When we last left our indomitable heroine weak, spiritless little floozy, she was bleeding on the floor of her boyfriend’s family’s home. Awkward.
Emmett forces Jasper outside. Everyone save Alice, Edward, and Carlisle evacuate, covering their noses. My dad used to be able to clear a room like that too, but more because he’d just had chili and less because his blood was so deliciously tempting. Bella opts to have Carlisle stitch her up right then and there rather than taking her to the hospital, because they would, of course, have questions. Thus begins Bella’s practice at hiding the injuries she sustains thanks to Edward. Speaking of which, the marble bastard is brooding and glowering the whole time, before Alice can shoo him off. Then Alice finally can’t take being in Bella’s presence anymore (she’s like an IQ black hole) and vamooses as well.
Leaving Bella and Carlisle alone in the room.
Now, it’s a well known and proven fact that if you’re a young person, and even just a little bit pretty, and Carlisle is alone with you, he’s basically going to bite you. Because he wants to “save” you. In this case, I think Carl is waiting for Ed to do the job. Maybe he’s hoping that all that time Ed spent alone in his room, listening to classical music, working tirelessly on his hair, showing no interest in girls, was just a phase.
Yes, that’s why the Cullens are so thrilled with Bella. She’s not a boy.
Bella and Carlisle have a nice little chat while he picks shards of glass out of her arm and sews her back up. They end up having a philosophical, semi-religious conversation about whether or not vampires go to hell, or even have souls. Carlisle, it seems, has been working for centuries at deluding himself into think that if he just tries hard enough, he can overcome being damned. Sorry, bud, it really doesn’t work that way. Especially when your “doing good” is convincing yourself that damning other people along with you–children for that matter–is a swell idea.
Edward, it turns out, believes that vampires don’t have souls. Which I guess is why he doesn’t want to bite Bella. I’m not sure how much a bad thing this is for her. She’s been hollowed out completely and the only thing left inside is a note saying “IOU a personality — Stephenie.”
Anyway, Carlisle recalls the story of Edward and his parents dying of the flu back in 19-I don’t give a crap-00. Ed’s mom went first, but before she went, she grabbed Carlisle by the arm and demanded that he save her son. “You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward.” Carlisle convinces himself that she knew about his “gift,” and so, he dragged Edward’s body out through the morgue, while the kid was still barely alive, spirited him off to his sanctum or wherever the hell Carl was living, and bit the crap out of him.
Now, here’s what really happened in my mind. Carlisle has been alive for near 300 years. He’s losing it. He’s a carnivore on a vegetarian diet. He’s lonely as hell. He sees a dying mother with her attractive dying son, and thinks I want one! Mom dies, demanding that Carl save her son, like any mother would, and Carlisle, in his already warped mind, hears her begging him to bite Edward. Well, shucks! She wants him to vamp Ed up. Steal the near-dead body of a young man, chew on him in various places, wait a few days, and bam! Carlisle has his own special family now, just like he always wanted.
See, if it were actually written like that, this would be a very different blog.
Edward comes back, still brooding and stone-like. They get Bella a new, non-blood stained shirt, agreeing that Charlie probably won’t notice. I’d be outraged, but they’re probably right. Charlie is a pretty terrible dad. Jasper is beating himself up for almost killing Bella (dude, I would have given you a prize if you’d pulled it off) and Alice is trying to be there for him. Mama Esme is mopping the floors with undiluted bleach. I’m not so sure that’s good for hardwood flooring, but whatev. She does it with such straight-forward efficiency that I wonder if this isn’t the first bloodbath she’s ever had to mop up.
Esme and Carlisle have a ridiculously sordid life, in my mind. I keep that fanfic idea shelved next to “Bella ditches Edward and explores the forbidden with Alice.”
Someday, ff.net. Someday.
Edward drives Bella home and begins the painful process of breaking up with her. She’s an idiot and completely codependent, so she has no idea that’s what he’s trying to do.
“Mike Newton could have held your hand while they stitched you up–and he wouldn’t be fighting the urge to kill you the whole time he was there. Don’t try to take any of this on yourself, Bella. It will only make me more disgusted with myself.”
“How the hell did Mike Newton end up in this conversation?” I demanded.
“Mike Newton ended up in this conversation because Mike Newton would be a hell of a lot healthier for you to be with,” he growled.
“I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton,” I protested. “I’d rather die than be with anyone but you.”
Oh good Lord.
They finally get to the house and stop freaking talking. Charlie is still watching the game. He actually manages to notice that she’s favoring her arm.
“What happened to your arm?”
I flushed and cursed silently. “I tripped. It’s nothing.”
“I tripped. And fell down the stairs. And hit the doorknob. He loves me okay HE LOVES ME!!”
Dad Charlie buys it, Bella goes up to her room, and Edward is… still brooding. Sheesh. He brought the last two presents, one of which is a pair of plane tickets to Jacksonville care of Emse and Carlisle. The other is from Edward, and is a mix-CD of songs he wrote himself. Awwwwww he’s such a sweet tortured beast. He gets her some tylenol. She asks what he’s thinking. This is intense stuff, you guys.
They kiss, because, you know, they’re teenagers in bed. This time, Edward goes for the Forbidden Open-Mouth Kiss, breaking all his carefully established, control-enhancing rules for celibacy preventing Bella from getting nom’d. She’s all “YES YES I WANT TO DO IT WITH A DEAD GUY” when he finally pushes her away. Edward is, if I may, a cockbite. Bella seriously needs a copy of He’s Just Not That Into You.
My personal favorite chapter is the one about “He’s just not that into you if he won’t have sex with you.” I believe the chapter ends on a picture of a flag, and says “Here’s a flag. Color it red. There’s your red flag.”
Wait, I’m reading New Moon. Uh, let’s see… open mouth kissing, Bella writhes around, Edward disengages. Hmm, for some reason, Edward is breathless after this. Even though he doesn’t need to breathe. That’s a bit odd, wouldn’t you say?
Before Bella falls asleep, she realizes that Edward kissed her like that in the last book, before she was sent off to Phoenix with Alice and Jasper. Oh but he couldn’t possibly be breaking up with her, setting the entire plot for the second book by spinning her off into a whirlwind of self-destruction, clinical depression, and almost getting it on with that native boy, could he?
Hurting her to protect her? That doesn’t sound like Edward at all.