Disclaimer: We will never own Twilight, which, we have to be totally honest here, SUCKS! One of us is the proud owner of all of the Twilight audiobooks, while the other was lucky enough to go to the Abduction premiere and be in the same room as Taylor Lautner.
“Second Chance” Shinedown
“Let Me Be There” Olivia Newton John
“I Want You To Want Me” Letters to Cleo
"He is just a friend, Edward, and that’s all that he will ever be,” Bella told me. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Bella was single. He was just a friend. I knew that I had no right to have any kind of hope of having any type of relationship with her. The look on her face started to make me a little nervous. I knew that look and it was one of a very determined Bella. After what felt like forever she continued, “I've done a lot of thinking about you and me. I’ve decided..."
She stopped and took a deep breath and looked me straight in the eyes. “Edward, we are both very different people than we were when we were together.”
I nodded in agreement. I was getting nothing more than I expected. I’d fucking almost destroyed the most amazing person ever with my callousness and destructive behavior. I. Was. A. Fuck-up. I didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as Bella. I had changed a lot from who I was when we were together. My family told me it was like I had been reborn another person after my near death experience. I opened my mouth to respond and tell her it was OK for us to go our separate ways with no hard feelings, but Bella put up her hands for me to stop before I could even start.
“I would like to try to be friends with you. We both caused each other so much pain and suffering in the past and that has left some deep wounds for me, so I have some conditions.”
“Anything you want Bella. It’s yours.” My voice was shaky. She was going to give me a chance that I knew I didn’t deserve. If she was willing to grant me this, there would be nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
“First, no lies at all. I don’t care if we think it will hurt each other’s feelings. We have to be honest with each other about everything. Second, until I am more comfortable with who you are now, I only want to meet you in public. Lastly, all I can promise you is friendship right now, Edward. If you can deal with those conditions, I am willing to get to know the new you.”
“I can definitely agree to all of that. I am very honored that you are going to give me a chance to show you how much I have changed. I’m so delighted that I am also going to get to know who you are now, as well.” I reached out my hand to her. “Hello, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Edward Cullen.”
Bella smiled genuinely back at me as she reached out her hand. I clasped her palm gently but firmly in mine. “I’m Bella Swan.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Bella.”
That crooked grin of his as he shook my hand, well... dammit, it got to me like it always had. I wanted to kick my own ass that it was all that it took from him to soak my fucking panties. If things kept up like this, I would have to take matters into my own hands.
Edward and I enjoyed the rest of our dinner at the library and then walked down the street to Braum’s, where we shared a brownie fudge sundae with extra whipped cream. I might not be getting any, like my traitorous body was craving, but at least I was getting my chocolate fix.
I was excited and nervous about this opportunity to try to be friends with the man who had shattered my heart, body, mind and soul. It was blatantly obvious that he was not the same and I had to admit to myself that I really had to know this new Edward. My head had huge doubts, but my heart had never stopped loving him and my heart longed for me to spend the rest of my life with him.
It didn’t even occur to me that the house was darker than usual when I got back from dinner with Edward. Jake’s Rabbit was in the driveway so he had to be home and he never crashed this early.
As I walked into the darkened house, I definitely heard something that didn’t sound right. I grabbed the umbrella by the front door, not the best weapon of choice, but it was something, and turned on the light. I was greeted with seeing much more of my roommates that I had anticipated. Emily and Jake were going at it, hot and heavy on our couch. Jake’s shirt was off and his pants unbuttoned with Emily’s hands groping his crotch. Emily’s shirt, well, it might has well been off because I was currently getting flashed. Obviously they were very into each other, since they hadn’t even noticed that I had come in and turned on the lights.
I turned around and cleared my throat. “Guys, while I am glad that someone around here is getting some, I would prefer not to watch it happen before my eyes.”
“Shit, Bella, sorry.” Jacob murmured.
“Can you please let me know when you are decent so I can turn around?” Only a few seconds passed before I was given the all clear.
“Um, you can turn around now. We are at least covered now,” Emily said. When I turned around her face was so red, a stoplight would pale in comparison. “Bells, I am so damn embarrassed. You’re not mad about this are you?” This was the first time that Emily had ever seemed uncomfortable around me. While I understood why, I couldn’t stand it.
