|Now and Then
Author: troublefollows1017 PM
Right now, she can't remember. He can't forget or let go. Then, she fell in love fast and hard. So did he. Can the heart remember what the mind has forgotten? Edward can only hope.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 16 - Words: 61,783 - Reviews: 3,587 - Favs: 2,008 - Follows: 2,181 - Updated: 02-19-13 - Published: 09-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8497520
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The back of my neck is slick with sweat. The heat in this club makes my T-shirt cling to my skin. I finish off my beer, but it does nothing to quench my thirst or help relieve the tension in my shoulders. The music hurts my ears. It's too loud and the bass is turned up too high. I can feel it in my chest and inside my head like it's banging my brain against my skull. I know all about brains and skulls and the two of them colliding.
More than I ever wanted to know.
I see her. It's dark and loud, but I see her. She has always been my light in the dark. She shouldn't be here. The crease between her eyebrows tells me she has a headache. Her "friends" don't seem to notice. I notice. I also notice the guy in the black button-down and designer jeans. His sleeves are rolled up so he can show off his forearms and his fancy watch. His hair is too long and his teeth are too white. I can see them fucking glowing from all the way over here.
He and his buddies infiltrated her table in the VIP area. She's tolerating him and his attention, but she's not interested. I can tell by the way she doesn't maintain eye contact and because she has to force herself to smile politely. I know what it looks like when she really smiles. The apples of her cheeks become that much more kissable. She once told me that thinking about me made her smile. That feels like a million years ago and just yesterday. And suddenly, I need another drink.
I push off the wall and order something stronger than beer at the bar. A double. I need something to numb the ache that starts in my chest and radiates out to every other part of my body. My heart's been damaged and continues circulating this burning pain through my veins. You'd think I'd be used to it by now since it's my constant companion, but somehow that shit never gets old. It waxes and wanes but never goes away. And it always hits me hardest when I know she needs me and there's nothing I can do about it.
My phone buzzes in my pocket. It's probably Jasper. It didn't take him long to figure out I wasn't where I said I was going to be. That means he knows I'm here and he'll be coming to get me. White Teeth hands her a drink and she tries to wave it away, but he insists. She shouldn't be drinking, but there's no one here to look out for her. No one but me, and I have to stay put. If I don't, I'll do something stupid like I did in Cincinnati. Jasper will never forgive me if I do a repeat of Cincinnati.
I can look, but I can't touch. I've tried telling myself she's an apparition, a ghost of the girl I love. I couldn't hold on even if I tried. Sometimes that works. Other times, not so much. She's not a ghost. She's alive, living and breathing. Her heart beats, her skin is soft and warm. I didn't have to put her in the cold, hard ground. I should be grateful. The fact that she still exists is a blessing. Alive but not whole. And her missing parts leave me broken as well.
White Teeth leans down and whispers something in her ear. She has no idea what he said. She fakes it and laughs, but I know she didn't hear him. She can barely hear in that ear when she's in a quiet room. This club is so noisy, she can't hear shit. The doctors aren't sure she'll ever get it back. There's a lot they aren't sure she'll get back. Things I wish she'd never lost in the first place.
He stays in her personal space and wraps his hand around hers. He pulls her out of her seat, reminding her to grab her drink. I'm wound so tight I almost hope Jasper gets here before I blow. She smiles and takes a sip of the brightly colored concoction that's most likely too strong and full of his malicious intent. His hands are on her hips as he tries to get her to sway to the music with him. Her "friends" are too busy enjoying the attention of his friends to notice or care that she's uncomfortable. They love what she can do for them. The places she can take them, the people she can attract because of who she is. They're nothing but attention whores who used to make her sick. She used to see them for who they really are. Now, she doesn't see anyone clearly. Especially herself.
My phone goes off again and again. He's pissed. I'm sure Jasper has left me some interesting voicemails and texts. I move so I can see her and the front entrance for when he gets here. Maybe she'll give into the headache and go back to the hotel before he shows up. I can only hope.
Handsy White Teeth gets handsier. He's pulling her close. She laughs to mask the discomfort, shaking her head as he attempts to lead her to the dance floor. She doesn't dance. Not on stage and definitely not at a club. It's a rule. A rule she broke only for me, alone in our room, drunk on too much wine and a love that was too big. Well, too big for me. It still is.
