Chapter 14- Bella
Edward opened the door, allowing Carlisle and Esme to enter the room.
"Sorry we're late," Carlisle said. "We wanted to stop in to see how things were going?"
"Things are going well; Bella has done great so far. I think we are done for today, and we plan to try again in the morning," Edward said, running his hand through his hair.
Esme came to my side and put her arms around me. "How are you, Bella?"
As always, Esme brought me a sense of comfort. I was starting to feel more like myself already. I turned and hugged her.
"I'm fine," I told her, sitting on the bed and looking down into my lap. Esme walked over to Carlisle, kissed him on the cheek and said, "Boys, why don't you give Bella and me a minute."
Carlisle nodded. "Of course, take your time. Come on, Edward, Emmett brought the Wii. We need to go show Jasper how to really play House of the Dead."
Edward walked over to kiss the top of my head and followed Carlisle out the door.
"Alice asked me to come and talk to you," she said, as she rubbed my back. "What's the matter?"
I looked up at her. What could I say? Should I tell her that I attacked her son? That I could control my blood lust, but not my sexual desire? That I may be some kind of sexual deviant...
"Bella, what is it? You have me worried."
"I'm sorry, Esme. I just don't know what's going on with me. I was doing so well today controlling my thirst. I was really proud of myself. This afternoon, I... I don't know how to explain."
"I want to you know that you can tell me anything. I will not judge you, sweetheart," she said softly.
"Well, I sort of... Esme, has there ever been a time when you couldn't control your desire? I am not talking about the bloodlust, I mean with Carlisle."
A smile beamed from her face. "You know that our kind feels emotions very differently than humans."
"Yes," I whispered.
"Finding your mate can be overwhelming. Some say that vampires don't fall in love, but that love just happens. Good old fashioned love at first sight, but it's more than that. It happens in the blink of an eye and it is very intense. Sometimes, because we lack that relationship growth period, the already strong emotions during your experience are extremely heightened. I can remember when Carlisle changed me... On top of being a volatile newborn, I was crazy in love with him. He was in every one of my thoughts, and I wanted to be with him all day, every day. I could not get enough of him, and I do mean emotionally and physically. We drove poor Edward out of the house more times than I care to admit, and there have been many times when my desire for him got the best of me. These are perfectly normal feelings for you to have."
I finally took a breath. It made sense to me now. I knew that I loved Edward. There wasn't a question that, for me, it had happened instantaneously.
"I love him so much that it scares me." I said and Esme gave me another nurturing hug. "Earlier today, I just about attacked him. I was filled with an uncontrollable desire for Edward, I honestly couldn't help myself."
She smiled even wider. "Bella, why do you think Rose and Emmett or Alice and Jasper are always disappearing suddenly?" She stopped and let out a little giggle. "It happens to all of us. Even Carlisle and I still have our moments; we are just more discreet with our intimacy. Rose and Emmett were the worst. After a year with them, Carlisle and I bought them their own house."
I managed to giggle. "So, does it ever stop?"
"No, but it evens out with time. You find a balance. This is new for both of you. I bet that Edward is feeling the same thing you are. You should speak with him about this, he will understand because I know he loves you. I love Edward like he is my own son. He has been alone for a very long time, and it is fills me with joy to see him happy and you make him happy. Don't forget, Bella, Edward is a man with desires of his own. Perhaps you should be aware that there may come a time when he feels the same way you did today. As a matter of fact, I guarantee that will happen. Like I said before, it is something that happens to all of us when we find our soul mate. It is a bond of the strongest kind."
Everything she was explaining began to hit me; bringing all of my fuzzy feelings into focus.
"Esme, could you please find Edward for me? I need to see him."
"I'll send him over, and I'll tell the others to give you two some alone time. I think you need it." With that, Esme glided over to the door, and then paused to glance back at me. "Ah, young love."
Thank god for Esme, she exuded true compassion for all things. Her words made sense to me and I knew what I needed now was Edward. I paced the floor and twiddled my fingers. Each second without him was making me ache. He was my soul mate- he was what made me want to live.
Suddenly, I could smell him; could hear him breathing. I knew that he was right outside the door, and started shaking with anticipation. The door opened and Edward stepped in slowly. Our eyes met, and something happened in that moment that made my shield wrap itself around him and pull him toward me. He gasped and closed his eyes as he flew across the room to me. We held each other and everything other than Edward and I began to fade away.
