Edward is faced with losing his mate again but know with time he'll find him again.
Gone too soon, but not far Chapter 01
Edward stood gazing over the landscape. He wasn't able to take in his surroundings as his thoughts were consumed by the last time he had been here with his beloved. It had been many years ago when his human had still been able to go outside without getting too sick. His old age had left him with an almost none existing immune system and this clearing would only cause him a cold which could cause his dead.
The two of them had often come here to be alone. Living with a coven of vampires that would hear every little sound they made had sometimes been hard on his human and that is why they often came here so they could be themselves or talk. Sometimes even just to enjoy the silence it provided. They had even come here to make love to each other. At first his little human had been reluctant but had soon given in when he realized that no one would come here. That this was their spot and no one was able to find it...well unless they were actually looking for the pair.
The peace was something the both of them enjoyed. They would come here when Edward needed the peace and quiet only the forest could give him as it didn't have that many minds that he would always seem to have to read. Although his ability could come in handy from time to time, for example when there was a threat to his family, but most of the time it was annoying. Especially since he wasn't able to turn his ability off and he would be hearing all the things people thought about. He often hated his ability because every thought he would be able to hear; the good and the bad. The sympathy his family kept thinking...everything.
His mate had been able to help him block his ability when the voices became too much but they didn't do that often for it exhausted the little human too much. He much preferred to listen in to his mate's thoughts anyway. They were always so entertaining and much more interesting than anything else in this entire world. Not to mention they were always soothing to him. Whenever the vampire would feel stressed he would tune out all the other minds and focus on his mate. It had always helped him calm down.
There was nothing in the world more entertaining than his Harry. He was everything to him; nothing could compare to him. Nothing was more important to the vampire than his mate. That is why this hurt so much...
Edward sighed as he turned around. This was their special place; a place that was only theirs. No one but them would come here and they spent many hours here. There had been a time when they would spend days here, sometimes a week or two but, unfortunately, never longer for they hadn’t wanted to worry their family.
The vampire closed his eyes as he remembered the last time they've been here together. Harry was already feeling weak and Edward had been against taking him here but Harry had wanted to come here one last time.
His sickness had been quite suddenly, talking both of them by surprise. No one was sure what was wrong with the wizard not even Carlisle. The vampire doctor had taken many tests but wasn't able to find anything. According to the tests Harry was quite healthy. Yet, his body didn't agree with the tests. It was slowly breaking down and there was nothing he could do to stop it for they didn't know what it was.
Even in the Wizarding world they didn't know what was going on with the boy-who-lived. Not even Hermione or Poppy could figure out what was going on. Edward knew they had tried but were unable to find anything. He knew that Hermione still felt guilty about not finding anything.
It hadn't really bothered Harry that he was dying for he had always figured he would die young he just didn't want to leave his fiancé behind.
Fiancé. Edward had proposed to Harry here on this spot, their special place. They had wanted to get married before the wizard's time was up but unfortunately Harry hadn't been strong enough and Edward didn't want to pressure his mate even though he had really wanted to marry him. To seal their bond before all to see.
Edward had set it all up while Harry rested back at the manor. A light picnic for his mate while he brought a blood candy for himself. The vampire smiled at the memory; his little human had always hated eating alone so the vampire would make sure he was eating those special blood candy his mate introduced him to on one of their trips to the Wizarding world.
So Edward had made sure that he had taken a few of those candies with him but hadn't actually eaten a lot of it for he had been rather nervous that day. He was pretty sure his brother, Jasper, was glad he finally left the manor knowing the empath had trouble blocking his emotions.
His mate had immediately noticed something was wrong with the vampire. Even though Edward was a relatively quiet person he barely responded to Harry's small talk. The wizard had grown nervous as well and asked what was wrong. It wasn't the question that brought the mind-reader out of his musings but the sound of his mate's small uncertain voice. Knowing his mate had self-esteem issues he immediately answered the wizard to stop him from worrying.
"Forgive my, my love," Edward had said as he turned to his mate. "Forgive me for being so absent. I'm afraid I'm a little nervous."
"Why are you nervous?" Harry had asked worriedly. Once again, Edward noticed his mate’s self-esteem issues shine true his words.
"I have walked this earth for many long years looking for something or someone that would be able to take my loneliness away. For decades I had my music to loose myself in but for years it wasn’t enough anymore. Many years I thought I was going to be alone for the rest of my miserable life. Not finding the happiness that my family had found in their mates...'
