At the Cliffs

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

← Chapter 27: Confession      Chapter 29: Girl Talk →

Chapter 28: Revelation

I probably would have collapsed from shock if Edward hadn’t been holding onto me so tightly.

My mind was a swirling vortex of emotions. I had wanted to hear those words for so long. I had dreamed about them. I had hoped for them. There was a time when I would have given up everything and everyone that was important in my life just to hear those words from him again.

And I wasn’t immune. God, I would have given anything to have been immune. To have those words leave me cold, instead of firing up a maelstrom of mixed emotions that I didn’t know how to deal with. When I finally could speak, the only word I could get out was, “Why?”

“Because I couldn’t live without you. I tried. For months. I tried to stay away. But you were all I could think about. I traveled the world – tracking Victoria – obviously unsuccessfully, but no matter where I was in the world, everything made me think of you. The only thing that kept me away was the knowledge that you were safer and happier with me gone,” Edward paused here and leaned in to look at me meaningfully. “I was obviously wrong on both accounts. For both of us. The separation made us miserable. And it left you unprotected. It didn’t work for either of us.”

Edward paused as he lifted one hand to place a finger under my chin and tilted my head up.

“When Alice called to tell me that the Volturi were coming to Forks, I can’t describe what I felt. Sheer and utter panic. Why would they be confronting the newborns in Forks? Had the newborns killed near Forks? Were you a victim? And what about the Volturi? Would they want to hurt you?”

“Why would the Volturi hurt me?” I asked, the shock of hearing that statement jarring me out of my confusion.

“One of the laws they enforce is that we keep our existence a secret. That no humans know of our existence. If they had somehow found out that you knew about us, they would not have been pleased,” Edward said with a grim expression.

“Oh, I see. Well then I’m glad that I fainted and missed out on seeing them.”

“Yes,” he replied shortly. “That’s why we have to avoid Aro, the leader, at all costs. His mind-reading skills put mine to shame. He can hear every thought that you’ve ever had just by touching your skin.”

I shuddered, “That’s creepy. Everything?”

“Yes, everything. If he were to ever touch one of us –“ Edward gestured towards the rest of the house where presumably the rest of the Cullens were “-he would know all about you and our … relationship. He would not be happy. At the very least, he would be very curious about you.”

I nodded mutely, not sure how to respond to that beyond sending a quick fervent prayer to whatever God was up there to make sure that never happened.

“I was terrified. I realized in that moment that as dangerous and as wrong as I am for you, no one can protect you and keep you safe better than I can.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but wisely decided not to say anything. Edward continued, not having noticed my reaction.

“We caught the first flight out. I was terrified we wouldn’t get here in time. When I smelled the scent of your blood in the air as we pulled into Forks, I thought for sure that something had happened. We raced through the forest to the quarry field. I was sure that I would see you dead at any moment…”

Edward paused as his eyes clouded over with tears – not that I knew if vampires could actually cry – before he composed himself and continued.

“…I couldn’t believe it when we got there and were met by the pack. Sam was trying to inform us about everything that had happened with Victoria and the newborns, but all I could hear were Jacob’s thoughts as his head began spinning at the sight of me. That’s when I found out the full extent of what had happened between the two of you … and I … I felt …”

“Yes?” I prompted.

“Jealous. Furious. Profound sadness. Pretty much the whole gamut. And then you showed up, and all I could feel was happiness. You are the most precious thing in the world to me. Seeing you safe and alive just solidified for me the fact that we belong together.”

Edward pulled me to him now, his hands holding my face gently as he pressed feather-light kisses on my forehead. I stiffened at first, but then I couldn’t help but melt into him, the gentle cool touch of his hands and kisses bringing back a flood of pleasant memories.

“I know that I hurt you when I left. I’m sorry. I’m so profoundly sorry,” he continued between soft kisses around the contours of my face. “But I’m back now. Fate has brought us back together. I know that it won’t be easy. I’m still … me. I’m still dangerous. My family is still dangerous. We’ll have to take a lot of precautions, but we can make it work. We have to. My life isn’t worth living without you.”

