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Disclaimer: none of these characters are mine.

They all
belong to Stephanie Meyer. I read ‘New Moon’ and
wondered what had happened to Edward…(Again! None
of this is mine!)


The way back home…to Forks—the little rainy town I called home—was like a
blur. All I knew is that I was with my Bella again. Joy seemed to shake me
and not let go… I vaguely remembered promising Alice a 911 Turbo for
Christmas. I didn’t care. My favorite sister defiantly deserved that and more.
I would owe her for the rest of my existence. If it weren’t for that spiky
haired pixy of a sister I wouldn’t have Bella in my arms…safe…home…

I ran my fingers over Bella’s skin. There was something different about
her but, I didn’t question her. I wanted for her to be less traumatized. I
kissed her every chance I got. I didn’t want to let her go. I wanted to hold her
in my arms forever. I was hoping she would sleep but, being Bella she would
never want what was best for her.

I can’t wait to see Jasper! I wish I didn’t have to lie to him…but,

somehow I kept my promise! Oh…I miss him so much… I can’t wait to finally
have him back in my arms where he belongs. Alice’s mind was ranting on
about every detail of their reunion. I toned her out and listened to my Bella’s
heart beat. It was the most amazing sound I could ever have wished to hear.
It was my life line… Without it I would surly die. ALMOST THEIR!!!!! Alice’s
thoughts pierced through my mind.

Oh…no… I thought. What will Carlisle think…? What will Esme say? I
frowned at the thought of Esme. She will be very angry…

I half-carried Bella into the Sea-Tac airport. Jasper was the first person I saw.
Alice…Alice… Alice… He only had thoughts for her.

My son… Carlisle thought in a relieved voice.

That IDIOT! I REALY hope he is listening! That FOOL! Who does he
think he is? He ran off and scared all of us to death!... Esme’s mind was
ranting on and on. I walked over to them. Esme hugged Bella first. “Thank
you so much.” She said fervently. EDWARD! Esme shouted in her mind. Her
anger seemed to melt away as she half-tackled me in a hug. “You will NEVER
put me through that again!” She hissed. You nearly killed us all!

“Sorry, Mom.” I said whole heartedly. She seemed to melt when I said
that. Carlisle looked at Bella with eyes full of gratitude.

“Thank you, Bella. We owe you.” He said. You will never leave us
again… She is staying and so are you no matter how much you fight. Carlisle
said. You love her and there is no point on pretending anything else. You
really did rip apart the entire family… Never. Again. He said to me directly.
His tone was only slightly irritated but, mostly joyous.

“Har-dly.” Bella mumbled.

“She’s dead on her feet.” Where are your manners?! “Let’s get her
home.” That’s right mister, H-O-M-E. Home. That’s where you are going too. I
smiled slightly at her thoughts. Esme helped me drag Bella out of the airport.
It was then that I saw her.

The big mouthed blond is here? How does she have the audacity to
show her face here!? How can she be here after what she has done? I
wondered angrily.

I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to… Rose’s mind thought softly but, I ignored

“Don’t…she feels awful.” Esme whispered.

“She. Should.” I nearly hissed.

“Ibt’s no-t her vfaul-t.” Bella said in a garbled mumble.

“Let her make amends.” Be nice! “We’ll ride with Alice and Jasper.” I
glared at Rose, wishing I could yell at her.

“Pewees, Edward.” Bella whispered in a small voice. I sighed. I sat

Bella in the back seat with me. She leaned her head against my chest and
sighed to herself.
I really didn’t mean for any of this to happen… I am so sorry. I didn’t
want to hurt anyone… I just wanted to tell the truth… “Edward,” Rose

“I know.” I cut her off. She will have to be a lot more repentant to get
my forgiveness. I thought angrily.

“Bella?” Rose asked.

“Yes, Rosalie?” Bella asked in a confused voice.

“I’m so very sorry, Bella. I feel wretched about every part of this. And
so grateful that you were brave enough to go save my brother after what I
did. Please say you’ll forgive me?”

I didn’t want to admit it…but that thawed me out. The fact that the
vain, stuck-up, blond vampire was talking kindly to Bella AND asking
forgiveness really got to me. I was still angry but, she wasn’t as bad off as
she had been.

