|Empty Panes & Pretty Things
Author: AydenMorgen PM
Bella only wanted to survive the terror of her memories, but when Edward appears in her life, she realizes she wants something more. Will she let him put her together again or will their tragic pasts bury them both? AH/OOC. Rated M.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 49 - Words: 346,932 - Reviews: 1,473 - Favs: 1,178 - Follows: 524 - Updated: 05-19-11 - Published: 12-18-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5591160
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I do not own Twilight… I just own Empty Panes and this bit of E's history.
This outtake takes place two years before the start of Empty Panes and is written in a different tense than the rest of the story. It does involve Edward having sex with someone else. Just warnin' ya. It was originally included in a story of its own, but I'm doing clean-up, and am condensing the outtakes here. Sorry for any inconvenience!
I see her staring from across the room as Alec and I are ushered into the dimly lit restaurant, past the long line we bypassed with ease. She is blonde, fake... another actress. I resist the urge to roll my eyes as she licks her lips. I arch a brow instead; it's the same cocky acknowledgment I have issued countless times to similarly overly made-up, fake and vapid women. As usual, it works like a charm.
She offers me what I assume is the equivalent of a sexy smirk and raises a wineglass to her lips, eyeing me over the rim. I know she will be at our table before we even order.
The realization does nothing for me, even though I will take her up on the offer that will inevitably come. The offer always come. It is never original and never memorable. One fake woman bleeds into another until they are even more nameless, faceless. I can't bring myself to care.
I fuck them anyway.
The fussy host stops in front of a table halfway across the room from the nameless actress and, with a flourish, urges us to sit. We sit, both long past the point of being impressed with preening hosts or fussy flourishes. They bleed into one another just as often as do the actresses. I am not sure if that says more about the actresses or the hosts...
Alec waves the man off as he smoothes the checkered tablecloth and then leans back in his chair, smirking at me. He nods in the direction of the actress who is still eyeing me over the rim of her glass. "You know who she is?"
I shrug as if to say does it matter?
"Her name is Kate," he smirks again.
"I don't need to know her name to enjoy her company," I point out, arching a brow in amusement. Alec knows this better than anyone and I find it curious that he's making a point to tell me this one's name. He never has before because he knows the game. He plays it better than I do. He actually enjoys the game...
"She's married," he continues after a minute, eyes gleaming.
This is not surprising. Half of them are. "So?" I quirk a brow again, growing bored with this particular little game of his as the waiter approaches.
"To Garrett," he reveals as the balding man steps up to the table and offers a precise, perfunctory bow.
I feel my eyes widen and turn to look back at the actress, my interest suddenly piqued. Garrett Denali is a pain in my ass... I eye his wife speculatively as she stares in my direction. She is no more outwardly appealing than she was two minutes ago, but I suddenly want her.
The waiter asks for our drink orders. I ask for a scotch and Alec orders the same. The man offers another bow and turns on his heel. I train my eyes on the actress, Kate, again as she turns to her companions and murmurs something.
"You'll fuck her?" Alec asks bluntly when I turn back to him
I glance down at my watch. It's barely 8. I'm supposed to meet Alice at nine to go with her... somewhere. I can't remember if it's important to her or not. But pissing off Garrett...
I know Alice will forgive me for failing to show up as she always forgives me when I screw up. I do not deserve her forgiveness but it doesn't really matter. She'll give it to me anyway and I will take it, as always.
Take, take, take. Her life is in shambles and it is my...
I push down hard on that thought, but not before the damage is done. It bothers me. Irritation and guilt twist deep. I have to make it up to Alice. I can't keep doing this crap to her. Not now. And yet…
I bounce my leg restlessly and glance over at the actress. She and her companions are staring at me, unabashed and utterly indiscreet. Pent up frustration licks at me...
"I'll fuck her," I respond just as bluntly, tamping down on the prickle of guilt that threatens to grow as I acknowledge that I will not be meeting Alice tonight. I lift a hand and beckon Kate over, just as indiscreet as she and her companions.
