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 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 8-Oh, What a Night
Plan B? I know I was ready, but was she?
“You know we've only been dating less than twenty-four hours. We have already talked about marriage more than most couples do in years, but are you really sure?” There was no way I was going into this if she was not sure.
“Edward. We've been dating for weeks, we just never admitted it.”
“She's right you know.” Alice chimed in.
“You can't be serious? There's no way dad would go for this. He'd go ballistic.”
“Jas, calm down. We told dad that we were dating and he's okay with it. I think.”
“Having me as a son-in-law is a whole different story. Besides, I haven't even officially proposed yet.”
“You said it was coming though, right?”
“Then we won't start anything until then. Let's just get through the next couple of weeks first.” With that, she gave me a peck on the lips. Now I knew I'd have to come up with something good.
The next few weeks went pretty fast. We got caught up in all the final touches for Rose's wedding. The dresses, the shoes, the cake, the flowers, the food, everything was set. Even though we'd slept in the same bed every night, we still hadn't... consummated our relationship. Not that neither of hadn't tried, but for some reason or another, it just never happened.
When I got to my truck after I had spent a day at the clinic, I found a note under my windshield wiper.
Meet me at The Fairfield Inn, suite 913. I'll be waiting. All my love, Edward
My heart started to melt. I knew he was planning something special for tonight. A whole night alone with Edward. Would he propose? Would I finally be able to make love to the most amazing and beautiful man in the world?
It didn't take me long to get to the inn. I don't think anything could have stopped me. As I pulled my truck into the parking lot, I realized I needed to at least change my shirt. I dug through my bag of clothes and pulled out a white tank top and a baby blue button up shirt to layer over it. I applied some lipstick before jumping out of the truck and running inside.
Once I got to the door, I could hardly contain myself. As I knocked, I realized the door was open. I walked in to an overwhelming aroma of roses. There were dozens of arrangements of roses through out the room. Rose petals were all over the floor and covering the bed. No Edward though.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I pulled it out to find a text from Edward.
WHERE RU? @ THE CLINIC WAITING 2 TAKE U 2 DINNER. CALL ME.
He's at the clinic? Then what... At that moment, I heard the door click shut and lock behind me. I turned to see Jake standing in front of the locked door. I dropped my phone to the floor, shattering it into oblivion.
“Jake.” It was almost impossible to fathom that any of this was even remotely real. I walked backward as he came towards me.
“Don't be frightened. I just want to talk. I wasn't sure you'd even come.”
“Edward knows how much I like surprises. I would have never expected something like this from you.” My body was trembling almost as much as my voice.
“Bells, please.” He put his hand up to cup my face. I batted it away before falling back on the bed. “I just want to explain.”
“Explain what? I knew you'd be upset, but Jake... I never, after all we've been through, expected you to hurt me like this.” I slowly lifted my shirt to reveal the burn that would forever have it's place on my skin.
“I did that?”
Was he kidding me? Was he not there? Every detail of that night was forever burned on my brain.
“I was out of my mind that night. I couldn't control anything I was doing.”
“That's no excuse, Jake. Fact is, you burned me with a fireplace poker and tried to rape me.” For some reason I felt stronger. The words didn't sting as the escaped my lips. I felt a surge of empowerment being able to finally tell Jake what he did to me.
I got up from the bed and backed myself up to the dresser. I surveyed the room for anything I could reach to defend myself with.
“You will never know how sorry I am. Not even if I spend the rest of my life making it up to you. Just give me a few minutes to explain.” He sat down on the bed and looked up to me. His eyes were brimming with tears. In all the years I'd known Jake, I'd never seen him cry. Not even when he broke his leg in three places.
“After you left, it got bad. I was drinking and not thinking about myself. I was so consumed with anger. I thought if I just had the chance to talk to you. That's when I came to see you and met him.”
“You mean my husband?”
“He told me that you two were just friends.”
“We were at the time.”
“So, all you needed was some rich, pretty boy?”
“No!” I felt the adrenaline rush through my veins. “I loved you Jake, but I realized I couldn't live my life like that anymore. I wasn't living at all. You were smothering me and when we got engaged, it just got worse. I couldn't take it anymore.”
“So, you marry the first guy that comes along?”
“It's not like that. I'm not going to justify my marriage or anything I do to you.”
“Can't even get you a ring? At least I got you a ring.”
I looked to my left hand at his realization. “I don't wear it to work. It was his grandmother's. I don't want to loose it deworming a German shepherd.”