“Of course, Rosalie.” Bella said in a shocked tone. “Isss nowt your f-alt
at awl. I’m the one whooo j-umped off the dammn cli-ff. Of cowrse I forgives
yo-ou.” Bella said in a worn out tone.

Haha! That’s so funny. I am glad you at least picked a funny human. “It
doesn’t count until she’s conscious, Rose.” Emmett chuckled.

“I’mmm con-si-ou-s.” Bella protested weakly.

Wow… She really can’t tell a lie. Emmett was about to say something
but, Bella needed her sleep and Bella was on the top of my list of priorities.

“Let her sleep.” I said softly.

Wow man… Way to get all sentimental all of the sudden. Where did
that sulky attitude of yours go? Emmett asked sarcastically.

Well, that’s it... I apologized… Rose said her usual shallow thoughts
creeping back into her mind.

I will defiantly have to have a talk with her. I thought. I held Bella
tightly as she slept. I was starting to get nervous as we drove back into
Forks. Alice had told me very little about Bella’s time without me. Judging by
the way Bella looked I thought she probably had close to about as bad of a
time as I had. I defiantly had to work on not overreacting. Rosalie pulled in
front of Charlie’s house. I opened the door to the car.

shrieked. I had never hear his thoughts so loudly before. Flashes of Bella
filled his mind. Sounds of her screaming for me. They way she looked
devastated me.

Why did I have to hurt Bella? Everything I do hurts her… I pulled her
out of the car and carried her towards the house

Charlie thought as he walked out the front door. HE BETTER GET HIS HANDS

“Charlie?” Bella’s voice asked weakly.

“Shh…” I soothed. “It’s okay, you’re home and safe. Just sleep.” She’s
safe… I’m not so sure about myself at the moment…

Dang! What’s up with that Charlie guy...? Boy you must have really f’d
up. Emmett thought.

“I. Can’t. BELIEVE. You had the nerve to show your face here!” Charlie
yelled at me. You nearly killed MY DAUGHTER! She was catatonic! How DARE
you come back here?

“Stop it dad.” Bella moaned softly.

“What’s wrong with her?” He asked when he saw Bella more clearly. IF

“She’s just very tired, Charlie. Please let her rest.” I would defiantly
have to make amends with this man.

“DON’T. TELL. ME. WHAT. TO. DO!” Charlie shouted. “Give her to me!
Get your hands off of her!” You’ve done enough damage to her. I tried to do
as he said but, Bella wouldn’t let go of me. It was no problem for me to make
her let me go but, Charlie wouldn’t have liked that.

“Cut it out dad.” Bella stated as he tried to rip her out of my arms. “Be
mad at me.”
off… Charlie’s thoughts became a blur for a moment. “You bet I will! Get

“’Kay… Let me down.” Bella said. I slowly set her feet to the ground.
She tried to move but she began to fall forward. Faster than I should have I
caught her.

“Just let me get her upstairs… Then I’ll leave.” I said though I had no
intention of leaving.

You will leave!

“No…” Bella cried in a broken voice.

“I won’t be far.” I promised her.

“Fine!” Charlie snapped. I cradled her in my arms and walked into her
house. Charlie followed me into Bella’s room. I set her on the bed and slowly
removed her fingers from my shirt. I wanted so badly to kiss her. To tell her I
would be back soon but, I was being watched by someone who hated me. I
walked down the stairs and Charlie followed me. I could see him vaguely
thinking about getting his gun.

Not good… I thought to myself.

HURT MY DAUGHTER EVER AGAIN! Do you hear me?! You are never to walk
through my front door again! I don’t even want to catch you looking at Bella.
ARE WE CLEAR?” Charlie shouted. He didn’t wait for the answer before he
closed—no slammed—the door on me. I walked back to Rose’s car and got

“Tough break kid.” Emmett laughed.

“Shut up!” I snapped. “Rose drive out of his sight… I’ll get out and run

“All right, Ed.” Rose sighed heavily. She drove down the road.

Ooh! I feel like a traffic cop! YAY ME! Alice thought. I saw her standing
in the middle of the road where Rose could have dropped me off. If only I
had a whistle. Darn! Alice thought. So much for planning… “Edward… I know
that you are about to bolt back to Bella’s side…but, you have fourteen hours
and some very upset family members.” Alice said in very quiet voice
something about it was different but I ignored it. Her mind started reciting
every part of the constitution. “Emmett?” Alice asked. Before I knew it my
brother had his arms around me holding me tightly. Alice skipped to the front
seat and got in. “I knew you were going to run.”

