Four hours. It had been four hours since Bella had heard from Edward. He was supposed to have been home at 7 and there she sat at the kitchen table at 11:13, completely at his mercy. She knew he was probably working hard, he always did, mainly because he was stubborn and refused to accept money from his father. Even so, she had told him countless times to call if he knew he would be late. Edward's father had always told Bella that he never stayed late as he missed his wife too much.
Does Edward not miss me when he's at work? She wondered, the pang in her chest needing him to. At 11:26, Edward Masen Jr strutted through the door like he would on any other day. Only, to Bella, this wasn't any other day. This would represent a pivotal moment in their relationship where he would have to promise to tell her if he would be that late again. But in that moment, she just hugged him, glad he was okay.
"Woah, Bells, what's wrong?" He hugged his girlfriend back, placing a light kiss on the top of her head.
"You didn't call. You said you would call, and you didn't call." Salty tears fell down her face, a long childhood of worrying about her father rushing back to her.
"Okay, is that it?" There was a condescending edge to Edward's voice and Bella's tears immediately ceased.
"Really, Edward, 'Is that it?'," she was angrily mocking him, needing him to understand.
They fought for two hours, yelling at each other about trust and communication before Bella had finally had enough. She calmly grabbed her keys and walked to the door, slowly opened it, and looked back at her boyfriend. When he said nothing, eyes locked on his shoes, she slammed the door and ran out to her truck. When it finally sputtered to life, she drove the fastest she could - 63 miles per hour - to the only bar in town: The Green Parrot.
Music played from the speakers at a volume that didn't quite drown the pain like she knew music at a bar in Seattle would. Unfortunately, Jacob didn't work at a bar in Seattle and he gave Bella free drinks. They had been friends since they were barely old enough to play on the playground by themselves, their fathers always finding crafty ways to sneak off and fish together. When she sat in front of him, her brown eyes dull and empty, he immediately handed her a beer. He asked if everything was alright with 'Eddie', as he liked to call him, reminding her that he hadn't liked him since the start. Bella shook her head and, with a gentle reminder of "I know", ended the conversation.
Bella began to think about her relationship with Edward as a whole, which was definitely not a good idea for one in the morning on a Wednesday. He no longer gave her that boyish smirk that she fell in love with but he wasn't a boy anymore, either. It had been months since he last planned a spontaneous date night but he was busy with work, he was a lawyer, after all. When was the last time he told her that he loved her but he didn't have to say it because she knew. These thoughts only made her angry, not with her dumb, stupid boyfriend, but with herself. She had let herself become so entangled with Edward that she had yet to see his destructive self-righteous attitude. The man had to have a superiority complex, that was the only explanation. But she had let herself fall for it.
She wanted to leave - was about to leave when the most gorgeous man in the world sat down next to her. What was I thinking? I haven't even finished my beer. Jacob came back around to her, talking about nothing that interested Bella enough for her to listen when he was called over to a customer. Jacob was a bartender, albeit not a very good one. Not that it mattered, the people in Forks weren't complicated, they were consistent and kept it simple. Those words made Bella itch: Consistency and simplicity. She wanted random and difficult, and knew she wouldn't find it here. Not with-
"He likes you, y'know?" A southern accent which can only be compared to honey came from the blond sitting next to her.
"Jacob?" She asked, and he nodded. "No way, Jake's just a good friend." Bella knew everyone in Forks, it was almost impossible not to. If his accent wasn't a dead giveaway, his unfamiliar face proved that this God of a man was not from Forks.
"Whatever you say ma'am." The stranger smirked and held up his hands in mock defense. That accent. That accent made her heart flutter.
"Bella," she introduced, and wondered where the confidence had sprouted from.
It had taken her months to speak to Edward, and even years to admit her feelings to him. Has the last year been a complete w-
"Well Miss Bella, what do you say to us getting out of here?" There he went with that dangerous smirk again.
I have a boyfriend is what she should have said. I have a boyfriend who I love and have to get home to is what she wanted to say. "Lead the way," is what she said.
They walked down the dark sidewalk to a hotel which Bella had never paid much attention to before. Forks didn't get a lot of visitors, anyway. He told jokes that made her laugh in a voice that made her swoon. Bella had never let out such adolescent giggles in her entire life. She was reminded of childhood cartoons with scenes just like the one playing out in front of Forks Inn. When he took her hand, it chilled her with how cold he was. Her hand, however, was on fire. Edward's never made me feel like th-
He kissed her. This absolute stranger was kissing Bella Swan and she didn't even know his name. And it felt good. She kissed back and imagined that in a movie, there would be sparks flying around them to signify their passion. Her head swirled with the slight buzz of being a lightweight and the feeling of the blond man's large hand caressing her jaw.
When he finally pulled away, it was only for a minute to open the door and then his lips were on hers again. By the time they made it to the grungy bed in the middle of the room, Bella couldn't even remember she had a boyfriend.