Title: Shadows of Another Life
Author: Lindsey fair
Characters/Pairing: Edward/Bella, some Rosalie/Emmett, some Alice/Jasper
Rating: M for Mature Audiences, just in case
Category: Romance, General
Spoilers: If you haven't read the books, you might not get some of it. This is Alternate Universe and is All Human.
Summary: Bella has just ended a long relationship with Jake. She has decided to start over in Cottonwood, Ca where her family, dad, Charlie, sister, Rosalie, and twin brother, Jasper have made home the past year without her. Can she settle in to the new town, her new career, and a new romance all while dealing with the tragic events that lead to the move?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm not SM. I'm just LJ, but most days I wish I was SM.
Chapter 11-Almost Perfect
“Dad? Where are you?” Edward and I walked into the house only a few minutes after my father had asked us to come over. The urgency in his voice made me nervous so we drove straight there.
“Hey, Bells.” My father came walking around the corner and pulled me into a big hug. His nose was red and his eyes were puffy. Could he possibly have been crying? He took my hand and led me into the living room.
As he sat across from Edward and I, he couldn't seem to find the words to begin. It began to scare me. Edward just held my hand as we waited patiently for him to gather his thoughts.
“I got a call this morning. The car that they identified Jacob drove to the Inn that day...”
“What about it?” He wriggled his hands in front of him. “Come on, dad. Just spit it out.”
“They found it yesterday outside a rental house in Anderson. There was a lot of blood, Bells. They tested it. It was Jacob's.”
Edward squeezed my hand tighter as I felt the lump rise to my throat. “Is he?”
“They didn't find a body, but... it was a lot of blood. I just don't know, Bells.”
Oh, God. Jake was dead? But if he'd done something to himself, where was his body? “What's going to happen now?”
“I've spoken with the Chief in Anderson. You'll have to answer some questions.” He looked down at his hands.
“You don't think I had anything to do with this?”
He shook his head vigorously from side to side. Thank god. Then his eyes turned to Edward.
“What? Me? I had nothing to do with it. I haven't seen Jacob since that day at the inn.” Edward was taking it all in. He wasn't upset that my father suspected him, just a little surprised.
“They have a witness that saw you punch Jacob and just the fact that you lied to him about your relationship with Bella is suspect.”
“When do they think this happened? I'm sure I can tell you were I was.”
“Sunday morning. Sometime between three and six am.”
Edward and I turned to each other and smiled. We were tangled in Edward's sheets that whole time. Edward pulled me in and snaked his arm around my waist.
“Yes. I unfortunately know what both of you were doing at that time, but you'll still have to talk with the Anderson police. If they are able to eliminate you, you might be able to help them with other suspects.”
Who else would want to hurt Jake?
We got back to the house just in time to welcome Emmett and Rosalie home from their honeymoon. Bella and Alice captured Rosalie and dragged her out to the guest house for a formal interrogation.
Dad, Emmett, Jasper, and I sat out on the sun porch drinking a few beers while I filled them in on our visit with Charlie then our trip to Anderson.
“We met with the Chief of Police in Anderson. We told him we were at home in bed. Since it was the morning after the wedding, there are plenty of people here to vouch for us. I explained why we had lied about being married just to get Jake off our back. I told him we were getting married next week. Went into the whole thing about the wedding. He'd said he'd just gotten back from Hawaii and wondered where we were going. Bella got that dreamy look in her eye and just started gushing all the details. By the end, he was sure we had nothing to do with Jacob's disappearance.”
“Dodged a bullet on that one, didn't ya?” Emmett held up his beer to toast mine.
“Ya, maybe we can just put this whole thing behind us.”
The next week went by in a blur. Alice had Bella taking last minute shopping trips and getting their dresses altered. They'd worked for hours on making their bouquets out of silk flowers. Alice said she didn't trust anyone to do it but herself. I think Bella began to enjoy the whole build up. I was just glad that it was finally happening. I waited my whole life for that day, for Bella.
