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Chapter 7

The same time

Edward POV

Hours had passed since I had last heard an update about Bella from Carlisle. They had pulled her out of surgery but she was in no shape for visitors. They had said they were taking scans and just making sure everything was alright with both her and the baby.

I had told everyone else to go home, she was out of the thickest part of the woods and they should get some rest. Of course, they refused. So we were all sitting there, some friendly nurses had brought out more chairs after we had been there for about an hour.

When Carlisle came out again he wasn't alone. He was with a doctor, Bella's doctor. Carlile looked at me with a smile on his face, "She's awake." He told us.

I looked to Dr. Quinn for a confirmation, "Ms. Swan is awake, and her scans all came back clear. However, since this is not normal visiting hours we cannot entertain more than one member of the immediate family at a time. And," she added, "She's asking for Edward."

My heart ached. My love wanted me. I instantly stood up, "What room is she in?"

"Room 526," Dr. Quin told me, and I was instantly off. I didn't wait for her to tell me anything else. She seemed to be calling after me but I didn't care, I could talk about everything else after I saw Bella.

I practically ran to her room. If it weren't for the Don't Run signs, I would be sprinting. Either way, I walked as fast as my legs would go up to the fifth floor and eventually found her room.

I walked inside and saw her for the first time. I wanted to just go over to her and kiss her, cradle her, and ask her to stay with me. To be more careful. To swear that she would never get into a car again. But I restrained myself.

Her head was covered in a wrap and her hair had been shaved off. Her legs were just lumps, unmoving under the covers, her face was covered in bruises, cuts, and stitches. But she wasn't unrecognizable. I could still see her under everything, the shape of her chin, her deep brown eyes, and the blood that rushed to her cheeks when she saw me.

"Hey," I told her. I hadn't realized I was holding my breath until I let it go. I slowly approached her. I wanted to make sure that she was okay, she looked so fragile I was almost afraid to get too close, to breathe on her. It looked like anything I did would hurt. It looked like it hurt her to breathe.

I hadn't realized how close I had gotten when she pulled down hard, harder than I had expected on my tie. I restrained myself from doing what my instincts told me to do.

She had no issues whispering, "I do." and to my surprise pecked me on the lips. I had been so nervous that I would break her, but she clearly did not have the same reservations.

The feeling of her lips on mine was something I had been longing for. I hadn't felt her lips for two days and she had just done everything right.

Being acutely aware of the cuts that ran across her face and the bruises that left her a little purple, I gently grabbed her face and pulled it towards mine. I needed something longer than the peck she had associated with her profession of love. I kissed her with as much passion as I could while holding back urges I had to just take her away with me. Take her to somewhere she would be safe.

I pulled away and looked into her eyes, "I thought I was going to lose you, Bella." I said and gently moved my hand along her body to her flat stomach where our unborn child rested. "Both of you."

"You'd have to try a lot harder to get rid of us. I'll always fight to make it back to you." She crooned. It didn't reassure me. She always seemed to get herself in trouble, I wasn't sure I could remember a time when she didn't have a bruise or cut somewhere on her body.

But she was okay for right now. She was alive. This was the first time she had really scared me. The first time I was worried about her life. And I was sure it wouldn't be the last.

That was when her words finally sunk in, make it back to you she had said. "Where were you going, Bella?"

I awaited her answer. I felt like I deserved to know, she had gone from our wedding and hadn't told anyone.

"Does it make a difference?" She asked me.

"Well, maybe." I lied. She didn't need to tell me anymore. I already knew. She had run, but I didn't care. She was always going to be my Bella, and she was always going to be welcome to share my life with me. I just hoped she wanted to. "It doesn't change my feelings for you. I'll always love you. I just need to know what pushed you to leave, was it something I did? Or did you just forget something." I tacked the last part as an afterthought. Maybe give her an easy lie to tell in case she wanted to spare my feelings.

I half expected her to lie but when it came out I could tell she was telling the truth, "I don't really know." My heart trembled at the idea, the possibility that it could have been me she had been running from. The truth that she had left me and had run from the wedding hurt more than I could imagine.

"I was telling my mom that I was nervous and she said I didn't have to do it. I ran, but I didn't leave you. I left the wedding." She spoke quickly and there wasn't enough time for me to process the words, only listen to them as they came pouring out of her swollen mouth, I never wanted to run from you. I ran because I was scared to go up to the front, all eyes on me, and profess my love for you. I don't want our love story to be a front, I want our love story to be the plot. I just didn't think a wedding was the best way to do that."

I paused for a second trying to understand what she was telling me, she was just scared of the wedding. The thought, the idea of a wedding had pushed her to run. So why had she gone along with the plan in the first place? Why had she let Alice plan such an enormous wedding? Why hadn't she told me? "Bella if a wedding scares you then why did you let us plan it in the first place?" The question came out a little harsher than I intended but I hoped she didn't notice. I still wasn't sure what to think.

"I thought it would make everyone happy." She said and pulled up her covers on the bed "I thought it would make you happy." I had decided that Bella was telling the truth. There was nothing in her voice or in her face to make me think otherwise.

She had thought I wanted this? Sure maybe I wanted my family and Jasper there but I hadn't wanted everyone. Alice invited 300 people to this wedding, I didn't even know I knew that many people. But if Bella wanted the two of us and the courthouse then I could do that too, "Bella, I want you to be happy." She was the only thing I actually needed at the wedding, and as long as she became my bride, everyone else could deal. "I don't care if it would make the president happy you are the only thing I care about."

I bent down to give her forehead a kiss, "Bella I didn't want this either, but I thought you did, Alice had told me that you were as involved in the planning as she was."

"Alice." She muttered under her breath. I smiled, it was so Bella to be angry at a time like this, where her life was just in danger but she was worried about being able to take out her frustrations.

I kissed her forehead again and pulled a chair to sit down next to her, "Let's go, you, me, and the baby to the courthouse as soon as you can get out of here. No pictures, no wedding, just a marriage license, and a name change so I can finally call you Mrs. Cullen."

She nodded her head but winced at the pain, "Nothing would make me happier."