Title: Shadows of Another Life
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 and 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 2~A Shower and a Sandwich
Edward showed me to the guest room so I could get cleaned up properly. He made sure I had plenty of towels and even bottles of Alice's shampoo and conditioner.
I was accustomed to having half my wardrobe in my truck. My bag had a pair of jeans that hugged my curves a little more than the ones I was already wearing. Rose must have pulled out my favorite University of Washington t-shirt and replaced it with a green polo of hers. She had said they were stylish yet functional. Being the only shirt in the bag, it would go on after my shower was through.
I stripped off my boots, socks, and slowly pulled my jeans off. I pulled my shirt over my head, leaving me in just my bra and underwear. Then in the mirror, it was there, staring back at me. Something so small that was the result of so much pain.
As I stepped into the running shower, the burn just above my left hip shuddered at the contact. I adjusted the shower head to a more gentle setting. I tried not to think about the ache at my hip, but the memories came flooding back anyway. I hadn't even realized I was crying until I tasted the salt on my lips. I knew I just needed to forget about Jake, about that horrible night. The burn was serving as a constant reminder of the reasons I'd come to Cottonwood in the first place.
Before the water ran cold, I finished rinsing my hair out and attending to anything that still needed attention. I turned the water off, grabbed a towel, and got out. I picked up my watch and realized it had been thirty minutes since Edward had left me. I hurriedly dressed and headed back to where I thought the kitchen was.
My hair was still damp. I thought it only right to clean up myself. No need for our guest to be subjected to my b.o. I stood at the kitchen island, stacking all the ingredients for our sandwiches on the bread before me. I had just started slicing the tomatoes when Emmett entered.
“What'd ya think?”
“About what?” I divided the tomatoes between the three sandwiches.
“Bella. What did you think of Bella?”
I shrugged my shoulders, trying to keep my focus. “I don't know. She seemed nice.” I lied. I thought she was completely amazing. I wasn't about to give Emmett the satisfaction of knowing he might have actually found someone who was right for me.
“Nice? That's all you can come up with? How about beautiful, brilliant, talented?”
I looked at him as I finished our lunches. “I suppose. I only met her a few hours ago.”
“Me too, but I can already see how amazing she is.”
“You go out with her then.”
Emmett raised an eyebrow at the thought. “You think Rosalie would go for it? I've always had this fantasy about sisters.”
I threw the closest thing to me at him, a tomato. Damn it if it didn't just bounce right off without causing any damage.
At that moment, Bella walked in, a towel still around her neck.
“I hope your hungry. These are pretty big.” She joined Emmett and I around the island, eying the monstrous feast that sat in front of her. She placed her towel on the stool that stood next to her.
“I'm starving. I ran out without getting breakfast. I still haven't gotten down a new morning routine yet.” She took a large bite. “Mmmmm.”
“How's that going? Settling in with the family and all,” Emmett asked before shoving in a mouthful.
“Dad and Jas have been great. I missed them so much. Rose... she's a different story.”
I just laughed. I had always known what a control freak Rosalie had been with Emmett and Jasper. I could only imagine the horrors she reserved for her only sister. Emmett's arm made contact with my shoulder bringing an end to my laughter.
“I'm sure she means well. I don't know if you realize how much she's missed you. She had me and Jasper clean your room out not even an hour after you called.”
“I just wish she'd let up a little. Let me get adjusted. This has been a big change for me.”
“Why'd you move then?” I hadn't heard the story and was genuinely curious. Emmett's stare conveyed that I shouldn't have asked.
“It's okay, Emmett. Jasper is friends with Dr. Kline. He had told him that I was a vet. When Dr. Kline was in need of a new partner, Jasper gave him my number. One phone call and I had the job.”
“How's that a bad thing?” I had a feeling the other shoe was about to drop. Emmett's chin was at his chest, swaying back and forth.
“Emmett must know the story of who I left behind.”
I saw a slight twinge of pain in her eyes. A man. Definitely a man. If she was with someone, why was Emmett pushing me towards her so hard?
“Jake had it in his head that my place was by his side no matter what. Moving was never an option for him. I had to think it through, decide what was more important. I sat him down and asked him to come with me. He actually laughed. He thought I'd never leave. That's when I made it very clear I was going with or without him. When he saw my stuff was already packed... let's just say, it ended badly. Now here I am pouring my heart out to practical strangers. More than you wanted to know, hun?”
“Don't be like that. We're practically family.” Emmett put his hand on her shoulder.
“That's funny. Rose said something like that just this morning.”
“It'll only happen if he gets up the courage to drop down on one knee.” For some reason, I didn't see Emmett as the one knee type.
“I've already talked to Charlie.” Emmett pulled a small black velvet box from his pocket and placed it on the island. “Just have to pick the right moment.”
My jaw dropped. I looked to see Bella had the same shocked expression.
“I know it's only been about nine months, but I think we're ready.” Bella and I were speechless. “Say something.”
Bella's lips opened and closed a few times before the words could get through. “Can I see it?”
“Sure.” Emmett opened the box to reveal the rectangle one carat diamond nestled in a white gold setting.
Bella's hand went over here mouth as she attempted to hold herself in. I just shook my head. I'd never been that close to Rosalie, but I knew she made my brother happy. I went to his side.
“Congratulations.” I took Emmett in a hug.
“Thanks. You know your the best man if she says yes.” He pulled back from me.
“If?” Bella spoke up. “She's gonna say yes. She'd be crazy not to.”
“You really think so?” I could tell Emmett was starting to get nervous. I don't think he was planning on telling Rosalie's sister his plan.
“She loves you. I know that. Everything else will just fall into place.” Bella pulled Emmett into a hug. Her arms barely making it all the way around his neck. She gave him a peck and whispered in his ear before returning to her sandwich. He smiled and then blushed, but I didn't think to ask questions.
“When you think you're going do it?” I knew they were meeting that afternoon.
“This afternoon. You think you two might be able to help me set it up?”
I don't know why Emmett needed any help. It seemed he could have done it all himself, yet he sent Bella and I on little errands all over the vineyard. I got her to come with me on a horse back ride. Emmett said it would give her a chance to check out the horses properly. She was almost a better rider than I was. She really took to the stride and speed easily. We ended up racing through one of the back fields to the stables. She actually won.
“What do I get?” She hopped off her horse.
“I don't know.” I came down on the ground next to her hard. Her arms instinctively rose to help steady me. Our faces were only a few inches apart. I could feel the sweat falling from my brow. “What do you want?” She lowered her eyes to my lips as she let her arms fall to her sides. I started to move closer as I placed my hands on her hips. She suddenly winced and stepped away from me. “I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?”
“It's just an old war wound. It just stings a bit.” She looked back up at me, but the moment had passed. “Guess we better get that stuff up to Emmett. Rose will be here soon.” She turned to walk out.
“Sure, but...” I lightly took her hand in mine. “The ride was nice.”
“Yes, it was. We'll have to do it again soon.”
“I'll keep you to that.”
“I'll be here checking on the foal and since were practically family, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to take a ride.”
My mind went strait into the gutter. I could just imagine rolling around in the fresh hay with her. “Plenty of opportunities I'm sure.” I had hoped the smile on my face hadn't revealed my true thoughts. The way her eyes shined back at me, I couldn't help but hope she was thinking the same thing.
I'm working out the kinks in Chapter 3. I started it, then totally changed my mind, so I'll put it up when I work throught it all. Comment Please!