|Sincerely, Lieutenant Cullen
Author: LuvCullens PM
There's one thing a soldier loves to recieve: mail. For Lt. Edward Cullen, it is no different. So when he receives a letter from a woman he doesn't know, he writes back. Can two people fall in love without ever meeting and endure all that comes their way?Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 30 - Words: 187,444 - Reviews: 2,572 - Favs: 1,169 - Follows: 1,114 - Updated: 03-04-13 - Published: 05-06-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6970361
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The characters of Twilight are owned by Stephenie Meyer. The original content and ideas of this story are mine.
"Bella, it's been a month. Get over it." Emmett snapped at his little sister, his hands thrown into the air.
"Emmett," Rosalie chastised from Bella's side.
"No Rosalie, I'm tired of it. Bella, you're stronger than this. No matter how much you have driven me crazy growing up, I always thought of you as tough. You never let anyone get to you and you never let anything get in your way. Now you're letting that jackass and witch of a roommate ruin you. Why? You were too good for him anyway. Get. Over. It."
Tears streamed down Bella's cheeks. "That's a lot easier said than done. You have no idea, Emmett. No idea what I am going through!"
"You're right; I've never had my heart broken. The only person I've ever loved has worshipped me all my life." Emmett winked over at his wife with a wicked grin.
"You're an idiot, and not helping." Rosalie shook her head at her husband's lack of compassion.
Bella stood up to leave the room and Emmett grabbed her by her shoulders. "Look at me Bella. I didn't come in here to make you feel like crap, but you can't sit around all summer, crying on the phone to my pregnant wife and think that is going to help you get over it.
"You are absolutely right. I can't understand, but I watched a buddy of mine go through a hell of a lot more than this and I never saw him slip from his responsibilities for a minute. His family life is not great, his fiancé' crushed him, and the guy's got nobody watching out for him. He never gets letters or packages, ever, for crying out loud. Never once have I ever seen him sitting around crying and letting his life pass him by.
"You know I'm not one for all that psycho babble crap but I think talking to someone who has been through something similar can help. He can understand and maybe he can let you in on what got him through it. Besides, he could really use some mail and a friend. Here…" Emmett handed her a small square of paper with a name and address scribbled on it. "… if you can think about someone other than yourself for a while, you might write him, he could use the mail."
Emmett leaned over and lovingly kissed his wife, placing his hand on her tiny baby bump. "I'm going hiking with my dad. I'll be back in a few hours, I love you."
Emmett headed for the door and then turned toward his little sister. "I love you too, Bells. I just want to see the old you again."
Bella nodded and looked down at the paper in her hand. Lieutenant Edward Cullen.
No matter how much time Edward spent in the sun his skin never seemed to adjust. He always felt the uncomfortable burn on his back and neck while he ran. For some reason though, it was never bothersome enough to put his shirt back on. The heat was cooled by the constant dribbles of sweat falling down from his broad shoulders to the waistline of his pants. This was Edward's time, his very own. Not for his country, not because he was told he had to, not because he was worried about staying in shape. His running time was his therapeutic time. He could be alone with nobody telling him what to do or asking him what to do. He could think about personal things in his life that he had to separate himself from while doing his job. His head always cleared after this time of exertion and he was ready to go back to work and perform to the best of his ability.
June 29th, today, would have been he and Tanya's seventh anniversary. Yes, he thought, a run was definitely necessary today. It had been over two years and the memories still plagued him. His muscles tightened in frustration as he thought of what it would take to get her completely out of his mind for good. Every day it was getting a little better but not fast enough. He was a man; he didn't think he should be affected this way. He sometimes felt he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, which was the curse of men who took their jobs in the military seriously. They were protecting their entire country from the evil in the world, so how did he have the time to worry about one woman? One woman who completely destroyed him two years ago.
Letting out a small growl, Edward dropped to his hands and toes, just yards away from his barracks and started his push-up and sit-up regimen. He still wasn't ready to be around the other guys yet.
Edward's eyes flashed toward the voice calling him, slightly annoyed at the interruption. "Yeah?"
"Letter for you."
It had been only a matter of days since he last received a letter from his mother. Could something have happened to cause her to write so soon? In one swift motion, Edward was on his feet and striding toward the young boy holding his letter toward him.