"But then you came into my life and turned my world upside down. You showed me things I had either forgotten or didn't know existed. My heart, that had grown cold and hard as stone ever since my change, began to warm with just the tinniest smile from you. I began to feel alive even though I'm technically dead."
Edward remembered that Harry had given him the tiniest smile, one that didn't reach his eyes which made the vampire know that his little human was still nervous. Afraid the vampire would leave him.
"Before you came into my life I was thinking of ending it but knew I wasn't able to put my family through it and then you came along and I was blown away. Life started making sense again, hope rose within my heart when the sun made its presence known announcing a new day would start because that meant that there was a chance that I would be seeing you again.’
"I don't know what lies in the future for us but I'm never going to leave your side. I guess what I'm trying to say, Harry, is... Will you marry me and make me the happiest vampire alive?"
Tears had been forming in the wizards eyes during Edward’s little speech. Nodding his head for words didn't seem to form yet as his mind was still trying to process everything Edward was saying. "Yes," he whispered and that was enough for the vampire for he took Harry into his arms and kissed him passionately being careful not to put too much pressure in the kiss afraid he would hurt his little mate and fiancé.
With difficulty the vampire had broken the kiss knowing his mate wasn't up to anything more than kissing but hadn't counted on his mate pulling him back. The vampire had protested not wanting to weaken his human more than he already had but Harry had been persistent in his kisses and demanded Edward to at least kiss him back.
Eventually the vampire had given in not able to deny his young love anything. They had made love right there and then. It was the sweetest moment of his entire life and he was amazed someone as sweet and kind as Harry wanted to share this with him. Never in his entire life would he forget that moment.
Harry had given him so much in the short time they spent together for what was five years to a vampire. How wonderful those years had been. The only regret Edward had was that it hadn't been more than those five years that time around.
But Harry had been dealing with an unknown disease and no one knew what was happening to him so they didn't even know when or if Harry was going to die. They didn't know anything at all and then out of nowhere it happened.
No one of the coven had ever seen anything like it before. They were all downstairs watching a movie when halfway through Harry closed his eyes and didn't open them anymore. Just as Edward was about to move him to their room to have some privacy while he said his goodbyes, the wizard burst into flames. All the vampires backed away in shock not quite believing their eyes. For how could a person spontaneously combust?
No one spoke. They didn't understand what was going on. One moment Harry was relatively fine the next his heart stopped beating and burst into flames... What was going on?
Even now Edward wasn't able to get the image out of his mind. Whenever he saw a flame he would see his mate being burned with nothing left but his ashes.
If there was something that he wanted to remove from his mind it was that image.
The vampire closed his eyes as he shook his head, trying to clear his mind not wanting to think of that awful time. You'd think he was getting used to it by now but in reality he couldn't bear to see his mate like that but he would be there for him. He would always be there for his mate. Every burn day Edward would be there to watch his mate burn, sometimes alive, sometimes he was already dead before the burning started.
The first time they saw Harry reborn they had been shocked not quite sure what had happened. It wasn’t until Hermione explained that Harry was a Phoenixide and told them what that meant that they understood. Like a Phoenix Harry would life a lifetime before combusting (whether he was alive or not) and then he would be reborn again. That was his life now, living for a while - they never knew how long the phoenixide had in his lifetimes - and then he would die and be reborn again.
Thinking about his young mate made him remember a conversation they had after he had gotten sick. Carlisle had wanted to know if Harry might want to be turned into a vampire so he wouldn't have to die. Edward had been against it from the beginning but knew it was Harry's choice. For a dreadful moment the vampire thought that his mate was considering it.
Edward didn't want to lose Harry but he also didn't want to condemn him to this life. He wouldn't let his mate take away his soul. He had waited patiently for the wizard to make up his mind and for a second he felt relieved that his mate didn't want to become a vampire.
But then he realized that he would spend eternity alone. His world crashed down around him when he realized would lose Harry forever. Pain he never felt before pierced through his heart everything started to blur...until his mate's voice registered.
"Forgive me my love, but I don't think I can live like that, as a vampire. I don't want to hurt you." Harry broke down in tears, he knew how hard this was for Edward to hear for it hurt just as much as saying it but he wouldn't be able to live like a vampire. To hunt humans or in their case animals... No, it wasn't something he could do.
