Summary: Loving Bella was easy, but winning over Rosalie, Tanya, Alice, and Bree was a different story. The problem was, they all shared the same body. This is the story of DID, and Edward's journey to love Bella and all her multiple personalities.
**Warning: DID (dissociative identity disorder) is usually caused by a series of traumatic events in childhood, such as severe abuse. The subject of suicide may also come up in later chapters. If either of these topics are triggering for you, please refrain from reading this story. Thank you.
*A/N: Although one of the main characters in this story has DID, I am no expert, and I have only done limited research. Please forgive any mistakes or falsities I may make regarding the disorder. As with all my other stories, this too has an HEA guarantee.
Disclaimer: Clearly, I don't own Twilight or any recognizable characters
***A very special Thank You to CoppertopJ for her awesome editing, pre-reading, and collage making for FB! Couldn't do this without you!
Chapter 1 – Forgotten
I'll never forget the first time I saw Bella Swan…
The lights were flashing, the music was pounding, and the people were hot and sticky with sweat. It was pure hell, and I wasn't quite drunk enough to properly forget about the atrocity of it all. Still, it was just about the only distraction in this lackluster small town worthwhile, so I grudgingly spent my Saturday nights in the podunk shit excuse for a nightclub, just hoping to forget about my life for a few hours. I usually had a couple buddies by my side, but that night I was flying solo, trying to get wasted and get out before any of my long forgotten hookups could spot me.
With it being a small town, the club was mainly frequented by the same boring people, so unless I was looking to get laid, I rarely paid much attention to any of them, however that night was different. That night the dull morons making fools of themselves on the dancefloor, were graced with the presence of a spark.
I wasn't sure if it was the alcohol, or the thrill of a new face, but I let my buzz carry me into the horde of swaying bodies, where the sexy stranger and I found instant chemistry. Other than exchanging names, we didn't speak much, and the night ended far too soon. No one ever went to that club looking for a relationship, so I never expected anything more; I only wished my brain would forget her as easily as it forgot most of the other women I encountered. Her energy and spirit had been intoxicating, and when she failed to return to the club the following weekend, I found myself spending the next few weeks grudgingly and obsessively hoping to spot her around the small town.
Just when I was about to give up, I happened to walk into a local bookstore, and I was left tripping over my own feet when I saw her sitting behind the counter.
She peeked her head up from the pages of Jane Austen and watched me critically as I ducked behind the shelves; I needed a minute to compose myself before I figured out what to say to her. I had entered the establishment by pure accident, but in that moment, I knew deep inside my gut that my life would never be the same…
"Hi," I said awkwardly as I finally worked up the guts to approach her. "How are you?"
"Um… good. Is there something I can help you with?" she questioned, making it clear to me that she was keeping this meeting strictly professional.
"Uh," I looked around, expecting to see her manager hovering close by as a reason for her dry tone. I didn't see anyone else in the store besides the two of us, but I decided to keep it casual just in case. "Do you know if this is any good?" I asked, after grabbing the closest book I could reach off the side of the counter.
"How To Win The Man of My Dreams," she read the cover, and then looked up at me amused. "I'm sorry, I can't say that I've ever read this one."
I smirked. "I grabbed the wrong book. Um, I'm actually looking for a textbook that I need for one of my classes. The website says you have it in stock here?"
"If you tell me the name of the book, I can look it up for you," she offered.
"Great. Um, 'The Fundamentals of Pathology', please," I said, somewhat bashful. For whatever reason, I was always embarrassed to tell people I was in medical school. It seemed so fucking pretentious, and I really wasn't that kind of guy. Hell, if being a doctor wasn't a family legacy, I probably would have never even considered it.
And, of course, Bella looked at me like everyone always did when I mentioned medicine – like I was a pretentious jackass. "Pathology, huh?" she muttered while typing away on her computer keyboard. "Yep, we definitely have it. Do you want me to run and get it for you, or just point you in the right direction?"
"I can get it," I said quickly, not wanting to seem like an even bigger jackass than she must have already taken me for.
"Okay, it's right over there. See the sign that says medical books? It'll be listed under the author's last name."
"Thank you," I said with a polite smile, before heading off to retrieve the book.
When I made it back to the counter, book in hand, and she began ringing it up, her utter indifference towards me became too much.
"I'm not stalking you, by the way," I told her, hoping to sound a little less moronic than I was feeling.
"Stalking me?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah. I really did come for this book. It's cheaper here than at my college bookstore. I promise."
She shook her head in confusion. "I'm sorry, have we met before?" she asked, seemingly sincere with her lack of familiarity towards me.
"Wow," I said, not intending to actually voice my shock, but I just couldn't seem to help it. And then, because it couldn't possibly get any worse, my embarrassment created an outpouring of verbal diarrhea. "I'm sorry, I'm just not used to being forgotten. I mean, usually I'm the one who has trouble remembering drunken one-night stands…. Wow, that sounded horrible. I think I'll shut up now. You really don't remember me?" I asked, still mystified.
