Author: velvetbutterfly PM
It only takes a moment to turn your world around or upside down. What do you do when your world falls apart and you fall with it? What do you do when that one moment is the beginning of the end?Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Tragedy - Bella & Edward - Words: 7,099 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 5 - Published: 07-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7208333
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Hello everyone for what will be the last time! This is my last fanfic, and really, I only wrote it because my bestie begged me to write an E/B story….I'm afraid this isn't what she had in mind and will hate me. I'll see you at the end…
The song is inspired by Brad Paisley's Whiskey Lullaby. YouTube it if you've never given it a listen. It's a beautiful heartbreaking song, and I don't think I did it justice.
It only takes one moment to change a person's life. A moment where they witness something, hear something, or say something and the light clicks and suddenly everything is brighter…or darker. It only takes that one moment to either turn your world around, or upside down. You can embrace it or run from it, learn from it or disregard it. That moment will either be the happiest one of your life, or the most miserable.
What do you do when your world falls apart and you fall with it? What do you do when that one moment is the beginning of the end?
He watched her sleep; the slow rise and fall of her chest making the tops of her breasts play peek-a-boo beneath the sheet.
He smiled, gently brushing the hair away from her face so he could see her better. He traced the soft skin on her cheek with his fingertip, over her jaw and across her lips. She stirred, nudging her head deeper into the pillow in an attempt to brush him off.
"Sleeping. Go away," she muttered.
He chuckled, sliding his hand lower over the curve of her shoulder and skimming it over her ribs until he reached her hip. She wiggled beneath his touch, shifting her body closer to his.
"If that's what you really want," he murmured in response.
She opened one eye and peeked at him from under her lashes.
"You're nothing but a fucking tease, Edward Masen," she accused. "You know damn well you have to go to work."
Edward couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as he slid his hand even lower and cupped her ass through the thin sheet. His wife glared at him and he laughed.
"Just wanted to put a smile on your face before I went to work, babe."
The glare turned into a mischievous grin and she quickly swung her leg over his hip and sat up, straddling him.
"I have some ideas on how you can do that," she told him huskily, grinding against his hardening dick.
"Mmmm. And if I'm late for work?" he asked, sliding his hands up her thighs.
"You've been late before."
"And it's not appreciated," he chuckled. "You know how Emmett can be. He may like to play, but when it comes to work there's nothing more serious."
"Hmmm," she hummed, leaning over to brush her lips against his nipples causing the breath to hiss out of him. "Tell him you seriously had to fuck your extremely horny wife."
Edward groaned and gripped her hips, digging his fingers into her hip bones until he was sure he left marks on her pale skin.
"You'd get me fired, woman, from any other job," he moaned.
She laughed, "Good thing he's not only your best friend but your brother-in-law as well."
"Which is why telling him I had to stop and fuck his baby sister isn't going to be the greatest excuse."
"He'll deal. Now shut up and do just that."I don
Edward cupped the back of her head and brought her lips down hard on his. He assaulted her mouth with his tongue, stabbing and sweeping at her tongue, nipping and sucking on her lips as her moans grew louder, excited by the roughness of the kiss.
His cock throbbed against her wet heat, soaked in her juices from her teasing him. He wanted nothing more than to lift her hips and pound the hell out of her right now, but…
"Baby, I really can't be late this morning."
Her head snapped up from where she was nibbling on his throat and she glared at him.
"What the fuck, Edward?"
"We're giving that presentation today, remember? It's our one shot to land this client and if I fuck it up by being late Emmett will kill me," he tried to explain.
She pressed her lips together, ripped the sheet from the bed and wrapped it around her body before climbing off of him and stomping to the bathroom.
"Don't fucking call me that!" she screamed back at him. "Take your stupid nickname and shove it up your ass, Edward. At least one of us will be getting some kind of action then!" She slammed the bathroom door and he heard the lock click.
Edward pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed. He waited a few minutes before getting out of bed and knocking on the bathroom door.
"Ba-" He stopped, correcting himself before she got even more upset with him. "Bella?" He knocked softly, but the only response was the shower being turned on.
He shook his head and turned away. He grabbed his clothes and dressed quickly, left the room and went downstairs to start the coffee. He put two mugs on the counter as he waited for the coffee to brew, hoping she would come down before he had to leave.
Edward knew what he was getting into long before he married Isabella McCarty. She was stubborn; hot headed, and an all-around pain in the ass. But he'd been infatuated with his best friend's sister since she had been eighteen years old. Infatuation soon turned to love and five years ago they married.
