Paralyzed

Slow

"I-I just don't know Edward!" she cried, finally bursting into open sobs. "I just don't know!" with that, the door slammed down on my face, leaving me out of her world, her heart shut out from mine. And even in the warmth of the house, I could feel the cold, deadening wind start to creep into my heart that was now broken into a thousand pieces. What had I done?

Bella POV

"We kissed… we kissed… we kissed…" Those two words haunted me all night long, echoing in my head as I clutched the pillow close to me and let the tears flow freely. I collapsed onto the bed, frantically wiping at the tears that trickled down my face. What was wrong with me? I knew that I never truly deserved this fairy tale and that I was using borrowed time, and yet, the pain was almost unbearable. I blankly stared at the ceiling, his startling emerald eyes looking back at me, his trade mark crooked grin firmly in place. The face of the man I had loved.

"The face of a man who cheated on you with his ex girlfriend," a voice whispered into my head and I bit down harshly on my lips. Was that really true? H-he had said that he didn't mean it and that she had come onto him. Was I being unfair in treating him like this and shutting him out? I sighed and groaned into the pillow, my eyes surely red and bloodshot from crying so hard.

I hated that I was feeling like this. Like I couldn't trust him anymore and that everything that had happened had been my fault. Deep down inside, I knew that it wasn't my fault that Tanya had attacked him. It wasn't Edward's fault either. Nonetheless, the feeling of disgust crept up inside my heart and seeped into the deepest crevices of my insecurities. "Face if Bella," its chilling voice crooned. "You're paralyzed. You have no idea when you'll recover and Edward doesn't know that you are recovering. You've always known that you were plain, if not ugly. What makes you think that anything changed when you fell in love?"

I wrapped arm around myself and shook my head, trying desperately to not let the voice take control and win. "It's not true. He loves me," I murmured. "I know he does." I crawled up into a ball on the bed, trying to fight the chill caused by the voice as I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. "I love him," I whispered.

Edward POV

Blank. For the first time in forever, my mind was void of all thoughts, a situation where I would usually be happy about. The cluttering of useless thoughts irked me in day to day situations and I had prayed for the emptiness that was consuming me now, but when it had finally come, I found myself resenting it. "Oh the irony," I spat as I slammed my head into the pillow, wishing for any thought to come and distract me from the raw aching in my heart. I looked at the clock to see how much time had passed. Three hours. Three hours and my heart was throbbing with pain.

"Edward?" a soft knock came from the door and I looked up from my bed to see Alice poking her tiny head through the door. "Would you care to explain why I can hear Bella crying her little heart out in her room? Or why you look like you had just murdered the president of the United States?" She stood by the doorway, her arms crossed, a frown puckering her pixie-like face.

I stared at her dumbly, trying to conjure up the necessary words but finding none. My vocabulary failed me and I sighed, burying my face in my head. "What have I done?" I whispered again as if those were the only words that I could possibly utter.

"What did you do?"

Silence. The room filled with the chilling sound of nothingness until I heard the gentle footsteps of my sister making her way over to the bed. I felt the shift in weight as she sat down, holding my hand in hers. "Oh Edward, what did you do?"

"I stood her up," I murmured, the guilt and shame bubbling up inside me. "I didn't mean to but I did. Tanya called me and begged me to take her back and I told her no. I told her that I wanted Bella and only Bella. And I swear to god I did. I do. But then she started begging me to at least be her friend again. That she was lost without me as her friend and that she missed me. I have you guys as friends but Tanya was different when she was my friend."

I took a pause from my verbal outpour then continued. The words had found me again. "Sh-she wouldn't go and tease me about my problems like Emmett or try too hard to consol me like you or Jasper. And I love you guys for what you do and who you are and I'm not asking you to change and shit, but I loved Tanya's friendship too and I missed it. So I agreed to meet her for coffee."

Alice looked up at me, her lips pursed. "You were supposed to meet Bella for lunch. It was your first time to be alone in public and you missed it?"

