Chapter Twenty-Four – An Impasse

Chapter Number: Twenty-Four

Chapter Name: An Impasse

Page Numbers:  458 – 480 (Hardcover)

Date of Chapter: March 18th, 2005

Summary: Bella regains consciousness in hospital surrounded by wires and machinery. Adverse as always to anything that might draw undue attention to herself, Bella’s first move is to rip out the offending wires from her hands. Edward is quickly there to prevent her.

Immediately thinking of the pain she has caused Edward through her actions, and the danger she put him and his family in, Bella promptly apologises for the trouble she has caused.

Bella finds herself unable to remember exactly what happens and asks Edward to explain, although the memory of the event causes him pain as he recollects, almost remorsefully, how he was almost too late to save Bella. In her turn, Bella continues to apologise for having lead him into danger, as she had not realised that James was tricking her.

As they talk, Edward tells Bella that her mother is at the hospital. This sends Bella into a fresh panic as she worries about what her mother has been told about the accident. Edward reassures her that as far as Renee is concerned, Bella fell down two flights of stairs and through a window. He goes on to tell Bella that she has a broken leg, four broken ribs, a fractured skull, lots of bruises and has also lost a lot of blood. This final point has caused Edward some personal anguish as Bella had to be given a blood transfusion that made her smell all wrong to him for a while. Although Bella jokes that this must have made a nice change, Edward confesses that he likes the way she smells reminding Bella of how he saved her life.

In response to Bella’s questions, Edward explains that draining the poison from her blood was almost impossible for him and that he hadn’t wanted to stop, yet somehow he had managed to – proving, unequivocally, the depth of his love for Bella. Edward also admits that Bella’s blood tasted even better than he had imagined – making Bella apologise again for tempting him so badly.

Edward tells Bella that the only thing she should apologize for is nearly taking herself away from him. Although he says he understand why she did it, he still wishes she had waited for him and told him what was happening. However, as Bella points out, he would not have let her go to meet James.

Having been reminded of James, Bella asks what happened to him. Edward explains, almost too simplistically, that Emmett and Jasper ‘took care of him’.

As the conversation moves on to where other members of Edward’s family were when Bella was discovered, Edward acknowledges that Alice has seen the video James made, describing the other human who got away from him, (Alice).

The memory of the video obviously angers Edward but his mood lightens on observing Bella’s reaction to the needles in her arm. In keeping with her dislike for blood, Bella hates needles – a fact that amuses Edward as it contrasts sharply with her apparent nonchalance when dealing with Vampires; a distinctly more dangerous situation for her to be in.

Further elaborating on the story Bella’s mother has been told of Bella’s accident, Edward describes how, as far as Renee’s concerned, Edward, (with Carlisle and Alice), had gone to Phoenix to persuade Bella to come back to Forks. Bella was going to meet them in their hotel room when she tripped and fell. As Edward points out, Bella does not need to remember the finer details as she received a nasty bump to the head!

Revealing the vampires’ resourcefulness when concealing themselves from public knowledge, Edward describes how Alice had fun creating an accident scene so convincing, Bella could probably sue the hotel.

Being wired up to numerous monitors causes a rather amusing problem; as Bella and Edward are aware, when he kisses her, Bella’s heart is wont to skip a number of beats. Now, when Edward moves to kiss Bella, the beeping of a monitor also reflects this rather loudly.

When Renee returns to the room, Edward pretends to sleep in a chair while she talks to her daughter. Bella is surprised to hear that it is now Friday, which means that she has been unconscious since Wednesday, although her mind is such a blur that she cannot remember exactly when James attacked her. Renee also tells Bella that Phil has got signed which will mean that Bella can return to live with them in Jacksonville, Florida. Thinking of Edward, Bella tells her mum that she cannot live in Florida as Forks is now her home. She tries to explain her new found fondness for Forks by saying that she has made a number of girlfriends and that her father needs looking after. In a rare moment of motherly behaviour, Renee tries to talk seriously to Bella about Edward. Renee realises that he is a large part of why Bella wants to stay in Forks and she also believes that Edward is in love with her daughter. Renee is concerned that Bella is too young to be getting involved in a serious relationship and is reassured when Bella tells her he is just a crush.

