A/N: This is my first go at a full length story. It's very loosely based on the movie Pretty Woman. I loved Richard Gere in this movie. He played a fantastic piano playing Edward.
Disclaimer: The wonderful Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I just get to play with her characters occasionally.
Power and Pretenses
Where am I? I thought as I looked around my unfamiliar surroundings. I had walked for hours. What started out as a light mist had turned into a steady down pour. I didn't recognize the part of New Jersey that I was in either. I tried to find anything that looked familiar but it was all identical. I cursed myself for being so out of it that I didn't pay attention to where I was going.
The only thing I was sure of was that this part of the city was where a woman did not want to be roaming by herself. What was I going to do? Tears started to snake their way down my cheeks, mixing with the rain that was dripping from my hair.
A passing car slowed down as it drove by. The bass was bumping so hard it rattled the windows of the storefronts. The passenger rolled down the window as they lowered the stereo.
"Hey kitten, How much to go for a ride?" I ducked my head and continued to walk quicker, hoping that by ignoring them they would go away. Unfortunately the car stopped and the man got out.
"Hey baby! I'm talking to you! Don't you want some fun lovin'?" He purred as he walked toward me.
By this time I was terrified. I started running, only to trip my way into the street. The driver was now out of the car and both were coming closer as another car stopped right in front of me. I looked up and saw a police officer who rolled down his widow.
"Are you all right?" He asked vaguely concerned. I turned around and saw that the men that were following me had gone back to their car. They pulled away when I turned back to the officer.
"Yes, I think I'm okay now." He looked at me and gave me a wink.
"You better find yourself a John and get out of this weather."
What! I thought as he rolled up the window and pulled away. I thought he was a police officer. Aren't they supposed to uphold the law? Aren't they supposed to arrest prostitutes? I was trying desperately not to think about what he thought about me. I was NOT that person. Looking at my clothes you wouldn't know it though.
The tears that stopped while I was being followed had now returned with fervor over the comments made by the officer. Almost the same thing Mike had said to me when he threw me out of our apartment. How could he have done this to me? All I ever did was love him and do everything that he asked of me. It was never enough! I ducked under an awning of a boarded up shop, contemplating how I had gotten into this mess. My mind automatically went to the happenings of this dreadful day.
Mike had called earlier and said that he was taking me to dinner to make up for the way he had behaved earlier in the week. He told me to wear his favorite dress and the four inch stilettos that I hated but wore anyway because he liked them. I spent most of the afternoon getting ready. He always liked it when I wore my hair down in curls and add more make-up than I was comfortable wearing. But I did it…because I loved him.
He was making up for the scene he had caused at my work. He had come into the bookstore and cornered the assistant manager. He pushed him up against the bookshelves in the back of the store and threatened him because he thought he wanted to take me out.
Eric was nothing but nice to me in the past, but with my crazy boyfriend causing a scene and destroying a few displays on his way out I was let go. That was not a surprise to me. This had happened on two other occasions as well.
Why I was working in a bookstore was a question I still couldn't answer. I was completely over qualified and had my dream job when I met Mike, but that only lasted for a few months before he caused a drunken scene at the annual Christmas party. I was let go a couple weeks later, right before Christmas. They said they were downsizing, but I knew what the real reason was. Without the recommendation from my first employer, which was also where I had interned, I didn't have much hope in finding another job like the first.
The second job had a similar ending. I was working as a legal secretary for a law firm in Manhattan. Mike had come in to take me to lunch and saw me talking with a male co-worker. He laid him out with one punch and dragged me outside. Mike had never gotten physical with me, but at that time I was concerned he might. After pulling me out of the office he pushed me in the car and ranted all night over what a lousy girlfriend I was. Because of Mike's jealous outburst I ended up without another job. They thought I quit, and in my haste, left everything behind. Since it was such a competitive position they filled it that afternoon. So when I showed up the next day they wouldn't take me back.
Mike was due home in about an hour to pick me up for our dinner when I received an odd phone call.
"Hello?" I said while slipping the silver hoop earrings on as I answered the phone. The line was quiet for a moment.
"Is this Isabella?" The female caller asked.
"Yes, who is this?"
"Is this the Isabella that is living with Mike Newton?" I started to panic a little at her hostile tone.