She smirks again and rises from her seat. Her purple top is almost painted on; her unnaturally perky breasts straining against the fabric. I note the short, black skirt she is wearing and nod my head in approval. It will make what I have in mind a whole lot easier.
She sashays across the restaurant, all eyes on her. I reach into my suit jacket and pull my wallet out, slapping a bill on the table and rising to meet her.
Alec smirks again as she comes to a stop in front of me. Silence falls over the restaurant as I let my eyes rove over her and I know that every gossip magazine in the country will have this story two minutes after we walk out the door. It should be enough to check me, to make me greet her like a gentleman, send her on her merry way before sitting my ass back down, eating dinner and going to meet my little sister as promised.
"Edward." Kate inclines her head as she purrs my name. Of course she knows it. It sounds ridiculous, almost pouty instead of seductive coming from her lips...
Garrett or not, she's no different.
"Kate." I smirk at her and offer her my arm, ignoring the diatribe my conscience is desperately trying to spew at me. I need no reminders of what I am; I know it intimately. I am as fake as she is... more so.
She accepts my arm and we weave our way through the restaurant and out the doors amidst whispers and shocked stares.
We are in my living room and Kate is bent over the deep black sofa, her skirt shoved up above her hips and her surgically enhanced ass bare to me as I stand behind her. The blinds are open wide; the twinkling lights of the New York skyline reflected brightly in the sparkling glass.
"Please, Edward," she pleads as I run my hand up her thigh and onto the tanned flesh exposed before me, "fuck me."
"I plan to," I murmur and squeeze her ass once before stepping back and retrieving a condom. I don't even bother to undress; I simply release my cock from my pants and roll the condom on.
She moans throatily and I barely resist the urge to roll my eyes again. She is as vapid and fake as I suspected. She is also insatiable. I've already fingered her to orgasm twice and watched her do it herself once and still, she pleads for more. My earlier desire to irritate Garret has nearly fled, so certain am I that being married to her is irritation enough.
I move by rote, step up behind her and, grasping her hips, slam myself fully into her. She knows what she is getting herself into. She cries out and clutches at the sofa, her walls already contracting around me.
She is drenched, beyond receptive to my hard thrusts... and I am bored. I pull out and thrust into her again as hard as before. She screams, my name perhaps, and pushes eagerly back against me as I set a hard, unforgiving rhythm.
She's screaming and moaning, begging for more and I give it to her, detached. I am always detached, always withdrawn by the time we make it to this point. Nothing but my cock finds these encounters interesting and yet... I continue to have them.
I can't seem to stop playing the game. I am a bastard, cocky, self absorbed, destroying my family... and I cannot stop.
I slam myself into her over and over again, grunting as her head lashes around and she falls forward onto the sofa, I follow her, not stopping, not slowing.
She is screaming my name over and over.
The phone begins to ring in my pocket, its shrill tone nearly lost beneath her own. I almost stop to answer it just to get her to shut up... and remember Alice; that I am supposed to be meeting her. I can't explain this to her... I let it ring, knowing that Jasper will escort her as he always does when I flake. It will be better for her that way. She has enough on her plate because of me without being associated with this latest scandal, and I am certain there will be one since Kate and I were not in the least discreet...
Alice doesn't need this one touching her too.
"Come," I demand of Kate, reaching around and pinching her clit between thumb and forefinger.
"Edward," she shrieks again.
I loathe hearing my name on her lips, but I grunt anyway, too close to turn it off now.
Her walls clamp around me and I explode.
The phone rings again.
It is still ringing as I pull out of her and rip the condom off. She is facedown on the sofa, mewling. I do roll my eyes this time and toss the condom into the trashcan before striding into the bathroom and to clean up.
