FOREVER AND ALWAYS

I do not own these characters Stephanie Meyer does, I absolutely loved the story and the connection between Edward and Bella, but it always bugged me how well adjusted these two star crossed lovers were in the books. Both would have massive abandonment issues, along with issues of self-worth, and bottom is that teenagers are morons. So here is my love story of two idiots and complete martyrs. Please forgive me on any continuity or corrections in the story as this is my first foray into writing and I do not have a beta. So please be gentle and enjoy the emotional rollercoaster with a bad safety rating.

I knew in my heart what was going to happen that night…

I had been stuck at work with Tanya, hoping that I could see Bella that evening. When she answered the phone, I could tell that she was already drunk. My heart fell, wishing that she hadn't even bothered to answer at all. It was almost as if she wanted me to know what she was doing. To rub it in my face, that she was out enjoying herself with Jessica Stanly and Lauren Mallory. Even before we graduated, they had become know as the party girls. Where they went drugs and alcohol followed, and it was like she wanted me to know it was no longer me that she wanted. The music in the background was blaring and mixed with the nasal laughter of Lauren and the cackles of Jessica saying stop it in a playful tone. Male voices made my heart drop, and panic took over. My manhood fell away as I begged and pleaded with the love of my life to not go through with it. I didn't care what it was, or what she had already done, but what she was going to do. "Bella, please don't do it" I begged. She huffed distracted by whatever was going on in the background. "What Edward, I'm not doing anything we are just having a girl's night" she said sounding annoyed. The male voices got closer and louder, and I knew it had to be James Hunter, and Laurant. They were the local drug dealers in Forks, and I fucking hated them both. "Bella love, please, I will come and get you, I'll take you anywhere you want to go, please" my voice broke knowing what was going to happen. She was drunk, possibly high. She would laugh and flirt as James would press her with more booze, more drugs, more escape. She would laugh and protest, but only halfheartedly. After all they were already at the hotel, and things would get a little wilder, a little darker. Teasing touches made in jest, would fall away to full on caresses and sweet words. Fueled on by a loss of inhibitions, sharp edges made soft and fuzzy by the ecstasy and alcohol. Thoughts of why not, because bad decisions didn't exist when you were fucked up. "Edward stop, give me a goddamn break already" she huffed exasperated by my pleading. "Yeah Edward", yelled Jessica. I could make out her distinct voice in the background, all hot airhead, and half slut. "Quit trying to control her Eddie" that was Lauren and sounded like it was right up against the phone. The knife twisted deeper as I heard "Edward, I gotta go". "Wait please, I love you…." But she had already hung up. I dropped the phone and collapsed against the wall sliding down to the floor. I had lost her, the moment the phone hung up I knew she was no longer mine. Someone else's hands would be touching her, kissing her, tasting her. How had I fucked things up so badly, what had I done to drive her away…

"Dr. Swan, your 4 o'clock appointment is here" Gianna's voice rang out. I reached across the desk to press the intercom button. "Thank you, Gianna, you can send in" I trailed off forgetting the name of my next appointment. I grabbed for my appointment book and started flipping trying to remember who this appointment was with. "Um, you can send in… Mr. Smith? Strange, but not that strange some people used a fake name, and this was only a pre-consultation. A basic interview between the patient and therapist to find out if we would be a good fit. I flipped through my notebook again to try and find out what I had written down about this soon to be patient. I found my scribbled notes, Male age 26, a little older than me, but what caught my attention was that I wrote down that he was a Marine. My heart constricted and I quickly beat back an image of him. I heard the door open, but I couldn't pull my eyes from my notes, as I fought back memory after memory. I heard Gianna say, "just have a seat sir" was there a waver in Gianna's voice?

I closed the notebook with a huff, and moved to straighten up, when, in my most awesome bout of clumsiness, I ended up knocking most of the papers and files into my lap and under my desk. "crap" I fumed and pushed my glasses up on my nose. "Please Excuse me Mr.…Uh, I dropped to my knees and started scooping the papers up. I felt my face burn in embarrassment, as I spaced on the man's name. "Mr.…Mr.… " I trailed off when I heard , "Cullen" and I froze. All the blood in my body suddenly disappeared and my heart stopped. "Bella" the voice said, but I couldn't bring my eyes up from the floor. Two very large boots appeared before me, "Bella" the voice said again. My heart gave a painful lurch, and then two very large hands neatly stack my files together before me. I forced my eyes up to find a Huge Beaming smile. "Still my klutzy Bella Bear" he said? Before I could register what, I was doing, I was launching myself from the floor and into the arms of Emmett Cullen. Two Massive arms smashed my little body into his chest. "Emmett" I murmured unable to move or talk, or breathe. "My Bells" he bellowed, and in a desperate move I pinched is hip flesh as hard as I could. He yelped and dropped me on my bottom.