"Yes, who is this?" I repeated hoping to get to the bottom of the rude woman on the other line.
"It's not important who I am. What is important is that I have been seeing Mike for the last four months."
"Excuse me? I'm not sure that I understand what you're saying."
She let out a frustrated breath. "I have been sleeping with your boyfriend for the last four months. Are you dense or something?"
A lump formed in my throat. This couldn't be happening. Would he really have done this to me?
"Who is this?" I repeated again thinking maybe this was a practical joke that someone was going to shout 'Just kidding!'
"Listen, I told Mike if he didn't tell you by today then I was going to call and do it for him. I guess he never talked to you, did he?" I couldn't believe what she was saying and just sat there for a few minutes trying to digest her words.
"Look, I've said what I need to say. Maybe now you'll move out and leach off of someone else. Mike doesn't want to be with you anymore. He wants me. He's told me all about how you don't do anything and that you are living off of the kindness that he provides to you. He's also told me about all the men that you prance in front of him. You just need to leave now." Then the phone went dead.
I slid down to the floor in the kitchen clutching the phone to my chest. I was still in that position when Mike came home. He took one look at me and knew so his first reaction was to jump to the defensive when I confronted him with the phone call.
"What about all those men that you worked with? I knew that you were sleeping with everyone of them."
"That's ridiculous. I have never stepped out on you Mike."
"That's bull Bella and you know it. It wouldn't surprise me if you slept your way up the corporate ladder when I met you." I was shocked at what he was saying. This was not about me! This was about him and that woman on the phone. "You'd spread your legs like a common whore to get ahead."
The tears welled up in my eyes at the hateful words he was hurling at me. I turned to walk away when he grabbed my arm and whirled me around in the process ripping the sleeve of my dress down.
"Don't you dare walk away from me." He seethed, spittle spraying on my face from between his teeth.
I struggled to get away, but he grabbed the other sleeve and ripped it away, then grabbed the front of the bodice, tearing a slit to my waste. The fire that danced in his eyes was frightening. I had never seen him this mad before, not even when he dragged me out of my office.
"There! You look more like what you are."
He then reached down again and grabbed the flowing scarves on the bottom of the skirt, ripping each one off as I stood there stunned at the sheer cruelty that was pouring out of his mouth and actions. By the time he was finished he stood back and looked at his handy work. All the scarf pieces that were attached at the bottom of my dress were now gone which only left a small piece of fabric barely covering my butt. He smiled cruelly at me.
"Now get out! You're nothing but a well paid whore! That's all you ever were to me. Nobody would ever want you as anything more! You're worthless, stupid and disgusting. Now leave!" He roughly pushed me towards the door.
All I wanted was to be out of that apartment. I would have ran to the door to escape if he hadn't shoved me so hard that I couldn't keep my balance. He opened the door, put his hand on my lower back and heaved me out. I slammed into the wall across from the door and slid slowly down to the ground, crying at the horror of what had just happened.
"You better be gone by the time Jessica gets here or I'll have you physically removed." At that he slammed the door.
I sat there in stunned silence, tears coursing down my face. I needed to get out of there. I quickly got to my feet and exited the building as fast as I could. I was in such a state of shock that I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and that's how I ended up lost in a bad neighborhood. I had nowhere to go since all of my friends were driven away by Mike. He really had ruined everything for me.
I thought about my last friend that didn't give up trying to make me see what Mike really was. He was there for me since we were children up until I sent him away because my friendship with him was causing too many problems between with Mike. I still remember the look on his face when I told him I never wanted to see him again. His big puppy dog eyes pleaded with me not to do it. But I had no choice. I had to give him up for peace in my home.
Look where that has gotten me today.
I was now on the streets with nobody to turn to, not even Jake. As I thought his name I closed my eyes and let out a long frustrated cry. I should have been watching where I was going because my foot twisting in a pothole in the pavement and I went down hard. I knew I had twisted my ankle from the amount of pain there was. I gave up at that moment and laid my head on the sidewalk in the pouring rain and cried wondering when things were ever going to improve.
Oh my, this is painful to read after 2 years. I promise my writing gets better as I go. This was a first time try at a story, and I'm too busy to go back and fix my sloppy writing and love my readers too much to pull this one too. So, don't judge to harshly, I've learned a lot since the beginning. Thanks for reading!