Midnight Sun (25. Battle Worn)

Plink. Plink. Plink.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

The many noises of the machines were slowly making their way down the hallway towards room four-oh-eight. Emotions were flooding me, my body not knowing which ones to recognize.

Alice was eyeing me with apprehension, the future obvious in her mind.

You're not going to like this.

Alice stood up and paced back and forth, becoming impatient with the slowness of the nurse pushing Bella down the hall. I was still standing, my hand resolutely on the door, afraid to open it, afraid of what I'll see.

I dove into her mind for only a fraction of a second to see that Bella was hooked up to so many machines it almost made her look like she was some sort of mechanical apparatus or contrivance.

My many threads of thought were lost when I caught a scent that was unfamiliar to me, yet I knew it all the same. I finally yanked on the door, flinging it open to see Carlisle walking quietly behind the nurse, a despondent look upon his face. My eyes ignored him and everything else that was going on around the busy nurses' station. The only room I had in my brain right now, in my heart, was for the precious soul laying in the bed, beaten and battle worn.

Taking in a deep breath, I tried to find the scent that would reassure me that she was still Bella, still okay…still mine. But, the scent was off, wrong…possibly vulgar. For a moment I thought there was something wrong with me, that maybe my brain was fooling me…tricking me, a mere product of my own mental invention. Possibly a fantastic notion �C like her blood finally was unappealing to me.

Shaking my head, I realized the only scent in the world I wished for right now was her scent, her very human, very Bella scent. My eyes followed a red tube from her arm up to a blood red bag.

Blood. Not any blood, but human blood. Sitting there �C for the taking. But the aroma was off, offensive…extremely unpleasant.

Ignoring the now erroneous smell wafting off of her, I concentrated on her face, her bandages…her wrist. My teeth automatically clenched so hard that if steel were to meet them it would be ripped in half.


Pushing my angry thoughts aside, I brought myself back to the angel, the beauty that was lying in this bed, unconscious and broken. At the sight of her my extremities felt like they were going numb.

She was broken. I broke her.

The nurse had finally made sure she was hooked up to all the appropriate machines, that everything was working correctly before checking her pulse and her temperature. Carlisle and Bella's doctor were standing outside the door talking. I was barely paying attention to the conversation, choosing to pick key words from their minds.

She'll be fine.

Probably another pint of blood.

Temporary medically induced coma until she heals more.

My head snapped up. Coma? … Coma? What?

I reached for Bella's hand, bringing it to my lips, kissing her lightly, caressing her face. Automatically I began to try and probe her mind, even though I knew the effort was useless. Maybe I could reach into her brain, pull out her thoughts. Did she forgive me? Was she okay? How was the pain?


Fear bubbled like acid in my stomach. The only thing that slightly soothed my frenzied nerves was her warmth…her pulse in the air, on my skin.

I was seeing double, watching Bella from two different views, mine and Alice's.

How revolting. She didn't care much for the blood being forced into Bella's veins either.

We both continued to watch Bella's check's lightly turn a tinge of pink as the blood swirled under her clear skin. Every second the pain at her broken body lashed at me. I tried to form some kind of enchantment, to make it so we could magically change places; that I could feel the pain, that it was me lying there unconscious.

To think how this could have happened, how she was almost reduced to ash…to a cold and fiery death. The picture of a fleshless Bella entered my mind and the feeling of disgust was present on my tongue. Each second I felt like I was becoming emotional deranged. I needed an outlet, some way to focus my thoughts.

Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.

I whipped around to see Alice flipping a tiny video in her hands. Resentment began bubbling to the surface. Without thinking I rounded on her.

"What happened? How did you let this happen? Bella…" my voice was overly accusatory.

My hostility began swelling in the air, slowly consuming me. Alice stepped back two steps before sitting down. She placed her head in her tiny hands and very quiet sobs escaped her lips. The afternoon's events were finally catching up to her.

"After you boarded the plane…I saw it. Bella, in the ballet studio. I saw it all…"

She looked up at me as her eyes sparkled with unshed tears, tears that would never come.

"I…I didn't realize it was because she planned to meet him."

"You left her alone with Jasper? Seriously…Jasper? Come on Alice!" I kept my voice low, not wanting to upset anyone outside this room.

