Summary: Separately, Edward and Bella's lives are at a crossroads, tortured by the decisions they've made in their past. When they are re-united after ten years, will they find comfort in the arms of an old friend or just trade one addiction for another? Of course it's OCC, way more for Bella than Edward.
Disclaimer: I wish I owned Edward, but alas it wasn't meant to be. All credit goes to Stephenie Meyer.
Chapter 1-Truth is all they're left with
"Em, come on. You know it's Thursday." Bella was grabbing various essentials and shoving them violently into her purse, almost dropping her cell phone completely.
"Can't you skip one. I haven't seen you in forever and I really don't want to take dad to this concert with me."
She felt horrible. Emmett was right. She had hardly seen him in the past month and would love nothing more than to go see Saliva in concert, but that night was too important.
"I'm sorry. I can't. Tonight's my five year. I can't just skip out. Plus, there is somebody I'm supposed to meet."
"Like a guy? I didn't think you were aloud to hook up at those kinda meetings."
"Em." She sighed at another one of her brother's attempts at getting her to settle down. "Not like that. I don't think I'd even know what to do with a guy anymore. I'm pretty out of practice. By the way, who are you to judge me? It's not like you've had a steady girlfriend since college."
"Where not talking about me. We're talking about you. Don't you think it's time to settle down with a nice guy and have a couple of kids?"
Bella sighed and shook her head as she slung her bag over her shoulder. "Let's not get into this again. If I meet a guys who will except me with all my baggage, I'll think about it. Now, Em, I've really got to go." She stepped out into her garage and got into her car.
"Okay, but you have to give me dinner Saturday night."
"Fine. I'll call you in the morning."
"Love you, Bells."
"You too, Em." She ended the call and tossed her phone in the passengers seat before pulling out of her drive and into the Seattle traffic.
Bella really did love her brother more than he would ever know. He was one of the main reasons she had come so far. Even with his constant nagging. He was there when she had no one, when she felt her life was worthless. She wondered then if she even deserved to go on living after what she'd done. Emmett reminded her of all the things to live for.
The memories of what happened that day five years ago had been flooding her mind for weeks. The shiver down her spine wasn't from the crisp Seattle weather. The thought of what lied in her past was slowly creeping into her present. She thought she was really getting past everything, but for some reason lately she'd felt herself starting to slip.
She pulled into the parking lot as the rain started to beat down even harder on her windshield. She knew she never wanted to be that Bella again. She needed to be strong and continue to help and be helped by the people that cared for her. The people that would help her celebrate how far she'd come the past five years.
"Al, I really don't need a babysitter." Edward nervously sat in the passengers seat of his sister's yellow Porsche.
She reached her hand over to pat his hand and stop his knee from bouncing. "You've only been home a few days. This is a really big step for you. Just let me be the one to take care of you for a change."
He sat quietly the rest of the drive dealing with the feelings of guilt and self-loathing filling his senses. He didn't feel worthy of Alice's generosity after everything he had put her through. He especially didn't feel like he deserved to take over her guest room and have her as his personal chauffeur.
He pulled down the visor to take a quick look at himself in the mirror. Not much left of the brilliant young musician he once was. The light purple rings beneath his eyes were proof of his endless sleepless nights. His disheveled bronze mess on top of his head was even more unmanageable. He thought his complexion was even paler than it usually was, if that was even possible.
"You'll be back to the old Edward in no time."
He flipped the visor back up and slumped back into the seat as they pulled into the parking lot. "I don't want to be the old Edward. I don't even want to be the recent Edward. I really have no idea who I am anymore."
Alice put the car in park. "When you decide, I'll be here."
"Thanks, Al." He rubbed his hands across the stubble on his cheeks attempting to gain the energy it would take to get out of the car.
"I'll meet you at the coffee shop around the corner when you're done."
Alice gave him a stern glare as he leaned over and kissed her cheek. One long last breath out, then out into the pouring rain and in the front door.
Edward was greeted warmly by the one person he knew in the room.
"So glad you made it, Edward."
Rob was not much different from Edward in many ways. A little older, late twenties, but the same build, same eye color. They even had the same right out of bed hair, though Rob's was more brown than bronze. Edward thought someone might even mistake them for brothers. Edward just thought of him as a friend, the only one he seemed to have those days.
Rob made a few introductions before letting Edward take his seat.
Edward sat back and observed as the meeting flowed. He listened to several stories that were much more horrendous than his own. He was beginning to feel a little arrogant, living his life the way he had. There was so much more in life that he could have been concentrating on.
