I adopted this plot bunny a year or so ago. It really intrigued me. I posted a poll in my group asking which story I should work on next and this was the winner. It's definitely a WIP. I've only got a rough outline figured out and I'm going back to my roots with this … writing with a vague plan. I hope that I can do this justice.
Thank you to Clo, who created both of the banners for this story. Also, thank you to the folks in the Twi-Fic Plot Bunny Farm for posting abandoned bunnies and giving me the opportunity to write this.
Now, this story does not belong to me. I just like to play with the characters that Stephenie Meyer created.
Jacob abandons Bella, leaving her and their son destitute. Years later, the book she wrote about their struggles becomes a bestseller. Edward, a film producer and former child actor, wants to option Bella's book and turn it into a blockbuster. Falling in love wasn't part of the plan ...
What will they do when Jacob comes back?
Prologue: Eight Years Ago
If you'd asked me how I pictured my future, this would not be it. I've come so far, but I was still … so …
I don't know.
I had dreams. I had wishes. I had a future. I was happy. Then, my life imploded.
"Bella, this isn't working," Jake said to me coldly. He stared at me and glowered at the little boy, our three-year-old Seth, who was my world. He was born when I was eighteen and nowhere ready to be a mother. "You need to leave and take that with you."
"Our son is not a 'that'," I snapped. "Jake, I don't have anywhere to go. Give me a few months to get back on my feet, separate from you and then we'll go."
"No," he sneered. "This hasn't been working for year. It's time to cut our losses and you need to be out by the end of the day."
"I have to work, Jacob," I said. "Can you be any more of an asshole?"
"I'm giving you a day," he smirked. "I could have just thrown out your shit yesterday while you were working and while I was taking care of that boy."
"That boy is your son," I hissed.
"Is he, though?' Jacob asked. "He looks a lot like Mike Newton. You're such a slut, Bella."
"I can't believe this," I whispered. "I can't believe I ever loved you."
Jacob knew I'd only ever been with him. Seth, our son, was conceived the first time we'd had sex and the condom had broken. Seth was the light of my life, where Jacob was the looming dark shadow.
"You better be gone by the time I come back from work. If you're not, I'll have you arrested for trespassing. You'd lose custody of Seth and he'd be raised by a proper family," Jacob muttered. "Not by slut like you." He picked up his keys, leaving the dingy apartment we'd shared.
It wasn't even an apartment. It was a shack on his father's property. It had a small kitchenette, a small living space and two tiny bedrooms. It barely had indoor plumbing. There was shower stall and a composting toilet. It was my responsibility to clean it every week.
Well, we didn't share it anymore.
I was just a piece of shit in Jacob's eyes. I was not the 'love of his life' as he proclaimed that night we'd conceived Seth. I was not the mother of his son.
I was a burden.
Not anymore … I wasn't his doormat.
I'd have to find a new apartment, pack up all my stuff and all of Seth's belongings. With a sigh, I picked up my decrepit cell phone and called my manager at Thriftway. I told him that I had to take a sick day. Clearly, he wasn't happy, but he gave me the time.
Seth, who had been blissfully unaware that his parents were fighting, walked over to me. "What's wrong, Mommy?"
"We've got to move, baby," I said, trying not to cry. "I need you to go into your room and pack up all your clothes." I handed him a large duffle bag.
"What about my books? My toys?" he asked. He was so smart for a kid who was three.
"Whatever fits in the bag, Seth," I murmured. Leaning forward, I kissed his forehead. He dragged the bag behind his tiny body. Seth was lucky … he had his own room. I was relegated to the couch because Jacob took the master bedroom. I picked up another duffle bag and emptied out the drawers in his bedroom that he generously offered me.
We loaded up our meager belongings into the back of the last gift I'd received from my father – a monstrous red pickup truck. It was barely road-worthy, but it was the only thing that was truly mine. I strapped in Seth into the booster seat. With a sigh, I got into the driver's seat and cranked the engine.
"Where are we going, Mommy?" Seth asked.
"First stop is the library. Mommy needs to find a new place for us to live, baby," I answered.
I drove to the Forks Library and parked the car. Inside, Seth went down to the children's section for story time. I used my library card to reserve a computer, searching for an apartment in Forks or Port Angeles. The commute would be long, but it was still local. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side. There were no available apartments. At least, none that would fit within my tiny budget.
I had some money saved, but not nearly enough. I'd have to dip into that savings to get a hotel room tonight.
The next day, I left Seth with one of my few friends, Angela Cheney. She'd married her high school sweetheart. She was the only person who didn't look at me like I was a mistake. She also gave me free child care at her daycare facility because she knew my situation.
She knew that I had no money thanks to my father's death and my need to declare bankruptcy.
She knew that Jacob and his father were emotionally abusive toward me. They never lifted a finger to physically hurt me, but their words did enough.
She also knew that I was alone in the world.
She wanted to help me. She wanted to do more, but her close-minded, conservative minister father forbade her to do more for me because I had a child out of wedlock.
