A/N: We're back with another chapter, right on schedule! We hope you all have had a wonderful week and have been waiting with anticipation for the next part of this story! :-D
We can give you a little hint… things are getting into gear now, guys!
So let's get this bad boy going!
I couldn't stop biting on my thumbnail as I sat in my car and waited for Edward by our spot at the lake where my dad always fished.
I really hoped everything had gone well and that the owner of the vehicle we wanted to buy didn't turn him away because of his age. We really needed this, as it would be our only way out of the city without being recognized. Since Edward's dad was a big shot in his field and my dad was one of the honorable police officers of the city, both Edward and I were well-known, as were our cars. It would be impossible for us to just drive away.
I heard a loud, rumbling engine coming up on the road, and I cowered in my seat so that I wouldn't be visible in case it was someone I knew.
When a rusty, white truck turned into our spot and I saw that it was Edward behind the wheel in my rearview mirror, I breathed a sigh of relief and straightened out before exiting my car. He was grinning widely at me and I ran the last steps and threw myself into his arms.
"How did it go? Did he seem suspicious?" I asked into his neck.
"Not at all. He said he wanted to get rid of it since his wife thought it was a piece of crap, but it runs great." Edward let go of me and placed me back on the ground. "I don't think it will take us far, but at least out of the state. I used Alice's card so Dad won't see any strange transactions from my account."
An uneasy feeling that I often felt whenever Edward talked about his dad took a hold of me. I couldn't understand why Mr. Cullen felt it necessary to control Edward's every move. He had never done anything to deserve that kind of treatment, at least not that I knew of, and I was pretty sure I knew almost everything there was to know about Edward.
Edward must have seen the sadness in my eyes because he placed his hand underneath my chin and made me look at him. "Hey, what's wrong? I promise you that by the time he makes the connection, we'll be miles away."
I shook my head and a few traitorous tears fell from the corners of my eyes. "I'm not worried about that. I'm sure you've bought a great car," I reassured him with a shaky voice. "I just hate that your dad has driven us to the point where we feel this is the only way."
"This was all your idea, remember?"
"I know, but that man has been crawling underneath your skin for some time now. I'm quite positive that had I not suggested this, you would have eventually."
Edward released me and looked out over the lake. I was afraid that I had stepped over some invisible line, but I should have known that Edward did not keep any secrets from me. "I don't know what the deal with my father is, but frankly I don't care anymore. I might have before when I was younger, but all of that is his problem now." He looked back at me and his eyes held nothing but love for me. He tenderly cupped my face with both of his hands. "I have everything I need right here."
When I began to cry again, he leaned forward and kissed my tears away. "I love you so much, Edward."
He touched his lips against mine and whispered, "I love you more," so that our breaths mixed together between us.
It was moments like these when I could just ignore everything that was said behind our backs by our parents, his sister, and even some of our friends. None of them believed that Edward and I would last. We were only teenage sweethearts and as soon as we were separated, by time or distance, we would forget and move on.
They couldn't understand how deep the love we held for each other ran in our bodies. It had become a part of our biological structure, and neither of us would survive without the other. It might sound a bit melodramatic, but that was how it felt.
Eventually, when I had calmed down, Edward showed me everything that I needed to know about the truck, but mostly how to drive it. My own car was an automatic while the truck had a gear shift, which I had never used, so I got a crash course in case I would have to drive some of the way.
When the sun started to set, Edward and I sat next to each other on the beach and gazed out over the water that reflected the red-orange glow beautifully. I leaned my head on his shoulder and simply enjoyed the moment for a second.
"Mom came home with boxes today," Edward said after a minute of silence.
I straightened out my position and looked at his profile. "I thought the move was planned in November. That's two months away."
He shrugged. "Well, you know my mom. She can't control herself when she's excited about something, and she said that it was better to get started now since we have so much to pack."
I didn't reply. Edward didn't need me to because he knew what I was thinking. Everyone was happy about the move except for us. However, if Edward's and my plan went as well as we hoped, we would be on our way to Mexico in only ten days.
We had it all planned.
It was going to happen on a Tuesday. We would eat lunch together and then we would get "mysterious" stomach cramps that forced us to visit the nurse. We would ask to be excused for the rest of the day since we must have eaten something bad during lunch.
For the sake of not raising suspicion, we would say goodbye to each other and then drive our separate cars back home in case any of our nosy neighbors would decide to butt in.
I would be able to walk from my house to the beach, which was where we would hide the truck, but Edward was going to take his bicycle since it would take him too long to walk from home.