She'd had her troubles in the past, came with a lot of baggage, but he didn't care about any of that. Everyone had demons, some were just darker than others, and Bella's weren't enough to scare him off.
In fact, Edward admired his wife for putting her life back together and getting her shit straight before it was too late. Her young impulsive ways could have fucked her life up for good, but thankfully one stint in rehab for alcohol and drug addiction knocked some sense into her.
Now if only she could rid herself of all her old bad habits.
Edward stared into his black coffee and frowned at the thought. He still hadn't come to terms, even after five years of marriage, that there were just some things she wasn't about to give up.
Edward looked up as Bella entered the kitchen and gave her a small smile. She ignored him and headed straight for the coffee pot, grabbing her own mug from the cupboard instead of the one he had placed on the counter for her.
"Bella, I'm sorry."
She snorted. "I'm sure."
He watched her add sugar and milk to her mug and pop two slices of bread into the toaster.
"What are you so pissed about?" he finally snapped. "It's just one morning."
She slammed the knife down on the counter and spun around.
"No, Edward, it's not just one fucking morning. It's been two fucking months! You come home late, you leave early, and we never fucking see each other anymore. It's more than one morning."
Edward stared at her, trying to remember the last time they had had sex so he could prove her wrong. Yet, he couldn't. He couldn't remember the last damn time they had been intimate.
Had it really been that long?
"I'm sorry," he said again. "This project has been kicking my ass and it's really important."
"And we're not?" she shot back at him, grabbing her cigarettes and lighter off the counter and walking out to the patio, her toast forgotten as it grew cold.
He watched her through the patio door as she flopped down into a deck chair and took a long drag, slowly blowing the smoke out. He joined her after a few minutes, standing in the doorway to still give her some space.
"I wish you'd quit," he told her softly.
"Sometimes I wish you would, too," she replied.
Before he could respond and tell her she was being ridiculous - something else that would just set her off – her cell rang and he had to grind his molars together to keep from snapping when he heard the all too familiar ring tone.
Bella glanced up at him and kept eye contact as she answered, "What's up, Jasper?" with a smirk on her face.
Jasper Whitlock. The one and only person Edward despised in Bella's life. The one and only person he blamed for Bella's past addictions. Ten years ago Bella and Jasper had been binging buddies. Alcohol, drugs, sex, you name it they did it together. And then suddenly Jasper turns into Mr. Stand Up and enlists in the army, leaving Bella behind and alone to deal with the mess he helped cause.
Edward didn't blame him for turning his life around, he blamed him for ruining Bella's in the process. She had become lost without her best friend, her partner in crime. She became depressed without him around, sank deeper into her substance abuse to try and forget that he was gone. It wasn't until she went missing for almost two weeks that Emmett made her go to rehab once she was finally found. God only knew what, or who, she did while she was gone, but no one asked. They were just glad she was back and willing to get help.
Three years after Edward and Bella married Jasper resurfaced. Bella hadn't heard a word from him in five years but suddenly they were attached at the hip again as if nothing had happened. The friendship was different since they were both changed people, but Edward couldn't help but worry that it was just a matter of time before it all exploded. Jasper and Bella being together was just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off.
"Sure, we can hang," Bella said, still not breaking eye contact with Edward. "Nothing's up around here, anyway."
Edward slammed his coffee cup down on the patio table and Bella jumped. He glared at her once before storming into the house, grabbing his briefcase and walking out the front door.
He yanked open the car door and threw in his case. Bella grabbed his arm just as he was about to climb in and pulled him to stop.
"What?" he snapped.
"He's going through a rough time," she told him, biting her lip. "Alice left him, you know."
"Maybe there's a good reason she did."
Bella's eyes hardened and she snatched her hand away from his arm.
"She's a bitch who couldn't deal with his PTSD," she snapped back at him.
"If he's that fucked up and has that many problems that even his wife can't handle, maybe you shouldn't be around him either, Bella."
She took a step back and her eyes filled with tears as she shook her head.
"Fuck you, Edward. You don't know shit when it comes to Jasper and I."
"That's what worries me," he said. Bella turned to walk away, but he grabbed her hand and pulled her back. "He's the reason you were so screwed up all those years ago, Bella. He left you to pick up the pieces of your dysfunctional relationship yourself while he moved on. And then he's back and you don't blink an eye about forgiving him."