“Fine. I don't care. The point is, I left Forks. I got a job in Anderson. A good job, Bells. I've rented a house. Three bedrooms with a huge backyard. Big enough for you to make a garden. We could even get a dog or cat if you want. Your family can come over any time you want. They can live with us even.”
I was feeling extremely bold at this point. “Even my husband?”
“You don't need him anymore, Bella. I'll never hurt you... ever again.” I could hear the guilt amongst the sincerity in his voice. I surprised myself that I didn't pull away when he took my hand and got down on one knee. “Leave him, Bella. Come back to me and we could have a life better than we ever dreamer of.”
He opened the small blue velvet box to reveal the ring he had given me. I remembered tossing it on the living room floor before Jasper had carried me out that night. I could tell he was serious, but he looked so desperate as well. It became one of those defining moments of a person's life. No matter what you do, you're life is never going to be the same.
I brought my fingers down to the box. The tears were stinging my eyes. I could barely see. “I love...” I snapped the box shut. “I love Edward. It's too late for us.”
When he stood up, he had practically crushed the box in his hand. “What can I do to make you see we belong together!” The box went flying across the room with such force it became embedded in the wall. The terror flowed through me as I backed up hitting the dresser. Jake was coming towards me. I felt my legs fail beneath me. Then it all went black.
I pulled into the clinic parking lot a little after five to notice Bella's truck was nowhere to be found. I pulled out my phone and began to text her.
WHERE RU? @ THE CLINIC WAITING 2 TAKE U 2 DINNER. CALL ME.
As I finished, I saw Angela, one of the vet techs, walking towards me. I got out of the car as she greeted me.
“Hey, Edward. What are you doing here?”
“I was supposed to pick up Bella for dinner.”
“That's weird. I saw her haul out of here about five minutes ago.”
“Was she alone?” Maybe Jasper or Emmett had come and she'd left with them. We'd all been taking turns lately making sure Bella got home safe.
“As far as I could see. She pulled a note off her windshield. I assumed it was from you when she took off like that.”
“Which way did she go?”
“She took a left out of the parking lot.”
“Thanks.” I hopped back in the Volvo and sped off.
I pressed her number on the speed dial.
Damn! Straight to voicemail.
Next I tried Jasper.
“Hello?” Jasper answered as I heard my sister giggling in the background. I really didn't care if I was interrupting anything.
“Jasper. Have you heard from Bella?”
“No. Why? Alice quit. It's Edward.”
I was starting to get worried. “She took off before I got to the clinic. Angela said someone left a note on her windshield. After she read it, she just took off.”
“Well, it wasn't me. Should I be worried?”
“I don't know, yet. I'm gonna try Rosalie, see if she knows anything.” I cut him off before he could say goodbye. I dialed Rosalie.
“Rosalie, please tell me you've heard from Bella.”
“No, not since lunch. Edward, what's wrong?”
It was at that moment, I saw her truck in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn.
“Would you know of any reason Bella would be at the Fairfield Inn?”
“No. What's going on?”
“I just found her truck in the parking lot. I'll call you back when I find something out.”
I pulled into the space next to her truck. I got out to look inside the truck before going inside. I saw her lab coat and her purse on the seat. I flipped through my keys till I found hers. I opened the truck, looking for any clue. I found the note lying under her lab coat.
Meet me at the Fairfield in, suite 913. I'll be waiting. All my love, Edward
I knew for a fact I didn't write that note. I slammed the door shut and ran into the lobby.
I tore up to the front desk, most certainly scaring the woman behind it.
“913. Can you tell me where 913 is?” I was breathing heavily. I could only imagine what she thought of me.
“Take those elevators to the ninth floor. It's the last one on the left. But, wait.”
“Ya?” I was already halfway to the elevator when she called me back.
“Aren't you Edward Cullen?”
“I recognized you from that article in the paper.”
That article! That's all I needed. More women looking to hook up with who they thought was Cottonwood's most eligible bachelor. “I'm kinda in a hurry.”
“No, I know. I just, I wasn't here earlier. It says that Edward Cullen checked in to suite 913 at two o'clock this afternoon.”
Every thing came together in a second of perfect clarity. I rushed back over to the desk. “Do me a huge favor. Call the police. Tell them Chief Swan's daughter, Bella, is in trouble. Send them to 913. I just hope I'm not too late.”
I ran to the elevator that thankfully opened immediately. I could hear the woman on the phone with the police as the doors closed.
I got out on the ninth floor and turned to head left. I heard a loud crash followed by a large thump. I sprinted down the hall and started pounding on the door to suite 913.
“I swear, if you don't open this door, I'm gonna break it down.” All I could hear from inside was heavy breathing and possibly some sobbing.