My hands are shaking and won't stop even when I beg them to. Images of broken skulls and blood the color of roses fill my head. I can do so much damage in such a short time. I probably could be in the back of a cab before Jasper gets here. Probably not. He's going to be here any second. My phone hasn't buzzed for a couple minutes and the hotel isn't too far away. He's going to kick my ass or at least try. I make his life harder. That's what he told me a few weeks ago. I laughed in his face because he doesn't know a fucking thing about life being hard. He doesn't know and I hope he never does. Life kicked me in the balls and I'm still on my knees, doubled over, trying to catch my breath. I don't know that I'll ever breathe right again. Not without her.
White Teeth is going to be missing teeth before the night is over. His fucking hands are all over her. He touches her face, her hair. He runs his fingers down her arm, holds her hand. One finger touches her lips. That's the one I'll break first.
I can't take anymore. There's one surefire way to get her to go back to the hotel. I take out my phone and type out my message - Looks like you need to get rid of a couple headaches.
She pulls her phone out of her front pocket. She reads the text before scanning the room. She won't see me, but she's looking. Panic and worry overtake her beautiful face. She hates me and loves me. She used to love me as much as I love her so I know it's in there. I think she wants me to watch over her. There's part of her that knows what we are. It's buried deep in there somewhere. Someday I'll unearth it. If I'm patient enough, she'll come back to me.
She replies to the text and I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. She whispers something to one of her "friends". They go back and forth until the girls all agree to leave. She's still searching, that pretty little head moving side to side, big brown eyes shift this way and that. Handsy McTeetherson doesn't want her to go. He's tugging on her belt loops. Yeah, I'm definitely breaking that finger first.
She grabs his wrist and asks him to let her go. She's leaving and he can't stop her. She has to leave. She doesn't want to relive Cincinnati either. Moving through the crowd with purpose, she makes her way to the exit just as Jasper arrives. Fuck my luck. They exchange some words, she shows him the text. He's definitely going to kick my ass. But I've got other things to worry about right now.
I make my way down to the main floor. Bodies writhe to the music that's pounding in my ears. All these people searching for something - comfort, distraction, attention, sex, love. I found them a year ago in the woman who just left. My blood boils. It rushes, it flows through me with a fury I cannot control. I spend so much time trying to be good. I exert so much energy keeping myself in check. I rarely give into the pain and the rage, but sometimes the rage consumes me.
I am consumed.
So, now I am the hunter and he is the prey. And once she leaves, the man with the teeth and the hands wants to leave, too. He thinks he can follow her to the hotel. He thinks he can talk his way into her bed. He thinks he can have a piece of her.
He is wrong.
I make sure Jasper gets lost in the thick of things before I make my move. He thinks he's going to find me. He'll find me when I'm ready for him to find me. First things first. Shoulders bump. He apologizes; I don't accept. I break his finger. I break his whole damn hand. His pussy friends run away to get help. He finds some pathetic courage to fight underneath those designer clothes and that gelled up hair. His fist hits my jaw, but it takes more than that to bring me down. Only one person brings me to my knees and she weighs 110 pounds soaking wet and wouldn't hurt a fly. I'm quick. The heel of my hand breaks his nose, my knee cracks a rib when he folds. Head butt disorients him further and one more punch and he's spitting those overly white teeth on the floor.
"Keep your fucking hands off my wife," I say as he drops to his knees.
I'm gone before anyone comes to his rescue. I'm outside and the air is cool and it chills my damp skin. I wipe that punk-ass' blood off my knuckles with my shirt. I'm proud of myself for maintaining control until she left. I'll be long gone before the cops get here. This will end better than Cincinnati. I pull out my phone to text Jasper about meeting me back at the hotel. But I have to get past her text first. Her words bring back all the pain the rage allowed me to ignore.
You are my only headache. Sign the papers and let me go.
As if signing some piece of paper will ever free me from her. I made a vow before God. 'Til death do us part. I didn't forget that part. I can't forget any of it.
Why did she?
A/N: I don't own Twilight.
Thanks to momof4 for her careful eye as always. She is so wonderful to me.
So, um. I guess I had a plot bunny strike. This is thanks to Boo Iwmec who asked me to write something like the movie The Vow...but better. Well, I don't know if this will be better, but this is a take on that movie using our favorite Twilight characters. There will not be a regular posting schedule. I apologize to those loyal readers who have followed me and are used to weekly updates. These will be shorter chapters and could happen whenever I finish them. That could be good or bad. We'll see! Thanks for reading!