Disclaimer: We still own nothing except the pain and suffering that we give all the characters.
"Live Like You Were Dying" Tim McGraw
“If Today Was Your Last Day” Nickelback
I tightened my grip on Edward’s hand after I heard the announcement and waited for someone to come and tell me the Emily was gone. Suddenly the doors of ICU rushed open. What I saw had me grab Edward’s hand even tighter. Emily was on her gurney with someone sitting on top of her giving her chest compressions, as doctors and nurses pushed her towards the OR. It was like watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but unfortunately this wasn’t TV, this was Emily’s life in the balance.
I choked out a sob and Edward forced me to let go of his hand and pulled me into his lap where he rocked me, trying to calm me as best he could. I heard a throat clear and looked over my shoulder.
“Ms. Swan, I’m Nurse Shepherd.” I giggled at the name, who wouldn’t? My McDreamy had me in his arms. While Nurse Shepherd wasn’t a doctor, he could give Patrick Dempsey a definite run for his money. Maybe this was just all a dream and I was inside and episode of Grey’s after all.
“Sorry, Nurse. She hasn’t slept yet, and is a little out of it,” Edward said as he attempted to stifle a grin himself.
“I understand completely. The doctors wanted me to let you know that it appears as though there was a second place in Miss Young’s heart that suffered a slight tear, and that is what they believe caused her recent cardiac arrest,” Nurse Shepherd said to us. “We understand her parents will be here later today?”
“Yes,” I told him, as I looked at the clock on the wall. The police contacted Em’s parents after midnight and said they would be on a 6 am flight from Seattle. “They should definitely be on the plane headed here now. The flight is supposed to land a little before 4 pm.”
“Her surgery shouldn’t take that long, but the doctor wanted me to assure you as soon as it is finished you will receive an update.”
As the nurse walked away, I knew there were a few things that I had to do before Emily’s parents arrived. First, I had to go tell Jacob about Emily. Then, even though I knew that this wasn’t likely the right time, I had to tell Bella about what our father’s did.
“Bella,” I said gently as I stroked her back. “I promised Jake. I’m not going to break my promise to him.”
“I understand,” she told me.
“Do you want to go with me?” I already knew her answer before I asked. She shook her head solemnly. We both stood up and I hugged her and kissed her forehead. “I won’t be long.”
I didn’t knock as I got to his room. The breakfast cart was a few doors down, so I knew he had either been served breakfast or would be soon. Jake was propped up in his bed, playing with his food. He looked up at me when he heard the door shut.
“Cullen.” His tone was severe, but he and I had come to an understanding last night. He would be keeping his eyes on me at all times and if I fucked up once, he was going to beat the shit out of me and then he would call Charlie, so he could do the same. I had no intentions of doing anything that could hurt Bella in any possible way. I couldn’t tell Jacob that. What he was going through, was more eye-opening than Granny Platt flicking my ears and showing me how I had fucked up my entire life, and most importantly, how Bella shattered into pieces because of my treatment of her.
“Jake,” I cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and looked him straight in his eyes. He nodded his head at me and I could feel the tension radiating from him. “Emily is still alive, but her heart stopped earlier and they found another tear. The doctors have her in surgery now.”
“Cullen...Edward, how long...” Jake gulped. “I have to get out of this fucking bed. The waiting is killing me. I have to see her.” His uninjured hand gripped the breakfast tray and threw it aside. The tray clattered to the floor as he began to cry. “She can’t die, Edward. Emily and I are meant to be together. Forever...”
A nurse stuck her head in at the commotion. “Is everything okay in here?” She asked us.
“Yes, my friend here is used to having two good arms and grabbed his tray with his injured arm, and well, you can see the result,” I told her, as I began to pick up as much of his demolished breakfast as best as I could.
“Okay. I will get maintenance in here to clean up the mess for you.”
“Um, could you also check with the doctor about when Jake should be released? We were told that he only had to stay for observation and would be released sometime today. His girlfriend is upstairs and he really needs to be with her right now.” I had emphasized the word “needs” and the nurse seemed to understand the point that I was trying to make.
“I can page his doctor and check. I know he started rounds about 30 minutes ago. Hopefully he will be here soon.”
“Thank you very much, nurse,” I told her and I heard Jacob sigh with some relief. He would be able to be with Emily soon. I prayed that she was still going to be alive when he did.
“Thanks, man,” Jacob told me.
“Sure. I need to get back to Bella. I will tell the nurse where Bella and I are going to be waiting, so you can join us as soon as they let you out of here.”
“Edward, you didn’t have to keep me updated like this. I really appreciate you not bullshitting me.”
“It is very clear how you feel about Emily. You have every right to know what’s happening with her. If I hear anything else before you are released, I will be back.”
“You do seem different, Cullen. I’ll give you that, but don’t forget what I told you.”
