Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the 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. Edited by Sjdavis84 and StillDreaming85.
WARNING: This story contains mature themes and is intended for mature readers.
MARIE CULLEN (ISABELLA)
THREE YEARS LATER.
RAGUSA, SICILIA, ITALIA.
Mr. Cullen had promised me a way out, and that was exactly what he had given me. I still remember that day three years ago. We left the cemetery, only me and him. He had sent Garrett away and Garrett didn't seem to fight him. It was there that I realized, it was Edward's father who called the shots and not Edward himself. While Edward had the power, his father had the final word.
He drove me to Newark airport, right onto the tarmac where a private jet waited. He put a passport in my hand and a ton of cash, it was more money than I had ever seen in my entire life.
He said he and Esme would come and visit me, but he had promised me that Edward would never find out where I was and in return I made him promise that nothing bad would happen to Garrett. Because when Edward realized I was gone, he would no doubt lose it and Garrett would suffer the consequences.
Carlisle did promise me, that no matter what, no harm would come to Garrett because of this. I hoped he had kept true to his word. It would not be fair for Garrett to suffer for a decision I had made.
Carlisle had all but pushed me on the airplane and promised he would visit in a few months. I had no idea where I was going, all I knew, Carmen and Eleazar would be waiting for me when I landed. At the time I had no idea who they were. The entire flight I was a nervous mess because I had no idea what I was about to be placed into.
It turns out Carmen was Carlisles half sister. The product of an affair his father had many years ago with a local young woman.
Carmen was absolutely beautiful, she had olive skin, dark hair and the same bright eyes that Carlisle and Edward had.
Carmen and Eleazar were very welcoming. They took me into their home and treated me as if I were family. Eleazar had taught me how to speak Italian. It wasn't as easy as I thought, but I managed to pick it up. The more I learned, the more words I began to recognize, words that Edward had called me.
Dolcezza, bambolina, fiorellina. Sweetheart, little doll, little flower. They were words that now left me at a loss, but none more so than amore, love. Ti amo tanto. I love you so much. He had said those words to me many nights when he thought I was asleep, when he thought I couldn't hear him. Words that I refused to think about now because it hurt.
The first few months had been hard. I didn't know what to do with myself. My mind was all over the place, everything was confusing it made my head spin. The bad dreams started that first night, in all honesty, I'm surprised I never had any before that. All I saw was blood, Aro's dead body, James laying at my feet. Anthony...Anthony's last words to me, they haunted me every night.
I had forgiven Anthony for what he had done because I realized if I didn't, I would never be able to really move on myself. But I still felt numb about him. I still did not know what to feel over his death.
Carlisle came a few months later like he had promised and he had brought Esme with him. It was nice to see her, to see a familiar face. I was disappointed when Carmen told them of my dreams, of my nightmares. She said she didn't know what to do anymore, she didn't know how to help me through them.
Before Carlisle and Esme left, Carlisle had given me a bottle of pills. He told me not to take one every night because they were very strong, but two or three times a week would be fine. I was skeptical at first, but they were sleeping pills. I didn't see the reason for me. My problem wasn't falling asleep, it's what happened in my sleep. But they did help. The pills knocked me right out into a dreamless sleep.
Carlisle and Esme come every few months to visit or to check up on me, maybe. I knew that no matter what, or where I was, I would never be free from the Cullen family. But being in Ragusa, I did feel like a normal person again. I was able to walk around the city by myself, I was able to go and buy things for myself, they were simple things, but they were things that back in New York, I wasn't allowed to do because Edward would always be afraid to leave me by myself. Being with Carmen and Eleazar may seem like I'm still trapped but I'm not. I'm free to come and go as I please. I know that Carlisle has people watching me. Two men, always dressed the same, always in the same car, always right behind me. It should bother me, but it doesn't, not anymore.
I looked at myself in the mirror one last time, before I put my shoes on and grabbed my bag. I'm already running late and I have a class in thirty minutes. Carmen had helped me find a job at a local dance school.
