At the Cliffs

My take on New Moon / Eclipse - written from Bella's perspective

← Chapter 26: Battle Part Two      Chapter 28: Revelation →

Chapter 27: Confession

When I opened my eyes, the first thing that struck me was that I didn’t know where I was.

I was lying on a sea of pristinely white bedding. The room around me was simple but elegantly furnished, with cream-colored walls and a few pieces of furniture that even I could tell cost a fortune. There was a large balcony window to my left, but the pale blue curtains were drawn closed. Based on the strength of the sunlight being filtered through the filmy fabric of the curtains, it was probably around noon.

I propped myself up on my elbow and looked blearily around, struggling to get my tired eyes to focus. And then I remembered. Newborns. Battle. Jake. Injured.

I bolted upright in a panic. That’s when he spoke.

“It’s okay, Bella. He’ll be okay.”

I paused, halfway off the bed, but I didn’t turn my head. I didn’t need to. No one else said my name the same way - with the faintest hint of an accent on the E the way it would be pronounced in Italian - but then again, everything he said had been mesmerizing to me at one time.

“Are you feeling alright?”

I composed myself before turning around. Edward was sitting in an armchair in the corner of the room. He had his elbows resting lightly against the armrests and his hands steepled underneath his chin. His face was a smooth impenetrable mask of calmness.

“I’m fine. How long was I out?” I asked quietly.

“A few hours. You hit your head on a rock when you went down,” Edward replied with a nod toward my forehead.

I reached up, shocked to realize that I had a small soft bandage covering part of the left side of my forehead. Putting pressure on the wound made me wince slightly.

“That’s quite a scar you’ve got,” Edward continued as his eyes moved to the other side of my forehead. I felt my hand automatically move over to touch the jagged scar that was left behind from the nasty cut that I got the first time that I went biking with Jacob. It looked far worse than it actually had been, even though the redness had faded over time.

“It wasn’t a big deal.”

Edward didn’t say anything at first, but when he did, his eyes were dark. “Was it him?”

“No!” I practically shouted when I realized what he was asking. Then, before I could help it, I muttered, “It was more your fault than anything else.”

“My fault?” Edward raised an eyebrow.

“Forget about it,” I replied, feeling my face growing warm in embarrassment. I didn’t know that I was ready to let him know what a mess I had been in the days after he left. “Where’s Jake?”

“At La Push,” Edward replied with a carefully neutral expression. “Carlisle is there working on him.”

I jumped off the bed in alarm. For Sam to waive the treaty to allow the Cullens to step foot onto La Push territory, Jake had to be in pretty bad shape.

“He’s fine. Carlisle is just monitoring his recovery. The wolves heal pretty quickly. As you probably know better than I do.” Edward added as an afterthought as he looked away suddenly.

I choose to ignore that comment. “How did he get hurt?”

“Our plan worked well, the newborns had no idea what hit them. We were just finishing up the last few stragglers when Jacob showed up… “ Edward paused here as he looked back at me, his eyes flashing brightly,”…. though it sounds like it was good he was with you. I heard he and the other wolves made short work of Victoria and her companion.”

“Yes, she’s dead,” I said woodenly, still hardly able to believe that those words were actually true.

“Good,” Edward said softly with a distant expression in his eyes. “I wish it had been me, but as long as she’s really dead.”

I didn’t respond and continued to watch him, because I honestly had no idea what I would say.

“We finished up with the newborns pretty soon after Jacob arrived. But the girl-wolf….”

“-Leah,” I interrupted, annoyed suddenly.

“Yes, that’s right. Leah. There was a newborn vampire – a big guy – who had been hiding behind a rock formation. He came out of nowhere and went for Leah. Jake pushed her out of the way and took the hit himself. The newborn broke all the bones on the right side of Jacob’s body before Sam and one of the other wolves were able to get there.”

I felt my knees get wobbly so I backed myself up against the bed again and sat down weakly. It was okay, I reminded myself. He would heal. Bones could heal.

“He’ll be fine. The wolves took him back to La Push right away. It was just as well, because we didn’t want the pack to be there when the Volturi arrived anyways.”

“Why not?”

Edward paused with a grim face. “The Volturi don’t honor truces with werewolves. Or anybody for that matter.”

“I thought you said they were the vampire police.”

“They’ve been the police for a long time. That kind of power can be … intoxicating. It’s just good that Aro, their leader, didn’t make the trip himself. We want to avoid him as much as possible, particularly now that …” Edward’s voice trailed off as he looked up suddenly, as if he were surprised by how much he had said.