"Thanks," he mumbled, brows furrowed together, his eyes gazing at the blue envelope. He read the sender's name. Bella McCarty. Images of all of his acquaintances and family flashed through his mind, coming up empty of who Bella McCarty could be. He'd never heard the name before. His eyes darted to the middle of the envelope to make sure it was addressed to him, and there, in an elegant script, was his name. Lieutenant Edward Cullen.
A thrill of excitement and curiosity coursed through him as he wondered what female was sending him a letter and why. Returning to his barracks, he dropped to the edge of his cot, and pulled a pocket knife out from under his bed to cut the envelope open. His nervous hands unfolded the paper while his eyes darted around to see that there were only two other soldiers in the room. Both were asleep. Feeling confident in his privacy he began to read his letter.
I know that you don't know me, but you know my brother. I call him the most annoying creature on the earth, but you would probably refer to him as Lieutenant Emmett McCarty. However, if you know him well, it's highly possible that you refer to him as I do.
A grin spread across his face and a small chuckle escaped his lips. He did, indeed, know Emmett McCarty, and could completely understand why a sibling of his would find him annoying. Edward mostly found him to be humorous and honest, but he couldn't help but wonder why Emmett's sister would be writing him.
He is the one that gave me your name and address, so you can blame him if I annoy you. If I don't annoy you, and we keep up a correspondence, let's not give him any credit. In fact, I would really appreciate it if you didn't even tell him I wrote to you. I would never want him to know that I took his advice and listened to him.
While Emmett was home for a weekend at the beginning of this summer, I was going through somewhat of a crisis that was causing me to be an unpleasant person to be around. In Emmett's own tender and loving way, he called me selfish and told me to get over it. Yeah, he has quite a way with words. What stuck with me, though, was when he mentioned you. He said that you had been through something similar to what I'm going through. He even blabbered about what a good example you were because you didn't sit around and cry about your misfortune. So here I am, "selfish" enough to write to a complete stranger, with hope that he can teach me how to "get over it," in Emmett's words.
Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Bella McCarty. I am 21 years old. I attend UCLA where I'm finishing my degree in education. Currently, I am home for the summer at my parents' in Forks, Washington. I have been tutoring kids over the summer and keeping Rosalie (Emmett's wife) company. There is not a whole lot else to tell you about me. I love to read, hike, and camp. I know you must be jealous of my kick ass life, but hey, I'm in Forks, what else is there to do?
As for what happened that has me all in dramatics, well you may not think it's a big deal, but it is to me. In fact, it caused my whole world to come crashing down. During finals week of winter quarter, I came home from studying early and found my roommate, Jessica, with my boyfriend, Mike. When I say with, I don't mean quizzing each other for their finals. It made me so sick that I literally threw up in the middle of my apartment living room and have avoided both ever since. I will be seeing them this next year and my stomach turns just thinking about it.
My summer is coming to an end quicker than I would like and I'm still not over everything. I know I'll have to face my demons upon my return to school, so I'm kind of desperate for any help I can get. Emmett said that you would be able to help and I hope you can.
I hope this letter finds you safe and happy. Please write and tell me about yourself, how you've managed to cope through your situation and, most of all, tell me something humiliating about my brother.
Thanks for all that you are doing for our country and my freedom,
Edward read through the letter one more time and then folded the paper, returning it to its envelope. Though his excitement over receiving a letter lingered –he was grateful for the mail— Edward was confused by this girl. Who writes a letter to a stranger, asking for help with a personal situation?
Bella. He'd heard stories of her, but he couldn't remember specifics. He wished he'd paid better attention now. Bella's humor and wit was amusing, yet he was disturbed by the anger that flashed through her words when explaining what had happened. Edward's thoughts drifted toward his past.
Jolted back from flashbacks of his own experience, Edward took out the letter one last time and traced a finger over the indentation of Bella's handwriting. What moron had done this to such a sweet girl? Yeah, he decided, this guy had to be a moron to hurt McCarty's sister. At the thought, Edward smirked then put the letter back inside the envelope.
He couldn't decide now what his response would be. He didn't even know if he'd respond at all. Right now, struggling through his emotions from the letter, were old, simmering emotions he didn't want to dredge up. And on top of that was the feeling of betrayal. How could Emmett have shared such personal information of his with someone else? Sister or not, Edward had told Emmett everything in confidence.
Running his fingers along the edge of the envelope, he decided to think about it later. He pulled a metal box out from under his bed and stored the letter safely inside. He grabbed his towel from his locker and headed for a much needed shower.