"We are actually celebrating something pretty special here tonight." Rob moved a medallion back and forth through his fingers. "Our very own Bella is celebrating five years clean tonight." The crowd erupted in cheers as the beautiful brunette took her place next to Rob.
It couldn't be, he thought. The long waves of chestnut hair flowing past her shoulders. Those familiar chocolate brown eyes. It had to be her, but how could he know for sure. It had been almost ten years since he'd seen her.
"Thanks so much, Rob." Bella turned to the group and Edward knew at the sound of her voice it was most certainly her. "This Narcotics Anonymous group has been my salvation since the day I left rehab almost five years ago. For those regulars, I'm not going to go into the whole sob story again. For those of you that I'm just getting to know, you might not ever have guessed cocaine was my poison."
Edward sat stunned as she continued. Her voice, her pain, it flooded into his soul. He knew it was her with very part of him. Everything that had happened, every decision he had made, had led him there that night to find her again.
Edward was pulled out of his fog as Rob closed the meeting. He slipped his coat over his shoulders before he felt a tap at his shoulder.
"There's someone I'd like you to meet. I think she'd be a great sponsor for you."
Rob pulled Edward over to where Bella was chatting with a slender blond woman.
"Bella, I'd like you to meet Edward."
Bella turned to meet Edward's gaze. Her heart sped up and almost burst at the sight of the man in front of her. Her breath betrayed her, becoming slightly labored. A wave of warmth gathered in her cheeks as she stood stunned in disbelief.
"Hello, Bella." His velvet voice was even sexier than she had remembered.
"E-E-Edward. I can't..."
Rob noticed the undeniable connection that had Edward and Bella locked together. He was then rethinking his decision.
"I was thinking you might be willing to be Edward's sponsor, but-"
She cut Rob off. "I'd love to."
Edward saw more than a flicker of recognition in her eyes. It looked more like a hint of lust than anything else. It was an expression he'd never seen in Bella's eyes before. One he'd always wanted to.
Rob's gaze was transfixed between Edward and Bella. He was now more than extremely skeptical. "Maybe, on second thought, I'm sure Jackson could do it. I know how busy you've been lately."
"Don't be silly, Rob." Bella grasped Rob's forearm, finally breaking her gaze from Edward. "You know I'm always willing to help."
"If you're sure."
"Positive." Bella turned her focus back to Edward as her hand left Rob's forearm. "I know this little coffee shop around the corner. We could go and talk for awhile."
"Yes, that would be wonderful."
Bella tried to contain her excitement as she led Edward out the front door.
As soon as they hit the sidewalk, Edward knew he couldn't hold back any longer. "You were the very last person I expected to see here tonight."
"Pretty funny, huh? No one every saw little Bella Swan as a coke fiend. I think that's how I kept it hidden for so long."
"I'm happy it's you. I've been worried about the whole sponsor thing since I left rehab. I'm really not that trusting anymore."
"A lot has changed, hasn't it?" She stopped in front of the door of the coffee shop, looking up into the emerald eyes she had only seen in her dreams the past ten years.
"A lot." He grabbed the door and held it open for her.
Before he could even remember why he needed to go to the coffee shop in the first place, Alice's tiny little body was wrapped around Bella.
"Bella. Oh my god. I can't believe it's you."
Bella pulled back to find the familiar blue eyes of the friend she once knew.
"Wow, Alice." Bella ran her fingers through the black spikes flowing from Alice's head. "It's short."
"Yep." Alice primped herself. "I love it. So does Jas. Oh my god, you don't know my Jasper. We just got married a few months ago." Alice thrust her left hand with the two carat square diamond ring at Bella.
Alice pulled Bella over to a comfy couch as she ordered two more lattes. Edward sat down in the armchair beside Bella.
"So, you have to tell me everything. It's been what... ten years?"
"I think so. You guys moved right after freshman year."
"Was it really that long ago? Has it been ten years since we lost mom?" Alice looked to Edward who's face had lost it's previous joy.
"It was ten years last April. You know that, Al."
"I guess, but sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday."
There was a calm silence as their lattes were delivered and they remembered the woman that had embodied motherhood.
"We've been pretty lucky though. Not long after we moved, dad met Esme, that's his wife now. She lost her husband to cancer a few years before that. She brought with her their twins. Rosalie who has been a godsend. Then Jasper. As you can tell by the ring, we never really saw each other as brother and sister." Alice giggled as a sweet blush rose to her cheeks. Then she noticed the looks Edward and Bella were exchanging. She suddenly became mortified.
