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The Nightmare Effect

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Edward’s P.O.V.
She against me, the time is 3:47 AM. Her alarm will go off at 7:30AM, which means I have another three hours and fourty- three minutes to lay with her uninterrupted by school, Bella’s job, and our respective families. Our bodies are intertwined, with her resting almost fully on top of me, my hand is lazily trailing up and down her back. The window is open, letting in a small cool breeze, it is a good thing that Bella likes to sleep cold, because between me and the window always being open it’s a wonder she doesn’t get hypothermia on a regular basis. In the next room, Charlie is dreaming about a fishing trip he and Harry went on. I am entertaining myself by dreaming with him. The water beneath the boat of his memory is cool, and his jacket is damp with the sea spray, but the men are laughing like the day has just begun, and the fish will be biting any time now. I’d give my left arm to know what Bella is dreaming about, to be able to find myself in her old memories.
Charlie is turning over in bed, the dream is changing to boring office drama at the police station, the bed springs groan underneath him. It is the passing of another sleep cycle, but still it makes me nervous that he’ll wake up and wander in here, rather then to the bathroom by mistake. Obviously, I know I could get away, but irrational fears are not only for humans. Bella flips over onto her side. Her eyes are tracking back and forth in her sleep. She is so beautiful. I tuck the blankets back around her body, trying to tuck one between her and I to keep her as warm as possible. I rest my head down on her pillow for what feels like only a moment, before noticing her rapid heart-beat. I press my hand to her chest lightly, wondering if it’s some kind of heart attack, humans are breakable things, one wrong move and poof, their gone. Then touch my hand to her forehead, it is clammy. It occurs to me that she is having a nightmare at the second that she punches me in the face.
It doesn’t hurt me, but I know it’ll hurt her when she wakes up. My body wraps around her, my one hand holding her wrists and my leg pressing her legs down. Her chest rises and falls rapidly as she screams. “Bella! Bella!” I shutter out in a half whisper trying to get as close to her ear as I can so I can talk to her without alerting her father. Distantly, I hear Charlie’s bed squeak. His grumpy thoughts about how he thought this time was over, and a memory of baby Bella waking up from nightmares crosses his mind. I’d smile at the cute image of Bella at around five years old, in her happy princess bed, crying, and then being consoled by her father, but I’m too preoccupied by the fact that he’s coming in here any second and Bella still won’t wake up. I hold her as long as I can, until his feet reach the outside of the door, before I’m forced to throw myself out of the window, as I do so, Bella lurches forward her mind starting to wake up and realize that it was me holding her together, but it is too late, I am already gone, she is just in time to see her dad at the door.
“uh.. Bells? You okay?” Charlie shuffles out, his hand still on the doorknob, his body only partially inside, I could see them from the window, although they couldn’t see me. Bella pulled her blanket up, and runs her hand through her long hair. Her breath becomes slightly labored, as she looks to him.
“Yeah, yeah Dad, I’m fine.” Charlie didn’t move. “Really Dad. I’m good.” He looked like he still didn’t believe her, and his thoughts coubberated this theory, but still, he pulled himself out the room, and bumbled back to his bed. As soon as the door was shut, my girl squinted out into the darkness, looking for me. She waved her hand beckoning me, but I waited until I was sure Charlie wasn’t coming back in. Then I walked the tree like a balance beam, and jumped onto her bed from the window. Almost instantly from the moment my rear end hit the comforter, my arms were full of Bella, and her hair, with its delicious scent, wrapped around me. I didn’t need to read her mind to know that this close call was too close. There had to be a way to lesson her night terrors and give us both some peace.

Bella slammed the car door and met me on the other side the next morning. “You want to try what?”
“Regression therapy. It may help your nightmares, like last night.”
“Aren’t I pathetic enough without being treated like a baby?” She huffed as she half stumbled over air half walked ahead of me, though the parking lot.
I sighed and grabbed her arm. “You are not pathetic, Bella.” And I kissed her, her hot lips melded to my own. No, never pathetic, perfect. I let her lips go when thoughts of ignoring my sophisticated nature for a more animalistic imagining of what would happen next. It is a good thing she won’t ever be able to read my mind.
“Fine, I’ll try it. But only if no one else knows.” She sounded so tough, but her eyes showed such vulnerability. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Alice had already seen Bella and I doing it in a vision, and subsequently started shopping for adult sized baby products. No, it would be much better to take the credit for myself and allow her to keep her dignity, at least as much as she felt she needed to. Besides, it’d be fun to get credit for having some sense of style.
The truth is I had been thinking about regression therapy for some time, specifically for Bella. Now it’s true that the idea of her looking so cute and vulnerable is definitely appealing, but also ever since the whole James debacle, I’ve known I had to do something. Afterall, I spent 103 years hurting only those I planned to eat, and now I have hurt the woman I love more times over then any one human should have to deal with. In other words, guilt was eating me alive. Afterall, she may be a lamb and me a lion, but I’m still not supposed to eat her. Somehow, me babying her seems like a better option, after all it’s not like I’ll ever have a real child calling me papa.