Fire of Your Soul ~ Chapter Twelve

Thank you, again, for sticking with us and for leaving a review, if you did. We appreciate you sharing our love of Twilight. Unfortunately, this is not ours. We just like to play with the characters created by Stephenie Meyer.

Up next, we’ll hear a bit from Bella and move forward in time. What will be her decision? We’re also going to find out a bit more about the firebug wreaking havoc in Seattle. What is the connection?

Chapter Twelve

  She took his hands and cupped his cheek. His face blurred as more tears fell onto her cheeks. Leaning forward, she kissed him and reveled in the softness of his lips. Pulling back, she stood up on shaky limbs. Edward did the same, his heart shattering. “I know what you told me tonight was tough to say. It was beyond difficult to hear. I need time, Edward. Time to process what you told me.”

“I understand,” he said. “Do you want me to take you home?”

Bella nodded. They walked back to Edward’s Bronco. The ride back to her home was tense and silent. The only comfort that Edward held onto was that Bella’s fingers were threaded with his. Once he pulled up to the condo, he parked the car. “Do you want me to walk you up?” he asked.

“Not tonight,” she replied, her voice cracking. “I need time, space to think about what you told me.” Bella opened the door and walked on unsteady legs into her building.

“I love you …” Edward muttered in his empty car. “I’ll always love you.”

Woodenly, Bella walked into her complex. She barely acknowledged the security guard, waving her hand weakly. Her mind was repeating Edward’s confession, over and over again. The nightmare of losing her sister was replaying in her memory and the man that she’d finally let into her heart was the person responsible for her death. Unlocking the door, she pushed inside and walked directly to the refrigerator. Grabbing a bottle of wine, she uncorked it and drank it directly from the bottle.

Numb. I need to be numb, she thought to herself desperately.

Before she got too drunk, she sent a text to Victoria and Maggie, saying she needed to take a sick day. Thankfully, tomorrow was Friday. She was not on call over the weekend. She needed this time to just crumble. She so rarely took days off, but the bomb that Edward dropped definitely necessitated time away from her job. Bella needed to process this.

Bella turned off her phone, tossing it into a drawer. Swiping her bottle and a blanket from the couch, she walked outside and lit the fire pit. She kicked off her shoes, curling up on the outdoor chaise and drank herself into a stupor.

No, not stupor … back into numb. I needed to be numb. No more feelings. No more pain. No more loneliness.

“Angela, I miss you,” she whispered, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Why did you have to go away?”

She stayed outside, drinking the entire bottle of wine. She stared, unseeing, into the flames dancing in the fire pit. When a storm came rolling in, Bella tightened the blanket around her shoulders but didn’t move. The cold rain helped. It rebuilt the walls around her heart, reinforcing her anguish. The freezing water helped her fall deeper into the numbness, the emptiness.  The rain camouflaged her tears. The thunder drowned out her sobs and when the rain stopped, it helped dull her agony of losing her sister, a raw open wound that had been torn to shreds with Edward’s confession. Bella was exhausted from her emotional loss of control.

Understandably, so.

Dragging her wet and weary body into her condo, she blindly walked to the bathroom. She stripped out of her ruined clothing. Stepping into the shower, she warmed her body up, but her heart was frozen. Her lips were blue from being outside in the freezing rain for hours. After blow-drying her hair, Bella stumbled into the guest bedroom. She couldn’t sleep in her bed.

Not there.

She’d given her body, her soul to Edward in that room and just being in there cracked the fragile walls rebuilding around her heart. Curling up underneath the duvet cover, she cried herself to sleep.

Her sleep, however, was not restful. Nightmares assaulted her mind. Nightmares of her sister falling to her death, being burnt alive. However, in these dreams, Edward was standing off to the side allowing her to fall, even though she cried out for him to save her. Staring at her impassively, not caring if she’d fallen or not.

Her worst nightmare.

~o~o~o~o~

Early the next morning, Edward walked in like a zombie into the coffee shop. He had tossed and turned the previous night, battling nightmares of that night. Instead of losing Angela, he’d lost Bella. It was Bella who had fallen to her death, screaming for him. Her last words from her bloody lips were that she loved him. When Edward woke up, his heart shattered at the cruel way his subconscious was torturing him.