"Jasper can handle himself," she cut across me. "Maybe she hadn't completely made up her mind, but when she did, she was already on her feet, running towards the exit. By the time this future presented itself to me I knew I'd be too late." She breathed in a quick breath, trying to calm her nerves. "She wrote a letter to her mom. It was still in my hand. On a hunch I opened it. That's when I very nearly ran into you. Edward… I'm…I'm so sorry."

"Not as sorry as I am," I barely muttered.

My anger had left as quickly as it had come on.


"It's not your fault, it's mine." I whispered.

I turned to bring myself back to Bella. My eyes followed every bruise, every bump and every blackened spot. Each second little quiet explosions of pain were erupting through my body. Now, more than ever, I was vividly aware of her fragile, breakable body.

How is this your fault? Alice challenged.

"If it wasn't for me, she would never be in this hospital. She would be safely in Forks, probably having a nice dinner with her father. Instead…she's here, broken…comatose."

Her arm wrapped around my shoulder. "No, this is his fault." She waved the tape in front of me. "Do you want to see what Bella was talking about?"

I looked at Bella and then looked at Alice, giving her a pleading look.

"Carlisle," Alice called over her shoulder.

"Excuse me, Dr. Jones." Carlisle said politely.

"Yes, of course. I'll check on Ms. Swan later," Dr. Jones responded.

Carlisle strode into the room. "Alice?"

"Carlisle, will you please stay with Bella while Edward and I watch this tape?"

He looked over her to see my face. I wasn't looking, my face was resolutely focused on Bella, my focal point, the one I cherished, loved and adored above all others. No, I wasn't leaving this room.

"You guys go ahead," I waved them away.

Alice huffed lightly. "I'll watch it outside the hospital." You can just watch it through my mind.

"Okay," I answered blandly.

They both left me, not another thought in their minds about my decision. Carlisle had already known that I wouldn't leave her side. Not now, not when she needed me more than ever. Fear fluttered in my chest at the thought of what she might think when she does wake. Would this be the thing that finally makes her snap? Another sharp stab of pain prickled my insides.

Bella continued to lay there, silent and still…unmoving except her tiny chest movements.

There was a light rapt on the door before the Doctor walked in with his clipboard in hand. I rose, hand out.

"I'm Edward Cullen. Thank you for taking care of her." I spoke reverently, more thankful than he will ever know or understand.

Love. "Yes, of course. You're welcome. Dr. Cullen wanted me to stop in and explain what will happen with her next."

"Yes…" I pressed.

Eager chap, isn't he? "She has many injuries. Her skull is fractured, she has several broken ribs and her leg was badly mangled, but we were able to fix that with surgery. A few pins will hold her bone in place until it heals," he answered while taking her vitals.

"Why isn't she waking up?" I coaxed, trying to get him to get to the coma part.

"Yes, well, because of the extensive damage I have purposefully had her placed in a comatose state to help her heal. I'm not sure how long she will need to be in a coma. It could be a day, it could be several. Don't worry, she'll be okay." Clumsy girl.

You ain't kidding, I thought. "Well, thank you, Dr. Jones."

He nodded once and exited the door. He had good timing, because as soon as he shut the door a thought burst through my mind.

Edward! Pay attention! I'm about to watch this video. Alice shouted from her head.

They found a cord to plug into one of their laptops and were sitting outside in our car that Jasper brought back for us to use.

This is going to be hard to watch, son. Please keep your cool. Carlisle warned.

Sitting, I pulled Bella's hand back into mine. To watch this video, I knew I would have to feel her warmth to remind me she was still alive, that she was still with me…even if she was unconscious.

Watching her actions like they were my own, Alice's finger slowly appeared in my vision as she pressed the play button. I felt a pang of unease. Accompanying my thoughts were Alice's and Carlisle's.

A face appeared on the screen. James.

I took in a heavy breath, preparing myself for the onslaught of pain…torture that watching this will cause me. Deep down, I probably deserve to watch this, to make me see what I did to her.

"Edward, I'm so sorry we couldn't meet today, but I have a prior appointment with your Bella." A sick laugh. "I hope you enjoy the show. Hope to…see you very soon."

I could hear the thoughts of revulsion radiating off of Carlisle.

The screen shook, as I could imagine James placing it upon the stereo. His face was now facing the camera again.

"I just got off the phone with Bella. Looks like she will be here shortly. You shouldn't have let her out of your sight. She's all mine now." He licked his lips.

