Rose.

“You can’t help her, Edward! You’re being stupid.”

“Am I?”

I placed Bella gently an arm’s length away from where Rose was trapped on the ground.

“You see, Rose, I’m wondering, since it worked out so nice for you, if I could do the same thing.
Conduction is relative. Two people in between a conductor,” I told her, placing my good hand on
Bella’s chest, “that conductor being me, could possibly transfer,” I told Rose, placing my deformed
hand upon her back, “and pass between whoever I am touching at that particular moment,” I said.
“Like a human magnet.”

The look on her face told me that it sunk in. She was aware, fully aware, of what I was about to try.
Her lips curved downward in a frown, and her struggle to get free of her prison increased. Her
hand flew to my hand that was still lightly upon her back, as she tried to pry it away. But my grip
was too much for her.

“You’re going to fucking kill yourself; passing healing through your body to transfer it between two
people. Are you fucking serious?” Rose spat, still struggling to pry my hand from her back.

“I’m deadly serious, yes. I am going to try. What good am I to her,” I said, pointing at Bella on the
ground, “If I didn’t?”

With the crackling of the barn in the background, I closed my eyes, concentrating as hard as I
could. As one withered against my touch, and the other remained still and cold as ice, I could hear
the slight hum and see the blue flash behind my eyelids.

I was attempting something that would bring Bella back . . . or kill me.

As things stood at the moment, one interconnected with the other. If this didn’t work, I would die
anyway. I would heal her by myself then, taking engrossing death onto me; collapsing my soul and
sacrificing it for her to live, to breathe again….

Then, only then, would I truly live.


Pale (Within Temptation):

The world seems not the same,

Though I know nothing has changed.
It's all my state of mind,
I can't leave it all behind.
Have to stand up to be stronger.
Have to try to break free
From the thoughts in my mind.
Use the time that I have,
I can't say goodbye,
Have to make it right.
Have to fight, cause I know
In the end it's worthwhile,
That the pain that I feel slowly fades away.
It will be alright.
I know, should realize
Time is precious, it is worthwhile.
Despite how I feel inside,
Have to trust it'll be all right.
Have to stand up to be stronger.
Oh, this night is too long.
Have no strength to go on.
No more pain, I'm floating away.
Through the mist see the face
Of an angel,
angel, who calls my name.
I remember you're the reason I have to stay.

I opened my eyes and was immediately shrouded in bright lights. I shielded my eyes from the
obtrusive light as I sat up slowly. The light subsided, and I lowered my hands from my face. I felt
familiar textures as my hands hit the ground on either side of me.

I looked down and saw the same twigs, rocks and dirt that I could find in Eden. I lifted my head
up to see what was in front of me. I gasped at the sight before me. I was in Eden, the same familiar
trees swaying in the small breeze that came out of nowhere; the trees were no longer bare,
however. The trees were full and luscious; apples as red as could be hung from the green leafy
foliage. Everything in Eden glowed; the trees, the apples, the dirt, the daylight was one big, bright

I stood quickly and looked around for someone, anyone, who might be here, as well. There was
no one.

“Edward?” I called out. My voice seemed to echo and dissipate somewhere in the distance.

Where was I? Was I dead? Was I dreaming?

I caught sight of the glowing path that led into the clearing and started to follow it. The path was
familiar. Not just in the fact it was a part of Eden, but I felt as if I had done what I was doing now;
somehow repeating.

I stepped, a moment later, into the clearing that Edward and I had come to use every night.
Everything looked the same, except for the two large, wooden carvings that stood in the middle of
the clearing. I then understood why I thought I knew this place. I had dreamed of it once.