“Not at all. If you are happy together, I am very happy for you both.” I honestly meant this. My best friends only deserved the best. If it was each other, I knew that I would definitely get along with their significant other. “I guess I don’t have to ask how your dessert was tonight.” I joked with them causing Emily’s face to blush crimson again. Her faced matched the school colors. Priceless.
“Ha Ha, Bells. Good one,” Jake said as he protectively wrapped his arm around Emily’s waist and pulled her close to him. She tilted her face up and they smiled longingly at each other. His hand gently squeezed her hip in a reassuring gesture causing Emily’s face to erupt into the biggest smile I had ever seen. Jake’s face soon mirrored Emily’s. How I missed that and wanted it again.
“You two are just so damn adorable together.”
“Thanks, Bella.” Jake said as he looked at the clock. “You were out kind of late tonight and you look, well I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something definitely different about you tonight.”
These were my two best friends and there was no way that I could tell them the truth about what I had done tonight. That was ironic considering that was one of the loopholes I had given Edward. As much as I wanted to, I could not tell Jake and Emily that the prospect of spending time with Edward, who they only knew as evil incarnate, was the reason why. “I did have a good evening.” I couldn’t stop the smile that was swiftly forming on my lips.
“You met someone. Didn’t you?” Emily almost screamed at me with her excitement.
I took a calming breath before I answered her question. I needed those few extra seconds to formulate my answer to her. Right now Edward was, well, basically my dirty little secret. “There is someone, but we are just friends.”
“Sure you are, Bells,” Jake told me. “You’re friends with benefits.” He came up and punched me in the arm.
“Nope, Jake, we’re just friends.” I told him as I rubbed the spot that he had hit. He was a lot stronger than he gave himself credit for.
“Tell us about him.” Emily was almost jumping up and down.
“I really would just like to keep things to myself for a while. I’d hate for things to blow up in my face. I mean, my track record isn’t very good after all.” My last comment temporarily knocked the smiles off my best friends’ faces. “Guys, don’t, please. I’m OK. Great actually. He’s just so not what I expected. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the turn of events. After we know more about each other, maybe I will share him with you.” I winked at them.
“Gross, Bells. Men are so not my thing.” Jake pulled Emily into his embrace and kissed her gently on the temple. I heard Em’s sigh from across the room.
“I can see that. Well, I will leave you two to...whatever.” I laughed. “Goodnight. I love you both. See you in the morning.”
“Night.” They told me at the same time. They were already speaking the same things at the same time. Jake and Em were definitely going to make a totally adorable couple. Before I shut my bedroom door, I stuck my head back towards the living room. “I really do need some sleep tonight, so try to keep it down.” I slammed the door in time to hear something slam against it followed by giggles and another door shutting.
As I was laying in bed, my thoughts weren’t on the two love birds down the hall. All I could think about was Edward and the fact that I was really going to do this. I was willing to give him another chance, something that I just never in my wildest dreams imagined. I just hoped this was something that I wasn’t going to regret.
Mom sent me with some zucchini muffins to take Dad at the hospital. To me they were nasty as hell, but Dad was addicted to Mom’s muffins. These were hot and moist from the oven and that’s the way he liked his muffins best. Mom carefully packed them in a basket wrapping them snugly in cloth napkins and made Jasper and I take a solemn oath to make sure that the muffins got to him as quickly as possible, but didn’t care when I got back home after I played delivery girl.
I was so ready for some time with Jasper. There was this perfect spot where we could just do whatever we wanted with zero interruptions. Those hands and those lips, he could make music with my body like it was a well-played harmonica. I could not and would not ever get enough of Jasper. He was my everything in every way.
We were almost to Dad’s office when I just couldn’t take our closeness a moment longer. I had to be closer. I pushed Jasper against the wall and attacked him with a searing kiss. Had it not been for his incredible hands, mom’s muffins would have hit the floor with a resounding thud.
He slowed our kiss. “Alice, Baby, we are in the middle of the hospital surrounded by tons of people. Let’s save this until I have you all to myself.” He kissed me gently as I tried to take the kiss further and he stepped away from me with a huge grin on his face.
Jasper grabbed my hand and kissed me on the forehead as we walked to my Dad’s office. His door was cracked and I could hear his voice. I looked at Jasper and we decided to wait until Dad was finished to deliver his goodies. I cuddled closer to Jasper just enjoying the closeness.
