I was leaning against Edward’s chest, finally feeling at ease in my skin for the first time in my entire life. Edward was almost purring with contentment as his fingers gently glided along my arms. His eyes were the most vibrant green, but swirling with love and protection. “Is it coming back to you?” I asked.
“Bits and pieces. Flashes of our history, but it’s all muddled,” he replied, his voice vibrating in my body and his accent making me tremble. “But, now, I’m just angry at what happened to you. To us.”
“Why are your angry? You didn’t trick me,” I said, turning around and putting my hands on his face, my thumb tracing his tattoo. “Jacob is a part of the bigger problem. He wants us to be disorganized, sloppy.” He frowned, taking my hand and kissing my palm, inhaling my skin. I bit my lip, wanting to feel his lips on mine. With a low snarl, he jumped back and curled up into a ball. “Why? I liked it.”
“So did I,” he growled. “Bella, you’re still married. I can’t … not until it’s official. I’m still bound by my ethics as an attorney.”
“I understand,” I said. Though, the rejection stung. He got up and moved closer, taking my hands. “Edward, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”
“I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you,” he whispered. “I felt that I hurt you.”
“You didn’t hurt me,” I argued.
“Liar,” Edward said, his fangs flashing and his eyes lightening, looking almost silver. “I felt your pain. The rejection.” I felt my face flame and my hands shimmered with heat. He took my hands in one of his, cupping my cheek with his other hand. “I want you. Believe me.”
“Okay,” I said, the heat changing into something else, a burning desire deep in my belly for him. “This is surreal.” He nodded, idly playing with my fingers and the quiet, rumbling purr came from him again. “I feel in control, but not. Does that make sense?”
“It does. I know that we will have to learn how to use our powers,” Edward said, his fingers tracing the subtle markings along my arms. “Carmen can do that. At least, I hope she can.”
“I want to know about my mother,” I whispered, capturing his hand and seeing the slight scars along his wrists. They were not bite marks. “Did you …?” I looked up at him, holding his wrist.
“It was a part of the reason why I was hospitalized,” he said. “I was overwhelmed, out of control and lost. I completely lost my cool in the courtroom and I left before the end of the day, before the judge called for a recess. I drove to my penthouse apartment, desperate to get away. In my apartment, I found a serrated knife. I started, at first, by cutting my skin just to see the blood and to feel anything other than anxiety, emptiness or fear. It gave me a sense of control. But, I didn’t want to be there anymore. So, I pressed harder, causing the blood to flow freely. I was entranced as I watched it ooze out of my wrist. Alice found me.”
“How bad was it?”
“Not too bad, physically. Mentally, I was admitted into a psychiatric ward and then into a private facility. I was diagnosed with depression, and anxiety disorder. In retrospect, I think that’s when I began to feel off and out of control. That’s when my skin began to feel cold and colder temperatures didn’t bother me much,” he chuckled. “But, my adoptive parents … they hated the perceived weakness. I was …”
“They are monsters,” I growled. “You’re their son, regardless of blood relationships or not. They agreed to care for you. Love you and they abandoned you?”
“I came to grips with their decision a long time ago,” Edward sighed.