And then, his cool lips were on mine, and I felt myself transported back to a year ago, when this was all that I ever wanted. There was something so familiar about this moment – kissing the first guy that I had ever kissed –the feel of cool marble beneath his shirt, the intoxicating scent of his skin, the gentle but firm touch of his hands. I felt like I was in a trance, as all of these familiar emotions and sensations swept over me, separating me from the here and now.

Before I could even figure out what I was feeling, Edward pulled away, ending the kiss with a chaste peck at my forehead before he pulled me into his arms. This felt familiar too, this sense of disappointment at how … controlled he always was with me, how disciplined and clinical he often was when it came to me … I had forgotten about that until now. I laid my head against his chest gingerly, shivering slightly at the coolness of his touch. Everything felt so familiar, and yet, it didn’t feel quite right. We stayed that way for a while before Edward spoke again.

“We will need to figure out what to say to Charlie. I gather that he is not my biggest fan right now. And he won’t like me any more when I take you away from Forks.”

I pulled myself away from him abruptly, his words jarring me out of my trance.

“What? Leave to go where?”

“I don’t care. Anywhere. As long as we’re together. You’re done with high school. You’re 18. A legal adult now. We can go anywhere. I can show you the world. There are so many places that I want to share with you. You can go to college if you want. You could go anywhere you want. You don’t have to just go to the place that offered you a scholarship.”

“But I belong … here” I said slowly, realizing only as I said those words how true they felt. “My life is here. Charlie. My friends … oh god, Jake. I need to go see him.”

It was like I had suddenly been electrocuted with a live wire which restarted my brain and my pulse. I had been in such a trancelike state, watching Edward as he said and did all the things that I had dreamed about for so long, that it was as if I was having some out-of-body experience. And only now was I being shocked back into reality.

“I need to go,” I insisted as I pulled away from Edward and headed towards the door. Edward utilized his speed to get to the door before me.

“Where are you going?” he demanded, not angrily, but with a definite edge to his voice.

“To see Jake,” I replied. “I’m such a terrible person. He’s hurt because of me. I need to see him.”

“You’re choosing him,” Edward said slowly, his face full of hurt and confusion.

“I’m not choosing anyone right now. I just need to see that he’s okay,” I said as I tried to push my way around him. It was like pushing a concrete wall.

“You’re choosing him,” he repeated, refusing to budge.

“I’m not choosing him! I’m not ready to choose anyone right now!”

“How do you even know if he’ll choose you in the end?” Edward asked, his face now determined and intense as his amber eyes stared down at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked in bewilderment.

“Has he told you about the whole imprinting thing? He’s going to imprint on someone else one day. The person he’s destined to be with. And his imprint is not you. I know it. It flittered through his mind when he saw you and me together in the field last night. In fact, he has doubts that the two of you were meant to be together. He thinks that it was inevitable that you would leave him for me.”

“You’re lying,” I said, despite being stung by the knowledge that everything he said was true. I knew Jake felt that way, because I had never given him a reason not to.

“I’m not,” Edward replied calmly. “I saw it. It was there in his head. He’s always wondered if he was your second choice. If you only choose him because I left. And I think you answered that question for him last night.”

“That’s not true,” I replied as tears began to spill out in frustration. “I was just shocked to see you. I haven’t chosen anyone.”

“You belong with me. I know it. Even he knows it. I could see it in his head. He’s never really believed that the two of you would end up together. He’s always doubted that. But I never have. I’ve always known that you were the one for me. Even when we were apart, I knew there would never be anyone else but you.”

Seeing that I was weak with indecision, Edward continued pressing his case. “Bella, he’s destined to leave you one day. He will fall in love with someone else and leave you. He’s not the one for you. I would never leave you.”

“You already have,” I replied stubbornly as I felt tears rolling down my cheeks.

“I didn’t leave because I fell in love with someone else. I left to protect you. But I learned my lesson. My leaving made us both miserable and unsafe. We’ve learned the hard way that that strategy won’t work for us. I’ll never leave again. Especially not for anyone else. You know that,” Edward replied urgently, bringing his hands to my face and using his fingers to wipe away my tears. “You believe me, right?”