"I don't want to see him pull you back down with him, Bella. You're my wife, my entire fucking reason for being, and I'll be damned if I watch him screw with you again."
"He's my best friend, Edward, and he needs me," she whispered. "You blame him for things you don't understand. Everything I did was my choice, not his. He didn't force me into anything. You'll never understand that, Edward. Maybe you'll never really understand me."
"Just go to work, Edward," she told him bitterly. "That's where you really want to be anyway."
Edward let his hand fall away from hers and she backed away, shaking her head as she went.
"I don't know how we got here, Edward," she whispered. "I don't know when we became these people."
"Bella, I'm sorry I've been working so much, but this is important and not just to me. It's for us; it's for Emmett and the company. This will benefit us all."
"At what cost?"
He narrowed his eyes at the question.
"What do you mean?"
"What do I mean?" she cried, throwing her hands up. "Look at us, Edward! Do you really need to ask that?"
Edward moved away from the car and pulled her into his arms. She went willingly, but didn't return the hug.
"Baby, if you can just hold on for a little bit longer all this will be over soon. We can take a vacation, go anywhere you want. Just the two of us."
Bella shrugged out of his hold and half smiled.
"Sounds great." She turned to walk back into the house, only pausing long enough to look over her shoulder at him and say, "I'll try not to be too disappointed when it doesn't happen."
Edward watched her disappear into the house before climbing into his car and slamming the door hard in frustration.
He couldn't help it if his job kept him busy. She liked the lifestyle that came with it, but never stopped bitching about the price they had to pay in order to have it. So they hadn't had sex in two months. Was that really such a big deal that she had to throw a fucking tantrum about it?
Edward clenched his jaw together as he drove. Fucking Whitlock. He was the one causing most of the tension at home between him and Bella. Why couldn't she see he was nothing but trouble for her? Why couldn't she let go and let the SOB handle his shit on his own? He hadn't given a damn about her when he skipped town, leaving Bella to drown her sorrows in the whiskey bottle they shared. And yet now, he expected her to be there for him.
Maybe his wife should take a hint from Jasper's ex-wife.
Edward pulled into his parking spot and glanced down at his watch, cursing under his breath. He entered the building, nodding a quick hello to the receptionist as he headed for his office where he found Emmett waiting for him.
"What the hell, man?" Emmett cried as soon as Edward entered. "You can't even be on time today of all days? Your ass is lucky they're late as well."
Edward dropped his briefcase on his desk with a loud bang and glared at his brother-in-law.
"Oh, shit. What happened now?" Emmett asked.
"Nothing." Edward snapped open the case and pulled out his papers. "Let's focus on this, okay?"
"Can you focus on this?" Emmett asked, earning him another glare. "Look, Edward, man, I understand marital problems. I mean, c'mon, have you met my wife?"
Edward snorted as he thought of the high maintenance Rosalie McCarty. Handful wasn't quite a strong enough word to describe Emmett's wife.
"And I know the pain in the ass Bella can be," Emmett added softly. "I know first-hand she's not the easiest person to love."
Edward sighed and dropped into his chair.
"It is easy to love her, though. It's not easy to deal with the other man in her life."
"I don't like it either, bro. But like it or not Bella's a big girl and you can't ground her and send her to her room, forbidding her from playing with her friends."
"Friend?" Edward sneered. "Jasper Whitlock should not be described as a friend."
"Trust me, I know that," Emmett grumbled. "I think it's worse than either of us really know."
Edward's head snapped up.
"What do you mean?"
Emmett sighed heavily and dragged his hand down the side of his face.
"Rose is friends with Alice, Jasper's wife." Edward nodded. "You know she left him, right?"
"Yeah. Bella said she couldn't deal with his PTSD."
"According to Rose, what she couldn't deal with was the lying and cheating and drinking and violence."
Edward's blood ran cold and his spine stiffened.
"He was rough with her?"
"Rose wouldn't go into detail, but from what I gather, the dude is fucked. Even more so than what he was years ago."
"So I'm right to be concerned. I'm not just acting like a jealous husband."
Emmett shrugged again.
"Emmett, you have to do better than that!" Edward cried. "She's your sister! You should feel just as concerned as I am."
"She's my sister, yes, but you married her, man. She's your problem," Emmett replied, not a hint of humour in his voice. He gave Edward an apologetic look and shook his head. "I dealt with her crap for years, Edward, always having to clean up her mess. After she got help I said I was done. I did my part. I have a wife now, I have a family, and I love my sister, but I can't be the father she needed growing up anymore. And neither can you."
