AN:// I can't get away from stories about Edward's past. Here is a different take on his past, and showing that his long life was meant to be with Bella. For similar stories, I would suggest reading my other fic, Bakers Chocolate, or Marykat's Destiny of Dreams. Please take the time and review. It's 5 seconds of your life, but it means a lot to me and fellow writers. It's disheartening to see 100 hits for every one review.
I want to thank Verolina, Marykat, and Scarlet Paige for beta reading for me. Their feedback really helped this story form.
Disclaimer : Stephenie Meyers owns Twilight. I am simply borrowing her characters to enhance this story.
Fate can be cruel in many ways. This occasion, I laughed at her twisted irony. It all began at the dinner table one night, in 1918. My parents and I were sitting at the table, enjoying a meal my mother had prepared. I was seventeen at the time, and did everything I possibly could to please my parents. They had given me so much, it was the least I could do for them.
"Edward, would you mind stopping at the office after school tomorrow? We're working on a big case, and an extra set of eyes and hands would be appreciated," my father had asked at dinner one night. He was one of the leading lawyers in Chicago, and provided for our family handsomely. It was his dream for me to go to law school and follow in his footsteps. I could always tell when he was thinking about me joining the firm, and this was one of those times. His eyes became glossed over, and a slight smile would tug at the edges of his mouth.
"Certainly Father," I answered, nodding in his direction. "I would be honored to assist."
My doting mother reached across the table for my hand, and gave it a little squeeze. She was glowing with pride for the man I was becoming. I knew I would choose the dreams they had for me over the ones I had for myself. Honestly, what kind of life could a musician have in this world? Eternal bachelorhood. Now as a lawyer, I would be able to have a stable home for a wife and children. Maybe even a dog in the backyard. I always wanted a dog.
The next day, I had shown up at my father's office as he had requested. They needed help with filing and briefs, simple tasks for someone of my intelligence. While I wasn't quite interested in any of the tasks I was assigned, I performed them willingly and diligently. At least I did, until she walked in.
"Excuse me," I heard a quiet, feminine voice ask. I looked up from the file I was reading through and was met by a deep set of chocolate brown eyes, shielded behind a curtain of dark lashes. "Could you tell me where I could find Charles Strough?"
She was exquisite. I was unable to speak as I marveled in her beauty. I couldn't even tell you what she was wearing because I couldn't take my eyes away from hers. As silence hung between us, a blush started to fill her cheeks. The reddening of her face was endearing. I think my voice had been paralyzed, words were refusing to touch my lips. She shook her head slightly, causing her mahogany hair to cover her face in embarrassment.
"Charles Strough, please?" She asked again, casting her eyes to the ground so I could no longer stare into them.
"Oh yes," I coughed, regaining my voice. "If you would follow me," I offered her my arm as an escort, but not because that is what a gentleman does for a fine lady of this caliber; I just wanted to feel her touch. As she laid her hand upon mine, an electric shiver shot through my body. I had hoped she would not have noticed, but as I caught her eye again, I saw another blush start to creep into her cheeks. She looked away quickly, watching her feet as we walked through the office as if each step needed to be taken carefully. A million thoughts ran through my head on our short journey. I even had contemplated taking her in the wrong direction, so I could steal a few extra moments of her presence. I wanted to learn more about her. I wanted to learn everything about her for that matter.
"Edward, my boy!" I heard my father shout boisterously when we entered the large conference room where they lawyers had set up shop. The case must be going well if he is this cheerful. Charles had looked up as well and smiled brightly when he caught sight of the angel on my arm.
"Helen, dear, what are you doing here?" Charles asked, standing up from his seat and walking over to the two of us. Helen, the perfect name for this girl. Like Helen of Troy, she had a face that could launch armies to fight for her. I would be on the front lines for her honor. If all of the American soldiers saw her face, and were told they were fighting this war for her, we would certainly win.
"I needed to speak with you for just a moment, Father," she said quickly, dropping her hand from mine and taking his. "I will not keep you for long." She added.
"Is everything alright?" He ushered her out of the room, and out of hearing range.
"How is your day going, son?"
I snapped out of my daze when I heard my father's voice. Unconsciously, my body was straining towards the door Helen just walked out of. It was strange, as if my body had some kind of magnetic pull for her, urging to be next to her.
"It has been a good day, father." I answered, because I did not think 'it has gotten so much better since I met the girl I'm going to marry' was what he wanted to hear.
"You have helped out enough for tonight, why don't you go home and keep your mother company. You know she likes hearing you play while she's cooking." He clapped his hand on my shoulder, his signal for a job well done. I wanted to stay until Helen and her father reemerged and eased my worrying. Why am I worried about a girl I just met five minutes ago?