He’d given up on sleep after that. So, he went for a run and got ready for work. He’d hoped, in his heart of hearts, that Bella was sitting in their booth.  The reality was that there was an older gentleman sitting there, working a crossword puzzle and eating a blueberry scone.

With a sigh, Edward walked to the register and ordered his coffee, to go. Paying for his beverage, he looked longingly at the booth before driving to the firehouse. He might as well fall into old patterns … working to dull the pain.

Unfortunately, his plan wasn’t working.

Each morning, Edward went to the coffee shop in hopes of seeing Bella. He was disappointed each time. So, he dove head-long into investigating suspected arson fires. He was working on the more active cases, but Rose was focused on a string of older cases. She believed they were all connected.

A week after Edward had dropped Bella off at her condo, he walked into the lab. He dropped off a cup of coffee to Rose. “Thanks, Edward,” she said, taking a sip of the hot beverage. She looked up at him, frowning deeply.  “You look like shit. Bella still hasn’t called you?”

“Thanks, Rose,” he deadpanned, scowling at her. “I really don’t need the commentary on how shitty I look. I do see myself in the mirror each morning.”

“She still hasn’t called you?” Rose repeated, staring directly at him with a quirked brow.

“Nope,” he grumbled.

“Do you blame her?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.

“Not really. I just hoped that she’d … I don’t know …” he shrugged, giving up on ever hearing from Bella again. With a sigh, he redirected the conversation away from his relationship woes. “What are you working on? Those same cases?”

“Actually, now I’m looking at some current cases, too. You remember the rug store? Rudy’s? The barber shop?” she said, pulling out the files. “Both of these cases have some similarities with each other and with another case that happened about five years ago.”

“What’s that?” Edward asked. “What are the similarities?”

“Well, when we arrived, it appeared that the fires were accidental, but upon further investigation, they weren’t,” Rose explained, pulling up a file on her computer. “The first clue is this.”

“The fire patterns on the floor,” he muttered.

“Then, there’s this,” she said. “They both have deliberate electrical wiring issues. Their inspections, however, were clean and up to code. The inspections were recent, within a couple of days of the fires. These fires were set deliberately.”

“Yeah, we determined this, Rose,” Edward said. “Did you ever figure out the accelerant?”

“Still trying to determine that,” she answered. “Whatever it was in all of the locations. The flame patterns are almost identical.”

“You said you also found proof that there was another fire with the same signature?” Edward asked.

“I found an older case with the same clues,” she breathed, digging into a box. She tugged out a thick file and dragged her partner next to her. “An old apartment fire, off Boysenberry. It was near Benaroya Hall.”

“Fuck,” Edward spat, scrubbing his face.

“What?” Rose asked.

“I worked that fire, Rose,” he said, his vision narrowing. “It was the fire that …”

“Oh, shit,” she whispered. “I’m sorry. I’m such an insensitive bitch.”

“No, you were looking for similarities to the previous fires,” he whispered. “How did you link this together?”

“I did a search on the computer,” she answered. “It’s all exactly the same, Edward. The ‘accidental’ spark to begin the fires, with the use of an accelerant to fan the flames, recent clean inspections with obvious tampering of electrical wiring.”

Edward sat down, reading Rose’s findings. She was meticulous in her research, discovering the connections among all of the fires she’d linked together. “I want to look into this further, Rose. Do you mind if I take over your investigation?”

“Actually, I would love another set of eyes to look this over. I’ve read the reports so many times that the words are blurring together,” she breathed. “I’ll take over your cases if you could find more connections with these three.”

“I think that we need to bring these to Charlie,” Edward said.

“Not yet,” Rose disagreed. “I want you to find the connections and type up a separate report.”

“Okay, I got it,” he nodded.

Rose smiled, rubbing Edward’s back as she took over his station. Edward began his own research by reading the report about the worst day in his career as a firefighter.

Nothing like rubbing salt in an already festering, rotting wound.

~o~o~o~o~

Like Edward, Bella was a zombie. She was focused on her patients, solving their problems and ignoring her own. Her cell phone was only on while she was at work. She ignored phone calls from Alice, Rose, and her parents.