Dad very rarely picked up a phone to talk. He was a multi-tasker so he’d use the speaker phone so he could make notes on charts or whatever it was that he did. I could hear him on the phone now. I had no intention to eavesdrop and I had no idea about the bombshell that was getting ready to come my way.
“Someone contacted the courthouse about the restraining orders on Bella and Edward. Do you have any idea who it could have been?” I knew that voice. That was Charlie Swan. Jasper and I looked at each other with shock on our faces and I moved my finger to my lips to tell him to stay quiet as we scooted closer to the door to find out what in the hell was happening.
“Charlie, I have no clue. It wasn’t anyone here. It couldn’t have been. No one in the family has questioned the restraining orders at all. Did you get a name of the person who was asking about them?”
“No, my contact at the court house couldn’t get the name who called. All I know is that they know that the caller was told that the restraining orders didn’t exist.” What. The. Fuck.
“Shit, that’s not the news that I wanted to hear.” I heard my Dad say. I could hear frustration and worry in his tone.
“We have to make sure that Bella and Edward never find out that those orders aren’t really in existence, Carlisle. My girl is finally finding out who she is. She is happy. I don’t want that ruined by her running back to Edward.”
“I feel the same way. Edward and Bella must stay apart. They weren’t good for each other. Charlie, we did what we had to do to protect our kids. by telling them that restraining orders were placed, when they never were. It was the best thing that we could have ever done for our children. They were not a good combination together and by keeping them apart both of our children have been able to change and grow. Edward has finally started to pull his head out of his ass and is really starting to make something out of himself.”
The world as I knew it had abruptly tilted on its axis. Nothing was what it had seemed. I could feel the tears begin to fall freely down my face. I looked up to Jasper and could see horror in his expression. We had all been lied to. I had thought that my best friend had forced my brother to stay away from her when he needed her the most. I had pushed her out of my life because of a lie. That lie, that our Dad’s, the people who were supposed to protect us from harm, had actually harmed all of us in some way. I shut my eyes and could picture the times that Edward broke down in front of the entire family when he had wanted Bella with him. Dad said that she didn’t want him. Edward was shattered and completed destroyed by dad’s words. Words that were never true.
Bella hadn’t abandoned him. She was basically forced away and I did the same thing to her that our dad’s had done. I was close to completely losing it and Jasper could sense the agony that I was feeling. Jasper clasped my hand tightly and he put me behind him as he talked to the nurse at the information desk.
“These are for Dr. Cullen. Alice isn’t feeling well, so I want to take her home. Could you please make sure that he gets them?”
“Sure thing sweetie,” the nurse said. “Hope you feel better soon, Alice.” I mumbled my thanks as Jasper and I rushed to his car. As soon as we were in the car I broke down. Jasper pulled me tight against him.
“I know, Al. I’m so fucking pissed off right now.” He was gently rubbing my back trying to console me.
“She didn’t...It wasn’t...” I couldn’t even talk because of the uncontrollable sobs that had taken hold of my body. “I pushed her away...My best friend...”
“Sweetheart, it wasn’t your fault. I don’t know what the hell they were thinking to do this. It didn’t just affect Edward and Bella. It affects us all.” I finally started to get my crying under control.
“Jaz, they have to know what they did to them. I have no idea how to make things right with Bella. We don’t even know where she is.” My best friend might be lost to me forever, but we could at least tell Edward.
“I don’t think I can tell him, Jasper. He deserves to know. Edward needs to know the absolute truth.” I swallowed thickly. “Can you...” Before I could even ask Jasper the question, he pulled out his phone. He put the phone on speaker and Edward answered after 2 rings.
“Hi, Jaz. What’s up buddy?” He sounded so cheerful, happy.
“Edward, Alice and I found out something today.”
“You better not be calling to tell me that you knocked up my sister. I may be a changed man, but if you’ve done that I’m gonna have to kick your ass.”
“No, E. This does involve a lot of us, but mostly you.” Jasper looked and me and I nodded my head. “It’s about you and Bella. Carlisle and Charlie lied to you, to all of us. The restraining orders...” I shut off all my emotions as I heard him tell my brother something that was bound to re-shatter his heart that had just began to heal.