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 3~Champagne Wishes
“Come on. We're gonna miss it.” Edward was pulling me through the field to the best spot to view the two love birds.
“They can't already be there. They just left the house.”
“Emmett has his ways. Come on.”
Not that I actually minded running through a beautiful vineyard with a devastatingly handsome man, but I wanted to take my time. Take in the scenery and Edward.
“Right here.” Edward stopped us and pulled me down on my knees next to him. We peeked through the vines to see Emmett and Rose lying on a blanket underneath a huge maple tree.
“How's he gonna do it?” I tried to whisper so they might not hear me.
“I don't know. He'll probably say something like 'Hey babe. You and me? Whatdaya think?' then pull the ring out.”
I clasped my hand over my mouth to keep my laugh from escaping. Edward just threw me a crooked grin. I kept his gaze on mine so long, we almost missed it.
We couldn't hear what they were saying, but I knew it was getting close when Emmett lifted himself up on his elbow. He pulled the little black box from his pocket and placed it on Rose's stomach. My breath caught in my throat. Edward gave my hand a light squeeze. Rose sat up so fast that the box flew to the ground. Emmett picked up the box and got to one knee. The box popped open and Rose's arms went directly around his neck. They kissed and kissed and kissed to the point that I was feeling a little uncomfortable. Then finally Emmett pulled her off of him long enough to slip the ring on her finger.
“She said yes!” Emmett yelled to the sky.
“That's our que.” Edward grabbed my hand and pulled me back through the vineyard, tearing back to the house.
We got back to the kitchen and Edward went straight for the champagne. “You were about to tear up back there.”
“If you breath a word of this to Rose, so help me.”
“I won't. Don't worry.” Edward smiled that crooked grin again. I was beginning to like the sight of it gliding across his face. He wrapped the bottle in a towel as I found four glasses.
The door creaked open then Rose rushed in, straight into my arms. She didn't say a word. She sobbed joyful tears until the entire left side of my shirt was soaked. Edward and Emmett stood back as the tears that had been threatening to fall were now rolling down my cheeks. It was the single most incredible moment that I'd ever shared with my sister. Edward threw his arm around Emmett as I met his gaze. My silent tears turned into loud sobs now matching Rose's. I buried my head into Rose's shoulder as she stroked my hair.
We pulled back from each other. I swept her hair behind her ear as I wiped the tears from her cheek.
“Will you be okay with all of this?” Rose sniffled through every word.
“What do you mean? I'm so utterly happy for you.”
“I just mean since you were supposed to be first.”
“It's fine. This is the way it was meant to be. The older sister should be the one to get married first. Now you're going to be the one to try on a hundred dresses and never find the perfect one.”
A vivid memory of Rose and I in a little bridal shop in Seattle came to the surface. Jake had popped the question, with a ring and everything. Rose had come up for the weekend to go dress shopping. Every white dress, no matter how beautiful or exquisite, nothing seemed right. No dress ever made me see myself at the end of that isle pledging my eternity to Jake.
I couldn't believe how emotional I'm being over the engagement of my sister to a man she's only known for nine months. I wasn't anywhere close to this heart melty feeling when the man ,who had been my best friend my entire life, slipped a diamond on my finger.
“You're going to be the perfect maid of honor. Maybe not as into as I was going to be, but...”
“Rose, I'll do whatever you want. It's your day.”
“It is isn't it. I'm getting married!” She let me go only to latch back onto Emmett.
Edward crept up beside me with a box of tissues. I was still sniffling. “Seriously, I'm usually not this girlie. Especially with Rose.”
“I think it becomes you. You have a huge heart, Bella Swan.” He grabbed the champagne and popped the cork. “Some champagne for the happy couple?” The glasses overflowed as Rose ultimately released Emmett from her death grip embrace. Edward handed us all a glass as Emmett was about to make a toast.
“To my baby brother and my amazing soon-to-be sister-in-law. Without your help today, I don't know if I would have ever pulled this off.”
“Here, here.” Edward lifted his glass as we all took a sip. “And now to my big brother and his beautiful bride. We can only offer you what we cherish most, this crazy, messed up group of people we somehow call a family. Here's to hoping you decided to stick around for awhile. To Rosalie... and Emmett, of course.”
I seconded it. “To Emmett and Rosalie.”
We met the whole family, including Chief Swan, at the restaurant. My family all took to Bella instantly, especially Alice. Before we had even finished the first course, Alice had her and Rosalie talking color schemes and flower arrangements. Every once in awhile, Bella would look my way and smile while secretly rolling her eyes. By the time we had finished the main course, I could tell she was about to pull her hair out. Her face pleaded for me to rescue her.
“I'm going to give you a break. I'll take Bella off your hands for a minute.”
“But...” Alice looked upset at first, but then her expression turned to a rather pleased one. “Bring her back in one piece. We have a lot more to talk about.”
Bella took the hand I'd offered to her and I lead her to the dance floor. We turned to face each other.
“I can't dance. Never could.” Her eyes looked to her feet.
I took one hand in mine and placed the other on my shoulder. I went to rest my hand on her left hip then remembered this afternoon. She saw my hesitation. She pulled herself in close enough for me to rest my palm on the small of her back. I turned her hand in mine and brought them to rest just above my racing heart.
“Thanks for the save. Your sister is amazing, but there's only so much colors and flowers and dresses I can handle.”
