Three Wrongs Make A Right
By: Dark and Wild
Hey, everyone! This is my first real FanFic in a really long time, and I was mainly inspired 'cause I went to go see an opera production of Hansel and Gretel and just saw the Twilight move twice this weekend. XD Really awkward things inspire me, I know. Just like to disclaim any of Stephenie Meyer's characters because they're not mine (though I wish Edward was, just like about every other teenage girl in America). Riley is mine though, and I take credit for her only. The lengthened summary is below, and remember to R&R, because it makes my life! Thanks, and enjoy!
Bella is a 32-year old theatre single mom, with her fifteen-year old daughter Riley. Edward is a single 33-year old guy who is finally coming home to his hometown of Chicago. With Bella's rotten past with guys, she's reluctant to begin a new relationship, and yet Edward's determined to open her up, as her daughter Riley wants her to be happy. But when one of Bella's old boyfriends (her worst and the father of Riley), shows up to town, can Edward and her friends protect the family of two? Or will one of them be lost forever? Rated M for language, abuse, violence (and a possible lemon later on), and slightly OOCish because I'm not great at writing Bella and Edward. Riley I can do. =D
Chapter 1: The Day-Mares
"Mom!" my fifteen-year old daughter, Riley, shouted from the kitchen. "Aunt Alice wants to talk to you! She says it's urgent."
I rolled my eyes and let out a smile. If Alice thought something was urgent, it more than likely had to do with a shortage of fabric or a party coming up in a few years that I didn't have an outfit for yet. "Coming!" I called out, as I rushed from the living room into the kitchen where Riley was waiting, our house phone stretched out in her hand.
Riley looked and acted a lot like me. Like myself, she had dark hair and chocolate brown eyes. She even had my pale skin, which was an albino trait that I had preferred not to pass on to my children. She didn't even look at me as I took the phone – she was concentrating on the homework that Alice, her home-school teacher and godparent, had given her. Her forehead was creased in the middle like mine always was whenever I was frustrated. I smiled as I brought the phone to my ear.
"Isabella Swan!" cried an exasperated, pixyish voice from the other end of the line. It was Alice Cullen, my best friend and soul sister. "What took you so long? I was afraid I'd have to convey this news to Riley!"
I laughed, and Riley sent me a look that said, 'I'm doing my homework – get out of here!' I obeyed and went out into the tiled hallway. "It only took me about fifteen seconds to get to the phone, Alice. Don't get worked up over it. Relax, I'm here. Now what news is so urgent that you had to interrupt my nice, peaceful afternoon with my daughter?"
Alice snorted, openly disagreeing about my 'peaceful' afternoon. "Actually, it's not really urgent just yet. I just got a call from my brother."
"Which one? Emmett or the one that abandoned you here in Chicago with me?" I asked, smiling slightly. I knew Alice had a rather large family – as in, larger than mine. She was the youngest of three, and both of her older siblings were boys. One was Emmett, one of the crewmembers at the Chicago Metropolitan Theater where I worked. He was a big, muscled guy that openly dated one of our actresses, Rosalie Hale. Alice's other brother was one I had never actually met, because he didn't want to stay in Chicago with his siblings. Every time he was in town, I was normally away. Riley had never met him either.
"The one that left, Edward. He called to say that he decided to come home, after like fifteen years. He wants to meet you and Riley, because I told him all about Riley's amazing-ness and your bizarre ability to put a show together. He'll be arriving on a plane tomorrow. Isn't that exciting? Riley is going to have another uncle!" Alice said cheerfully.
Despite her obviously bad past with her brother Edward, Alice still seemed perky about him coming home. I laughed bitterly. "Great, yet another crazy uncle. Riley needs another one of those."
At the moment, Riley had two men that she considered uncles. There was Emmett, who had practically been the one to teach her all of the bad things that she knew (for instance, I'm fairly sure that while not in my presence, Riley used words like 'shit' and 'hell'). Then there was her actual uncle, Uncle Jasper. Jasper was my older brother by two years, and was Alice's fiancé. He had a cool, collected attitude and was very protective over Riley and me. I appreciated his kindness, and Riley loved him to death.
Alice's tinkling laughed brought me back to the present. "You bet she does," she amended.