I closed my eyes quickly and tried to remember the vivid dream I once had, the one that I never
explained to Edward:
I visited Eden. I had walked along the same road, the same path there. I was not sleeping this time,
nor was I visiting a dead Eden. The trees were full of apples and blossoms. The pink and white
buds falling like heavy snow in the winter. The bark was a light shade of chocolate brown as my
hands curved over them. The path in the clearing Edward showed me was now bathed in the
brightest sunlight; the rays illuminating the finer branches that littered the ground. I walked forward
into the empty clearing. The logs were gone, replaced by two full sized carvings made from the
trees that surrounded me. One, the one on the right, was a striking resemblance to me. My
features etched in the bark with precision and care. I was wearing a replica of the pajamas I wore
the first night I met Edward. The other carving was of Edward. Again, the resemblance was
striking. Unable to resist, I reached out to touch his carving; my hands lingering and brushing over
his face, the intricate curve the wood made on his shoulders. My hands curved to touch his
wooden ones. As soon as my warm skin found his fingers, the carvings hands had started to open.
Light poured from the opening at his hands. I gasped and took a few steps back. Hesitating a little,
I moved closer when the light faded. I reached my hand inside the hollow spot his now departed
hands made. My hands found something hard and smooth. I extracted my hands. Inside the small,
pale palm of my hand, there lied the carving that now hung around my neck. There was one
difference; the male carving on the tree was gone. Just the female remained.

I opened my eyes and looked down at myself, and sure enough, I was wearing the same pajamas as
the first night I met Edward, as did the carving that now stood erected in the clearing.

“Edward,” I breathed quietly, looking across from my carving to his.

It was the perfect replica of him. His carved eyes still held light inside them, and his hands, which
remained closed, had am immense light pouring from in between whittled wood. I wanted to reach
out, much like I did in my dream, but I kept my hands beside me. I circled the two carvings in the
clearing, not sure what I was doing here

“Where am I?” I questioned myself.

There was a slight cracking sound emanating from Edward’s’ carving. I quickly swung my eyes over
to his carving. The carved hands started to open slowly, casting a shadow, brightness filled the
clearing now. It was so bright, I found myself sheathing my eyes once again. The cracking
continued as the hands began to open further and further until they were fully opened and the light
evaporated as fast as it had come.

I walked over, infinitesimally slow, to the newly opened hands. I reached inside the hollow of the
hands, much as I remembered doing in the dream. As I hit something cold and smooth, a soft,
musical low voice, sounding distant, floated from the dark space inside the dark space of the open

“Come on, Bella,” the soft voice pleaded. “Come on!” The desperation in the voice hurt me to


The voice softly repeated the pleading. The voice, now clearer, but still sounding far away, was
Edward’s. I would know that voice anywhere.

“This has to work,” the echoing voice resounded from inside the hands.

I suddenly knew that I was not in a dream, as I first thought. This place was not a sanctuary for my
unconscious thoughts. This was a place I had come, only on a spiritual level. As I realized that this
was my interpretation of heaven. It had Eden. Eden was my heaven. I backed up away from the
brightly lit clearing. I didn’t want to be here. I wanted to be with Edward. I didn’t belong here, yet.

As if Heavens version of Eden agreed, the brightness of the lights flickered; fading into darkness.
The trees began to lose the pink and white flowers; becoming bare and dead once more, and I
could feel a chill upon my body as if the winter had come in that instant. I gasped as the air
whipped solidly around me, causing goose bumps to appear all over my exposed skin.

Suddenly, without warning, I felt myself falling as if there was no ground underneath me. As my
body fell into blackness, I could feel pressure upon my face. I reached a hand up to feel around
where the pressure was indenting on my skin; scabs and deep dents that were under my fingertips
began to fade, being replaced by smooth, unburned skin.

It felt like a long time that I was falling in through blackness, when suddenly a whooshing passed
my body, and I felt solid again.

With a deep gasp, and the arching of my back, I opened my eyes into the deep, black night, and
into the blue, humming light of Edward’s entire body. Each shockwave that went through his hands
into me arched my back, and made my eyes roll slightly.

Edward was nothing more than a blue light, nothing other than his hands could be seen…

And I could feel my heartbeat through my ears…

The Eden I now lay in was the one I had always wanted…

I could once again raise my chest, and breathe….


