Beta'd by Frannie. Remaining mistakes mine.
Edward tried to push the very thought of Bella out of his mind. Even though she'd obviously been grateful for the food, she'd also been displeased to see him again. He would be damned if he'd admit that he was hoping for a different reaction.
The mysterious behaviour she had exhibited was eating at his brain even as he went through the motions of acting a part that was nothing like him and kissing a woman he had no desire to kiss. Day twenty of shooting and exactly five days after his encounter with Bella found him filming the movie's major sex scene, and he couldnt be more distracted. His modesty patch has been taped in place, and he kissed and touched the beautiful blond girl who was his leading lady with a lack of enthusiasm that clearly didn't come through on camera.
Edward blinked in surprise as long, shiny blond hair gave way to tawny mahogany brown, thin lips merging into a lush pout as he kissed the actress beneath him. Edward froze, blinked again and stared down at Melissa in shock. But it was merely a trick his mind had played and Edward relaxed as the image of Bella disappeared.
"Cut!" The director yelled as he strode towards the bed they lay on in the middle of the set. "What the hell, Edward? What was that?"
Edward sat up and raked his messy hair off his face with a shaking hand. "What was what?"
"Her characters name is Emily, and you just called her Bella. Who the fuck is Bella? This is not like you Edward. It's the third fucking time you've frozen this week."
Edward grimaced as he realised that he hadn't whispered Bella's name in his mind as he'd thought, but out loud.
"Some people fuck up every set, Jared. I just need a break; I'm not a fucking robot, okay?"
Jared loosened up as Edward reminded him that they had been filming for twelve hours straight. "You're right, sorry. Take off for a while, go and clear your head." He said with a small smile. "Maybe go and visit 'Bella' so you can get your head back in the game. I've never seen you this stung out before, she must be something special. "
"She's not what you think...and yeah she is something, I'm just not sure that special is the word I'd use," Edward said dryly. "I'm sorry about that Meli; I'll be fine when I get back." He said to the actress watching him with longing from the rumpled bed.
Meli grinned up at him, her face impish. "Don't apologise, Edward, really, that was the best kiss I've had in ages. See you when you get back."
Edwards mind was a mess. What the hell was wrong with him? He was fantasising about someone he was sure was well below the age of consent. Had this life made him into a pervert? He shuddered at the thought. Why couldn't he stop thinking about that girl?
Once dressed and minus one modesty patch, Edward drove towards the broken down tenement feeling plenty frustrated and a little angry. Bella was obviously not interested in his help and yet he reasoned with himself that if he actually helped her and her brother and he knew that they were safe, he would finally be able to stop thinking about her.
Edward was determined to offer her what he had in mind, and he was equally determined that she would accept his offer.
He wouldn't leave until she did.
He slowly walked up the stairs, trying not to make a huge amount of noise because she had obviously been worried about someone or something hearing them last time he was here.
He knocked softly on the battered wooden door and waited, his heart pounding in his chest and his mouth dry. He felt like an idiot kid again waiting for his first date. This was just fucking ridiculous considering the foul-mouthed child he was waiting for.
Silence greeted his knock, and he tentatively knocked again, his forehead creasing into a frown at the continued silence.
On instinct, he tried the doorknob and to his surprise, it turned.
He opened it and slowly looked inside, his gut twisted into knots at what he might find.
The door opened into a small dark living room, scattered with old furniture and a tattered carpet. An old toy elephant on wheels sat in the middle of the floor, the kind you pulled along with you.
"Bella?" Edward called softly.
A tiny pitter-patter of feet could be heard before a small, pale face appeared around a door leading into the room where Edward now stood. It was a boy of about four maybe five years, thin and sickly looking. His face was fearful as he regarded Edward with wide eyes. This must be Bella's brother.
"Hi there, I'm Edward. Is Bella here?" He said dropping down onto one knee to appear less threatening.
The child shook his head, one finger finding its way into his mouth. "Bella huwt." He said matter of factly.
Cold fear tightened in Edward's gut. "Where is she?"
The little boy beckoned to him with one small dirty hand. "Come..."
Edward rose and followed the boy into another room which looked like a kitchen and then into a bedroom.
"Bella dere..." the boy pointed towards the bed.
Edward went towards the slight lump in the bed and found a sleeping Bella. Her face was resting on her hand and her lips parted in sleepy abandon, thick hair still a tangled mess around her face. "Bella..." Edward said softly, touching her shoulder gently to wake her.
She startled violently at the touch, shying away from him as if he were someone else. Someone she was terrified of.
