*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 24 - AN IMPASSE
The nurse was checking the paper readout on my hati, tengah-tengah monitor.
Are anda feeling anxious, honey? Your hati, tengah-tengah rate got a little high there."
"I'm fine," I assured her.
"I'll tell your RN that you're awake. She'll be in to see anda in a minute."
As soon as she closed the door, Edward was at my side.
"You mencuri a car?" I raised my eyebrows.
He smiled, unrepentant. "It was a good car, very fast."
"How was your nap?" I asked.
"Interesting." His eyes narrowed.
He looked down while he answered. "I'm surprised. I thought Florida... and your mother... well, I thought that's what anda would want."
I stared at him uncomprehendingly. "But you'd be stuck inside all hari in Florida. You'd only be able to come out at night, just like a real vampire."
He almost smiled, but not quite. And then his face was grave. "I would stay in Forks, Bella. atau somewhere like it," he explained. "Someplace where I couldn't hurt anda anymore."
It didn't sink in at first. I continued to stare at him blankly as the words one sejak one clicked into one place in my head like a ghastly puzzle. I was barely conscious of the sound of my hati, tengah-tengah accelerating, I was aware of the sharp aching in my protesting ribs.
He didn't say anything; he watched my face warily as the pain that had nothing to do with broken bones, pain that was infinitely worse, threatened to crush me.
And then another nurse walked purposefully into the room. Edward sat still as stone as she took in my expression with a practiced eye before turning to the monitors.
"Time for lebih pain meds, sweetheart?" she asked kindly, tapping the IV feed.
"No, no." I mumbled, trying to keep the agony out of my voice. "I don't need anything." I couldn't afford to close my eyes now.
"No need to be brave, honey. It's better if anda don't get too stressed out; anda need to rest." She waited, but I just shook my head.
"Okay," she sighed. "Hit the call button when you're ready."
She gave Edward a stern look, and threw one lebih anxious glance at the machinery, before leaving.
His cool hands were on my face; I stared at him with wild eyes.
"Shhh, Bella, calm down."
"Don't leave me," I begged in a broken voice.
"I won't," he promised. "Now relax before I call the nurse back to sedate you."
But my hati, tengah-tengah couldn't slow.
"Bella." He stroked my face anxiously. "I'm not going anywhere. I'll be right here as long as anda need me."
"Do anda swear anda won't leave me?" I whispered. I tried to control the gasping, at least. My ribs were throbbing.
He put his hands on either side of my face and brought his face close to mine. His eyes were wide and serious. "I swear."
The smell of his breath was soothing. It seemed to ease the ache of my breathing. He continued to hold my gaze while my body slowly relaxed and the beeping returned to a normal pace. His eyes were dark, closer to black than emas today.
"Better?" he asked.
"Yes," I berkata cautiously.
He shook is head and muttered something unintelligible. I thought I picked out the word "overreaction."
"Why did anda say that?" I whispered, trying to keep my voice from shaking. "Are anda tired of having to save me all the time? Do anda want me to go away?"
"No, I don't want to be without you, Bella, of course not. Be rational. And I have no problem with saving you, either - if it weren't for the fact that I was the one putting anda in danger... that I'm the reason that you're here."
"Yes, anda are the reason." I frowned. "The reason I'm here - alive."
"Barely." His voice was just a whisper. "Covered in gauze and plaster and hardly able to move."
I wasn't referring to my most baru-baru ini near-death experience," I said, growing irritated. "I was thinking of the others - anda take your pick. If it weren't for you, i would be rotting away in the Forks cemetery."
He winced at my words, but the haunted look didn't leave his eyes.
"That's not the worst part, though," he continued to whisper. He acted as if I hadn't spoken. "Not seeing anda there on the floor... crumpled and broken." His voice was choked. "Not thinking I was too late. Not even hearing anda scream in pain - all those unbearable memories that I'll carry with me for the rest of eternity. No, the very worse was feeling... knwoing that I couldn't stop. Believing that I was going to kill anda myself."
"But anda didn't."
"I could have. So easily."
I knew I needed to stay calm... but he was trying to talk himself into leaving me, and the panic fluttered in my lungs, trying to get out.
"Promise me," I whispered.
"You know what." I was starting to get angry now. He was so stubbornly determined to dwell on the negative.
He heard the change in my tone. His eyes tightened. "I don't seem to be strong enough to stay away from you, so I suppose that you'll get your way... whether it kills anda atau not," he added roughly.
"Good." He hadn't promised, though - a fact that I had not missed. The panic was only barely contained; I had no strength left to control the anger. "You told me how anda stopped... now I want to know why," I demanded.
"Why?" he repeated warily.
"Why anda did it. Why didn't anda just let the venom spread? sejak now I would be just like you."
Edward's eyes seemed to turn flat black, and I rememberd that this was something he'd never intended me to know. Alice must have been preoccupied sejak the things she'd learned about herself... atau she'd been very careful with her thoughts around him - clearly, he'd had no idea that she'd filled me in on the mechanics of vampire conversions. He was surprised, and infuriated. His nostrils flared, his mouth looked as if it was chiseled from stone.
He wasn't going to answer, that much was clear.
"I'll be the first to admit that I have no experience with relationships," I said. "But it just seems logical... a man and woman have to be somewhat equal... as in, one of them can't always be swooping in and saving the other one. They have to save each other equally."
He folded his arms on the side of my katil and rested his chin on his arms. His expression was smooth, and anger reined in. Evidently he'd decided he wasn't angry with me. I hoped I'd get the chance to warn Alice before he caught up with her.
"You have saved me," he berkata quietly.
"I can't always be Lois Lane," I insisted. I want to be Superman, too."
"You don't know what you're asking." His voice was soft; he stared intently at the edge of the pillowcase.
"I think I do."
"Bella, anda don't know. I've had almost ninety years to think about this, and I'm still not sure."
"Do anda wish that Carlisle hadn't saved you?"
"No, I don't wish that." He paused before continuing. "But my life was over. I wasn't giving anything up."
"You are my life. You're the only thing it would hurt me to lose." I was getting better at this. It was easy to admit how much I needed him.
He was very calm, though. Decided.
"I can't do it, Bella. I won't do that to you."
"Why not?" My throat rasped and the words weren't as loud as I'd meant them to be. "Don't tell me it's too hard! After today, atau I guess it was a few days ago... anyway, after that, it should be nothing."
He glared at me.
"And the pain?" he asked.
I blanched. I couldn't help it. But I tried to keep my expression from menunjukkan how clearly I remembered the feeling... the api, kebakaran in my veins.
"That's my problem," I said. "I can handle it."
"It's possible to take bravery to the point where it becomes insanity."
"It's not an issue. Three days. Big deal."
Edward grimaced again as my words reminded him that I was lebih informed than he had intended me to be. I watched him repress the anger, watched as his eyes grew speculative.