"I'm sorry," she said, seeming to get slightly anxious. "Perhaps you have me confused with someone else," she added while practically throwing my book and receipt into a paper bag and shoving it towards me.
"Bella, right?" I questioned, though there wasn't even the smallest doubt in my mind. For talking to someone really for the first time, I already knew every inch of her perfect body. I had spent hours that one evening discovering all her lines and curves, and the amazing way she was put together. We hardly spoke, but instead I used my lips to kiss her over a hundred times within that marvelous three hour period that I had her between my sheets.
Bella wasn't my first tryst with a stranger, but despite being gone before daybreak the following morning, she was the first one I couldn't seem to let go of. Perhaps it was my pride, but the fact that I didn't seem to have left a lasting impression, only added to my intrigue with her. Perhaps she just was playing coy, or perhaps she needed a reminder.
"Listen, I'm actually really glad I found you. I've been thinking about you a lot, and I was hoping we could get together again."
My eyes fell to her perfect lower lip, which she caught between her front teeth, reminding of the way that same lip tasted between my own teeth. It was a flavor I had been craving ever since.
"Uh," she glanced at my credit card that was still sitting on the counter. "Edward, I'm sorry, but I just don't have time to date, or whatever. It was nice seeing you, again, but I need to get back to work."
I looked around at the still empty store, and then back at her as she blatantly reopened the book she was reading when I first walked in.
She just blew me off.
Is it possible that she just hadn't enjoyed the night the way I did? She certainly fooled me because she sure as hell acted like she was enjoying herself.
I nodded to myself in accepted defeat, and then picked my pride off the floor, flung it over my shoulder, and sulked right out of the store. Of course, that was when I realized I forgot my new book, as well as my credit card.
"Shit," I huffed.
I reluctantly went back inside and was taken aback by the bookstore clerk beauty. She was no longer stiffly reading Jane Austen; in the minute or so it took for me to return to the store, her entire demeanor had drastically altered. Now, she was twisting bubble gum around her finger, while flipping through some teen magazine, and singing along to an old Spice Girls song blasting from her cellphone speaker.
"Um… hi," I said apologetically, hoping she wouldn't be embarrassed her by her oddly endearing antics.
Unfortunately, she was not only embarrassed, but also slightly startled by my reappearance.
"Oh, my gosh!" Her face reddened and she fumbled with her phone to turn off the sound.
"Sorry, I just…"
"No, I'm sorry. I'm not supposed to be messing around during work hours. Please don't tell my dad."
"Your dad?" I asked perplexed.
"He does own the store, so," she shrugged, and then took a deep breath. "How may I help you? Please don't ask me to find you any books in the adult section, I'm not allowed."
"Uh… I just forgot my book and card," I told her slowly, feeling like there was something very odd happening, but I couldn't quite grasp it.
"You left something?" she asked to clarify.
"Yeah, my book I just bought, and my credit card."
"Do you have the receipt?" she asked casually.
"Um…" I patted my pockets. "No, I think it's in the bag I left."
"You left a bag too? I thought you said you left a book and credit card? Was it like a handbag type of bag, or more like a backpack? I'm going to need you to show me some kind of proof that you own the things you left."
I raised my brows in utter perplexity. "No, by bag I mean the paper bag you just put the book I purchased in. And the credit card I just used to purchase the book."
She scrunched her brows. "How long ago was this purchase?"
I looked over my shoulder, convinced I was on some frustrating hidden camera show or something, but the store was still empty. "What's going on here?" I asked her. "I mean, I've known girls who play stupid, but are you messing with me right now?"
"I am not stupid!" she cried, becoming suddenly extremely emotional. "What a horrible thing to say. You need to just leave before I call in the cops!"
"The cops? Look, I just need my stuff. I was literally just in here. My credit card has my name on it: Edward Cullen. The book is about Pathology. Can you please just check wherever you keep stuff customers leave? Please? It has to be behind the counter there somewhere. I was literally just here a couple of minutes ago."
"Oh," she said, becoming very quiet, but then she smirked at me. "So, you're the one they're arguing about."
"Huh?" I asked frustrated.
"Hold on," she said before ducking under the counter. Oddly, she seemed to be down there for an unusually long time. When she finally stood, she had my bag and card, and practically threw them at me. "Here. Take your shit and don't come back!" she said, becoming abruptly hostile.
I was so bewildered by the entire thing that I just stared at her blankly for a few moments, and only moved when she raised her eyebrows and gestured for me to leave.
I was already back in my car before my brain finally caught up with me.
What the actual fuck!
***A/N: Thank you so much for giving this fic a shot! As of right now I have no update schedule, but I'm hoping for once or twice a week. Please leave me any thoughts or predictions you may have, so I know there is interest in this story moving forward. Thanks again!
***Let's connect on Facebook. Send me a Friend Request at KC Nicnort for posting alerts and awesome visuals.