My stomach jolted, I felt sickened at the thought. The screen no longer showed what he was doing, but I heard him fiddling with something.

My fault, Alice thought again.

Another minute had passed. I focused on Bella, reminding myself once more that she was here, safe.

I heard the door crack open slowly in the video as the air conditioner thrummed quietly in the background.

"Bella? Bella?" I heard a voice call out.

Suddenly Bella was running through the studio, looking around in alarm.

"Bella, you scared me! Don't you ever do that to me again! "

There was a trill of a laugh and Bella whirled around, looking for the noise. I watched as Bella slowly walked towards something out of the camera lens' vision. There was a sudden blue light and she backed away, the light reflecting off her perfect face and her white shirt.

She turned around slowly, anxiety obvious in her deep depths.

Oh no, Alice thought weakly.

My heart ached to watch her panic. She must have been terrified. My desire to throttle James had reached such a pitch, but there was no vampire left to kill, to rip apart and burn.

Bella's eyes focused on something past the camera.

"Sorry about that, Bella, but isn't it better that your mother didn't really have to be involved in all this?" His voice was mellow.

He really is a cruel creature, Carlisle added to my already angry thoughts.

Poison rippled through my veins. He had no right to even talk to her, to even look in her direction. I wanted to reach out and bring death to him. A sudden surge of jealousy hit me as I realized I didn't get this opportunity and never will.

"Yes," Bella answered as relief broke across her face.

She was…relieved? My teeth met with an audible snap as I realized she was being selfless, sacrificing herself for her mother. A trait I loved in Bella, yet hated all at the same time.

And she truly is a magnificent creature, Carlisle added to his previous thought.

"You don't sound angry that I tricked you." A light laugh.

"I'm not." She actually sounded brave.

Brave little Bella, Alice sniffled.

"How odd. You really mean it" James appeared in the picture now. He was slowly walking towards Bella. "I will give your strange coven this much, you humans can be quite interesting. I guess I can see the draw of observing you. It's amazing — some of you seem to have no sense of your own self-interest at all."

He had no idea how selfless she actually was. He also had no idea how she was absolutely unique, different, not like any human he would have encountered before.

He was standing a few feet away from her now, arms folded, looking at her curiously.

"I suppose you're going to tell me that your boyfriend will avenge you?" James asked.

Avenge? If only I were so lucky! The thought of bringing my teeth to his neck to rip him to pieces, slowly… the satisfaction was almost overwhelming in my sick fantasy. My wish was for him to suffer my retribution and it pained me more to not be able to rip him to shreds with my bare hands.

"No, I don't think so. At least, I asked him not to." Bella's voice trembled.

My heart plummeted while a sick feeling swept over me.

"And what was his reply to that?" James looked hopeful at the prospect.

"I don't know. I left him a letter."

I could feel it slowly burning in my pocket, I placed my free hand over the letter. It would be a keepsake, a reminder of how close this angel got to death.

I should have known…Alice tormented.

"How romantic, a last letter. And do you think he will honor it?" His voice was dripping with sarcasm marring his polite tone.

"I hope so."

Bell was a fool to think I would honor that letter. Of course I would kill him. I would probably play golf with his appendages just for fun. The surge of savage pleasure rippled through me.

Sometimes she is so blind, Alice stifled a small laugh, understanding exactly what I was thinking without reading my mind.

"Hmmm. Well, our hopes differ then. You see, this was all just a little too easy, too quick. To be quite honest, I'm disappointed. I expected a much greater challenge. And, after all, I only needed a little luck."


"When Victoria couldn't get to your father, I had her find out more about you. There was no sense in running all over the planet chasing you down when I could comfortably wait for you in a place of my choosing. So, after I talked to Victoria, I decided to come to Phoenix to pay your mother a visit. I'd heard you say you were going home. At first, I never dreamed you meant it. But then I wondered. Humans can be very predictable; they like to be somewhere familiar, somewhere safe. And wouldn't it be the perfect ploy, to go to the last place you should be when you're hiding — the place that you said you'd be.

"But of course I wasn't sure, it was just a hunch. I usually get a feeling about the prey that I'm hunting, a sixth sense, if you will. I listened to your message when I got to your mother's house, but of course I couldn't be sure where you'd called from. It was very useful to have your number, but you could have been in Antarctica for all I knew, and the game wouldn't work unless you were close by."

Oh course, Carlisle practically shouted in his head. Realization hitting him like a ton of bricks.

