Author: Cullensgirl90 PM
Seven years ago, Bella Swan disappeared without a trace. Edward Cullen refuses to believe that his childhood friend is dead. When Bella and her young daughter are freed, Edward promises to be the protecter that Bella has always prayed for.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 10 - Words: 41,234 - Reviews: 284 - Favs: 249 - Follows: 360 - Updated: 12-20-11 - Published: 09-18-11 - id: 7394150
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters associated with Stephenie Meyer's story.
Rating: M for violence, memories of rape, and language.
"You are not getting out of this, Isabella Marie Swan."
Most people would cringe or immediately repent when they saw little Alice Cullen glare at them with her tiny fists planted on her hips. She could be frightening, but I'd seen that glare too many times to be afraid of it. She sometimes reminded me of the Chihuahua that our neighbor used to own. That little thing used to terrify me even though I could kick it across the street if I wanted to. It used to come into our yard and bark at me. However, whenever I stood a step towards it, the little demon dog would retreat to its house. It's bark was worse than it's bite….Alice Cullen was no different.
"I'm sorry, Alice," I said, sitting at the end of the couch. "I'm just not up for being around a lot of people."
"But there's not going to be a lot of people. It's just going to be me, you, Rose, Jazz, Edward, and Emmett."
I just wasn't up to going to Emmett's house for the evening. After my break down yesterday, I spent the rest of the day on the couch. Willow and I watched all my old Disney movies on VHS. I felt a little better than I did the day before. My stomach wasn't quite as unsettled but I was just so tired.
"Alice," Rosalie warned. "Remember what we talked about in the car?"
She glanced away from Willow's hair to glare at Alice. When the two of them walked into the house, Willow saw Rosalie's fish tail braid and begged her to braid her hair the same way.
"But you this is good for you, Bella. You need to get out of the house and be around other people. And it's just going to be us," Alice said. She grabbed my hand and pulled me up. "Come on. Let's go see what's in your closet."
"Casual, Alice," Rosalie reminded her.
I had no idea what casual was anymore. For me, casual was a t-shirt and jeans. I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen Alice in a t-shirt. She always wore tank tops to the gym, and when she and Esme would play tennis she would wear a skirt.
"Do you and Esme still play tennis on Saturdays?" I asked.
Alice looked back at me with a surprised expression. "You remember that?" I nodded. "She still does, but I don't anymore. I've taken up running and yoga."
This was coming from the girl who could talk non-stop for ten minutes straight without taking a breath and couldn't stand still to save her life. I used to blame her hyperactivity on Jasper because he was the one who introduced her to coffee. However, she was hyper long before she became addicted to caffeine.
"It's very relaxing," Alice told me. "I love it. I can't wait until I have kids so I can enroll them in kiddie yoga."
"It's yoga for kids."
I tried to picture Willow doing yoga. Yeah. That would never happen."
Alice opened up my closet and gazed inside. I already knew what she was going to say before she even parted her lips. I hardly had any clothes. Most of the clothes people brought in were for Willow. Five-year-olds were easy to buy for. I could still fit into some of my clothes from high school.
"I'm taking you shopping," Alice said. "Soon."
She glanced back at what I was wearing, which was sweatpants and a Forks High School football t-shirt that once belonged to Emmett. "You can't go in that. Jeans and a t-shirt will do, I guess."
She glanced back at my closet. "I think Willow has more clothes than you."
"The trick is reminding her that she doesn't have to wear the same thing every other day," I said.
"Oh, honey, I refuse to wear the same thing twice in a month," Alice said.
"I hope your condo has a walk-in closet."
She laughed and began to push some of my old clothes aside in the closet. "It has two bedrooms and I'm the only one living in it. My clothes have their own room, but that's going to change soon. Did Rosalie tell you Jasper and I are looking at houses? We think we found one a few blocks away from Emmett and Rose's place. It's so gorgeous! I'll have to show it to you on the way.'
She pulled a pair of jeans out that she'd bought for me my senior year of high school. I cringed when I saw them. I wore them once to a party that Alice begged me to go. The jeans had been too tight for my liking and they attracted the wrong type of attention. Tyler Crowley, who was a receiver for our football team, followed me around the house during the party and tried to grind on me when we were dancing. When he tried to get me to go upstairs with him, I shoved him off on Lauren Mallory, a volleyball player, and made my escape.
