Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or the lyrics to the song Dimes as sung by Damien Jurado.
I've got dimes by the dozen
I'm placing a call to your husband
Does he know about me at all?
Fog enveloped the city like a blanket and Edward walked down the street, braving the winter chill in an attempt to find a payphone. His feet hit the pavement with loud, determined steps as he quickened his pace. He thrust his hand into his jeans pocket and rattled the change that rested deep down, his heart beats quickening with adrenaline as he realized what he was going to do. He had about two pounds of change there and had been saving them for a while and for some reason, tonight, he felt, was the night to put them to use.
He kept his head up, taking in the surroundings of his neighborhood and the memories that filled his head. It was only a few blocks from where he was that he had first stumbled upon the woman he was undeniably in love with. She had been coming out of Starbucks when he inadvertently walked into her while he had been arguing with his father on the phone. The coffee had spilled all over the two of them and he hadn't been more embarrassed.
She grunted as she pulled her shirt from her body. The dark stains nothing compared to the liquid that was burning her skin.
"I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going." He spoke as he flipped his phone shut and looked at her shirt. A wave of quilt washed over him when he realized that the shirt probably cost more than he made in a week with his band.
"It's okay. I'm prone to accidents." She sighed and tossed the cup in the trash.
"American?" He asked as she nodded and looked up, the force of her bright doe eyes nearly knocking him on his feet.
"Is it that obvious?" She chuckled.
"The accent is a dead giveaway."He smiled. "Let me buy you another coffee."
"Oh no. You don't have to do that."
"Please?"He gave her his best smile and watched as her cheeks flushed and she merely nodded.
That had been both the best and the worst day of his life. She had been everything that he had ever been looking for but he had learned that she was married. His mother would have been ashamed but he couldn't deny the way she made him feel and he had gotten her number, explaining that he wanted to have her shirt dry cleaned for his clumsy mistake. He had been thrilled and had to convince himself to wait a few days before finally calling her.
They had settled into an easy friendship but it didn't take him long to figure out that she was unhappy in her relationship with her husband. They had met young, she had told him, and when his company transferred him to London she had been excited, thinking that it would become a new adventure for them. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for Edwards sake, it had only put a strain on their relationship. She was all alone most of the time as he was off on business trips and she had wanted a child but he claimed they were both too busy. He refused to let her get a job and she often spent her days at the National Gallery, just staring at the portraits and wondering where things had gone wrong.
"He's a fool for not seeing what is right in front of him." Edward said over lunch one day. He had reached across the table and placed his hand on hers, rubbing his thumb gently on her soft skin.
"I should have just left last year when things started to go south." He could see the glassy glaze in her eyes and he knew she was fighting the urge to cry.
"It's not your fault for trying to make things work."He said softly, lifting her hand up and entwining their fingers. They sat in silence before he reached across the table with his free hand and lifted her chin up so that her eyes would meet his own. He felt his heart break a little as he saw the wet streaks down her cheeks from the tears that had managed to escape. "Bella… You deserve so much more than this. You deserve to be happy, to be with someone who loves you… You should be the center of his world and he is an idiot. God if you were mine…" His voice trailed for a moment as he searched for the words.
"You want me?" She squeaked, surprised by his confession as she had thought he never saw her as anything more than a friend.
"Bella, I've wanted you since I accidentally spilled your coffee all over your shirt." He smiled ruefully. His hand was still on her face and he was brushing away the tears that were falling. "If you were mine I would make sure you knew just how much I loved you each and every single day."
"Edward?" She whispered.
"Can we go to your place?"
Their relationship had changed that day and their affair had begun. At first it had been exciting, but it didn't take long for Edward to resent that nature of their relationship. Still, he didn't resent it enough to give her up. He was just waiting for her to see that they worked better than she worked with her husband.
I hang up when he answers
It's too much for me to handle
What happens now, when it all goes down?