"I'm sorry. You two ran into each other at the meeting. If you need to talk, I can leave." Alice tried to stand, but Bella pulled her back down.
"Sit your ass down. Edward and I have plenty of time to catch up." Bella sent a wink to Edward which in turn made his whole body blush.
"So, what are you up to these days besides accosting old friends of course."
"Well, as I said, the wedding, then the honeymoon. Now, taking care of Edward is my first priority. Rosalie and I run an on line fashion magazine. Our office is in my house, so I work from home."
"She has a lot of time on her hands. She even watches me when I brush my teeth."
At first, Bella thought Edward might be kidding. Then she noticed how his eyebrow was arched above his right eye as he fell back into his chair.
"You know, that's a little much, Ali. Maybe I can take some of the burden off of you."
"Bella is going to be my sponsor. That's if you still want to."
"I really shouldn't, but since we haven't seen each other in such a long time... I think it'll be alright." Bella licked her lips before sipping on her latte, watching that ominous smile that left her dazzled fall upon Edward's perfect lips. She never realized how much she really missed it.
"I really should let you two talk. You can just call me later and I'll come get you."
Edward rolled his eyes before dropping his head back.
"Alice, I can bring him home. It's not a big deal."
Edward's head popped back up at the notion.
"I suppose... if it's not too much trouble." Alice rose while slipping her designer handbag across her forearm. "Only if I can pay you back. Dinner at our place Saturday night?"
"I promised Emmett dinner. Can I bring him along?"
"Oh, hells ya. We'll make it a reunion. You can meet Jas and Rose. It'll be like old times."
"Not exactly, Al. We aren't teenagers anymore." Edward shook his head.
Alice leaned down and kissed Bella on the cheek. "I've missed you."
"I've missed you, too. We'll talk more on Saturday."
Alice practically skipped as she left the coffee shop.
"Are you sure she's not the one on drugs?"
"I've checked her medicine cabinet. I don't think she even has Tylenol in there anymore." Edward ran his fingers through his hair as he scooted up in his chair. "So, I'm not going to get you into trouble or anything? You being my sponsor and all."
"What Rob doesn't know won't hurt him. I don't think there's any rules about knowing your sponsor."
"Bella, we more than just know each other. We were-"
"I know." She cut him off. "You're kinda hard to forget."
"We should have kept in touch."
"Edward, it's fine. You moved across the country. It's just nice to see you back in Washington."
"We've actually been back for a few years, but that's not really that important right now. I want to know about you."
"Me and my poison?"
"I am curious." Edward took a hit off his latte.
"You're not gonna like it."
"Am I in a position to judge? Come on, Bells." She missed how he called her that. He was the only other man besides her father and Emmett that could call her that.
"It started with a guy, of course. I met James my freshman year in college. We were pretty much obsessed with each other. At first, I couldn't believe his mind. He'd traveled and experience so much more than I could have every dreamed. Then when the physical side of it started... it all became so much more." Edward gritted his teeth at the thought of another man taking Bella, claiming her as his own. "I told you that you wouldn't like it."
"I never gave it a second thought when the coke came into the relationship. I fell in love with it from the very first time. For me, everything was better. I felt so alive. It filled a hole that Emmett, my dad, and not even James could fill."
"I passed freshman year barely, then moved in with James. By June, I was doing lines most of the day. All that existed was James and the drugs. Then James made a decision, the drugs were more important than I was. When he ran out of money, he traded me for them. At first, I was so out of it, I didn't even know that it wasn't James inside of me." She swallowed hard as a tear threatened to fall. "I realized... what was going on after I was getting any of the drugs anymore. I tried to fight back, but..."
"You don't need to. I think I understand."
"Right. Let's just say if it wasn't for Emmett, I wouldn't be here today. I got into rehab and have been clean ever since."
Edward gripped at his latte. The thought of an unconscious Bella, her body being traded for cocaine, was sickening.
"Not what you would've expected, is it?" Bella sat back waiting for the usual disgust to follow. It didn't.
"I'm sorry you had to go through that."
She sniffled a little. "I've kept clean. I'm able to work at something I love. I've got my own house, a nice car."
"And what?" Bella looked to him slightly confused.
"You have work and the meetings, then what?"
Bella searched herself for what she knew he meant. What life did she actually have. Almost every facet of her life was hidden from the real person that was inside of her.
"You're right. I keep to myself. I hang out with my dad and my older brother. The group at NA knows one of my biggest secrets, but they really don't know who I am, you know?"
