Thursday, May 23, 2013 | By: Jenny

Hard to Love Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Present Day
I pulled into the diner on Sunday night, my brow wrinkling at the sight in the window. It was my parents and Bella’s, sitting together. Just before Rose had finished her shift, she’d told me that my dad had called, that I was to meet him somewhere outside the hospital. In other words, he was forcing me to take a break, so the diner was the closest place to meet.
Walking inside, I was greeted by the waitress, but I took my seat between Charlie and Esme. I kissed Mom’s cheek, then turned to Charlie.
Hiya, Chief,” I sighed wearily.
Damn, buddy... Have you even slept?” he asked, gripping my shoulder.
I’ll sleep when she’s home,” I mumbled, looking to Carlisle. “What’d you find out?”
Eat something, son,” Dad said with a commanding tone. “Then we’ll talk.”
I raised an eyebrow at Renee. “Intervention?”
No, sweet boy,” she said with a soft laugh. “We’re just worried about you, too.”
Nodding, I gave in. There wasn’t much I could do about it when those four people were working against me. I ordered a burger and fries, while they drank coffee, and when I’d eaten a little over half of it, my dad started to talk.
Once again, the test results showed that the swelling has gone down some more. Not as much as I’d like, but I’ll take what I can get,” he began, sitting forward and resting his elbows on the table. “As of tomorrow morning, we’ll be weaning her off sedation.”
My gaze met his, and while I wanted to jump up in the air and cheer, the expression on his face stopped me. “Should we be worried?” I asked, taking a long draw on my soda.
That’s why I wanted to talk with everyone here,” Carlisle sighed, glancing around the table.
My mom’s hand reached for mine and held it tightly as we all waited for him to go on.
There are things that tests can’t tell us, things that only Bella can, and I want you prepared just in case something’s...changed,” he explained gently. “With as hard as she hit her head, there is a chance there could be memory loss, brain damage, even neurological damage. We won’t know any of that until she comes around, and that could take a day or two. I just want to prepare you for what may come.”
What do you think?” I asked him.
Carlisle studied my face, but his answer was for everyone. “From what I’ve seen on her X-rays and the MRIs, she looks good, Edward. Best case scenario is that she’ll wake up with a bad headache.”
Nodding, I sipped my soda as Renee and Charlie asked their own questions. It all started to blur together, making my head spin and my breathing increase. The sound of glass shattering only made it worse.
I didn’t mean to break it!” I panicked.
C’mon, Edward,” I heard Esme’s voice in my ear.
It wasn’t until the cold air from outside hit my face that I could finally take a deep breath. Several pairs of hands guided me down onto a bench, but two sets of arms encircled me.
Edward, breathe, sweet boy,” Mom whispered in my ear. “You’re okay.”
It’s not okay. It’s not okay!” I panted, gripping my hair. “What if... What if she doesn’t remember anything? What if she...doesn’t remember me?! Or...or...or what if...”
Edward, you can’t do that,” Renee soothed. “You’ll go insane with the what ifs.”
She’s always been the strong one,” I sobbed. “What if I’m too fucked-up to deal with it?! Look at me!”
Oh, baby, stop,” Renee pleaded, tears filling her eyes.
You are not fucked up. You never have been, kiddo,” Charlie said from somewhere behind me.
What you are is exhausted and stressed out,” Carlisle stated, kneeling in front of me. “It’s a miracle you haven’t broken down prior to this.”
I can’t deal if...if...if something happens to her...” I wheezed.
Esme’s lips met my ear. “Do you love her, Edward?”
You know I do,” I answered almost roughly.
Would you do anything for her?” she asked, and I nodded. “Then you lean on that, sweetheart. You lean on your love for her to get you through whatever’s thrown your way.”
Son,” Carlisle sighed, patting my shoulder. “I’d really like you to get some rest.” He held up his hand when I started to argue. “I can understand that you don’t want to go home. At least come home with us...let me give you something so you can sleep. You can stay in your old room, and I’ll bring you back to the hospital with me in the morning. Otherwise, Edward...you’ll crack. You haven’t had a panic attack since you were in your teens.”
I nodded, swallowing thickly as my heart rate finally began calming down. I looked to Mom. “She shouldn’t be left alone.”
She won’t be,” Renee stated, and I spun to my left to look at her. “I’m going to stay with our girl, okay?”
Buddy, gimme your keys,” Charlie requested, holding out his hand. “I’ll leave your car at the hospital for you.”
Again, I couldn’t have fought these four people if I’d tried, so I finally nodded in acquiescence and handed over my keys, asking them to check on Felix, which Charlie said he would.
However, once I was in Carlisle’s car, I said, “Don’t give me anything. I don’t want it, nor do I need it.”
Dad sighed, but nodded. “Fair enough, Edward.”
The next morning, I felt a thousand times better. I’d pretty much crashed the second my body fell into my old bed. And without nurses barging in every hour and the noises of the hospital, I’d slept the entire night through. By the time my dad pulled into the hospital, I wanted to run to Bella’s room.
I waved to Rose on my way by the nurse’s station, diving behind the curtain to find Renee holding my place.
You look much better,” she noted with a smile, leaning into my kiss to her cheek. “I told Bella you needed the rest.”