I rolled my eyes and glanced back into the kitchen, where Riley was now chewing on her pencil, obviously stumped by something on her homework. "Well, I think what she really needs right now is some help on her homework. Care to indulge?"
Alice chuckled. "Anything for my favorite niece," she said, though it sounded more like a chirp.
"She's your only niece," I teased back, and went back into the kitchen where Riley was leaning against the counter. I handed her the phone, smiling. 'Homework help,' I mouthed. Riley smiled in thanks and took the phone. I went to the table, where a stack of monthly bills was being kept. I sat down and began working on them as I listened to my daughter.
"Aunt Alice, I need some help here," she said frankly, glaring at the piece of paper as if it were the paper's fault she was having troubles with it.
She paused for a moment before saying, "It's just… hard. I hate math. It's the inequalities part."
Again, another pause. I sighed, pretending to be interested in the bills as I pulled a calculator close and began observing the taxes and typing them out onto the calculator.
"'Kay," Riley then said, furiously scribbling onto her homework. "Thanks, Aunt Alice. That helped a lot. Do you want to talk to Mom now for a bit, or do you have to go?" She paused, glancing at me and then looking down again. "Oh, alright. Tell Uncle Jasper I said hi. Yeah. Love you too. See you tomorrow. Bye." She hit the 'Off' button and put the phone back on the hook. She began writing again on her homework, facing away from me.
"So what did Aunt Alice want to talk about?" Riley then asked, trying to only sound mildly curious. But, being her mother who had known her before she had even known me, I could see underneath her pretenses. She was exceptionally nosy and wanted to know. I suppose she inherited that from her grandmother (my mother), Renee.
I copied down a sum from the calculator. "Oh. Her other brother, who left here before you were born, is coming home in a day or two. She just wanted to let me know," I answered. I never lied to Riley, because she was my daughter and we had made an agreement before her teenage years that we would never lie to one another. That pact had lasted about three years and we were still counting.
"Wait… Uncle Edward?" Riley asked. "He visited for Christmas and Thanksgiving once or twice. He gave me those huge gift cards to Macy's last year in the mail. You don't remember?"
I shrugged. "I don't really pay attention to things like that," I replied tartly. "You know I don't."
Riley rolled her eyes. "More like you forget," she mumbled. "And he's cool… sort of. He's a little distant, you know what I mean? But he's nice. At least that's what Aunt Alice told me. Last time, well, the only time he was here in Chicago… we were out at Grandpa Charlie's."
I sighed, shrugging again as I pushed away the bills and made a face. "Well, whatever the case, we'll be meeting him tomorrow at the theatre. Alice will probably bring him to work." I rubbed my face and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. "Are you hungry? We can go out for a burger or something. I can call Jasper, and he could come with us. Alice might be able to come too, if she isn't caught up in the world of pre-auditions for Anastasia."
"But we just talked to Aunt Alice," Riley pointed out. "And I have to finish my homework."
I stood. "I'll call her back, you finish. They can come pick us up or something like that when you're done. Sound good?"
Riley nodded and looked down at her homework with a frown. "Yeah. Go ahead."
I went and grabbed the phone off the hook and went into the living room, to give Riley a form of privacy as she finished. I dialed Alice's cell (Jasper never had his on, so it would have been completely pointless to call him) and put it to my ear. It only rang twice before Alice's chirp-like voice clicked on.
"Hey, Bells!" she cheeped. "What happened? Does Riley need more help?"
I smiled and glanced back into the kitchen. Riley was bent over her homework, scribbling frantically into her school notebook. I was pretty sure there would be no disturbing her for a while. She was on a good track. "No, Riley's good with her homework. Say, listen. Do you want to head with me and Riley to dinner or something, if you're not busy? Jasper can come too, if he's not with lighting crew right now," I offered.
Alice paused. "I'll come, sure thing, Bells," she replied. "But let me ask Jazzy. He might have to stick around with Emmett to figure out lighting…" I heard her set down the phone and a few muted voices. It took a moment before I heard Alice pick up the phone again. She giggled enthusiastically, and I raised an eyebrow. I wonder what kind of remark Jasper had to have made in order to get that reaction out of her. "Sure, Bella. We'll both be there tonight. You want us to come pick you up, for old time's sake?" she asked gently.