“Thanks.” I hissed sarcastically.

“No problem.” Alice said in a cold tone. Her mind returned to normal.
Actually…they were angrier than normal…in fact more angry than I have
ever heard them. Her thoughts were too fast to decipher but they were
obviously angry.

“What’s wrong?” I asked as Rose began to speed down the road.

Emmett let go of me.

Don’t even talk to me. Alice snapped.

Ouch… Emmet thought as he saw Alice’s biter expression and a hurt

look cross my face. I elbowed him, hard.

What happened to my Alice? I wondered. It seemed like a second later

I was being dragged into my house.

It was truly wonderful to be back in my own home again. The little town of
Forks had been my savior since Bella had moved in. It had everything I could
ever hope for. Everything I could ever hate to lose. “Here the filthy little boy I
said I would bring home.” Alice hissed walking directly into Jasper’s arms.

“Edward.” Esme said. Her face was full of pain. “Edward!” In a flash
she was holding me tightly. “If you ever do that to me again I will rip you
apart! Don’t you ever even think about hurting yourself!” If Esme could have
cried I knew that she would have. I hugged her tightly.

“I’m so sorry…” I whispered. Emmett scoffed.

“It’s going to take a lot more than ‘I’m sorry.’” He said. “You ripped the
whole family apart!” Emmett’s bluntness stung. “Everyone was hurt… Rose
missed you. Jasper missed the atmosphere. Alice went ballistic and quit
smiling! Esme couldn’t even look at anything musical…She nearly brook
down every time. Carlisle was the worst…he was…silent… You really hurt
him. AND! I had no one to tease!” Emmett shouted. I winced mostly at
hurting Carlisle and Esme. “What were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t thinking.” I admitted. Emmett relaxed.

“That’s right.” He said. He walked up to me and hugged me tightly. I

guess…I’ll except you…but I won’t like it! He chuckled. He let go of me and
flashed me a smile.

Thank God for Emmett. He is always the first to forgive. I sighed.

“You really messed everything up.” Rose hissed. “But, I guess I made
almost a worse mistake…” She frowned. I looked at Esme.

“I am just glad to have my son home again.” She said wrapping her
arms around me.

“Thank you.” I whispered only loud enough for her to hear. She pulled
away from me and took my face in her hands.

Just promise me that you will never do that again… I understand what
you felt… I’ve done the same thing… Only I was a lot more fragile when I
tried to do myself in… It’s not something that you should ever consider
again… It’s too terrible. I don’t want to lose another son… Esme chocked up.
I hated it when she thought about the pain her first son left her with.
“I swear I won’t.” I promised. She smiled and backed away. I looked at

Whatever. He thought simply rolling his eyes. Things will go back to

normal and we won’t have to worry about any of this any longer… I nodded
slightly to him and smiled. Alice growled and stormed out of the room.

“You really hurt her.” Carlisle said, speaking for the first time.

“I didn’t mean to.” I whispered.

“Some of the most terrible things that happen in this world are
unintentional.” Carlisle sighed. My son… His mind sounded broken…shaken.

“I. Am. SO. Sorry.” I sated. He walked forward and hugged me tighter
than anyone else had.

You need to go talk to Alice… Make amends… Then come back to me…
We need to talk. He let go of me and looked me in the eyes. I nodded. I
started to walk away.

“Edward?” Jasper asked.

“What?” I inquired turning towards him.

“Be cautious… Even I haven’t been able to deviate her furry… Let that
be your fair warning.” Jasper said in a small tone. I nodded and chased after
my favorite sister. I found her quickly. She was sitting on a large bolder next
to a river. She was curled up in a tight ball. If I didn’t know better I would say
she was crying.

“Didn’t I tell you?” She asked harshly before I could speak. She sat up
and glared at me. I had never seen her look so angry. The little pixy looked
like a demon. In an instant she was in my face. “DIDN’T I WARN YOU?!” She

“Y—” I began.


“Yes…” I sighed.

“Why didn’t you listen to me?!” Alice inquired in an irate tone.

“I thought I could save her.” I frowned.

