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When I woke up, Edward was still holding me. I didn't want to move, I just wanted to stay where I was forever.
Forever. The word had so much more meaning to it now. Lots of joy, yet lots of sadness as well. I knew I would have to leave Charlie and Renée, but it still hurt some. I had come to grips with it; however, I knew it would still be something that would have to be mended through time. Which I was going to have plenty of.
I looked up to see his face, to read it. He looked so serene; I could've sworn he was asleep even though I knew otherwise. I reached up my hand to touch his cheek.
He stirred, and looked a little tired like he had been sleeping. "Rest well?"
"That was probably the deepest rest I've ever had. It's different when there are no thoughts for me to block out. I almost could swear I was in a type of 'sleep-state'. I was aware of everything of course, I could only think of you and how amazing you are. Last night was amazing..."
"Did it bump me agreeing to marry you down to second?"
"It might have, I'm not sure yet," he said with a sly grin. "Jog my memory again, what is it like to kiss you?"
I laughed and reached up to kiss him. He put a hand behind my head while he held me and let me melt against him. The kiss wasn't passionate, but it was loving enough to send my heart fluttering again.
"Ah yes, I remember now," he chuckled. "Did you rest well?"
"As if you don't know," I joked.
His laugh was a low rumble in his chest that I felt through me. "Yes, indeed I do know. I do love hearing you talk about me in your sleep. I think it's so endearing, so thoughtful, and really so innocent."
"Ugh. I'm glad I'm not going to be sleeping anymore," I teased. I almost regretted saying that, because I knew that even though Edward was going to turn me soon...it didn't mean it was going to be easy, or that he exactly liked the decision completely. His face had turned into a sad smile, and his eyes looked pained. They pierced my soul and I wished to weep for his sorrow.
"Since you've brought that up...I want to talk to you about something serious about your turning. You have to know some things, so please listen closely, ok my love?"
I nodded and listened.
"When I do indeed bite you..." he winced. I snuggled against him to reassure him. "You are going to feel intense pain. Do you remember when your hand was bitten? That was but a taste...and this is going to make you wish it was as easy as that. I just want you to make sure that you're mentally prepared for that. I wish we didn't have to do this Bella, you know that, but I know you're mind is made up, and I am happy that I'll be able to spend eternity with you. I just wish..." he broke off. After a minute he composed himself and continued.
"Ahem, Carlisle is going to have morphine to use with you so you won't have to feel as much, so I'l-"
"No. I don't want the morphine."
"I don't want it...none of you got the pleasure of that, why should I? You went through it and made it just fine, so can I. That's not me trying to show off, that's me trying to be brave. Please let me do it like this?"
"Bella. I don't think you quite understand, this is something I thought you would want! You-"
"I don't like needles, Edward. Besides, I can handle this. I'm going t-"
"DAMMIT BELLA," it was almost a roar. "I would strongly suggest that you listen to me and take mine and Carlisle's advice. Take it from someone who's had it done...that's not something you want to feel. I don't want you to feel that. I would never forgive myself..."
Oh boy. Waterworks. I didn't want to look weak in front of him right now. I had a point to make. I forced myself to keep the tears at bay and went on with my point.
"Edward. Why should I get this when none of you had that luxury? I would feel terrible; weak. I want to show I'm not just a whiney klutz all the time. I'm strong, I can do this. Please.."
"Bella," he pleaded, "can you understand why I don't want you to do this? Why I want you to have the morphine since there's no way around changing you now? Why do you think we don't talk about our transformations that much? We don't wish to remember them... They are the most terrible memories we have. Fortunately Alice doesn't have to relive her turning all the time; she doesnt even remember. You're going to be in agony, Bella. Do you understand the meaning of that word? Do you know the true definition of that word; completely grasp the meaning?"
"I'm strong enough to do this, I know it. I've been through a lot, I'm a big girl, I can do it. Nothing could be more painful than not being with you.. I know what that feels like. You know what it felt like to be away from me. Don't you remember? Which would you rather go through again? Your transformation, or being apart? From what I understand, it would the first one. Please, Edward. Just promise me you won't leave me. Alice said you won't, but I want to hear it from you. Please, just stay with me."
He was silent for what seemed forever. There was a battle raging on his face as he stared into my eyes. Pain. Anger. Sorrow. Fear. Worry. Then he finally closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He finally spoke; his words carrying the emotions he was feeling.
"...alright, we won't do the morphine. I will have it nearby in case it gets to be too much, and if you need it, you must tell me. Let me at least have that, Bella, please. And I will never leave your side, Bella, never again. I swear."
"Ok. Thank you, Edward. It sounds silly and stupid I know, but I really want to do this."
"I understand, love. I do."
I put my head against his chest. After I thought he was in a state to keep talking, I asked, "Is that all or was there more you wanted to say?"
"There is a little more, yes. You remember that I told you it takes a couple days for the turning to be complete?"
"Yes..." I said with fear in my eyes. I was only afraid of that part. To feel that pain for days.
