Chapter Twenty-Two: The Aftermath

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Here's this weekend's chapter a little early since I'll be gone all weekend and will be unable to write and upload over the weekend. So...enjoy!!!

Warning: It's a gut-wrencher. Please do VOTE, fan, like, and comment!!!

Love you all bunches!!! Thanks for reading and supporting Evening Star!! 

PS I did a little editing before re-uploading this chapter since I can finally upload to fanfiction.net again. :)

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Chapter Twenty-Two: The Aftermath

As the bathroom lock clicked, seeming to echo throughout the suite, I stood in the center of the master bedroom, shocked into absolute stillness. I'm positive that my jaw was hanging agape. My arms were still held out in front of me, as if to embrace the girl who had been standing right before me and had now locked herself in the bathroom.

I heard a slipping sound, silk against wood, as if Bella had leaned her back against the other side of the door then slid down to sit on the bathroom floor. I thought I could hear the nearly silent path of tears down her beautiful face, and my anger burst into flames.

But this time, the anger was directed toward myself...and myself alone.

I knew that if I heard one stifled sob, I absolutely would lose my mind. So I turned on my heel, stalking across the living room and out the French doors onto the long balcony facing west, overlooking the Seattle skyline and port. Part of me wanted to slam the delicate doors behind me, shattering the glass and slivering the wood, but I restrained myself, closing the doors quietly behind me as I retreated to the far corner of the curved balcony, as far from the locked master bathroom as possible.

There I stood, only vaguely aware of the glittering city lights before me and the darkness of Seattle's harbor dotted only occasionally with lights from bobbing boats. It was a breathtaking scene as the sun rose, but I didn't see any of its beauty.

I was only conscious of a ripping feeling in my stone-cold chest, a tearing and a separating that brought low, agonized moans from my depths. If I had a soul, it would have been shredded. If I were human, I would either have been weeping uncontrollably or been dead already, for no human could survive the extent of the pain I was suffering at this moment. This agony rivaled the horrific feelings that had churned through me when I saw Bella, broken and bleeding, on the floor of the ballet studio, James bending over her fragile body.

At least in Phoenix I could blame someone besides myself—I could blame the sadistic vampire who had tracked Bella down and lured her away from my family; I could blame James and Victoria for playing their little games with us. Bella's suffering then was only partly my fault then.

But this morning I could blame no one but myself. And that fact burned into me deeply, the searing pain reminding me all too much of the agony of my transformation into this living death of vampire “life.”

In my shirt pocket my phone vibrated, but I couldn't force myself to move to withdraw it. I knew it would be Alice, and I couldn't handle her questions and her commentary at present, no matter what she had seen.

I simply didn't care....

Because I had ruined everything.

My phone vibrated against my chest again and again over the next two hours while I remained frozen, my unfocused gaze directed toward the harbor. I continued to ignore the many calls, texts, and voice messages with which Alice bombarded me.

I was past thought, caught in a maelstrom of sheer emotion—sheer agony.

After the sun had risen, I at last heard movement inside the suite, and only then did I regain motion, swiveling my head to peer inside the hotel. My head swam with the movement, something that had never happened to me before, a reminder of my current emotional and yes, physical weakness.

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