Chapter Twenty-Three: Advice and Assistance

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Chapter Twenty-Three: Advice and Assistance

Despite the beauty of the meadow that I have shared with Bella for the last few months, the painful thoughts of losing Bella distracted me from my few stolen moments of peace. No longer could I relax into the cool grass beneath me. No longer could I enjoy the soft breezes, the wide variety of blooming wildflowers, nor the silence that had calmed my mind only moments ago.

My own thoughts tortured me far worse than the cacophony of minds which usually intruded my beleaguered brain.

Abruptly I sat up, my cheek leaning against my knees as I began rocking back and forth, attempting somehow to relieve the agonizing thoughts. But even rolled into a fetal position, gripping my legs with both arms, I could find no lessening of the stabbing pain that buffeted me so cruelly.

Would Bella allow me to apologize?

But I knew that an apology, no matter how sincere, was not going to restore our relationship to what it should be. As always, Bella would be generous in forgiving me—holding a grudge was not part of her nature—but a wall had been erected between us in that Seattle hotel suite, and I would have to tear it down before we could truly be us again.

But how?

I racked my brain to no avail. Nothing came to mind, not a single idea of how to fix this painful situation I had so carelessly and thoughtlessly created.

But at last a thought passed through my mind, and I found myself on my feet, racing away from the beautiful place that was so very empty without the bright sunshine of my Bella's sweet presence. The meadow, beautiful though it was, held no peace for me without her.

However, I knew someone who could help me. Blurring with speed, I shot toward the large white house along the river, seeking the assistance I needed so desperately.

Carlisle was one of the few people I have always been able to depend upon. He would not judge; he would seek practical means to help Bella and me. I could trust him to see both sides of the issue impartially, and he would not mince his words...he would tell me the truths I knew I needed to hear.

My jaw tightened at the remembrance of the thoughts of my family that would bombard me as I approached our home. But I needed Carlisle's fatherly advice far more than I dreaded my family's diverse opinions, all of which were unfortunately an open book to me.

So I continued home, gaining my goal in mere minutes. Resolutely I closed my mind to my parents' and siblings' thoughts—I didn't need anything else to upset or distract me right now when I was focused on my purpose.

As I leaped the porch stairs in one stride and pushed the front door open, the power of my family's unspoken opinions crashed upon me, stunning me despite my expectations.

Idiot. Why can't he just leave the stupid human alone? He's going to do something so...Edward...and we'll end up having to relocate. I like this place. He's not forcing me to leave it! Rosalie huffed, refusing to look my direction.

Catching my eye, Emmett glanced up from the sofa where he sat with Rosalie, TV remote in hand. God, you look terrible. I thought that a “romantic evening” with Bella would have put you in a much better mindset, he grinned, winking.

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