"Ah-ha! I knew I'd find some real clothes back here!"
She pushed past all of my jeans and found a row of tank tops, sweaters, and blouses. She pulled out a blue and white striped shirt. The sleeves cut off at the elbow.
"Try it on," Alice insisted. She tossed the shirt to me.
I sighed and pulled my t-shirt over my head without thinking. Alice let out a gasp. I looked down at the burn mark scars that were scattered across my chest and stomach. James used to enjoy pressing the butt of his burning cigarette to my skin. I quickly pulled the blue and white shirt over my head before Alice saw the scars on my back. I pulled the jeans on, then pulled the elastic band out of my hair.
"Edward told me about you and Jasper moving," I said, changing the subject. "He said you live next door to him."
"Did he?" she said, picking up my hair brush. "How did the soccer lesson go?"
"Well, before I had my mental breakdown, it was fine," I said. "Willow likes him. She can't stop talking about the lesson yesterday."
A funny smile appeared on Alice's face. She motioned for me to sit down so she could do my hair. "Good. He needs something to do besides work."
"He doesn't date?" I asked. I sat perfectly still and straight as Alice ran the brush through my hair.
Alice snorted. "He's been on a few but he hasn't had a steady girlfriend since college. I'm sure Emmett's told you his theory behind all this."
"Yeah," I mumbled. I vaguely remember Emmett saying something about how he thought Edward was gay. "It's weird that he doesn't have a girlfriend. In high school every girl wanted to be with him."
I thought about all the times I secretly watched Edward. I used to sneak out of Alice's room and listen to him play the piano from the staircase. In high school, the girls soccer team always played before the boys. Most of the time, my teammates left after the game to get dinner. I always stayed to watch Edward play. A lot of girls attended the soccer games to watch Edward play. They'd stick around after the game to talk to him, but really they just wanted to see him pull off his jersey and change into a regular t-shirt. I had to admit, sometimes I stayed later just to watch him take off his shirt.
"He had a new girlfriend about every other week his freshman year in college," Alice reminded me. She shook her head. "He's just…strange. Mom keeps hinting to him that he needs to settle down and get married. She wants grandchildren. Pronto."
I couldn't help but laugh. I could see Esme subtly hinting to Edward that she wanted grandchildren. He was twenty-eight years old. Most guys his age were already married and had at least one kid. My dad was twenty-eight when I was born.
"But you know Edward," Alice said. She pulled my hair into a high pony tail. "He's picky. I thought about signing him up for a dating site. You know, nowadays, one in five relationships start online."
I had to turn around to look at her. "Really?"
"Oh yeah. It's the thing to do now. Do you remember those cheesy eHarmony commercials we used to hear on the radio going to school?" She laughed some memory that I couldn't recall. "Anyway, so, basically, what you do it you fill out this questioner and the computer matches you with people who have similar answers."
She pushed on my shoulders so that I would turn around again.
"What kind of questions?" I asked.
"Everything you can imagine. It's mostly about your personality." She ran the brush through my pony.
"That sounds really dangerous," I said. "I mean, what if the other person is just making up the answers? You could be setting him up with a serial killer or something."
Alice let out a nervous laugh then touched me shoulder. "I'm just kidding, Bella. I wouldn't sign Edward up for a dating site behind his back." She gave my shoulder a squeeze before she stepped back to admire her work. "There."
Rosalie let out a catcall. I looked over my shoulder to see her and Willow standing in the doorway. "You look hot, Bella," she said with a smirk.
"She doesn't look hot to me," Willow said, cocking her head to the side. "She's not sweating."
Alice and Rosalie giggled. "It's just an expression, sweetie," Rosalie said, running her hand along Willow's head. "It means she looks nice."
"Oh," Willow said. "Why can't I go to Uncle Emmett's house?"
"Because, if you go to Uncle Emmett's house then you can't watch football with Popper and Seth. You don't want to miss that, do you?" I asked.