He finally found a red phone booth on the side of the road and opened it letting himself in. His hand was still in his pocket and he scooped a few of the coins out before beginning to place them in the phone. He knew the number by heart, this hadn't been the first time that he had called her at home, but this was the first time that he was calling when he knew she wasn't there but her husband was. The phone rang three times before someone answered.
"Hello?" His voice was deep and American and though Edward had seen pictures of the man, he couldn't quite get over the fact that this was him on the other end of the line.
"Who is there?" Edward couldn't bring himself to talk and instead hung up, hearing the change cling as it fell down to the compartment where the leftover money was given back.
He wanted to tell him. To tell him that he and Bella were together and that she wanted to divorce him but that would have been a lie. He was merely upset; she had upset him when she had left that afternoon. It seemed that each time they went to say goodbye he could only pester her about what she was going to do, if she would ever leave Jacob and move in with him. She told him to wait, but he couldn't help but feel the sting of jealousy when she would leave, smelling of him, to go home to the husband that never appreciated her.
He stood in the phone booth and pulled the collar of his shirt to his nose. It still smelled of her.
The change was placed back in the phone and he dialed the number again. This time, it was a female voice that answered.
"Hello?" He hadn't been expecting her back so soon.
"Bella, sweetheart, who is it?" Edward could hear his voice in the background but he didn't say anything.
"Edward?" She whispered. "Is that you?"
"It's me." He responded solemnly and though he couldn't see her, he could imagine the look on her face, the twisted combination of both pain and pleasure. He'd seen the look many times before.
"What are you doing calling this number?" Her voice was soft but rushed and he knew that she was trying to keep the conversation from Jacob's ears.
"I needed to hear your voice." He said, it was, after all, partially the truth. "I'm sorry Bella. I'm so sorry for putting you through this."
"I chose to be in this situation though."
"But I should have left a long while ago. We are only hurting each other."
"I'm sorry." She whispered. "I don't want to keep hurting you but I don't know what to do."
"I know." He responded and he could feel the tears, hot and wet, as they began to fall from his eyes. "I love you… More than anyone could ever love another but I need to back out of this… I don't want to but I can't keep asking you to leave him and I can't keep lying to myself thinking that one day you will."
"Please don't give up on me." She pleaded and he heard a door shut. She must have left the room that she had been in to escape Jacob's prying ears. "I know this isn't fair for you but I can't lose you."
"But you can't leave him either." He sighed and ran his fingers through his tousled hair, his eyes closed as he remembered her doing the same thing only a few hours prior as they made love in his bed.
"I love you." He could hear her practically begging and it hurt him to know that he was hurting her, and he felt like he was no different, no better, than the man that she lived with knowing that she was probably crying now, but he didn't know if he could keep doing this.
"Then why can't you leave him? Why can't we be together?" He hated himself, hated the role of the dirty mistress that he had taken on but he was addicted to Bella. Addicted to everything about her and though he knew he had to give her up, he wanted to convince himself that he could share her with her husband so long as she loved him and she was happy.
"It's not time. It's not the right time."
"Goodbye Bella." He hung up and leaned against the glass, sinking down onto the floor as he held his head in his hands. He didn't want to go back to his flat; he knew that all that was waiting there for him was his dog and his sheets that still smelled like her.
Gas station lights for a candle
Your heart's put together then dismantled
Secrets are best when left unsaid
"Where are you going?" Jacob asked as she pulled her coat back on. "You just got home."
"That was Rose, she and Emmett got into a fight and she asked me to come over." She had never been good at lying but it seemed that the more she did it, the better she got at it.
"Oh." He replied, walking closer to her. "I have to leave tomorrow for Brussels for a week."
She sighed and he became defensive. "I have to go! I don't have a choice!"
"I didn't say anything." She replied softly.
"You don't have to say anything for me to know what you're thinking."