"As you wish, Father. When should I tell Mother that we'll be expecting you?" Maybe they would still be out in the hallway, and I could offer my assistance to her. There must be something going on for her to show up at his place of employment and interrupt. Though I hadn't even introduced myself to her. I have always gotten along well with her father, and since my father is his boss, that should work in my favor for our courtship. Why am I already thinking about courting her? This is going far too fast for my liking.
"Shortly, just a few details we need to go over before we can all go home to our families."
I nodded in response, but was eager to leave and see Helen again. I grabbed my jacket and quickly followed the path the two had taken moments before. They were conversing quietly in the hall, Helen obviously looking distressed. My chivalry instinct wanted to kick in, but was quickly trounced by my need to be polite.
"Good evening, Mr. Strough. Good evening, Miss Strough." I bowed my head to both of them, but let my eyes linger on Helen. She kept my gaze locked in hers, and I believed for a moment that I never wanted to wake up to anything else in the morning but her beautiful face. She closed her eyes, and let her hair fall across her face again. Edward, staring is not polite, I reminded myself. As I began to walk away, their hushed voices started up again.
That evening, I contemplated what I would need to do to gain her favor. I was laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling in a daze. I had never met a girl that held my interest like this, and I hadn't even spoken with her. I was being very shallow, judging this girl solely on her looks. But someone this beautiful had to be intriguing. She couldn't be like all of the other girls at school, who grin and giggle to themselves as I walk by, and couldn't hold a thought in their head for more than a second.
If I helped out at the firm more, there could be more chance meetings. I would try to gain her father's respect first. Maybe he would invite me over for dinner.
"Edward?" I heard my father's voice call me from the entrance way. I jumped off my bed and descended the staircase to see what he needed.
"I hate to ask you for another favor after all your hard work today at the firm, but would you mind granting me another one?" he asked.
"Certainly Father, anything you wish." I reassured him. I couldn't say no to my parents, I wasn't raised that way.
"Do you remember Charles' daughter that came in today? Helen?"
Do I remember her? The more appropriate question would be if I could ever forget her. I nodded a response, a little afraid I would blurt something embarrassing if I dared to speak.
"Well, it seems that her escort for the debutante ball has come down with that flu that's going around. Charles asked if you would mind being her escort? I think it would really help your chances to get into the firm."
I swallowed hard. I needed to choose my words carefully, so I didn't sound too eager. I felt like jumping up and down like a maniac and hugging my father for this opportunity.
"I would be honored to escort Miss Strough." There, that sounded intelligent enough. Not the pathetic love sick puppy I felt like I was.
"Good, I'll tell Charles tomorrow and will provide you with the details as I know them."
Days passed quickly until I saw Helen again. It was the day of the debutante ball, and I was walking to her house to escort her. It took a lot of self control to not skip down the streets as giddy as I felt. I had stopped at the florist on the way and bought her a bouquet and a corsage. The decision of what to get her took a long time, as I wanted to send the right message too her. Not too subtle, but definitely not too strong. I wasn't sure if she knew the meanings of certain flowers, but I would certainly explain them to her if she wished.
I reached her doorstep, and my heart started to pound loudly against my chest. The bachelor button pinned to my lapel was certainly appropriate at the moment. I knocked on the door quickly, taking in a deep calming breath.
What I wasn't expecting was for Helen to open the door herself.
"Hello, Mr. Masen." She greeted, stepping aside to let me in. Everything that I had prepared to say to her flew out of my brain. I stared at her speechless.
"Are those for me?" She asked, gesturing to the flowers in my hand. I felt like an idiot, standing there like a mute.
"Oh yes here," I handed her the bouquet. She took them quickly and looked down at the flowers. The blush in her cheeks started to darken as she took notice to the variety of flowers in the bouquet.
"Shall we go?" She asked, reaching for her shawl.
"Shouldn't I speak with your parents? Assure them that you'll be safe with me?" I asked, a bit shocked at her wanting to go so quickly. "Or find out what time we will be meeting them?"
"They are busy at the moment."
"We can wait."
"Let's not." She grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the door. I looked down at her and met her pleading eyes. She desperately wanted to get out of the house. But why?
"Do you not want to put the flowers in water?" I asked, helping her put the shawl around her shoulders.
"No, I want to take them with me. Did you pick out the flowers yourself?"
"Yes, I did."
"Even more of a reason that I should take them with me," she said slyly, stepping through the front door and out onto the street.
Thanks for reading. AND REMEMBER TO REVIEW! I will post the next chapter soon.