Willow quickly shook her head. Her braid swished as her head moved. "No…but I want to see his house."
"You will," Rosalie promised her. "Another time. When you have little cousins you can come spend the night."
"Willow!" Dad called from downstairs. "I'm gonna need help cooking these hot dogs!"
Willow gasped. "Gotta go. Popper said he can't cook hotdogs without my help."
"Well, come give me a kiss real quick." She scampered across the room and threw herself between my legs. I kissed her forehead. "Be good for your grandfather, okay?"
She nodded then kissed my cheek. As soon as I let her go, she ran out of the room and down the stairs. She wasn't afraid of the stairs anymore. In fact, she'd taken to jumping down the last two, which scared me to death.
I sighed and pushed myself out of the chair. "Okay, let's go before I change my mind," I said.
This was the first time I was going anywhere without Willow. It felt so wrong to walk out of the house without her. Part of me wanted her to run after us and beg to come along. I knew the others wouldn't mind if I brought her. But Alice was right. I needed to get back into the world. I needed some time to myself with my friends. If Willow came along I would only hide behind her and only focus on her and what she needed. Besides, we needed to get used to being away from each other for a while. But what if she started crying while I was gone? What if something happened?
I walked to Rosalie's black Honda and got in without looking back at the house. She and Alice climbed into the front seat. Alice reached back to pat my knee.
"It's okay, Bella. Willow's in good hands. Once Seth gets here, she probably won't even notice that you're gone."
I tried to smile back at her. I hoped she was right.
Emmett and Rosalie lived in one of the new neighborhoods in town. Before James kidnapped me, there were only rumors of a new neighborhood. Dad didn't think the city was going go through with it. The plans were big and it wasn't like we were expecting a population increase.
Emmett and Rosalie had a nice two story house that had a big yard.
"Emmett said the yard had to be big," Rosalie explained as she pulled to the sidewalk. "I only agreed because he promised to be the one to keep it up."
My older brother used to mow yards as a summer job. He'd come home in the evenings smelling of freshly cut grass and sweat. Keeping a yard like this looking neat wouldn't be a probably for him.
The driveway was long and there was a basketball goal set up directly across from the two car garage. Emmett's Jeep was parked in the garage and there was an empty spot for Rosalie's Honda. However, the driveway was blocked but Jasper's old gray truck and Edward's Volvo. One of the few things that hadn't changed about my old friends were their taste in cars. In high school, Alice drove a four door BMW that her parents bought used off a friend. She'd always loved bright, shiny, sports cars. Rosalie liked sports cars too, but she always drove something practical that didn't suck up gas. Jasper had been driving the same truck since he was in high school. He bought his Ford truck and kept it fixed up himself.
"You're still letting Jasper drive that truck?" I joked with Alice.
She glared at the gray vehicle as she pulled the bag of chips out of the backseat. "He loves that thing," she said. "I can't ask for him to give it up, but we're going to have to do something before we have kids."
Rosalie nudged me gently in the ribs. "Can't you just picture Alice driving a mini-van."
"Never," Alice spat. "I refuse to be a soccer mom."
She turned on her heel and stormed off towards the house. Rosalie smiled and shook her head. "It's a sore subject. Come on. Lord knows what the guys are doing."
I followed her towards the garage. There was a small work bench to the side with all sorts of tools scattered across it. There was also several clear tubs lined up with all sorts of sporting equipment inside.
Rosalie opened the garage door and we entered the kitchen. My mouth fell open as I took in all shiny appliances that I'd never seen before. Their kitchen was bright and spacious. Instead of having linoleum, their floors were hardwood. The counter tops were light gray and all the shelves matched the hardwood floor. There was a small island in the center of the kitchen that was covered in random food items for the night. What caught my attention the most was their refrigerator. It had two doors on the top and one that could be pulled out on the bottom. There was even a slot for an ice dispenser.
"This is so cool," I breathed, touching the ice maker. "You can make crushed ice?"
Rosalie nodded. "Come on. I'll show you the living room."