I took a huge, needed breath. "Damn Bella" he moaned rubbing his hip. I rubbed my butt and laughed, what are you doing here you big Oaf! Emmett's wide grin slowly fell, and my stomach fell with it. One of his hands slowly ran through his hair, and I had a flash of memory. He used to do that whenever he was nervous or scared. "I…I need your help Bella, no, no, he shook his head and leveled me with a stare. Edward needs your help", my heart constricted. Emmett helped me up, and I motioned for him to have a seat on the couch. I ran my hands over my blouse and my skirt trying to smooth out the mess Emmett had made. I let myself think about Edward for the first time in what seemed like forever.

Memories that I had locked up, caged away, came bursting forth like a tidal wave. Edward dressed in a Tux smiling his breathtaking crooked smile at me at prom. Edward's intense green eyes boring into mine as he said he loves me. Edward breaking my heart as he said he wasn't good enough for me. Edward begging me for forgiveness, tears in his endless green eyes. Edward completely broken as I told him he wasn't enough. "Bella" Emmett spoke breaking me from my thoughts. I didn't even notice the tears that had fallen from my eyes as I looked up into his concerned face. I quickly wiped at my cheeks, "I'm sorry Emmett, I wondered what Edward had told his brother. Surely, he must have known all the horrible things that I had done to Edward. "Bella, I don't know what happened between the two of you back then. Honestly Edward still won't talk about it, but I do know how much you mean to him. "what" I choaked out in surprise. "Bella don't ask me how I know but I just do ok, and he is really in a bad way right now. Nothing seems to be helping, but then Alice mentioned to Rose that you had become a therapist and opened a practice here in Port Angeles. He was rambling now his hands flailing wildly. You see I love my brother, and I refuse to see him waste away! His hands came down hard on the desk and I jumped.

Emmett it's ok I reached for his hands. Why don't you tell me what's going on and I'll see what I can recommend. It was so strange to see such a massive man show such emotion. I rubbed his palm when I saw tears in his eyes. He saw me staring and stood up quickly and started rubbing his hand through his hair again, and this time I smiled at the gesture. "This is so hard" he whispered. Its fine, take your time…. How is Rose by the way. Emmett's head turned to face me, and his smile was wide and as bright as the sun. "Pregnant and mean" he guffawed. Congratulations Daddy I laughed. "It's a girl Bella, can you believe that a baby girl" "ha" I laughed, "that will be the most loved and well protected little girl ever" I said. "With you, Jasper, and Ed…. Edward as uncles. I had said his name out loud, I was secretly proud of myself. That was until I saw the dark cloud cover Emmett's features. "Yeah, we will see" he said. The smile faltering on his face. "Well again congratulations" I said trying to get him back on a happier topic. "Yeah, you should see Rosie" he said holding his hands out in front of his belly and waggling his eyebrows. "Wait how long has it been Bella"? "I guess a couple of years" I feigned. I knew that it had been exactly 4 years, 2 months, and 17 days since the last time I saw Edward Cullen. And for the first time in a long time, I let a memory of Edward Cullen take me over.

It was Tyler Crowley's birthday party and everyone from school was crammed into his parent's house. Music blared and somehow after a few beers I felt a warm presence sit down next to me on the couch. I had known it was Edward before I even looked up. His smell was always so divine, the smell of clean linen and sunshine. "Hi" he said in a soft voice. I looked up to meet his eyes, and I couldn't stop the huge goofy smile that spread across my face. But then it immediately fell when I met those deep green pools. I was never fully prepared for how beautiful Edward was and the intensity in his brilliant green eyes. It always took my breath away. Edward held a timed smile, and those eyes that I loved so much held a hint of fear in them. "How are you" I whispered back", God I hated this, how had we come to this. This sweet gentle man looked wary. Like I wouldn't talk to him, or like I would somehow physically assault him. "Good" he said slightly nodding. "I um, um I brought you a beer" he said quickly and ran a hand through his hair. It made the wild locks stand even more on end, but I knew it meant he was nervous. My fingers ached to run through them as well, to see if they were still as soft as I remembered. "Thank you, Edward, but I already have one" I said and instantly regretted it as Edward's face fell, and then he noticed the brown bottle I currently had a death grip on. "Ok Um, sorry Bella" he rocked forward slightly his hand plunged into his hair again. "Right" he said slapping his denim clad thigh. He made to get up and I instinctively reached out and touched his forearm. Don't go I thought.

