My Version of Breaking Dawn

Chapter 3: Return

I opened my eyes, or at least I thought I did. Because, when I did, I saw Edward.
And I knew I was dreaming.
Edward was dead.
I had seen Carlisle, Emmett, and Alice holding his remains. His body torn to shreds by the monster that had once been my friend.
My life was over; everything worth living for was over, gone.
I waited for the pain to come as the realization hit. I would never see Edward again, his perfect face or his crooked smile, or his bronze hair flying in the wind, or his piercing topaz eyes. I would never hear his perfect voice, soft as velvet, sweet as honey. And I would never feel his cool skin on mine, cold as ice, hard as marble.
But as I laid here, in this perfect dream, staring at Edward, the pain did not come. Not as I looked into his golden eyes, or saw his perfect face, or his saw his hair shining in the dim light coming from the window.
But in my dream, Edward wasn't smiling. Instead, his face was full of worry, for me.
"Bella, are you alright?" Edward asked.
"Of course," I said as I sat up. I saw that Edward wasn't alone, behind him was the rest of his family, looking at me warily. "I'm dreaming about you."
"Bella," Edward said slowly, looking at me cautiously now, "you're not dreaming."
"Of course I am, or you wouldn't be here right now."
Edward sighed and then sat down on the couch next to me. He began to lift his hand to the side of my face, hesitated, and then pushed the hair from my face and behind my right ear. The feeling of his cool hand felt very realistic, for a dream.
"Bella, I'm not dead."
"Not in my dream." I pointed out.
"Bella, you're not dreaming. I'm alive. I'm alright. We're in my house and we're together."
"How?" I said, still trying to prove him wrong. He knew what I meant.
"Well," he hesitated, "remember those legends that you heard in La Push a few months ago?"
"Yes." I said as I remembered the time when Jacob Black had taken me to the bonfire party where his dad, Billy Black, had told us old Quileute legends about spirit warriors, werewolves, and vampires. A surge of anger ran through me as I thought Jacob's name.
"Remember that one legend about the destroyed vampire, and how it started trying to put itself back together?"
It surprised me that he knew the story. He hadn't actually been there because of the treaty, but then I realized that he must have heard the story in Jacob's mind (another surge of anger).
"Yes." I said as I remembered; the werewolves had destroyed a vampire who had been killing girls from another tribe. When the tribal elders had examined the shredded remains, it had started to put itself back together. The only way to keep that from happening was to burn all the pieces.
I suddenly understood.
"That's what happened?"
Edward slowly nodded.
I felt like I would explode from the relief that rushed through me.
I wasn't dreaming. Edward had never been killed, because Jacob had forgotten to burn him. He had put himself back together.
I threw my arms around him and pressed my face into his shoulder. I was sobbing with relief.
"It's alright, Bella. It's alright." Edward whispered in my ear.
I lifted my head, keeping my arms around him, and then pressed my lips against his. He put his hand on the back of my head-as if to hold me there-and kissed me back. During the few times we broke apart to breath, I sobbed some more. My heart felt ready to burst out of my chest, but I didn't care. Edward was alive, that's all that mattered. Except…
I reluctantly broke away from Edward, and he let me go. Though he couldn't read my mind, he looked like he knew what I was about to ask.
"What about Jacob?" Now that I knew that Edward was alive, I didn't feel as much anger toward him anymore.
It was Carlisle who answered.
"Jacob is alive."
I turned to look at him.
Alice spoke this time.
"We got there too late. Jacob had already left."
"But why didn't Jacob burn…" I looked at Edward. Not that I wasn't glad Jacob hadn't burned him, but I still had to ask.
"We don't know." Alice answered.
I still had so many questions to ask, but then Edward spoke.
"It's getting late, we better get you back home before Charlie does."
"Alright." That was okay; most of my questions were for Edward anyway. Then I remembered.
"What about my truck?" I asked. My truck was still at the end of the trail on the one-ten.
"I'll get it," Alice said, "It'll be at your house before Charlie gets home."
"Alright then," Edward said, looking at me, "Shall we?"
It was a quiet ride home. I was still in shock from everything that had happened. I decided that I would ask my questions when we were at my house.
Charlie wasn't home when we got there. My truck wasn't there yet, but I knew it wouldn't be long before it appeared on my driveway. I decided to serve leftovers so that I would have more time to talk to Edward before Charlie arrived. Edward watched me as I gobbled down my food, his face still looked worried. I looked at him more closely than I had back at his house and I was grateful when I saw that he didn't have a single scar from the battle.
After I was finished eating, I looked out the front window to see if my truck was there, though I was sure I would be able to hear it, even through the pounding of the rain. It surprised me when I saw it in the driveway; I hadn't heard a single noise. Alice was nowhere to be seen.
When I turned away from the window Edward was standing next to me.
"So, I bet you have a lot of questions for me. Why don't we sit down?" He pointed to the living room.
He sat down on the couch and then held out his arms for me. He wrapped his arms around me after I took my place on his lap.
"Where to start?" I sighed to myself.
Edward waited.
Unable to hold in my curiosity any longer, I blurted everything out at once.