“Black, you don’t have to worry about me hurting Bella. I know what I did to her before, and I don’t ever want her to be hurt by my hands literally or metaphorically ever again. See you upstairs soon.”
“Sure, sure,” Jacob told me.
Even though Bella was worried sick about Emily, I couldn’t keep the truth from her any longer. She had a right to know about the role our fathers had played in officially ending our relationship.
She was curled up in two chairs in the corner of the waiting room, sound asleep. Even with exhaustion filling her features in her sleep, I had never seen a more beautiful sight in my life. I got comfortable next to her and stroked her hair while I closed my eyes and tried to figure out how I could tell her without damaging her already broken heart.
I must have dosed off, because the next thing I knew I was awakened by the most incredible sensation of Bella curled up in my lap. Her head was nestled in the crook of my neck. One of her hands was playing with the hairs at the base of my neck, while the other caressed my chest.
She felt me stir and looked up at me. I could look into those incredible chocolate eyes forever.
“Hey, sleepy head,” Bella told me, while she continued to use those magical hands on my body. Now was not the time for me to be getting turned on by what she was doing.
“Hi, yourself,” I told her, as I stroked a lock of hair from her face and then continued to rub the side of her neck. “Any news on Emily yet?”
“No news is good news, I guess.” She didn’t look too sure of those words as she spoke them. “I’ve been thinking...”
Uh, oh. Those words hovered over my head like an ominous cloud.
“You haven’t told me a lot about what was going on in your world before you got here. You got to hear all the insane stories about how Emily and I met and how she is always a whirlwind of energy that brings happiness and excitement to everyone around her. Tell me about your friends and family. What has everyone been doing since the last time I saw them?”
Bella wanted a distraction from the Emily situation. I would give it to her and then give her the answers she had been looking for.
“Well, two interesting things came out of me being in my addiction phase. First, do you remember Rosalie Hale? She was as senior when we were freshmen in school.” I could see her searching her memory.
“Oh, yes. I remember her. She had a body like a fucking super model and a mind like Einstein. Every guy on campus wanted in her pants.”
“Well, she is a nurse at the hospital. Her and Emmett got together while I was in there.”
“Really? They would make an interesting couple,” Bella told me.
“That they do, but they are more than a couple. They are married and I am going to be an uncle in a few months. January to be exact.” I grinned. I still found it incredible that my twin was getting ready to be a father. He had matured so much during his time with Rosalie.
“What?!” She shouted, and then looked around when she realized how loud she had actually been. “You are just now telling me that Emmett, the biggest goofball on the planet, is going to be a dad! Holy shit!”
“Those were the exact thoughts I had when he told me.” We both giggled.
“Edward, all joking aside, Emmett will be an amazing father. He is a giant kid himself, so he will definitely be able to relate well to his child.”
I stroked the bottom of her chin and my thumb grazed her bottom lip on accident. “Um, that’s true.” I had to get my head back into this conversation. The feel of her lips, fuck me. I want my lips on hers so bad. We are just friends, I told myself. Friends shouldn’t have thoughts like this about another friend. “Oh, and Jasper has finally shagged...I mean snagged himself a winning girl. They’ve been together since January.” Dammit, he better not be shagging my little sister!
“Really, he always seemed so fickle. He was never with any girl for very long, except that foreign exchange student that exchanged bodily fluids with almost every boy on campus. Who is it that has finally snagged his heart?”
“Alice.” I saw her face fall. I knew that Bella and Alice hadn’t talked since January. They had been inseparable since Bella first moved here. While Alice had Jasper, I had noticed that there was something missing- her best friend.
“Your sister and your best friend?” Besides the longing in her voice for her missing relationship with Alice, I heard something else that I couldn’t put my finger on. “She did always have a crush on Jasper. I’m happy that they have both found someone who makes them happy.”
“They are definitely happy. The little pixie is even more chipper than ever, when Jasper is around.”
“I didn’t know it was possible for her to be even more excited. What about your parents? How are Carlisle and Esme?”
Shit. She just gave me the opening I needed.
“They are still the same, but I did find out some interesting news about my dad and your’s last night from Jasper.” She looked perplexed.
“I didn’t think our dads had anything at all to do with each other anymore?”
“That’s what we all thought. Bella. You remember the restraining orders?” She nodded her head, but I felt her tense from head to toe. “Alice and Jasper went to the hospital to visit Dad and they heard him on the phone with your dad. The phone call was on speaker phone and Al and Jaz heard every word they said.”
“What is it, Edward? You can tell me anything. The truth, remember?” She ran her fingers down my cheek.
“It was them, Bella. They lied- to all of us. There were never any restraining orders placed. Our dads just told us that because they didn’t want us together anymore.”
She jumped off my lap and ran to the other side of the waiting room. Fury poured off her in waves. I got up and started to walk towards her.