That familiar spark shot through my body making me tingle all the way to my toes. "You could have it with me" I stumbled over the words. Edward leaned back staring hard at my fingers on his arm, and I let go. His eyes met mine and that crooked smile broke across his features, and I felt my heart swell. I loved that smile more than anything, it radiated like my own personal sun and filled me with warmth. "Thank you, Bella, but you see I am driving these idiots tonight', he winked and nodded his head in the direction of Emmett and Jasper. Emmett had Rosalie thrown over his shoulder playfully swatting her amazing ass, as he bellowed out some song I didn't recognize. I also caught a glimpse of Alice dragging a very drunk Jasper into the bathroom for what she called a little bit of slap and tickle. "But it would be nice if we could just hang out, um if that is ok with you". There was the weary look again, God how did things ever get so messed up between us. I loved this boy with every ounce of my being, and I knew for a fact that he loved me just as much. And yet here we sat awkwardly next to one another. He had apologized so many times for breaking up with me over a year ago. I knew he regretted it, but it didn't stop me from taking him back and then slowly crushing him for hurting me. I hated myself for what I had done and what I had become. And I had gotten my wish, I did things that I will never forgive myself for, and yet Edward was there to forgive me. Well for the things he knew about…I didn't deserve him, so I broke his heart, like he had broken mine. For as much as I wanted to be with him, I knew I was poison. So, no matter how hard he tried, or how badly I wanted him…we could never be.

"Bella if that's not cool, I can leave, I um I guess Jasper and Emmett can call me when they need a ride" he said. I felt my heart tear open at the hopelessness in his voice. "No No, please don't be silly we can hang out, if you want to" I'm such a horrible person please run from me Edward run. He smiled that smile again I felt myself melt a little. "I would love that" he said, and a true smile reached his eyes. And I couldn't help the smile that matched his. The next few hours flew by as Edward, and I talked and laughed falling back into that easy intense bubble that I remembered. At one point I realized I was drunk, but I couldn't be sure if it was from the beer or just Edward. We were falling into old habits, I noticed we were suddenly sitting so close to one another. My hand was on his thigh and his hand was wrapped around my waist, his lovely fingers gently stroking the flesh above my hip. I couldn't remember the last time I had been this happy and relaxed. Honestly, I wouldn't have noticed until a teary-eyed Alice had plopped down next to me on the couch. "OMG are you guys; I mean you two just look so "I instantly looked to Edward and his huge smile. But fear got the best of me, and I pulled my hand away. I saw Edward swallow hard and try to keep the smile on his face, but it didn't reach his eyes. I could see the devastation in those eyes, the light in them darkened and I suddenly felt sick.

I made to stand up, but halfway up the room went sideways, and I started to fall. Two strong arms wrapped around me and lifted me from the ground. I couldn't focus on Edward, but I heard myself squeak "Bathroom". He chuckled and gently he carried me to the downstairs bathroom. He placed me next to the toilet and pulled my hair away from my face that now felt like it was on fire. "Go Away" I croaked knowing that any moment I would be sick. "Love I'm not going anywhere" he laughed. "Don't want you to see me like this "I gasped trying to breathe. "Bella this is not the first time I have seen you throw up, and it won't be the last" he said stroking my back. Why did he have to be so perfect, and me so worthless. "Please let me take care of you Bella" God the desperation in his voice, the pure love that I felt radiating from his strong hand rubbing my back. Why, why, why did things have to be so fucked up…and then I retched. After a few horrid minutes of pleading with God and promising that I would never drink again. A cold glass of water was placed in my hand and cold wash cloth was gently laid on my forehead. I slowly rinsed my mouth and wiped my tear-stained face. I looked up into Edwards crooked smile. The sheer beauty of this man always caught me off guard. Before I thought better of it, I spoke "you're too good for me Edward, I'm poison" Edward just chuckled shaking his head "I'm not perfect Bella, not even close. There is shit you don't know about me; about things and people I have failed. But you Bella, he reached down and pulled me up as if I weighed nothing, You Make Me Want to Be. His hands were on my waist, those long fingers wrapped around my torso. His wild hair fell in his eyes that bore into my very soul. I found myself being drawn into him slowly reaching up as his head slowly dipped down. No, no, no, I was poison unworthy, but dear god I loved him, I wanted him. He smiled "let's get you to bed" he whispered. "Yes please" I purred and then burped slapping my hand over my mouth. Edward's head fell backward laughing wildly. "Oh crap" I laughed too and fell into his arms. He squeezed me tight, and it felt wonderful. We finally stopped and I pulled back looking up at him "Bed Please". "As you wish" he smiled, and I swooned.

