Disclaimer: We will never own Twilight, which is quite disheartening for us. We will definitely own tickets to the Midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part 1.
“The Truth” Kris Allen
“I Can Wait Forever” Simple Plan
“Love Remains the Same” Gavin Rossdale
“Now or Never” Orianthi
“Single” Natasha Bedingfield
“Really, Edward? After all of this talk about making amends and telling the truth, you are telling me that you did not put a restraining order out on me, because I shot you? You haven’t changed one fucking bit. You are blaming me for something that is all on you!” I had raised my voice and noticed that people were beginning to look at us. Shit. I needed to reign myself in quickly before I had a total meltdown at one of my absolutely favorite hangouts near OU.
“Bella, I swear to you. I did not put a restraining order on you. Your dad is a cop. It would have been more than easy for you to do it. It’s okay. I understand why you did it. I totally deserved it for everything.”
“Edward, I didn’t...” He held up his hand in front of my face to stop me.
“It is honestly fine. You did what you had to do to protect yourself from me. I wasn’t good for you the way that I used to be. I don’t know that I could ever really be good enough for you. Like I told you in the letter, you deserve to be happy and the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with should put your happiness above anything else in his life. I promise that I will leave you alone, if that is what you wish. Just please, let me stay here for school. I’m finally happy doing what I can to eventually help others, the way that my physical therapist helped me. Will you do me this one favor and not turn me in for violating your restraining order?”
Obviously, I was getting no where with Edward right now. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t admit it after sharing everything else that he had.
“Sure. I won’t tell anyone you are here, Edward. It would just stir up things for all of us that are better left forgotten.” I could just imagine Charlie’s and Reneé’s reactions if they knew that Edward was here.
“I promise not to bother you again, Bella. If you ever, I know it isn’t very likely, but you have my number. You can call me if you decide you want to... The ball is in your court.” He walked towards me, gently kissed me on my forehead. Then Edward turned and left without another word.
I was left dumbfounded and confused. I was also more than a little turned on, which I internally scolded myself for. I had dreamt for months of having his lips touch me again. His lips would roam all over my entire body bringing unimaginable pleasure. I shook my head trying to get rid of that image. That wasn’t something that I needed in my new life, or was it?
I picked up what was left of my favorite treats and threw them in the trash. I couldn’t finish them if I wanted to. Right now, it wasn’t a matter of wanting, I needed to find out the truth about the restraining order. Edward seemed so adamant that he hadn’t put a restraining order on me and that it had been me who had put one on him. As I got in my car, I got an idea of how I could get the truth. I just had to bide my time for a little bit.
I was sitting in my car waiting for Bella to leave Starbucks. I wanted to make sure that she made it to her car OK. I was shocked to see that she got into a fucking Aston Martin when she left. What the hell? How could she afford a car that cost over $200K?
I started my Volvo and decided to do some research to see what I had missed in the months since I had last seen and talked to Bella.
As soon as I got home, I turned on my laptop to start finding some of the answers that I was looking for. In the back of my mind, I knew that this wasn’t the smartest idea. I could almost hear my NA sponsor chastising me for even wanting to do this. Bella obviously didn’t want me anymore and I would just have to deal with the fact that I was the one responsible for that. While the laptop was connecting to the internet, I picked up the copy of The Oklahoma Daily that I had snagged from the school library. Bella’s name was under almost every photo and the photographs were incredible.
I typed Bella’s name into Google and I was astounded by what showed up. A few months ago, she had a photo that made Sports Illustrated. I might not know a lot about photography, but I knew that was something that would be a tremendous accomplishment. I was beyond fucking impressed and proud of her.
I scrolled further down the page and my eyes bugged out as I saw that Reneé Dwyer, Bella’s mom, had won the biggest lottery ever. Wow! That definitely explained the car. As much as it pained me to admit it, Bella didn’t need me in her life. She really was better off, but shit, the feel of her skin against my lips as I kissed her forehead. My entire body was still tingling just from that slight touch. It was like I was finally back home where I always belonged. I had no doubt that there would never be anyone else for me. I took a deep breath and prayed that I wouldn’t have to witness it, when she did find the one.
