Authors Note: This is my first published piece of fan fiction, please be kind. This is going to be several chapters, which I have written, but not edited quite yet. Thanks for reading and remember, nice reviews are better than chocolate.
Also, I have pictures on my profile of some of the places mentioned in the story, I'd suggest taking a look if you want to get a better idea of some of the things/places I'm trying to describe here. Enjoy :)
For reasons she wouldn't admit out loud, she hated staying late on Fridays to close the store. The girl with this shift always asked for someone to cover for her and Bella always obliged. I should just fire her…yeah, it's my damn store. She paused, waiting for the computer to finish shutting down. No, she's going through a rough time right now, cut her some slack. Bella sighed and turned off the computer, grabbing her coat.
She looked around her store, checking to see that everything was put away. The books were all in place, lining the many mahogany shelves, a poster announcing an authors signing sat near the big front window; everything was as it should be. Bella smiled to herself and pulled the cream shades down over the windows, and then she walked outside and locked the door.
Looking up and down the street, she didn't see his car. Looking in her purse she found her phone, noticing that it was on silent. Bella looked at the screen and noticed the new voicemail. "Damn." She listened to the message.
"Hi love; I'm stuck at the museum. Brian wants to rearrange my photos for the exhibit, something about the lighting. I'm so sorry, I'll try and duck out to come get you; would you just call me and wait at the store? I hate it when you walk home alone. Don't roll your eyes at me; I love you Bella. See you soon." She laughed quietly at the message and hit the 'send' button to call him back, still standing outside the store on the sidewalk. She listened to his voicemail pick up and left him a quick message telling him not to worry about it; she'd walk fast.
Bella looked out at the buildings around her. Her store was situated in a historical part of downtown. The buildings had what she thought of as personality, warm brick and beautiful stone work. Little independently owned shops dotted the street; small trees with little white lights lined the sidewalks. A few couples sat at small outdoor tables at the Italian restaurant two doors to the left and more people walked toward the various nightclubs on this street and the next. It's only 8 o'clock; I'll be fine.
She slipped on her khaki trench and left it unbuttoned; it was a nice, crisp evening out tonight. Pulling her purse higher on her shoulder, Bella walked right, the direction of the park. Rose Memorial was a medium sized park that split the east end of downtown with the more residential historical area. Bella's street bordered the opposite side of the park; lovely, brick townhomes lined the street, but Bella bought hers because of the view. It was early fall and the trees of Rose Memorial were beginning to change, turning red, yellow, and bright orange. Does anything else that's dying look this beautiful?
Stopping on the stretch of sidewalk that bordered the park, Bella considered her options. She could save herself time and energy and simply cut right through the middle as she usually did on those rare mornings Edward didn't drive her to the shop. She could walk around the perimeter, but it was almost all the way dark and she didn't feel totally comfortable walking at night. She was clumsy enough when she could actually see her feet. Or she could do what Edward wanted her to do from the start and go back to the store. Bella pulled out her phone one last time to call him; it rang a few times before going to voicemail again. With that, she sighed and put the phone back in her purse.
Lights rimmed the outside of the park and the walking paths, making it easier for Bella to keep her footing. She kept up a brisk pace and looked around as she walked, trying to seem assertive. She felt a slight tingling sensation on the back of her neck, but ignored it. The edge of the park and her street beyond that was almost in view. But almost wasn't quite close enough.
Without warning, something, someone, grabbed a hold of her hair and yanked her off her feet. Stunned, Bella tried to get her legs under her to right herself, but it was to no avail. Instead, she kicked a leg backwards aiming for her attacker. She missed. Squirming, she let out the beginnings of a scream that were cut off by his hand, moving over her mouth. He smelled like grime and cigarette smoke. Her body began to shake uncontrollably. Don't lose it, fight, dammit, do something! Oh my God, this is not happening. Suddenly, she could see a face in front of her. It startled her, there are two of them. Two. Of. Them. Bella couldn't quite make out his face; she realized they had dragged her off the path, out of the light. The first man pulled her hair tighter; she could feel strands ripping out. The second man grinned at her; Bella tried to discern his features, but her mind refused to focus. Summoning courage, Bella bit the hand covering her mouth. "Shit!" He loosened his grip on her momentarily, just long enough for her to let out a piercing scream before her world went black.