I remained perfectly still as I watched Bella, the only light in my life, walk away from me. It was like my heart was walking away with her, planted firmly at Bella's side forever, as it should be.
How could I stand here and watch her go? Why am I not running after her, grabbing her and taking her as far away from him as possible? I couldn't believe I was letting this happen right in front of me.
I started to shake with anger. But not at him, not at the situation, but at myself. I hated myself for what I had done; all of this was my fault.
And yet she didn't need my help, didn't need my protection. I had grown use to this concept. That I would always be her knight and shining armour. It made me feel like I had some morals, protecting the one whose blood I craved. It felt as if I was making up for my sins by protecting her.
But that was over now. Of course, I should have seen it coming. She was a vampire now, stronger, faster and more powerful. Why would a vampire need protecting? She wasn't my Bella in the sense that she was this vulnerable little person, hiding her face in my chest to protect her against danger. She was independent; she could face danger head on.
She didn't really need me anymore. I wasn't her protector, I was simply her husband.
There was something about that which I despised with a great passion.
"Edward, upstairs now..." Carlisle ordered softly as I watched him kneel beside Esme on the kitchen table. I had almost forgotten about Esme, which just made me hate myself even more.
"No, I'll stay here. You need help, let's take her to the bed, she'll be more comfortable..." I spoke smoothly, trying as hard as possible for my voice not to falter. Carlisle didn't need me to breakdown when he was on the verge of one himself.
He nodded, delicately lifted her in his arms and slowly, human-pace slowly, and carried her up the stairs and to my bedroom where Bella had rested during her transformation days.
"The others are in my study," he thought, speaking through his mind. I could tell that if he tried to talk, his voice would crack. I could hear his internal struggle of trying to remain composed, that the others needed him to remain calm. I wanted to speak words of comfort, but I had none.
I hovered, wandering whether it was right to leave Carlisle like this. But he had nothing left to say to me and I couldn't think of anything to say in return. This had never happened between me and Carlisle, this unexplainable awkwardness was exactly that, awkward.
I made my way to Carlisle study, my mind panicking on what to say to them. Did Alice know? Would she be able to see Bella or would that dog blanked her vision?
I slowly entered the room to see the others huddled around Alice. The second they heard me come in, Alice broke free and ran to me, her face filled with such pain that I couldn't look at her.
"Edward..." she whispered in her mind. I continued to look at the floor as I felt the eyes of the rest of them on me. The tension in the room was almost hostile.
Right on cue, the room filled with peace and calamity, thanks to Jasper.
I could tell that Alice had seen something terrible, her face, the tension, the way the rest of them had been huddled around Alice. Usually, I would be the first to find out what was wrong by reading her mind.
For the first time in my life, I wished that I couldn't read minds.
Everything had been going wrong, Bella was inches from getting killed and I couldn't do anything about it, Esme had almost lost an arm and even Carlisle was losing it. What more could go wrong, if anything?
"Edward, listen to me." Alice ordered so that I was forced to look up at her, forced to read her mind, forced to face the truth.
Truth is cruel, like a twisted, evil sort of cruel. It can release some from a prison, whilst sentencing others to life.
They were taking Verity away.
Renee and Phil had had enough, the supposed robbery, Charlie pretty much going crazy with his theories about Bella, Bella herself never turning up, the rumours about her...
They were leaving, and they were taking Verity with them.
In some ways, this was a good thing. With Verity and her scent leaving, Bella would not lust for her blood. She wouldn't have to be a monster, a killer, a true vampire.
But the cruel part of the deal was for Jacob. They were taking his imprinted love away.
That wasn't even the worst of it. If Verity was taken away from Jacob forever, if Jacob was never to see her again, his heart would be lost forever, as his heart was with her now.
And in the literal sense, with his heart ripped away from him...
He would surely die.