"To be honest, that's one of my biggest fears. Staying clean, but not really doing anything with my life." Edward almost snorted. "Like I was doing much before."
"Alright, what weren't you up to before?"
Edward took a deep breath as the memory of how it all started crawled into the corners of his mind.
"It all started when I broke my hand. I walked in on my girlfriend of three years fucking some guy she worked with on our living room floor. Even though she was the one I was mad at, I took it out on him. His jaw ended up being a lot harder than I thought it would be."
"Ouch." Bella winched.
Edward looked painfully down at his right hand as he messaged his palm with the thumb of his left hand. "Months of physical therapy and I still have no where near the dexterity I had before. Now, I compose advertising jingles on a computer. It's pathetic."
Edward huffed. "I used the pain meds to dull everything at first. When it wasn't enough, I went for the hard stuff. Cocaine mainly. I understand about it filling a hole. It filled me up until I felt nothing. Being numb was the most intoxicating feeling I'd ever experienced. Then, my guy got me hooked on some imported stuff. When I couldn't come up with enough cash to get a fix one night, I..." He shook his head with complete embarrassment. "I actually sold some of Alice and Jasper's wedding presents."
"Bet she was pissed."
"So pissed when she figured out she busted into my apartment. She found me doing a couple lines. I'll never forget the look on her face."
"Dragged you off to rehab?"
"She didn't want to kill me, so she called Jasper. He convinced me it was best for all of us."
"How long has it been."
"Sixty-three days. Detox was not my friend. It was horrible. That alone might keep me clean."
"You think you can do it then?"
Edward moved from his chair to beside Bella on the couch. "Honestly, I don't know. When I saw you tonight, it all kinda made sense. Why I was getting clean now. Why I met Rob. Everything. If you're willing to help me through this, I'm gonna try."
"That's all I ask." Bella took his right hand in hers, examining the faint scars still visible there.
Edward felt a surge flow through his entire being. All his senses became heightened. He let out a soft moan as her thumb circled his palm.
"You can feel that then?"
"Yes." Edward took a piece of her stray hair and tucked it behind her ear. "I never imagined that you could become any more beautiful than you were at fourteen."
"I did seem to fill out in all the right places." Bella smirked.
"I'd say so." Edward caressed the apple of her cheek with his thumb. "I've got an idea. Can you play hookie tomorrow?"
"I don't have any big plans." Nothing she wouldn't cancel in a second for Edward.
"I think the warden will let me out as long as I'm with you. Why don't we go and do something fun."
"What would you suggest?"
"For once, it's not supposed to rain. What about the park or the marina?"
"I'd say, what time do you want me to pick you up?"
"How long have they lived here?"
"About a year. Why?" Edward asked as Bella pulled into Alice and Jasper's driveway.
"I've lived about two miles away for almost two years. You think we would have run into each other by now."
"I don't care. We're here now. I'm really glad it's you."
"I'm glad it's me too."
The porch light flickered on and Bella got the hint. "You'd better get int there. You don't want to break curfew."
"Yeah, I don't want to get grounded."
"I'll talk to her, get her to lighten up. I promise. Tell her I'll call in the morning."
Edward laughed. "To set up our play date?"
"Something like that."
Edward got out of the car and walked up to an awaiting Alice at the front door.
"Did you two catch up?" Alice closed the door behind him after waving to Bella.
"A little, but we need more time. We're getting together tomorrow. Only if that's okay with you, Al."
"Picking up where you left off?" Alice got an excited grin on her face.
"We're not kids anymore. It's not like I can ask her to prom or anything." Edward fell back into the couch a second before Alice did.
"You wanted to though."
"Alice, a lot has happened in ten years."
Alice patted Edward on the knee. "You look at her the same way you did back then. I know you loved her."
Edward put his hand on top of Alice's. "I think this is going to be a good start for Bella and I. Just don't go start planning our wedding just yet."
"Alright, you're gonna have to share. She was my best friend after all."
"I'll try not to stand in your way. I'm going to bed."
"To sleep?" Alice knew he hardly slept at all anymore.
"I'm actually exhausted. I think I might just be able to sleep tonight." Edward gave his sister a kiss on the forehead before heading off to bed.
Alice's excitement overtook her as she did her own little happy dance in her living room. Finally, she thought, Edward would get over what that bitch had done to him and move on with somebody she already approved of. She could almost visualize their china pattern already.
"Hey, sleepyhead." Alice greeted Edward as he made his way into the kitchen. She handed him a cup of coffee as he yawned.
"Has Bella called yet?"
