Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 117 - Bella


Somewhere over the Eastern US... Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 10:27 A.M.


I heard Rose's voice gently call my name, but it sounded like it was coming through a layer of fog. I didn't open my eyes or lift my head from the pillow I'd been holding to my chest for the last thirty minutes. Edward had given it to me before I'd gotten onto the plane. It was the one he'd been using since they'd arrived in Florida, so it smelled like him. I was also wearing his dog tags and a new T-shirt that he'd worn Friday after the beach and Saturday morning before he and the guys drove us to the airport. I was as surrounded by him as I was able to get, but...

It's not fucking enough, I cried in my head, squeezing my eyes closed tighter as a new sob wracked my body.

"Oh, Bells." This time, Rose wrapped her arm around my shoulder, pulling me to lean against her, while Alice rubbed her hand up and down my arm soothingly.

I knew both of them had been crying, too. Leaving Emmett and Jasper had been just as hard for them as leaving Edward had been for me. I'd already apologized for crying, but they'd waved it away, telling me they totally understood.

"Just let it out, sweetie," Alice said softly.

Alice's words reminded me of something Edward had said as we were packing my things.

Biting my lip, I shoved clothes into my suitcase, trying not to cry. I'd done enough of that earlier, and I didn't want Edward to worry about me.

Suddenly, a hand closed over mine, and a sweet, tender voice murmured, "You're going to regret not folding those, sweetheart. You know you will. Here." He took the shirt from my hands. "Let me take over, and I'll—"

Whirling around, I grabbed the shirt back from him and growled, "I don't care about the damn clothes, Edward. I just want to get them in there so it's done."

With a gasping sob, I turned back to the suitcase and added the shirt, not caring that everything was getting wrinkled. Breathing deeply, I tried to get my emotions under control, but it wasn't working. I couldn't catch my breath, and I honestly felt like my chest was going to explode.

Edward must have realized because I was suddenly face to face with him, sitting astride his thighs on the floor. He was leaning back against the bed and was cupping my face, forcing me to look at him.

"Breathe, Isabella. Deep breaths. Do it with me," he instructed.

His commanding voice and slow, even breaths broke through whatever the hell was happening, and I was finally able to calm myself.

"Good girl," he crooned. "Just breathe, sweetheart. That's it."

With a sob, I threw myself forward, burying my face in his neck and taking a long, deep breath in, smelling the scent that was uniquely Edward – the soap he'd used in the shower, the detergent I'd used on his clothes, and just...pure him.

His arms tightened around me as he dropped a kiss to my hair. "Go ahead and cry, love. Don't hold it in just for me." His voice broke as his own tears began to fall and he finished with, "Please."

We'd stayed just like that, crying together, until Jasper had knocked once on the door and told us quietly that we'd needed to leave in ten minutes.

"I knew it would be hard to leave," I said, sitting up but not relinquishing my hold on the pillow, "but I had no idea it would feel like this. I feel... God, I feel like someone ripped my heart out, stomped on it a few times, and then put it back in my chest. It would hurt less if it wasn't there anymore, but it is. It's there, and it feels like it's never going to be whole again."

"We know, sweetie," Rose said, tucking my hair behind my ear.

I finally looked up to see tears streaming down her face. When I looked over at Alice, I saw the same on hers.

"I'm sorry..." I spoke softly, my voice just above a whisper. "I know you guys are hurting, too."

Alice smiled, although it came out half like a grimace. "I'd like to say it gets easier, but it doesn't. It just gets a little easier to hide."

Rose swiped at her tears and then mine when I turned to look at her again. "She's right. But one thing we all have to understand is that in three months, they will be coming home to us – and for those three months, they are safe and only a short plane ride away."

Three months had never seemed so long, and even Edward's words hadn't made it seem much better.

I was wrapped in Edward's arms just on the far side of security. As much as I wanted him to be able to walk me to my gate, that just wasn't possible anymore. We were both crying, although Edward was trying his best to calm me down.

"Three months, love," he said softly. "Ninety days exactly until I'm a free man, and ninety-one until I am in Seattle with you. That's less than what we've been through and a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime together we have in front of us. You're the strongest woman I've ever met. You can do this, sweetheart. We can do this."

I just continued to cry, nodding and croaking out that I would try.