I was sitting on the window seat in my room, curled up with my soothing hot coffee, reading the Sunday newspaper. It was kind of a ritual I had. I got the paper and looked through all of the sales ads for my favorite stores. It was something I used to do with my mom every Sunday, religiously.
I heard a knock and I slowly rose, as I made my way to the door. I had on my grey sweatpants, my OU hoodie, and my pink fuzzy slippers. I had my hair in a ponytail and I was wearing my glasses too.
As I reached for the doorknob, I peeked my head out the door, and saw Jacob standing in front of me, dripping in sweat. Ewe.
“Hey, Jake. What’s up?” I asked, curious as to why he’s at my bedroom door, sweating like he just ran a marathon.
“I was doing my 10 mile run and I had a thought. Are you by any chance doing anything later? I thought maybe you’d want to go out to dinner with me?”
Jacob was a little red, but I wasn’t sure if it was due to the running, or him gaining enough courage to actually ask me out.
“Like a date?” I asked him.
“Yes, exactly like a date.” He smiled his bright smile and his dimples almost winked at me.
I sat there quietly and thought about it. I tried thinking about all the pros and cons of going out on a date with Jacob. I understood that Edward was here at this school, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go out on a date with someone else, like Jake. I don’t even know if Edward and I can even be friends right now or ever again. Besides, Jacob and I have grown quite close. I think of him as a very dear friend. Could we be more? What if things didn’t work out? Would it ruin our friendship?
Just as Jacob saw the hesitation in my eyes, he started to tell me to just forget it.
“Listen, Bella. If yo-...” I immediately cut him off, and he let out a long winded breath.
“Yes. I’ll go out to dinner with you tonight, Jake. What time should I be ready?” I figured what did I have to lose? It was one date. We would see how it went.
“Really? Uh... How about seven o’clock? There’s a great place called Benvenuti’s Ristorante that I would love to take you to,” Jake said with the biggest grin that I can only explain as huge. It was like he just got the best Christmas present in the world. It was kind of cute.
“That sounds great. Although, I hope I have something appropriate to wear,” I said. I tried to think about what I had in my closet since it was a formal restaurant.
“Come on, Bella. We both know Renee bought you tons of clothes and you should be able to find something,” Jacob said with a smirk. He was right. He and Emily were the ones who helped me unpack when we moved here. Mom had gone overboard with her lottery winnings.
“Alright then, I’ll see you at seven,” I said, as Jacob made his way to his room. He stood and looked over his shoulder at me at the threshold of his door still smiling.
“Bye, Bella. See you soon.”
Emily tapped lightly on my door, as she slowly entered my bedroom.
“Did you need any help getting ready,” she asked, as she made her way towards me, sitting down next to me on my bench in front of my vanity mirror.
“I’m just putting the finishing touches on my make up, before I put my dress on.”
“Your smokey eyes look hot, B!” Emily gushed, as she dug around in my makeup bag. I really loved the brown and black eye shadows blended together. It made my eyes pop. I put just a hint of blush that is called “Deep Throat” and a really cool shade of pink lip gloss, called “Sexual Healing”. Coincidence? I thought not!
“Thanks! My mom got me this Reem Arca dress. I didn’t think I would ever really use it. Can you look in my closet for my black Jimmy Choo peep toe slingbacks, while I put my dress on please?”
Emily made her way to my closet, and as she was digging around for my Choo’s, I slipped my dress on.
“Damn, girl... You look hot!” She beamed at me, while handing me my pumps.
“Can you zip me up, please? I have this belt, too. What do you think?” I said, as I did a little twirl for Emily. I was nervous and wanted to look nice. It’s not everyday I get asked out on a date.
“Oh, Bella... If he didn’t already live here, I know Jake would definitely be coming home with you tonight!” Emily laughed, until she was in tears.
“What kind of girl do you take me for? I don’t put out on the first date,” I giggled.
“Hell, when you open that door and see what Jacob is wearing, you might change your mind.” Emily all but practically licked her lips at that last statement.
