As I was completing my rounds at the hospital, I pondered the situation I had put myself into. I had fallen head over heals in love with my brother’s wife. How was I going to fix this? How did I tell her about my feelings? How much more could I take of living with her and not tell her how I feel?
As I walked to my black Audi A8, 6.0L, W12, I thought of them and everything since that night. After Edward and Esme died, Bella and I had been living in the same house. We helped each other during the healing process of our losses.
We held a double funeral for the two people who meant the most to us. Since they were burned beyond recognition, we had the bodies cremated and put them in our family plot. The statue that we placed there was that of an angel with her wings extended and arms open to welcome them home. The base of said statue bore the CULLEN name and family crest with their first and middle names and birth and death dates engraved on individual head markers at the base of the angel. We had two graves between them for Bella and I when it came to be our time to join them.
Driving through Forks, I thought about how to tell Bella what I was feeling, but still had no idea as to what to say. When I reached the house, it was a different story. The air felt heavy, so I wondered what I was coming home to. Entering the house, the earth seemed to shift; I saw her crying silent tears and my heart fell.
“Bella? Edward wouldn’t want you to cry anymore.” I told her.
“I know but as the days pass, it hurts as much as it did then. Why?”
“I don’t know. It seems that way for me, too. Esme was my world, as Edward was yours. They would want us to move on, though... find someone new to love, and remember them as they were.”
I wrapped my arms around her, held her, then rubbed her back until the tears stopped and the pain went away.
She lifted her head to look at me, giving a small smile as she said, ”I know you hurt as much as I do. The thought of finding someone new kills me as much as it does you. There will never be another Edward for me, as there will never be another Esme for you. Who are we kidding…we died when they did. Would you…”
“Would I what?”
“Stay with me… until I go to sleep? I don’t want to be alone.”
I told her I would, to go get ready for bed, and that I would be up shortly. As I walked into her room, I noticed she was on her side, staring at the floral pattern on the wall, willing sleep to take her. I eased myself into the bed, rolled onto my side, then gathered her into my arms. As I lay holding her, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Keep your control. You’re here to hold her and comfort her. She needs you right now for support... help going to sleep. But damn she smells so good.’
I listened to steady breathing, realizing this was where I want to be. I felt comfortable with her here in my arms.
Sometime during the night, I had rolled onto my back and she placed her head on my chest, sighed, and went back to sleep. I had no idea how long we stayed like that.
A short time later, she muttered, “Carlisle,” which totally caught me by surprise. Did she feel the same for me as I do her? ‘God, I hope so,’ I thought as I dozed back off.
I woke at my usual time, unable to help my smile at her. She stirred before asking quietly, ”What?”
“You were talking in your sleep, and you called for me,” I told her with a smile.
She looked at me, whispering, “Thank you.”
“Staying with me. I slept really well with you here. Thank you.”
All I could do is smile and reply quietly, ”You’re very welcome, though I must say the same to you. That was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a while too.”
It felt right having her in my arms. I stayed there holding her,and eventually, she dozed back off with a contented sigh. A short time later, I forced myself to get up, shower, then get ready for my shift at the hospital. When I emerged from the bathroom, I realized she had gotten up and went down stairs. I was greeted with the smell of fresh coffee as I walked down stairs to the kitchen.
“What are you going to do with yourself until I get home later?” I asked cautiously.
“Try to keep a smile on my face and not pine for your return. You?” she quipped.
That caught me by surprise. My eyes snapped to hers as I smiled and chuckled. When she smiled back at me I said, “Bella, I will be home early today. How do you feel about accompanying me to dinner in Port Angeles tonight?”
“Sure, I’m game. May I ask why???”
“Well, we’ve been cooped up in this house long enough, and I have a few things to discuss with you. Don’t worry, it’s nothing bad... besides, I want to.”
“I should be here at 4:30, so how about we leave at 5:00?”
“Carlisle, are you sure?”
“I have never been more sure of anything in my life, until now. I would like you to wear something nice, ok?”
“Ok, I’ll wear one of the new dresses I got when Alice and I went shopping.”
“Sounds intriguing... can’t wait. I’ll see you later.” With that, I kissed her cheek before leaving for work. She was stunned in silence, with her eyes staring a hole into my back, yet I felt lighter than I had in three years.