He had no idea what she was thinking, in fact, she wasn't thinking about him at all. Her mind was on the man that had been in her body earlier that day. Her mind was focused on everything about him, everything that she loved, that damn crooked smile that sent her heart fluttering, the way his hands felt as he touched her body, the way his voice was soft and tender when he would tell her he loved her, the way he set her body on fire, and the way that she needed him. But she couldn't figure out why she couldn't just leave Jacob. She wasn't happy living in their townhouse alone or even with him, she wasn't even sure she loved him like that anymore. All she wanted was to be with Edward, to be with him in his one bedroom flat in Chelsea. She was happy there, happier than she had ever been.
"You don't know what I'm thinking." She finally snapped.
"You're right. Maybe that's because you don't talk to me anymore." He was shouting and she hung her head. She was sick of fighting with him. "What happened to us Bella?" He had regained composure of his voice and she could see the pain behind his eyes. It was that look, the look that showed all his remorse, which kept her from leaving him.
"London happened." She sighed and stood on her toes, kissing his cheek. "I think I'm going to stay with Rose tonight. She was pretty upset."
"I won't be here when you get back… I have to leave early in the morning." He sighed and brushed the hair off her face. "Stay here with me."
She shook her head. Edward needed her, she needed him. "I promised… I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you were leaving tomorrow."
He sighed and nodded his head. "Alright."
"Have a safe flight." Her hand was on the doorknob and she was out the door when she heard him say he loved her.
The floodgates are open
And you'll see me
And no one is perfect
You must admit it now
"What are you doing here?" He asked as he opened the door. His eyes were puffy and red from crying and she could feel her heart break into tiny pieces.
"I needed to see you." He stood off to the side and let her in. "I needed to know that you weren't going to give up on me."
He pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger and she knew that it was his reaction to stress, to try and calm his muddled mind. "Go home Bella."
"No." She said softly, walking closer to him and resting her palms against his bare chest. "I told him that I wasn't going to be home tonight, that I was with Rose. I want to wake up next to you… I want your arms around me… I want to feel you inside me again… I want to be close to you… I need to be close to you."
"And what about what I need Bella?" He raised his voice and she took a few steps back. He had never yelled before and it frightened her, though she knew she deserved it, that he had every right to be upset with her, hell, she was upset with herself. She watched as he visibly flinched when he realized he had scared her and he took a few steps forward so he could wrap his arms around her and pull her up against him. "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to yell."
"I know." She whispered and pressed her forehead to his chest, taking a deep breath and smelling his skin, loosing herself in the comforting scent of his soap and she realized that he had washed her scent off of him from earlier in the day. That hurt her more than she would have liked to admit.
"So you can really stay the night?" His voice was hopeful.
"I can stay every night for a week." She said, looking up at him as he moved one arm from around her waist to her cheek, cradling it in his large palm. She leaned against him and he dropped his head down and pressed his lips to her forehead before picking her up and carrying her to his bed.
I'm in my best when you're pretending
And no paper plane is safe for landing
This is how the best all die
The sun peaked through the clouds when the rained had stopped and he looked at the way the sunlight changed the color of her hair. She was curled up against him asleep, her mouth opened slightly and he could feel her warm breath on his naked chest. He pulled her tighter into him as he closed his eyes, pretending that this was how he could wake very morning but he knew Jacob would be coming back in two days and she would go back to the home she shared with him and he would be left with the memories of her in his bed, only made stronger by the fact that her delectable scent had permeated into his sheets.
He felt her stretch and he groaned as she rubbed against his erection.
"Good morning." She smiled, pressing her lips against his neck.
"Good morning." He replied placing his hand against her bare back, rubbing her soft, naked skin as she trailed soft kisses along his jaw.
"Tell me you love me." She whispered as she pulled away, resting her head on his arm.
He looked down at her, their eyes connecting and he moved his other hand to her cheek.
"You know I love you."
"Tell me to leave him."
"I can't do that."