She needed space. Didn’t they understand that?

When she wasn’t at work, she was drinking herself stupid and falling into an alcoholic-induced coma every night. Her nightmares were hellish, awful. Edward’s admission had reopened the pain of losing her sister all over again.

“Knock, knock.”

Bella looked up and saw Victoria standing at her office door. “Hello, Victoria. I haven’t seen you in forever,” she said, smiling. But, it was a fake smile. Inside, Bella was empty, hollow.

“I wanted to check in on you,” she replied, walking into Bella’s office and closing her door. She sat down, crossing her legs and looking at the younger woman. “You never have taken any time off and when you called in sick last week, I was surprised, to be honest. Then, this week, you’re spending every waking hour here at work. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Bella answered airily, waving her hand. “I just wanted to submit some paperwork for that clinical trial. They needed a progress report on the status of the drug’s performance. Plus, I had to catch up on my charts.”

“Bella, I’m not talking to you as your boss, but as your friend,” Victoria said calmly. “You’re here, first thing in the morning, maintaining your office hours, then spending countless hours in the lab and you leave well after midnight.”

“It’s not a crime to work too hard,” Bella snapped. “I have several patients that are hoping for a miracle. I want to give that to them.”

“At the risk of your own health? Career? Bella, you’re burning your candle at both ends and in the middle,” Victoria chided gently. “I’d figured you’d want to be with your boyfriend.”

“What?” Bella whispered.

“You think I don’t read the papers? This picture posted from the benefit with you on the arm of the mayor’s middle son is beautiful,” Victoria smirked, sliding her cell phone across Bella’s desk. “He’s probably the most handsome of the Cullen sons. You make a striking couple.”

Bella looked at the photo on Victoria’s phone. Edward was looking down at her, his gaze soft. His arm was around her waist protectively. Bella caressed Edward’s face on the screen of the phone as memories of that night flooded her brain. The way he looked at her lovingly when they’d made love for the first time. After they’d shared that moment, the gentle way he took care of her afterward and how he curled around her, needing to be as close to her as possible.

Shaking her head, she handed Victoria back her phone. “We did make a striking couple, but something happened. It’s all moot.”

“Well, since I canceled all your appointments for the rest of the day, you’ve got the time to tell me,” Victoria retorted.

“I had a full schedule, Victoria,” Bella argued. “Follow-ups, initial consultations, and …”

“The appointments are being rescheduled with your partner,” Victoria explained. “She’s just as capable as you.”

“No, she’s not,” Bella grumbled.

“Maybe not, but the follow-up appointments are being handled by her. Maggie is rescheduling your consultations for next week. We’re going out to eat and you’re going to tell me why you’re not riding that baloney pony as often as you can,” Victoria grinned. “Grab your purse.”

“Where are we going?” Bella asked.

“White Swan Public House,” Victoria smirked. “Fitting, Dr. Swan? Hmmmm?”

“Very,” she deadpanned.

The restaurant was close by and they walked there. It was a sunny day, but chilly. After settling into the seats and ordering their early dinner, Victoria took a sip of her glass of whiskey. “You’ve been like a cast member of the Walking Dead. Talk to me, Dr. Swan.”

Bella blew out a breath. She told Victoria about her sister, her death and how Bella adjusted to it. More specifically, how she shut off her heart after Angela died. Her relationships were non-existent, except with her parents. Even, that was a struggle. “It’s hard to be home when you share a face with someone who died,” Bella said, her voice dark and angry. “Angela and I were so different. She was graceful, soft, elegant, silly, goofy. I was more analytical, brash, sarcastic, snarky and detached. She was a musician, artistic. I’m a doctor … more focused on facts than aesthetics. We were as different as night and day. I don’t know how to be soft. It’s not in my personality. I can solve problems, not be all touchy-feely.”

“Not with your patients,” Victoria argued. “You’re empathetic with them.”

“I’m very analytical with them,” Bella snorted. “How else do I get the results I do?”

“True,” Victoria said. “So, how does this hunk of Cullen deliciousness fall into what you’re dealing with?”