So, she helped me with Seth.
As far as Pastor Weber was concerned, Seth was just another kid. Not my kid.
When I got to the Thriftway, my manager called me into his office. "Bella, I hate to do this to you …" he began.
"Then, don't," I pleaded. "I was evicted from my home yesterday. I needed to pack everything up and …"
"I'm truly sorry, Bella, but you aren't reliable," he said. "When you're here, your mind is split and you call in at least once a month for some sort of 'emergency.' I need someone who can be here, consistently."
"This is discrimination," I said. "My mind is split because I had to come in days after I gave birth or when my child is sick."
"Leave your child with his father," the manager suggested. "Or get a baby sitter. I just can't rely on you, Bella. You've received several warnings and yesterday was the final straw. Pack up your locker and we'll mail you your last check."
"In case you haven't heard, I don't have an address," I sneered. "I'm homeless."
The manager frowned and looked conflicted. "I'll give you your check in cash, Bella. Let me check how many hours you worked and then I'll be back with the money." He got up and left me in the office. I took off the ugly vest, trying not to cry. When he came back, he had an envelope. "This is your final paycheck and a month-long severance package. It's more than I should give you, but I feel awful …"
"You could just let me keep my job," I muttered.
"I can't, Bella," he replied. "I wish you the best." He handed me the envelope.
I sighed, tucking what he gave me into my purse. Perhaps, with this money, I can make a fresh start. I didn't need to stay in Forks. It was a tiny blip on the map. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to grow. I would forever be the disgraced daughter of Chief Charles Swan. The girl who had a baby with Jacob Black and ruined his future.
What about my future?
I didn't want to date Jacob in the first place. My father encouraged our relationship and I wanted to make him happy. I went out with Jacob and it was the biggest mistake of my life.
If he was done with me? Then, I'm done with this waterlogged hell hole.
Finding new determination, I walked out of the Thriftway and to my truck. I drove to Angela's daycare facility. She gave me a friendly smile when I entered the building. Seth saw me immediately, sprinting into my arms. "Mommy!"
"Hey, baby," I grinned at him.
"I thought you had to work, Bells?" Angela asked.
"I was fired," I whispered over Seth's head. "Seth, do you remember Mommy's dream?"
"To move out of Forks and to be a writer," Seth said, snuggling into my arms. "To be happy."
"How about we take the first steps to move out of Forks?" I murmured, crouching down and brushing his hair back.
"Bella, are you sure?" Angela breathed.
"I can't stay here, Ang," I replied. "You know what I have to live with."
"I hate that people are so close-minded, all standing behind my father and Billy Black. The things they say about you," Angela sneered. "You are one of the smartest people I know. You were valedictorian of our graduating class."
"But, that doesn't matter," I sighed. "I need to get out of here. I have to get out of here."
Angela looked at me, pursing her lips. She got up, darting into her office. She came out with her wallet. "I know that you are struggling. Take this," she said, pressing all her cash into my palm.
"Angela, I don't need your charity," I argued.
"It's not charity," she pressed. "Bells, I will always love you. You didn't deserve any of this. Please, keep in touch with me. Promise me, Bells."
"Okay, Ang," I said.
She hugged me tightly. "Be safe, please."
"I will," I whispered back.
"When are you leaving?" she asked.
"Tomorrow morning. I need to do some planning. Where will I go?" I shrugged.
"Away from here," Angela laughed. "Someplace warm and without rain?"
"Works for me," I grinned.
I took Seth's hand and again, we went to the library. This time, I did research on where I could move to start my new life with my son. However, while I was researching, I found a quote that further solidified my decision to leave this toxic environment.
"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start."
As we left early the following morning, that quote became my mantra as we drove away from Forks, Washington and toward our future.
If only it was smooth sailing …
xx Blockbuster xx
"Thank you for coming to McCoffee Café," I said, handing the patron their order. "Enjoy your drink."
"I appreciate it, Bella," said the patron, putting a hefty tip into the tip jar. "See you later."
"For your next caffeine fix, hmmm?" I teased with a grin, but it didn't reach my eyes. The patron left with a wink, seemingly trying to flirt with me, but I wasn't interested. I couldn't ever be interested. I was too broken.
"Mom! I need you to sign this permission form," Seth said as he barreled into the coffee shop.
"Hello, child of mine, light of my life. I've missed you while you were at school," I deadpanned, ruffling his hair. "No hello? No I love you?"
"Hello, the most wonderful mother of mine. I love you more than the stars and the moon," he sighed, rolling his eyes. He kissed my cheek before slapping the permission form onto the counter. He slid his arm around my waist. My son was nearly as tall as me and he was almost twelve. I read the permission form before signing it. "You okay, Mom?"
"I'm good, baby," I answered. "How was school?"
"Meh, it was school. Other than getting this form to go to the aquarium, it was boring," Seth shrugged.
"That's because you're too smart, Seth," I snickered.
"Can you leave?" he asked.