"Please…" She begged and he watched as the tears pooled in her eyes. He hated that it seemed that every time they were together, she always seemed to cry. Wasn't love supposed to be easy? Why was this so hard?
"You know I want you… All of you, forever… But I can't tell you to leave him. I don't want you to resent me later for making you chose."He sighed and wiped a tear from her cheek.
"I love you." She sighed. "More than I have ever loved him."
His heart swelled at the words but he knew better than to get his hopes up. This was something she had told him many times before, but she was still with Jacob.
"I wish this was real… I wish everything in my past could just disappear…" She said softly against his skin. "I wish that this was my life."
"I know." He replied.
"Let me just pretend then, pretend that I live here… Pretend that there is nothing else in the world but us."
He closed his eyes and pulled her closer to him before pressing his lips against her own, doing exactly that, pretending that this was their life, that they were together and that nothing else existed. It was the only thing that he could give her, even if it did break his heart.
Holding my breath until you need me
Foraging my way into the simple
Somehow my voice was caught in the trees
"Where are you?" She whispered into the phone as he was setting up his equipment on the stage for the performance they had. He hadn't seen her for a month and not because she hadn't tried, but because it hurt too much. She needed to live her life without him, though it still didn't stop her from calling and it killed him to ignore her calls, which was why he couldn't do it when he saw her name flash across the screen of his cell phone on that particular afternoon.
"The Mean Fiddler… My band has a gig tonight." He sighed. A lot had happened over the month that he had distanced himself from her. His band had been signed and he wanted more than anything to celebrate with her, she would have been so proud of him, but he knew that he couldn't call her so he had kept the news to himself. It was hard to do but he forced himself not to call her. He focused his energy elsewhere instead, writing music every day and drowning his emotions in whisky every night because it helped numb the pain.
"Oh." She sighed. "Where have you been?"
"Mulling things over." He balanced the phone against his shoulder as he fiddled with the microphone.
"Did you meet someone else?" She asked. Her heart was beating wildly as she awaited his answer, afraid that he would say yes, though she knew she had no claim to him. Not when she couldn't leave her husband.
"Would it change things if I said I had? Would it make it easier for you?"
"Then no… I haven't met anyone." He replied, sitting down on the stool that was next to his guitar.
"Why haven't you called?"
"Because it's too hard Bella… This is too hard."
"It doesn't have to be."
"Did you leave him?" He asked.
"No. But if you tell me to, I will…"
"I already told you I won't do that. But I'll be waiting if you ever do. I don't think I'll ever be able to love anyone as much as I love you… My heart won't allow it."
"I've missed you." She breathed into the phone and he could feel his heart expand tortuously in his chest.
"I've missed you too." He replied honestly. "My band was signed."
"That's fantastic Edward!" She said, maybe a little too loudly but when she peeked out the door she saw that Jacob was passed out on their couch. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I wanted to but that went against my plan to not talk to you."
"Listen Bella… I have to go… You have a husband and we can't keep doing this to each other. I have to let you go."
"Edward?" She asked as he was about press the end button, to try and silence her forever.
"I'm sorry too." He sighed and ended the call, shoving his phone into his back pocket and storming off the stage before Alice or Jasper had time to question him.
The floodgates are open
And you'll see me
And no one is perfect
You must admit it now
"That was the best show we've played." Jasper smiled, pulling Alice against his side as they drank at the bar.
"No denying that." Edward responded, a smile on his face as he took a pull from his beer bottle. It had been two months since that phone call and though the pain wasn't gone, it wasn't the sharp stabs that it had once been, dulling now to a strong ache. Still, there hadn't been a day that went by when he hadn't thought of her and Jasper knew that all the new songs were in some way, inspired by the girl that had stolen his friend's heart.
"How have you been?" Jasper questioned and watched as the painful expression replaced the smile.
Edward shrugged. "Better than before."
"Have you heard from her?" His sister asked as she slipped onto Jasper's lap.
