Title: Shadows of Another Life
Characters/Pairing: Edward/Bella, some Rosalie/Emmett, some Alice/Jasper
Rating: Overall M for Mature Audiences
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.
Edward was trying anything to distract me from the fact that the charges against Jake were dropped.
“I know it didn't work out the way we'd hoped, but we're together now. You and I are stronger. We can take on anything.”
“Damn straight!” Edward threw the bag he'd been packing down on my hospital bed. He pulled me in as close as my belly would let him. “Nobody's gonna mess with my girls.”
I brought his lips down to mine. What I expected to be a soft, gentle kiss quickly became a mess of lips and tongues, my fingers gripping the hair at the on the back of his head. I think we might have made it to the bed if the nurse hadn't interrupted.
“I just need to give you your discharge instructions.” She rattled off everything the doctor was expecting me to do. Check my blood pressure three times a day. Eat three meals everyday. Drink plenty of fluids. The doctor wanted me to see me in his office before he would release me to fly home. We made the appointment and got ourselves out if there.
Once we made it back to the house, we found that the family was taking it easy. They were lounging on the beach sipping fruity drinks. Jas and Emmett had convinced dad and Carlisle to play a little father/son football. My dad had quite an arm, to Emmett's dismay.
After a few minutes of pleading and several steamy kisses later, I convinced Edward to let me put my suit on and layout with the girls.
Alice was fascinated with every aspect of my pregnancy, especially my wardrobe. I had racks of clothes I would never have enough time to wear, but she seemed to find three incredible bathing suits. The first one, a navy tankini, was the one I wore everyday for water aerobics. Edward had already seen that one. Then was the little green tankini that we picked out because it matched Edward's eyes. It had straps that crossed in the back that were always getting twisted and left weird tan lines. That one was out. Then, there was the one I'd been saving for a day when I would be really brave. I slipped my clothes off and pulled the bikini on. I never thought that bikini's were made for pregnant women, but the way it made me feel, I think the only women to wear them should be pregnant. The burgundy boy shorts covered my ever expanding backside and held snug beneath my little belly. The matching halter top accentuated my new full breast. I think I'd finally hit the horny stage of pregnancy and that bikini made me feel like a goddess.
The look on Edward's face when I stepped out on the deck made it clear that I had chosen wisely. I thought we'd never make it to the beach the way we were groping each other like bunch of horny teenagers. While trying to catch my breath, I reminded Edward, no sex. Doctor's orders. He finally settled for just carrying me down to the beach.
“You won't be able to do that much longer.” I knew Edward was strong, but at the rate I was growing, I would soon reach whale proportions.
“Oh, I think I'll be fine. I have a strong back.” Edward laid me down in the lounger next to Alice.
“I bet you do.” Alice winked at me as she passed me the sunscreen.
“Let me.” Edward grabbed the tube and began drawing on my belly.
A thin line of sunscreen turned into a heart that surrounded my baby. I could see Alice tear up at the beauty of it. I was about to rub it in when Jasper made me stop.
“Just wait a sec.” He pulled out his camera. He was almost as attached to it as he was to Alice. He started snapping pictures of my belly.
“Enough. Can I just rub it in now?”
“Alright, but I'm not finished yet. I've got an idea.”
Jasper, his camera, and an idea? Always a dangerous situation. I was afraid of what was to come next, but it turned out to be one of the most astonishing experiences of my life.
Jasper had been agonizing over what he could do to be a part of the preparation for the baby. Alice had the clothes covered. Rose was helping decorate the nursery. Emmett was actually making a cradle. He was becoming quite the carpenter. Jas just hadn't realized what he could do to be a part of it until that moment.
“It's gonna be great, Bells. I can think of a thousand different poses.” He started snapping pictures immediately.
Jasper wanted to make a tribute to pregnancy through his pictures. He wanted to start by burning the image of my pregnant magnificence on that perfect beach.
First, just to a couple shots of me lying in the sand, on my back, on my side. Then I went out into the water where it waded just below my belly. I dipped down and got my hair wet. That's when I felt the familiar strong arms of my husband surround me. Jasper continued snapping as Edward's hand roamed all over my belly. A shot of him lifting me from the water. Us lying in the sand, tracing our initials. Edward kissing my belly at every opportunity.
Two months later...
“How do you like all these pictures being on display for the world to see?”
The man with a greasy goatee was salivating at the pictures of my Bella. “We hadn't really intended them to be displayed this way.” We really hadn't. When opportunity knocked at Jasper's door, we couldn't say no.
Bella was looking more radiant with each passing day. I knew I would miss that amazing glow with only six weeks left. We were too excited to see our little girl though. At least Jasper was able to capture it on film.
I inched my way back over to Bella and slipped my arms around her waist, resting my hands on her belly.
“Ouch. She really excited tonight, isn't she.”
“I think she was just telling her daddy hello.” Bella brought her hand up to the back of my head, threading her fingers through my hair. I kissed down at her wrist before the man of the hour made his appearance.
“What do you think?” I could tell Jasper was eager for our approval. It was our half naked bodies on display after all.