"I'm already here. Love the shorts by the way." Bella came in behind him from the living room and patted him on the ass.
Edward's eyes widened as Bella walked passed him. Faded blue jeans that accentuated those new curves he was falling in lust with. A simple deep blue, v-neck, long sleeved t-shirt that gave her pale complexion a perfect glow. He felt a sigh rise from his chest but was able to pass it off as another yawn.
Bella took in all of Edward as Alice handed her a cup. He stood in a neon green pair of basketball shorts and nothing else. He was definitely more defined than he was at fifteen. She wondered what he looked like out of those shorts.
"Sorry, I slept so late. I haven't slept like that in forever." He relished the dreams he had of Bella all night long. He was hoping some day soon he could show her just what he was dreaming about doing to her.
"It's fine. Alice and I have just been catching up. I gave her the sob story."
Edward nodded remembering the story she had told him the night before. "I'll give you a little more time. I'm gonna shower and change."
"Don't be too long. Alice has already threatened to take me shopping. She might just kidnap me."
Alice shook her head at Bella because she was absolutely right.
"I'll be quick." Edward winked and headed off to the shower.
Bella sat at the kitchen table with a sigh. "He's just too gorgeous for words."
"Bella. That's my brother." Alice sat down next to her.
"Ali, I can't help it. You have no idea about the dreams I was having last night." Bella's eyes shut as she pulled in a deep breath.
"This would be the time to let me know what your intentions are towards my brother."
Bella looked to Alice to see she was completely serious. "I want to help him get through this."
Bella shook her head as she thought of all the Cullen's and their ways of digging things out of her. "And I want to get to know the man he is now. We've both changed a lot. The thing is, since I've been clean I haven't been able to find anybody to accept me with all the baggage. I'm starting to think I'm going to end up alone with twenty cats." Bella sighed. "I don't even like cats."
"Sweetheart, I would love nothing more than for you and my brother to get together."
"But?" Bella knew there was always a but.
"We need him to stay clean. He needs to stay clean."
"Ali, I'll do everything I can to make sure that happens. I know how to deal with the highs and lows. From what he tells me, his detox was a lot more intensive than mine was. I think that he knows he never wants to go through that again."
Alice put her hand over Bella's. "I know you'll do your best."
"You girls done catching up?"
Edward entered. Even though he had more clothes on than before, Bella couldn't take her eyes off of him. His dark blue jeans that hung low on his waist with a gray t-shirt that showed that new definition made Bella lick her lips.
"Not even close, but I'm sure we'll have time." Alice winked at Bella.
"Ready to go then?" Bella asked as she stood up.
"Yep. Have you decided what you want to do?" Edward grabbed his jacket off a nearby chair.
"You said the marina. They're having one of those street fairs down there. I thought it could be fun."
"Sounds perfect. Maybe we can swing by and see dad's boat."
"No sailing today." Alice gave the famous stern look.
"Okay, Al. Don't have a stroke." Edward reached to take Bella's hand.
After slipping her jacket over her shoulders, Bella took his hand. "Don't wait up." Edward and Bella practically ran for the door.
They made it to the marina quickly. They walked lazily through the street fair, talking more than really paying attention to anything. Then Edward brought up a subject Bella wasn't exactly sure how to deal with.
"Do I get to know what this mysterious job of yours is? I'm not going to get beat down by a crazy boss for stealing you away today?"
"No," Bella laughed. "No angry boss. I'm..." Bella was nervous about letting someone else in on her mysterious career. Only four people knew what she really did. She decided to make Edward the fifth.
"You're not some kind of super spy or something?"
"No, not quite. I'm actually a writer."
"I can see that. Anything I might of read?"
"I don't know." She took a deep breath as they sat down on a wooden bench. "Have you ever heard of Victoria Lane?"
"Victoria Lane?" Edward searched his head for where he had heard the name before. "Yeah," he nodded. "Those are the books Alice is obsessed with."
"Guess she didn't look at the picture too closely."
"Yep, strawberry blond wing and all."
"Wow. Why all the secrecy?"
"I wrote the first book shortly after I got out of rehab. It was kind of something to keep myself busy. If I wasn't in class or sleeping, I was writing. Emmett read it first. One of his friends knew a guy, who knew a guy, whose sister was a literary agent. After about a month of edits, it was published. I really wanted to keep my sordid past out of the spot light. Plus the fact that I was only twenty and writing about something so in depth, we decided Victoria was the best way to go."
"You do signings and appearances dressed up like her?"
"Yep, don't forget the contacts. Victoria has blue eyes."