"Bella it's just me...I'm sorry I scared you..." Edward broke off as he saw a dark bruise running along her cheekbone. "Oh my God, Bella, who did this to you?" Edwards finger reached out and traced the mark on her soft alabaster skin with disgust written plainly in his eyes.
Bella stared at him as if transfixed and jumped as his fingers touched her skin. "Don't touch me." She hissed, turning her face away to face the wall. "Why are you here again, Mister? You don't learn do you? I'm none of your concern."
"Maybe not. But I want to make you my concern. If you'll let me help you, please Bella. Someone is hurting you, and it's not right."
"Bella huwt." The little boy said climbing up beside his sister and snuggling into her side, his huge eyes fixed on Edward's face.
Edward swallowed hard and nodded. "Yes, Bella is hurt, and I want to help you both. What's your name?"
"My name is Josh. I'm four." The little boy said proudly.
Edward smiled at him. "That's so big. Are you Bella's brother?"
The boy looked solemn as he replied. "No. Bella's my mommy."
Shock exploded inside Edward. Bella wasn't old enough to have a child. He felt the bile rise in his throat at the thought of whoever was hurting her forcing himself on her.
"Is this true?" He asked Bella gently.
She rolled over and faced him, her face a curious mixture of pride and stubbornness. "Yes, he's mine. I call him my brother, but I'm his Bella-Mommy."
Josh hugged her, his little arms going around her tightly.
"Who's hurting you like this?" Edward asked, at last, his jaw tight, eyes shooting fire.
"Uncle Aro." She said emotionlessly, her eyes suddenly dull. "My parents are dead."
"Come with me," Edward said suddenly, completely sure of what he wanted to do. What he must do. "I'll make sure you're safe, and I'll help you start a new life. If you don't want to do for yourself, do it for your son."
Bella stared at him her mouth hanging open."You'd do that for me?" She whispered. "Why?"
Edward shrugged, a ghost of a smirk touring his mouth. "Let's just say I'm a rich man who likes to help."
"I can't accept this, Mister. It's charity, and I am not your charity case."
"My name isn't Mister, it's Edward."
Bella nodded slightly. "Edward," she said softly, her strangely cultured voice at odds with her appearance.
Edward noticed for the first time how her voice didn't match the rest of her.
"And secondly, I don't see you as a charity case. I don't usually help people. Only you."
"Why? What's in it for you?"
"The satisfaction of seeing you out of this." He gestured around him. "That's it."
Bella watched his face her eyes fearful. "Okay."
"Okay?" Edward asked feeling elated at her sudden turnabout. "You won't regret this Bella. I promise you."
She shook her head, "Don't make promises, they always get broken. Just do as you say and I'll learn to trust you."
"Where is your uncle now?"
"He's at the pub." She said with a barely there shudder of distaste. "He's always there."
"Well, let's go."
"Now?" she gasped.
Edward nodded. "Now. Where are your things? Is there anything you want?"
"Just my box." She said sliding off the bed and lifting a tiny silver trinket box in her hand.
"And Elly..." Josh said running to get the stuffed elephant on wheels in the living room.
Edward smiled at him. "And Elly."
Bella stood uncertainly in the middle of the room watching him. Almost as if she feared this was a dream and he'd change his mind.
Edward held out his hand to her, "Let's go." He said firmly.
Bella stared at his offered hand for just a moment before she took it, her small fingers curling around his tightly.
Something shifted inside Edward at that moment and a strange heat emanated between their clasped hands, making him more uncomfortable than he had already been about his feelings for this mysterious girl.
All he was sure of was that he had to protect her and her son.
His dirty thoughts about an under aged girl would just remain his secret.
Taking Josh by the hand, too, he led them out of the door and down the rickety stairs towards his waiting car.
As he placed the small boy into the back seat and shut the door he turned and pulled Bella towards the passenger side, their hands still interlocked. Just then, a bright flash went off in a car across the street. Edward reacted instantly, shoving Bella into the car and striding around to his own door.
"What was that?" Bella asked turning in her seat to get a better view of where the flash came from.
Edward didn't answer at first, concentrating on starting the car and reversing out of the tenement parking lot as fast as he could.
Bella stared at him wide eyed, his anger was palpable. "What wrong Edward? What was that?"
"Trouble." He said abruptly as he drove away from the dilapidated building Bella had called home for God knows how long.
"What was that flash?" Bella persisted.
Bella was silent as she digested this information.
After a few moments of loaded silence, she asked.
"Who are you?"
Authors note; thoughts?