"Yeah. At least, that was what I had in mind," I answered.
"That's fine! Great! We'll see you in about a half-an-hour. Jazz has to finish up the lighting scheme with Emmett and then we'll be right over. Bye!" The phone clicked dead and I went to hang it up in the kitchen.
Riley was in there, closing her notebook and tucked her pencil in the spiral binding. I raised my eyebrows at her and she shrugged. "It was easy once I knew what to do," she told me.
My daughter was probably one of the smartest people I knew. Even smarter than I was, considering as she had Alice as her private home-schooling teacher. When I had last spoken to Alice regarding Riley's schoolwork, Alice had told me that she was very close to graduating from tenth grade (by the city's standards), and it wasn't even October yet. Riley almost always finished her school year within a few months of beginning it. It boggled my mind, really.
"Have you spoken to Aunt Alice about graduating tenth grade?" I asked her as I sat back down at the table to do taxes.
Riley sat across from me, taking half the stack and producing her own calculator. She bent over them and began helping out. "You don't have to do that," I protested as she began working, ignoring my question. Riley sent me one of her 'looks' and rolled her eyes.
"Mom, I said on my birthday a few months ago that I was going to start helping you out," she said. "And since you refuse to let me get a job, I'm helping do the bills. It's the least I can do. I hate sitting around and watching you work all the time. It makes me feel bad." She had a point, I had to admit. I didn't want Riley working, considering as she was only fifteen and this was Chicago. It was a horrible place for someone as young as her to be working, with everything going on.
"I just don't want you getting hurt," I told her for the billionth time.
Riley just rolled her eyes. "Well, I highly doubt I'll get hurt paying the bills," she retorted. "Unless they turn into some form of monster and attack me."
I gasped. Riley started, looking at me with her wide brown eyes.
"What?" she demanded.
"I swear I just saw some of those papers move into a clump shaped like a furious eye…" I said with a grin. Riley smiled and laughed. Her laugh brought a giggle out of me, but also an internal wince.
Though Riley was a lot like me, there were so many things she could do to remind me of her father. And of all the other horrible things and boyfriends I've had in the past. It wasn't her fault, but sometimes where was no stopping it.
Riley hadn't been born by a happy go-lucky couple. No, far from it. She was born while I had still been in high school, to the boyfriend that I'd had at the time, James. It had been an accident, we'd never actually meant to have a kid. Jasper had been furious when I told him, but he hadn't been mad at me. He had been angry with James. My father Charlie soon heard about it, but had been extremely good-natured towards me for a parent who just found out his daughter was a pregnant teen.
Riley had been born nine months later. Of course I loved her right from the start – how could I not when she was so adorable and looked so much like me? Jasper was enchanted with her too, and so was Charlie. James was the only one not pleased. But, despite his dislike towards our daughter, he promised that he would work this out. I thought I had been lucky to have a boyfriend like James. He helped me do my schoolwork, since I couldn't be at school, and I did graduate high school.
Well, I had been wrong. When he went off to college, I had been forced to stay home at the apartment he had gotten for us. Riley was two at the time. It was a year before James and I broke up. I began noticing weird things – James was getting home later than usual, and he brought home less food and more beer. He began having friends over, and they had parties a lot.
It wasn't until six months later that James began getting really bad. He began coming home in the early morning (as in one o' clock in the morning), drunk and screaming at me for giving him the life that he had. It frightened me, but it wasn't like I could just get up and walk out. This was a life that I had, it was the only place I could stay. Charlie had begun a new life too with a new woman named Sue, and Jasper had begun dating Alice back then. So it wasn't like I could leave the life I had.
Then James began coming home earlier. For the first couple of nights I was relieved – he was sober then. That was when I found out that his friends had been out of town. When they came back, he began coming home at the same time, only with empty beer bottles in his hand and a drunken, angry attitude. That was when he began throwing things. Riley had been about to turn three, so she didn't understand. I learned to hide her in her room before seven at night, putting her to bed and tucking her in before James came home to torture me.
Night after night it had gone on, with James yelling and throwing things at me. He screamed about how I had made his life so miserable, and how I gave him a responsibility that a college student shouldn't have. I was scared, how could I not be?