"I need to wait until either Uncle Emmett or Aunt Rose get back," I explained. Seth's eyes darkened as his lips pursed angrily. "Calm down, Captain Protective. It's the middle of the day and we're in a safe neighborhood."
"But, Uncle Emmett promised that you wouldn't be in the store by yourself, Mom," Seth growled.
"I'm not by myself. Eric is in the back, cleaning the machines," I explained. "I'm okay."
It took us almost five years to get from Forks to our new home in San Francisco. It had been almost five years since we found our place in the world. It was not an easy journey, to say the least. My son grew up way too quickly and he was incredibly protective of me. When we'd arrived in San Francisco, we were both battle weary and terrified of our own shadows. I'd used my last dollar to buy my son a cup of hot cocoa at the coffee shop where I had worked, occasionally. The owners, Rosalie and Emmett McCarty saw our weary souls and adopted us.
They gave us a roof over our heads, a safe place to land and a chance to finally recuperate from the nightmare of our escape from Forks. I was given a job and with the support of Rose and Emmett, who became my family, along with Rose's twin brother, Jasper, Seth was able to flourish. I went to night school, graduating with a degree in English Literature.
I'd also written a novel, telling my story. I'd obviously fictionalized it, but my best-selling novel, Long and Winding Road, was semi-autobiographical. Writing it was cathartic, to be honest. I was able to pour out my sadness, anger and fear onto the pages. I started writing in a flimsy notebook, at night when Seth was sleeping or during breaks at my menial jobs. After I'd landed at McCoffee Café, I was able to purchase a refurbished laptop. When I wasn't working on papers for college, I was typing the novel.
"I have returned," Emmett boomed as he walked into the café. "I have coffee, too. A brand new Colombian blend. I think it will sell really well!"
"You left Mom alone, Uncle Em," Seth snapped.
"Seth Michael Swan, you apologize to Uncle Emmett," I chided. "I was fine. I'm fine."
"Sorry, Uncle Em," Seth grumbled, picking up his backpack. "I'm going upstairs. I have homework." He skirted past the gentle giant of a man and ran up to our apartment above the shop.
"I probably should have waited. I'm so sorry, Bella," Emmett sighed, putting the boxes he'd been carrying behind the counter. "I know you don't like …"
"Emmett, you're fine," I said. "Eric was in the back and I only had two customers."
"Why don't you go check on Seth? I'll stay here until Rose gets back with the kids," Emmett smiled. "Thanks for stepping in, last minute."
"Not a problem. I was just doing some editing today. It's the least I could do," I replied.
"You coming over for dinner tomorrow?" Emmett asked. "Rose is making her famous mac and cheese!"
"We'll be there," I nodded. I hugged my friend and followed my son's footsteps. Using my key, I unlocked the door and heard some music from Seth's bedroom. Our apartment was small, but it was ours. The furniture was found at rummage sales and second-hand stores. The only things that we'd purchased new was the bedding and towels. The mattresses might be used, but I was not going to buy used sheets or towels. Gross …
I padded to our tiny kitchen and I pulled out stuff for dinner. Seth walked out with his brow furrowed. "Mom, there was a message on the machine."
Yes, we lived in the dark ages and still had a landline. Even though I'd gotten paid a pretty penny for my novel, I couldn't stop living frugally. So, we had a landline and an answering machine. Seth had a pay-as-you-go phone. I had a refurbished iPhone that Rose gave me. It had been hers before she upgraded. She gave me her old phone so I can be a little more up-to-date.
"What did the message say?" I asked.
"It was some movie studio," Seth said. "Here, let me play it for you." He walked to the kitchen phone, pressing the button on our answering machine.
"Hello, I'm calling for Isabella Swan, the author of the novel, Long and Winding Road. I'm with Summit Studios and we'd like to meet with you to discuss purchasing the rights to produce your novel, Long and Winding Road, into a movie. It's filled with so much and it would really translate onto the big screen. If you would like, please call me, Laurent Schneider, at 213-555-0623 at your earliest convenience. You can also email me at lschneider at . I look forward to hearing from you."
Seth was sitting at the kitchen table, his eyes wide. "Mom, this guy is legit," Seth said. He turned around my dilapidated computer and showed me a picture of Laurent Schneider on Summit's website. "What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to think about it," I answered honestly. "For now, I want to enjoy dinner with my favorite son."
"I'm you're only son," Seth snickered.
"Semantics," I quipped. "Now, do you want tacos or enchiladas?"
A/N: Here's the prologue of a new story that I've had bubbling in my mind for a while now. I adopted it from someone in the Twi-Fic Plot Bunny Farm. I pray I do it justice.
Thanks to Clo for creating the banners for me. They're gorgeous! You can see those, along with pictures of the characters and other things on my blog. You can access that from a link on my profile. I'm also on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Appreciation. I'm on twitter, too: tufano79.
I don't know the update schedule for this story. As soon as I do, I'll let you all know. I'll see you on the flipside, kids!