He started to kiss me, slowly, softly. It was the perfect display of affection and I melted into him.
I love you Edward. I'm sorry for being all over the place. I wasn't prepared for how being crazy in love with you would make me feel. Right now, all I want is you. I want to float around in an unbreakable Edward and Bella bubble.
He gave me that crooked grin I love so much.
My sweet angel, before you came into my life I was lost in an existence that served no purpose and had no meaning. You don't know how long I walked this earth fearing I had no soul.
But you do have a soul. Someone with no soul wouldn't have the ability to love like you do.
You brought my soul to life, you brought me to life. That is why you are my angel. Not just because of our song, but because you came to me and saved me from hell.
He took my face in his hands. "I want you to know something. As I hear the things in your mind, I know that you feel the same way I do. We have the same fears, we ask the same questions." His finger traced my lip. "Would you please lay with me and talk to me?"
I nodded and he slid his arms around me and carried me to the bed. He gently placed me down and put himself beside me.
He put his head on my shoulder and spoke softly. "I was just as scared as you are. I spoke to Carlisle about how I feel about you and he told me not to fear this, but to embrace it. And then there was you... when we were in the river and you were thinking about our song. The way you looked at me, the words you sang to me..."
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt.
"Somehow that put everything into place for me." He kissed my neck as he spoke. "I know you worry about your gift when it comes to me. I think you already know that I absolutely love it when you let me in, but please know that you don't have to all the time."
I interrupted him. "I know I don't have to, although I love the connection we have when we can hear each others' thoughts."
"Bella, I used to crave getting inside your head, just because I couldn't. You amaze me by trusting me enough to let me in, but I have come to a realization. You fill my every need, my every desire, by just being you. I think I need the silence and you are the only one who can give that to me. You have this incredible gift, and you share it with me. You give me the best of both worlds."
Each word he spoke made me love him even more. He needed me, just as much as I needed him.
I do need you. I need all of you.
His fingers brushed across my thigh and I pushed myself closer to him. His body was calling me. God, would I ever stop wanting him this way?
Edward laughed. "I sincerely hope not. Bella, please don't worry about what happened earlier. The truth is I love the fact that you want me so bad. It is such a turn on. I've never experienced anything so erotic. I love everything you do to me and I want it just as bad as you do."
If you want me, take me. I'm yours...
After an emotionally trying day, I fell into what I can only think to call a love spell with Edward. We spent the entire night in each others' arms. The reality of my love for him had hit me in a way that I wasn't expecting. It was another moment when I feared I would wake up from this fairy tale dream. Edward had smirked at the thought, looking down at me. "Your fairy tale thoughts are so cute, especially with me as your prince charming."
The morning came upon us and I wanted to prepare myself for another day of testing my control. We would have to leave our little cabin soon and our Edward and Bella bubble would be broken.
"We don't have to do this today, if you are not feeling up to it. Perhaps next weekend?" he suggested.
Somehow, I wasn't worried. As a matter of fact I wanted to do this. The day before, I was apprehensive, but now I was looking forward to beginning a life of resistance. I didn't want to sit home all day, while the others were out there living. I wanted to live again...
"No, I want to do this. The sooner the better."
Again, I imagined myself out in the world, blending in with the rest of humanity, wanting that more than any human's blood. We got dressed and went to meet the other, finding everyone waiting for us.
Esme was the first to speak. "Feeling better?"
I gave her a big hug. "Yes, and thank you."
She put her arm around my shoulders and we began to walk. We had planned a day of hiking.
"Are you ready to get up close and personal?" Emmett asked. He walked right up to me folded his hands across his chest.
"She's ready." Alice replied. "However, let us hunt before the fun starts."
She winked at me and then ran into the forest. We all followed, but I was the only one to drink. I wasn't even thirsty, but Carlisle insisted that I should feed before I attempted to get close to any humans. After a few deer, we walked at a human pace to the trail.
"Bella, you need to remember to move very slowly, humans will notice if you move too fast." Jasper reminded me.
"If one of them tries to talk to you, remember to blink and don't go too long without breathing. It will be hard, but just take short shallow breaths through your mouth." Rose added.
We walked until we reached the path. I could already smell them. Edward took my hand as we walked at a leisurely pace for a half mile. I could hear footsteps behind us, and the light aroma was making the back of my throat warm. I stopped walking and took out my canteen, my human prop.
"What are you doing?" Jasper asked, his expression confused.