Grinning, I bent to Bella’s cheek. “The parents all ganged up on me, Princess. It wasn’t a fair fight at all.” I closed my eyes and nuzzled her temple when the heart monitor bleeped a little. “I missed your face,” I whispered, “but I’m back now, baby.” I stood up straight, turning to Renee. “Thanks...for last night.”
She waved it away. “Believe me, I understand,” she sighed, smiling sadly. “I’ll be back later, sweet boy, but call me if anything changes.”
Once she was gone, I pulled the chair closer and picked up Bella’s hand. “I kinda freaked out a little, Bella,” I admitted softly against her fingers. “See...they’re going to take you off the medicine that’s keeping you asleep, but there could be things wrong that we’ll only find out once you’re awake. I got a little scared, baby. I want you to be okay. But I promise you...I swear...that I’m here no matter what.” I crossed my heart and kissed her fingers again. “I love you, Princess,” I stated simply, shrugging a shoulder. “Did you know that you were the first person I ever uttered those words to? They were so easy to say to you because I honestly think you were the first person to show me what they meant. You’d been showing me our whole lives, so by the time I’d completely handed you my heart, I never doubted a thing.”
~oOo~
Age 17
The glow from the fire at First Beach was bright and orange, casting strange flickers over everyone around us. The November wind was chilly, but the fire was giving off enough heat. There were residents from La Push, some of the kids from school, and Jacob and his friends, of course.
My eyes narrowed on the asshole in question. He was making out with some new girlfriend. It was about time he moved on. After the party at Lauren’s house, he’d tried numerous times to flirt with Bella, using her tutoring sessions as his way in, and it didn’t matter how many times she told him we were together. Finally, she slapped the piss out of him and threatened him with Charlie’s gun, all while barely holding me back from beating him senseless. He somehow passed ninth-grade math without her.
I still hated him, not trusting him any farther than I could throw him, which was something I’d like to try, but at least he left us alone.
Bella scooted closer, her face lifting from my shoulder and blocking everything else out. “Quit staring at him like you can set him on fire,” she stated, grinning when I plastered an innocent expression on my face. “And I’m not buying that, either.”
I don’t want to set him on fire, but...if a spark happens to land on him...”
She laughed, her head falling back. I couldn’t help but lean in and kiss her exposed neck. She always smelled and tasted and felt so good. Her laughter vibrated against my lips, only to settled down into a soft hum of approval when I trailed kisses up to her ear. Even better was the feel of her fingers in my hair that held me right where she wanted me.
We’d been together ever since that party, which was about a year, and kissing had pretty much led to just about everything else under the sun – everything except the one big thing. What we were waiting for, I had no clue, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.
Edward?”
Hmm?” I hummed against her throat.
Can we go?” she asked, her voice all breathy. I loved making her sound that way.
I pulled back, looking up at her. “Where?”
She shrugged a shoulder, but looked all pouty. There were new rules for us from our parents now that we were more than best friends. Sleepovers were out, unless parents were home – and then we were in separate rooms and doors were locked. Grades still had to be maintained, kissing was not for in front of the parents – not that we wanted to – and we’d both been sat down to a long talk about sex and protection and Bella going on birth control. We’d been mortified, but we’d survived it.
Even in the daytime, there were rules. Studying had to be done with doors open and all clothes had to remain on. Shoes were the only thing we could remove. Despite all that, we’d found ways to get around them. My car had seen just about everything, and I could climb the tree outside Bella’s bedroom like a monkey.
Your house,” she whispered, pressing her forehead to mine as her hands were flat on the sides of my face.
We’d be breaking a big, big rule,” I reminded her. “My parents are in Seattle for the night. Some medical thing...”
Her grin was wicked and naughty. “I know. And I’m not due home until one.”
Nodding, I helped her stand, and we grabbed the blanket I kept in my trunk – another item that had seen just about everything. We made it back to my house in no time.
Once in my room, I put the stereo to something low, turning to see Bella walking around my room.
I love your room,” she said, glancing over her shoulder to smile at me. “You have cool stuff...and all the best pictures.”
I nodded, but then shrugged. I wasn’t sure how to explain my need for pictures. I hadn’t had any growing up, and I didn’t even own a picture of my mother. Esme and Carlisle had taken most of the ones on my walls and dresser, even before I’d started living with them. There were barbecues at Bella’s house, where Bella and I were running around like lunatics, the first time Charlie and Carlisle took us both fishing, and homecoming, where Bella had dressed like the princess I always knew she was.
I think they overdo it,” I finally said. “I rarely ask for anything.”
She turned to face me. “They can’t have kids, Edward, so you’re it. They pour all their love into you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
My brow furrowed and I sat down on the edge of my bed. My therapist had pretty much said the same thing. Carlisle and Esme told me every day that they loved me. Bella had even said it the day of my mother’s funeral – that they all loved me. I felt it. I knew I could go to any of them, but it wasn’t something I was used to hearing.