"Let me get this straight. To keep yourself clean and sober, you've split yourself into three different people?"
Bella realized she hadn't really thought about it that way before.
"There's Victoria, then there is NA Bella, then the real Bella."
"Guess you're right."
Edward brushed his thumb across her cheek as their eyes met. "I look forward to getting to know all three of you."
Bella felt the warmth of his hand transferring to her cheek, then her stomach rumbled. "Guess I haven't eaten in awhile."
"What do you feel like?"
"One of those huge corn dogs. I think I could eat three of them."
Edward chuckled softly. "Let's not deny that rumbling beast."
Edward held her hand as they went off to find their corn dogs.
They ate and joked and found out so much more about each other. Both of them were feeling more than lust. They were feeling what they had started ten years earlier.
Bella loved the fact that Edward had such a diverse love of music. Edward loved to hear about all the places Bella had been able to travel while promoting her books. Bella got caught up on Edward's new family. She was excited to meet Esme, Rosalie, and Jasper. Edward loved the way Bella described how much closer she and Emmett had gotten over the years. He was looking forward to seeing his old best friend again.
"Shit! I forgot to call Emmett." Bella pulled out her phone and dialed.
He picked up after only the first bar of his ringback tone, "Five O'clock Somewhere". "Yes, sister dear."
"Hey, I got a surprise for you." She grinned at Edward.
"Bells, no surprises please."
"This is a good one. We're not exactly having dinner alone tomorrow night."
"Thank the lord. You met a guy didn't you. Finally." Emmett let out a huge sigh of relief.
"Not so much as met someone, but found someone again." Edward smiled and took her hand in his.
"Do I even want to know?"
"It's Edward Cullen."
"Eddie? What the hell? I thought they were in Maine or some little state like that up north."
"It was Rhode Island and they've been back in Seattle for a couple years."
"Yep. I guess Carlisle is some big shot at the hospital here. When he got the offer, Alice and Edward followed. He's remarried a woman named Esme Hale and her two kids came with them too. Alice and Esme's son, Jasper, just got married. They've invited us to their place for dinner tomorrow."
"My god. I haven't thought about the Cullen's in years. How is Edward anyway?"
"You wanna ask him yourself? He's right here." Bella handed the phone over to Edward.
"Hey, Em." Edward shifted in his spot nervously.
"Hey, shithead. How the hell are you?"
"I see you've matured a lot."
"I haven't had anyone but Bells to torture over the past ten years. Give me a break. So, seriously man, how are you?"
"Much better since I bumped into your sister last night."
"Oh, that's..." The other end of the line was silent for a second. "She was at NA last night."
"Yep. Bella is going to be my sponsor. I hope you don't have a problem with that."
Emmett stayed silent deep in thought for a moment. "I know how Bella loves to help people. Her own sobriety has never really been in question. I'm telling you this now, if you slip and take my sister with you, I'll make sure and hide your body where no one can find it. Get me?"
"Loud and clear. I have no intention of turning back."
"Good. Now that we've got that out of the way, I guess we're coming over to Alice's for dinner tomorrow."
"Yep. I'm actually living with Alice and Jasper for awhile. Alice has kinda been my warden."
"I can see her doing that. Should I bring anything? Bottle of wine is out."
"Nope, just you and Bella."
"Then I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Look forward to it. Here's Bella." Edward wiped the sweat that had collected on his brow as he handed the phone back to Bella.
"No more threats, okay? You don't want me to tell your boss you're thinking of killing someone." Bella's voice was strong and stern.
"I wasn't kidding, Bells. I don't know what I would do if you slipped. We almost lost you the last time."
Bella looked down into her hands as the memory slipped back into her mind. "I know. Don't worry. I'll call you tomorrow."
"Right. Love ya."
"Love ya back." Bella ended the call and looked to Edward slightly embarrassed. "Sorry about that. It's the whole Swan cop thing he's got going."
"Emmett's a cop, too?"
"Yeah. He's SPD right now, but I think eventually he wants to go back to Forks and work with dad. He just needs to get a little bit of real police work out of his system. Plus he wants to stay close to me. Seattle is really easy for me to travel from, so it's a good base for me."
"You planning on traveling anytime soon?" Edward started to wonder how much time he would actually have with her.
"My newest book is still in the editing stage right now. I think their planning on publishing before Christmas."
"Bella, it's the beginning of October."
"I know. I'll do some stuff the beginning of December, but won't do a book tour until January."
"So, I've got you home for at least two months?"
"I hope so."
