It was the morning of our flight to Forks. We were taking Coop's private jet, as it was equipped for us to sleep securely on, and we could fly directly to Port Angeles. Esme had surprised me, assuring me she had Edward's old room renovated to accommodate the three of us, when I had a freak-out stage yesterday.
I was worried about Coop not being able to rest with no UV protection in Forks, almost calling off the whole thing, when Esme stepped in to gave me the proverbial bitch-smack that I needed.
“Isabella Marie! Do you truly think we would plan all this and leave out such an important detail? We would never put Coop in danger, and you know that. Edward's room has been renovated to meet Coop's -and soon to be Edward's- needs, plus Coop's jet is already equipped for the two of you to sleep securely during the flight. Now stop this nonsense and calm yourself.”
I had burst into tears, clinging to her, apologizing profusely for doubting her. She just cooed to me while telling me everything was going to be fine.
We were leaving the morning before my birthday because the spell needed to be done either on my birthday or on the anniversary of his death. Those were the only two options we had to bring him back. Lydia was meeting us at the Cullen home in Forks, then we would all travel together to the dreaded cliff.
Coop didn't like that I would be going alone, but I had promised to visit Charlie while in town, under the pretense that I was looking into showing some of my art. I would go for a couple of hours as soon as we reached Forks, then meet everyone at the Cullen house. They all finally agreed, with the stipulation that my phone must be fully charged and on me at all times. I also had to promise that I would text when I got there and left.
The flight to Port Angeles was long, even with sleeping during the flight, but I think most of it was my nerves. Coop was my savior for the many times that I almost unloaded all of my frustrations on Emmett, who was constantly teasing or making jokes. I know it was his way of trying to lighten the mood, but it was seriously getting on my nerves.
Near the middle of the flight, I was so frustrated with everything and scared of what could happen with Edward, that I rushed out of the room, slamming the cabin door shut behind me.
That's when I heard both Rose and Coop lashing out at him. Rose growled loudly, “Seriously, Emmett McCarty Cullen! That girl is so stressed right now, and you're making it worse. Think about if you were in her shoes right now. She hasn't had the reassurance of dreaming of Edward for over a week, plus she's worried that any little thing will ruin bringing him back to all of us. Tell me you would want to hear the shit you're spewing if you were in her shoes.”
Coop was next to say, “She doesn't have the patience of a saint, Emmett. She also has so much more than you realize on her beautiful mind. I think we'll be spending the remainder of the flight in the cabin, Carlisle.”
By that time, I was curled up in a ball on the bed with tears running down my cheeks. I couldn't breathe. My chest felt like it was going to explode. “Carlisle! Bella!”
Carlisle came rushing to my side, looking severely alarmed before he schooled his features and said aloud, “Get my bag, Esme, now! Bella, breathe, Dear. Look at me. Come on... look at me, please.”
My chest hurt so much, my eyes felt swollen shut, and my whole body was trembling wildly. It felt like Carlisle was talking to me from far away.
Coop curled himself around me from behind before making a beautiful sound in his chest. Though it helped, I couldn't pull myself out of the fog that seemed to be settling. I heard a sudden rush of things going on around me, then Carlisle's fading voice saying, “...panic attack... too much strain on her... needs to rest and have as little going on around her as possible... should have stepped in when I heard her heart rate going up...”
The last thing I heard was Coop reassuring me in his tender tone, “I'm right here, Little One. You're safe, and I won't leave you.”
I woke to the sound of whispers. A female voice I didn't recognize said, “She's stunningly beautiful, Coop. I'm glad you finally found your mate. Now we just have to get the other third of your trio back with you, so you can be complete.”
I could hear and feel Coop's smile as he kissed my shoulder before offering softly, “Thanks, Lydia. I can never tell you how much it means that you're doing this for us.”
I curled closer into Coop as I said groggily, “Forgive me if I don't open my eyes to meet you properly yet, Lydia, but Carlisle really whopped me with whatever drugs he gave me.”