In the truck, we had hidden wigs that we'd taken from our school's drama department, a set of new clothes for each of us, and sunglasses. With those outfits on, no one would recognize us as we drove out of the city.
This was all just a precaution since we knew of Edward's father's connections. In case anybody he knew would see us, Mr. Cullen would find us in a heartbeat and we would be toast.
We would then drive as far as the truck could take us, and even though neither of us liked it, we had to take the risk and check into a motel to rest before we continued down to Mexico where Emmett was waiting for us.
Emmett and I had been talking several times over the phone now, still without our parents knowing, and each time he said that he couldn't wait to see me again. The only memory he had of me was from when I was still a little girl.
He also said that when we arrived, he was going to introduce me to someone special. I couldn't be sure, but I suspected it was the person whose voice I'd heard in the background of our first conversation.
It had sounded like a woman. Maybe my dear brother had gotten himself a girlfriend, or maybe even a wife. He would turn twenty-five this year after all.
I wondered if he ever went to college.
There was just so much I wanted and needed to know about my brother, and it made me anxious to just get going already. I wanted to get out of this town and away from families and parents who didn't understand.
I was so ready to leave, to just leave it all behind and never look back.
Eventually, Edward and I were going to have to think about what we would do about school, and of course, later on, college, but we could take that further down the road. It would all work out. I had faith that everything would fix itself.
It always had before.
I could never tell you what happened with the days that led up to the day of me and Bella leaving. It approached so fast, it left me feeling dizzy, and even though we'd gone over the plan so many times I could recite it in my sleep at this point, I still worried.
I was determined, though. It didn't matter that I had a knot the size of California in my stomach, I still could barely contain my excitement.
Not only was I going to spend my life with Bella now, but I would leave my dad and all the fights between us behind.
There were a few times when I worried that he had figured out that I wouldn't be moving with them. He would give me lingering looks with frowned eyebrows and then say things like: "You're alright there, son? You look a little tense," or "Don't you think it's time to start packing? I can help you if you want."
His concern and offerings unsettled me. We had never had a good relationship, so it was obvious he suspected something, or he wouldn't have acted the way he did.
I was brought out of my thoughts when my phone began vibrating. The caller ID told me that it was Bella, and I smiled as I answered it.
"Hi, yourself," she replied and giggled. The sound was music to my ears. "What are you doing?"
"What I'm always doing at this time of day; thinking of you." My smile widened into a grin. "What about you?" I asked.
"Nothing," she said quietly, and then it was quiet for a few seconds. "I'm nervous about tomorrow."
I sighed. "Me, too, but everything will be fine, Bella. Our plan is waterproof," I reassured her.
"I'm not worried about the plan," she said and I could see in front of me how she shook her head. "It's just insane that this is my last night with my family. I wish I could say goodbye to them properly, but I know it's not possible."
The knot in my stomach tightened. I knew how bittersweet this was for Bella. She didn't want to leave her family without a word, but she was so excited to go see Emmett, and she knew that she would have probably never gotten in contact with him again if it weren't for us running away.
I hated that my family's selfish choices had brought us to this. "I'm sorry, baby. If this wasn't for my family, then maybe—"
"Don't say that. As you said, this was my idea, and I'm going to have to live with the consequences, but they're worth it if I get to be with you."
I exhaled with relief. "I love you," I said, and I could hear her content sigh in my ear.
"I love you, too. I better get some sleep now."
The clock was almost eleven so I let her go, although reluctantly.
I tossed all over the bed in my sleep that night and nightmares of things that could go wrong the following day haunted me until the sun rose over the trees outside of my window.
I was a bit groggy, and the shadows underneath my eyes revealed how unrestful my night had been.
I woke myself up with a shower, but it did nothing for my stomach which fluttered and flip-flopped all over. I was so nervous I could have thrown up.
Mom was cooking breakfast when I came downstairs, but the smell turned my stomach, so I just grabbed my bag and headed toward the door.
"Aren't you going to eat breakfast?" Mom asked me, and I shook my head.
"I'm not hungry," I said, but it didn't please her.
"At least take an apple with you. You need some nutrition."
I clenched my teeth together but did as she told me anyway and grabbed an apple from the bowl on the counter. Then I went out the door and to my car.
I didn't see Bella before the bell rang, but that didn't surprise me since my first class was Biology and she had Spanish which was on the opposite side of the building. I probably wouldn't see her until lunch, but I sent her a text anyway.