Carmen had helped me back into dancing and I am so thankful that she did. At one point in my life, it was what I had lived for, what I had worked so hard for, it was my escape, my passion. Carmen was right, I shouldn't have to let go of that. Just because I could no longer reach what I had aimed for before did not mean that I had to give it up.
I liked teaching. It was exciting and rewarding to watch those kids learn and develop and grow more confident with themselves. The group of little girls I had were amazing. I taught them how to dance and they helped me on my Italian.
"Marie," Carmen called after me. "Come, eat," she demanded.
"I'm late, I need to go," I said.
"I make you something, come." I knew better than to argue with Carmen when it came to food. It was an argument I would never win.
"Amore, I need to leave very soon," Eleazar said.
It was heartbreaking to watch them sometimes. Eleazar was so loving and so attentive to his wife. He worshiped the ground she walked on and Carmen loved him the same passion in return.
Sometimes when I watched them, my mind often wandered to Edward. I always asked Carlisle and Esme how he was whenever they came, but they always avoided the question. Carlisle pretended as if I hadn't said a word. They never spoke of him, not around me.
In a messed up way I think I missed him, I couldn't be sure. I wanted to know what he was doing. Was he okay? Had he gotten remarried? Was he with someone else now? I didn't know if our marriage was only for show at the time or if we were still married. I'm sure Edward could make it disappear if he wanted. Although I don't know why that thought hurt me.
"Salto," I said to one of my students. She was a little girl around the same age as Sofia is now. She reminded me of Sofia. The same blonde curly hair and the attitude to match. Sofia was a little firecracker. I had only seen her a few times, it was enough to make me fall in love with her. I wondered if she remembered me?
"Si, signora Marie," she said.
I still went by Marie, I liked Marie, because Isabella was dead. That part of me was dead, I was no longer that person and I never would be again. I did miss Isabella at times, but I have accepted what my life is now. I have made the best of what I have been offered. I don't think I could have handled being Isabella again.
There were times when I thought, maybe I should have taken Carlisle up on his other offer, to give me my old life back with my family. But I would have never been able to handle going back. I loved my parents, I still love them. But I couldn't put them through that. I had seen my mother, I had seen how happy she was and I know it would have taken a lot on her part to be able to smile after everything that had happened. If my parents had found peace, I couldn't, I wouldn't go in there and turn their lives upside down again. It was better this way.
My last class had ended twenty minutes ago. All my students had been picked up beside one little girl, whose mother had called and said she would be running late.
I closed up the studio as I waited with her outside for her mother to arrive.
She was a little girl, only four, I held her in my arms as we waited.
I felt odd standing out here. I felt as if someone was watching me, watching us. I knew Carlisle's men were here, I could see their car. But it wasn't their presence I felt. No, whatever or whoever, if anyone was watching me, I felt a buzz, a hum, like my skin had been set on fire. I wasn't afraid, far from it. It was strange and exciting at the same time.
"Signorina Marie," the little girl's mother said, taking her daughter out of my arms. "Grazie."
"Nessun problema. Ci vediamo la prossima settimana," I said, waving them off.
As I turned back around towards the main street. It was there that I saw him coming towards me. My breath caught in my throat with every step he took towards me.
He looked exactly the same only older, more mature as if more time had passed rather than three years. He wore a dark gray suit with no tie. His shoes were impeccably polished, I could probably see my reflection in them.
But what was he doing here? How did he find me? His father had said, he would never find out where I was.
The two men that had followed me around, jumped out of the car and began running towards me, reaching in the back of their pants when they saw what was going on.
Edward put one hand up towards them. They stopped in their tracks. They stood there in the middle of the road with their guns in hand and watched as Edward came towards me.
He stood so close to me, I could smell him, I could see him properly. I could see the small lines around his eyes and the sliver of gray strands that ran through his hair.
His hand reached out towards me, stroking the back of his fingers along my cheek. He was hesitant, almost afraid I would pull away. I couldn't move even if I wanted to. He let out a deep breath when he realized I wasn't going to run. He grabbed my face in his hands. His eyes scanned over every part of me.