“Alice, calm down. Just suck it in a bit and I can do it.”
Alice was having a panic attack because I couldn't get the zipper on the dress to go up.
“I knew I should have went with the one with the buttons.”
I gave it one more tug and it went straight up. “See, there. It's fine. I think it was just caught on something. Calm down.”
She plopped down on the bench in front of the vanity. I sat next to her and put my arm around her shoulder. “See. Beautiful.”
She gave me a crooked grin. “Ya. I'm sorry. I just wish Rosalie was here already. Why did they all have to go off and have family bonding time?”
I shook my head as I smiled at her. “You know it's bad luck for the bride to see the groom the day of the wedding. I think Jasper wanted a little more time with Bella before he wasn't the most important man in her life anymore. Do you really understand how close they are?”
“Yes, kinda like you and me?”
“Exactly. I'm not going to be the most important man in your life anymore. Having a husband is completely different than just having a boyfriend.”
“I know. You'll always be my favorite brother though.”
“Just because I never teased you like Emmett did.”
“Thanks for that. I suppose they'll be here soon.”
“We're ready for this. I'm so glad to be sharing this day with you. I love you, Al.”
“I love you too, E.”
Alice's phone began to ring. “It's Rosalie... Hey, where are you?... Okay, I'll see you in five. Bye.”
“They're on there way then?”
“She's bringing Charlie and Bella's dress. Bella didn't want it to get messed up if she wore it on the way over. Jasper is going to bring Bella over in a little bit. More last minute bonding I suppose.”
“There's no superstition about talking on the day of the wedding, is there?”
“No.” She smiled as she knew what I was about to do. I pulled out my phone and pressed the speed dial for Bella's cell.
“You know if you keep crying like that, it's going to ruin your make up.” Jasper wiped a tear from my cheek as I sat down next to him on the couch.”
“It's waterproof mascara for a reason.” I let a small smile pass my lips before grabbing a tissue.
Jasper took my hand . I placed my other one on top of his. “You know it's not just going to be you and me against the world anymore, Bells. What we're about to do affects all of us. Are you ready for this?”
“Everything that has happened I believe happened for a reason. All the stuff with Jake, moving to California, working with Kevin, it all lead up to this. The first time I saw him in the stables and spending the whole day with him, I knew my life was never going to be the same. Jasper, he understands the hurt and all the flaws and he loves me anyway.”
“Glad we're clear on that then. Just wanted to make sure you're not rebounding or just in it for the sex.”
“Not just the sex.”
Jasper nudged my shoulder with his. “You really don't have to give me any details. Edward has already given me the detailed descriptions of your moans.”
My face flushed a bright shade of pink. “I told you, he's really good. Did you know he even took me down to the wine cellar?”
Jasper covered his eyes with his hands. “It's official.” He slapped his hands down on his thighs. “I know entirely too much about your sex life.”
“Okay. I'll keep it to a minimum from now on. I'll get it all from Alice anyway. Now that we've broken the barrier, she hasn't shut up about your, um, skills.”
He shook his head as I wrapped my arm around his, resting my head on his shoulder. “Can you imagine it? You, who was glued to Jacob's side, for how many years?”
“Almost eight.” God, was it that long?
“You, with Jake for eight years and me, the guy who didn't have a date in high school. We are the ones who've found the real thing while half the couples that married out of high school are divorced or alcoholics.”
“Or worse. I heard Mike Newton was in rehab.”
“That nerdy jock guy that followed you around like a puppy?”
“Ya, he was really sweet though. I should send him a card or something.”
“I don't think they make 'Sorry you're in rehab while I'm on my fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii get well soon' cards.”
“Maybe not.” We both sighed as we realized it really was time to go. “One more thing.”
“Bella, we don't have time.” He looked at his watch, shaking his head.
“Come on, one last Bella and Jas performance. I've got the music and everything. Please.”