And strangely enough, I did believe him. Despite all of the conflicted feelings I was having at the moment, I could feel his sincerity. I nodded as he pulled me close into a hug again.

“But I still need to go see him,” I replied, my voice muffled against his chest.

“He’s fine, I told you,” he replied as he pulled away to look at me in confusion. “Carlisle had to give him so much morphine that I doubt he’ll even be awake.”

“I just need to see him,” my voice faltered. I stepped away from his arms and looked him in the eye. “I need time. I need to ... to think about all of this,” I waved my hand at him and at me.

Edward looked confused and then pained. “I thought you said you believed me. I would never leave you again.”

“I do believe you,” I replied, my brain beginning to hurt as I tried to parse out my jumbled thoughts. “I have no idea why, but I do believe you. But that’s not enough for me.”

“How can it not be enough? I’ll always be here for you. Literally. I’ll be here forever,” Edward responded with a wry smile. “He won’t. You have no idea how much longer he’ll be with you. A day? A week? A year?”

“It’s my decision to make,” I replied softly but resolutely. “I’m not saying that I choose him. I’m just saying that my fear that he will imprint on someone else and leave me, isn’t enough reason to automatically choose you. I survived when you left. I could survive if he were to leave too ….”

“Not if. When he leaves.”

I nodded mutely, knowing that he was saying the truth but not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing it.

“I had no idea you and he … that he had come to mean so much to you,” Edward finally said, his voice sounding hoarse and uncertain for the first time ever. “I saw his feelings, of course, I knew how he felt. But I just assumed that you … I thought that well, since I was gone … and with Victoria … it made sense for you to gravitate towards him for protection. I just didn’t think that you really lov-…that you really cared for him.”

I stared at Edward, not seeing him, as images of Jake from the past year played through my head. His smile the first time I came over with the bikes, all the fun times we had in his garage fixing then up, when he was able to make me laugh even though I hadn’t laughed in months. I had cried on his shoulder, I had found comfort, safety, and unconditional love in his arms - things I had never expected to find again. It was certainly the last thing on my mind when I showed up at his house that fateful day with the broken bikes, wanting to just take advantage of his mechanical skills.

The past few months with Jake had changed me. More than I had ever realized or appreciated until just this moment, when I was given the chance to relive the past again. To step back in time. I could see it all so easily in my head. The part of me that had loved Edward so desperately was still there inside me, waiting to be reactivate, and it would always be there because it was a part of my past and who I used to be.

It would be easy to just pull my old self out from the attic. Dust off the cobwebs and resume that life again. I could say yes right now to Edward and soon enough, the painful memories of the past year would just fade in the distance, and I could spend the rest of my life reliving the short brief period of my life with Edward that had been more exhilarating and exciting than any life that I could ever have imagined for myself in my wildest dreams. It was all within my grasp.

And yet, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to take it. Because it wasn’t me. Not really. My life with Edward would be an amazing thing. Immortality. Eternal youth. Power. Money. Love. Everything that we, as humans, are naturally dazzled by and gravitate towards. But I knew how hollow those things could be when they were forced on you, like they had been with the Cullens. I was different. I had a choice. And I realized that in the end, I knew what that choice would be.

I opened my mouth to speak, but Edward put out his hand, his eyes glittering intensely.

“Just think about it, Bella. I’m not asking for an answer now. I have all the time in the world. And I can wait for your answer. I can see now that … he is important to you … and that maybe I am too late,” he acknowledged with a deep sigh. “I did what I thought was right and I have to live with my decision. I’m just asking you to think about it. It’s been a long few days.”

I sighed. “I’m sorry, Edward. You have no idea how sorry I am. And maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and think that I’ve gone crazy. But for right now, my answer is-“

“-please, just think about it. Don’t say something now that we may both regret,” Edward insisted, his eyes pleading and desperate.

I made the move to shake my head, but seeing the pain in his eyes made me pause. Then I finally nodded in agreement. It wouldn’t hurt to think about it more. And I had more important things to do right now.

← Chapter 27: Confession      Chapter 29: Girl Talk →

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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