I'm only a text away if you need me
She didn't reply, but I knew she would contact me if it was necessary.
Biology passed quickly, but English droned on. Halfway through the class, Mr. Rowen, my English teacher, started to hand out assignments. He passed me without giving me one, though, and I frowned.
"You have a week to finish your assignments, and there will be oral presentations so I expect you to prepare a few questions for discussions after."
I raised my hand and Mr. Rowen nodded for me to speak.
"I didn't receive an assignment, Mr. Rowen," I said, even though I knew I wouldn't be present to finish it, but he didn't know that and I had to keep up the act.
"I'm sorry, Edward, but I didn't see it as needed with this being your last day and all," he replied, and I froze. I barely noticed how every person in class turned to stare at me. I felt terrified and I really wanted to know how he'd found out about mine and Bella's leaving.
I hadn't told anyone, and I doubted Bella had, either.
I really needed to know who had told him and if the news had reached my father.
"W-what are you talking about, Mr. Rowen? I'm not moving until November."
Mr. Rowen frowned. "That's very peculiar, Edward. We teachers had a meeting with the principal and your parents. They told us that you are moving this very afternoon."
My eyes widened in disbelief. "What?!" I exclaimed.
"You and your sister have already been pulled from the school's system." He shrugged and his face was filled with confusion.
I just sat there and gaped for several seconds, in complete shock of the ugly trick my family had pulled on me, but then my brain finally jumped into action. Bella and I couldn't wait until lunch hour. Alice and I could be pulled from class any second and be forced to go home. We had to leave now if we were going to make it.
"Can I be excused?" I asked Mr. Rowen and he nodded. I collected my things and shoved them into my bag before I left the classroom to find Bella.
She had P.E this hour and so I knew that she wouldn't have her phone on her, but we had to leave this very moment. I couldn't wait until she was done, so I went to the gym and sneaked inside. I didn't want to get caught since I wasn't really allowed in here at the moment.
The class was playing field hockey, and I spotted my girl running after the ball with her team-mates. She wasn't very good at the athletics, but she got credit for trying.
Coach Johnson called for a switch so that the players on the bench could play as well, and I saw my chance when Bella looked up toward the bleachers. I stepped out from the wall I had been hiding behind, and when my girl saw me, she frowned in confusion.
I motioned for her to come to me, and she raised her hand in a gesture that she volunteered to sit out the next ten minutes. She said something to Coach and he nodded, so she left her stick on the floor and started toward me.
"Edward, what are you doing here?" she asked. Her hair was up in a high ponytail and her face was shiny with sweat, but she was still the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
"We have to leave now. We can't wait for lunch. Do you think you can get away?"
"What? Why do we have to leave now?" Her eyes were wide and her eyes were full of questions.
I shook my head. "Not here. I'll tell you in the car. Can you get Coach to excuse you?"
She swallowed thickly before nodding.
"Okay, I'll wait for you in the car. Hurry as much as you can," I said and gave her a quick kiss before I turned around and headed outside.
The parking lot was empty, but I still looked around with every step I took to make sure no one saw me. This was definitely not how Bella and I had planned it, and it made me even more nervous. I didn't like when things didn't go as I wanted it.
My fingers were drumming against the steering wheel, a sure indication of my impatience, but I could see Bella approaching in my rearview mirror, so I tried to calm down. So far, so good.
"You have to tell me what is going on right now," she demanded before her door was even closed, but I didn't answer her before I had started the car and was leaving the school behind us.
"My parents lied to me," I said with my eyes glued to the road. "We're not moving in November. We're moving today. I couldn't risk waiting for lunch."
I could see that Bella was gaping at me from my peripheral vision, and I chanced a look at her. Her eyes were wide with fear.
"Edward, do you think they know?"
"I don't see how they can know, but it's the only explanation I have as to why they would hurry up the move."
She nodded and bit down on her bottom lip. It was something she always did when she worried.
"Hey, it'll be alright. We're ahead of them. We'll be on the road in less than an hour," I said and moved my right hand to her knee. She instantly relaxed and tried a smile for me. "That's my girl."
We reached the lake and I parked my car on the side of the road. It would be difficult separating from it. I loved that car, but it was a necessity.
Bella was already pulling out our disguises from the cabin of the pickup, but when I took off my shirt and started to unbuckle my belt, she cleared her throat.
I looked up at her and saw that she was blushing. Her eyes were averted as she tried to look away from my bare chest.
"Could you change on the other side of the truck?" she asked quietly and fingered the hem of her own shirt. The small sliver of skin that was revealed made me feel very warm, and I cleared my own throat.