"Are you saying I should give up on her? On us?" Edward asked, surprised.
Emmett stared at him, slowly swivelling his chair from side to side.
"I hate to say it, Edward," he finally said, "but I look at Bella the way you look at Jasper. If she's willing to let herself get caught up in his mess, I don't want to see her pull you down with her too."
"Let's get this over with and then you take the rest of the afternoon off. Go home. Spend some time together."
Edward did just as Emmett suggested. After hitting the meeting out of the ball park and landing the new client, Edward took the rest of the day off and drove home. If things went well maybe he'd take a few days off, drive up to their beach house and spend that time alone that he promised her this morning.
He stopped by the florist to get flowers, smiling as he pulled into the driveway and quietly entered the house, hoping to surprise her with his early arrival.
But as he stepped into the living room it was he who was surprised.
There, in their home, on the couch they picked out and bought together, Bella was straddling Jasper, riding his cock with more passion and vigour than Edward ever remembered her having with him.
Jasper grabbed her ass, squeezing the cheeks hard until Bella cried out and threw her head back, her eyes landing on and locking with Edward's.
"Oh my god!" she gasped, quickly sitting up and jumping off Jasper.
"Is, what the fuck!" he cried, and then followed her stare to where Edward stood. "Oh, shit."
Edward stood there, stone faced, and too shocked to say anything.
"Edward," Bella whispered, tears filling her eyes. "Edward…"
Edward nodded and glanced down at the flowers he held. Silently, he set the flowers down and pressed his lips together firmly.
"Shut up, Jasper," Bella hissed, shrugging her shirt back on and standing. "Edward, I…I don't know what to say…"
Edward nodded again, the bile rising in his throat as his insides twisted painfully from the betrayal.
"If you don't know what to say that says it all."
Edward turned without another word and walked out of the house. He heard her running after him but he didn't stop.
"You can't leave me! Edward! I need you! Edward!" she screamed. "It just happened, it didn't mean anything. Edward, please!" she sobbed, charging down the front steps barefoot, catching up with him at the car and pulling on his arm.
He let her claw at him, not having the energy to shake off her adulteress touch even though the last thing he wanted was for her hands to be on him.
"Baby, please," she cried, tears spilling down her cheeks. "I'm sorry. I don't know how it happened."
Edward snapped his head up and glared at her.
"Don't have me that bullshit, Bella. You don't know how it happened? What kind of fucking moron do you think I am?"
Bella swallowed, her eyes wide as she rambled off her excuses.
"I felt rejected this morning. We had that fight and we haven't had sex in so long and Jasper… Jasper's going through so much, too-"
"Don't you fucking dare!" Edward snapped. "I must have missed the part in our vows where it said it was okay to pity fuck a friend." He yanked his arm out of her grasp and pulled open the car door.
"Edward, don't leave," she pleaded, grabbing onto the door to keep him from closing it. "Don't leave me."
Edward stared out the windshield, afraid to look into the eyes of the stranger before him. She looked like his wife, but the woman he loved was no longer there.
"I have nothing left to stay for," he murmured. "You've obviously made your choice."
"You can't be serious. You can't just walk away from our life. From our marriage."
"You did," he accused as he pulled the door closed in her face.
Bella balled her hands into fists and banged on the window.
"Fine! Leave! Fucking leave!" she screamed, still banging on the car as he backed out of the driveway. "I always knew you'd leave me, Edward Masen! I always knew!"
He tried to ignore her, tried to keep his eyes locked on the review mirror as he drove the car down the short paved driveway and out onto the street. It was only when he heard her high pitched scream that he looked up and saw her fall to her knees, hands covering her face as her body shook with sobs.
He paused, foot on the brake, car in drive, waiting to take him away from the life he'd built the past five years. He watched the woman he loved meltdown in front of him, the pieces of his broken heart aching to go to her.
And then he stepped out of the house and those broken pieces hardened.
Without another look back, Edward sped away from his life.
"He's had enough."
Edward tried to see where the voice had come from, but the world around him was blurred and swayed if he moved too fast.
He groped his hand along the bar in search of the glass he knew had to be there somewhere.
"Edward, it's time to go," the voice said again.
He raised his head higher, finally seeing a fuzzy image of his former brother-in-law in front of him.