"Then your boyfriend got on a plane to Phoenix."

I wanted to hit myself for my stupidity!

"Victoria was monitoring them for me, naturally; in a game with this many players, I couldn't be working alone. And so they told me what I'd hoped, that you were here after all. I was prepared; I'd already been through your charming home movies. And then it was simply a matter of the bluff.

"Very easy, you know, not really up to my standards. So, you see, I'm hoping you're wrong about your boyfriend. Edward, isn't it?"

Memories flooded me as I remembered our pointless and rambling journey to Canada, Victoria's odd behavior. Each second she was searching…looking. I became instantly angry at myself. Why didn't I see this? I should have known. I read his mind. He never failed…his special gift was tracking.

Bella stayed silent. Secretly I wished she would have taunted him, called him names…at least argued with him. Put up a fight, even if it were a feeble attempt.

"Would you mind, very much, if I left a little letter of my own for your Edward?"

Sick, Alice thought angrily.

His hand reached out to grab the camera. He was going to gloat…to show her that he was doing this to get to me. I didn't want to murder him anymore, I wanted to slice him into pieces and cook them one at a time. Feed it to the furry creatures of the forest.

He readjusted the camera a few times.

"I'm sorry, but I just don't think he'll be able to resist hunting me after he watches this. And I wouldn't want him to miss anything. It was all for him, of course. You're simply a human, who unfortunately was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and indisputably running with the wrong crowd, I might add."

The camera moved closer to Bella…he moved closer to Bella.

"Before we begin…I would just like to rub it in, just a little bit. The answer was there all along, and I was so afraid Edward would see that and ruin my fun. It happened once, oh, ages ago. The one and only time my prey escaped me.

"You see, the vampire who was so stupidly fond of this little victim made the choice that your Edward was too weak to make. When the old one knew I was after his little friend, he stole her from the asylum where he worked — I never will understand the obsession some vampires seem to form with you humans — and as soon as he freed her he made her safe. She didn't even seem to notice the pain, poor little creature."

There was an audible gasp from Alice, as she realized he was talking about her.

"She'd been stuck in that black hole of a cell for so long. A hundred years earlier and she would have been burned at the stake for her visions. In the nineteen-twenties it was the asylum and the shock treatments. When she opened her eyes, strong with her fresh youth, it was like she'd never seen the sun before. The old vampire made her a strong new vampire, and there was no reason for me to touch her then." He sighed. "I destroyed the old one in vengeance."

Alice's thoughts were running wild. Her mind trying to reach back into her old memories to try to find her human times. There was nothing but velvety blackness.

It all makes sense now, why she was left alone. Her creator was killed before she awoke! Carlisle was fitting the puzzle pieces together in his mind.

"Alice," Bella gasped, sadness in her tone.

A rush of affection came flooding out of Alice as she realized how much Bella loved her, too.

"Yes, your little friend. I was surprised to see her in the clearing. So I guess her coven ought to be able to derive some comfort from this experience. I get you, but they get her. The one victim who escaped me, quite an honor, actually."

A growl ripped up Alice's throat at his comment. Mine wasn't far behind.

Honor, scoffed Carlisle.

"And she did smell so delicious. I still regret that I never got to taste… She smelled even better than you do. Sorry — I don't mean to be offensive. You have a very nice smell. Floral, somehow…"

To think of him even being close enough to smell her about drove me mad. I could slowly feel the savagery creeping into my veins. Many violent brutal acts flashed through my mind.

The camera moved so close to Bella's perfect features that he was probably only inches away from her. Violence was struggling to break free of my body, but there was no one to fight, no one to beat.

His hand reached out and grabbed a strand of her hair; he sniffed it and patted it back in place. At this, I stood, letting go of Bella's hand. Fury was bursting out of me. I wanted to inflict a punishment so brutal, so horribly unthinkable that he would have to suffer for years in horrid pain.

He reached up to stroke her cheek once quickly with his thumb.

The hospital cup that was lying next to Bella's bed was suddenly in my grasp, crunched like it was a soda can and slowly crumbled into little pieces. Choice swear words came shooting out of my mouth.

"No," he murmured to himself as he dropped his hand, "I don't understand." He sighed. "Well, I suppose we should get on with it. And then I can call your friends and tell them where to find you, and my little message."

Absolutely revolting, Carlisle's thoughts were almost incoherent with disgust.