Then there was that night, a few days after Riley's dismal third birthday that it happened.
Riley might have been three, but she wasn't the silly toddler she had been before. She woke up one night to my crying and James's shouting, and had begun sobbing in her crib, screaming, 'Mommy!' I was horrified, because James had heard. Whenever he was in a drunken rage, he forgot about Riley and turned his full attention on me. But hearing her cry like that, I remembered it perfectly.
"Is that… Is that a baby?" James demanded of me, holding the whiskey bottle once again above my head. He smelled of beer and smoke, his hazel eyes ablaze. "Fuck, woman… how much have you screwed up my life?!" He was gone before I could comprehend where he was. I wanted to protect Riley, who was crying in her room. But I couldn't get up – my leg hurt too badly and I was fairly sure that my head was bleeding.
"What the hell is wrong with this door?" James then shouted. "Did you lock the damn thing?" That was when a huge 'bang' erupted through the entire apartment, and Riley's screams became more pronounced.
"Get your hands off her!" I screamed, but I could tell from Riley's constant sobbing that James wasn't listening to me.
He dragged her out of her room. My three-year old baby was crying, her pale cheeks tearstained as her father dragged her out to the living room and threw her down onto the floor beside me. She curled up at my side, sobbing and grabbing hold of my shirt. James scowled as he circled us. Whenever he moved, I moved too – to shelter my baby Riley from whom I now knew as a monster. I wasn't going to let my daughter hurt as much as I hurt right now. My leg protested with every movement I made, and my head was throbbing mercilessly.
"You bitch," James seethed. "I can't believe you fucking did that – a baby isn't what someone like me should have! I'm too respectable, damn it! What would the guys think if they knew I had a baby? I'd be fucking ruined, you idiot! Ruined!"
Riley's sobbing didn't cease. But her shaky voice cried out, "Stop saying bad things about Mommy!"
James stopped, and I pulled my daughter close behind me. Riley was a smart child – she knew I was in pain and she knew how to speak her mind. What I hadn't realized until now was that she was very brave. Brave enough to stand up to a drunken man with a sharp object at the age of three.
"And she even talks back. Give me the little bitch, I'll teach her a thing or two!" James exploded. Instantly his hands went to his back pocket and he pulled out a gun. Where had he gotten that? That question barely processed through my head before panic seized my senses.
Please, if there's a God, let Riley and I live through this… I thought frantically as my insane boyfriend approached.
"You stay away from her," I growled as angrily as I could as Riley sniffled and crawled out from behind me. I snatched her before James could even touch her and held her close to my side. "If you touch her, I swear to God-"
"Ha! What God? Do you see a fucking God around here? I certainly don't. God doesn't help the damned, you bitch. Give over the little witch before I shoot a hole in both of your heads!" James shouted, now pointing the gun at my forehead. I froze, but I kept Riley in the circle of my arms. She wasn't losing her life tonight – not an innocent child. Riley cried as I tucked her to my chest.
And before I could do anything else, James loosed a shot.
I ducked, pulling my daughter with me. I was just in time – something shattered behind us and Riley screamed in terror. She was only three. Another shot was loosed and I rolled over to shield Riley from it.
I wasn't fast enough.
Riley's scream increased ten times in volume, and blood totally splattered all over me. It took me a second to realize that I hadn't been the one that got hit. Riley's shoulder was bleeding uncontrollably, and I could see the bloody bullet about two feet behind us on the carpet. It made me sick, and my stomach twisted as it threatened to regurgitate something I had eaten a few hours ago. Riley's tears mixed in with the blood, and red droplets dripped all over the light beige carpet and me. I panicked, my hands fluttering over the wound. What could I do? Riley was going to lose too much blood if I didn't do something and do something fast. James was laughing manically somewhere behind me. Silently, I damned that bastard to hell for doing something like this to an innocent three-year old child – my three-year old child.
The door banged open. "Police!" someone shouted. A policeman came into the room. His gaze went to us briefly, and identified that we weren't the problem. He turned on James, pointing his pistol at my crazed boyfriend. "Drop the gun!" he growled, and James turned on the policeman.
"To hell with you!" he shouted in a drunken manner, waving his own gun in the policeman's face. "I'm dealing with my fucking girlfriend and our bastard baby. Come back later."