“He was there. That night,” Bella answered, swallowing the lump forming in her throat. “Edward was the firefighter who entered Angela’s apartment and he dropped her from the window to her death.”

Victoria arched a brow. “Really?

“Okay, he didn’t deliberately drop her. He said that there was some sort of explosion, and he lost his grip. She fell. However, he knew this. He’s known this since the moment I met him at the appointment with Esme. Again, I share a fucking face with Angela. Yes, we have differences … my hair is longer, curlier, but the face is exactly the same. It’s a little hard for him to not notice. He had so many opportunities to tell me about that night. Damn it, we had coffee almost every morning together and spent hours on the phone with each other. Why didn’t he tell me earlier?”

“Would you have even entertained the idea of having a relationship with him if you’d known?” Victoria asked.

“I don’t know,” Bella answered. However, in her mind, she thought that if she’d known, she would have walked away. Too much history. Too much pain. 

“In your eyes, is this tidbit of information unforgivable?” Victoria asked. “Do you have feelings for him?”

“That’s why I’m a fucking mess. On top of all of that, Edward told me he loved me,” she said. “Does he love me? Or does he love the ghost?”

“Oh, Bella, I doubt that he fell in love with a ghost. He met Angela for a moment. He’s known you for months. You are a snarky pain in my ass, but you are so amazing. What’s not to love?” Victoria said, taking Bella’s hand. “But, back to my original question. Is that information he shared with you unforgivable? Do you truly think that he deliberately hurt your sister? Deliberately hurt you?”

“I talked to my dad and he said that not even Superman could have kept a hold onto Angela that night,” Bella whispered. “I can’t blame him, blame Edward, but it was all so much. She’s still dead and I miss my sister, so much.”

“You’re not answering my question,” Victoria admonished. “You’re ghosting him because of your sister’s ghost. Is this information unforgivable?”

“I don’t know,” Bella snapped. “That’s why I’ve been diving into work.”

“Can I share with you what I think?” Victoria said. “Even if you don’t want to hear what I think, I’m telling you. Now, this is coming from a career-minded, slightly jaded doctor. I’m not a relationship expert. In fact, I was a lot like you when it came to relationships. I still am, to an extent.”

“Fucking around with interns, residents and nurses in on-call rooms, closets and cars?” Bella asked.

“A bit,” Victoria snickered. “But, I think you’ve developed real feelings for Edward. Feelings that you don’t understand because you’ve been so focused on ignoring emotions. Who was your person? The one person that you talked to the most when your sister was alive?”

“That’s easy. It was Angela,” Bella replied, remembering the many times that she had been her sounding board when she was down, or exhausted after thirty-six hours on shift. Angela had been the person who she’d called when she lost her first patient as an intern.

“Who was your person after she died?” Victoria pressed.

“I didn’t really have one. Not really,” Bella shrugged. “Maybe my mom.”

“Since you met Edward, did he become your person?” Victoria asked. “The one human you can talk to about anything? You have a great day and you want to call him up. You’re struggling with a case and he’s there, giving you support? Is he filling the role that Angela once had in your life?”

“Yeah, he was,” Bella murmured, with a tinge of apprehension in her voice.

“Bella, I get why you are so upset by Edward’s confession. But, you need to think about what you’re feeling now,” Victoria explained. “I think you feel the same way that he does, but you’re terrified that he’s going to leave you. That you’re going to lose him like you lost your sister. She was your person. Now, Edward is healing that hole in your heart.”

“What should I do?” Bella asked.

“That, my dear, goes beyond my relationship expertise,” she laughed. “For now, let’s gorge ourselves on some Dill Fries, Seafood Chowder and a whiskey flight. Perhaps, you can tell me if there are any single Cullen men?”

“Sorry to say they are all taken,” Bella giggled, thinking that Rose and Alice wouldn’t give up their Cullen men.

Then, she thought about giving up Edward, allowing another woman to take her place. She closed her eyes briefly as the thoughts of him with someone else caused her heart to race. Shaking away those unwanted thoughts, she picked up her glass and downed the glass whiskey. Victoria had given her something to think about.