“Now that …” I tried to prompt him.

“Nevermind,” he said with a shake of his head. “Carlisle went to La Push as soon as the Volturi left. Carlisle had to reset all of Jacob’s bones, but he called an hour ago to say that Jacob will be in critical shape for the next few days, but should make a full recovery in a week or so.”

I nodded silently, feeling air pumping into my lungs again, as I closed my eyes in relief. I hadn’t realized that I had been holding my breath all of this time.

“He means that much to you?”

I didn’t look up right away. When I did suddenly glance up, I saw Edward’s golden eyes watching me with a raw pain in their depths, before he quickly blinked and looked away.

“What does it matter to you?” I asked quietly.

He didn’t respond, but just continued to look away with a wry expression on his face.

“Why are you here, Edward?” I asked suddenly.

He looked up at me in surprise. “I – we- came back because of Alice’s vision of the Volturi and the newborns. I told you that.”

“No, no, I know that,” I dismissed with a frown. “But why are you here now? Why did you bring me to your house? You could have left after the battle was over. The pack could have taken care of me. You didn’t need to stay.”

“I wanted to make sure you were okay,” he replied stubbornly.

“Do I mean that much to you?” I asked with a half-grimace half-snort.

“Of course,” he said, raising his eyes in wonderment, looking at me as if he didn’t understand how I could doubt that, and something just snapped in me.

“Because the last fall, you told me that I didn’t mean anything to you. Why would I mean anything to you now?”

“I didn’t say that,” Edward replied quickly as he straightened himself up cautiously.

“Trust me. I was there. You said it.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, Bella …”

“Very original,” I couldn’t help retorting with a slight snort. Edward looked at me in surprise, as if he hadn’t quite expected me to be so … so … feisty. I couldn’t help but think that Jake would have just laughed at that – even if we were in the middle of an argument – he would have had a sense of humor about things.

“I might as well -what is the expression you use nowadays - come clean?” Edward replied, stumbling a bit over the modern expression. When he got agitated, his speech reverted to that of the early 1900s. He paused before turning to fully face me. I had a feeling that I was about to hear something that I wasn’t prepared to handle.

“Last fall, when Jasper … on your birthday …” – Edward looked pained as if he couldn’t bring himself to say the words so I just nodded to show that I understood where he was going-“… My worst fear had come true. And I’m not blaming Jasper. It is just what we are. We’re predators. It was foolhardy to think that we could ever be together.”

I thought I was over it. I thought I was over feeling anything about him and about us, but hearing him say that last sentence was like a sucker punch to the gut. Suddenly, it was as if no time had passed. I was still that same girl, standing in the middle of the forest, listening to him tell me the words that had caused my world to crumble to pieces around me.

“And so I left. I left because it was the right thing to do for you,” Edward continued. “Being with me wasn’t good for you.”

“You said it was the other way around. That I wasn’t good for you,” I replied brokenly, feeling a wave of emotion flooding through me as I repeated the words that had once shattered my heart and my soul.

“I had to say it,” Edward said sadly, looking past me, his beautiful amber eyes glowing with an otherworldly pain. “Otherwise, how would you let me leave? How would I have had the strength to leave you? If you started pleading with me … I would have broken down. And I knew that my leaving was the right thing for you.”

“The right thing,” I repeated slowly, as I felt parts of me beginning to click back into place, now that I had had time to absorb the reopening of this emotional scar. “Shouldn’t I be the one to decide what is right for me?”

“You didn’t know the risks …”

“I did know the risks,” I replied with a strangled voice as I held up my arm and pulled up my sleeve. The sight of the half-moon scar from James’ attack made Edward wince. “I knew the risks. It should have been my choice about whether the risk was worth it. Not yours.”

“But I knew you would have made the wrong choice. My leaving was the right thing for you.”

“The right thing?” I asked, my voice suddenly choked up. “The right thing to do was to lie to me? To make me doubt everything about myself? I believed you. I loved you. I trusted you. And you made me think that I wasn’t good enough for you. That I had been wrong for thinking that we had something special. Your lying to me made me doubt my judgment, my sense of self, everything that I had once thought I knew for sure! How was that the right thing for me?”

I had gotten to my feet and was shocked at how violently I was shaking. Edward made the move to get up from the armchair to come over to me, but he stopped at the look in my eyes. I finally composed myself enough to continue.

“I knew the risks of what it meant to be in a relationship with you. You treated me like a child. A simple child who couldn’t make informed decisions, so you had to step in and do the right thing.”