I grabbed my clutch, and put in my black AMEX card, my car keys, my iphone and my lip gloss, and headed to my bedroom door.
I took in one large breath, gave myself a little pep talk telling myself that I could do this, and placed my sweaty hand on the doorknob and turned.
I’ve been sitting here by myself for the last 20 minutes, and I keep running my dinner plans over in my head, making sure I didn’t forget anything.
I was in the flower shop earlier today, to pick up flowers for Bella. What kind of flowers do you buy for a first date? We weren’t going to prom, so a corsage was out. Roses say I love you, carnations are a douche-type of flower, one rose would mean I’m a cheap skate, so I decided on a Rose and Calla Lily bouquet that the sales lady had recommended to me.
As I heard the door quietly open, it felt as if everything was going in slow motion. Bella appeared in front of me, and had the most beautiful smile on her face. I rose and stood up, not knowing what to say or do. I barely remembered to breathe in and out.
“Hi, Bella. You look gorgeous,” I said, leaning in to give her a quick peck on the cheek.
“Thanks, Jake. You look great too,” Bella stated nervously, as she turned a hot color of pink.
“I got you some flowers and a couple of gifts.” I hope it wasn’t overkill. My dad always taught me never show up to a date empty handed.
“Oh wow, Jacob. You didn’t have to do all that, but thank you very much. The flowers are beautiful,” said Bella. She smelled the flowers, as she walked into the kitchen to grab a vase.
“It wasn’t any trouble at all. Billy would kill me if I hadn’t of brought you anything. He raised me better than that,” I winked. “Come and open your gifts.”
Bella walked over to me and we sat on the couch, as I placed gold box on her lap. She smiled and started to open it.
“Almond Roca? Jake, how did you know that this is my favorite kind of candy!” Bella said, throwing her arm around my shoulder.
“I called Charlie. He told me, when I asked his for his permission to take you out on this date.”
“Wha.. what? Why would you do that? It’s just a first date, Jacob.” “I don’t want Charlie to think I’m in a serious relationship, until I figure things out,” Bella said.
“I know, but like I said, Billy brought me up better than that. I explained to Charlie that it was just to test the waters. He was cool with it.” I was just hoping Bella wasn’t having second thoughts.
“Open your other gift. I know it may be lame, but the last time I was at my grandfather’s and he showed me some new pointers. Anyway, so I made you something.” Bella began opening the salmon colored box. I couldn’t wait to see her reaction.
“Oh my god, Jake! You made this? It’s great,” she exclaimed, as she pulled out the wolf charm bracelet, that I had carved for her. My family had passed down the art of wood carving for generations. It was something that I loved to do in my spare time and it came very easily to me.
“It’s nothing big, but I was hoping that you’d like it,” I said, as she stuck her wrist out for me to clasp the bracelet on her.
“There. Come on, let’s get going.”
As Jake and I said our good-byes to Emily, we decided to take my car, since Jacob was still fixing up the Rabbit that he bought when we first got to Norman. Jake was the perfect gentleman. He opened the door for me and held my hand, as I stepped into the car. Jake shut the door and walked around to the driver’s side of the car and got in.
Jacob sat down and complained about having to scoot the seat back, because I was so much shorter than him. Once he got as comfortable as he could, he adjusted my mirrors. It was not my fault he was buff with very nicely defined muscles from head to toe, and he took up my whole front seat! And great, now I had to fix all of that when we get home!
Jacob drove and talked to me about class, and held my hand the entire time. He has this magnetic smile, that you couldn’t help but be in a great mood too. Jacob made me feel better. I mean, he made me feel alive. The hole in my chest... well, when I was with Jake it was like it was almost healed for a while.
We pulled up to a beautiful red brick restaurant, with a green deck and lots of greenery that surrounded it. It was absolutely lovely.
“Wait here,” Jacob said as he parked the car. He walked around to the passenger side of the car, and opened the door for me. He reached in and gently grabbed my hand and helped me out of the car. We walked into the restaurant where a fairly large, older man was waiting for us.