“This is the last time. Nobody is to know about this, you understand?”
I jumped off the couch and set my iPod on the speakers. The music started playing. I grabbed a hairbrush and tossed it to Jasper. I grabbed my curling iron as the lyrics were about to start. We turned to face the mirror above the dresser.
“And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain.”
Jasper stepped in front of me. “My friend, I'll say it clear, I'll state my case, of which I'm certain.”
We sang together. “I've lived a life thats full. I've traveled each and evry highway; and much more, much more than this, I did it my way.”
We finished the song and colapsed on the bed, crying with laughter. That's when I heard a soft click.
“What was that?” I sat up.
“What was what?”
I stood to look down the small hallway where the door to our room was. He was there. Black suit, white shirt, black tie, his silken black hair now cropped above his ears. Standing like a tower above me. When Jasper saw him step out in to his view, he jumped up in front of me. In one sweep of his enormous hand, he pushed Japer across the room and into the wall, knocking him unconscious. The hand grabbed me as I attempted to go to Jasper's side.
“You don't need to worry about him anymore.”
The voice was like none I'd heard before. Anger tainted with hate and a little disgust. This was not my Jake. “I thought you were dead.”
“Because that's what I wanted you to think. That's why this is going to be so much easier.”
He started walking towards me. I was shuddering, praying Jasper was alright. “What are you going to do?”
“You are going to get a case of cold feet and we are going to leave.” His eyes were dark and menacing. How could he ever believe I would just leave with him? “I'm not leaving here without you, Bella. I know you're not his wife.”
“I'm going to be.”
“Not if I have anything to say about it.”
My phone started ringing and I pulled it from my pocket. “It's him.”
“Don't answer it, Bella.”
“If I don't he'll think something's wrong and come straight over.”
“Fine, make it quick.”
I flipped open my phone before bringing it to my ear. “Hey, darling. You shouldn't be calling.”
“Darling? That's a new one. I just had to hear your voice. I know it's only an hour till we see each other, but I couldn't wait.”
“Oh, you know Jasper's just having another one of his panic attacks. That's why were late.” Please let him pick up my signals. “He's been calling around all moring. Something happened with that ice sculpture he ordered and he's trying to get a new one. Alice is so set on it.”
“Ice. As in I C E?”
“Yep.” Please let him remember the code. We'd only gone over it a hundred times. Ice, in case of emergency.
“He's there?” I heard his voice drop an octive and turn cold.
“Yep.” I tried to keep it light. “I don't know if it will get there in time, but the guy said they would try.”
“Don't worry, Bella. We'll be right there. Just stall him.”
“Okay.” Jake looked like he was about to rip the phone out of my hand. His fists were balled up at his sides.
“I love you. I'm coming for you.”
“I love you, too. So much, Edward.”
“Try not to worry.”
“Okay...bye.” I flipped my phone shut. “He doesnt suspect a thing. He thinks Jasper's having a panic attack. See, there's this ice sculpture Alice really...”
He cut me off. “I don't care. Just sit.” I could see Jasper lying on the floor. He was unconscious, but still breathing. Jake took my arm and lead me to the couch, forcing me down on it. He handed me a pen and paper. “Write this. 'This has all happened too fast. I really wasn't thinking at all. Too much has happened for me to just forget the past. Maybe one day you'll forgive me.' Then sign it.”
I scribbled the words arcoss the page painstakingly slow. When I finished, he tried to take it from me, but I pulled it back to my chest. “Why did you want me to think that you were dead?”
“They wouldn't suspect you'd be with me now.”
“So, you just spread your blood all over a perfectly nice car, for what?”
He smiled as he shook his head. “There was no car. No blood. I have a friend on the Anderson police force. I believe you met him. You talked in detail about your wedding and where it was going to be. You didn't seem to leave out anything, down to the color of your flowers.”
He set us up. There never was any car drenched in blood. He gotten a friend to trick us into devulging every detail if our wedding because we were scared about becoming murder suspects.