She took me into a big room with a large L-shaped couch pushed against the wall. There was a huge flat screen on a flat entertainment center. I wasn't surprised to see all of Emmett's gaming devices neatly stacked around the TV. Some of the devices I recognized, others were new. There was one that was bright white. I almost laughed when I saw their collection of movies and video games on a book shelf. They probably owned every movie in Wal-Mart. The walls in the room were painted light green.
Most of the pictures on the wall were of their wedding. The biggest photo was of Emmett and Rosalie. They were outside of one of the old churches in Forks. Rosalie's dress was had one sleeve the wrapped around her left shoulder. The rest fell down her body like a beautiful white waterfall. She had a long white veil attached to her bun that flowed all the way down her back.
"I was wearing my grandmother's heirloom comb," Rosalie said with a smile. "I was doing fine all day until Mom showed me the heirloom and then I lost it." She shook her head.
Emmett was in a black and white tux. His usual curly hair was combed.
The rest of the pictures were of the wedding party. Dad was Emmett's best man and Alice was the maid of honor. I didn't recognize all of bridesmaids. They were probably some of Rosalie's friends from college. Edward and Jasper served as ushers. All the girls were dressed in sleeveless light blue dresses that stopped right below their knees.
"I wish I'd been there," I whispered.
"Oh, sweetie!" Rosalie pulled me close for a tight hug and kissed my cheek. "You'll be here for Alice's wedding and you'll be here to see your first niece or nephew."
I studied her for a moment. She'd been mentioning babies all day long. She bit her lip as if to hold a smile back.
"You're pregnant?" I whispered.
She let out a soft squeal and a giant smile broke out across her face. "I'm five weeks in!"
"Oh my God, Rose that's….that's awesome!" She laughed when I hugged her tightly. "Does Emmett know?"
She nodded. I couldn't help but smile with her. She looked so happy and her blue eyes were practically glowing. "He was the first person I told. We just found out a few days ago." She used the back of her hand to wipe the tears from her eyes. "I've been an emotional wreck for days now."
"Have you had any morning sickness?"
"Not yet," she said, touching her stomach. "I've had some nausea but…" She beamed. "I don't even care. But do you know how hard it is to keep this a secret from Alice?"
I frowned. "Why haven't you told Alice?"
"Because," she said, glancing around. I had no idea where the guys and Alice were. "Because, I want it to be a surprise and you know Alice can't keep a secret."
I nodded. This was very true. We tried to throw a surprise party for Jasper's sixteenth birthday and she blurted our plans out during lunch not even twenty-four hours after we'd told her not to tell.
"We want to surprise our parents. Emmett's going to tell your dad soon and we have lunch with my parents every Wednesday so we'll tell them then."
I shook my head and smiled at her. "I'm so happy for you, Rose."
She let out an excited squeal when I hugged her again.
"What are you squealing about?" I heard Jasper say behind us. Rosalie sprang back from me as if I'd burned her.
Everyone filed in from outside. Emmett came in holding the plate the hamburgers had been sitting on. "Hey Bells," he boomed. "What do you think of the house? Pretty sweet, huh?"
"Yeah," I agreed. "I haven't seen the whole place yet."
"I'll finish giving you the tour," Rosalie said, pulling on my hand.
"Ooh, I'll help," Alice said, skipping after us. "I always wanted to be a tour guide."
"Alice, you could never be a tour guide," Rosalie said as we entered the hallway. "You'd talk so much that people would ignore you."
The house had two bedrooms on the bottom floor and two on the top. Each floor had a bathroom, except that bottom floor had two because there was one in the master bedroom. The two bedrooms on the top floor were being used as guest rooms. The bedroom on the ground level was practically empty. I knew which room would be the nursery.
I felt a little pang in my chest as I thought about all the things Rosalie and Emmett would get to do to prepare for their new baby. They would have to get the nursery ready, and have a baby shower. They would get to go to the doctor and see how their baby was developing. When I found out I was pregnant with Willow, I didn't get to squeal and tell all of my friends. There was no nursery to prepare or doctors to visit. James brought in several boxes full of baby clothes and supplies. He gave me two bottles and when I told him that wasn't enough, he pointed to my breasts and reminded me that I had two bottles attached to my body. A few weeks before Willow was born, he came up in a truck with a small portable crib. It was old because we had a crib just like it at my house in Forks. Emmett and I used to sleep in it when we would travel.