“Signore Jacob, how are you?” the older man asked him. He shook Jake’s hand and introduced himself to me, as Chef Compagni. He looked rather intimidating. He didn’t even crack a smile whatsoever.
“I have the Blue Room reserved for you, just as you requested, Signore Jacob. If you will please follow your cameriere, I will get back into the kitchen,” said Chef Compagni, as he nodded to Jake and kissed my hand.
Jacob still holding my hand, lead me to my seat. Being with Jake made me feel safe and secure. When I met with Edward the other day, I was on pins and needles the entire time just waiting for him to show his true colors like he always had in the past. I knew Jake would protect me with his own life, but something felt a little “off.” I just didn’t know precisely what it was.
Jake pulled out my chair for me and moved directly across from me to his. The table was a little big for just for the two of us, so our server removed the extra chairs.
“Jacob, this place is beautiful. Thank you so much for bringing me here,” I said as I looked over my menu. It wasn’t a surprise that he would rent us a private room. After the accident that left his dad in a wheelchair, the family received an unfathomable amount of a settlement. Billy had invested the money very wisely and the interest from the settlement was more than enough to keep them in the lap of luxury for a very long time.
“It’s my pleasure, Bella. You deserve the best, and so much more. You deserve the world,” Jake said, while looking into my eyes. This felt odd. I can’t put my finger on it, but something didn’t feel right.
“So, do you know what you’re ordering? I think I’m going to order the Mushroom Rigatoni,” I kept my face planted in front of the center of the menu.
“I’m ordering the Bistecca di Santo. It looks really good,” Jacob said. I should have known Jake was going to order the biggest steak on the menu. All that protein was probably why he was so huge. Hello biceps!
The conversation Jake and I had was very easy going. We talked about how he and Billy were planning a fishing trip together during Thanksgiving break. I started to zone out on him after a while, because my mind kept going back to Edward.
“Hey Bella, you still with me?”Jake had scooted his chair next to mine and was waving his hand up and down in front of my face. I had to snap out of it!
“I’m sorry, Jacob. I guess I had my mind somewhere else.” I didn’t mean to be rude to him.
“Somewhere else or on someone else? Look, I know what he did to you. But, Bella, I would never, ever do that. I won't ever hurt you. I promise. I won't let you down. You can count on me.” Jacob then leaned in, looked into my eyes, and kissed me. I mean really kissed me. And I kissed him back.
I know that Jacob would never, could never, treat me the way Edward did. But a big part of me really wanted to believe there was this new and improved Edward. I’m just unsure about everything and how I feel right now.
Jacob really was a great guy, and it made sense for me to like him. But I just couldn’t get into the kiss. Don’t get me wrong, Jake was a great kisser, but there was no emotional feeling behind the kiss. I felt strangely detached.
Just then, our server brought us the dessert menu and we decided on the Molten Chocolate Truffle Soufflé, and let me tell you, it was a little piece of heaven! It was so moist and chocolaty and oh so yummy! It was almost orgasmic.
“Are you ready to go Bella,” Jake said as he signed the bill and stood up reaching out his hand for me to take.
“Yes, thank you. I had a wonderful evening, Jacob.” I didn’t know really what else to say and I didn’t want it to be awkward between us.
“Jake, about what you said before our kiss. About how you would never hurt me? I honestly believe that. You know you mean the world to me.” He walked me to the passenger side of the car and leaned me up against the door.
Jacob put his hand under my chin, tilted my face, and kissed me. I really wanted to like Jake, I did. We wrapped out arms around each other and I gave it all I had. Still, nothing. It was a hollow feeling of nothingness. As he broke the kiss, and stepped back, he put me in the car and then got in.
The drive home was quiet. I could tell Jacob was thinking hard. I could almost hear the wheels turning in his. He had this vein in his forehead that kept popping out, every time he squinted. I needed to talk to Jacob before things got out of hand.
Jacob parked the car when we got home and helped me out.
“Listen, Jake.” I said at the same time he had said, “Bella, there’s something I need to say.”