“My Dad, he would never hurt me that way. He wouldn’t have lied to me.” I was pissed off. After all this time of Edward playing the perfect gentleman, now he was showing that he hadn’t changed at all. “Once a liar, always a fucking liar... huh, Edward?”
“Bella, do you think that I wanted to tell you this and to tell it to you now?” He sounded almost exasperated with me. “I promised you that I wouldn’t lie to you about anything and I meant it. I will always keep my promises. I promised Jacob that I would tell him about Emily and I have. Do you think that this is something that I actually enjoyed doing? No, I didn’t, but he asked me to keep him updated, even if it was news he didn’t want to hear.” He ran his hands through his tousled hair and began pacing. “I tried to tell you last night right before the police arrived. Don’t you remember that?”
I did remember he was going to say something. I thought he was going to say, “Let’s get it on.” Then the night from Hell happened.
“I know that we both tried to say something before we were interrupted.” He walked close to me and I could see pain in his eyes.
“Bella, I know you don’t want to believe that your Dad would have lied to you about the restraining orders. I was so pissed off after Jasper told me what they’d heard. Once I had a chance to cool off, I put myself in our fathers’ places. I was such a major fuck up. Shit, Bella, that’s the understatement of the century. I just wanted you on my terms and no one else’s. You wouldn’t have gone through the trauma of having shot someone. You wouldn’t have gone through all the mental and physical pain that I put you through. By taking me out of the picture, your dad was trying to make sure that I could never hurt you again. While I might not agree with how they both went about it, we wouldn’t be the people that we’ve become today if we hadn’t had the opportunity to grow-up on our own terms. You became who you wanted to be and I was able to become someone that wasn’t ashamed of everything that he did.”
Every word that Edward told me made total sense. He has proven himself to me on more than one occasion. I sank down into the chair and looked up at him. Charlie was a cop, a job where he served and protected.
I remembered the day of the shooting and arriving to the hospital with my Dad.
“What the hell is wrong with you Bella?” He looked me in the eyes and he could
see that it wasn’t just mental pain that I was feeling right now. “Are you hurt,
I shook my head. “No, Dad. I’m perfectly fine. It’s nothing.” As I tried to pull
my arm away from Charlie, he pulled my shirt sleeve up and gasped. I looked down and
saw a bruise on my arm. It was very clear to Charlie what caused it, since the
bruise was the shape of a handprint... Edward’s handprint.
“I can’t believe that son of a bitch did this to you, Bella!” he said through
“Don’t you ‘Dad’ me right now! Are you hurt anywhere else?”
“I’m fine. I need to see how Edward is. It’s my fault that he’s here.”
“From the looks of things, he got exactly what he deserved,” Charlie grumbled.
“Char—Dad, how could you say that?” I said softly. “Please, I have to make sure
he’s going to be OK. I love him.”
I remembered the look of horror in Charlie’s eyes when he saw the bruises. If he could have ended Edward right then and there, he would have done it. Dad would have done anything to protect his little girl and it looked like that protection extended to lying and possibly even falsifying legal documents.
“Fuck.” I mumbled to myself. I tucked my legs under my chin and placed my arms around my calves. I was trying to hold myself together yet again. All the times I cried because I thought that Edward didn’t love me anymore. All the times I needed to just be near him and was told that he didn’t want me near him. Lies. They were all lies! Edward had never pushed me away. It was Carlisle and Charlie who forced us out of each others’ lives. I saw Edward sit down next to me. He reached out to touch me, then pulled his hand away.
“Bella,” Edward whispered. His voice was laced with pain. “It’s okay to be mad at me. Maybe I shouldn’t have told you.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, so sorry. Maybe I should just go...”
“No!” I shouted as my hand grabbed on to his thigh. “Don’t leave me!” I fought out, as I started to cry. I couldn’t picture any of my life without Edward in it. He was it for me. He was my forever and I wasn’t going to let him go.
“I don’t think I can ever forgive him for this,” I whispered. “I loved you. I loved you with every cell in my body, with every beat of my heart, with every breath I took. When he told me...I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know how I was going to survive without you.”
“But, Bella, you did survive,” Edward told me. His hand reached hesitantly to stroke my cheek. “You are the most amazing woman I have ever met. I thank God each and every day that you gave me a second chance, when I had done nothing to deserve it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend, Edward.” My comment startled him.
“Okay, Bella.” He stood up to leave. “I told you this was on your terms and that I wouldn’t force myself on you.” He started to walk away from me.
“Edward, no! You didn’t give me a chance to finish.” I walked to him and put my hand on his shoulder. He turned and his beautiful eyes met mine. I grabbed both of his hands and held on for dear life, as my eyes remained locked with his. “I don’t want to live without you anymore. I want us to try to really be together again. I’ve never stopped loving you, E. I don’t just want to be your friend. I want us to be a couple again. What do you say?”
His eyes watered and before he could answer me, I heard another voice from my past.
“Isabella Marie Swan, what in the hell do you think you are doing?”