I feel even more tense now and I want to just tell her to get out. I'm not sure how much longer I can do this... how much longer I can survive being this person…
I am tucking myself back into my slacks when the phone rings again. I swear and jerk it from my pocket. I curse again as I see Emmett's name flashing across the screen. I press a button and hold it to my ear, resigned to the cursing he is likely calling to deliver.
"Where the fuck are you?" he snarls before I can say a word.
"I was detained," I answer, knowing he will know by morning exactly what detained me.
"Dammit!" he yells into the phone, sounding more on edge than I can recall him ever being. "There were photographers there, E."
I know he is not talking about the restaurant, but of Alice. My hand clenches around the phone. Fury and guilt swirl through me, too fast for me to push them away. And truthfully, I do not want to this time. I am tired of it, exhausted by all of it. Of pretending it doesn't bother me, of being the person that caused this. Alice's life is falling apart and it's my fault.
Guilt burns like acid as it boils over and I clutch at the counter. I have to make this up to her somehow... make all of this easier for her. She is my sister, my best friend. I have to fix what I have done, before I cause more damage...
Emmett is still talking as I acknowledge this truth, babbling almost frantically.
"You have to get to the hospital," he tells me. "She was... there was an accident. It's bad, E. Real bad." I can hear tears in his voice.
I drop the phone... suddenly understanding what he is telling me.
I'm in the waiting room and have been there all night, Jasper sitting beside me. At some point, a security guard was posted outside to keep away the photographers and reporters that have swarmed in droves.
I vaguely recall cameras flashing as I walked into the hospital... but I am numb, horrified. The dull yellow walls are not cheerful, but sickening. Revolting.
I did this, I caused this, I tell myself over and over as the doctor talks, clinically informing us that there is swelling on her brain, and that they got the internal bleeding stopped. Jasper's head is in his hands as he shakes it back and forth; trying to deny what is being said.
I want to deny it too.
"There are no guarantees," the doctor concludes, trying and failing to sound sympathetic.
The words reverberate in my head long after he leaves the room, promising that a nurse will come for us shortly.
There are no guarantees.
There are no guarantees.
My baby sister might die...
Self loathing boils hot and fast as images of everything that has led to this flash in my mind. Kate and handfuls of others just like her, scandal after scandal... the God-damned book I wrote. Felix glaring at me with hatred in his eyes as I laugh at his not so subtle attempts to wheedle the truth out of me. Me threatening to destroy him while I clutch a shredded paper in my hands...
I should have told him, should have just fucking told him who the girl in the novel was. Shouldn't have gotten cocky or gave a shit that he didn't bow and scrape and just leave it the fuck alone when I demanded he do so...
There are no guarantees.
Oh God, what have I done?
She might die...
I spiral down into the darkness that I have held at bay for months, finally acknowledging it for what it is.
My family trickles in over the course of the next day. Carlisle and Esme arrive first. Esme is sobbing as she walks through the doors and immediately throws herself at me, hugging me fiercely and babbling that it's not my fault.
I meet Carlisle's gaze over her head but say nothing.
I say nothing when Emmett and Rose arrive...
I say nothing at all for hours. I just sit by Alice's bed as machines beep and whir; aghast that the broken, bandaged little woman in the bed is the same Alice that cheated at sports and danced instead of walked.
Esme is wrong... it is my fault.
Rose glares at me as she comes into the room later in the day, her eyes as puffy as I have ever seen them. She reaches into her purse and rips out a newspaper, flinging it at me. It lands at my feet in the white, tiled floor. I reach for it slowly.
Fury and hatred spike sharply as I unfold it and see the article, the byline.
Ex-mental patient in accident as brother has rendezvous with married actress.
My hands fist around the paper, ripping it down the middle.
Carlisle holds his hands out for the paper as everyone else stares on. I barely see them through the red haze in my mind.
How dare he, my mind screams as Carlisle pries my fingers from the paper, ripping it further in the process.