“Well, you damn well nearly killed her!” Alice spat. “What did you think
she needed to be protected from?”

“Me.” I stated.

LISTEN! Instead…you tried to destroy everything. You wreaked Bella. When I
saw her for the first time… She was worse than anything you could imagine.
She was ruined inside and out… Her heart was torn…her soul shriveled…her
spirit gone… How does that make you feel? Hmm?” Alice asked.

“Worse than you could ever know.” I said sincerely.

“How about the fact that Carlisle could hardly keep a conversation…?
How does that make you feel?” Alice asked her tone as cold as ice.

“Terrible in every way.” I frowned.

“What do you think it did to me?” Alice asked. “I was without a

brother… You know more than anyone how close we truly are… I was left
alone like some sort of trash on the street. I didn’t speak… I didn’t do
anything… I hurt…Edward… I ached.” Alice frowned. “You weren’t even there
when I found out who I was… Mary… Did you know that that was my
name…? I really doubt it. Mary Alice Brandon… You weren’t even there. You
dropped me like a piece of out dated fabric… You dropped the whole
family…” She turned away from me.

“I’m sorry.” I pouted.

“You have no idea how hard life has been without you… Everyone was
hurt…wounded… missing something essential… Did you know I have a
niece? Edward; what is a freaky psychic going to do without a freaky mind
reader for a brother?” Alice asked in a pained voice.

“I am so very sorry… Can you forgive me? I made a terrible mistake.”

“How do you think I felt when I saw you going to the Volturi? How do
you think I felt when I saw them ripping you apart? When I saw them burn
you? Did you think of any of that? Edward; it drove me out of my mind.” Alice
curled up on the ground in pure misery. She pouted pathetically. I sat down
next to her and wrapped my arm around her. I couldn’t stand to see her
hurting. It broke my silent heart.

“I didn’t…mean…for this to happen. I should have listened to you.” I


“Yes, you should have.” Alice said in a heart-breaking voice. I ruffled

her spiky hair.

“Sorry, Ali.” I whispered. She turned with a small smile playing on the
corners of her lips.

“Don’t you ‘Ali’ me… You are not off the hook!” Alice said in a more
teasing tone. She rested her head against me. “I missed you…freaky-mind-

“I missed you too Ali.” I smiled.

“Don’t make me call you Eddy, Eddy.” Alice threatened. I wrinkled my

nose slightly.

“At least you like the name ‘Ali’…” I sighed.

“Before I officially let you off the hook… I need you to promise me
something…” Alice said.

“What is that?” I asked curiously.

“Don’t fight with Bella too much… She has hurt over you too much…”
Alice pouted. “Which brings up one more thing… NEVER, EVER HURT MY
BEST FRIEND AND SISTER EVER AGAIN.” Alice warned. She smiled. “You’re
forgiven.” She chuckled. She smiled her bright, happy grin and hugged me. I
kissed both of her cheeks and ruffled her hair.

“Thank you… You’ll always be my favorite sister.” I smiled. I heard

Rose cough from somewhere in the distance. “’Cause there is no way in the
world Rose will catch up to you.” I whispered in Alice’s ear. She trilled out a
laugh, grabbed my hand and, ran with me back to the house.

Finally!!! My WHOLE FAMILY IS TOGETHER!!! YAY! Alice thought in an

ecstatic tone. I ruffled her hair playfully. She beamed at me as we ran into
the back yard. Alice stopped suddenly. Alice closed her eyes. Bella was in my
arms. She looked happy, blissful. You two belong together… Alice sighed
letting the vision slip away.
“I know.” I smiled as we walked into the house. Alice kissed my cheek,
beamed at me once more and, looked towards the stairs.

“Jasper!” She shouted much louder than necessary. Jasper chuckled.

Alice shot up the stairs in a flash. Her mind was filled with every name of
every president in the U.S. I shook my head and smiled.

Edward? Carlisle asked from in his office. I dashed up the stairs and
into the room. He smiled slightly. Sit down. I sat in the leather chair across
from him. He looked down at a book and back up again. Son… I would…
never have believed that you would ever do anything like that… I have
tried…because of self-loathing. Esme has because of sorrow… What was
your excuse?

“Hatred… Loathing of myself… Powerlessness.” I said after a moment

of thought.

Why would my son hate himself? Carlisle asked.