Finally, he pulled away, nodding over my shoulder. "Time to go, Bella," he whispered against my temple.

Grasping my face, he kissed me deeply, suckling my top lip and then my bottom, his tongue demanding entrance and stroking mine until we were both gasping for air.

Leaning his forehead against mine, he spoke, his voice rough with tears. "You are mine, Isabella Swan. Remember those promises I made?" His fingers brushed against the ring on my right hand, and I nodded. "Don't forget them. Ninety-one days, and we will start our life together. Know that I am going to ask you to marry me. Once I get home, that's a done deal, sweetheart."

I nodded again, swallowing back the grief that threatened to overwhelm me at leaving him. "I love you," I told him, my voice shaking.

"As I love you," he echoed, kissing me softly once more.

I glanced back over my shoulder every few steps, watching him, until I had to turn the corner and he was out of my view.

Just the thought of our goodbye had my tears falling again. I curled around Edward's pillow and closed my eyes. Maybe if I slept until we hit New York and then again on the plane from there to Seattle, it wouldn't hurt as much as it did.


I'd been wrong, I decided as I got off the plane at Sea-Tac. It had hurt just as much to sleep, because my dreams were simply replays of our last night together, of our goodbye. But I was home now, and I couldn't change our circumstances, so I needed to learn to deal with it. I could break down in private if I needed to, but for now, I would put on a brave face and hope to God I started believing it myself.

We were quiet as we grabbed our luggage, each lost in thoughts of calling our guys.

"Meet you out front in a few minutes?" Rose asked us. We had taken a cab to the airport since it was going to be cheaper and safer than leaving our car in long-term parking while we were gone.

Alice and I nodded, and then we split up to go our separate ways to get some privacy for our phone calls.

I made my way to the Starbucks and ordered a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls before sitting down at a table as far from other people as I could get.

After taking a sip, I pulled out my cell phone, turned it on, and saw the alert that I had one message. According to the time stamp, Edward had sent it right after I'd gotten on the connecting flight in New York.

E: I love you so much, Bella. Know that you made my life when you surprised me two weeks ago. You are an incredible woman, and I am the luckiest man in the world. Call me when you land, sweet girl. xoxo

Tears welled up, and I took a moment to get myself under control before hitting the first speed dial. He would be the death of me... He was just too damn sweet for his own good.

"Bella," he breathed, my name falling like a prayer from his lips.

"Hi, babe." Just hearing his voice was a balm to my aching soul.

"You're in Seattle?"

"Yup, just got our bags and split up to make phone calls. We're gonna meet to grab a cab when we're done."

Edward made a sound of acknowledgment and then asked, "You guys are going from there to the house to get a car and then headed to Forks, yeah?"

"Yup. Charlie wants us to come up for the holiday tomorrow, although I have no idea why. We'll probably go out to the reservation with him to watch the fireworks. They can't shoot them off in Forks, but the guys on the rez can do it down by the water. Less chance of fire there, I guess."

I heard a growl and giggled. "Calm down, Sarge. Jacob knows to stay away from me – and if he doesn't, Rose, Alice, and I will set him straight."

"Mm, he'd better," Edward huffed, making me laugh again.

My laugh trailed off after a moment, and tears filled my eyes again in the silence over the line.

"God, I w-wish y-you were h-here," I stuttered, trying to keep myself under control.

Edward took a deep breath and let it out slowly before speaking. "I'm already there, sweetheart. You know that song, right? Take a look around. I'm the sunshine in your hair, the shadow on the ground. I'm the whisper in the wind, I'm your imaginary friend, and I know I'm in your prayers. Believe me, I'm already there. Ninety-one days and it won't just be those things. I'll be right there beside you for the rest of our lives, okay?"

I nodded, even though he couldn't see me. "Yeah. I want much," I confessed.

"Me, too, sweet girl. Me, too."

Noticing Rose and Alice just outside the doors, I sighed. "The girls are waiting for me, babe. I'd better go. Text you when we get to Forks?"

"Please," he answered. "I love you, Bella."

"God, I love you, too, Edward. So fucking much." I sighed again, hating the damn distance. "Bye, babe."

I listened to his goodbye and then hung up the phone before my tears could really fall anew.



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