A/N: This is a REPOST and it has been slightly reworked. This first chapter hasn't changed, much, say for some corrected errors that I missed and a few wording changes.
Beta'd by blueeyedcherry, my fic wifey! Love ya sweet cheeks!
I do appreciate, and have to thank, the two others that offered their beta services, but it just felt wrong not to have her do it. She already helped with a different fic and I've known her for a few years. Plus I'm always asking her about stuff.
WARNING: There will be talk of miscarriages and both verbal and physical abuse. If these are triggers for you, proceed with caution.
SM owns all things Twilight. "Get Out Alive" is owned by Three Days Grace and everyone else involved. They were both just inspiration for me.
Chapter 1: Getting Out
I've been out of college for two weeks and I haven't heard a word from the places I applied to. I went to the University of Washington and majored in architecture. Maybe the lack of responses is a sign that I need to leave this city, but Tacoma has been my home for as long as I can remember. What can I say? I love the cold.
Unfortunately, my now ex-fiancée, Irina, took all of my money. Well, all but two-hundred dollars of it. At least she had the decency to leave me enough for gas and food for a couple of weeks. The bitch even maxed out my credit cards. How stupid was I to think that having a joint account was a good idea when we weren't actually married yet? Oh yeah, I was blinded by the love I thought was there and I believed nothing could go wrong.
There I was, at a jewelry store getting ready to buy Irina this diamond necklace she would love, when the woman came back saying that my card was declined. There's nothing more embarrassing than that, especially when all of my other cards were declined as well. I told the lady I'd be back as soon as I figured out what happened, but she couldn't put the necklace on layaway without ten percent of the payment.
That happened a couple of days before graduation. The necklace was supposed to be a gift, because I knew she expected something. She really liked those kinds of material things, which I guess in hindsight should have been a red flag. She was a fake, plastic, blue-eyed, blonde haired bitch. She even had the audacity to act pissed off that someone would hijack my identity and buy all kinds of shit, when in reality it was her who bought everything—a jet ski, a boat … even a fucking snake at some random pet store in Arizona.
Graduation day came and after the ceremony, she just said, "Sorry, but I can't be with you anymore. You have no money and I've been cheating on you with Laurent anyway. It was fun while it lasted." Laurent, as in her French professor. I'm pretty damn sure that she gave him access to my cards and then just took what she wanted from our account. I'm getting pissed again just thinking about it. So, with my broken heart and broken bank account, I left campus and came home.
I fucking loathe her.
I'm surfing the internet in my old room when I hear a commotion in my father's office downstairs. I open my door and go to the end of the hall. From the top of the stairs, I see two men pointing a gun at my father.
What the fuck is going on?
I slide back enough that my body is hidden, but I'm still able to see them. The two men are in suits, just like my father, and both have jet-black hair. The man on the right has shoulder length, while the other looks a little longer than military cut. My father looks like he's pleading with them but I don't know why. He had a gambling problem when I was younger, but I thought he got better. I should go back in my room and call the police, but I'm frozen in my spot, afraid they'll hear me.
Suddenly, the man on the right fires his gun, shooting my father in the stomach. I jump at the loud sound and watch as my father stumbles and holds his wound. The other man is still pointing his gun, telling my dad something that seems to frighten him. I watch as the man with the short hair shoots him in the chest. Dad falls to the floor, unmoving. I want to run downstairs and kill them, but they have guns and I'm unarmed. Besides, I have to think rationally, so I just stay there, hidden, while they trash his office looking for something. They find some loose cash, take it, and then leave. I hear the man with the longer hair say to get rid of the evidence as they walk to the front door.
Once I know they're gone, I rush downstairs to my dying, if not already dead, father. With tears falling down my cheeks, I lift his head and call out to him. His eyes snap open and he gasps for breath.
"Edward! You need to get out of here. They'll probably be back." He coughs and spits up some blood. "I love you, Son, but you need to run as far as you can and never come back here. Hide, but not your mistakes. They'll only come back to haunt you. The safe under the desk, 6-20-92 …"
With those last words, he's gone. He didn't get to finish whatever he was going to say and I don't know what to do anymore. Do I do as he said or do I stay and possibly end my family's line? I didn't want to leave him like this—no one should be left like this—but I have to. I have to do what he wished. Perhaps I'll have a proper goodbye one day, but not today.