“You go first,” Jacob had said, opening the front door to our house. I made my way to the couch, sat down and pulled off my heels and sighed in relief. My feet would have much preferred to have been in my chucks all night. Jacob sat down next to me, pulling my feet onto his lap and massaged them for me.
“I just wanted to say, I miss you when you’re not there. When you’re happy, it makes me happy. But I could say the same thing about Charlie, Jacob. You’re family. I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
“Oh, thank God, Bella. I was trying to find a way to tell you that I think I’d rather be friends, than to try and pursue any type of a romantic relationship with you. When we kissed, it felt as if I were kissing my sister... Not that I know what kissing my sister like that would feel like,” Jacob laughed.
“So no hard feelings? I just want us to be best friends. I mean, we tried the dating thing, and it didn’t work out for us, but I really just want you to be happy, Jake.” I really meant that with all that I was, too.
“No hard feelings, Bells. I just want you to be happy too. I hope whoever he is, he treats you right, or else he’ll have to deal with me. Your Mr. Right will show up when you least expect it. Just wait and see.”
“I hope so, Jake. I hope so.” In the back of my mind, I was wondering if Mr. Right could have showed up at the student union with his brilliant green eyes. I definitely wasn’t ready for that if he was.
I was driving down Main Street on my way to chill at Griffin Park. I liked to watch the little league games that were constantly going on there. It was nice to watch them and remember how Em and I were at that age. We were definitely hell on wheels. I also watched people who were definitely old enough to know better, people my parents’ age, playing kick ball. That was definitely an entertaining sight watching guys with their beer bellies hanging out of their worn t-shirts while chasing after a fucking bounce ball.
While waiting at a stoplight, a car, a very familiar car, caught my eye. It was Bella’s but she wasn’t alone. Fuck me. My worst nightmare had become a reality. I saw a tall, dark complected guy walk Bella to the passenger’s side door. He put his hand under her chin and tilted her face up and kissed her. It wasn’t just a God damn peck either. They wrapped their arms around each other. It was like a motherfucking car wreck that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from. I was nauseous and wanted to crawl in a hole and never get out. This was the worst pain I had ever felt, worse than being shot, worse than having my leg torn to pieces. I told myself that this was what needed to happen. I really did want nothing but the best for her after all the years that I was such a fucked up asshole to her.
My hands started to shake uncontrollably. It was getting hard for me to catch my breath. There was only one thing that I could think of that could help me get myself under right now. I needed to find the next NA meeting. I needed it now.
I did give it the old college try. I threw up in my mouth a little bit when I remembered what it was like to kiss Jacob. Shit. It was like I kissed my brother. That was beyond nasty. The kiss Edward gave me a few days ago on the forehead was the hottest kiss ever compared to... I couldn’t let myself dwell on that bust of a date anymore. Emily seemed to enjoy the story of our failed date. She laughed her ass off when I told her that I poured myself into a kiss and got absolutely nothing out of it. I got this weird vibe from Emily that she was almost relieved that the date was a total failure.
After my experience with Jake, I spent a near sleepless night. I was wondering if there was something wrong with me. Jake was such a sweet guy. Why couldn’t we like each other that way? It would definitely make things so much easier for me.
My thoughts strayed to Edward. I hadn’t told a soul that I had seen him and that he was here. I closed my eyes and I could see his face when he was talking to me about the restraining orders. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that he was telling me what he really thought was the truth. The truth. That was definitely something that I had no experience with when it came to Edward. I had this feeling and I couldn’t figure out what it was exactly, but I knew that I had to find out what was going on.
It was Monday and we had a few hours before we had to get to class. Jake had left for an early run and Emily and I were having Fruity Pebbles for breakfast. I knew if anyone could find the answers that I was seeking it would be her. She never failed to get her man. It was amazing to see reporter Emily in action. Everyone answered every question she ever asked. She had such a way with people they just couldn’t tell her no or even no comment. If Emily was interviewing the most tight-lipped celebrity, she could make them feel comfortable enough to admit who they were dating, even if that celebrity always blatantly refused to talk about their personal life.
“Bella, you seem really lost in thought. Is everything OK?”