“Because I am not strong enough to protect the one I love most.” I


You have protected her. She would be dead several times over if it
weren’t for you.

“All of the danger she has faced has been my fault.” I insisted.

Edward? You can’t be serious. Even if we didn’t live here… Would she
not have still befriended a werewolf? Wouldn’t the van still have crushed
her? Would James decide to not go passed Forks? Would her blood be any
less appealing without you around to smell it? Carlisle asked. Her blood is
extremely lovely… Carlisle commented. The Black boy would still have
become Bella’s friend. The van would have killed her… James might not have
ended up here but, it wouldn’t have mattered because she would have
already been dead.

Don’t say that! I can’t think of her dead! I winced. He’s right though…

Now, if it weren’t for you she would be dead… She wouldn’t have
found her match. She would fall down the stairs every morning and get
herself hurt because, no one caught her… This place would be a purgatory to
her. She loves you… She needs you. You love her… You need her. There is
no way around it… You are not weak my son. Bella is just the most cursed
person I know! You are the only thing that can protect her…
“It has never seemed right…” I said softly.

What is that?

“Why would she love me? It doesn’t make sense! And how can I be her
protector… I wanted to kill her at one point…”

“You love her… That is what makes you her protector… Why doesn’t it
make sense for her to love you?” He asked raising an eyebrow.

“I…am not…human. I am not good. I am something evil, something

that makes people scream in terror. She is like the blazing sun and I am the
shadow waiting to overtake it.” I pouted. Carlisle stood and walked around to
stand in front of me. He touched my cheek gently.

“Edward… You are very good. Never doubt that. You are not a shadow
trying to steal the worlds light. You are the fuel that keeps the light burning.”
His words were full of love and trust. “Now…onto more serious things… If.
You. Ever. Do. That. Again. I. Will. Rip. You. Apart. Better yet I will be cruel
and rip Bella apart…” Carlisle added. I gapped at him. “You would never risk
your life if it risked hers.” He shrugged and smiled. “I am very happy to have
my son, brother, and—occasionally—nephew back.” Carlisle winked.

“I am happy to be back… I feel whole.” I smiled.

“Not completely… I am sure you wish to be by Bella’s side.” I nodded

and stood up.

I was opening Bella’s window before I knew it. It felt like I was home…
finally! “No… don’t hurt him…” Bella mumbled. I cringed as I thought about
how unpleasant her dreams must have been. If I would have been sleeping I
would have been having nightmares about her jumping off the cliff…I
crossed her room and lay down on her bed next to her. I wrapped an arm
around her comfortingly and waited…

Bella’s breathing changed… She took a deep breath. I touched her

forehead gently. I wrapped my arms around her. I didn’t want her to be
afraid. Bella sighed in a resigned tone and opened her eyes. “Oh!” Bella
exclaimed covering her eyes with her fists. What if she didn’t want me to be
here with her? Could I bear to leave her? I doubted it. Despite the fact that I
thought she didn’t want me I leaned in closer to her perfect face. I was
extremely selfish. Bella opened her eyes.
“Did I frighten you?” I asked in a worried tone. She stared at me
blankly for what seemed like forever.

“Oh CRAP!” Bella said in a weak voice.

“What’s wrong Bella?” I asked in a concerned voice.

“I’m dead, right?” She half-asked. “I did drown! Crap, Crap, CRAP! This
is gonna kill Charlie!” Bella pouted.

“You’re not dead.” I stated simply frowning at her.

“Then why am I not waking up?” Bella asked in a challenging tone.

“You are awake Bella.” I insisted. Bella shook her head.

“Sure, sure. That’s what you want me to think. And then it will be
worse when I do wake up… IF I wake up, which I won’t, because I’m dead.
This is awful! Poor Charlie…and Renee…and Jake…” Bella frowned. I smiled

“I can see where you might confuse me with a nightmare… But, I can’t
imagine what you could have done to wind up in hell. Did you commit many
murders while I was away?” I asked slightly sarcastically.

“Obviously not! If I was in hell, you wouldn’t be with me.” Bella stated.

Bella, Bella, Bella… Always believing in my non-existent soul. I sighed.

“Did all of that really happen then?” Bella wondered aloud.