I reared back and kicked the door as hard as I could. The door flew open. The first thing I saw was Jacob, his hands on his head staring at the floor.
The dresser mirror was shattered on the floor and Bella laid among the pieces. I ran faster than I ever had in my life. I was on the floor next to Bella's unconscious body.
“Bella, sweetheart. Wake up.” She was breathing. Her pulse was steady. I turned to see a stunned Jacob just standing there. “What the hell did you do to her?”
“Nothing. She flew back and hit the dresser. The mirror fell and took her down with it.”
I noticed something stuck in the wall on the other side of the room. “What is that?”
“Nothing.” He ran over and pulled it from the wall.
“Edward.” Bella's eyes fluttered open.
“I'm here. Everything is going to be fine.”
I pushed him back as he tried to bend down to her. “Don't come any closer.” I pulled Bella up and wrapped her in my arms. “I swear to God, Jacob. If I had two extra hands right now, they'd be around your neck!”
“I never meant to...”
I felt Bella's arm squeeze around me. “Edward, I love you.”
She leaned back so we were face to face. “I love you.” I placed a soft kiss on her lips. “I love you.” I kissed her chin. “I love you.” I put my finger under her chin and pulled her lips to mine, taking her all in. Our lips moved fervently together as I tasted both of our tears.
When we finally gave way to our need for air, I looked to see Jacob was gone.
“Where'd he go?” She was brushing the tears from her cheeks, then drew her hand to the large bump on the back of her head.
“Don't worry. I had them call the police downstairs. Can you get up?” She nodded, but once I got her to her feet, I had to catch her before she fell back down. I sat her on the bed as I sat down next to her. “You okay?”
“I think I hit my head pretty hard.”
I tucked her hair behind her ears, she was smiling. I was hoping Jacob hadn't... “Can you tell me what happened?”
“I found this note on the truck. I thought it was from you. When I got here, Jake locked me in. He was talking at me about how sorry he was and that he'd changed. He moved away, got a job, a house. He thought I'd just leave you. That'd we start over.”
“I told him I loved you and that it was too late. Then he threw the ring box and it stuck in the wall. I think it startled me cause I flew back and hit my head. Next thing I knew, you were here.”
“So you're okay?”
“I think I'm gonna have a headache for a few days.”
“We need to get you looked at.” I brought my lips to her hair and kissed her. My phone started ringing. I pulled it out to answer.
“Charlie. I found her. Were at the Fairfield Inn.”
“Thank you, Edward. Was it Jacob?”
“Yes, but he took off. Bella hit her head pretty good and knocked herself out. She's come around, but I think we need to get her looked at.”
“Some officers should be there any minute. I'll make sure an ambulance is on it's way. I'll be there as soon as I can.”
Charlie's officers took our statements before the EMT's got Bella to the ER. I only left her side for a few minutes while they were doing some x-rays. That is when I met up with Charlie.
“Guess I need to thank you again for saving my daughter. You're turning into some sort of hero.”
“I'm just glad I was able to find her. Jacob was so out of it when I got there, I don't know if he would have been able to help her.”
Charlie took my hand to shake it. “I owe you one.”
“This might not be the best place to talk to you about this, but...”
Charlie crossed his arms across his chest.
“I know you think Bella and I have been taking things a little fast, but I couldn't help falling in love with her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'd like your blessing.”
He wiped his hand across his face as he thought for a moment. “That's a lot more than your brother did. You're very brave.”
“I just know it wouldn't be right any other way.”
“You have my blessing then.” I took his hand back, shaking it firmly. “I hope you know what you're getting into.”
“I have an idea.”
At that, the x-ray techs came out of Bella's room and Charlie and I went back in.
Charlie went to her side and took her hand. “How you feeling?”
“Better now. They gave me something through this.” She held up the arm with the IV. “Did they find Jake?”
“Not yet. They've put a warrant out for his arrest since he's violated the restraining order. They'll find him.” Charlie laid a kiss on her forehead. “I'm going to call and update your brother and sister. I'll be back.”
I took a seat beside her bed as Charlie left. “I think they're going to keep you overnight just to watch you.”
“Will you stay with me?”
“As long as they let me. This really isn't the night I had planned.”
“Me either. I was kinda hoping tonight was the night.”
“It was supposed to be. Now it just gives me a little more time to make things even more perfect.”
“Tomorrow is the rehearsal dinner, then we've got the wedding. Were not going to be alone for days.”
“Don't worry. We have time. You just get to feeling better and then we'll talk about the rest. We have forever, remember?”