“Cheers” He said. I took a sip from the glass as he chugged his down. It’s taste was revolting and sickly on my tongue.
Suddenly, there was a huge crash at the door.
“NO!” The voice bellowed as he smacked into Mike, pulling him to the floor.
“Edward! What the HELL are you doing?!” I screamed as Mike tried to wrestle Edward off him, failing badly.
“This isn’t the real Mike!” He shouted. I was worried he was going mad.
“It is! Let go of him!” I pleaded.
I looked into Mikes frightened deep eyes and then to Edwards’s furious expression, his eyes wide, his nostrils flared. He looked like he was about to kill him. Was this the end for Mike? No, Edward wouldn’t do this. Or would he? But why Mike?
He then sniffed him and loosened up.
“Mike, I am so sorry” He said, sighing with relief.
“What’s wrong with you?” Mike shrieked. His expression could be described in one word. Horror. He stumbled to his feet, glaring at me with wide eyes, his mouth wide open, shocked. He must think we were freaks now.
“Mike- you don’t understand. Please, forget that. I thought...”
“I'm outta here!” He called as he ran, almost tripping over on his way. I stared at Edward for a long moment.
“What was that?” I squealed in anger
“You’ve just gone and freaked Mike out! Why did you do that to him?”
“Bella, I thought he was... an intruder. One of us, but who can change the way they look.” Alice walked in at that moment, her eyes wary, her lips pursed as she sauntered in.
“Bella, I am so sorry” She pleaded
“I don’t get it” I said sharply, glancing between the two of them.
“You see, I was checking up on you while we were away and I saw... an intruder come. He was going to spike your drink... and kill you Bella. Kill you. Edward saw it out of my head right away. But this was the real Mike; the other one must have changed his mind.”
“He was going to... kill me?” I shuddered.
I thought everything was over. I should get use to the fact by now that I can’t escape danger. But I did truly believe it was over.
“Bella. I am so, so sorry,” Edward said as he took me into his arms. “I should never have left you. I shouldn’t have acted like that. But I just didn’t know... that Mike was Mike” He held me closer to him.
“I missed you” I said quietly.
“Bella, oh Bella. It’s okay now. Nobody is going to hurt you. I swear” He looked deep into my eyes.
“Edward...” Was all I could get out before I sat on the couch. He moved with me.
“Bella. What is wrong?”
“I’ve missed you so much, what a wimp I am. It’s only been two days”
“Bella, you didn’t see what I was like. While we were all... away everyone was smiley and happy but as much as I wanted to be I couldn’t. Because my life is lost without you. I can’t bear being a minute without you, let alone two days. I wanted to come back, well, I didn’t want to go in the first place. And when Alice saw you in danger... I ran. I was so angry with myself, if we were too late... I wouldn’t be able to live without you. I would have...”
“Edward, it’s okay. I am okay. I just went out to watch an innocent movie with Mike. That’s all.”
“But I didn’t know that and I overreacted. I was stupid. Will I ever learn? I am nothing without you. I can’t stay away from you. I’ve known that for too long now, since I first spoke to you, but it just hides away. When Alice saw that... I went mental. I left everyone; Alice found it hard to catch up with me. I'm sorry Bella”
“Stop saying sorry. It’s okay.” I said as I kissed him. I breathed in his scent once more, that sweet scent. It was true what he said, it applied to me. I couldn’t live without him.
“So, while I was gone... what were you like?” He asked as he traced my features with his finger.
“A mess. Literally. I was scrunched up in a ball for ten hours” I chuckled, and then sighed.
“What is it?” He asked.
“You’re here. With me again. Your sweet scent...” He laughed as he kissed me
“I love you” He whispered
It felt good that Edward was finally home. As soon as she knew Edward and I were alright Alice ran back off to the mystery place. So it was just Edward and I again. How happy I was. I knew that I wasn’t safe from danger, but I felt safe with Edward here. And he was never going to leave me.
We were still sitting on the sofa. He pulled me upright as he looked deep into my eyes.
“You’re safe now Bella” He whispered in my ear
“I know” I lied slightly
“What are you thinking?”
“About everything. Mostly curiosity, like what you have been doing for the past few days” I said as I placed my head against his stone chest.