I lurch to my feet as he reads through the jagged tears, my hands gripping into my hair. I am so furious at myself... so furious at Felix for that headline, for what it insinuates about Alice... I can't think.
I slam my fist into the wall again and again as Esme cries out in shock and someone, Jasper, Emmett, I don't know... grabs me, pulling me back.
"I'll kill him," I swear. They're the first words I've spoken since telling Kate to get the fuck out.
Esme starts to cry again.
I'm sitting by her bed again, just as I have every day for the last several weeks. She's breathing on her own again, but she still has not woken. Machines continue to beep and whir in an endless cycle. I am going out of my mind. I want to beg her to wake up, but I can't. I can't find the words.
They whip around in my head, buried so far beneath self loathing, guilt and hatred, I can't reach them. The loathing and guilt grow daily.
I've had a week to consider everything I've done wrong... a week to realize just how ignorant I have been. A week of waiting for Alice to wake… and a week where she has not. It cuts as deeply as anything else and I welcome it, embrace it, certain with every new gash that I will not be that person again, that I cannot.
The shame of what I have caused, of who I've been and the things I've done...
The media will not let me forget that I was fucking a married actress while Alice was being cut from her car and this is good. I don't want to forget. I don't deserve to forget. Ever.
Jasper is sitting beside her on the bed as I stand between Emmett and Carlisle at the end of the bed. Rose and Esme clutch one another on the far side of the bed, both crying. Something is happening with Alice...
We've been without hope for a week and I am afraid to start now. The media is relentless with their reports. They are almost gleeful. Rabid and out for blood.
I let them have it.
Alice's eyes flutter rapidly and everyone stops breathing.
Please God. Please God. Please God.
It is the only prayer I am capable of forming.
Her eyes open as I pray. They flit around the room... and land on me.
The storm that has been raging inside intensifies, becomes ferocious as her gold, elfin eyes meet mine.
Alive. Alice is still alive.
The storm breaks... and I'm running.
I burst through the doors of the newspaper office and storm across the tiled room, hearing nothing but the pump of blood through my veins. I see his name on the door before me, etched into one of those little plaques, and fling it open.
He jumps in his seat behind his desk, startled.
His eyes widen as I slam the door behind me so hard I hear the glass vibrate.
"What the-" he starts to ask, dropping the sheaf of papers in his hand. They flutter around…
I'm around the desk, driving my fist into his face before he can finish or they can land. Inside, I am raging at him.
You had no right to look into her past! No right to turn her into a freak show! No right to tell the world that she was abandoned in a mental institute as a toddler. Your problem is with me! Me, you sorry motherfucker!
And I am raging at myself.
You caused this! You! Not Felix, not the paper, but you! You, you, you.
I drive my fist into his face again and again. I want to kill him; I hope I do kill him. He's not fighting back. He can't. I have my knee in his balls and one hand clutched around his throat. Blood spurts from his nose and mouth, running in macabre rivulets down his beefy face. He clutches at the hand around his throat, his body jerking beneath mine as I press against his windpipe harder and swing again. And again.
There is screaming behind me and I don't care. I don't care if the entire office watches me kill him...
"Edward, no!" Someone grabs me, dragging me backward. It's Jasper.
I briefly wonder how he got here, why he isn't with Alice...
I try to fly at Felix again. He is slumped in his chair, unconscious, and I don't care. It isn't good enough... he isn't dead. His chest continues to rise and fall, breath wheezing through his mangled nose.
"Edward." Jasper locks his arms around me, immobilizing me. I buck against him, furious, and break free. I shove him hard and start back to Felix.
"Edward, God-dammit, it's not your fault!" Jasper shouts in that aggrieved Southern twang of his.
I spin toward him, open my mouth to ask him what the fuck he knows about it... and for the first time... I see his own guilt and grief stamped across his face. It is a mirror of my own, consuming, poisoning.
Jasper doesn't blame me.
It's more than I can handle.
I sink to the floor as something inside breaks.