We stepped out of the bathroom, and I saw everyone staring at us with smiles on their faces. I blushed at the attention and smiled back feeling Edward's arm pull me closer. The smile fell through when I heard the voice of James Hunter. Shit what was he doing here? I felt my stomach drop and all the blood drain from my face. James was someone who I had used to get drugs from and cheated on Edward. Edward didn't know anything about that horrible night, and I was desperate for him to not find out. I reached up on my toes and whispered into Edward's ear "Take me upstairs". Edward shivered and smiled down at me "Yes Mam". We slowly weaved through the crowd towards the stairs, and I lost track of James. Hurry Edward Hurry I thought. One step. Two Steps. We were slowly moving up the stairs and I relaxed slightly thinking we were safe when I heard it. "Hey, where are you taking my girl," said an unpleasant voice. Our progress on the stairs halted and I felt Edward go rigid, his arm tightening around my shaking body. "Excuse me!" Edward's voice was sharp, and commanding. He turned slowly and I could see James now. His long greasy blond hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail, and a shit eating grin was plastered on his face. "Oh, you must be that Cullen kid" he said. "Shut up James" I spat. Please God let him leave us alone. "Why Bella, that's not nice, now is it" James sneered. Edward looked down at me "you know this guy" he asked? There was disbelief in his eyes, and disappointment. In that moment I truly felt like I was worthless. "Please" I choaked out. "Damn Bella, you sure didn't mention him the last time we hung out, but then again your lips were pretty busy" James grinned knowing exactly what he was inferring. I felt sick, and the room began to spin again. I looked to Edward, and his sharp jaw was locked in hatred as he staired at James. "Oh, buddy she must be fucked up again, she gets wild when she's messed up" James said, while waggling his eyebrows at Edward. "That's enough!" Edward shouted. The entire party came to a screeching halt as his words echoed throughout the house. "Chill out man, I'm just trying to congratulate you on hitting that". James had barely finished speaking when Edward launched himself at James.

The sickening thunder of Edwards fist meeting with James's Jaw made me gasp, and before I could blink Edward had leapt from the stairs, slamming James against the wall. An agonized roar ripped from Edward as he landed blow after blow to James's face and body. Blood splattered against the wall as I stood frozen on the stairs. "Shut your Fucking mouth you piece of shit"! he raged standing over the crumpled body. His knuckles were covered in blood, and his chest heaved. I had never seen Edward like this before, he resembled an avenging angel, wild and unhinged, and gorgeous. Time stood still, the world was frozen, that is until he looked at me. Our eyes locked and I saw all the anger, all the ferocity, all the life drain from his face. His shoulders fell, and he looked down at his hands and then at James's body. Tears welled in those beautiful green eyes. It was at that moment that Emmett and Jasper came bounding through the crowd of stunned children. Jasper looked down at the body on the floor, and Emmett yelled "what the fuck Edward". Edward looked back at me and the devastation in his eyes destroyed me. I wanted to die in that moment. I had done this; it was my fault. Edward's lip trembled and he mouthed "Why"? I made a move towards Edward, but I was cut off by Emmett's massive form as he grabbed his brother and began to shove him towards the front door. I tried to move, to free my body from paralysis, but I was frozen in shame. Maybe just maybe Edward would understand that I was worthless, someone who did not deserve to be loved by him or anyone.

I watched as Edward's body was almost through the front door, his shoulders hunched, his head down. "Edward" I whispered so softly I could barely hear myself. I wanted to say how sorry I was, sorry for this night, sorry for everything I had ever done to him. In that moment Edward's head shot up, and he pulled himself from Emmett's grasp. He spun finding me frozen at the bottom of the stairs, tears pouring from my eyes. Emmett attempted to spin Edward back around and get him through the front door, but Edward shoved his brother away and leapt towards me. I flinched at his speed and closeness, never once thinking Edward would ever hurt me. His shaking hands cupped my jaw and his eyes bore into my own. "I don't care Bella, just please…I am begging you, tell me you love me". "Tell me you want me back; Bella I am so sorry I did this to us" he sobbed. My heart thundered in my ears as he continued. "Please…I love you, tell me please" his words faded but his eyes stayed locked onto my own. It felt as if someone was crushing my heart as he begged me, pleaded for a forgiveness that he did not need. It was I who should have been begging for his forgiveness, but I was still frozen, unable to speak. Finally, Emmett's voice broke the spell, "Lets fucking go". His massive hands landed on Edward's shoulders, and Edward's head dropped breaking our contact. Emmett was finally able to drag his brother out the front door.