“I will tell you soon. You will understand, I promise” He smiled.
As we gazed into each other’s eyes again, the time flowed by like a river. I looked at the clock, it was ten.
“Oh!” I said- my voice an octave higher as I was surprised how the moon was now up in the sky. Edward chuckled at my reaction
“And usually, you are so observant”
“Not today. You’ve taken away all my concentration”
“Well, I am sorry about that. But I can’t say I’m any better”
“I thought you were perfect” I sniggered, smiling at him.
“I was until I met you”
“Well, I am very sorry” I stuck out my tongue as I tightened my grip around him. He rested his cheek on the top of my head and we stayed there for a long moment.
“Hey, you never tell me what you are thinking” I said, cutting off the silence
“I guess I don’t. I’m just used to hearing everyone else’s,” He chuckled quietly “What I am thinking about. In less detail, you. I can’t stay away from you!” He muttered in my hair
“Well guess how I feel”
“Hmmm... were you bored while I was gone?”
“Yes! The only good time I had was while I was with Mike... and that wasn’t even brilliant. Nosy little...” Edward laughed at my words
“Wow. He must be seriously jealous, I sure was when I met you”
“I still don’t see why!” I groaned, remembering how Edward told me all the boys wanted me. I shuddered at their thoughts.
“You can’t see anything about yourself, Bella. You are too selfless” He smiled at me, content.
“I love my family. What’s wrong with that?”
“Completely nothing” He said as he gave up.
I was so relaxed that night that I went back into one of those calm states- like a state of dreams.
But this wasn’t a dream.
I was walking along a long, cobbled, familiar street. The lamps above me were on and they were quite intense. It was late at night and I didn’t know where I was going. But in the nightmare I knew. I continued to walk with a pace along the never-ending street, alone. This upset me. Where was Edward? Jacob? Anyone? I was alone, and it scared me just by itself.
Suddenly, I looked concerned, glancing around as if I was lost. But how could you get lost on such a familiar, open road? Just keep walking I thought, but me in the dream kept wandering, searching for something. What was it?
Time went on and on, and I was still seeking for that something as the night got darker and gloomier, the hand of the clock slowly working itself towards two in the morning. I kept searching, getting more anxious by the moment. Suddenly, one of the lamps above me dwindled and I turned around in astonishment. I was the only one on the street. The only thing. The only things left were the houses and the shops, but the whole place was silent. So quiet it was disturbing. I heard a distant, shrilly shriek pierce through my ear and I started to run, frightened. I ran so fast, not looking behind me. But the shriek continued, getting louder by the second, I ran even faster. The shriek wasn’t a familiar voice, it was a complete mystery. But I suddenly realised I wasn’t running from it I was running to it...
Was this the future? No. It is just a dream, and endless dream... I just wanted to scream and wake up...
I kept running, and running, forever. The scream got closer and closer. And then I stopped. All the lights flickered out and right in front of me was a vampire... his face was in the shadows but he was in a crouched position and his shiny teeth were bared in a smirk grin... his eyes blood red around the irises...
That’s when I woke. Screaming so loud. Edwards eyes were wide, his expression serious, frightened for once. Even though I felt like I was burning... like... like Jacob.
“BELLA!” Edward yelped, holding me close
“Edward... oh Edward” I sighed, the torment was over.
“Bella? Oh Bella, are you okay?” He asked, worried. I breathed in and out before answering.
“That was... terrible” I sighed, still breathless
“How do you... do that? I am still confused... I have never seen anything like it. Even though I knew you would awake, I was still so worried”
“I am okay now Edward” I assured him
“I am so glad. I love you,” He kissed me. “So... what was it all about?”
“I was on a familiar street... walking at first, alone.” I sighed “Then a light faded out and I heard a scream. I was running to it and then...” I shuddered, bursting into broken sobs.
“Bella. You are safe. It’s okay. I am here, Bella, I am here.”
“Thankyou” I sighed as I lay in his arms, holding myself to him as close as possible. He held me close, rocking me, comforting me.
I hadn’t had a real dream for so long, but now I was, it was so alarmingly real. I suddenly wished I had the old nightmares back, they were nowhere as bad as the one I had just had.
