Pre-Edit Count – 1,262 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Dying to Start Again by Lovelife
In a forest far from the busy streets of San Francisco, a shadow is watching a painful scene. One that makes him, one of the worst demons, shake his head at how cruel and heartless this breakup is.
His own heart is hurting for the woman who just collapsed from the pain of such a painful breakup. The half demon shakes his head, the dark-haired man is ready to step forward and slap this imbecile. He has been called a monster, and he knows from a look into the Cold One’s soul, that he believes himself a monster. He is a monster, but not for the reason he is telling himself. No, it is for the cruelty the witness is seeing right now.
How dare he leave a woman who loves him to that level? Does he not understand that this kind of love is rare? Cole himself wanted that kind love. All living creatures want such a giving and selfless love, and those like himself and the boy in front of him rarely find it. Moreover, this idiot has just torn the heart out of an innocent, one of the true.
Cole, too, had had a chance at that same kind of love. Instead of treasuring it, he had destroyed the woman he loved and ended up leaving to help her out. He left them, thinking that he had been destroyed, but he never would allow it since any other demon who took over would not leave them alone. He has spent the time away from the Charmed Ones watching over others. He may be a half demon, but he is determined to change himself.
He wants to prove that he can be more than just the Source of Evil, or even be more than just Balthazar, that he can control the Evil part and have it coexist with the other parts of himself: The human, the demon and the Source of all Evil.
While wandering, he had come across Bella when she had run from the tracker all the way to Phoenix. He had been passing through when he heard the cries of a woman, and when he looked into the building, even he had been horrified to see a vampire attacking the woman and essentially playing with her. Vampires are also named Cold Ones, not just for the skin temperature, but for the cold-heartedness they seem to acquire.
He had been ready to go to her side, but instead the young vampire who claimed to love her came in and through a series of happenings, he saved her. Nevertheless, it was not without seeming to subject her to more pain.
However, something had pulled Cole to this woman. Still does to this day, in fact. She may be a girl to everyone else, but when someone loves that deeply, there is nothing young about it. This is a woman before her time. Therefore, Cole has kept an eye on her and had gotten angry with her a couple of times when the family had run roughshod over her feelings. How could such a strong woman as he had found her to be, allow them to take away all her choices?
So many times he had wanted to come through and save her, but he didn’t. He didn’t want to take over her life like they had. It does nothing for her. Cole has relearned patience. Slowly and painfully. Every part of him called for this woman to be his, and he resisted.
Then came her birthday party. That horrible party that he swears was only to make this happen. The blond vampire had not attacked her. That was clear to him, and he hopes to Isabella. However, this had been far from what he thought was to happen. Leaving her? And in this forest? The same forest he had heard the idiot boy tell her was unsafe? Did he want her to die?
Torn about what to do, Cole watches as she falls apart. When he can’t take it anymore, he forms a more stable form in order to protect her. He senses another, and he spreads his influence to push them away, knowing that they are not all human. Nothing will bother his charge until she is ready for it. With the vampires gone, she will be open to others hunting her, hurting her.
Once you are touched by the supernatural, there is no way to be free of it. Something will fill the void left behind by them.
When she is shivering, he sighs and comes through all the way, laying his jacket on her. He crouches before her and moves a strand of hair away from her face. He hears her murmur, “He left me.” He sighs. He remembers the pain of leaving the woman he thought he loved. He is finding out that he must not have loved her enough.
With that in mind, he answers her softly, gently. “Yes, he did. But he didn’t deserve you. If he had, he wouldn’t have left. Not this easily.” It had taken much for him to leave. Much more than a simple mistake. Nevertheless, he had left.
She starts crying again, and he picks her up and moves to a stump. Wrapping his coat more carefully around her, he allows part of his demon side through to keep her warm.
Holding her, he waits for her to calm, giving her the time he knows she needs as he protects her.
The following morning Cole feels his slight burden move. He had found a better spot later when it seemed that she was going to take longer than he thought to pull herself together. He had started a fire with his abilities and made sure to keep others from finding them. Not as hard as it would be, if he were not as powerful as he is. And he had spent the night thinking of what he needs and wants to do with this woman in his arms.