Slowly I could see the camera backing away from her face. Her body was quavering in fear. I brought my hand out in mid air, like I could soothe her; tell her everything would be okay, though I knew any minute that the pain would be inflicted, that she would be violently hurt and bitten by a vicious and cruel vampire. Every particle of my body was screaming in protest.

The camera was circling around her…he was circling around her. The movement of the camera was almost like I could tell he had just crouched, preparing to spring. Her pupils dilated in terror.

She bolted. In all my anger I almost laughed at the comical move. It was humorous for two reasons. One, trying to outrun a vampire? She knew better. Two, she actually feared a creature she should be afraid of. So, her braveness did have a limit. I sat back down, holding Bella's hand again.

I closed my eyes, knowing the next little bit was going to be rough. I might not even make it through it all.

He flew in front of Bella, where there was then a loud thud and the camera whipped around to show Bella almost slowly sliding down the glass mirror as it rippled and broke, falling to the floor.

Anger throbbed through me as did sadness, pain. I wanted to make him…suffer. The fury that was pounding through my body was so violent it was shocking me like a jolt of electricity, each time burning me.

James walked slowly towards her; the camera bringing Bella's dazed expression into view.

What kind of creature…Carlisle was full of despair.

A growl ripped up my throat, long and feral.

"That's a very nice effect. I thought this room would be visually dramatic for my little film. That's why I picked this place to meet you. It's perfect, isn't it?"

Bella began crawling on the floor. Without thinking I slowly propped myself up on her bed, lightly tracing the features of her face which was now only inches from mine. How could I ever let her out of my sight?

What happened next burned me so much that I begged that we could trade places, or that I could suddenly go back in time.

The camera lowered, to show what his next move would be. He lifted his foot, and stomped on her leg. There was a sickening snap as Bella's scream came flying out of her mouth.

I could feel an exertion of force or power slowly brewing inside me as violence pulsed through me.

"Would you like to rethink your last request?" A smile obviously in his voice.

With a light flick on his foot he nudged her leg while another piercing scream echoed through my brain.

A cry echoed through all our thoughts at once.

"Wouldn't you rather have Edward try to find me?"

I would have found you, James. If I would have just arrived a little earlier I would have pulled his eyes out of his sockets and chewed them, spit them out and stomped them into the dirt.

"No!" Bella barely croaked. "No, Edward, don't–"

Before Bella could finish her plea she was being thrown into the broken mirrors.

Through Alice's vision I could tell she had flinched, and suddenly her hand went up to cover her eyes.

Not Bella… Alice sighed a lament as her hand slowly slid back down her face.

Each torture continued to hit me relentlessly.

When my vision was restored I watched as each second the darkness ran down her face and flooded her white shirt, staining it red. Blood. Beads of blood were trickling at an alarming rate through her hair. I could remember the outrageous flavor floating on the air around her when I arrived at the studio. It was easy to ignore the thought as explosions of agony possessed me, like I was bursting with the pain of it all.

I brushed my fingers lightly over her face again, a reminder she was still here, safe…protected.

"It's entirely my fault," I whispered to Bella.

In the video her eyes began to close as James dropped the camera. The angle was not good, so the view was distorted, but that was a good thing. Bella slowly melted onto the floor, bringing her hand up to her face as protection. There was a guttural noise, the sound of flesh breaking.

That's when he bit her.

Seeing this, knowing how close she was to death felt like I was being pierced with scalding hot knives. This video just made it that much more horribly vivid. Each blow felt like I had been fatally wounded.

As if it were my own hand, Alice reached out and pressed the stop button. I was thankful, I didn't think I could watch those painful moments when I thought she was possibly dead or dying, the memory was clear enough, no need to add to the agony…though I deserved it.

Alice and Carlisle began talking with each other about what they just saw. I pushed their thoughts and their conversation from my mind. I couldn't think about it anymore. It was bad enough she was lying here, broken, mangled…bruised…unconscious. Grief began weighing on my heart.

I wished, prayed, even that this was all just a horrible nightmare; that I could sleep so I could wake from this. My stance around Bella was a continuance of looking like a body guard in hostile territory, even though she was safe in this hospital. I felt the ripping of my heart, slowly being shredded.