Before I knew it, the sun was rising again and Edward was tidying up the sofa where we had stayed all night.
“Ah, Bella” He said, holding me in his arms
“Let’s go get you dressed”
“You are right. Let’s go” I said as we made our way to the porch. Once we were out of the house we ran gracefully across the land to the cottage. I hadn’t entered it for several days, since everyone left because I was too scared... as stupid as that sounded. We continued to run, hand in hand. Until we were there.
It looked exactly the same, even though it was a few days since my absence inside the house it felt like much longer... all the waiting for my family to come home...
Edward opened the door and we walked in. The scent flashed at me in the face straight away, the vanilla scent, so beautiful, and the scent of Renesmee and Edward. I realised, that was why I was afraid to come back by myself.
I realised that while everyone was gone I was extremely lucky, not being killed, as strong as I am. But whoever it was... whoever it is they’re not going to stop.
The truth hurts.
Edward left me as we walked to the living room, he sat on the sofa completely at home, his eyes closed, breathing deeply.
I smiled, knowing he was happy to be home, but I would have to ask him later to make sure. I wouldn’t stop him if he wanted to go. Not that he would.
I walked at ease into the bedroom, lying on the bed for a few moments, letting all the new information sink in and to relax a bit, I was a bit anxious at this moment in time.
Number one: Edward was home
Number two: Everyone was up to something
Number three: Somebody wanted to kill me.
These were my three major thoughts at this moment in time. I rose from the bed, feeling a little more lively and I glided over to the wardrobe.
What to wear?
I wished I just had a normal, plain wardrobe with a few outfits. But no, Alice had to go and get me enough clothes for a whole family. There were dresses and fancy nightwear and sequin shirts and silk trousers... and so much more. It was completely... what’s the word?
Over the top.
I put on the first thing that looked appropriate to me. A pair of trousers made out of a strange and unfamiliar material with a stripy t shirt. I smiled afterwards and walked to the bathroom.
I really did look rough! My hair was all over the place so I got out my brush and started to brush it carefully. I swiped water over my cold face to wake me up (not that I wasn’t awake) and skipped out.
Edward was still in the same position as before, still as a statue, the face of a model on the sofa. His arm was along the back of the sofa as his eyes were on the TV- probably the news.
I sat down beside him and smiled. He pulled me closer, playing with my hair as we concentrated on the news.
Nothing special. No major outbreaks of murders. Not for now anyway.
We continued watching for a half hour, and then Edward turned off the TV.
“I know what to do today. I have been dying to do it” He smiled at me happily.
“Well, let’s go then” I replied He tugged my hand and we were off again, passing the trees, the grass, everything it seemed. My life was running behind me every second I ran, it was exhilarating.
Back at the house, we walked to the main room and he looked over to the piano...
“No! You can’t be serious!” I shrieked. Imagining me on a piano... a disaster. I would probably break the damn innocent thing.
“I am completely serious. You will be great in no time” He took my waist, pushing me towards the large beautiful object. We sat down and he played once more, my cold heart trying to melt.
“Right. Let’s work on the keys. What’s this note?” He asked. I knew this from previous years, watching my mother.
“That’s an A”
“Very good. And this?” He pointed to a black note
“Excellent. Now let’s start” He placed his hands over mine and looked at me for a moment. Then he suddenly pulled out a piece of music from the side of the piano.
“Oh no.” I sighed and he laughed
“You will find this dead easy. What note is that?” He pointed to one of the notes
“Very good. And how long does this note last for?”
“Great. Let’s start playing” He grinned in satisfaction
“Um, okay” I said quietly, looking dazed at the notes in front of me. I had a bit of experience from watching my mother, but that was it. And knowing me, it would go all wrong.
Edward placed his slender fingers gracefully on top of my hands again and before I knew it my hands were flying. I was actually playing! But Edward was helping, Edward, the perfect one...
I chuckled as we played. He left my hands suddenly as I continued to play and he played a second part, a low but jolly piece. I started to wonder if he composed this himself.
“Did you write this?” I asked as we played, the music quieting slightly.
