I held Bella closely to my chest as she drifted asleep. Her ex-fiancé, James, had beaten her so badly that he murdered her unborn baby and caused serious permanent damage to her. I was livid. I wanted to fly to Seattle to kill the fucker. No one should ever have to deal with that. And to only get seven years? What a crock of shit.
I looked down at her and caressed her soft skin. Her face was beautiful but I could still the pain of her confession on her expression. Between her eyebrows, there was a deep furrowed 'v.' Her lips were pulled in a frown. In the dim light of her apartment, I can see the deep purple shadows under her eyes. I gently lifted my hand to her cheek and traced my fingers down the curve of face. She sighed and buried her face into the crook of my neck, just like Emma does when she's sick. I pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. I picked her up and went searching for her bedroom. Thankfully, she weighed absolutely nothing and I was lucky to find her room on the first try. I placed her on top of her duvet cover. Her hands tightened on my shirt. "No! Don't leave me," she cried in her sleep. "So afraid. I don't want to be afraid anymore." Her voice broke and tears fell down her cheeks even though she was asleep.
"I'm not going anywhere, Bella," I murmured. I lay down on the bed after I removed my tie and untucked my shirt. I got onto the bed and pulled Bella to my body. She snuggled against me, whimpering quietly. I gently scratched her back and watched her sleep. It wasn't restful. Her body twitched and she actually opened her eyes a few times, searching something frantically before cuddling up to me again.
I heard the rain start around two in the morning. It pelted against her windows. Bella's sleeping became more restless. I held her tighter against my chest. "Shhh, sweetie. It's okay," I cooed. "I've got you. No one can hurt you. I won't let them." I kissed her forehead again and closed my eyes. She smelled so good, like strawberries, freesia and clean linen. I wrapped both of my arms around Bella and I feel like my eyelids are heavy. "I'll protect you, Bella." My eyes gave up on their losing battle against sleep and I drifted into dreamland.
Before I knew it, I felt Bella stir next to me. I was on my side with Bella spooned inside of my body. I had wrapped myself around her to protect her from whatever could get her during the night. She was facing me and staring at me. She gave me a tentative smile. "Edward?"
I blinked my eyes and stared back at her, "Hi," I said intelligently, my voice thick with sleep. I smiled at her and wanted desperately to kiss away her frown. She murmured that I didn't need to stay. I tried to make light of it saying that she wouldn't let go of my shirt, which was technically true. I did remove her hand from my shirt to take off my tie and untuck it. But, I don't think I could have left if I wanted to last night. She was so vulnerable. I had this overwhelming to protect. To cherish. To love…
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