“That depends… If you’re referring to us nearly being massacred in

Italy, then, yes.” Her answer was nothing but nonsense. Though I asked her
to go back to sleep she refused.

“What time is it? How long have I been sleeping?” Bella asked.

“It’s just after one in the morning… So, about fourteen hours.” I said
simply. Bella stretched. Alice is always right…

“Charlie?” I frowned,

“Sleeping. You should probably know that I’m breaking the rules right
now. Well, not technically, since her said I was never to walk through his
door again and, I came through the window… But, still the intent was clear.”
Crystal clear. I thought Bella looked angered by this.
“Charlie banned you from the house???”

“Did you expect anything else?” I deserve much worse than this.

“What’s the story?” Bella asked randomly.

“What do you mean?” I asked. I listened to her beautiful voice as she

answered my question. Oh… Charlie… Got it. I thought. I smiled. “Actually, I
was hoping you might have a good explanation… I’ve got nothing.” Bella

“Fabulous.” Bella moaned.

“Well, maybe Alice will come up with something…” I stated in a

comforting voice. She always does.

“So… What have you been doing, up until three days ago?” Bella

Dying inside… Missing you… Dying inside more… “Nothing terribly

exciting.” I said. Defiantly not exciting… Completely dreary…

“Of course not.” Bella snapped with a weary look on her face.

“Why are you making that face?” I wondered aloud.

“Well. If you were after all just a dream, that’s exactly the kind of thing
you would say. My imagination must be used up.” I sighed and very nearly

“If I tell you, will you finally believe that you’re not having a
nightmare?” I asked. Of course I would be the star of all of her nightmares.

“Nightmare!?” Bella hissed. “Maybe; if you tell me.” She relented.

“I was hunting…” VICTORIA!!!! UGH!

“Is that the best you can do?” Bella ridiculed. “That defiantly doesn’t
prove that I’m awake.” Bella snapped.

“I wasn’t hunting for food…” I said carefully picking my words. “I was

actually trying my hand at tracking. I’m not very good at it.” I frowned.

“What were you tracking?” Bella asked in a curious tone.

Something that still tracks you! Why couldn’t I have caught Victoria!?
“Nothing of consequence.”

“I…don’t understand.” Bella said in a puzzled tone.

How could I resist her questions? How could it ever be possible? I

wondered. I owe her so much… “I—I owe you an apology.” How much have I
torn her apart? “No, of course I owe you much, much more than that. But,
you have to know that I had no idea.” I was rushing through this…. I was
angry…upset. I had no right to act this way in front of Bella but, I couldn’t
stop myself. “I didn’t realize the mess I was leaving behind. I thought it was
safe for you here. So safe.” Without me. “I had no idea that Victoria would
come back. I’ll admit, when I saw her that one time I was paying much more
attention to James’s thoughts… But I just didn’t see that she had this kind of
response in her… That she even had a tie to him! I think I realize why now.
She was so sure of him, the thought of him failing never occurred to her. It
was her overconfidence that clouded her feelings about him. That kept me
from seeing the depth of them, the bond there.” Why did I have to miss

“Not that there’s any excuse for what I left you to face.” NEVER AN
EXCUSE! IDIOT! “When I heard what you told Alice—what she saw herself—
when I realized that you had put your life in the hands of werewolves,
immature, volatile, the worst thing out there besides Victoria herself!” I
paused… I should calm down but, I had to tell her how I felt. How terrible I
knew I had been. “Please know that I had no idea of any of this. I feel sick,
sick to my core, even now, when I can see you and feel you safe in my
arms.” Thank God. “I am the most miserable excuse for—”

“Stop.” Bella said in a gentle voice. Her eyes were deep in thought.
She was hiding some sort of pain. Then, every emotion in her face and eyes
disappeared. I knew that look. It was the terrible looked I had used to lie to
her. The look I had used when I told her I didn’t want her. Could a dead heart
get ripped apart? I knew the answer… Yes, of course it could.

What did I say? Why is she like this?

“Edward.” Bella said calmly. “This has to stop now. You can’t think
about things that way. You can’t let this…this guilt…rule your life. You can’t
take responsibility for the things that happen to me here. None of it is your

Oh, yes it is!