"I didn't mean to!" I exclaimed, exasperated. Even to me, it sounded selfish and weak but in that moment, it had made sense. "I had scheduled it so that I would have time to meet Tanya and Bella. And I swear to god that I didn't want anything with Tanya other than friendship. I still don't. Actually, now I don't want anything to do with her. So anyways, I met her and then this waitress spilled our order all over us and Tanya demanded that we go to her house to change."

"And you agreed?" Alice glared at me harshly. I sighed.

"It seemed perfectly innocent, okay? She had a coffee stained shirt and I had a beer soaked one. It made sense to me that I looked nice before I met Bella and Tanya offered me a solution! So I went along with it and when I was changing, Tanya attacked me."

"What do you mean attacked?"

"Jesus Alice, will you let me finish the damn story?"

"Sorry."

I pinched the bridge of my nose and continued. "She kissed me. And I pushed her away. I didn't want that with Tanya; I wanted it with Bella, but Tanya, she kept on trying and when I told her no for the last time, she held on to me and told me she loved me."

"WHAT?"

"She had loved me for a while. She told me that she would fight for me. That that's how much she loved me that she was willing to fight for me."

"You stupid bastard did you tell her to screw off?"

I rose to my feet, shouting now. "I did! Okay? I did! And do you know what she asked me? She asked me what I would do if someone else came into Bella's life and she fell in love with him. I told her that I would fight for her until my heart stopped beating. Tanya, she told me what she was doing wasn't so different from what I would do if Bella was taken away from me. If she was ripped from my arms? So how could I blame her Alice? Huh? Tell me, sister dear, on how I could call her a bitch and a monster when in her situation, I would do that same exact thing?"

The room echoed with my screams and shouts as my sister looked up at me. "So what? Just because Tanya loves you and will fight for you, you lose Bella? Which one do you love?"

"Bella," I answered automatically and my sister nodded.

"Then why aren't you with her Edward? Why is she lying in her room, alone, if you really love her?"

"Because she said she needs time."

Alice shook her head. "Don't. Just don't. Go to her. Right now, what she needs is the reassurance that you still love and you will do anything to get her back, even if that means going against her wishes. You aren't pushing her limit by walking into the room and apologizing and tell her exactly how much she means to you."

I looked at her and sighed. "You really think so?"

"Yeah, I do.""Okay then," I muttered as Alice started to walk out the room with me in tow.

"And Edward?"

"Yeah?"

"You do something like this again and I swear to god, twin or not I will kill you."

Bella POV

I needed to make this better. Staring up at the ceiling for hours didn't help me at all, the clenching in my heart raw and aching. I needed him. I needed to talk to him and see where we stood. If I could give him my heart again after he had kissed her. Sighing, I climbed into the wheelchair, carefully turned around towards the door and rolled out of the room towards his.

"Bella!" I saw Alice coming out of my destination. "What are you doing?"

"I'm-I'm going to talk to him. I need to talk to him," I murmured.

"About what happened?"

I looked up, startled. "How did you know?"

"He told me." There was a pause. "Bella, I know you're hurt but-"

I shook my head. "Don't Alice. I need to do this on my own and I don't need you influencing whatever decision I'm going to make. No offense, but I don't trust your opinion when it comes to this. You're related to him, as his twin, and that would make whatever you have to say biased in some way."

"… okay. Just listen to him, Bells."

"I will." Alice walked past me briskly, hurrying downstairs, obviously trying to give me and Edward some space.

I rolled myself to the door and paused outside, hesitating. Was I ready for this? Should I just let this go for a day or two before talking to him? Would that make my pain any less? I reached for the knob. "It's now or never Bella. You know that whatever you do, this pain won't go away until you're back with him. You know that you idiot. You're in love. And this feeling in your heart? It's heartbreak. Go on, turn the knob," a voice whispered and I did as I was told.

"Alice, go away," the soft, melodic voice that I loved was harsher and scratchy as if he had been crying as well. "I don't need you to tell me shit."

"Edward?"

"Bella!" He looked up, surprised and I gave him a weak smile. "I thought you wanted some… space."