"I had a drink," he slurred.
"You've had a lot of drinks," Emmett said softly. "Has your stomach seen anything besides Jack the last six months?"
Edward tried to shrug, but his shoulders felt heavy, as if someone had placed a hundred pound weight on him.
"Come on, buddy. I'll take you home."
"Don't have a home," Edward mumbled.
Emmett wrapped an arm around Edward and hoisted him up without saying a word. Slowly, he helped his friend stand and half walked, half carried him to his truck.
"Did you drive here?" Emmett asked.
Emmett sighed as Edward clumsily climbed into the truck and laid his head on the back of the seat, closing his eyes as everything spun. He heard the driver's door open and close as Emmett climbed in and the engine roared to life.
"Do you want to come home with me?" Emmett asked as he pulled out of the bar's parking lot. "Rose won't mind."
"Do you want to go to the house? I know…" Emmett paused. "I know Bella won't be there."
"No," he said again, anger raising his voice. "Hotel."
"Edward, you can't keep living in a hotel room," Emmett chastened. "No one's living in the house, you might as well move back in. Or sell it. No point in keeping it if no one wants to live there. Have Rosalie put it on the market for you."
Edward remained silent, his brain too soggy from the six month bender he'd been on to really care or pay attention to what his friend was telling him.
"She might want it," he finally mumbled.
"Eddie, man." Emmett shook his head. "She's gone, bro. Her and Jasper both."
Edward snapped his eyes open, the alcohol fog lifting a little at Emmett's words.
"Whatcha mean she's gone?"
Emmett hesitated and then sighed.
"You've had your head buried in the Jack for too long. She took off with Jasper a few months ago. No one's heard from her."
Edward blinked, the news slowly sinking in. His throat suddenly burned for more whiskey, his hands shook as he thought about wrapping them around Jasper's neck and strangling the mother fucker.
"I told you I didn't want her taking you down with her," Emmett muttered. "And look what she's done."
"When was the last time you ate? Or shaved for that matter?"
Edward ran his hand over his face and was surprised to feel a full beard scrape his palm. He couldn't remember the last time he shaved…or ate…or worked. He couldn't remember what fucking day it was, or how he even got to the bar Emmett just pulled him out of. Christ, if Emmett asked him which hotel he was staying at he wouldn't be able to tell him.
He tried to drink his pain away a little at a time, but he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind.
And now she was gone.
"Take me to the house, Emmett," he requested softly.
Emmett shot him a look out of the corner of his eye.
"Are you sure?"
"Take me to the house," he repeated.
Not a word was said between the two friends as Emmett pulled into the driveway. He cut the engine but Edward waved him off.
"I don't need a babysitter, Emmett."
"You might need some assistance getting up those steps though." Emmett dug in his pocket and produced a key ring. "And a set of keys to get in."
Slowly, Edward staggered to the house, tripping over the bottom step and landing on his knees on the hard cement. He heard Emmett curse behind him and then felt two strong hands grab under his armpits and lift.
"You're a fucking disaster, man," Emmett told him as if he didn't know that. "I hate that bitch for doing this to you."
Edward braced himself on the railing while he waited for Emmett to unlock the door. As carefully as he could he went inside.
"Do you need help to the couch?"
"No fucking way am I sitting on that thing. I want it out of this house and burned," Edward screamed.
Emmett looked at him and then realization lit his eyes. He shook his head and cursed again.
"Let's get you upstairs so you can sleep it off."
"There's a bottle-"
"You've had enough."
"Emmett, get me the goddamn bottle or get the fuck out."
When Emmett made no move to get the bottle or get out, Edward stumbled his way over to the mini bar. He grabbed the unopened bottle of whiskey and staggered his way past Emmett and up the stairs, swaying this way and that. If it wasn't for Emmett following close behind he would have tumbled down the stairs.
Edward fell onto what had been their bed, burying his face in one of the pillows as his stomach rolled.
"You can go now," he muttered.
"I'll be downstairs if you need me."
"I said you can go now," Edward said again.
"And I said I'll be downstairs if you need me," Emmett repeated. "You need to wake the fuck up, Edward, and get your life back together," he told him from the doorway. "I don't care if I have to throw you ass in rehab, that's your last fucking bottle. Tomorrow you're done."
He slammed the bedroom door before Edward could open his eyes or say anything.
