Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.
I've had this idea for ages, but haven't written for a long while, so lets see how this goes :)
It couldn't be him. It couldn't.
I felt the sharp stab of painful recognition as the name stared at me from the computer screen, bold and black against the white...
No, it couldn't be him. Not here. Not now.
"How's it going, Bella?" Marc came into the office, coffee mug in hand, and it took me a moment to remember where I was, and what I was supposed to be doing.
"Hm? Wha…oh, um, sorry…yes." Flustered, I quickly scrolled down to the next entry in the client database and tried to focus again, bringing myself back to now, pushing away dark memories of a cold forest and even colder goodbyes. "Um, so…so it seems to be working much faster now, and the screen's not freezing anymore. The files are opening fine. I was just going to do a few checks to make sure."
"You serious?" Marc came to look over my shoulder, watching as I moved through the long list of customers on the Thunder Road Motorcycle Co. database. "I'm useless with this sort of thing." He shook his dark head. "So, what was the problem? What had I done?"
"It's what you hadn't done. There were some updates that needed installing, that's all."
"Seriously? That's it?" He set the mug down on the desk. "Coffee's for you. White with one, yeah?" Then he watched as I opened the file for Sharon Young. I tried to ignore the soft tremor of my fingers.
"You'd be surprised what a few updates can do. See?" Ms Young's customer information appeared instantly. "No more little egg timer spinning round and round," I said, clicking on different tabs, watching them pop open.
"Yes!" Marc hissed, his eyes focused keenly on the screen. "I hated that bloody egg timer. This is going to make life so much easier. Thanks, Bella."
"No problem. It's what friends are for, right?" Beneath the desk my leg was bouncing up and down frantically.
Marc straightened up and gave me that easy smile that always made me smile back. Except for this time. "I reckon you should abandon marine biology and go into IT," he said. "I owe you dinner for this."
"Um...you don't have to…"
"Yeah, I do. I really appreciate you doing this, especially on a Saturday morning." He leant against the desk and folded his arms across his chest. "You know, the museum has a…"
He was interrupted by the soft ping that meant the showroom doors had just slid open and we both looked in that direction.
"Customers." I gave him a playful shove and a shaky smile. "Go sell a bike."
Marc grinned and nudged me gently with his elbow. "Don't let your coffee get cold," he said, then walked out into the showroom.
And I scrolled back to Edward Masen.
There were so many reasons why it couldn't be him.
For a start, there were probably dozens of Edward Masens in Sydney. And then there was Sydney itself. I mean, what would a vampire be doing on the east coast of Australia, a place known for sunshine and blue skies? I'd lived here eight months and could count the cloudy days on two hands! It was too ridiculous to even think about. Besides, was that even how he spelt his real name? I'd never seen it written down. Maybe he was Mason, with an O.
No, it couldn't be him.
But the cursor still hovered over his name, and I swore softly beneath my breath as the old fault line in my heart rippled.
There'd been a time when something like this would have sent my heart and mind into over-drive. I would have opened the file without a second though, hoping desperately for a clue, anything, that might tell me where he was, what he was doing, and maybe lead me back to him, dignity be damned. If his presence had once ruled my life, his absence had consumed it.
But not anymore.
I was different now.
I wasn't that Bella anymore. And I'd let Edward Cullen go a long time ago.
It had been eight years.
Eight years since I last saw his face or heard his voice. Felt his touch. Eight years since he tore my heart from my chest and took it with him, God knows where.
It had taken a long time, and a Mexican sunrise, for me to get it back. But get it back, I did.
I'd worked damned hard to get over Edward Cullen, or Masen, and I'd succeeded. Succeeded spectacularly. A scholarship to UCLA. Graduating with honours. And now the research job here at the University of Sydney.
Great friends, busy social life.
Alexander and that summer in Hawaii.
Sam and his small flat in London. That had been an amazing year.
So why was I still staring at the name on the screen? Why was my stomach in knots, and my mouth dry?
"Shock." I told myself. "And curiosity. Perfectly natural reactions. That's all." I'd gone so long without thinking about him, so of course seeing his name would bring a reaction. But shock and curiosity weren't getting the job done, and I had plans for the afternoon, so I took a deep breath and went back to checking the database. If I focused, I'd be finished in ten minutes and on my way.
Unfortunately, focussing was easier said than done. My mind kept wandering back to those two words, Edward Masen, and five minutes later I clicked on his customer file, just to prove to myself what I already knew…that it wasn't him.
According to the Thunder Road database, Mr Masen had bought a silver Kawasaki Ninja H2R eight months ago. It was a special order and my jaw dropped at the price he'd paid. My jaw dropped further when I saw the top speed listed in the specifications. Apparently the Ninja H2R was capable of doing 340 kilometres an hour. So Mr Masen was wealthy, and he liked some serious speed. I swallowed hard as my hand tightened around the mouse.
His personal information listed an address an hour away at Palm Beach. His sales consultant had been someone called George. Not Marc, then. He'd paid upfront, the full amount, without a payment plan. And he'd used a premium platinum credit card to do it.
Edward Cullen had had a premium platinum credit card. He'd always paid upfront, the full amount, for everything he bought.
He'd liked to drive fast.
But he would never live in the sun. He would never live in a house at Palm Beach. I was being stupid. And I didn't know what bothered me more; seeing his name again, or my reaction to it…
Did I want it to be him?
"No." Not now. Not anymore.
Taking a deep breath, I closed the customer file, and with a willpower born of long practice, pushed Edward Cullen from my mind.
He hadn't been into bikes, anyway. It wouldn't be him.
Author Notes: This was a short chapter, I know. More of an introduction really. Next chapter will be longer and I hope to post it in a the next few days :)
This story is unbeta'd so any mistakes are mine.