"I did, but I-I just didn't think that I could deal with a giant pink elephant in the room every time you and I will be together in the same room. I needed to talk to you now. And personally, I think that waiting for this-this feeling to fade before talking wouldn't by plausible. It won't ever go away and I know that." Silence. "I need to talk to you," I repeated.

"I know," he whispered, walking over to the doorway where I was and lifted me up out of my chair, clutching me in his chest. "I'm so sorry, love. I love you so much and I know that I should have never gone to Tanya. I'm so sorry."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

I glared. "You know what Edward. Why did you go to her instead of me? What did I do wrong that made you go to her and not me?" I looked away, ashamed by the tears brewing in my eyes. "I don't understand. You said you loved me."

"I do!" he quickly replied, lifting my chin to make me look into those deep, emerald green eyes. "I love you more than the whole world itself. I'd give anything to make you happy. And I've obviously failed at that," he said, his voice quiet, his eyes filled with pain. "I'm sorry.""I just want to know why, Edward. Tell me. You owe me that much, at least."

"I owe you so much more than that. Bella, I never went to her because I loved her, or because I chose her over you. I rejected her for you, remember, love? The night at the bar?" I nodded slowly. "I went to her because I missed her. Not what we had as a couple, but what we had a friends. I felt… suffocated, just being friends with just a select group of friends who were so close and I thought that Tanya was the perfect solution. I missed those days when I could just talk to her without her joking like Emmett or scoffing like Rose or too optimistic like Alice. She was just, always there."

"So you missed her?"

"I never meant for what happened to happen Bella. It wasn't me who initiated it, or even encouraged it. I told her clearly that I was with you and that I was only meeting her briefly before going to lunch with you. I love you, Isabella Marie Swan, and not anybody else."

"I love you too," I whispered and I felt his eyes widen in surprise. "I'll always love you, and that's what scares me the most. That one day, you'll wake up and realize that I'm not good enough for you and you'll leave and find someone better than me.""Never!" he protested. Still cradling me, he carried me over to the bed and sat down gently, clutching me tighter towards his chest. "I know that what I did today was wrong, so very wrong, but I swear to you Bella, I'll never leave you. As long as you'll have me, I'll be here with you."

The two of us sat in silence for a few minutes, holding each other close, neither wanting to let go. But I knew that there were still things to be discussed. Important things. "Where does this leave us?" I asked.

"I don't know. But I want us. I still want us to be together."

"You kissed her Edward," my voice trembling.

"No, I never kissed her. She kissed me. There's a difference," he argued, his green eyes flickering with passion. "I love you and I never kissed her."

"Okay, fine. She kissed you. But that doesn't change things Edward. Not for me. I just-I just think that it made me realize just how fast we were taking things. Maybe this is a sign for us to slow down."

Fear clouded his eyes. "Are you breaking up with me then? Are we going back to just being friends? 'Because I don't know if I can do that Bella."

I shook my head and held him closer. "I can't do that. It probably would be better for us to separate for a while and just be friends, but-but I don't think that I'm strong enough to see you want other people. Have to experience the possibility that during that time apart from me, you'll become someone else's Edward. Not mine. I never thought that I was a possessive person, but I know now. Whenever another girl looks at you like they want you, I want to kiss you senseless… just to show them that I'm yours and your mine." I paused. "That's kind of creepy," I added as an afterthought, giggling nervously. I can't believe I just said that out loud.

"Holy shit," he muttered.

"What? I know it's creepy!" I groaned, thinking of the endless teasing.

Suddenly, he attacked my mouth, kissing me roughly, his lips molding against mine. "Do. Kiss. You know. Kiss. How. Kiss. Sexy it is. Kiss. To hear. Kiss. You being possessive?" he muttered and I moaned.

"Slow Edward," I murmured and he sighed and pulled away, running his hands nervously through his hair.

He chuckled nervously. "Yeah. Slow."

I closed my eyes and sighed. "Slow is better, right?"

"Yeah, I guess. As long as I know that you're still mine, Bella. Tell me you love me."

"I love you."

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