There had been one vampire who had tried to get to her a couple of times through the night, then run off. Cole had no idea who it had been, his charge was much more important than trying to figure that out. But the last time he had called for one of his demons to track them, telling them that he will be checking in later.
He turns different options over in his head, Cole didn’t want to take her home since her father would have plenty of questions. And his current alias, Cole Turner, would have caused some issues.
He didn’t want the Charmed Ones to know he is still around. They had tried too hard to kill him. Moreover, as he has been guarding this one, that well, he has finally been able to lay Phoebe to rest. It is one of the reasons he knows he didn’t love her enough. Another project shouldn’t have allowed him to put aside the love of his life.
He looks down at her again when she moves, and when she tries to sit up he lets her. He leans both elbows on his legs and watches her.
Bella looks around, and then she looks behind her to the man who had held her last night. She asks hesitantly, “Who are you?” She had never met him before, but she can’t shake the feeling that she knows him.
Cole looks at her and answers honestly. “I am known as Cole Turner. I have another name, a couple actually. But to be blunt, I don’t think you want to know too much about me do you?” He lifts an eyebrow to her in question and hopes she takes the hint. He has much to do, now that he has found his direction again. But he will not lie to her.
Looking up at him, Bella takes in the blue eyes, knowing that he is not a vampire. However, she cannot help but want to know, “Why not?” The same curiosity that led to her relationship with Edward is alive and working overtime.
He chuckles. “Sweetheart, if after you get home and feel better, you want to know more, I will tell you. However, you cannot fall apart because of that selfish brat. He doesn’t deserve your love if he would leave you so easily. Believe me, I had that type of love, and I did much I am not proud of to keep it.” His voice is lower in tone, but it also shows how sincere he feels about the matter.
She swallows, tears dripping down her face. “Was it easy for you to turn off your feelings?” She is hoping he has a way, but she fears there is no help for her to get through this.
Hesitating, not wanting to answer without totally thinking about it, Cole explains to her slowly. “No. Not until I found you. I needed something that kept my attention on it, not dwelling on it. She had gone so far as to kill me, and I decided at that point that I needed to leave. I wandered for such a long time, and when I came upon you in Phoenix, you drove me out of my half existence. You made me want to start again, to live. But the time wasn’t right then. Now is the time.” The words register with him, and he realizes what he needs to do. And he finds that he really is ready to start again.
He stands up and towering over the slight woman, he informs her, “Now is the time that I can move on. And I will. I thank you for that opportunity. Now you need to learn the same thing. So focus on school, on your dad, on everything around you. Graduate, make something of yourself. Show him that you don’t need him.” And that will give her the time she needs. Not that he will leave her alone, no. But he will be getting ready for her.
Bella looks up at him, “And you? Will you be here?” Her eyes fill with a slight light, hope entering them.
He smiles gently and touches her cheek lightly with his hand as he informs her, “No. You would replace him with me, and that is not fair to either of us. I will come by and check on you, but you will never know it. Sometime down the road, I will come back for you. You will sit with me and tell me how you moved on. I will have others check on you as well.”
He pauses then his eyes grow more intense as he asks, “Promise me, Isabella. Promise that you will take this chance and work on showing that you are better than he thinks. Latch on to opportunities, and think of yourself first. Be selfish. I know you won’t go too far, as it seems people often do when given this freedom, but you do need to think of yourself a little more. And no worries. You are loveable. Will you promise me?” He watches her carefully for her answer.
When she nods, he smiles and kisses her on her forehead, giving her his mark of protection for any who can see it. There might be a few that would fight her because of it. However, he is still a demon whom not many will cross. It is the best way he can think of to protect her. As he takes his reign up again, there will be even fewer who will challenge him. This will take up a lot of his time. However, it will be well worth it when he is done.
With her agreement and his plans in his head, he waves his hand, fixing the area. When she looks at him with wide eyes, he grins. “It will all make sense later. You worry about yourself first. I will come back for you and will explain all of this to you. I promise, as long as you are past him. Deal?”
When she nods, he takes her and moves them to the forest edge. He pushes her slightly out of it, “Go.”
She looks back and sees him fade before her eyes until he is gone. She swallows and makes her way back to her life. With the will to learn to stand on her own like he wanted.
Final count: 2,096