That bothers you,” she noted in a whisper, walking to stand between my legs. “When someone tells you that.” When I nodded, she cupped my face, lifting it so she could look me in the eyes. “I’ve seen your face when they say it to you. It’s like you don’t believe them.”
Shaking my head, I sighed. “No, I do. It’s just...”
They’re never going to hurt you,” she stated firmly, like she was driving it into my brain. Her eyes searched my face when I nodded. “They’ll never leave you. They really do love you, Edward.” She kissed my lips once to calm me down. “What if I told you that? That I would never hurt you, never leave you? I love you, Edward, and despite what you’ve come to believe...it’s really easy to love you.”
My eyes raked over her face, and I could tell that she meant it. Flashes of our long friendship came to mind – holding hands, sharing secrets, protecting each other, and laughter. So much laughter. I couldn’t ever remember laughing with my mother. I cared a lot about Carlisle and Esme, but I’d been with Bella since I was a kid, and she’d never, ever hurt me. Was that love? Was my need to keep her safe, keep her near, and make her smile all balled up into one thing?
I locked on to her dark eyes as she waited patiently for something from me.
You. I love you. Everyone else...” I shrugged a shoulder, letting my voice trail off.
Maybe it was a trust thing, because I trusted Bella explicitly. But I knew it was more than that. I wanted her. All the time. I wanted to touch and be touched, kiss and be kissed, and we could never get close enough when we were alone. Exploring each other had become like a heady, drugged feeling.
Edward,” she whispered, her brow furrowing as she cupped my face.
When her lips met mine, I knew I was right. I loved her. I loved her more than my own life, and no one would be able to break that. Slipping my fingers into her hair and wrapping an arm around her, I shifted her until she climbed on top of my thighs. Scooting us back a little, we laid down on my bed and I hitched her leg up around me. As always, fingers touched and explored, unbuttoning shirts, slipping underneath to feel, caress, and grasp.
My button-down hit the floor and I reached back to grab the back of my T-shirt, yanking it off over my head, because I knew Bella loved the feel of my chest – the skin, the slight hair, the muscles, even a few scars from my childhood. I did the same with her sweatshirt, pulling her closer, because the feel of her skin on mine felt amazing, especially when her nipples were hard. Bella had filled out to a full C-cup, something Newton could only dream about. She fit in my hand, my mouth perfectly.
Shoes were kicked off the end of the bed, leaving us only in our jeans, but Bella stopped us, pulling me on top of her.
I don’t want to stop this time, Edward,” she whispered, kissing my chin. “I love you, and I want to show you.”
Bracing my elbows on either side of her head, I brushed her hair from her face. “I love you, too,” I said, and it came out much more real, more confident. “Are you nervous?”
Yeah, a little,” she whispered, but she was wearing a sweet smile. “You?”
I nodded, swallowing thickly. “We can’t take it back.”
She grinned, grasping my face and kissing me. “We love each other, Edward. We won’t want to take it back.”
What I knew of sex from living with my mother, it was loud and foul. But with Bella, it was quiet and sweet. She changed everything about me with every touch, every call of my name, but it was every time she told me she loved me that made me more confident. We’d made each other come before, so we took our time. It was awkward, but...it wasn’t. It was just us, learning and kissing, a few smiles thrown in when something tickled.
Bella was on the pill, which she took religiously every day on the way to school, but we used a condom anyway. And that was probably a good thing, because I pretty much came instantly, only to start all over again. There wasn’t any pain or blood, only a slight discomfort as she got used to the feel of me inside her. And when it came time to take her home, it just about split me in two to watch her walk into the house.
~oOo~
Present Day
Grinning, I played with Bella’s fingers. “I thought for sure I’d get busted climbing into your window that night, but there was no way I could’ve stayed away from you. Thank God for alarms.”
I kissed her palm, letting my mind wander back for just a bit. Everything had changed after we made love. We’d become so much more – stronger, better – not to mention insatiable. She’d even changed how I felt about everyone around me. It wasn’t long after that when I started calling my parents Mom and Dad, instead of Carlisle and Esme. And when they told me they loved me, I was able to say it back and mean it.
I took a deep breath and let it out. “My dad said that when you wake up, it’s possible you won’t remember some things. I hope he’s wrong, Princess. I hope you never forget that it was you that taught me what love is.” Leaning forward, I kissed her forehead. “I’m not sure I ever thanked you for that, either.”

2 comments:

Evelyne-raconte said...

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ! There is so much love, it's beautiful. Thank you !

Sophi715 said...

You never disappoint! I can't help but believe Bella can hear him...and remembers him just fine. I love this fic more and more every time I read a new chapter...you really have created something wonderful here. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.

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