The policeman grabbed the gun out of James's hand and twisted his arm behind his back. James swore as handcuffs were put around his hands. The policeman didn't even state his rights to the drunken man before shouting out "Get the medics in here! We've got a bleeding kid." He turned to me, handing off James to another officer.
"You'll pay for this, bitch," James hissed before shoved out the door.
"Don't worry, miss. We're going to take care of you and your daughter," the policeman reassured me as medics came rushing in. They tried to pull Riley from my arms, but I clung to her.
"Don't take my baby away," I murmured pathetically.
"Don't worry," the officer repeated as I gave Riley to the medics. Instantly they strapped her to a stretcher. Riley cried and reached for me, and I took her hand as one of the medics helped me to my feet. I hissed when my leg protested, and the medics told the officer I had a broken leg. The officer swore and told the medics something, but my eyes were on my daughter. I panicked for her survival, but I knew we were safe now. It made me feel extremely reassured.
"Mom! You okay?" Riley was looking at me, appearing concerned.
I snapped out of my reverie and looked at her in surprise. I had been swept away by memories again. Riley's shoulder still had that scar – despite everything the doctor's had tried, the scar tissue never healed correctly and so she had a forever red, purple, and black shoulder that she kept hidden all the time. The only people who had ever seen it had been Alice, Jasper, and myself.
"I'm… I'm fine," I murmured, knowing that she would see through that specific little lie. Riley was very perceptive, like I could be sometimes. She looked anxious as she put her hand over mine and seemed to forget about the half-filled out bill underneath her arms.
"Mom… did you have a day-mare?" Riley asked me.
Day-mares were what we called having a nightmare during the day. Both of us had them – Riley had them so much more often than I did. But whenever I did, Riley was there. We never told anyone about these – not even my brother Jasper or his pixie fiancé, Alice. Neither of them needed to know how much our memories still haunted us. Jasper was too overprotective of us still, and would practically keep us under his watch twenty-four seven if he knew that we had these day-mares. Normally we only had these when we were at home, alone. Once I had even come home from grocery shopping to find Riley curled up in a tiny ball in the couch, crying.
"Yeah," I confessed. How could I lie to my daughter? I never had in my life, and I wouldn't start now whenever we were discussing something serious like this.
Riley's chocolate brown eyes clouded over in anxiety. I knew she didn't like it when I thought of our bad past – she was too selfless like I was to really ignore someone else in pain. Especially when that person was in their family. But that just made me feel worse.
Because, when I thought about it, I was the reason for everything Riley was hurt over. Because of the bad choices I had made involving men and their testosterone-filled bodies, Riley had been hurt on a number of occasions. She always told me that I shouldn't blame myself, but how could I not? The nasty scar on her shoulder was my fault, as were the cuts on her back and her messed up arm (one of my other previous boyfriends had broken it and it had never healed properly, so it was forever crooked… people asked about it a lot).
"Mom…" Riley began saying, when someone knocked on our door.
I shot out of my seat, not wanting to talk about this anymore. I shot her a warning glance before heading off to answer the door. I went to the entryway and opened it up, looking out to see Alice and Jasper standing on our small front porch.
Jasper was tall and leonine, almost two feet taller than his petite fiancé. His wild blonde hair was nothing like my tame brown, but our eyes were the same shade of chocolate brown. His smile was gentle as he took me in – he was one of the nicest brothers on the face of the planet. Alice was at his side, her arm linked through his as she smiled at me. Her eyes were a sharp emerald green, and her hair was sticking out in every direction and was ebony black.
"Hey, Bells," Jasper greeted me. Suddenly Riley was at my side, and she flung her arms around her uncle and soon-to-be aunt. "Hello, Riley."
"Turned out that Emmett already had the lighting plans done before you called. So we set out straight away," Alice chirped as we hugged each other (I had to stoop down a little in order for our embrace to be comfortable). "Jazz thought you might want to go out somewhere at Navy Pier."
Riley's face brightened. She loved Navy Pier – it was one of her favorite places to go in Chicago. Jasper knew that, as did Alice. They took her there themselves every so often, just for lunch or maybe just to buy something. Riley liked looking at all of the tourists. She said that it was the best place to meet new people from all over the world. She also loved going on the Ferris wheel there, or hanging out at the picnic tables.
