“Isabella.” He pronounced my full name carefully, then playfully ruffled my hair with his free hand. A shock ran through my body at his casual touch. “Bella, I couldn’t live with myself if I ever hurt you. You don’t know how it’s tortured me.” He looked down, ashamed again. “The thought of you, still, white, cold . . . to never see you blush scarlet again, to never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretenses . . . it would be unendurable.” he lifted his glorious, agonized eyes to mine. “You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever.”
She held the phone out toward me. I ran to it.
“Hello?” I breathed.
“Bella,” Edward said.
“Oh, Edward! I was so worried.”
“Bella,” he sighed in frustration, “I told you not to worry about anything but yourself.”
It was so unbelievably good to hear his voice. I felt the hovering cloud of despair lighten and drift back as he spoke.
“I miss you,” I whispered.
“I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It’s like you’ve taken half my self away with you.”
“Come and get it, then,” I challenged.
“Soon, as soon as I possibly can. I will make you safe first.” His voice was hard.
“I love you,” I reminded him.
“Could you believe that, despite everything I’ve put you through, I love you, too?”
“Yes, I can, actually.”
“I’ll come for you soon.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
There was a piece of white paper folded on my seat. I got in and closed the door before I unfolded it. Two words were written in his elegant script.