"I'm going to be keeping you on our bed during those days. I want to make you as comfortable as I possibly can."
"Ok, that's reasonable. Anything else?"
"Yes. One more thing. It's the most important thing you need to know before I do this to you."
"What is it?.."
He held my face then, and said to me,
"That I love you more than life itself combined with my own existence, and that if I could trade you places I would do it without even so much as a thought."
I felt tears coming. Whether from fear, happiness, or love, they were coming. He held my gaze and asked, "Do you know that, Bella?"
"I've always known that, Edward. Always," I choked out.
He fused his lips to mine and held me fast against him. I wrapped my arms and legs tightly around him and kissed him back. He plundered my mouth and stroked his hand up and down my back. I shuddered at the caress and pressed impossibly closer to him. After a while his kiss softened and then he finally let me go. We were both panting as we looked at each other.
"Ok, just...so you know," he breathed out.
Edward and I were taking our time during the day. He actually took me out to dinner, and picked at some food to look as natural as possible. We went to the meadow and he carried me so we could run. We even went to a lake he had found. I hadn't been swimming in so long, so we went swimming for a few hours and then decided to lie in the grass. He glittered as usual and we talked about nothing for a while. He made me laugh on more than one occasion, usually from stories about his family, and he laughed along with me.
"Jasper and I couldn't stop laughing when we saw Rosalie's face, she looked absolutely horrified. I mean they're mirrors, not human beings held hostage!" His laughter filled the area around us.
I laughed at his stories, and I stared lovingly at him while he told them. This was my husband, the man I had given my whole being to. He was trying to make me feel as human as he could for the remaining time we had, and it made me feel happy. He was scared, I knew he was, but he was trying to forget about it for now and just be happy with me. How brave he was being for me. I smiled at that.
Edward looked at the sky with furrowed eyebrows and said, "Looks like its going to rain soon, we had better head back so we dont get even more soaked.
I hopped on his back and we were running again. I had grown to love the running, and Edward had told me he was sad that he wouldn't be carrying me anymore to run. I had simply told him that I would always let him carry me whenever he wanted to. He beamed at that and ran faster.
When we reached the house, he covered my eyes.
"Now, I have a little surprise for you, so no peeking ok?"
I laughed, "Ok, ok, what have you done now?"
"Just a little something to include you in for the need for speed in our family."
I opened my eyes to see sitting in front of the house, a blue Shelby Mustang with two white racing strips from the hood to the tail of the car. I gasped, "Edward! What? What is this for?!"
"Well, we can't always be riding in my car, and besides, I wanted to give you something. We all have our own little cars we love, now you can have one too."
"Edward, it's beautiful, thank you so much, you didn't have to do that."
"I know, but I wanted to," he said as he hugged me.
"I mean you really didn't have to do that."
He stiffened, then pushed me back a little to stare at me. "You don't like it," he stated.
"No! No, of course I like it, but Edward you know me and cars. I'm not a huge collector of them like your family is, and I'm not one to go at the speed of light in any situation! What about my truck.." I asked solemnly.
"You can have your truck as well. I wouldn't ask for you to part with something that you love. Something that ties you back to humanity...and to your family. I understand that more than you know."
I took that in and felt a little better. I still didn't need that car. What did he think I was going to do? Rush into his arms and shout gleefully like a giddy schoolgirl who just made the cheerleading team? I was a little irritated, but I did appreciate the sentiment.
"Thank you, Edward, it is lovely. Blue, I laughed, you always like me in blue."
"It brings out your face. You keep it hidden most of the time with your hair, so when you wear blue, it shines..."
"Not like you it doesn't."
He laughed a roaring laugh, and said, "No indeed you do not 'shine' like I do, but you will soon enough.." That sad smile came back, but it didn't touch his eyes.
"Let's go inside," he said. He took my hand and we went.
We walked to the house and I felt jittery. I thought of when we would leave. When I would change.. Would I like who I became? Would Edward? Would our family, especially Rosalie who had voiced her opinion to me?
When we were inside I stopped to look around. I saw the piano that Edward played on so perfectly. I saw the couch and pictures on the walls that Esme had carefully placed. I saw the windows, which had metal shutters as I remembered from long ago. How long would it take me to adjust? How little time I had left in Forks.
"You're frightened aren't you?"
"No, just nervous," I lied. "I'll admit, this isn't going to be a piece of cake but I'm going to do it. I mean...if youre ready Im ready."
"I'll never be ready to do this to you, but in what you mean, yes I'm ready."
"Im glad to know that."
As the week passed, Edward and I spent the days in bliss. Everything was perfect for once, and I had managed not to injure myself in any way. This had greatly pleased Edward. I had never felt so happy to see my family before. I was glad to know that they were safe and that we would be leaving soon. Alice kept giving me knowing looks that made me blush. On more than one occasion I whispered at her with feeling to stop. She merely giggled and went about whatever it was she was currently doing.