Running from her car, up to the front porch, Bella tried to avoid some of the torrential downpour. She had spent the last two hours working with a ten year old boy who still couldn't read. While tutoring kids and helping them to better themselves was rewarding, it could also be so frustrating. She needed a mental break. Once safe, she sat herself down on the rickety porch swing and removed her tennis shoes that were now a lovely shade of mud, and then quickly peeled off her rain jacket. Sighing from exhaustion, she pulled her knees up to her chest while the swing swayed back and forth, as if it were comforting her. One minute she felt she couldn't live without being surrounded in green and the smell of rain, the next, she thought she would combust if she didn't feel the sun on her face. Today she was missing the sun. As she surveyed her wet surroundings, she noticed the mailbox full of mail and jumped up to retrieve it.
Back on the swing, she sifted through the mail, unsure why because nothing was ever for her. "Electric bill, coupons, ads, ads, magazine… "
Bella stopped her mumbling as she came to a letter addressed to her from Lt. Edward Cullen. A grin spread across her face and she leaped from the swing and headed for her room, leaving her jacket and shoes behind. Throwing herself across her bed, she made quick work of opening the letter.
Miss Bella McCarty,
I want to thank you for your letter. Though I was shocked to receive a letter from a complete stranger, it definitely made my day. I was surprised to find out that Emmett had told you a little about me and asked you to write to me. I admit, I feel slightly embarrassed that one of my fellow soldiers had to beg on my behalf, but I'll take it. I completely agree about keeping this from Emmett, for I worry that I might end up indebted to him for setting up this correspondence. Owing Emmett would be very similar to owing the devil.
Bella rolled onto her back with an amused grin. Edward must know Emmett well, because Emmett was the devil.
Let me tell you a little about myself. Hopefully I can make myself sound a little less pathetic than your brother did. My name is Edward, I am twenty- seven years old, and I'm from Chicago, Illinois. I have been in the army for three years. That is about all for me, so, you see, your life is quite interesting.
Education, huh? Are you going for a Master's or are you planning on teaching? What kinds of books do you read? I am quite the reader also.
I am sorry to hear about your circumstances with your ex and your roommate. I don't know what to say other than… that sucks. I get why Emmett said I would understand. I understand all to well what you are going through. Six months into my service, I received a letter from my fiancé informing me that she wanted to call of our engagement. She said and I quote, "I never intended to marry a man in the military." She wanted an executive, apparently; someone who could give her more monetarily and be around more than I'm able.
A gasp escaped Bella's throat. "What a witch!"
How I never saw through Tanya before is beyond me. A year later she married my cousin. It took me a very long time to get over the hurt and anger. If I'm being completely honest, I am still not a hundred percent over it. My mother wrote me a letter basically telling me the same thing Emmett said to you, except my mother did it in a much kinder way. She told me that I deserved better and not to waste my heart or time on someone who could disregard me so easily. She also threw in a lecture on making sure I was ready to meet someone new; someone who will adore me. Okay, that's a bit much. But she was right. I don't want to be sitting around, heartbroken and sick over Tanya and miss a chance at the real thing. Though I doubt I'll find someone out here surrounded by a bunch of soldiers— nor am I looking – I know my mother is right.
Bella's lower lip began to tremble. She knew exactly what he was feeling. She too felt like she never wanted to love anyone again. It wouldn't be worth the risk of getting heartbroken once more.
I destroyed all of my letters from Tanya and decided I was done mourning her. Luckily, I am kept busy here and if I do have down time, I run, which always helps.
Unfortunately, Emmett is right. You need to get over it. They are the ones who destroyed your relationships. You've let this ruin your summer, but you can't let them take anything else away from you. Start running, I swear it will help.
"Running? You can't run in Forks without catching pneumonia," Bella mumbled.
Thanks for your letter. Don't feel obligated to write back, but I would enjoy hearing from you again.
Have a great week.
Grateful to have found someone that had been through the same thing she had, Bella would most definitely write him again. Deep in her heart, she thanked Emmett for the introduction to Lieutenant Cullen, even though she would never tell him so. Walking to her desk, she pulled out her blue stationary and immediately began her letter to Edward.
Author Notes: Hello, all of my old friends. I know I said I was not going to write anymore fan fiction, but this idea kept creeping into my head for weeks and refused to leave. I had to get it down in words and who better to share it with than all of you.
You all know how much I love reviews, please let me know what you think of the chapter so I know if I should proceed.