~o~o~o~o~

Hours later, Bella was sleeping. Her nightmares began once again. It started out like all the others that she had had over the previous week. She could see Angela’s apartment building, with the sun setting behind it. The orange glow was so mesmerizing until she realized that it was not the sun but an out-of-control fire. The flames were climbing up the walls, like arms reaching out to capture the inhabitants.

Suddenly Bella saw Angela in her window, trying to get away from the deadly flames. Unlike her previous dreams where Angela fell to her death, the flames magically disappeared. The sun broke through the darkness. The light was so bright, she had to cover her eyes.

“It is really beautiful isn’t it?” a voice asked.

Bella turned towards the voice, trying to focus her eyes on who said it. The voice was so familiar. “Yes. Who’s there?”

“Your jeans sharer,” she giggled.

“Angela,” Bella cried, frantically looking around for her. The brightness faded and Angela stepped towards her, looking ethereal, beautiful and happy. “How is this possible?”

“I don’t know. You were always better at this science stuff,” Angela said with a shrug. “I’m the music geek. You’re the science nerd.”

Bella reached out to pull her sister into her arms, crying her name over and over again. Angela eagerly hugged her back. When Bella had calmed down, she looked into Angela’s eyes – the eyes that were exactly like hers – trying to make sense of all this. “This has nothing to do with science, Ang. How are you?”

“I am okay, but I would be better if my sister would stop being an ass,” Angela chided, giving Bella an exasperated look and a playful shove. “Really?”

“What?” Bella gasped.

“You heard me. You’re being an ass. Edward told you that he loves you and you acted like it meant nothing to you,” Angela growled.

“It meant something. However, he dropped you and didn’t tell me until my heart had opened up to him,” Bella explained, tears splashing down onto her cheeks.

“He didn’t drop me. There was an explosion and knocked me out of his hold. I could see the pain in his eyes as I fell. It was the last clear memory I had before I took my last breath, Bells.

“He was so damaged after the fire and it took you to bring him back to life. I’ve been watching over both of you since that night. Now, stop being an ass, go to him, kiss the shit out of him, and live happily ever after. My nieces and nephews are waiting,” Angela declared with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.

“Nieces and nephews?” Bella questioned.

“Your biological clock, you dork,” Angela snorted. “I didn’t get to have kids. So, I want to spoil my nieces and nephews from heaven. Get cracking on making that happen, Bells. Chop, chop!”

“Who am I to deny you, Ang,” Bella sniffled, taking Angela’s face into her hands. “I wish …”

“Me, too, Bella. I love you, Bella and I always will,” Angela said. “I’m always watching over you. You deserve this happiness.”

“I love you too. I miss you so much,” Bella murmured, her eyes filling with tears, trying to hold onto her twin sister.

“I’ve got to go, but I’ll keep an eye on you,” Angela grinned, kissing Bella’s cheek and caressing her fingers down her hair. “Stop being an ass. You’ve already opened your heart. Now, fully let him in. Love him, Bella.”

“Don’t go! Not yet,” Bella cried, as Angela faded from sight.

~o~o~o~o~

Charlie read the information that Edward and Rosalie presented him about the recent string of arson fires. His heart stammered against his chest when he saw the connection between the apartment fire that stole one of his children away.

“You’re certain about your findings,” he asked, looking at the two smartest people in his department.

“We both looked over the results and came to the same conclusion, Charlie,” Rose explained. “We even had an independent investigator from Tacoma look it over and she agreed with our findings. The apartment fire, the rug shop and the barber shop were all set by the same person, or by the same means.”

“It was a trigger to look like wiring damage and this chemical compound that made the fire spread too quickly, causing so much damage,” Edward said, pointing to chemical findings in the report.

“I’ve been looking for this asshole for five years,” Charlie spat. “The fire at Angela’s apartment was ruled arson, but we didn’t have any indication who set it.”

“There’s another connection, Chief,” Rose muttered, looking at Edward.

“What’s that?” Charlie asked.

“You,” Edward answered. “All of these fires are somehow connected to you.” Charlie arched a brow. “Angela’s apartment, Ludwig’s Rug Shop …”

“You mentioned that Renee used their services for her interior decorating firm,” Rose explained. “Hell, I’ve got a rug that Renee suggested from there in my apartment. A beautiful piece for an amazing price, thanks to her connections to Ludwig’s.”