With that in mind, I give my father a kiss on the forehead before letting go and laying him back down on the floor. I crawl over to the desk and look at the space beneath it. I don't see anything out of place, so I start feeling around. There's a loose board and I have to pry it a little to get it to come up. Punching in the code, I open the hidden safe and find ten bundles of cash, all in hundreds.
What the fuck? There's got to be at least twenty grand here. Why didn't he just give those guys what's here?
I run up to my room, changing my blood stained clothes and quickly packing a couple of bags.
I don't know where I should go. Maybe I could just go to some motel for the night and decide later?
I decide that's what I'll do, and I leave my father and everything behind. I make my way to the door when I see a car pulling up. The two guys are back. I look around and decide to hide in the coat closet, so I can easily slip away, hopefully unnoticed. Just as I close the closet door, the front one opens and I can faintly hear them talking.
"Let's just roll the body up in the rug and get out of here. There's a good fuck waiting for me at the boss's club."
"Yeah, tell me 'bout it. Heidi is waiting for me at home."
"How you're not bored with her, I'll never know."
Their voices fade away enough that I know I have to leave now or I never will. I'm afraid that if I don't leave now, I'll get caught. As quietly as possible in my state of mind, I open the door and walk out. I get to my car, start it and reverse out of the driveway. Apparently, my car wasn't as quiet starting as I needed it to be, because when I get to the bottom of the driveway I see the two guys running towards me. There are other houses nearby and I guess that's why they don't shoot at me, but they probably got my plates. There's only one person I know I can trust, so I call my best friend Emmett.
"Yo, Ed! What's up?" his booming voice answers.
"Hey, Em. I, uh … my father ran into some trouble and they'll probably be after me, now. They saw me leave the house."
"What the fuck? What happened?" he asks.
"I'll explain once I'm settled somewhere. If anyone asks about me, just say you haven't heard anything."
"I promise, as soon as I'm settled, I'll call and explain. I just needed you to be aware that you might not see me for a while. Look, I gotta go. Talk later." I hang up before he can say anything. I'm sure he could hear the stress in my voice, and though he'll want to call back, he won't.
With that phone call out of the way, I continue making my way toward Des Moines. I'm sure I can find some place there to stop for the night so I can make a better plan. I would like to stay in Seattle, but I don't think that's a possibility anymore. The only reason to stay in Seattle now would be to fly out.
I've just made it to the outskirts of Tacoma when something in my mirror catches my eye. A black SUV is swerving in and out of traffic.
"Fuck!" I say aloud to myself. Now what?
I have to lose them somehow. I need to get off of the interstate. I take the next exit after the Puyallup River. I don't know if city streets are a good idea with all the stoplights and people, but they're better than a high-speed interstate chase. Plus they give me buildings to hide behind.
Luck is on my side as I get to the light and find it green. The SUV is still a few cars behind me, but that doesn't matter. I take a left onto 20th St. and zigzag my way through the side roads. I might have lost them, but I'm not sure. The high school is in my way so I can't see through to the main road. I keep making turns just in case.
After about ten more minutes on this side of the main street, I decide it should be clear enough. I haven't seen that SUV since 54th St. and I know they'll be after me for a while, but for now I'm hoping they're gone. If not, then there are plenty of streets I can weave through. I look around, determining how to get back to the interstate and get away.
The light turns green and I make my left. I pray that they aren't still down here. I'm on edge as I drive towards the on ramp. I find it's actually more difficult to drive when I'm constantly looking in the mirrors and at everything around me, all while trying to avoid getting in an accident. That would be the icing on the cake. I should call the cops, but I just know they'll want me to come in and then they'll try to protect me. I want to believe in the law and that it will help me, but I don't know if I can do that just yet.
My father's words replay in my head. "…you need to run as far as you can and never come back here." I need to do that; I need to run and hide. I don't know whom these men work for or if they have other jobs. For all I know, one—or both of them for that matter—could be a dirty cop. I can't chance it, not yet. Finally, I make it to the on ramp and onto the interstate without being noticed. If one of them is a cop then he didn't do a good job.
I keep looking in my mirrors the entire way to Des Moines, trying to see if they truly are gone. So far so good, so I think they're gone for now. I need to exit, find a spot to make my plans, stay the night and call Emmett. There's a Legend Motel just off Pacific Highway that's about five to ten minutes away from SeaTac, and that will do. I pull into the lot and check my surroundings again. I didn't see anyone when I took my exit, but you never know.