"She calls a few times every week but I don't answer." He could feel the familiar tightening of his throat. "She leaves messages but I don't listen to them. It would be too hard." He pulled out his phone to show them the voice mail icon that was lit up.
"So you don't know if she's still with him?"
"I'm sure she is." He sighed. "Listen… I don't really want to talk about it. Can we just have fun?"
Alice and Jasper nodded their heads and he placed the bottle back to his lips and let the cool, amber liquid pour down his throat. He drank until last call even though Alice and Jasper had left two hours after the gig had finished. He had been propositioned multiple times and though he wanted to say yes, though he wanted to go take a girl back to his apartment to try and rid the memory of Bella, he couldn't do it because he didn't want to violate the memories they had made in his bed.
As he walked down the street, he pulled out his phone and saw that there was another missed call from her and in his drunken state, his resolve was broken and he pressed send before typing in his password for his voicemail. It took a few tries, but eventually he got to his inbox. There were ten voicemails but he skipped to the most recent.
"Edward… I know you don't want to talk to me but I want you to know that I miss you… That I think about you every single day. I love you." The message ended and the stabbing pain was back in his chest when he closed the phone.
The way you built this song and what they told us
Switching the lines just to confuse us
What happens now
Now all goes down
He stumbled up his stairs and down the hall before he saw the figure that was slumped against his door. There was a suitcase next to the person and whoever it was had their face buried in their arms on top of it. The person must have heard his loud movements because when he was a few steps away, their head shot up and he was looking into the eyes that haunted his dreams. Apparently, it haunted his drunken mind as well.
"Bella?" He asked, tripping over his own feet as he moved closer not sure if it really was her or just a figment of his tormented imagination.
"Hi Edward." She said timidly as he stood in front of her. She could smell the stagnant scent of alcohol on him though she wasn't concentrating on anything but his face, the face that she had lived without for far too long.
"What are you doing here?" He reached into his pocket for his keys and when he pulled them out he found that he was having difficulty getting the metal into the small hole. She placed her hand on his, steadying it as she guided it into the hole, opening the door.
"I needed to see you." She said as he walked in. "Can I come in?" He nodded and she reached down and took her bags into her hands before walking in. She wasn't sure if he had noticed that she had luggage and she wasn't sure how to approach the subject, for all she knew, he could have found someone else.
When the door had been closed, she placed the bags down on the floor and she noticed that his eyes had not left her.
"Luggage?" He slurred and she nodded.
"I left Jacob." She replied, casting her gaze to the floor, unable to meet his eyes, afraid that he was going to tell her to get out, that he had moved on.
"When?" His voice was tender and she felt him move closer, suddenly completely aware of her body.
"A week ago…"
"Where have you been living?" He interrupted and she could hear that he was sobering up.
"I was with Rose for a while until she told me that I needed to just come here… To tell you."
"Why didn't you say something in the voicemail?"
"I wanted to… But I didn't think that was the best way to tell you… Though I suppose showing up here with my luggage wasn't a much better idea either."
They were silent and she kept her eyes trained on the ground.
"I know I don't deserve you… But you said that you would be waiting and I guess I wanted to see if the offer still stood…" She whispered.
"Never mind… I'm a foolish girl. I'll leave." She said quickly, turning around as she began to shuffle towards the door but she felt him grab her arm.
"Don't you even think about leaving." He said forcefully as he turned her to look at him.
"Don't you even dare." He continued, his voice much softer this time as he pulled her into his arms. "You belong here with me."
"I'm sorry it took me so long to figure it out." She said as he cupped her chin and lifted her face to look him in the eyes.
"It doesn't matter… You figured it out… You're here…"
"For as long as you want me." She breathed.
"Forever." He smiled.
"Forever." She repeated.
So I've been thinking about this for a long time and I've never done a one-shot before but I was itching do this because I loved the song… So I was just wondering what you thought!