“That’s two connections. What’s the third?” Charlie asked, his face paling.

“The barber shop … it’s the place you go to get your haircut and a shave,” Edward said. “Your specific location that you frequent. We have to expand our investigation and get the police involved. Someone is targeting you, your family.” His own heart stammered, thinking of Bella. It had been well over a week since he told her that he loved her and she’d ghosted him. Those emotions didn’t change, though. He still loved her and he did drop the proverbial bomb on her head. Could she be a target as well?

“Chief?” Rose asked. “Did you hear what I asked?”

“What?” Charlie replied, stroking his mustache, a habit he did when he was deep in thought.

“Do you have any enemies? If you could make a list, we may have a starting point on who’s targeting you,” Rose said calmly.

As she said that, Edward’s phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out, seeing a message from Bella. He let out a breath, grinning at seeing her number on his phone. He slid his finger across the screen, reading the message.

Lake View Cemetery at 3pm. I’ll meet you at the entrance. I want to meet you to meet someone ~ Bella

I’ll be there ~ Edward

I’m sorry about being so distant, but I needed to make sense over what you said to me, about my sister. ~ Bella

I get it, Bella. I dropped a ton on you. I’ve missed you and my feelings for you have not changed.  ~ Edward

I’ve missed you more than you imagine, Edward. I’ll see you at three ~ Bella

Hearing from Bella gave Edward hope. Unfortunately, the information that someone was targeting Charlie made him sick. A pit of dread settled in his stomach and he needed Bella to be okay. He needed to make sure that she was protected until they found out who was starting the fires. Losing Bella was not an option, he needed her as much as he needed air.

“I’ll make that list, but I cannot imagine anyone targeting me,” Charlie sighed, scrubbing his haggard face. His heart was pounding over the idea that someone would be targeting his family.

~o~o~o~o~

Bella arrived at the cemetery thirty minutes before Edward. She needed some time alone to gather thoughts, trying to figure out what to say to Edward. Getting out of her car, she picked up the bouquet of blue hydrangea, walking over to the bench under the large weeping willow tree. She sat down, taking a deep breath. The warm afternoon breeze was blowing through the branches, causing them to gently sway back and forth. Closing her eyes, she murmured the words she was going to share with Edward once he arrived.

God, she hoped she could convey the love she had for him and that she wasn’t too late.

Edward pulled into the parking space beside Bella’s car and ran his hand nervously through his hair. His heart was racing. He feared that she was going to end everything and kept creeping inside his head, spreading like wildfire. She was the love of his life and he knew that he would never love anyone else like he loved her.

Taking a deep cleansing breath, he got out of the vehicle and looked around. The cemetery was quiet, somber and reflective. He was early, wanting to see her face and hopefully to be allowed to explain. As he walked toward the gate, a movement caught his eye. When he turned, he saw Bella sitting on the bench with her eyes closed. Steeling his nerves, he proceeded cautiously to her. As he neared, she opened her eyes and gave him a small smile.

“You came,” she murmured, her eyes swirling with so many emotions.

“Of course,” he declared.

Bella stood up, picking up the hydrangeas, reaching for his hand. Once his large hand was wrapped around her tiny delicate one, she began walking through the gate and up the hill. Neither said a word, though the energy that they shared when they touched pulsed between them. Once they got to the top of the hill, she led him to a black marble gravestone, with a white marble angel statue wrapped around the top. The stone had an engraved image of a violin and the name of Angela Swan.

Loving Daughter

Beloved Sister

Forever Friend

Laying the bouquet next to the gravestone, then running her hand across Angela’s name, Bella whispered, “Blue hydrangeas were always her favorite. Mom had several bushes around the house and just a few weeks after they started to bloom, she would have pulled all them off, placing them in jars and glasses around our bedroom,” she said, her voice wistful as she recalled the memory. “She was always the funny one and living life to its fullest. I’m the brainiac, analytical one. I need to think and rethink everything.”

“Angela sounds a little bit like Emmett,” Edward replied with a smirk.