Edward closed his eyes, his face contorted in pain. “That’s not what I meant, Bella. You know that’s not what I meant.”

“That’s what it sounds like to me.”

“I’m sorry, Bella,” Edward replied, opening his eyes and getting to his feet to cross the room to take my hands into his. I stiffened at the cool touch of his icy hands. Even after being apart for so long, my body recognized his touch and I couldn’t help but feel myself drawing closer to him. “At least believe that my intentions were good, even if my execution wasn’t. I wanted to protect you-“

“-by lying to me. By treating me like an idiot who couldn’t be trusted to make smart decisions.”

Edward sighed. “I knew you wouldn’t make the right decision. You wouldn’t break up with me.”

“You’re that sure of yourself?”

He flushed slightly, though it must have been my imagination, since he had no blood in him to flush his ivory pale face. But he had the decency to at least look embarrassed.

“At the risk of sounding like an arrogant fool, yes. I’m sure you wouldn’t have broken up with me.”

“God, what is it with you men?” I retorted as I pulled my hands away from his and stepped back and pushed my fingers through my hair. “The whole lot of you. Thinking that you know everything about me. Thinking that you know what I would do.”

“I’m taking it that Jacob doesn’t like being second-fiddle,” Edward said suddenly, his eyes glowing with a newfound hostility.

“Don’t talk about him like that,” I snapped. “You have no idea what Jake has… what he has been… what he has done for me.”

“I have some idea,” Edward replied, his eyes losing the hostility and becoming melancholy again. “You forget. I could read his mind. And he’s got quite a good memory.”

“Yes, well,” I mumbled. It was my turn to flush now that I realized that Edward already knew everything. He knew about what a mess I had been when he left. And how Jake and I had … it was just too much to take in … to realize that there was nothing private about my life. I took another step back to clear my head.

“He’s not right for you, Bella,” Edward said suddenly, moving with lightening speed, and appearing in front of me. I jerked back in surprise. I hated being taken off guard. “Werewolves are very dangerous. They have no control over themselves. They could shift at any point.”

“Here you go again telling me what you think I should do,” I said putting my hands up as I took another step away from him.

“I’m not trying to tell you what to do,” he replied passionately, also holding his hands up, but his were palms-up in surrender. “I’m just … trying to protect you … to make sure you don’t get hurt. You’ve seen Emily. You’ve seen what happened when Sam lost control. You were supposed to be with someone normal. Have a normal life. Jacob is not normal.”

“Who’s normal? Mike Knewton? He’s not my type,” I replied sarcastically.

“No, your type has to be a guy who could maul you or kill you by accident.”

“Jake wouldn’t hurt me.”

“He might not intend to, but he can’t control himself.”

“The way Jasper couldn’t control himself?” I retorted.

Edward took a step back as if I had slapped him. His eyes were wide and filled with pain.

“I’m sorry,” I replied quickly. “I shouldn’t have said that. That wasn’t fair. I just … I don’t … I just don’t know how to feel now that you’re back and saying all these things. I had gotten my life back on track. Maybe not the track you think is right for me. But it was on track for me. And now … you’re here …and I’m confused and I…” I put my hands up helplessly as I closed my eyes and took another step back from him. “Look, I just … I still don’t know why you’re here. What do you want from me, Edward?”

He looked surprised that I would ask such a direct question. It took him off guard for a moment as I watched indecision, fear, and finally resolve flitter across his eyes. It was funny that I used to find him so inscrutable and mysterious. He was pretty easy to read now that I could see him clearly, no longer dazzled by the fact that he had chosen to be with me.

Edward squared his shoulders slightly as he closed the space between us. We were so close that we were practically touching. The sudden intimacy felt both strange and yet familiar, from the sweetly intoxicating smell of his skin to the coolness radiating through his shirt. He reached down to grab my hands and brought them up between us. Then he stooped slightly to look at me, the burning intensity in his eyes taking me by surprise.

“What do I want? I want you back. I should never have left. I love you.”

← Chapter 26: Battle Part Two      Chapter 28: Revelation →

About Me

I'm a Twilight fan who believes that Jacob Black is better for Bella than Edward, so I wrote these Team Jacob fanfiction stories to try to convert as many people to my side as possible. :)

I've tried to stay as faithful to the original books as possible up through At the Cliffs, which is when I break off from canon and write out Eclipse the way I wish it had happened!

So ... what do you think? Good? Bad? Ideas for other stories?

Please let me know!


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