He dozed off, waking a few hours later with the bottle of whiskey in his grasp. His head pounded as he sat up, twisting the cap off the booze and taking a long pull from the bottle. The liquid burned all the way down. A comfort he had sought every day since the day he left this house. Since the day he left her.
And now she was gone.
And yet she was everywhere he looked. She was every woman who had filled his bed. She was every voice that called his name. He saw her fucking that mother fucker every time he closed his eyes. The image was always there, always taunting him that he wasn't enough for her. That she had given up everything they had in an instant for an old flame that ruined her life. He was haunted by the woman. Haunted by their memories together. And he hated it.
He hated that he still loved her.
He didn't want to love her. He didn't want her to haunt him for the rest of his life. He didn't want to feel one damn thing anymore.
Taking another swallow from the bottle, Edward stood and stumbled his way to the closet. It took some time, but eventually he found what he was looking for.
Even in his drunken haze, or maybe because of it, he knew what he had to do.
He crawled his way back to the bed, opening the nightstand drawer and taking out the notepad and pen he remembered Bella kept there. His writing was messy, probably unreadable to those who would find it, but he knew what it said and that's all that mattered. The words were out there. The words that he needed to say had been said.
He dropped the pen and paper on the bed and picked up the item he found in the closet. Slowly, he raised it to his head and closed his eyes.
The image of him and Bella dancing happily at their wedding flashed behind his closed eyelids. She was smiling and laughing as he spun her around, her brown hair flying around his shoulders. And when the song ended she collapsed in his arms, professing her love for him.
The pain he had felt every day for the past six months returned.
But this time it ended just as quickly as he pulled the trigger.
The gunshot rang out through the house, and even though Emmett was upstairs in seconds, he knew it was too late.
All that was left of his friend was scattered pieces of him on the floor and wall. And a note that read I'll love her till I die.
By the time Emmett had been able to track her down it had been months since Edward's death.
He found her holed up in some ratty apartment she and Jasper shared, too high on everything from coke to sniffing aerosol cans to understand what he was saying, or who he even was. He left her there, leaving nothing but a note behind as evidence that he had even been to see her. A note she found weeks later during one of her sober moments.
Edward's dead. I hope you're happy.
Jasper found her hours later in the same spot, staring at the note. He took it from her cold hands, crumpled it and threw it in the corner of the dirty room.
"I'm sorry," he said gruffly.
She looked up at him, wondering what he was sorry for. Was he sorry for turning her into an addict the first time? Was he sorry for leaving her like she meant nothing to him? Was he sorry for coming back into her life? For playing a part in her betrayal to Edward? For begging her to come with him and start a new life somewhere far away from the mess they created? Was he sorry for bringing home the booze and drugs? Was he sorry for the mean words he screamed at her, or for the black eye he had given her yesterday and all the previous ones before that? Was he sorry that Edward was dead? That they had done it to him?
What was he sorry for?
Bella dropped her eyes back to the floor. She stayed there in that same position for hours. She knew she should feel something. She knew she wanted to cry, yet the tears wouldn't come. It was like she was just as dead as her husband.
She waited until Jasper passed out before moving from her spot on the floor. She slowly stood, her muscles screaming from not moving in so long. She crept to the tiny bedroom, hoping she was quiet enough that she didn't wake him. She found the not so secret stash of money he kept hidden from her for his drugs and booze and took it all, grabbing the keys to his beat up Chevy on her way out.
She climbed into the truck, hoping it wouldn't wake him when it started. If it would start. Saying a silent prayer, she closed her eyes and turned the key. The old truck groaned to life loudly, and she held her breath as she stared at the apartment door waiting for it to open and Jasper to barge out.
Before she could lose her nerve, Bella gunned the engine and sped away. She risked a glance in the review mirror, but all was calm for now. She knew when he woke up, if he ever found her, there would be hell to pay.
She drove all night, finally arriving at her destination in the early hours of the morning. She pulled into the familiar driveway and shut off the truck, slowly getting out of the cab and walking the short distance to the front door.
She rang the bell, not surprised by the glare she received when it was opened.
"What the fuck do you want?" Rosalie snapped.
"I need to see Emmett," Bella answer meekly, shifting her eyes down to the ground so she wouldn't have to meet her sister-in-law's accusing stare.
"Emmett wants nothing to do with you."
She stood there, eyes down, waiting to hear the door being slammed in her face. But all she heard was a heavy sigh and Rose walk away. A few minutes later Emmett appeared.
"Let me guess. You need money," he said.
Bella shook her head.