Something caught Edward's eye and the wheels of his mind started turning. "Then we're gonna have to start making some new memories now. Come on." Edward grabbed her hand and started pulling her with him.
They stopped just a few feet in front of a photo booth.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No. Come on it'll be fun. Crazy faces and all. I still have the ones we did that summer. They can be just for comparison, see how much we've changed."
Bella eyed him. She could tell he was up to something, but she was excited to know what. "Alright, for comparison."
Edward pulled her in and sat her on his lap. He shoved a few quarters in before they started posing. First, both of them did crazy faces. Then before the second flash, Bella wrapped her hands around Edward's neck and pretended to choke him. Then Edward brought her in to lay his forehead against hers. Their eyes were both closed as it flashed for the third time. Edward couldn't hold himself back any longer. He brought his lips to hers. She instinctively grasped the back of his head. She tugged at the hair on the back of his neck causing his mouth to open slightly. Her tongue slid in, caressing his. The fourth and final flash came.
Edward reached into his pocket and grabbed a few more quarters. He broke there kiss to slid them in the slot. "I think this is a memory I never want to forget."
Bella pulled him back to her before the booth flashed again. Her hands trembled on his cheeks as she felt his hand slide underneath her t-shirt and dance across her rib cage. He sucked lightly on her swollen bottom lip. She let out a soft moan at the action. She moved her hand down to rest on his chest and noticed his hardened nipples beneath his t-shirt. He squeezed her side and thrust his tongue in her mouth further when she started rubbing his nipple. They felt the last flash fall upon their faces and Bella pulled herself back.
"We better get those before some little old lady comes up and has a heart attack." Bella pulled herself off a stunned Edward's lap and went out to grab the two sets of photos. Edward stood and adjusted himself, zipping up his jacket to cover his now raging erection.
Edward walked out of the booth to see Bella mesmerized by the pictures. "I think this one is my favorite." Edward's tongue was slightly visible sliding into Bella's mouth.
"You know, there are many other things I can do with my tongue." Eward raised his eyebrows as he took her hand in his.
"I remember." She squeezed his hand as she tucked the photos in her jacket pocket. "Now, what is this boat you keep talking about?"
"Yes, it's not far if you don't mind a walk."
"I'm not complaining."
Edward and Bella walked like the two horny teenagers they felt they were again. They came to the dock and Edward pointed out his father's sailboat. As they got closer, they noticed someone on deck.
"Dad?" Edward said as he walked up to the boat with Bella pressed to his side.
"Edward, son. Alice let you off her leash for the day?" Carlisle looked up from the mast he seemed to be repairing.
"She just handed it over to someone else. You remember Bella Swan?"
Carlisle looked down and saw the chestnut beauty that clung to his son's arm. "As I live and breath. This can't be little Bella."
"It's me. So nice to see you again Dr. Cullen. You have a beautiful boat."
"You're not a little girl anymore, then you can call me Carlisle. Why don't you two come aboard."
Carlisle offered Bella his hand and helped her on board. Edward followed and instantly wrapped his arms around Bella's waist.
"I see you two didn't waist anytime getting reacquainted." Carlisle gestured for the two of them to sit with him.
"She's pretty irresistible." Edward smiled as Bella cuddle next to him.
"I only wish I would have bumped into him sooner, maybe..."
"Don't. I would have never wanted you to see me that way." Edward pulled her hand up to his lips and kissed it. He knew she would do anything to help him through everything. It just made him want her all that much more.
"I take it Bella knows all about your stint in rehab."
Edward nodded as he looked to Bella. She knew her story would have to come out eventually, so she went ahead. "Edward and I bumped into each other at NA last night."
"Bella's going to be my sponsor."
Carlisle's brow furrowed together. "Do you think that's a very good idea?"
Edward looked to his father confused. "I think if anyone can get me through this, she can."
"You know you are not supposed to start a relationship right now. Especially not with someone else who is in recovery themselves."
Edward felt a pain in his chest at the thought of being separated from Bella. He would have thought his father would be happy that he had found another reason to stay away from the drugs. He was reassured when Bella's hand tightened around his.
"Dad. Bella has been clean for five years. She wouldn't have done it if she didn't think she could help. And we're not starting a new relationship. Ours was just on hold for awhile. It's not like we're running off to Vegas or anything."
"We're just happy to spend time with each other. It's been really hard to find someone that actually understands what I've gone through. It's just nice to be able to talk to someone I trust about these kind of things." At her words, Edward leaned over and kissed Bella on the temple.