"Uh, yeah. Of course." I swallowed the saliva in my mouth and grabbed my clothes to walk around to the other side.
I was just putting on my black wig, it had bangs and a haircut that I would never consider for myself when Bella informed me that she was done. She stepped around the truck and my eyes widened. I barely recognized her in her shoulder-length blonde wig. The sunglasses made it impossible to see who she really was.
"Let's do this," she said, and I opened the door to the driver's side. Our small bags were already in the back of the truck, so once Bella was properly strapped in, I started the coughing engine and pulled out on the road.
It was definitely a bittersweet feeling when we passed our neighborhoods and then the "Welcome Back" sign that told us we had passed the city limits. Chicago had been all we'd known for our entire lives, and now we were leaving it all behind.
I saw how Bella wiped one finger underneath her sunglasses and I knew she was crying, but I didn't comment on it. She was giving up on so much more than I was because even though her parents didn't understand our relationship, she loved them and was very close to them.
I knew that she would miss them, and I would never keep her from grieving.
I simply took her hand in mine and squeezed to show her my support.
About two hours later, we reached a town called Champaign, and we stopped shortly for gas and some food. I never ate that apple and neither of us had eaten lunch so we were quite hungry.
While Bella was inside paying for the gas and food, my phone started to ring. It was my dad and I contemplated letting it go to voicemail, but it would only make him suspicious, so I pressed the green button and placed the phone by my ear.
"Hey, Dad, what's up?" I answered in a tone I hoped was casual.
"Why aren't you in school?" he asked with a stern voice.
I froze. I knew that he would find out, but I had hoped we would have at least passed the state limits when that happened. Not when we were only two hours away from home.
"Edward, I asked you a question. Why aren't you in school?" he repeated. He was very angry, that much was evident from his tone.
"What are you talking about?" I asked, going for the whole being ignorant motion.
"Don't play stupid with me, son! Your sister called us and said that you weren't at lunch. No one's seen you since second period, so where the hell are you?" The words were coming through clenched teeth by that point, but I simply rolled my eyes at it.
"Why didn't you tell me we were moving today?" I counter asked, my voice laced with venom.
"That's between your mom and me," he snapped. "You better tell me where you are this goddamn second, or so help me, Edward, I will—"
"You'll what?" I challenged. He had no idea where I was, so his words were nothing more than empty threats.
My challenge was met with silence, and I chuckled at that. "Didn't think so. Goodbye, Dad." I hung up and at that exact moment, Bella came out with a bag of food and snacks.
When she reached the truck I asked for her phone.
"You have that new phone you bought with Emmett's money?" I asked and took her phone from her.
"Yes, it's in my bag."
I went to the nearest trash can and threw both phones away. It caused Bella to gasp.
"That phone will be the only one we use from now on," I said. "Dad knows we've left and the signal from our phones will make it possible to track us."
We climbed into the truck again and drove away from the gas station.
"How do you know they can track us through our phones?" Bella asked when we'd been driving for a few minutes.
I smiled in her direction. "You know I like watching CSI."
Bella laughed and shook her head at me.
"Why don't you use that phone and give your brother a call. Let him know that we are on the way," I suggested.
She immediately dug through her bag and grabbed the phone. When she dialed Emmett's number, I focused back on the road.
A/N: And they're off!
Let me ask you, what do you think of our teenagers way of thinking? How well are they at covering their tracks and what do you think Carlisle will do now?
Okay, so since FFn won't allow links in uploaded document, we're just going to stick with the name of the story as well as the author's penname and you can also find our recs in our favorite stories section! :-D
Firstly, some self-pimping of MarieCarro!
The Mystery of El Jardín. Some people have said that it reminds them of the tv-show Lost, so if you liked that show, why not check out the story and see what you think ;-)
Here's the summary for you: Ten lucky college kids receive the chance to vacation for one week at a luxury resort on a private island in the Caribbean when they win a random draw contest held at their school. However, it becomes apparent quickly that this vacation will stay with them all forever. ExB
And we have a rec from our very own beta and wonderful friend, Belynda aka SarcasticBimbo!
The Age of Innocence by pattyrose
Summary: On the eve of the Second World War, young Isabella has been taken from all she knows and is now stepdaughter to one of the richest men in America. Spending her summers in Washington State, she's unaware that this is where she & a young boy will find their fate, where childhood friendship will mature into the fiercest love: a love that must endure the end of innocence. Rated M. E&B.