"Let's go back into the living room with the guys," Alice said. "The game's going to start soon."
We returned to the living room where they guys were all huddled around the TV. Edward was in the rocker, Emmett was in the recliner, and Jasper was on the couch. Alice skipped to his side and sat down beside him. He immediately placed his arm around her shoulders. Rosalie sat in Emmett's lap.
I glanced up at the wedding pictures as I walked to the couch. Jasper and Edward had their hair brushed in the pictures…for once. Jasper's hair was slicked back while Edward's was just combed. I glanced at him as I sat down. He smiled at me briefly before turning his attention back to the TV screen. He had on a navy hoodie and a dark t-shirt. Remembering the conversation Alice and I had earlier, I couldn't help but notice how tight his t-shirt was and how it hugged his chest and showed off his arm muscles.
We watched the football game and ate hamburgers. Afterwards, Alice and Emmett attempted to get me caught up on the latest video games. They tried to show me how to play the Wii but I sucked at it. Rosalie and Alice also showed me how to use . Apparently, Alice had the inside of her new house planned out on the site. She showed me the board with all the pictures of what she wanted her kitchen, the bedrooms, and bathrooms to look like.
Jasper shook his head the entire time Alice showed me her vision of her future home.
"I hate that website," he said. "It's just giving her idea that I can't afford."
"Oh hush," Alice said, waving him off. "We can afford this stuff when I became a famous fashion designer."
Edward let out a snorted laugh which earned him a death glare.
"I'm sending you an invite for this, Bella," Alice told me. "We need to set up a Facebook page for you too."
I cocked an eyebrow at her. "What's Facebook?"
I heard Emmett gasp from behind me and Alice stared at me as if I'd asked who Justine Timberlake or Aaron Carter was.
"Don't look at her like that," Rosalie said, lightly smacking Alice. "You didn't get a Facebook page until 2006, remember? It's like Myspace, Bella. It's a social network."
"Here, I'll show you." Alice quickly opened up a new tab on the computer and brought up the Facebook homepage. It was blue and white and there was a phone off to the side.
"I don't know if it's a good idea to set up a page for her," Edward said.
"Why not?" Alice demanded, glaring at her. "Everyone else has one."
"Yeah, but think of all the people who now know Bella's name. Remember how crazy things were when she first came home?" Edward asked. "Remember how many people wrote on our Walls asking about her? Imagine what would happen if she got a Facebook page. There's no telling who would try to Friend her."
"They can't look at her page if she doesn't accept their request," Alice said.
"It doesn't matter. There are plenty of ways to hack into the account."
I felt like I was watching a tennis match. I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.
"I'm with Edward," Rosalie said. "I don't think it's a good idea." She squeezed my hand. "Not right now, at least. I'm sure in a few months people will calm down and it'll be alright."
"I don't even know what you're arguing about," I said.
"Here, sit." Alice said. She motioned for me to take the chair next to her. "It's a social network site. You can post pictures and status and stalk your high school friends." She logged on and showed me her home page. I couldn't follow anything she was saying. I tried to pay attention to her but I ended up zoning her out. Then she pulled up Jessica Stanley's page…only she wasn't Jessica Stanley anymore. She was now Jessica Newton.
"I can't believe they're married," I said, shaking my head. "And she has kids."
"We told you about her," Emmett reminded me.
"I know but…" Hearing about it was one thing, seeing the pictures of her family was another. Jessica had two kids. One was a boy and the other was a girl. The boy looked to be two or three years old and he had brown hair, like his mother. The girl was still an infant and she had a head full of blonde hair and she had blue eyes. Jessica looked great but Mike had a little beer belly.
"This is kind of scary," I said. "And anyone can look at this?"
"Not if you put your page on private," Alice said.
I shook my head. "I wouldn't know how to use this if you signed me up for it."
Alice squeezed my hand. "Don't worry, we'll get you caught up on everything."