It seemed as though a picnic would be out of order today, though. The wind was fierce and the sky was cloudy, and it looked like it was going to rain any second. Jasper was wearing a windbreaker, and Alice was wearing something that looked like the equivalent to a winter coat.
"You'll need a coat," Jasper informed us, noticing my observations.
I grabbed two off the hook by the door – one for me, one for Riley. I handed her hers and she slipped it on with ease, her eyes flickering from me to Jasper to Alice. I didn't miss how whenever she looked at me, an expression of worry would flash across her face before she looked away again towards someone else. Jasper, thankfully, didn't see that and smiled as he led us out to his car.
The drive to Navy Pier was spent in quiet. Riley and I sat in the backseat of Jasper's blue Saturn, and Alice was seated in the passenger seat. Their hands were linked – which worried me, considering as Jasper was driving. But from past experience, I knew that Jazz was a good driver and he wouldn't let us all crash. It wasn't going to happen.
When we parked, I noted that it would be a bit of a walk to Navy Pier, considering, as the closest parking lot was still a block away from the place. We all got out of the car, and Jasper walked behind all of us as Alice attempted (more like started, because it was so hard to resist talking to Jasper's tiny fiancé).
"Riley, did you finish your homework?" Alice asked, attempting to sound professional. Like everything else she did, she pulled it off.
Riley nodded. "I finished. Thanks for the help, by the way. As soon as I remembered what to do, it was done in about five minutes."
Alice smiled proudly, and gave me a fleeting glance. "Great, Riley," she praised my daughter cheerfully. "That's good to hear. You know that you're very close to graduating tenth grade already. I'll have to send you the final exams next week and send them in to the city for them to be graded and approved. You have no idea how quickly you've progressed." Riley grinned in response to that – she liked being praised by her loving aunt. Especially when it was about schoolwork.
Jasper grinned at me, as if I had been the one to accomplish this feat. "You should be proud," he told me, his voice gravelly and soothing like it always was. "Riley's extremely smart for her age."
"I know, I am proud of her. More proud than I think she'll ever know," I answered. Riley looked at me with her bright brown eyes, and gave me a swift hug. She loved being praised, and the praise that came from me was the praise she always kept close to her heart. It was shocking for many mothers to see how close my daughter and I were. The only thing I could answer them with was what I was extremely blessed to have my daughter. As she commonly said that she was blessed to have me as a mother, though I hardly believed her. After all of the trouble I had gotten her into, and after all the scars that were put on her body, I was the one who was lucky to have her.
That was when I saw Riley and Alice exchange a happy glance. I narrowed my eyes, but only a little. Riley didn't notice this time. They were hiding something from me, the pair of them. But I pretended to be clueless when Alice then said,
"Well, I can't wait until Edward comes tomorrow. He's going to be a great director for Anastasia, I know it," Alice chattered joyfully. "I can't wait for Riley and you to meet him. He really does have a good heart, deep down inside. You're going to love him."
Riley and I exchanged a look. Riley looked happy about this, excited even, to meet her new uncle. I, on the other hand, was extremely nervous and a little fearful of meeting this new director. I didn't know why, but I was going to meet him tomorrow, one way or the other. I suppose I just had to leave it to fate to decide whether or not I would like him.
EOC: That's the end of the first chapter. I'm really proud of it, because it's definitely a lot longer than my chapters normally are. The next chapter is Bella and Riley meeting Edward. I hope you all enjoyed this, and the next chapter will be coming along soon. Please review, because I'd like to know if you liked it or not. And I know it's not mentioned in the chapter, but here's what everyone is at the theatre they all work at:
Bella – Assistant Director
Alice – Head Costume Designer
Jasper – Lighting Designer
Emmett – Stage Crew
Rosalie – Actress
Riley – It's a surprise for you and for Bella. XD
Edward – Soon-to-be Director (maybe permanent, but I won't tell you guys because I'm evil like James)
Of, and if you're confused about the whole police thing in the flashback, that's explained in the next chapter. I know it's unrealistic that the police show up right when things get thorny, but there's a reason. Please don't think I'm insane!
Thanks, and until next time… - Dark and Wild