“Yes... I wrote it not too long ago actually. When Renesmee had just been born and you were a vampire. When you were busy... I composed this. But it’s not my best. The lullaby is pretty good. Everyone loves it” He winked. I giggled , a high ring in my voice
“I can completely understand the piece. Like it’s a part of me. Edward, what did you do to me? Why haven’t I broken the piano yet?”
“Because I am here. And I can play. And I am helping you. So you will do better” He said with slight pauses between each sentence. I couldn’t help but laugh again.
“Oh! Edward, I completely forgot. I have to visit Charlie today. Will you come with me?”
“Do you think I would let you go on your own, me be on my own?” He asked, one eyebrow raised
“No. I was just checking. We need to go, soon.”
“Well, let’s go then!” He said, tugging my hand again. We walked down to the garage where the Volvo stood, shiny as usual. I got in the passenger side and Edward wasn’t too far behind me. He turned on the car and I started the conversation.
“Edward, are you happy to be home? I mean, if you want to go back, that is fine with me”
“What? No way. I wouldn’t want to leave you anyway, excluding the danger in leaving you, alone, so breakable” He gestured to one of my cold fingers as he kept his eyes on the road.
“Oh, okay. Just checking. I wouldn’t want you to be unhappy.”
“I would only be unhappy if I was away from you” He said, taking my hand. My other hand was in my lap.
We drove for a few more minutes and then we were back at the house. Sue lived with Charlie, but Seth and Leah lived at the old house, they were old enough.
We walked up to the house suddenly with roles to play, and rang the doorbell as Sue’s cheerful face appeared again
“Ah, Edward, Bella. Good to see you.”
“Hi Sue” I said cheerfully
“Good morning” Edward said politely as we went inside. It was instantly warm, the heating was on high.
“Charlie has got a slight cold at the moment” Sue said in her quiet voice
“You should have called me, Sue. I could have helped!” I said kindly
“No, no Bella. You have your own life now. And besides, I’m not that old” She laughed, I smiled at her. We were in the living room before I knew it, Charlie was curled up on the sofa, a blanket placed over his body. His lids were shut.
“Is he asleep?” I asked Sue quite loudly, knowing Charlie he would wake up. I was right. His lids suddenly flapped wide open
“Bella!” He smiled “Edward.” He sighed, but not as rude as in the past
“Good day Charlie”
“Hi dad. How are you feeling?”
“Ok I guess. Should be all good in a couple of days” She smiled, suddenly with a burst of coughs.
“Oh, Dad! Do you want me to get you something?” I asked, worried now.
“A cuppa tea would be delightful” He croaked
“I will add honey” I said, observing his hoarse throat. I breathed, taking in his scent. He didn’t smell like anything but himself. It was the Charlie scent.
Edward and I strode off to the kitchen, while Sue sat next to Charlie. I switched the kettle on and got out his favourite mug.
“See what I mean by selfless?” Edward grinned
“Okay, I slightly get your point. But that’s only because I care”
“Too much” He muttered, smiling. I felt his gaze on me as I poured the boiling water into the mug and added the milk and honey. I turned round to face him.
“He’s my dad, Edward. He is ill. If your dad was-” I cut myself off as I thought about what I was saying, looking at his face wrinkle into pain.
“Oh, Edward I am so sorry. I was stupid. I should have never said anything like that.” I walked closer to him, I placed my hand on his shoulder and he looked up at me.
“It’s okay Bella” I could tell he didn’t want to talk about it, so I said no more on the subject. I picked up the cup with ease and ran it into Charlie.
I walked out of the living room and Edward was facing me.
“Upstairs” He smiled. I was dying to see my old room, to see if it had changed... all the memories... I was dreading the guilt that would be on my horizon once I looked at the room.
We slowly walked up the stairs, Edward leading the way as I slowly trudged along at human speed. In front of the door Edward turned to face me again
“What’s wrong?” He asked in a soothing tone, a medicine almost strong enough to remove all the pain and worry.
“Looking back. But it will make things better, right?”
“Go in if you want to, Bella. I'm not going to force you”
“No. I want to. I have to” I said, opening the door.