They were going to have to a lot of work if they were planning on teaching me everything. So much had changed. It made my head spin a little just thinking about all the new technology, TV shows, video games, movies. I'd never heard of certain football stars like Tom Brady, and Tim Tebow. What was common knowledge to everyone was foreign to me. Rosalie had to show me how to make a call on her iPhone.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted but in a good way. I was glad I worked up the energy to go to Emmett's house for the evening. Edward offered to drive me home since he was the only one heading back towards my side of the town. Alice was going to go home with Jasper and he didn't live close enough to me.
"Did you have fun tonight?" Edward asked.
I followed him out to his Volvo. He walked to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for me. I smiled at him as I slid in. The car was similar to the one he drove in high school only the seats in his new car were cushioned and not leather. It was a good change. I didn't like leather seats because I didn't like to sit on them in the summer because they were too hot and burned my legs, and in the winter they were too cold.
"Yeah," I said, answering his question. "All this new technology is a little overwhelming."
"Yeah," Edward agreed. He slid into the driver's seat and started the car. "Alice means well, but she assumes that everyone can easily pick up new technology. I mean, we've all had time to adjust to everything. Wait until you see Alice's Mac."
"What's a Mac?"
He smiled at me. "It's a new type of computer. If you think Facebook is confusing, a Mac will terrify you."
"I'm sorry if about what I said earlier about you not getting a Facebook page. I didn't mean to come across as controlling."
"You didn't," I reassured him. "I mean, you were just looking out for what's best for me. Don't tell Alice, but I don't think I want a Facebook page. I mean, everyone can see what I say…there could be someone like James out there looking at my pictures."
Edward was silent for a moment then he said, "You're right. It's a big risk, but if you're smart about it you should be safe. In the end, it's your decision. We can show you how to make your page private if you ever change your mind. I've found it to be really helpful, actually. And a good way to waste time."
The rest of the ride was spent in comfortable silence. When we pulled up to my house, the light in my bedroom was on. I looked at the digital clock in Edward's car. It was close to Willow's bed time. I wondered if she'd waited up for me or if she'd already fallen asleep.
"Forks High School is having a football game at home on Friday," Edward told me. "If you're up for it, you should come and bring Willow. She might enjoy it."
"Yeah," I said. "She likes football thanks to my dad and Seth."
Edward laughed. "I'm sure Seth will be there too."
The front door opened and my dad appeared in the doorway. Willow slipped past him and ran out of the house. She was in her pajamas, which was a big t-shirt and cotton shorts. I got out of the car and lifted her up when she jumped at me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and rested her head against my shoulder. I relaxed a bit when I inhaled her scent. This was familiar to me. After being in a home surrounded by things that were new and foreign, it was relief to be around someone who was familiar.
"Thanks for the ride, Edward," I said.
Willow's head shot up from my shoulder when she heard his name. "Can we have another soccer lesson sometime? Please?"
"Of course," Edward said, leaning to the side so he could see her. "Practice dribbling the ball until then, okay?"
Edward smiled at me and gave us a short wave. "Good night Bella, Willow."
"Night." I shut my door and stepped away from the car so he could back out of the driveway. Willow let out a sleepy sigh and rested her head on my shoulder again.
"Will you read me a story?" she asked.
"Of course," I said.
I shifted her to my hip and carried her inside.
AN: Rosalie's pregnant! And Bella got introduced to Facebook! It's a lot for her to take in. I know some people who were away for a long time that hardly use new technology just because they don't understand it. Bella's hesitant now but she'll learn.
I have set up a forum for Coming Home on I'll post pictures and what not on there. I tried started a forum for my story Awakening but no one was really interested. Anyway, I'll give y'all the link below in case you are interested.
Twilighted Forum: http : / / www . twilighted . net / forum / viewtopic . php?f=44&t=21365
I hope that link works and if it doesn't the forum is under Alternate Universe- Human. When I get a chance, I'll post pictures of Rosalie's wedding dress and a picture of their kitchen on the forum. The pictures will also be on the story on my TWCS page, so you can view them if you have an account on this site.
I've got the next few chapters planned out, but since Christmas is coming up, I don't know when I'll be able to update. Hopefully soon. Thank you all for the reviews! Your feedback is amazing and I can't thank everyone enough for taking your time to read this.
As always, thank you for reading and please review!