~A/N I'll start off by saying I'm a liar too, so this story should be easy for me. I keep saying I'm wrapping up my stories and retiring from fic. Haha and then Adele released a new song. Who gave her permission? Anyway, I know I have plenty of other stories, and I'll never completely abandon them. Check out my record. My completes are impressive. I just had to work this one out and it couldn't be done in a one or two shot. Some readers already caught this in my one shot group, Sketches. I added a few lines, so you might want to do a quick read through again. I usually post a follow up chapter quick when I start a new one, so review and tell me if that's a good idea.
Oh yeah, once I also said I wouldn't write sad stories after Revival. All lies, I live for this stuff! There's your hint, this won't be an easy, lovey-dovey road. It's a bit bumpy.
Prompt: Adele's "Hello"
Summary: Bella weaved an intricate lie to protect those she loved the most. Jacob struggled for years without her. When fate steps in and nudges them together again, life only gets more complicated. Bella isn't done keeping secrets. Jacob insists on being the man he promised to be no matter what the cost. Life and love never came easy for these two, that hasn't changed. Can Bella make up for the chaos she initiated and what will happen when it's revealed, she wasn't the only one hiding a truth?
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Separation and Lies
Chapter 1: Hello
He sat at the edge of the freshly made bed. Who knew what the maid imagined every afternoon when she cleaned the room. He didn't know what had gotten into him lately, but the nights were the worst.
Jacob sat with the hotel phone in his hands. He didn't want to use his personal phone even though he always knew, even though they stopped answering years ago.
It didn't make much sense that they kept the thing in service but the monthly fee was irrelevant to their vast wealth.
"Hi, it's Bella. You know what to do?"
He quickly hung up as soon as the tone sounded, only to dial the number back three more times just to listen once more. He always promised it would be the last time. It never was.
It had been eight years, but it felt like yesterday whenever he heard her voice. Jacob was on a business trip in California. So much had happened, nothing was the same. Once Bella married Cullen and they moved away, the pack talked about giving up the wolf. He was the first to succeed. It was a matter of self-preservation.
Jacob waited for months until he couldn't stand it anymore. Charlie had gotten word of a mystery illness. Carlisle said there was nothing that could be done. Of course, he knew differently. He stewed a few more months and decided he'd attempt to make contact once more just to let her know how much she sucked for the way she handled it.
The last thing he expected was Alice to answer. He started mouthing off to the pixie and then asked to speak to Bells one last time.
"It wasn't a lie, Jacob. What we told Charlie was as close to the truth we could get. The transformation didn't go smoothly. Carlisle tried everything, she really didn't make it. We honored her in a private family ceremony and scattered her ashes in a beautiful place. She knew she was dying, and she said to tell you she was sorry if we ever heard from you again."
He fucking lost it. At first, he thought it was another lie. It couldn't be true. He would feel it if she was completely gone. Those closest to him knew why. Sam said it must be an anomaly like everything else had been with her.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Eventually, he got his shit together. He had to do something with his life. He started hitting the books. First, he graduated high school, then college. Jacob was an architect, living in Seattle. That was where he met her.
Kaleigh was exactly what he needed. She was a great person. He loved her. It was gradual, nothing magical, not love at first sight, but real. However, he worried about his growing anxiety which got worse, the closer it got to the wedding.
Jacob called a few more times, those first months after hearing the truth. He'd talked to the leech, Dr. Fang and even the snooty blonde one. They all told the same story. They asked what he was trying to accomplish by calling and yelling at them. They all felt equally miserable with Bella's fate. He doubted that. None of them knew his anguish, not even her corpse husband. They assured him they'd never come back, so he passed that information onto the rest of the pack, so they wouldn't feel pressured to keep phasing.