Halfway curling myself up on her bed, I kept my face close to hers. Kissing her every minute, just to feel the warmth on my lips. A reminder of how precious the life was that was laying here in front of me. My love…my existence. Each second realizing that she was my life, without her I would die. Not only would I die, I would beg for it, embrace it.

Other thoughts swam through my already troubled mind. I couldn't keep her. To have her be in my life would be like keeping her in the line of danger. She deserved more than me…she deserved marriage, kids, a family…college. Each thought lashed at me, leaving angry lacerations. I couldn't leave her now, but one day I will have to leave her. It pained me to think it, to know it had to be that way, but that is the only way it could be. I loved her too much to damn her to this existence, to take away her soul.

Hadn't I already been selfish enough? Hadn't Bella proven how unselfish, brave, and trusting she is already? I kissed her forehead once more as hopelessness threatened to engulf me.

Hey, bro, it's me. Can I come in?

I sat up. Emmett?

"Come in."

He came bursting through the door with a smile on his face, which slid away quickly once he saw Bella. He noticed the blood hanging down and held his breath quickly, though it didn't bother him like it would Jasper.

"Here ya go!" Emmett threw a bag towards me.

Man, he looks bad. "Wash up. You look how I do when I get done fighting a grizzly." He chuckled.

"Thanks," I rummaged through the bag, glad to see clean clothes.

"Alice told me that Ren��e will be here in half an hour and it would probably be prudent if you didn't look like a train wreck." Another chuckle.

"Yes, I guess it would be best if I wasn't covered in her daughter's blood." I looked back at Bella.

I'll stay here with her if you want me too, Emmett added, coaxing me to clean myself.

"Okay, yeah. I'll just be right in here. There's a shower…"

"Yeah, yeah," he interrupted.

When I was in the bathroom I could feel the contacts slowly dissolving in my eyes. Having red eyes would probably scare her mother. I dug through my bag, hoping Alice would have predicted this. Bingo. Contacts. Thank you, Alice!

Before I put my new contacts in, I threw all of my dirty clothes away, making sure I kept the letter she wrote me. I turned the water on hot, hoping it might actually ease some of the tension and strain I was under. At the same time, I was looking through Emmett's eyes as he watched over Bella. Though he barely knew her, he was slowly learning to love her, to appreciate who she was. It was so easy to be in Emmett's mind sometimes.

I let the warm water trickle over my body, cleaning any remaining blood off of my skin. The water tinged pink for a few moments and then the luscious scent swirled down the drain. I could still feel a heavy weight on my chest, as if there was something constricting my heart from healing from the lashes that were constantly being engraved on my tethered and worn body. She was so close to death, so close to not living. Her heart…my heart was on the verge of never beating again.

Searching for her face, I found it instantly in Emmett's view. I sighed, turned off the water and began toweling off. Ren��e would be here shortly and I needed to look my best. Quickly dressing, I placed the contacts in my eyes, letting them obstruct my vision once again before I exited, relieving Emmett of his duty.

"Thanks," I put my hand on his shoulder.

"Oh, it's no problem," he smiled, winked and then strode from the room.

Again, I waited by her bedside, holding her hand gently, caressing her face lightly. The blood that was slowly dripping in her veins had started to mix with her blood, the scent finally beginning to smell more like Bella. The luxurious, the delicious, the palatable aroma progressively growing stronger.

Then, there was a sudden awareness as I heard thoughts that were so overwhelmed with fear that they were producing nothing but hysterical ramblings. It had to be Ren��e. No one else in this whole hospital knew what it was like to love someone like Bella. She was different, amazing…wonderful.

The door flew open and I stood, the doctor hurriedly following behind Ren��e's ever impatient noises. Ren��e, completely ignoring my presence, flew towards Bella, though her touch was gentle, her sobs loving. Her panicking seemed to clear my thoughts.

"Oh, Bella. Bella!" she turned to face the doctor. "When will she be awake?"

"I'm keeping her in a medically induced coma until I feel she has healed some." He stated.

She turned away from the doctor, her eyes finally meeting my presence.

"And you must be…Edward?" He sure is handsome. I didn't realize Bella… Oh, well, maybe I'm wrong.

I tried not to smile at her thoughts. "Yes," I held out my hand.

She gripped my hand for a second before plopping down next to Bella.

"My baby, please get better. I love you," she murmured. Went through a window! I just can't believe Charlie let her leave like that. So irresponsible. I'm just going to have to take her home…back to Florida.

And I would let her.