“I promise you that I will do my best to keep you safe.”
“You can’t be with me twenty-four hours a day, Edward,” I said dejectedly.
“I could. If you move in with me,” he suggested.
“What?” I squeaked. “It’s too soon. Edward, what would Emma think? Jessica? Your family? No…we can’t move in together.”
“Bella, breathe,” Edward murmured as he pulled to his chest in a warm hug. “It was just a suggestion.”
“It’s too soon,” I reiterated.
“Probably, but I need to keep you safe,” he sighed as he kissed my shoulder. “You seem calmer. Your heart is stammering out of your chest.”
“I don’t think I can sleep, though,” I sighed. “Nightmares.”
“Let’s watch a movie or something,” Edward said as he scooped me up.
“Jesus. You pick me up like I weigh nothing,” I breathed as I clutched to his neck.
“That’s because you do,” he smirked. He carried me to the couch in the family room. “What do you want to watch, my love?”
“Something humorous,” I replied. Edward perused my videos and found one that he liked. Popping in the 40-Year-Old Virgin, he settled behind me and we watched the inane humor of Steve Carrell until the sun came up. Edward eventually dozed off as he held me. My mind wouldn’t shut off, though. I removed myself from Edward’s embrace. Staring at his face, he looks so innocent in slumber.
I can’t let him get hurt.
As happy as I’ve been, I refuse to let James ruin Edward and Emma’s lives. I needed to end this now. But, I didn’t know how. For the first time in my entire life, I felt loved and cherished by a man who wasn’t my dad. I felt protected. This was bigger than that. It was Edward’s life. Emma’s life too.
I dressed in some warm clothes and headed downstairs to my car. I don’t know what I was thinking but the next thing I knew, I was parked at the shore of the Lake Michigan. I walked to a picnic table and sat down, huddled in my winter coat. I shivered as the tears fell down my cheeks. There were days where I wished that James had succeeded in ending my life. Today was one of them. Instead of enjoying the New Year with the love of my life, I’m sobbing in the frigid cold next to Lake Michigan.