“Everything is fine, Em. Just got a lot on my mind.” That was definitely an understatement.
“You know you can talk to me about anything, right? You are my best friend. Friends are always there for each other no matter what.” I smiled her.
“I definitely know that. I couldn’t imagine anyone else that I would want in my corner with me other than you.” She grinned back at me and laughed. “You may be little, but you are definitely mighty.” We both laughed until we were on the verge of tears.
“Oh, Bella. I am so glad that you came into my life. I have no idea what I would do without you.” Emily was always so sincere and never said anything that she didn’t mean. As much as I loved hearing these words from her, a part of my heart ached for the best friend that abandoned me in one of my greatest hours of need.
“I am so blessed to have you as a friend, too. You are amazingly tenacious and I really need that.” I winked at her. “Um, Em. I was wondering if you might be able to help me with something. You can’t tell anyone about this, okay?”
“Anything, Bella. You know that. What do you need?”
“Well, don’t get mad, please. I have to know...” I knew that she wasn’t going to be pleased with my request. I took a deep breath. “You know about everything about what happened with me and...” She’s going to wonder why I would be bringing up his name now. I haven’t mentioned him in months. I didn’t have to mention him. Her expression changed quickly to one that could only be classified as anger.
“You don’t have to say his name. Jake and I know how painful that was for you. You haven’t even come close to mentioning him in a long time. You said that you have to know something. What is it?”
“When I was in Arizona with my mom, she told me that Edward had put a restraining order on me and well... I just wanted to know what that meant. What was the official reason that he got one? I think I know, but lately I’ve just been doing a lot of thinking. Is there anyway that you can check? I also know that he pissed a lot of people off. Maybe he got the idea because someone put one on him?” I was literally thinking out loud now. I so didn’t think this through as well as I should have. Emily was going to see right through me. My mom had always told me that I was an open book.
“After all these months, Bella, why now?”
“The other day when I was walking across campus, I saw a bronzed hair guy about his height and I thought it was him.” Emily started at my words.
“Oh my God! He’s here! What the...”
“No, Em,” I said almost too quickly. “It wasn’t him, but it made me think that he could be anywhere. He could be doing anything. It could have been him. What if I accidentally violated the order unknowingly?” I didn’t know where this was coming from but I could see that she could see my point clearly.
“I guess I can see why you’d be curious. What do you need me to do?”
“Please check into the specifications on the order he put out on me. Is it also possible to see if someone put one on him?”
“I can do that. Anything to put your mind at ease. I bet he has had so many put out on him, because he’s been such an ass to the world, that it will take an entire ream of paper to print them all.” She laughed and I did my absolute best to laugh with her. “I will call the courthouse in Forks later today.” She glanced at the clock. “It’s just 7am there, so the courthouse won’t be open yet. I will let you know tonight what I find out.”
“Thanks so much. You are the best, Em.” I reached over and grabbed her hand and squeezed gently. She squeezed mine back giving me the much needed reassurance that I was desperate for right now.
I spent the day in classes and when I went for my chocolate fix at Wendy’s, I was looking over my shoulder constantly for Edward. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see him or not. Every moment of the day I kept getting more and more filled with dread and there was no reason at all that I should be feeling this way.
I didn’t have much to do at work today. I had snapped a few great candids while walking around campus earlier and uploaded those to the server. Then I cobbed a few pictures for some of the yearbook layouts. It took a steady hand to get the images cut from the background perfectly. It was very easy for me to lose myself in the task, since it took such much patience to cut around strands of hair and not to cut people’s limbs from their bodies.
As I pulled into the driveway, the sense of foreboding returned. My palms were sweating and it almost felt like my heart would beat out of my chest.
When I opened the door, Emily was waiting for me in the living room. “Hey, Em. How was your day?”
“It was definitely very, very interesting, Bells. Have a seat. We need to talk.” I put my camera on the table by the front door, dropped my backpack on the floor and almost collapsed onto the couch next to her.
“You’re kind of freaking me out a little here. Did you find out anything?”
“It was undoubtedly an enlightening experience. I don’t know where your parents got the idea that Edward had put a restraining order on you. The courthouse had no record of that at all.”
