Disclaimer: I don't own or have any rights over Twilight!!

The format is a little weird in the middle...not sure why (could be my freakish comuter)!!

A/N1: So I got this idea while watching 'Private Practice'. I have never written anything like it therefore I don't know what it is like!! Please feel free to criticise or suggest things! Every little helps!

A/N2: This story in pre Breaking Dawn. Bella is still human, but engaged!

A/N3: Just for anyone who isn't sure; Mark is the cop that works with Charlie!


I knocked on the door, pulling the sleeves of my jacket down further over my arms. It was too humid to be wearing it but I could not risk anyone seeing the purposeful bruises that littered my pale skin. Everyone would jump to the wrong conclusion, no-one would understand like I did. He never meant to hurt me. He was always really sorry afterward. I know that he totally appreciates what I am doing for him.

There were butterflies in my stomach. I hadn't seen Edward in three days, putting the reunion off until the bruises started fading slightly. Sadly, I couldn't possibly wait; I wasn't strong enough to survive another Edwardless day.

"Bella!" Alice exclaimed as she opened the door. Without waiting for a reply she took my hand and dragged me up the stairs. "Edward had to step out for a second" she said as we walked. "But I wanted to give you a top that I bought for you."

By now was standing in front of Alice's extravagant closet gazing at her in wonder as she extracted a pretty baby blue V-neck top.

"Try it on" she ordered shoving an expensive top into my hands. I knew that there was no point in arguing but I couldn't hide the look of terror that dawned on my face when I realised that it was short sleeved. There was no way that I could hide the vicious bruises without the protection of sleeves.

"Thanks Alice" I smiled trying to buy time. "Maybe I could try it on later though…"

My suggestion was blown out of the water. "Please Bella" Alice pleaded. She slipped her hand into mine and led me to her bathroom. She all but pushed me in there and closed the door behind me.

After I had changed I studied myself in the mirror. The top did look nice but my eyes were immediately drawn to my battered skin. Most of the bruises were yellowing and fading, there were some fresh ones that looked awful and there was that big white bandage that I had awkwardly wrapped around a bad sprain on my wrist.

"What happened you?" Alice demanded in an appalled voice. She was no doubt picturing a dramatic scene in which I fell over and ended up in a hospital bed for days.

The sound of her voice made me jump, I hadn't heard her come in. "I fell" I answered with as much conviction as I could muster but of course the blood rushed to my cheeks giving me away. Even though I had successfully lied to Charlie, lying to Alice was going to be a little harder.

"Try again" she suggested folding her arms. I got a sinking feeling that I wasn't leaving this room until she had her information. She started tapping her foot impatiently. I could almost see her brain working behind her eyes.

"Edward doesn't have to know" I whispered resignedly. She would eventually figure it out, there was no point fighting that.

"I'll be the judge of that" she insisted. A look of sudden realisation materialized in her eyes. She knew. "Mark?" she asked in a haunting whisper. "I knew that Charlie shouldn't have left you with him. I knew that he was a creep. God, Edward is going to go ballistic…" she blustered. I stopped listening as she continued ranting.

I was in trouble now. She would let Edward know, he would hurt Mark and then his secret would be out. None of this was Mark's fault anyway. The poor guy's wife had just left him. Charlie had offered that I help him out during the day; cleaning the house, cooking for him and stuff like that. If I didn't keep getting things wrong there would be no need for him to punish me. Therefore, by default, it was all my fault.

"May I?" Alice asked gently, gesturing to the bandage.

I held out my arm in consent. Carefully, with her feather light touch, she unwrapped it. Her face remained emotionless as she examined my wrist. Without warning she grabbed my other wrist and dragged to Carlisle's office.

"Bella?" he asked curiously as we rudely stormed into his room.

"It's nothing," I mumbled as I saw him peer at my arms in astonishment "just a few bruises."

"What happened?" he asked, suddenly appearing business like.

I had my lie prepared "I was rushing to answer the door and I tripped" There was a strange, undeserved air of confidence in my voice. Maybe I was getting better at lying.
Alice knew that I was lying but said nothing to tell inform Carlisle otherwise. Although she didn't give me away, I knew that Carlisle didn't believe me for a fraction of a second.
With gentle hands he examined my wrist. With a quiet voice he asked me how I had treated it. With worried eyes he evaluated my every expression and movement.
"I assume," he mumbled after he had finished re-bandaging my wrist "that we are not telling Edward?"
"Please" I pleaded equally as quiet.
Carlisle just nodded and started putting away the equipment he had been using.
"Thanks for this Carlisle. I know that, even though you wouldn't dream of saying so, you disapprove of this but believe me when I say that my decision not to tell Edward is in an effort to protect him. If he gets hurt because of this situation I will never forgive myself."
Carlisle was about to answer when Alice grabbed my wrist again. (That was really starting to annoy me!) "He'll be home in a second and you need to put your jacket back on"
I nodded quickly allowing myself to be dragged along behind her. She ushered me into her room, replaced my jacket and fixed my tousled hair seconds before a quiet tap on Alice's door alerted us to his presence. My heart started to race as I realised that in under a minute I would be in Edward's arms. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Alice roll her eyes.

"Come in" she called in her melodic tone.

Before my brain could register any definite series of events I was being cradled in Edward's arms. He bent down and kissed me gently.

"Never, ever, leave me for that long again" he warned, kissing me again.

"Not an issue" I promised, not knowing if I would be able to remain true to my word. Would I have to evade him again for days? Would I be able to? The last three days were possibly three of the longest days of my life. I silently prayed that I would never let myself be put in that position again.

I was so lost in Edward's golden eyes that I had forgotten Alice's presence until I heard her clear her throat in a very dainty way. Edward turned me to face her.

"There's my Bella again" she sighed to herself before pulling me into a hug. "Don't worry" she assured me in a whisper. "Everything is going to be fine. I am going to go and sort this whole thing out and Edward will remain clueless"

"Clueless of what?" Edward asked suspiciously, his faultless hearing giving us away.

We both ignored him.

"Alice, I am more than able to look after myself. I should be the one telling you not to worry" I declared.

"One of the many advantages of having a vampire as a best friend is that you never have to worry or watch your back" she chimed with a smile that could only make me apprehensive. I watched her float out of the room trying to figure out what she was going to do. I had no doubt that she would be keeping a closer eye on my future from now on.

"Clueless to what?" Edward pressed, his voice becoming impatient.

"It's nothing." I smiled guiltily. Attempting to lie to him was so much harder than attempting to lie to Carlisle and Alice. I placed my arms back around his waist "Why don't we move back to your room?" I whispered suggestively. I knew that he wouldn't turn me down; a fool proof way of buying more time.

"So" Edward asked after he had finally prised his lips from mine. "Can I assume that the fact that you are wearing a jacket on the hottest day this summer has something to do with whatever little secret you and Alice have?" I couldn't help but notice the hint of resentment in his velvet voice.

Deciding that it would be better not to answer I just moved closer to Edward's perfect body seeking the comfort I so craved. He ran his fingers absent-mindedly through my hair as he waited for the response that he would never get.

"Bella?" he said eventually, obviously not satisfied with my dismissive silence. "What's going on?"

"Please don't wreck this" I pleaded. "Don't push this or I will get up and leave right now." There was little conviction in my voice and not much belief in his golden eyes as we both knew I was highly unlikely to ever walk out on Edward. All the same he didn't press the subject anymore.

"I love you" I whispered almost soundlessly, hoping that it would be some consolation to my darling Edward.

Thank you for reading!

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