Carlisle nodded as he saw their obvious devotion to each other. "I can't stop this can I?"
Edward looked his father straight in the eye. "No, you can't."
"Alright then. Welcome back to the family, Bella." Carlisle stood up and brought Bella up into a soft hug.
Bella stepped back when she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket. "Sorry." She pulled it out and answered. "Yes, Alice." She walked over to the side of the boat to talk with Alice.
Carlisle sat down next to his son. "She gets you, doesn't she?"
"She understands what it's like. The highs and lows. She wants to help. I can't help it that she happens to be the first girl I ever kissed. We still have a connection."
Carlisle patted his son on the back as his gaze wandered over to Bella. "I can't really blame you. Bella has become one beautiful woman."
"Dad!" Edward's mouth curled up on the side at the fact that his dad was checking out Bella's curves.
"What? She is." Carlisle squeezed Edward's shoulder. "If you think you can handle your sobriety and a relationship at the same time, I'll do what I can to help."
Bella ended her call with Alice as she rolled her eyes. "Alice insists that I bring you home. She says eight hours is long enough."
"I don't want to get grounded, so we better go." Edward stood up and hugged his father before returning to Bella's side.
"Emmett and I are coming over to Alice's tomorrow night for dinner. It would be nice if you and your wife could come. I'd love to meet her."
"I wouldn't miss it. We'll be there."
Edward helped Bella off the boat and they made their way to the car.
When they pulled into Alice's driveway, neither one of them wanted their day to end.
"You could come in?" Edward knew she wouldn't but he wanted to ask anyway.
"I really should do a couple things before I go to bed. If I went in there with you, I'm sure Alice will have me talking the rest of the night."
They both sighed before Bella reached into her pocket for their pictures. "Which one's do you want?"
She handed over the pictures of their little make out session. Edward tore the top two from each strip and handed the others back to her. "I'll let you keep your favorite."
Bella took in a deep breath as she looked down at the pictures.
"I had a really good time today. We should make it a regular thing." Edward took Bella's hand from the steering wheel.
She turned and looked into his earnest eyes. "I was just thinking the same thing."
Edward leaned in and brought his lips to hers. Before it could get too heated, Bella pulled back.
"If you keep kissing me like that, I'm never gonna make it home."
Edward kissed her forehead before sitting back in his seat. "Alright. I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow then. You'll be here at six?"
"If I can wait that long." She laughed at the thought of having to wait almost a whole day to see him again.
"I'll call you in the morning."
"Okay." She leaned over and gave him a light peck before he grabbed the door handle. He rushed up to the house as Bella pulled out of the drive.
"I'm home." Edward called before walking into the kitchen.
"Just in time. We just ordered Chinese." Jasper called over from his spot next to Alice at the kitchen table.
"Great. I'm starved."
"And I told Bella to make sure and feed you." Alice looked up from her laptop.
"She did. We just did a lot of walking. Burned a lot of calories." Edward rubbed his perfectly toned abs before slipping off his jacket and hanging it on the back of a chair.
"You had fun then?" Alice brought her screen down to get a better look at Edward.
A huge grin spread across his face at the thought of his tongue slipping past Bella's lips. He felt a little dizzy as he remembered how the skin on Bella's torso felt under his fingertips.
"Yes, we did. I even had a chance to talk to Emmett, then we went to see the boat. Dad was there, so we talked with him a bit."
"Dare I say, bro, you look happy?" Jasper's words were hopeful.
"I think so. It feels pretty good." Edward then remembered what he wanted to spend his night without Bella doing. "Bella mentioned she liked this series of books. I think their by Victoria Lane. Don't you have some of them, Al?"
"Some of them? I have all five. I hear there is a sixth one coming out before Christmas. It's on my list."
Jasper got the mental note and tapped at his temple.
"Bella seemed to like them a lot. You think maybe you'd let me borrow them?"
"Sure. They're in the living room on the book case."
Edward wandered into the living room and pulled the first book called "Cradle Lost". All the books Alice had were first editions. Bella had told him her first book was in it's fifth printing. He turned to the back of the book to see the photo of Bella's alter ego. Besides the hair and the eye color, she was all Bella. He was so surprised Alice never recognized her.
After he downed a pint of sweet and sour chicken, he let the newlyweds know he was turning in. He immersed himself in Bella's novel as soon as he read the first page.
My grandfather was a cop. My father is a cop. My brother is a cop. No one would of thought a drug addict would come from such a family, but I did. My name is Sarah Scott, former drug addict and struggling homicide detective. This is just one of my stories.