“What?” Edward had told me the truth. To say that I was shocked was an understatement. “What about...” Typical Emily didn’t even get me a chance to get my next question out.
“In regards to Edward, there was only one record of a restraining order against him.” Certainly my dad didn’t do what I was thinking he did. “It was by a Mike Newton. A week after the order was issued, Newton had it vacated.”
I remembered why that order had been created and cringed at the childishness of my behavior from that night with Mike. I had been a fucking fool to think that being with Mike would erase Edward from my memory. It was looking like nothing could ever force me to forget him.
“If there was never a restraining order against me, why would both of my parents have told me that there was?” I asked her. “My dad is a cop for Christ’s sake. He would have known if there was an order or not.” I was starting to get a little angry now.
“Maybe it was just a threat his family made and your father told you there was one so his family wouldn’t be forced to put one on you. You said that they were more than angry about everything that happened.” That was one of the things that I loved most about Emily. She was always able to look at all the possibilities. She was definitely going to be the next Woodward or Bernstein.
“You’re probably right. I don’t know why I’m getting so riled up over this. Just the possibility that they could have lied to me about something so important, I don’t think I could ever forgive them if they did that to me.” Honesty was something that I now put above everything else. That was one of the reasons that I loved my friendships with Jake and Emily so much. They never hesitated to tell me like it was, even it if was the last thing that I wanted to hear. I needed that brutal honesty to keep my head out of my ass.
“At least you know now. You don’t have to worry about anything if you ever were to run into him. God willing you will never have to lay eyes on that lying sack of shit again.”
“It is a load off of my mind. You know how I like to worry.” I tried my best to laugh it off.
“You always seem to stew over even the slightest thing my dear friend.”
“Ha ha. Good one,” I told her. “Thanks so much for looking into this for me, Em. You didn’t have to do that and it means the world to me that you did.”
“You’re welcome. That’s what friends are for.” I reached down and grabbed my bag.
“I’ve got tons of homework to do. Talk to you later.”
“Sounds good. You going to be around for dinner tonight?” Emily asked me.
“Not sure. I may need to go to the library later tonight to do some research for a project.”
“OK. Just let me know. Jake mentioned that he might want to eat out tonight. Mind if we go without you?” She blushed as she spoke. Looks like Jake had asked out the wrong roommate first. I wondered if he felt the same way that apparently Em might feel about him.
“I don’t mind at all, Em. Living with Charlie, I definitely learned how to fend for myself. Have a great time with Jake,” I said I headed to the office to work. Her blush intensified.
“Thanks, Bells. Good luck with your project.”
I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to find out how dinner went.
I couldn’t focus on anything at all. My thoughts kept swirling back to Edward. I wondered if it was possible for us to at least be friends. We were going to be going to school at the same place for years. We could at least learn to be civil with one another. My cell phone was calling out to me to do it already.
I did know one thing for sure. I needed to tell Edward what Emily had found out for me today. He needed to know the whole truth since the truth was his evidently new thing. I snorted to myself. Who would have ever thought that Edward -I’m the fucking king of the world- Cullen would ever believe in something like the truth.
With trembling hands, I typed him a message.
It’s me. I’ve got some news. Can you meet me? -B
Always. Name the time and the place. -E
Library Bar and Grill in an hour? -B
I look forward to it. -E
He was already waiting for me in the patio area when I arrived at the restaurant.
“Bella, it’s so good to see you,” he said as he pulled out my chair for me. This was something new. He had never been a gentleman before.“It’s such a nice night, I didn’t think you would mind being outside.”
“This is perfect, Edward. Thank you.” I picked up the menu and read over everything, even though my appetite was waning by the minute.
The waitress came and dropped off a basket of chips with salsa. I ordered a Coke and a Library Salad while Edward ordered a Cherry Coke and a Chicago Dog.
“I’ve heard this was really good,” he said as he popped a salsa covered chip in his mouth.
“It’s delicious.” I grabbed a chip and tore off a small piece and popped it in my mouth.