Immediately Edward was besides his mate taking him into his arms. "Don't worry, my love. I cannot condemn you to this life. I love you too much to give up your soul..."
"I thought I made it very clear that you still have a soul. I wouldn't love you this damn much if you didn't." They had shared a tiny smile before the vampire placed a gentle kiss on top of his mate's lips. "Never forget that I love you" was whispered against his lips.
Thinking back on it, the vampire was glad he hadn’t turned his mate. The Phoenixide would have rejected the venom and killed Harry. No, he was glad his fiancé had decided that he didn’t want to become a vampire.
Footsteps alerted him of a person approaching shaking him out of his musings but he didn't acknowledge him, already knowing who it was by the sound of his footsteps, the steady rhythm of the heart which skipped a beat indicating to the vampire that he had been spotted, and soft breathing. Sometimes his vampiric abilities really came handy.
"What are you doing here all alone, Edward?"
Edward let himself fall back into the newcomer’s arms. "Thinking," he replied as he let his eyes fall closed. "About that faithful day all those years ago..."
The arms around the vampire tightened. "I'm sorry I put you through all that pain. If I could stop it from happening again I would."
The vampire turned around facing the newcomer. "I know. At least now I'm more prepared...and I know you’ll return to me."
The hand that started caressing his cheek was warm against his cold skin. "I'm sorry," his mate whispered before giving him a gentle kiss. “And I’ll always return to you."
"I know," Edward sighed; something he had picked up from his little human. "It just pains me to see you burn while I can't do anything to stop it or relieve you from the pain."
"You're there for me the moment I wake. That's all I need." They shared another gentle kiss before Edward could reply. It wasn’t as if his mate remembered him the moment he woke up from his burning, he was only a small infant anyway. "It's time..." the Phoenixide whispered breaking the kiss.
"Shall I carry you?" the vampire knew how much energy it had taken his mate to make the journey here and knew he wouldn’t be able to make it back. Harry should never have walked up here in the first place.
Harry nodded his head. "Please."
Carefully Edward picked his little mate up. Though he had grown a few inches since his last burning day he still wasn't taller than Edward. It still annoyed his mate that he wasn't taller than the vampire and always hoped that after his next burning day he would finally be taller. He had hope, one day he'll be taller than the vampire.
Within thirty seconds the vampire had carried his mate back inside where he gently laid him down on the couch. He knew that the couch would catch fire as well but he wasn't going to make his mate any more uncomfortable than he already was.
Burning day was especially hard on him. The fire would first consume his flesh before turning the rest of his body to ashes. Although the experience lasted for ten minutes, to Harry it felt it lasts for hours. Excruciating pain that felt like it was lasting for hours. He always hoped he would be dead before burning day but unfortunately that didn't always happen.
"Are you ready?" Edward asked his little mate as he kneeled down next to him.
"Are you?" Harry retorted knowing this was as hard for him as it was for his mate. One look told Harry all he needed to know. "At least I'm getting my good looks back again..." the wizard tried to joke but the vampire knew it was hard on his little mate that he grew old while Edward didn't.
One thing they both learned together was that Harry grew old but they never knew how old. The first year he turned at only 22 and this time around he turned 69, which had been hard on Harry because he sometimes felt like a pervert. A 69 year old, now, married to a 17 year old... But Edward didn't care he loved his mate and it didn't matter what he looked like or how old he was.
After Harry's burning day his little mate would be a baby and Edward would always be there for him but left the parenting to Esme and Carlisle or sometimes to Rosalie and Emmett but never would he raise his mate afraid that if he did Harry would start developing different feelings for him instead of romantic. Edward wasn't sure if he would be able to take it. He already had to deal with Harry's dead every few years he couldn't take not being with his mate.
The entire coven had gathered in the room to say their goodbyes to the wizard even though they all knew he wouldn’t really be gone.
"You better stand back. It's happening..."
Edward nodded and gave him a quick kiss before standing back with a sad look on his face knowing his mate would be in pain in a few moments. "I love you," he whispered just before his mate started to burn.
Flames were everywhere. Harry's screams filled the room and there was nothing the vampire could do to help his mate. Those ten minutes felt like hours, days even, to Edward. Then suddenly the screaming stopped and not long after the flames dimmed. All that was left was the ashes of his mate and the couch. Hours again, or it felt like hours to all the vampires present, passed by before the ashes started to move and shaped into a baby, who immediately tested his vocal ability as he started crying.