I heard her chuckle as Coop stroked my back comfortingly, then heard Carlisle's chuckle join in. “Well, it's not my fault you're a lightweight, Bella. You truly needed them to let your mind go… to allow your body to rest.”
I felt him lift my wrist, then felt his hand go under the back of my shirt as he said, “Stethoscope, Dear... I'm sorry if it's cold.”
I breathed evenly for him as he moved the cold metal along my back, then he said, “I'll continue with your exam once you can open those pretty eyes for me.”
I rolled onto my back, making both Coop and Carlisle shift on the bed, then rubbed my eyes. They felt heavy, but I managed to get them to open slowly. It took me a minute to focus, but when my eyes found Carlisle's, he leaned over me with a smile, “There you are, My Daughter. Follow my finger with your eyes only, please.”
I did, but it felt like he was going too fast. “Slow down, Dad. I don't have vampy speed, yet.”
Carlisle chuckled, then said, “I was actually moving at human speed, Isabella, but it felt a little fast to you because of the lingering drugs in your system. Bed rest for you until they're gone, but I'll put you right back on them if you have another episode. Am I understood?”
I shook my head, truly not understanding, then asked, “Sorry, but I don't know what happened. If you can explain it, then I'll know how to argue validly with the bed rest.”
Coop chuckled, “My feisty kitten,” as I heard Lydia mumble, “She's perfect for you, Coop. I like her already.”
Carlisle calmly said, “You had a full-blown panic attack. You've had way too much stress on your small shoulders, Isabella Marie, and you aren't talking it out... or even getting fed up and venting. You can't continue on like this, or you'll never make it long enough to bring Edward back. There's no way you're arguing bed rest; Jasper let me feel all your emotions while you were out. Your emotions were so strong that they nearly had me doubled over in my own panic attack. This is an order from not only your doctor, but from your father who knows exactly how much you will have to endure to bring him back to us. You need all the rest and quiet you can get, so you can focus when we get to the cliff.”
I bowed my head with a nod, knowing Carlisle was more than right. I couldn't argue with him, so I said seriously as I looked back up into his eyes, “Okay. You're right. I haven't even heard all of what I have to do yet, but I know it'll take everything in me... in us... to bring him back. It's like I can feel it, deep down.”
Lydia nodded from near the end of the bed, her hazel eyes connecting with my chocolate ones as she explained, “It will, Bella. I'm sorry to say that it will take everything in both of you to bring your mate back. It's a horrifying experience, but let me assure you that the end result is more than worth it. My mate is living proof of that, as the same spell brought him back to me just over a century ago.”
I smiled slightly, then Carlisle said, “Alright. Your mother did the remodeling on this room and the cottage, where Lydia is staying. I'm ordering you to take a long relaxing bath with Coop, while your mother fixes you a feast. Once you have talked to your mate during your bath, and you have eaten a sufficient amount, I will examine you again to determine how you're doing. If all is well, Lydia will go over how all this will work, so that you are prepared.”
I nodded, but he assured me seriously, “Isabella, I won't let you risk your health to try to bring him back tonight. If I don't believe you're stable enough, we will postpone until the anniversary, so that your health isn't jeopardized. No negotiations. If he somehow did come back, only for you to be taken from them, both of your mates wouldn't hesitate to torture me endlessly. I will not apologize for valuing your life and my sanity too greatly to take that risk.”
Coop's arms tightened around me slightly, so I placed my hand over his heart as I said, “I know, Carlisle. I won't be taking the chance. Something could happen to Edward, me, or the spell if I had an attack during everything.”
Carlisle nodded while his features softened, then I noticed everyone in the room seeming to relax a bit at my statement. Carlisle patted my leg, “Good. Now I'll go draw a bath for the two of you, then let Esme know about your meal. Shall I have her bring up some tea for you?”