After Renee has gone, Edward expresses his surprise at Bella’s refusal to move to Florida. Bella explains that it is because he would not be able to go outside during the day, having to behave like a true vampire. Edward sadly points out that he would not move with Bella, he would stay in Forks or a similar place far away from her so that he would not be able to hurt her again.

As the understanding of what he has said sinks in, Bella’s heart rate soars, making the nurse believe that she is in pain again. Left alone again with Edward, Bella begs him not to leave, panic rising with each breath. Seeing, and hearing, her obvious distress, Edward promises to stay with her. Although his breath calms Bella and his expression is serious, Edward mutters something about an overreaction, obviously not expecting his words to produce such a reaction.

Angered at his words, Bella asks Edward if he is tired of always having to save her. His response is to explain that he feels she would be safer without him around, that he is too much of a threat. Despite Bella reminding him of the times he has saved her in the past, Edward still maintains that he is her greatest threat and that he was convinced that he was going to kill her himself when he had to suck James’ venom from her blood.

Still afraid that Edward is talking himself into leaving her, Bella tries to get him to promise that he will never leave her. While he does not actually say the words, Edward confesses that he does not seem to be strong enough to stay away from Bella so she will probably get her way.

Forgetting, that Edward does not know what Alice told her about becoming a vampire, Bella asks him why he did not just leave James’ venom to spread. Edward is obviously furious that Bella has been told about how to become a vampire, but he still maintains that he will not change her, explaining that even after having ninety years to think about it he will not take the life of someone who still has so much to live for. He was coming to the end of his life he explains so does not regret Carlisle having changed him, but he will not change Bella just to make them the equals she wants them to be.

Despite his arguments, and the momentary stab of pain as Bella considers her parents, she still maintains it is what she wants, as every day she is with Edward she is going to get older and will eventually die.

Eventually, in some desperation, Bella points out that Edward is not the only vampire she knows. This bring a dramatic and frightening transformation over Edward, revealing to Bella the explanation of a number of Edward’s comments in the past. Alice has seen Bella as a vampire. She knows Bella will be changed someday. Edward counters this angrily by pointing out that Alice also saw Bella dead but that did not come true.

Sensing her continued physical pain, Edward calls for the nurse to administer more painkillers, despite Bella’s protests; as Edward informs her, she needs to relax if she is to heal properly, and panicking about any number of things is not going to do her any good.

After being administered the painkillers, Bella is instantly drowsy, but she finds time before finally succumbing to sleep to tell Edward that she is definitely betting on Alice and her vision.

Characters involved: Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, Renee Dwyer.

Characters Mentioned: Charlie Swan, Alice Cullen, Phil Dwyer, Emmett Cullen, Jasper Hale, Carlisle Cullen, James.

Places visited: Phoenix hospital

Memorable quotes:
“No, I like how you smell.”
~ Edward commenting on the blood transfusion Bella had.

“I don’t seem strong enough to stay away from you, so I suppose that you’ll get your way…whether it kills you or not.”
~ Edward explaining how he doesn’t think he could ever leave Bella.

“You have saved me.”
~ Edward to Bella about their relationship.

“I refuse to damn you to an eternity of night and that’s the end of it.”
~ Edward stating how he refuses to change Bella.

“I’m betting on Alice.”
~ Bella on how she believes that Alice’s vision of her being a vampire will someday come true.

Important Information Learned:
Edward did not know that Alice had revealed to Bella how to become a vampire.

Edward is trying to convince himself to leave Bella in order to give her the life she should have.

Emmett and Jasper kill James.

Alice has had a vision that shows Bella as a vampire, she has also had one that showed Bella lying dead.

Edward refuses to change Bella, despite what Alice has seen.

Bella wants to be a vampire.