"What happened? Why did Jacob attack? Why was Jacob there? What did Alice see? Why didn't you know he was there? Couldn't you read his mind? Why didn't you let Alice stay and help you? Why didn't Jacob-?"
"Bella, relax, one question at a time."
It was my turn to wait.
"Jacob was there because he wanted to make sure you were alright. The reason he attacked was because he thought I was about to change you…" He paused, watching my expression as I froze in shock.
I remembered how Edward had kissed me before Alice had gasped and Jacob had attacked, how he had brought his lips to my throat while I tried to remember how to breath properly. Had Jacob thought that Edward was about to bite me?
"When you were kissing me…?"
Edward nodded.
"But how did you not know he was there?" I asked after I had recovered from my brief moment of shock, "Couldn't you read his mind?"
"I could. But I was concentrating to block Alice's thoughts, she was getting really distracting, and I ended up blocking Jacob's thought's as well. He was far enough away at the time that Alice and I couldn't smell him."
"Then what did Alice see, after Jacob decided to attack?"
"Alice had seen me in the meadow, after Jacob had left."
I shivered.
"But why didn't you let Alice stay and help?" I asked.
"Bella, did you really think I would let you stay during the fight? And besides, Jacob had no quarrel with you or Alice, just me."
I brushed my fingertips along his ice-cold arm, perfect and whole.
"Why is that?" I mumbled, mostly to myself.
"Why is what?" Edward asked.
I didn't answer. It was silly; I should just be grateful that Edward was alive, but I couldn't help being curious.
Edward groaned. I suddenly wondered if he could still be in pain from getting torn apart and put back together again.
"What is it? Are you alright?" I asked, panicked.
"I'm fine, but please tell me what you were thinking, before I go insane. Even after all this time, it's still so frustrating to not be able to hear your thoughts." He smiled slightly.
I blushed, "It's nothing."
Edward groaned again. Then he turned his gaze back to me and unleashed the full power of his eyes on me. I was suddenly confused, my thoughts scattered by his absurd beauty. Would I ever get used to this?
"Please." He breathed in my face, confusing me further.
"Please what?" I asked, trying to gather my thoughts.
"Please tell me what you're thinking."
I struggled to break my gaze from him, but I couldn't will myself to look away from his perfection.
"I was wondering why you don't have any scars?" I blushed again and, embarrassed, I was able to look away from his now amused eyes and down at our entwined hands.
"That's what you were wondering?" I could hear the smile in his tone.
"I told you it was silly." I said, still looking down.
"No it's not. It's just funny because you thought it was silly. If I didn't already know, I would wonder the same thing."
"Then why?" I asked again.
"It's a vampire thing. Our skin is different from a human's. Only vampire venom can scar us. Remember what Jasper told you?"
I blushed again. It was obvious. Of course their skin wasn't the same as humans. Humans skin wasn't bullet proof, and it didn't shine in the sunlight as if thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface. And how could I forget what Jasper had told me, showing me the dozens of crescent moon shaped scars on his arm?
I suddenly felt a strange sense of déjà vu. Edward's words had reminded me of something, and I tried to remember exactly what it was.
Then I remembered when Jacob had told me about how werewolves heal faster then humans, how he had called it a 'wolf thing.' I looked up and the question burst out of my mouth before I could push it back.
"Was Jacob hurt?"
Edward went still as a statue. Several emotions ran across his face, one after the other: sadness, anger, pain, and others that disappeared before I could identify them. Eventually his face drained completely of any emotion.
"No, I don't think so." He finally answered, his voice also emotionless, empty.
I nodded, looking down again. Relief filled the small part of my heart that would always belong to Jacob.
Suddenly Edward picked me up with one hand and set me down on the couch next to him.
"What-?" I started to ask. Then I heard the front door open.
"Bella, you home?" I heard Charlie call from the front entryway.
"In here dad!" I called back.
A moment later Charlie entered the family room.
"Great news, Bella!" Charlie said the minuet he saw me, ignoring Edward, "Billy called me at the station and said that Jacob was back. Isn't that great?"
"Yeah, Dad. That's great." I tried to sound excited, but I didn't fool him.
"So, how was your day?" He sounded disappointed, probably from my lack of enthusiasm.
"It was good." I lied. I hoped Charlie would fall for it, but I was a bad liar. He looked at me suspiciously.
"Um, if you're hungry, there's food for you in the microwave." I said, trying to distract him.
"Alright." He said. He gave Edward a quick glance, gave me another suspicious look, and then walked to the kitchen.
As soon as Charlie was out of sight, I sighed and laid my head against Edward's shoulder. I felt him lean down and kiss the top of my head, inhaling the scent of my hair. As he did, I felt another wave of relief wash through me.
I had gotten what I wanted: both Edward and Jacob alive, whole, unharmed, and safe. No one had won, and no one had lost. It had been a tie.
But what would happen now? Would Sam consider the treaty broken? Would the war between the vampires and the werewolfs start early?
Horrified by the thought, I curled myself up against Edward's cold body, and I felt calm as sat here with my true love, knowing that my best friend was alive fifteen miles down the road to La Push. It was more than I had hoped for.

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