I was right. I felt guilty as soon as I saw the bed made perfectly, still from the last time I slept in it, so long ago. There were still books on the desk, and my cd player still had a few cd’s stacked on top of it, although not as many. The wardrobe was empty, and the curtains were open, letting the light crawl through the window, scattering in millions of places around the room. I was trying not to say my room, it would make things worse. A lump grew in my throat and my lips started to twitch. Edward looked at me and instantly grabbed hold of me.
“We are going” He urged, pulling me out of the room before it got worse. I ran down the stairs
“Thanks” I whispered as I went to see Charlie, Edward at my side.
“Dad, we are going to go now. Are you okay Sue?” I looked at them both. They suited each other perfectly. I was glad Charlie had found that someone, who could look after him and take my place.
“Okay, Bells.” Charlie smiled and then sneezed.
“I'm fine now, thanks Bella. It was nice to see you two” Sue smiled too.
“Bye!” I shouted as we walked to the door. Edward closed it behind me.
“I'm sorry about that” Edward said
“No. It was me. And besides, it probably did some good” I said, pushing back the pain with an encouraging smile. Edward took my hand as we got in the car.
“So did you enjoy seeing Charlie today?”
“It was good to see him. But I don’t like to see him when he is ill, and I’m not there to help him”
“Bella, there is nothing to worry about, okay?” He took my free hand
“Okay” I replied, looking out of the window.
It was midday when we got back. We ran out to the wood to go and hunt, I was getting slightly thirsty; it had been a while since I had hunted.
We got the usual, some elk and deer. Edward’s eyes were now bright gold and mine were brighter too. He smiled at me happily and I replied with a grin.
“Full?” I laughed.
“Yes. Let’s go for a walk while we are here”
“Ok” He took my arm and we started to walk, a pace of a jog for a human.
“Something isn’t right, Bella. Please tell me.”
“I am just... worried. I can’t stop myself until everyone is home again. I know I don’t need to worry but I can’t help myself.”
“Just try to be happy. For me” Edward placed one of his hands carefully under my chin.
“I will. I'm sorry”
“Don’t” He smiled and he started walking again.
I followed him, wondering where he was going. I felt like this wasn’t real. That I had had a major dream that lasted three years, I felt mystified by the brilliancy of my life. So why should I be sad? I had to keep the dream going, I never wanted to wake up. Ever. I looked around. A white bird looked at me cautiously and then, suddenly flew over to me. I stopped where I was, my feet planted to the ground beneath me, as the beautiful bird came to rest my hand, as if to tell me something. The bird looked at me, its head turned on its side, and then straightened its neck up and ducked its head to me. I looked at the bird, completely shocked by its confidence. I looked away from the bird, to see Edward a few paces in front of me looking cautiously at the bird, extremely curious. A question popped into my head- could he read animals minds?
I hoped that the answer was yes. Besides, he could hear the packs thoughts. So, maybe he could tell me the message the bird was trying to tell me.
The bird suddenly flew off my arm and up into the air. I wondered what it would be like to fly... the freedom. I freed myself from my thoughts and ran up to Edward.
“Can you read animals minds?”
“That was very interesting. That was ‘the bird of hope’. It had a message for you ‘Don’t be afraid. But keep your mind open, think strategy. There is something coming for you soon’”
“Wow.” Was all I could get out. At least I knew that something was trying to kill me, and it wouldn’t, if I kept my mind open.
“Bella, you’re going to be okay, trust me. Whatever is coming, it won’t get very far. We will stop it.” His face was happy, but serious. He sat down on the grass and I sat beside him
“I know that. I am now switching my brain to open mode” I grinned and Edward laughed.
We sat there for a long time, dazzled into each other’s eyes. Edward moved, looking up into the sky, the sun was going down. It was twilight.
“We best get going” He said, pulling me up and pulling me onto his back. Edward was running again, the wind gushing against my face, my eyes alight like fire burning by the sun. Edward ran gracefully, beautifully. I clung to him, my fingers attached to his shirt.
We were at the cottage not long after. Edward put me down
“Good news. Everyone will be home on Tuesday” I grinned happily and wrapped my arms around his waist. Edward sighed in relief, knowing I would be complete soon.
“Oh, Edward. I am so glad”
“I know, I know”
“Everyone is going to be so happy to see you”
“I can’t wait to see them” I smiled.