“They're beautiful. You couldn't of had better subjects. I can't wait for you to take pictures of her once she's on the outside.” Bella's smile radiated throughout the room. Jasper's picture of us from the day at the beach had made us sort of a celebrity couple. Everyone at the showing wanted to meet us almost as much as they wanted to meet Jasper.
Jasper had published the picture of Bella's stomach with the heart of sunscreen in a local magazine soon after we returned from Hawaii. For some reason or another, the picture became a symbol for pregnancy all over the Internet. We even had a website asking to use it as a trademark for all their advertising. The show in Sacramento was actually the launch before the spread and interview in Fit Pregnancy magazine. It was amazing how fast everything was happening. Who would have thought a day at the beach would have turned us into the next Hollywood super couple.
The exposure was doing just as much for us as it was for Jasper. After the spread in Fit Pregnancy, he had two other magazine spreads and a book offer to contend with. The vineyard had been put on the map. We had to double our staff just to keep up with all the orders. Bella had been offered to write a column for a international veterinary journal. She's even been contacted by the TV network “Animal Planet” on the possibility of creating her own television show.
It wasn't anywhere near the kind of life we were expecting two months before, but everything seemed to be going our way. Jacob had moved back to Forks, where Charlie had a few friends keeping an eye on him. He'd been given six months probation for violating a restraining order. Another judge took pity on the crippled, heartbroken boy. It was the past. We were finally stepping out of the shadow and into the light of our new life.
The show was a little strange. I still hadn't come to accept all the attention that went along with the sudden celebrity. Having our daughter had been the most incredible experience of my life, but now with all the publicity, I was hoping I would have time to raise her.
Edward was taking it all in stride. Becoming a dad, the vineyard taking off, the hundreds of blogs now describing every inch of his body. A quick google search and I found another woman's face photoshopped over mine, with a face full of lust for my Edward. It seemed like Edward was the next David Beckham. Women wanted him, while men wanted to be him. I wasn't sure if all of this was a blessing or a curse.
The night was winding down as Edward and I were saying our goodbye's. We had decided to stay in a hotel over night and drive home the next morning. We pulled in the parking garage, but Edward didn't get out.
“I just can't believe how beautiful you are tonight. It seems everyday, I find something more to love about you.”
“And I you.” I bent over the center consoul and pressed my lips to his.
He brought his thumb up to caress my chin. A strange crease appeared on his brow as he pulled back from me. “We haven't decide on any names yet.”
He was right. We hadn't, but I had. “I've got an idea.”
“Why, Mrs. Cullen? Keeping secrets are we?” He was out of the car and around to my door in five seconds flat. Who says chivalry is dead?
Edward pulled me up to him, one hand resting on my belly, the other on my cheek. I felt him lean in for a kiss, but then he slumped against me. I couldn't hold him up as I felt him slide to the ground. I could see the blood dripping from the back of his head as I looked up to see a familiar pair of black eyes staring down at me. That's when I felt the hand clasp over my mouth from behind. I tried to fight back as the tears flooded my eyes, but all too soon it went to black.
I woke to find my car door still open and Bella no where to be found. I reached the back of my head to notice the wet stickiness that was dripping there. I grabbed my cell phone that was thankfully still in my pocket.
“I need to report a... a kidnapping. My wife and I were in our hotel parking garage when I was knocked out. When I woke up, she was gone.”
“Sir, just calm down. Please, tell me where you are.”
I explained where I was and that we had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. “She's seven months pregnant.”
Within an hour, Bella's picture was plastered all over the news. I could barely keep from breaking away from the EMT's when an ass of a detective had accused me of doing something to my wife. They were able to hold me down as Charlie took care of the detective who was certainly going to lose his badge over his question.
I only needed a few stitches, but I could feel like my head was about to explode. If I ever got my hands on Jacob Black, I would kill him.
I felt like I'd been run over by a train when my eyes fluttered open. My little girl was as active as always as I tried to get to my feet. That's when my wrist held me back. I was shackled to the bed frame. I tried to pull my wrist out until I felt a hand on my back.
I turned and there he was. Jake. He looked confused though. He tried to sit up to find he was also shackled to the bed frame.
“Jake. What's going on?” I felt the blood coursing faster through my veins.
He shrugged his shoulders as he reached for his head. I noticed a rather large knot on his forehead.
The room was bare except for the queen sized bed and what looked to be Jake's wheelchair. That's when I heard the door open.
The footsteps were unfamiliar. When he came to stand in front of me, I knew why. I'd never seen Billy walk before.
“My beautiful Bella.”
There were no words for the shock that filled my body. Billy standing in front of me and Jake shackled to the bed just like I was.
“You two better get comfortable. We're going to be here for awhile.”
A/N: OH NO! Did you see that one coming? I can't believe the twists keep coming. Can you guess what Billy has up his sleeve? Does Jacob have anything to do with it or is he just a victim too? What lengths will Edward go to to get his wife and child back? Let me know what you think, and maybe you'll get a sneak peak at chapter 18. Sorry this is so short, but I had to get here. I'm so excited.
By the way, can you guess our little girl's name? I already know what it is, but I'd like to see what you all think.