Bella smiled, nodded, then looked back at the stone. With a shaky breath, she murmured,  “Angela, this is Edward.” Her voice cracked as tears began falling down her cheeks. Edward threaded his fingers with hers, giving her the strength she needed. Bella gave him a watery smile, moving closer to him before continuing, “This is Edward and he has made me see that there is more to life than work. He makes me laugh – his jokes are not as good as yours – but he tries. He was there that night that you died and he tried with all that he had to save you, but he couldn’t. I love him and he loves me.”

Edward let out a gasp when he heard her declaration of love. God, how he loved this woman. He knew, without a shadow of a doubt, he wanted to spend the rest of his life making her happy. Taking a step closer, he wrapped his arm around her waist and looked down at the grave. Clearing his throat, he breathed, “Angela, I promise to love your sister and to take care of her. She is my life, my heart, and my soul.”

As they stood, looking at Angela’s grave,  the sound of a solo violin being played filtered through the air. The tone solemn, heartbreaking.

“I recognize that,” Bella whispered.

“You do?” Edward asked.

“When Angela was a kid, she learned this as a solo for a competition. It’s from a movie … The Red Violin,” she sniffled. “It was one of her favorite pieces. The movie was so sad, especially this scene when this song is heard for the first time.”

“What happened?” Edward questioned. “In the movie?”

“The movie is about this violin, from when it was created in Renaissance Italy until it was sold at auction, spanning centuries. When the violin was made, the artisan’s wife had just died in childbirth. He used her blood to create the varnish for the violin, to deal with his grief,” Bella explained. “That song, it’s called Anna’s Theme.”

Then, as the breeze picked up, it changed to a light, airy feel. Bella and Edward looked around, noticing the sound was coming from a young girl, with curled brunette hair and a simple black dress. She was playing at a grave at the foot of the hill. Once the girl was finished, they watched her tuck her violin under her arm and take the hand of elderly woman.

Bella’s throat tightened as she listened to Edward talk to Angela. Then, the song that was played by the young girl, it was like Angela was giving her one last concert. Her final farewell. “Goodbye, Angela and I promise to come back soon,” she whispered, wiping away the tears from her cheeks. then turned to face Edward. Blowing out a breath and giving him a tender smile, she said,  “I could use a cup of coffee, how about you?”

“I think that sounds like a wonderful idea, love,” he answered, bending toward her and placing a soft kiss on her lips. Taking her hand, they walked back down the hill, getting into their vehicles and leaving the cemetery.

Watching from the shadows of the dense trees, just a few feet from the cemetery entrance, the man dressed in black watched the young couple drive off. Surveying the area, and once he was sure he was alone, he stepped out of the darkness and walked up to the grave. Taking off dark sunglasses, he glared at the bouquet resting against the beautiful grave. He picked up the bouquet of flowers, tearing the fragrant blooms from the stems.

“Don’t worry, Angela, your family will be joining you soon. Soon, all the Swans will be nothing but dead flowers.”

He threw the bouquet on the ground, stomping away and planning his next step in bringing the Swans down … effectively decimating the family tree. Just like Swan did to him.

Swan would pay. They all would pay.

A/N: A lot of stuff went down in this chapter. We have some more clues as to what’s happening with the fires and delving inside Bella’s brain. She’s an analytical science type … very much a cerebral woman … she needed to come to grips with what Edward had told her.

But, was there any doubt she didn’t feel the same for Edward? Her actions clearly said that she loved him.

Anyhow, pictures from this chapter are on both of our blogs. You can also join us on Facebook: HeartForTwilight Productions, HeartForTwilight Book Group and Tufano79’s Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation. We’re also on twitter, too: tufano79 and HeartForTwilight. Teasers and pictures will be posted on there.

You’ll hear from us soon!

Lots of love,

HeartForTwilight and Tufano79

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Judy Leavell says:

    Angela came to Bella in a dream. Then the violin solo at rhe grave. Who is the man in the shadows? Someone Charlie fired? He lost his family; in a fire?
    Judy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Erika Young says:

    Did I miss chapter 11?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found it posted on tufano79’s Stars Library from earlier this month. Hope this helps 😊

      Like

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