"I'm going to wait for them to pass us." I replied.
I could hear the heart beats. Three men came walking around the corner. I pretended to drink from the canteen as I rested myself against a tree and looked away from them. Edward stood in front of me and put his hands on my waist. As the men approached us, my throat started to burn. I swallowed down the venom and Edward's grip tightened.
"I'm OK," I reassured him, taking in a breath.
You can do this. You can do this. The phrase was repeating in his thoughts.
As the men walked past us, there was a fleeting moment when my eyes met one of theirs. He smiled and nodded in acknowledgement, and the sound of his heart beating filled my ears. I smiled back and quickly looked away, closing my eyes for a moment. His heart, his blood pulsing, his life, and that life would go on. I would not end his life. My eyes opened to find the hiker's eyes looking at mine again.
Look at you. You got this. You can-
Edward stopped in mid-thought and removed his hands from me, turning and stepping away. He looked the man up and down, his expression cold. The hiker looked away quickly and continued to walk away, his pace rushed. Soon, they were out of slight and only a faint scent lingered. I could finally take a deep breath.
"Damn, Edward. What was that all about? I think you scared him." Emmett teased.
"He should be scared. He is lucky I didn't drain him for thinking like that." Edward said.
"What was he thinking about?" I asked. I had been concentrating so hard, whatever Edward heard I had missed completely.
"You." He answered.
Emmett walked up to us. "You are going to have to start getting used to that Bro. I mean, Bella is hot. Guys are bound to think about her."
Jasper started laughing. "That is going to be tough on you man. I don't know if I could handle hearing other men thinking about Alice."
Edward huffed and ran his hands through his hair. He looked over at Carlisle, who smirked before saying, "You did great, Bella. Come on, let's keep walking."
"Carlisle, I wanted to ask, have you found out any more about shields?"
"Nothing, unfortunately. It is a very rare gift. I am not sure if I will be able to find more information. I take it you have been experimenting?"
I told him about how I tested it with Alice and Jasper.
"So, you had a vision of your own when you extended it to Alice and you could feel and manipulate emotions through Jasper? I am intrigued," he said. "And you can hear Edward's thoughts too?"
"Not only can she hear my thoughts, but she can hear everyone else's thoughts through me," Edward added, smiling again.
We both caught the scent, much stronger than last time. "There are eight of them. Are you ready?"
"Yes, let's just keep walking."
Only minutes later, we crossed paths with eight humans walking in the opposite direction. I stopped taking in air. I knew that would make it easier, but then it dawned on me that I would have to breathe around humans. As Rose suggested, I took a shallow breath through my mouth, feeling a slight burn. As they walked past us, the burning in my throat was present but tolerable. Just keep walking, I told myself. The venom dripped from my teeth, and I swallowed it down. Just keep walking. The hikers were past us. I knew I wouldn't hurt them; that they were safe from me. The fire in my throat was dwindling to ambers, but the venom kept coming. I couldn't take it anymore, and stopped to put my hands on my knees. When I opened my mouth the venom spewed out onto the ground. Jasper and Edward were at my side immediately, and I could feel an overwhelming sense of calm. It must have come from Jasper. I put my hand up.
"I'm alright. I am not going to do anything." I had to stop talking; the venom was overtaking my mouth again. I spit it out, but it continued to leak from my teeth.
Edward put his hand on my back. "Don't worry. This happens. It is your body's natural reaction to the humans. It should stop in a moment."
As the venom started to slow, I stood up straight. I could feel a stillness, I felt my body relaxing.
"You can stop Jasper. I'm fine, really." I said, reassuringly.
He looked perplexed, turning around and starting to walk the trail alone. Alice joined him and wrapped her arm around his waist. After a moment, he broke off from Alice, sprang into the forest, and ran.
"Alice, what is going on with Jasper?" I asked.
Edward took my hand and we walked with her.
"Bella, Jasper struggles the most with his thirst, our choice of diet is hard for him." Alice said.
"Is he thirsty?" I asked.
"No." Alice said. Then I heard Edward.
You are making it look easy, Bella. You have been maintaining yourself quite well. He secretly wanted this to be hard for you, so he wouldn't feel so alone.
"I'm going to go find him." Alice said. She turned, but before she ran, I heard her thoughts.
Follow the path to the lake and then double back, it will give you plenty of practice. Oh, and don't worry, Bella, you will be fabulous. I've seen lt.