“I never would have guessed you'd be this sick and twisted.”
“I'm just determined.” He yanked me up with him from the couch. “It's time to go.”
“Let me just check him. Please.” He let go, pushing me over to Jasper's side. I knelt down to check his pulse. Slow, but steady. I saw a small trickle of blood making it's way down his forehead. “I love you.” I whispered as I put my lips to his forehead. “Never forget that. Tell Edward the note's all a lie. Find me.”
“That's enough.” He pulled me back up. “We have a long way to go.”
“Where are we going?”
“You'll know when we get there.”
He held me close as we made our way down the stairwell and out through the hotel lobby. There, he pushed me into the passengers seat of a black sedan. When he started the engine, I felt all hope leave my body. I grabbed for the door. As soon as I got it open, he floored it, forcing the door shut. Then the locks went permanently down. He grabbed my hand, crushing it in his grasp, breaking at least two of my fingers. If Jake, the man who'd claimed to love me could crush my hand in one squeeze, there was no end to what he was capable of.
As he was tearing down the road, I could feel the sharp pain in my chest start to throb. I knew Jake thought he had won. I didn't know how, but I was going to make it back to Edward somehow. That would be the only way to survive this.
“Don't worry. I've found us a great place to live. New house, new job, new names. It's going to be perfect. A fresh start.” He tried to caress my cheek, but I just pulled away. “We're gonna have the life we always dreamed of.”
Jake slammed on the breaks, but it was too late. The car started spinning. I braced myself between the console and the door waiting for the motion to stop. Jake's head smashed the driver's side window. He went limp before the violent shuddering finally stopped.
I unlocked my door which was still intact. Jake had gotten the full force of the impact. I opened the door and got out. I put my hands over my face as the tears were freely flowing. I heard the faint cry of police sirens as I felt myself swept up into a pair of arms.
“I thought I almost lost you.” My Edward. His lips on mine. His heart beating just as fast.
I turned to see my father standing beside the car that had hit Jake and I. He was rubbing his neck and stretching his back out. “He hit us?”
“You're dad knows what to do in this situation. I don't think he cared if he got hurt..”
I pulled away from his embrace to check him. “You're not hurt are you?”
“No, I'm fine. I'm better than fine. You know I'm never letting you go again, right?”
The sirens were right beside us now. The police and EMS came find the two cars twisted together.
“Glad we got that rental insurance. It won't cost a dime.” Edward just laughed as he pulled me back in. I winced as he grabbed at my hand. I had almost forgotten my broken fingers. “Bella, what did he do?”
“I tried to get out of the car. He grabbed my hand. It didn't take much.”
“Let's get them to look at this.”
“It's fine. Let's just give our statements and get to the ceremony.”
“Bella, it can wait.”
“NO!” No matter what Jake had done, I wasn't about to let him ruin this day for all of us. “This is our day, not his. I'm going to be Mrs. Edward Cullen today.”
I sat in the ambulance for a few minutes while an EMT tapped my fingers together. My father and Edward stood talking with a few officers as they removed Jake from the car. They got him onto a stretcher and into another ambulance. Before it drove away, Emmett came driving up with Jasper.
I jumper out of the ambulance and sprinted over to Jasper. “I'm so sorry.” I squeezed him as tight as I could.
“Bells, it's okay. I'm fine, except I can't breath”
I let up, but only a little. “You're head?” I placed my fingers on the bruise that was making it's way to the surface on his forehead.
“It's fine. I've got a hard head, just like you.”
“Good, no excuses then.”
“We are all going back to the house. You are getting married to Alice and I am getting married to Edward.”
Edward came and wrapped his arms around me from behind. “She's serious. You better call Rosalie and Alice and let them know were on our way.”
“We can go then?” I turned to face him.
He placed his soft kiss on my lips. “You will be Mrs. Edward Cullen before the night is out.”