I hurry inside to book a room for the night. There's only one level so I don't have to go too far. The receptionist gives me room six and tells me that I need to check out by eleven the next morning. As I'm walking toward my room, a woman comes out of room eight. She gives another woman a hug and then the door closes leaving a short woman with short, spiky black hair outside. She starts walking my way, wiping a few tears away. I'd like to ask if she's okay, but I don't want to intrude. I am a stranger after all. After entering my room and setting my bags down, I immediately call Emmett.
"Dude! I've been on edge since you hung up on me," he says, skipping right over any normal greeting.
"I know, I know. I'm sorry, but it was necessary."
"So, I take it you're settled somewhere since you're calling?" he asks.
"Yes. I'm at the Legend Motel for the night. I haven't decided where I'm going yet, though. I figured I should put you out of your misery first."
"I'm out of misery for the moment, but I'm still worried about you." He pauses. "I know you can take care of yourself, you're big boy, but you are my best friend. If you're in any trouble, I want to help every way I can, even if that only means not saying anything. I only have one condition."
I already know what it is, but I'll humor him. "And what's that?"
"I need to be kept in the loop somewhat. I want to know everything, but if you really can't tell me all of it—where you are or where you are going—I need you to at least stay in contact with me. That's all I ask."
I think over what he just asked. Even though I knew it was coming, I need to make sure this is a good idea. I mean, what's the harm? As long as I can contact him to let him know I'm still alive, then there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Right?
Sighing, I say, "Okay. I can do that."
"Good. Thank you. Now, do you have any ideas on where you want to go?"
"Um, I have a few places in mind. I guess it depends on what's cheapest at the moment."
"Okay. Well, when you can, call me," Emmett says.
"I will. I gotta go and book a flight. I want to be out of here by morning."
We hang up and I pull my laptop out, ready to get this flight booked. I search the places I have in mind and right now, it looks like it's going to be Chicago. Chicago is a big city and hopefully I won't have to look over my shoulder too much. I can catch a flight out at 10:25 tomorrow morning. There aren't any earlier ones, which annoys me. But it's where I want to go most, so it'll have to do.
For the rest of the night, I watch TV to kill time and don't leave my room. I can't take the chance of getting seen if they're still actively searching for me. I take a quick shower around nine and then try to relax some more.
I've just started to doze off when I hear pounding. I know it's not my door, but it's quite loud. I don't want to get up in case it's them, but I need to make sure. I hear a male voice shout at the door and when I peek out, I see that it's a huge man pounding on room eight's door. The guy is shouting for someone named Bella to open the door, while kicking and pounding on it quite forcefully. It finally bursts open and a few pieces of wood fall, telling me the frame is broken.
This isn't good. He's basically a tan version of Emmett.
I open my door, no longer caring about myself. I have to make sure the woman in room eight is okay. The guy looks and sounds pissed beyond reason.
Men like that can be capable of anything.
I wake with a start. It's a little after three in the morning and I'm having pains in my lower abdomen. When I went to bed, I only had a slight ache, but now it's not so slight anymore. It feels like I'm getting stabbed.
This can't be happening again.
Pulling the covers back, I look down and see blood. Another stabbing pain follows my discovery and I know I have to go to the bathroom—now.
I get up as carefully as I can, so as not to wake him. I don't want any more yelling from him tonight. He's already going to be pissed that the sheets got bloodied. It couldn't be helped, though.
I sit sideways on the toilet so I can rest my head on a hand towel on the counter. I'm so tired from lack of sleep, from the pain I'm experiencing, and from trying to keep the sobs at bay. I can't do this anymore. Why does he insist on not using any kind of birth control, but then blames me and takes it out on me when I end up pregnant? I hadn't told him this time, but it seems like it didn't matter anyway.
Maybe it's for the best. I don't want to bring an innocent child into this life. He or she will end up like me one day. Or like him.
Sam used to be caring and loving. We met six years ago when I moved to Forks from Florida. I was sixteen and he was a seventeen-year-old Native American mechanic. He lived on the reservation, but our dads were fishing buddies along with Jacob Blacks' dad. We became fast friends and started dating after about eight months. He was the only serious boyfriend I'd ever had. Our dads were over the top when we got engaged, even if it was only a week after I graduated high school.
I wanted to be a writer, but I couldn't afford to go to college full-time. With the three men in my life pitching in to help, I took a couple courses at a time while I worked at the library. Sam and I had a very intimate wedding the week of Thanksgiving that same year. We held it at the courthouse with only our closest friends and family in attendance. Alice, as my best friend, was my maid of honor, and Jacob was the best man.