“I have to admit, I was more than surprised to hear from you today.” Edward smiled that crooked smile of his that had always drawn me in.
“I surprised myself, too.” I bit my lip trying to find a way to control my growing nervousness. He looked as nervous as I felt.
“So, you said you had some news. Is everything OK, Bella?”
“Everything is fine. It’s more than fine, actually. After our conversation the other night, I knew that I needed some answers, so I had my friend Emily do some digging for me since I was too chicken to find out myself.”
“What did you need to know?” His voice was so full of concern. This new Edward was someone that was so very different than the one I had known. He had so many facets that every moment it seemed I was finding out something new about him. How was that possible when we had spent years of our lives together? I thought that I knew everything that there was to know about Edward Anthony Cullen.
“About the restraining order issue.”
“So, what did you find out? I already know that I never put one out on you.”
“You were right about that. You didn’t put one on me.” He didn’t look smug like I expected. He just looked resigned. “All I knew was what my parents told me. They told me that you had.”
“I can understand why you would have believed them so easily, Bella. I said things that were awful and I behaved inhumanly towards you.”
“There is something else. You said that I had placed an order against you. My friend Emily did find one order that had been filed against you, but it wasn’t by me. It was the one that Mike Newton had filed against you.” This news did seem to startle him somewhat.
“My parents are the ones who told me that you had placed one on me, as well. You really didn’t do that?”
“No, Edward, I didn’t. I have no reason to lie to you. Back then, after everything that had happened, I still loved you with everything I had. I would have never wanted to hurt you and a restraining order would have done that.” He paused and I could almost hear him thinking.
“I can imagine the heated words that would have been exchanged between our parents. Maybe they just misunderstood each other,” he said thoughtfully.
“That is what Emily thought. She also said that they could have threatened the order and didn’t follow through.” He nodded in agreement.
“That is a possibility as well. I have to admit. I feel much better now that I know for sure that I can’t get in any trouble for being near you.” He smiled that crooked smile again and made my heartbeat accelerate rapidly. The waitress brought us our food and looked at Edward. Her eyes were filled with lust.
“Is there anything else I can get you?” She asked him. “Anything at all?” She batted her eyelashes at him. I had to stifle a laugh at her ridiculously outrageous behavior.
“A refill on our drinks please.” He didn’t even make eye contact as he answered her. How had he suddenly become oblivious to the opposite sex. He used to look at them then attack them as they threw themselves at him. I was never enough for him before. He had always taken anything that he wanted from whomever he wanted.
“It looks like you are still dazzling people like you always have.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The waitress, Edward. She did everything but sit on your lap and dry hump you.” I laughed at him.
“I honestly didn’t notice, Bella. I am still in awe that after everything you are willing to be here with me. Right now, you are the one who has my undivided attention.”
He paused and his nervousness seemed to suddenly increase. “Bella, I know that you have moved on. I hope he makes you very happy. You have a light in your eyes I haven’t seen in a very long time. I hope that he is the one who will make that light shine brighter than ever before.”
“What are you talking about Edward?”
“I saw you with that tall guy in the parking lot at some fancy restaurant while I was out driving the other night.” Edward was looking so uncomfortable which was something I was not used to seeing from Mr. Confident. “You were kissing him and you both seemed so wrapped up in one another.” His voice cracked a little at the end.
I was almost stunned into silence with those words. I was shocked that he had seen Jake and I on our date. Hell, I couldn’t even call it a date. It was more like dinner with my brother. Jake was definitely not the one for me. That much my head and my heart were in agreement on. One of the major things that surprised me was his reaction to seeing us together. The old Edward would have pummeled Jake into pieces immediately after seeing him all over his possession. This new Edward, I could almost picture him being some part of my life. What part of my life? My heart and my head were contradicting each other in regards to that answer.
"He is just a friend Edward, and that’s all that he will ever be.” Edward released a huge breath with that revelation. I knew that I needed to be very cautious with the next words that left my mouth. I had just now made an important decision and he needed to know where I stood. I wanted him to understand exactly what I wanted from him. “I've done a lot of thinking about you and me. I’ve decided..."