“—It’s just how life is for me. So, if I trip in front of a bus or whatever it
is next time, you have to realize that it’s not your job to take the blame. You
can’t just go running off to Italy because you feel bad that you didn’t save
me, Even if I had jumped off that cliff to die, that would have been my choice
and not your fault.” Her voice was growing less calm and more emotional.

It’s always my fault! Can’t you see that?!

“I know it’s your…your nature to shoulder the blame for everything,

but you really can’t let that make you go to such extremes! It’s very
irresponsible, think of Esme and Carlisle and—” Bella took a deep breath.
She looked like her heart was going to explode.

“Isabella Marie Swan.” I said her name carefully. How could she think
that I could live in a world without her? “Do you believe that I asked the
Volturi to kill me because I felt guilty?” I asked in a put-out tone. Bella looked

“Didn’t you?”

“Feel guilty? Intensly so. More than you can comprehend.” I stated
simply. I thought I killed you! How do you think I felt!?

“Then…what are you saying?”

“Bella, I went to the Volturi because I thought you were dead. Even if
I’d had no hand in your death.” I shuddered. I could see Bella smiling slightly
as she jumped into the water. Never again! “Even if it wasn’t my fault, I
would have gone to Italy. Obviously, I should have been more careful—I
should have spoken to Alice directly rather than accepting it secondhand
from Rosalie. But, really, what was I supposed to think when the boy said
Charlie was at ‘the funeral’? What are the odds? The odds.” I whispered.
“The odds are always staked against us. Mistake after mistake. I’ll never
criticize Romeo again.”

“But, I still don’t understand! That’s my whole point! So what!?” Bella


“Excuse me?” I asked not understanding what she was thinking. As


“So what if I was dead?”

you remember anything that I told you before?” I asked. I told you that I
loved you eight-hundred-eighty-nine times! Yes, I knew exactly how many
times I had said it. I told you you were beautiful every time I got the chance!

“I remember everything that you told me.” I touched her bottom lip

“Bella, you seem to be under a misapprehension.” I closed my eyes. “I

thought I’d explained it clearly before. Bella, I CAN’T live in a world where
you don’t exist.” She said she was confused. How…? What did I say that was
confusing in the least? “I am a good liar, Bella, I have to be.” Bella froze into
a statue. I shook her gently trying to get her to relax. “LET ME FINISH!” I’m a
good liar, but still, for you to believe me so quickly… That was excrutiating.
When we were in the forest, when I was telling you goodbye…” I can’t relive
that! “You weren’t going to let go, I could see that. I didn’t want to do it—it
felt like it would kill me to do it—but I knew I that if I couldn’t convince you
that I didn’t love you anymore, it would take you that much longer to get on
with your life. I hoped that, if you thought I’d moved on, so would you.”

“A clean break.” She said softly.

“Exactly! But I never imagined it would be so easy to do!” Pain ripped

through me at the memory. “I thought it would be next to impossible—that
you would be so sure of the truth that I would have to lie through my teeth
for hours to even plant a seed of doubt in your head. I lied, and I am so
sorry, sorry because I hurt you, sorry because it was a worthless effort. Sorry
that I can’t protect you from what I am. I lied to save you and it didn’t work.
I’m sorry. But HOW could you believe me? After all the thousand times I’ve
told you I love you, how could you let one word break your faith in me?”
What WAS SHE THINKING?! I had to know.

“I could see it in your eyes, that you honestly believed that I didn’t
want you anymore. The most absurd, ridiculous concept! AS If there were
any way that I could exist without needing you!” I nearly shouted. I had to
force myself to remember Charlie was in the other room. “Bella, really, what
were you thinking?!” Tears filled Bella’s eyes and began to run down her
cheeks. Oh God, I hurt her again.

“I knew it! I knew I was dreaming!” Bella cried.

“You’re impossible!” I laughed a cold, exasperated laugh. “How can I
put this so that you’ll believe me? You’re not asleep, and you’re not dead.
LOVE YOU!” That felt nice to say aloud. “I was thinking of you. Seeing your
face in my mind every second that I was away. When I told you that I didn’t
want you it was the very blackest kind of blasphemy.” She shook her head,
still crying. “You don’t believe me do you? How can you believe the lie but
not the truth?”

“It never made sense for you to love me. I always knew that.” Bella
said in a strangled voice.

WHY DID SHE THINK SO LITTLE OF HERSELF! Can’t she see that she is
everything to me?