Immediately Edward stepped forward and picked up the naked baby and wrapped him in a blanket before giving the child a kiss on his forehead and giving him to Rosalie knowing she was going to raise him this time around. "Take good care of him," he whispered to his sister. It was something he always said to Rosalie or Esme just to let them know that they held the most precious person to him in their arms and if something were to happen to young Harry he would never forgive them but he knew they would make sure the Phoenixide would be all right; they always did.
Edward nodded to his father before running away to the forest and let out a scream. It was always hard on him to watch his mate be in so much pain and there was nothing he would do about it. He would stay away from the coven until young Harry had grown up, already he couldn't wait. Luckily for him it didn't usually take human years until Harry was old enough. The vampire would usually come back when Harry was about 15 years old so they could get to know each other again before his memories would come back and the Phoenixide would know the vampire was his mate.
Every day, Edward would call his family to see how his mate was doing and let them know he was still alive. They didn't really mentioned Edward to Harry afraid that if the Phoenixide knew the vampire while growing up he would either have sibling affection or, even worse, parental feelings for his mate.
There had been one lifetime where Edward had been with Harry while he was growing up. That time around Harry looked at the vampire as if he was his brother. That lifetime the Phoenixide hadn't felt anything more than sibling affection for the vampire and that had almost killed Edward. Although he had been glad that his mate was still alive he couldn't bear being so close to him and not allowed to touch him or kiss him.
Luckily for Edward, and not so luckily for Harry, the Phoenixide didn't grow that old that lifetime and since then the family, as a whole, decided not to let Edward near Harry as he grew up. The decision was hard on the vampire but he wouldn't be able to go through another lifetime of Harry without his mate.
So for the childhood years Edward was away and when he came back he was introduced as on old family friend, every time Harry would feel drawn to Edward and start hanging out with him. Sometimes it took a few years for his mate to remember them and their time together and sometimes it didn't take more time than a few months. The vampire always hoped Harry remembered him sooner rather than later.
It was sooner than the mind-reader had expected when his family called him to tell him that Harry was now fifteen, the usual age when he started to remember. This time it had taken the Phoenixide only five years to grow into a fifteen year old. Within minutes Edward was running out the door at full speed towards the town his family was residing in at the moment. He arrived about three hours later and gently knocked on the door even though he knew his family had already heard him.
"Edward, it's good to see you," Esme, his vampire mother, said and pulled him into a hug. She always missed him when he left.
"You too, Esme," Edward replied with a crooked smile. Already he was using his ability to find out where his mate was and when he found him his smile grew bigger. His mate was asking Alice when it was his time to meet the famous Edward. For a moment the mind-reader thought his mate already recognized him but knew it to be foolish. His family had talked about him to his mate, to let him know he would be arriving. It was always the same story. Edward was on old family friend who was just passing through and hoped to stay with the Cullens for a few months until he figured out where he would be going next.
"Come, the others have been dying to see you," Esme always used the same line and it was true. His siblings where always glad to see him after all those years just as he was glad to see them.
One by one he hugged his family and then he was introduced to his mate. Harry had a smile on his face as he watched his family hug the stranger, smiling as if they were old friends. "Well, they are," he reminded himself as he held out his hand to the stranger, Edward.
"Nice to meet you, Edward, I'm Harry," The Phoenixide said just as their hands touched in greeting. A shiver ran through him, which he knew wasn't because of the cold, but something else. Cocking his head he stared at the vampire, suddenly flashes ran through him of a life he didn't know about but knew it was his own. His own and Edward's... These were memories!He realized. My memories! In that moment he knew; everything that ever happened to him, all his lifetimes, his lifetimes with Edward, his mate.
"Edward," was what Harry only said before he bruised their lips together in a passionate kiss. Never before had his mate remembered him so quickly but the vampire didn't care. All he could think about that he had his mate back and kissed him with a feverishly passion and Harry responded to his heated kisses just like he'd always done in the past.
"Mine," Edward growled and noticed his family stiffen but he didn't care about them all he cares about was the beauty in front of him.
"Yes, yours," Harry responded, unconsciously relaxing his family members, and quickly pulled the vampire in for another kiss.
Their lives may be a weird one, especially with Harry dying and being reborn every once in a while, but they always found each other again for they were destined to be together and nothing in this entire world could separate them. Not even death...
8 June 2011