I did not know if I could do this. I was sitting in my SUV watching the rain slowly slide down the windshield. I clutched my phone in my hands watching the time slowly creep closer to 1oclock. Emmett had said the ceremony would start at exactly 1pm and it was 12:45. I was eternally grateful for my SUV's tinted windows as I watched more and more people, I had known from high school walk past my parking space. Jesus Bella get a grip, it's time to put on my big girl panties and go inside the church. "Ugh" I groaned and flipped down my sun visor to check my face one more time in the mirror. I had my hair pulled back and held back with a dark grey band. I pushed my black eyeglass frames up my nose and brushed down my top and skirt. I opened the driver's door to the rain and nearly killed myself trying to scramble into the building in heels. Of course, in my rush to get here on time I had forgotten my umbrella at home.

Once inside the building I kept my head down and tried to find an inconspicuous spot in the very back of the church. Looking up I saw that almost all of the pews were full. I didn't think that many people knew the Cullen's, but it looked like almost the whole town was here to welcome Edward home. Strange I thought to myself, everyone seems very somber. Emmett Had not told me very much in the office. He had only stated that Edward was in a very bad way. Emmett said Edward was coming home from the Marines along with his best friend Ben Chaney, and that the ceremony was today at 1pm. I scanned the crowd from my vantage point deep in the back. I could see Carlisle and Esme Cullen sitting up front in the first pew. It had been years since I had seen either of Edwards adopted parents, but they still looked amazing. Carlisle was immaculate in a dark black suit and tie, and Esme was beautiful in a dark black dress. She sat her arm wrapped around what looked to be Angela Webber whose shoulders shook slightly as if she was crying. I felt a nagging at the back of my mind. "Ladies and Gentlemen" said pastor Webber Angela's dad. "We are gathered here today in support, in celebration, and remembrance" a dark cloud fell over Mr. Webber's face. My mind screamed at me; something is not right here. I began searching the crowd. The doors to my left were thrown open and out came 6 very tall men dressed in full dress blue Marine corps uniforms. My heart stopped beating as I watched the men carry a long dark coffin draped in the American flag…

My mouth fell open as the small procession moved past me. My eyes flew across the room when the strangled cry of Angela Webber ripped throughout the small church. I saw Esme's face crumple as tears poured down her cheeks and Carlisle rested a shaking hand on her shoulder. Oh, dear god no…Emmett you sonofabitch, where the fuck was Edward. I stood scanning the crowd desperate to find a shock of brownish red hair. I couldn't breathe as I grabbed at my chest. Oh, dear God please no, I though as my legs threatened to give out. He couldn't be dead, there is no way Emmett would have tricked me into coming to find the love of my life was no more. I spotted Jasper as he stood up, his arms wrapped around an crying Alice. Then Emmett rose tears In his eyes. I moved out of the pews into the aisle my brain trying desperately to make sense of the scene before me. I clasped my hands and fell to my knees, there before the massive cross and the coffin now being gently laid to rest on a large dais I prayed. I had never been religious but in that moment, I begged God in the most selfish ways ever for that body in the flag draped coffin to be anyone other than Edward. It had been years since I had seen Edward or spoken to him, but I had spent so many years trying to fix myself so that one day I could be worthy of him. He couldn't be gone. Not before I got the chance to make it right. I was getting angry and stood up furious, a world without Edward Cullen was a world undeserving.

It was when I stood up that I saw it. A shock of brownish bronze hair sitting in the first pew trying to comfort Angela Webber. And just like the Christmas grinch, my heart swelled and grew 4 sizes that day. I felt myself moving forward, I wanted to bound down the aisle and throw myself into his arms. I wanted to scream at him for scaring me like this. Mr. Webber started speaking again saying how proud he was to have known Ben Chaney. He spoke about how Ben had died a hero, and that he had been so happy that Ben and his daughter had found love together. "NOOOOOOO" Angela screamed, and everything stopped as Angela pushed Edward away. She stood and rounded on Edward, "you promised me" she screamed. I watched as Edwards outstretched hands slowly fell along with his head. In a flash she lashed out slapping Edward hard in the face, the sound ricocheting throughout the tiny quiet church. Esme jumped up wrapping Angela in a tight hug, pulling her away from her son. But Angela continued on "It's your fault Edward, you said you would protect him". "He followed you and you got him killed" she screamed. "It should be your in that box Edward" she wailed and fell into the arms of Esme who slowly brought her back down to her seat. "It should have been you" she whispered. You could have heard a pin drop as everyone sat in stunned silence. Then I heard it, Edward's soft velvet voice rang out "I wish it was me". Then to my horror I watched my beautiful Edward slowly roll out of the church's side exit in a wheelchair.