The day of the move came, and Edward had been studying me all day. Apparently he was waiting for me to fall apart; that I wasnt sure I wanted this so soon. Stupid vampire, I thought, He should know by now that Im not one to change my mind easily. I was determined. The Volturi could
check up on us at anytime. It was best to get it done as soon as possible. I wanted to be prepared for them as was humanly possible. Well
whatever. I didnt know what my mind would be like after the change, and I knew I was going to have to be mentally ready for all of them
especially Jane. Would my mind remain tightly shut? Or would I be like an open book? Vulnerable to attack?
All of this ran through my mind as I packed. All my clothes were done, and I was working on my valuables and toiletries. Edward, of course, was done already and was watching me as he sat on the bed. I had my photo album, camera, Wuthering Heights, strawberry shampoo, body wash
Ok, what else, I muttered to myself. He finally voiced what I knew he had been thinking.
Are you quite certain about this, Bella? We dont have to do this so soon. We could give it another week.
Why do you keep trying to delay the inevitable, I asked. He winced. I knew that stung a little.
Edward, I began as I crossed to sit with him, Im sorry I didnt mean it like that. Its just
you know this is the only way this can work. The only way we can be together. I dont exactly want the Volturi to come and make the decision for you and kill me.
now that youve said that
I dont necessarily think thats what they would do
maybe it is best we do it like this.
What do you mean?
I mean, Aro was particularly interested in your ability to shut us out.. There are many outcomes of what you could do if you are changed. When you are changed, of course, but we hadnt completely decided back then. I do believe that the Volturi would gladly give you an offer like they did for Carlisle.
You mean join them? Dont be absurd, I would never do that.
Oh I know that, Bella, but they dont. Even if you refused...Im not exactly sure they would take no for an answer.
That stopped me dead cold in my tracks. I hadnt thought about that. Would they force me? Would they kill me like they said? If we didnt do this soon
wed most likely end up fighting the Volturi. My family would fight for me, to keep me safe at all costs; that much I knew. Not something desirable at all.
Well then the sooner we do this the better. I want you to change me
no one else. Especially not the Volturi. If I had to choose someone else it would be Carlisle, and thats it. Id rather die by the Volturis hand then join them.
Do not wish for death so quickly! Do you hear yourself? I would never let that happen. Im merely saying that I want to do this soon, but I dont. I want you to be comfortable
but we need to hurry as well even though I wish I could wait a thousand times longer. I dont want to do this to you, but by God Im going to do it. I cant live without you, and thats all there is to it. I wont let the Volturi have you in any way.
Then Im ready. We can leave now, Im done with the packing.
You be safe and keep in touch, ok kiddo?
I will, dad. I hugged my father for probably the last time. I didnt want to let go. However Charlie seemed to be having the same problem. We just clung to each other. I felt the warmth of my tears stream down my face. Edward touched my shoulder and I let go. Charlie rubbed at his eye to hide the tears. Dang dust, he muttered.
I love you.
Love you too, Bells.
Then we were on the road. Once we were out of eyesight and earshot we were speeding. I shouldnt have been surprised, but I was. I looked out the window of Edwards Volvo. I had decided to ride with him and let Esme drive my Mustang. I wanted to be with him during this. I knew he felt the same.
We had been on the road for about two hours when I spotted something that stopped my heart. I was looking at a patch of trees but one of the trunks looked off. I realized it wasnt a trunk at all; there was something covering the actual trunk.
It was reddish brown and hairy.
..Jacob, I whispered unbelievingly.
Just then the car slowed and then stopped. The other cars did likewise. Then the figured moved out of my sight. My eyes searched seeing if I could find it again. Then it was closer; about twenty feet from the car. What an incredible distance to cover in a short amount of seconds. The figure was under some brush so that it was covered in shadow but was still visible. It didnt matter
the eyes shone bright and threatened to rip my heart from my chest.
Edwards hand reached over to mine and held it as he gazed at Jacob with me. There was no way it couldnt be Jacob. I took off my seatbelt after a moment and started to open the door, but then he was gone. All I could hear after a few seconds was a sad howl in the distance. I got completely out of the car and absently walked a few steps forward toward where he had been. My sight was growing foggy. My feet were stumbling and my arms outstretched. A sob escaped my throat, and as I started to fall to my knees Edward was there to catch me. I was limp in his arms and sobbed. He stroked my hair and whispered sweet hushes in my ear.
he wanted me to tell you something
He said, Tell her Ill see her again. Its not forever. I will always be her friend
no matter what she decides. Please tell her that. Im sorry, but I had to see her one last time. That last part was to me, but it wasnt needed. I would be doing the same thing if our places were switched.
I buried my face into his shoulder and wept. After about five minutes he gathered me up in his arms and got me back in the car. He never let go of my hand the rest of the drive.
This wasnt the only thing I was going to have to endure. Jacob was only a taste of pain I was going to have to face soon. My turning, my death, and not least
facing the judgment of the Volturi.
END OF PART 4