I nodded in response. He stood as Lydia said, “Make sure you talk out your feelings, Bella, otherwise everything will get jumbled up during the spell. It needs a clear pathway to your feelings for this to work.” I nodded seriously, then soon she and Carlisle left to give us our privacy.
Coop and I did talk about everything that I had been feeling, everything he'd been feeling, along with both of our worries and hopes, while we soaked in the steaming bubble bath that Carlisle had drawn for us. Our conversation didn't end until long after he had picked me up out of the rapidly cooling water, then walked us into the luxury rainfall shower. I finally felt calm once we were drying each other off lovingly.
Coop tipped my chin up before searching my eyes. “There's that sparkle I've missed... I just didn't know how to bring it back. Promise me from now on, that when things get stressful, you'll talk it through with me or Edward?”
I nodded as I wrapped my arms around his waist, bringing him flush against me, “I promise. I just didn't know how to put all my thoughts and feelings into words, then everything kept compiling. I feel bad about Emmett being the last straw because it was totally unrelated, but it's what needed to happen.”
Once Coop and I were dressed, he carried me wrapped around his waist down to the kitchen. My face was nuzzled into his neck when we reached the table. I felt him shift a bit as he settled us down in a chair. Carlisle came right to us, kneeling down to where I could see him. “Your eyes are looking much better now, Dear. How do you feel?”
I nodded slightly, “Much better. Calm. Anxious for the spell to work, but calm since we worked through everything. I don't feel groggy or dizzy anymore.”
Carlisle looked up behind me at someone, then back to me, “Very good. I'd like you to eat a good bit for me, as the spell will take a lot out of you, then I'll do the final checkup and Lydia will explain how the spell will work.”
With my nerves not battering my stomach at a constant rate, I was actually able to eat quite a bit. Carlisle looked pleased with my appetite.
My checkup went well. Though Carlisle gave me a significant look when he told me I was a bit underweight, he promised that once Edward was back with us, he would go over a few good ways to help me gain back the lost weight quickly. I nodded, understanding that he was telling me it would be a better idea to start planning a pregnancy after I regained the weight, so I said, “I understand. The three of us will sit down to go over it together with you, as soon as Edward is checked out.”
I hadn't been able to visit Charlie when we landed since I was unconscious, so I wasn't surprised when my phone rang as soon as we left Carlisle's office. I looked up at Coop, then made myself sound tired as I answered it, “Hm'lo?”
Charlie let out a breath, asking, “Bells? You alright? You never came to see me, so I got worried.”
I groaned, “Dad? Oh, God, sorry. I've been from one meeting to the other since I got off the plane, plus I'm still on island time. I swear I've met with a million different art collectors and gallery owners today. I crashed as soon as I got to the hotel, but forgot to set an alarm. Shit, and my flight out is in 3 hours. I'm so sorry, Dad.”
Charlie chuckled, “No problem, Kiddo. I'm just glad you're okay. Promise to take it easy until your flight, and call me when you get settled back in at home. You sound exhausted. Happy Birthday, Bells.”
I chuckled, “Thanks, Dad. I am, but it's because I've gotten too used to the 'no rush' nature of the island, then come here to run around like I never left. It's truly a different world down there. I promise my next trip will be longer, and we'll make a date to spend the day together.”
Charlie was satisfied with my excuse, thankfully. After reminding me to call him when I got home, we said our goodbyes. Coop gave me a sad look, but I shook my head, “It's alright. We're going to be quite busy since we're leaving for the cliff in an hour. This is more important than a couple of hours of semi-awkwardness with Charlie. He'd be all wary and tight-lipped, trying too hard not to say anything that will remind me of Edward. We'll come back another time to visit.”
Coop nodded, then kissed my lips lightly. “Alright, My Love. I just don't want you upset because you didn't get to see him. I promise we'll come back as soon as we have time to settle into life with our Edward.”
I smiled while kissing his lips lightly, whispering against them, “I like the way that sounds... our Edward. Let's get ready to bring him back to us.”