It was the next year that things changed. He started to get annoyed if I wasn't at the library and didn't have dinner ready by the time he got home. . He became angry if his beer wasn't in front of him and opened when he sat down to eat or when he watched a game. After a month, he started demanding I only work at the library in the mornings and be home by two in the afternoon. The house looked too messy and he wanted it clean when he got home.
He started verbally bringing me down during this time as well. I wasn't dressing the way I used to or I looked like a bum. I was embarrassing him when we went out in public. I needed to go to maid school. I was becoming worthless. No one else wanted me and that's why I barely had one boyfriend before him. I should be happy that he married me. Bitch, stank ass, cunt … you name it, he called me it. I was only "Bella" when we were out or around family.
One time in mid-March, I was so busy cleaning that I started dinner late and it still had ten minutes to go when he came home. That was the first time he hit me. He grabbed my upper arms in a vise-like grip and yelled at me. I started crying because his hold was so hard and it hurt. I was apologizing, but it was like he didn't hear me. No matter how much I pleaded for him to let go and said that I was sorry, he just wouldn't. He finally let go of one arm, but I didn't have the time to feel relief before he slapped me. I fell to the floor from the impact and the shock. Not knowing what to do, I stayed down, crumpled on the floor and holding my face in my hands.
I had to call in sick the next couple of days because the bruise was too dark. It took a ton of make-up to cover it until it was barely noticeable. After that, he didn't touch my face again. If it couldn't be covered by clothes, it was safe. The hitting didn't happen as much as the anger and yelling, but when it did, I had to take 800mg of ibuprofen every six hours just so I could function without the slightest bit of pain. I was a klutz growing up, so I just blamed the bruises on that if anyone asked.
I clean myself up as best as I can and pull out a heavy overnight pad. I open the door as quietly, walk to my dresser, and grab a pair of my period panties. Luckily, this drawer doesn't stick, so I'm able to get them and be back in the bathroom without Sam waking up.
Maybe I can call Alice? Will she still talk to me?
I still have her number in my phone, but it's been a couple of years since I last talked to or saw her. Sam forbade our friendship shortly after the physical abuse started. He said she was a bad influence and annoying. Yes, she could be a little much sometimes, but she was like the sister I never had. I'm ashamed that I let things go so far. I mentally put calling her on my to-do list and hope she didn't change her number.
Now that I've changed, I grab a couple towels and try to go back to sleep. I know it won't work, but I need to be there when Sam's alarm goes off. I feel disgusting lying there, on towels, on my blood stained sheets. This is for the best right now, however, as it's a quarter to four. Maybe I'll read a little and when I see that it's almost time, I'll pretend I'm asleep.
Six o'clock comes, Sam's alarm goes off, and he heads to the shower without a word or even a glance at me. I get up, throw the covers back over the bed, grab the extra pad and head downstairs to start the coffee and go to the bathroom. Hopefully this will be a good morning. I have to make a trip to the ER and then to Alice. Since Sam's a manager over at the auto shop, he's in charge; not so much in charge that he can leave whenever, thank God.
By six-forty-five, Sam has eaten and left with a second cup of coffee. Hardly a word was spoken this morning, for which I'm thankful. I clean the pan, then rinse the dishes and stick them in the dishwasher. It's now safe to go upstairs and change out the sheets and throw them in the wash. I don't know why I try, to be honest. It's blood, so I might just have to throw them away.
Once done, I make the dreadful trip to the ER. I'm very thankful for the doctor/patient confidentiality agreement. Once my appointment is over, I ask to use a phone. I can't afford for Sam to know who I called. Alice is shocked to hear from me but extremely happy. I tell her that I can't talk long, but I need her to meet me at my house in 30 minutes and to not let Sam see her. Even after all this time apart, she knows something is wrong and agrees.
I head home and start packing a bag. I can't take anything that will weigh me down, so I just pack the essentials: my toothbrush and toothpaste, underwear and socks, a pair of jeans and a couple sweats, a few t-shirts, my razor, body wash and shampoo, and the remaining pads. I can buy anything else I need.
I've just zipped my bag when there's a knock at the door. I look to the clock and see that it's just after eleven-thirty. Opening the door, I see that Alice still looks the same. She quickly steps inside and gives me the biggest hug I've ever received. We both start crying, but I get a hold of myself enough to tell her the short version and what I need. And I do just that. To say she's pissed and ready to murder Sam for everything he's done is an understatement.