“They say angels come from the sky. Tonight, I am lucky, for one fell, and I rescued it.”
By Thomas N. Wiser

I could feel her chest rising underneath my hand, but there was little consolation in that, because I
had no idea if it was because of the force of the electric-like current coursing through her body, or
if it was actually her, alive and breathing once more.

I could hear Rose screaming and withering underneath my hand, and, from the corner of my now-
open eye, I could also see the flames from the barn start to crumble the structure. A piece of the
roof fell at Rose’s feet with a crackle. I could feel the power of the dual transfer. In honesty, it was
making me tired.

I pushed it harder than before, the blue light engulfing me with lighting flashes and my hands red-
hot to the touch. I looked over to Bella, and saw her eyes were open. Relief and elation washed
through me as I realized that she was alive. I could not see if the half of her face that was burned
remained, so I could only hope not.

Slowly and carefully, I pulled my hand from Bella’s chest, releasing the healing that was coursing
through me from Rose. Like a magnet, my hand reacted by wanting to replace itself upon her
chest. I took the deformed hand and placed it with my other on Rose’s back.

I gasped as my deformed, burned hand started to build pressure, and then I could feel the burns
erase, as if they had never been there. Rose gasped in pain once more, and my eyes found her
sprawled out hand by her side on the ground. The burns had returned, curving her hand inward
once again.

I immediately removed both my hands from her back and turned back around to my angel; my
Eve. To my utter relief and jubilation, Bella was sitting up, her hands touching her legs, which were
straight in front of her. I crawled across the ground on my knees.

“Bella!” I called, emotion choking the words. “It worked, you’re here!”

I crawled over to her and reached my hands to her face. She was no longer burned or scarred. Her
skin was a smooth mesh once again, red staining her cheeks. It had worked. The dual
healing/transfer worked!

“You’re . . . you’re beautiful,” I told her, letting the tears drop from my eyes onto Eden’s ground.
“It worked.”

Bella looked at me and then touched her hands to her face. The relief in her eyes swelled my
heart, and unexpectedly, but not unwelcomed, she flung her tired arms around my neck.

“Oh, Edward!” she cried into my neck.

“You left me,” I accused her, not really meaning it, though. “You fucking left me.”

“I’m here, now!” she said, pulling away from my neck so she could look at me. “I came back for

“I didn’t think it would work! But I had to try, Bella. I had to,” I replied, crushing my lips to hers
in relief, tiredness and all around fucking elation. “Don’t do that ever again!”

Her mouth, no longer deformed, melted with mine; her hands stroking my chest in short, scratchy
strokes. My hand clutched her cheek to deepen the kiss. She had come back for me, and I wanted
her to know, that I wanted her back for me, too. She was mine. She belonged to me, and what
happened tonight made that very clear.

Bella’s eyes suddenly went wide as she stared at something over my shoulder. A second later, an
ear-splitting crack, and then the sound of wood falling had me pushing Bella back with my body
planted in front of hers. Wood from the barn cascaded down onto us as it fell apart, ravaged by
fire. As the dust settled, and the wood pieces came to a rest, the only sound in the silent night was
the painful screams of Rose, who was now buried under all the weight of the barn. It had crashed
down on her body.

“Can you walk, Bella?” I asked her, not sure if the crushing of the planks before the transfer would
affect her.

Bella shook her head. “I don’t think so.”

I stood, brushed off the little bit of boxers that was still intact, and lifted Bella up, cradling her like
a child. Once she was securely in my hands, I looked down at her dirty, but still incredibly
beautiful, face and kissed her lips.

“They say angels come from the sky. Tonight, I am lucky. For one fell, and I rescued it,” I recited
against her lips.

I walked with my Bella, my Eve, and my wanderer. Back through Eden, and into the clearing we
had come to share with each other.

As we made our way through the dense, smoky trees, Rose’s screams became more distant, until,
after a few minutes, they sounded no more….

The end


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