"I found your note," she whispered.
"I left that weeks ago."
"I know." She slowly lifted her eyes to meet her brothers. "How did he die?"
"You killed him," he answered coldly.
The words cut. The words cut so deep it opened emotion Bella had been hiding for so long. The tears she had yet to cry over her husband's death spilled down her cheeks in uncontrollable sobs. She wrapped her arms around her middle and hunched over, trying to catch her breath as her sobs choked her.
"He shot himself, Bella," Emmett told her over her cries. "I found him. I was there when he did it. Did you ever wonder what he did after he left you? Did you ever stop to think what your actions did to him?" Emmett asked. "He went on a half a year bender, Bella. He didn't stop drinking for six fucking months and then he blew his brains out. All because of you."
Bella sank to her knees, shaking her head as she rocked back and forth.
"You have…no idea…how…sorry…" She covered her face with her hands, bawling into her palms as she thought of Edward.
"You're always sorry, Bella. But it's a little too late now. He's in the family plot if you want to pay your respects. Although I have my doubts you even know what that is," Emmett snarled, slamming the door.
Bella continued to cry. She finally got up from her knees what could have been hours later, she had no concept of time. She had no idea. She stood on wobbly legs and walked down the driveway as in a daze, leaving the truck behind.
As if her body had a mind of its own, she suddenly found herself staring at Edward's headstone. She wanted to reach out and touch it, to feel the warmth of the marble beneath her fingertips. To touch something that was made for him.
But her hands stayed glued to her side and finally she turned and walked away.
She went to the nearest bar she could find, drowning her misery and guilt in glass after glass of dark liquor. When the man sitting next to her suddenly dropped his hand to her thigh and slid it between her legs she let him. He pressed his fingers against the seam of her jeans, pushing the material roughly against her core.
She closed her eyes, trying to lose herself in the feeling of body. But the only thing she felt was guilt clawing at her. It was eating her. It was going to consume her until nothing was left.
Bella turned to the man beside her and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his lips to hers as she roughly stabbed her tongue into his mouth.
When he pulled away and suggested they go back to his place, she shook her head.
"A hotel room will do. I don't need you to take me home. I just need you to fuck me."
The door had barely closed to the rented room when Bella started ripping his clothes from his body.
"Whoa, slow down. We have all night," he laughed.
"No, you don't. You have however long your dick will last to pound the shit out of me and then get the fuck out. If you can't do that, than leave now."
Something dark flashed in the man's eyes and he grabbed her, throwing her onto the bed. Bella cried out, a little surprised by his actions even though that's what she had asked for. He wasted no time in stripping her of her clothes and his, flipping her onto her stomach and grabbing her hips as he thrust into her hard and deep.
Bella clawed at the bed sheets, gripping them as he pounded her. She listened to him grunt and moan his way to release while she buried her face in the blankets and cried silent tears. When he was finished he pushed her away and got dressed without a word and left, just like she asked him to do.
She curled into a ball, drawing her knees to her naked chest.
The pain and guilt returned, only stronger now. She suddenly wished Jasper was there, if only because she needed a fix to be able to forget everything that had happened. To forget everything she had done.
She sat up, searching for her purse in the dimly lit room. She dumped the contents on the bed and heard the rattle of the pill bottle she was looking for. She grabbed it, hurried to the bathroom and filled the spotty glass she found with water. She stared into the sunken eyes of her reflection as she dumped the pills into her palm, and tossed the handful into her mouth, chasing it down with the water.
Slowly, she made her way back to the bed. She lay down, pushing her purse and contents onto the floor, except for one thing. Her eyes slowly began to close as she started at it, and a smile faintly spread across her face as her mind finally shut down and the pain and guilt started to disappear.
They found her the next morning clinging to the picture of the bronzed haired man for dear life, the smile still on her face even in death.
They laid her next to him beneath the willow, while the angels sang a whiskey lullaby…
A/N: Okay, I know some of you are lighting the torches and ready to burn me at the stake. I would say I'm sorry, but I'm not. I've done the HEA's and there are so many E/B HEA that I just couldn't add to it. I've never written an E/B and there is a reason for it…which I won't get into because I'm sure you all hate me enough right now.
Despite the ending, I do hope there are some of you who enjoyed it. Like I posted above this will be my last fanfic. I'm busy with my original work, and have a book coming out September 29, 2011. You can find all the info in my profile on here, as well as the amazing banner made for this fic.