It was so weird to him that he made this trip to California once a year for the past few years and each year, he got a little crazier. He drank to excess after his meetings just to maintain the slightest bit of sanity when he sat in the room all alone each evening. He tossed and turned in the bed to the point he usually ended up on the floor with all the bedding each night. Kaleigh asked about coming this time. He told her she'd be bored and he'd have no time to spend with her. He, honestly didn't want her to see him the way he got. He was bad enough snapping at her on the phone sometimes. She had no idea what kind of torment he'd been through. Kaleigh knew there was a girl named Bella, that she was special to him at one time and that she was dead. That's as much as he ever shared. She agreed there was tons of planning with the wedding only a month away. They'd have their special getaway when Jacob took her to New Zealand on their honeymoon.
He picked up the receiver and dialed again. He wished they'd shut the damn phone off one day, so he couldn't torture himself anymore. After he listened to her greeting, the one that never changed, he admitted he wouldn't know what to do with himself if he couldn't have that one last fragment of Bella that still existed.
Bella belted out a few bars of her go to jam this month. She knew she sucked, but it helped the time pass whenever she was stuck in traffic. She shaded her eyes from the late afternoon sun. She'd grown accustomed to the alternate weather, but sometimes the seasons called to her and the never ending summer wasn't so appealing. The sunshine, warmth and large city provided what she needed most, distance and safety. She pulled up at the curb, her spot at their three-bedroom bungalow.
When she finally decided to live her own life, she took a chance which was nothing short of a miracle. Bella planned it all out online. She found a job and then took the advice of her new co-worker about a friend of his that was looking for a new roommate. She was tired of paying the weekly motel which was full of unsavory characters as soon as the sun set.
Of course, Edward argued it was all insane. They wanted to set her up in a posh condominium with full security, but she refused. She was making a clean break. The only area she crumbled had to do with tuition assistance. She did accept the money each semester because LA was expensive and she didn't have time for two jobs if she wanted to take college seriously. He, at least begged permission to run a background check on her new roommates. She conceded and told him to do whatever he wished, but she wasn't changing her mind. If he would have come back with some outlandish criminal background, she might of taken heed of his concerns, but she hardly cared that Monica had a terrible credit score and Barry had a vandalism charge on his juvie record.
She walked in after a long day of work at the cafe. She barely had an hour of free time before she was off to class. Her roommates, Barry and Monica were staring at something she couldn't focus on just yet from across the room.
"What the heck is so interesting?"
"It's been ringing... a bunch today."
Bella opened the junk drawer and pulled out the old cell phone, her only connection to the past.
"I don't get it B. Why do you keep that thing constantly charged but never answer it?"
"I've told you before, it's a long story."
"We've got time."
"Well, I don't. I need to change." She shoved the phone back inside the drawer. She'd look later when she was alone, but she asked out of curiosity. "Same ole number from Washington, I guess?" She'd given them little details but they both knew she had an ex-husband and an ex-something else that couldn't be labeled. They begged for more details, but she was a vault except for the rare times, that got her to consume too much red wine.
She started towards her room, not even waiting for an answer. It was Jacob, he was the only one that called that old cell phone. The Cullens knew her new number, but even they rarely checked in. Bella stopped dead in her tracks when Barry spoke. "No, it's local. I searched it. The calls today came from a hotel that's not too far from here. I say we go check it out."
She couldn't, she'd done all this for him. Jacob was safe, she only brought him heartache and danger. It could be a mistake. That's probably what it was, but just the idea that it could really be him in her vicinity was almost too overwhelming. She quickly forgot about getting ready for class. She turned on her heel, ran back to the kitchen, tripping once on a stupid rug Monica picked out so she could get to the contents of that junk drawer.
Bella retrieved the phone and called back. She didn't have a plan, but she had to know for sure. The hotel operator answered, she asked for Jacob Black's room. If they said, there was no one staying there by that name, then she was in the clear. She could go back to the way things were, the way she'd learned to adapt.
Instead, the person on the other end said, "Of course, please hold why I try that extension." She waited with her phone in her hand and two nosy friends with their ears pressed to her door. They tried to be quiet but she heard them arguing about who was being too loud. They both were.
Hang up. She said to herself, but she didn't.
~Thanks for reading.
Oh, the plans I have for this. I'm writing it even if no one wants to read it. LOL!