"Alice, I just had my third miscarriage this morning. Since he checks my cell records, I had to call from the hospital. I can't do this anymore. I need you to help me get out of here."
"Of course, Bells. Do you have everything you need or do we still have to pack a few things?"
"I'm packed already. Just let me grab my bag and we can bolt. I don't want to be here any longer than I have to be."
I quickly make my way upstairs, grab my bag and turn off any lights while Alice waits by the door downstairs. I stop in the kitchen to grab a few snacks and a couple waters. I don't really have much of a plan other than to leave this house, Sam, and every bad memory behind. I head over to the door and pick up my Chap Stick and wallet. Since I can't risk him finding me, I'm not taking my beat up truck. The only key I need is the one to my father's house, even though I can't go there right now. Finally, I'm ready to go.
Taking a deep breath, I follow Alice to her car and get in. I pray that Sam doesn't notice this car if he happens to get off early. It's noon, so it's possible he could come home for lunch, but I don't give a rat's ass anymore. He can make his own damn meals.
I duck down as we pass the auto shop on the way out of town. Once we're in the clear, Alice taps my back. We make it to this dingy motel just outside of Seattle and Alice says she can stay for as long as I want her to.
"Ali, I can't ask you to stay. You have a husband now—"
Alice interrupts, "But I just got you back, Bella. I don't want to lose you again." Her eyes fill with tears that are dangerously close to spilling over.
"I know, Ali, but I just can't. As soon as I get a new phone, I'll call you. But it has to be this way right now. You have a life with Jasper, one that I don't want to put a strain on. Getting me out was the only thing I can ask of you, and that was hard enough."
She wipes the tears that have fallen onto her cheeks and nods. "Okay, but the second you get a new phone, a throw away one or not, you call me. If I can't physically help you anymore, that doesn't mean that I can't support and encourage you," she says, pointing a finger at me.
She's still the same and I love her for it.
We spend a couple more hours talking and catching up before she really has to leave. She had sent a text to Jasper earlier, telling him what was going on and that she'd be home late. He said that whatever needed to be done he and Alice would be there, no questions asked. That started a whole new round of tears and apologies from me.
Around ten-thirty there's a knock at my door. Startled, I get up to see who it is. Looking through the peephole, I see the one person who has done so much damage to me.
How is this possible? How did he find me? Am I seeing things?
I blink and go to look again when the knocking turns to pounding. I jump back, scared out of my mind by what could happen when he finds his way in. I'm a shaking mess and throwing anything that was out of my bag back in it. He's now pounding and kicking the door and yelling for me to open it. I have no way out of this. A six-foot-four, muscular Native American mechanic is currently blocking the only exit. By the time I realize I can hide in the bathroom or under the bed, even though neither will do any good, the door gets kicked open. I drop to the floor immediately.
"How dare you leave me, you worthless piece of shit! You didn't think I would find you?" Sam yells as he stalks towards me. The bed may be between us, but he's so big it's barely a hindrance. I start to plead with him, begging him not to hit me.
I don't get to finish before he slaps my face. I guess he doesn't care anymore. One hand grabs me by my hair while the other grips my upper arm. He picks me up, tosses me onto the bed, and proceeds to punch me in the stomach. He continues to hit me and then I'm on the floor again, getting kicked. I don't know how many minutes pass. I'm close to blacking out, when I hear someone yell out, "Hey!" All of a sudden Sam's no longer there.
I hear a rustling of clothes, a groan, and then some grunts followed by a crash. Then there's only silence. Well, as silent as possible with the sounds of heavy breathing and my cries. I hear a man's voice that does not belong to Sam. I start to cry harder, because I hope someone saved me. I feel fingers on my face. The touch is feather light, yet it hurts. I open my eyes as best as I can, but I can't see him well. All I can see is a blurry image of his face.
"Hold on, okay? I'm going to get you out of here. My name is Edward. You're safe now," the stranger soothes. He scopes me up in his arms as gently as he can and starts walking. The cold air hurts, but feels good on my injuries at the same time. Then I hear him hiss, "Fuck!"
He picks up his pace and I hear some footsteps behind us. It sounds like more than one person, but I could be hearing both his and another set. Is he running from someone? Who is this man and why is he helping me? Should I trust him? I hear a car door and feel the cushion of the seat. The door closes and then another opens and closes.
"Don't worry, but hold on. I have to floor it. We'll get out alive, I promise."
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