“She means well. You'll get used to her unique enthusiasm. Your really going to have your hands full though. All I have to do is get a tux and plan the bachelor party.”
She smiled as she dipped her head to rest her cheek on my chest. With each breath, my lungs filled with her scent, freesia wafting from her hair. I felt myself pulling her in even closer as we gently swayed. She shuddered against my chest, so I pulled back.
“Is this okay? I'm not hurting you am I?”
“No, that was a good kind of shudder.”
“So?” I wondered what she was thinking and what I could do to make her body shudder against me again.
“This is just so... unexpected.”
“No.” She shook her head with a soft laugh and brought her eyes to mine. “I never thought I would feel this natural in the arms of a man I just met.”
“Then I think it would be a good idea to do it more often.” She broke our gaze, looking across the room to our family's table. “Hey.” She brought her eyes back to mine. “I don't want to push you into anything you're not ready for.”
“It's just a lot to take in all at once. I know we'll have plenty of chances to do this again. Rose had already started naming our children before we ever met. She thinks you're perfect for me.”
“I can't tell you I won't hope she's right.” Her beautiful smile crept back on her face. I squeezed her hand a little tighter as I pulled her closer. I saw the flush rise to her cheeks.
“I think I need a drink.” She brought her hand from my shoulder and swept it across her rose colored cheek.
“Sure, I'll get you something from the bar. What do you want?”
“I'd love a beer. Whatever they have on tap.”
“My kind of girl. I'll be back in a minute.”
I watched her walk back to the table where she was devoured by Alice and Rosalie at once. I made my way through the entryway and into the bar. I ordered us two beers as I noticed the man at the end of the bar.
“You all having some sort of party?” He asked after sipping his beer.
“Ya, sort of an engagement party.”
“My congratulations then. Let me buy the happy couple a bottle of champagne.” He stood to grab his wallet.
“No, that's not necessary.” The bartender put my beers in front of me. I went to grab for my wallet.
“I'll just put it on Rosalie's tab. Don't worry about it.” The bartender smiled as he walked away.
“By the way you were dancing out there, I assume you two are very happy.”
I made my way with my drinks to the end of the bar. “No, it's not our engagement party. Actually it's her sister and my brother's party.”
“Good. That's good.”
I was a little confused by his reaction. “I better be getting back.”
“So that woman, she your girlfriend though, right?”
It wasn't really any of his business what kind of relationship Bella and I had, but didn't see how it could hurt giving a small explanation. “No, just friends.”
“Seemed like a lot more than friends to me.”
This guy was paying way more attention to Bella and I than I was comfortable with. “Just friends.”
“What? You queer or something?”
At this point I was getting a little more than irritated. “Look, pal. I don't know what your getting at, but I don't think any of this is your business.”
I heard someone stop behind me. I turned to see Bella. Her face was white as a sheet and she was trembling. I left our drinks on the bar and took her in my arms.
“Are you alright? Do you want me to take you home?”
The man's voice echoed behind me. “Bella. I see it didn't take long for you to move on.”
I pulled back from Bella, her eyes still glued to his. “What are you doing here, Jake?”
I turned to look back at the man. Jake? Oh shit.
“What are you doing here, Jake?” I could feel all the blood draining from my face. Thank god Edward was holding onto me. I would have fallen straight to the floor of he hadn't been. I shuddered, in the bad way, against Edward as Jake stood at the end of the bar.
“I came to ask you to come home.”
Edward stood defensively in front of me. A stance I greatly appreciated at the moment.
“You know I would never hurt you, Bella. Never on purpose.”
“It's a little too late for that, Jake.” I could hear my voice coming out of my mouth, but I barley recognized it. I felt on the verge of tears as the ache in my hip started to burn. Jake advanced a little more. Edward put his hand on Jake's chest to stop him coming any further.
“She doesn't want you here. I think you should leave.” Edward's jaw was clenched and flexing as he pressed the words through his teeth.
Just then, I felt a hand on my back. “I'll take care of this.” Jasper's presence instantly brought calm to my body. He stood in front of Edward and pushed Jake back against the bar. “I think you've caused my sister more than enough pain for a life time. If you ever come near her again, I will do much more than put a restraining order on you.”
Even though Jake stood a full foot taller and several inches wider than Jasper, he backed down.
“This isn't over, Bella. I'm not about to give up on our life together.” Jake slid past Edward and I and out the door.
I rushed over into Jasper's awaiting arms. I tried not to cry, but my tears were inevitable. I felt Jasper's shoulder, damp with my tears. “I'm sorry. I think I ruined your shirt.”
“It's fine. It's just a shirt. I'm going to get dad and make sure there's no sign of Jake. You okay?”
“Ya.” I wiped a tear from my cheek. “I think I really need that beer now.” Edward slid the beer in front of me as I sat down at the bar. Jasper kissed the back of my head before going to find dad. Edward sat beside me as I took half my beer in one gulp.
“That's Jake then?”
“I think Jasper and I could have taken him.”
I smiled at the thought of my brother and my new white knight beating the crap out of Jake. “I'm sure you could if my father wouldn't of gotten to him first.”
“When you said things ended badly, you weren't being entirely accurate.”
“No, not really.” I finished the rest of my beer and Edward slid his in front of me.
“You think you might want to tell me about it?”
I took a deep breath before reliving one of the worst nights of my life.
Any ideas on what happened with Bella and Jacob? It's going to be interesting and fairly detailed. Stay tuned.